Croatia is a wonderful country to explore and easily a stunning European gem. Whether it’s your first, fiftieth or millionth visit, I guarantee that Croatia will have a whole heap of the best places you’ve ever experienced.

It’s a country that has a little bit of everything from beautiful islands, historic cities and a whole heap of beautiful beaches. Long story short, you need at least one reason to visit Croatia.

Now, if you are renting a car or just going near the sea, I hope I can share some of the best places in Croatia that are beyond Dubrovnik.

Take a look at some of my favorite spots below. I am almost sure that you will have time to explore the best places in Croatia.

1.) Dubrovnik

Now, let’s start with the most popular destination in Croatia, Dubrovnik.

Dubrovnik is known for being a magnificent walled city that dates back to the Middle Ages and recently featured prominently in Game of Thrones.

Located on the sparkling Dalmatian Coast, Dubrovnik is nestled on the shores of the Adriatic Sea. Once you’re here, be sure to explore the city walls, stroll through Stradun and visit Fort Lovrigenac.

Oh, and for a great sunset, pop over to Buza Bar and watch the city transform under the orange glow. Dubrovnik is easily up there as one of the best places to visit in Croatia and a city worth spending a few days exploring.

Also, for a great place to stay, check out Hotel Excelsior Which is located in the city itself.

Read more: Best things to do in Dubrovnik

2.) Telesica

Located on the island of Dugi Otok, the bay is also a protected nature park with high cliffs, lagoons and secret little coves.

Spanning an impressive 10 kilometers, (give or take) this is the kind of place best explored by boat, especially for its charming inlets and small beaches. Also, the largest city nearby is Zadar, making it an easy place to base yourself with a city break in Croatia.

Read more: Best cities and towns to visit in Croatia

3.) Lastovo Island

For a taste of traditional Croatia, you’ll want to head straight to the island of Lastovo. It is one of the best places in Croatia to visit that instantly takes you back in time. It feels like you’ve stepped back 300 years… and it’s amazing.

Also, the island is covered with lush green forests and rugged beaches, so this is definitely the place to visit if you love hiking. That being said, be sure to spend some time in Lastovo Old Town as well – it really is a beautiful place.

4.) Mljet

Located not far from Dubrovnik, Mljet is made up of protected areas of the National Park and also has the unique Benedictine Monastery of St. Mary.

Once you’re here, make sure to explore the beautiful beaches, take a dip in the water and enjoy Mljet’s lovely chilled-out vibes.

5.) Zagreb

Being the capital of Croatia, Zagreb is often referred to as a ‘well-kept secret’. Away from the coast, Zagreb is a great place to explore in Croatia, if you’re not interested in the Adriatic side of the country.

Once you’re here, be sure to explore the cobbled streets, visit the Upper Town and explore Tkalciceva. It is a wonderful place to spend a weekend.

6.) Rab Island

This small island hideaway is perfect if you want a change from the more popular places to visit in Croatia. It is definitely one of the best places to visit in Croatia that is not as popular as places like Dubrovnik.

Once you’re here, be sure to visit Suha Punta Beach, check out Pudarica Beach and explore Rab Town itself. It’s really amazing.

7.) Lopud

Easily reached by ferry from Dubrovnik, the island of Lopud is covered in crumbling churches and monasteries and is therefore perfect if you’re after a more rustic experience during your holiday – even if just for a day trip. If you don’t have time to explore more than Dubrovnik, it’s one of the best places to visit in Croatia.

Once here, there is a picturesque harbor area as well as a beautiful beach in Sunj which is perfect as a mini city break. Also, it has some amazing sunsets.

8.) Vis

The former naval base Vis is an island that was off-limits to tourists. Now that it’s open, it retains a sleepy charm and uncharted territory feel, so be sure to visit if you want to ‘get off the grid’ for a while.

Vis is really the kind of island you visit if you want to get away from most of the crowds. Plus, it’s very easy to get to while you’re exploring some of the other larger islands.

9.) Korcula Old Town

Korcula’s main claim to fame is that it is the birthplace of Marco Polo and one of the most beautiful walled towns in all of Croatia.

Located in the Pelješac Channel, Korcula is one of the best places to visit in Croatia if you love a bit of history. Once you’re here, be sure to explore the historic buildings (built in the Venetian style), which are stunning.

They really show the Venetian influence on Croatia (historically, at least).

Read more: Best cities and towns in Croatia to visit

10.) Hawar Town

Havre Town is often compared to France’s sunny St Tropez due to its popularity as a premier holiday destination (however, you’ll find yachts galore here in the summer months). Plus, it also has a plethora of ornate buildings, impressive squares and magnificent cathedrals waiting to be explored when you visit.

If you’re not into partying, you might want to skip this one around yacht week. If, however, you’re into partying in a more sophisticated way – Yacht Week is definitely the time you should plan to be here. The city changes.

11.) Split

This beautiful city is another favorite for Game of Thrones fans and history buffs alike.

Once you’re here, Diocletian’s Palace (known to fans as Daenerys Targaryen’s home) is the perfect place to start before you head into the old town and stroll through one of Europe’s most picturesque towns.

Read more: 24 hours in Split

12.) Makarska Riviera

Makarska is the place to visit in Croatia if you are looking for a beach holiday. This port city has amazing restaurants, a beautiful harbor and some epic nightlife (there’s even a cave club).

It’s quite compact and very walkable, then there’s also a lovely center of town. It really is one of the best places in Croatia to explore. Even if you only spend a day or two here, this is a part of Croatia that you definitely need to visit.

13.) Solta

The island is easily accessible from Split and is definitely worth combining with a trip to Split. While you’re here, get rid of your car, grab yourself a bicycle (heads up – there will be some uphill cycling) and get lost on the island.

The island is really great for getting a sense of Croatian life as it’s much more relaxed than say Split and has some beautiful country routes worth checking out.

Read more: Best cities and towns to visit in Croatia

14.) Cetina river

Setina River is one that is famous as a place for some fun and adventure. Even if you’re into a more relaxing visit, you should definitely consider rafting down the river.

You don’t need to do much here (apart from the occasional navigation) as the current takes you down as you soak in the stunningly beautiful Croatian countryside.

If you’re into a more active holiday, don’t worry, there’s a section of river where you’ll be able to exert yourself, so let the people you go rafting with know your intentions in advance. 🙂

15.) Plitvice Lakes National Park

The lakes and waterfalls here are some of the most incredible in Europe and easily one of the best places in Croatia.

However, due to the popularity, you’re bound to find yourself sharing the view with many like-minded travelers, so if you’re averse to crowds, you’ll want to spend some extra time planning your outing. Visit during peak hours or early morning.

That being said, the views alone are worth some of the crowd watching.

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