Croatia is a land of stunning natural beauty, ancient coastal towns, and a lively party scene. Thanks to Game of Thrones, Croatia is now one of the most visited countries in the Balkans. This page has all our travel blog posts about Croatia.
This page has a collection of not just my Croatia travel blog posts, but also it is an essential travel guide for the country with a travel map, essential tips, main airports, top destinations, how to travel internally, and what to eat. If you’d like to skip this section and just read my travel blog posts about Croatia, then click the below button.
The first time I visited Croatia was in 2016 for a music festival (Modem Festival / Momento Demento) and from then on, I visited it 3 more times. So in total, I have visited Croatia 4 times and will be more in 2024.
Each time our way of traveling within Croatia changed. The first time was backpacking using buses, and the second time was on a rental car from Serbia.
Our third time was on our campervan with a 7-month-old baby from Germany to Slovenia and then to Croatia. The fourth time was with our little girl again but again using public transportation since that was so easy.
So road trips, backpacking, family vacations, and camping – you can say that we have had many different kinds of travel experiences within Croatia.
I still remember my amazement when I first saw a clear blue river near Rastoke in Croatia. More than that, I was pleasantly surprised when I saw the Plitvice Lakes National Park which has 16 lakes with clear blue water that are arranged by Mother Nature in cascades between two rivers – just wow.
Table of Contents
What’s the Capital City of Croatia?
The capital city of Croatia is Zagreb. It is a lovely city that has an old town, cobbled roads, cathedrals, churches, museums, and an effective public transport network.
Zagreb is situated in central Croatia and at some spots you can see hills in the backdrop. This Croatian capital city has a metropolitan area consisting of over 1.1 million people.
Currency in Croatia
As of January 1, 2023, the currency in Croatia is Euro. Croatia was accepted by the EU Council in July 2022.
If you are visiting Croatia in 2023, then till the end of 2023, you can use both Croatian Kuna (old Croatian currency) and Euros. So if you have any Kuna notes and coins, you can exchange them for Euros at post offices, commercial banks, and Financial Agencies.
If you visit Croatia after January 1, 2024, then you need Euros.
Main Airports in Croatia + Map
The main airports in Croatia are as below:
|Airport & Code||City||Nearby Destinations|
|Zagreb Franjo Tuđman Airport, ZAG||Zagreb||Pula, Rijeka, Plitvice Lakes|
|Zračna luka Zadar, ZAD||Zadar||KRKA, Split|
|Resnik Airport / Zračna luka Resnik, SPU||Split||Brela, Hvar, Kravice (Bosnia)|
|Čilipi Airport / Zračna luka Dubrovnik, DBV||Dubrovnik||Kravice (Bosnia), Montenegro|
Tip: If you are going to Croatia in peak months – July and August and you’d like to rent a specific kind of car like a camper van, then you may want to book one in advance because our experience was that they were all booked out because our plan was uncertain till the last minute.
The below map not only shows our suggested Croatia road trip itinerary route but also shows the top airports and destinations.
Places to visit in Croatia
Below are the top places to visit in Croatia starting from North to South.
Pula in Istria
If you are entering Croatia via road from one of the countries in Western Europe, then your starting place will be Pula. It is a beach destination in Istria and is a little like Italy.
Yes like most of the beaches in Croatia, Pula also has beaches with pebbles. For me, it was my first non-sandy beach and I was initially disappointed. But when I realized that the clarity of the water was insanely good, I started enjoying the beach a bit more.
The prettiest beach in Pula for me was Stoja and Saccorgiana Cove in Verudela. Rest all the other beaches were pretty ok.
Pula’s main town center has cobbled streets, old arched gates, and also an amphitheater called the Roman Arena.
I have visited Zagreb 4 times and each time I had a good experience. The city is easy to navigate, walkable to some extent and the taxis are affordable.
If you are short on time, then you can totally skip Zagreb. Just arrive here by flight and rent a car to move further, or just get on the bus.
Plitvice Lakes is a natural wonderland that shouldn’t be missed, even if you are visiting in high season. There are 16 clear water lakes on different levels with cascades and waterfalls between them.
Don’t make the mistake of doing it just on a day trip from Zagreb. Arrive near the Plitvice Lakes the night before, and get some sleep because you will have to walk a lot inside the national park. Sure – you can take a shorter route but to see the prettiest spots, I suggest you take one of the longer routes.
KRKA National Park
KRKA National Park is a fun place to visit with family but it isn’t as beautiful as Plitvice Lakes. But I think it is an easier destination for families with smaller children, here’s why.
Plitvice Lakes requires a lot of walking and exploration. Small children won’t usually enjoy that and they’d prefer to go into the water instead. You can’t swim in the Plitvice Lakes National Park but you can swim in KRKA National Park.
KRKA National Park has the iconic Skradinski Buk waterfall that makes a massive pool and you can go inside and swim for hours. It is a very good experience, even if this national park gets crowded in July and August.
Split & Hvar
After Zagreb, Split is Croatia’s second-largest city and is a popular beach destination. It is also the gateway for the nearby island destination – Hvar.
If you are doing a road trip in Croatia, then you can take your car on the ferry from Split to Hvar and back, but we warned that queues can get shockingly long for taking the car on the ferry so it may be easier to just do a boat trip.
If you do make it to Hvar, then don’t miss the Dubovica Beach and the Blue Cave (Monk Seal Cave).
Everyone has heard of Dubrovnik already, it is one of the most visited destinations in Croatia that has sort of changed the country’s tourism dynamics. Blame it on the fame of Games of Thrones.
Guess what, Dubrovnik can be enjoyed more if you spend the hottest part of the day in the shade, swim in the sea, and do the tours or visit the historical landmarks right before they close or at sunset time instead of mid-day to avoid the crowds.
How to Travel Internally in Croatia
The best way to travel internally within Croatia is by road. It is easy to drive in Croatia and people follow rules. You can rent a car from one of the cities or airports.
If you are traveling solo, it may not make sense for you to rent a car. Croatia has an amazing network of buses. Considering the fact that it is a small country, traveling on local buses isn’t so time-consuming and is pretty easy. I was so happy to see that the buses in Croatia have functioning WiFi connections.
Croatia Travel Blog posts
- What landscape comes to your mind when you think of Croatia? Perhaps clear waterfalls – that’s because of overly popular (yet stunning) Plitvice Lakes and Krka National Park. Or it… Read more: Rastoke, Slunj – Croatia’s Secret Waterfall Destination
- Ever seen a list of the most visited destinations in the world? Most of them in the top 10 are in Europe. Yep, Europe is one of the most touristy… Read more: 9 Most Beautiful Lakes in Europe (that aren’t Grada or Bled or Camo)
- What’s the first image that comes to your mind when someone mentions Croatia? Perhaps Dubrovnik-like beaches with turquoise water and medieval buildings along the coast. Nature lovers would think of… Read more: Waterfalls of Krka National Park, Croatia: Complete Guide
- Information about Day trips from Dubrovnik with details about how to reach, what to see and suggested tours. What’s better than a typical mediaeval travel destination? A mediaeval walled city… Read more: 10 Amazing Day Trips from Dubrovnik, Croatia
- Pula is fun, vibrant and historical. It has a bit of everything that Croatia is famous for – all packed in one destination. Situated on the lower tip of the… Read more: Things to do in Pula, Croatia: Travel Guide for the Gem of Istria
- Croatia Road Trip Itinerary to help you plan your trip. How beautiful is Croatia! There are clear blue lakes, medieval walled cities, amazing beaches, and stunning natural beauty. After two… Read more: Ultimate Croatia Road Trip Itinerary: Best Places to Visit + Map
- Plitvice Lakes Croatia – the most beautiful national park in the Balkans Just imagine – 16 lakes, all arranged in cascades between two rivers where the water goes from one… Read more: Visiting Plitvice Lakes, Croatia (Avoiding Crowds + Tips)