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There’s so much to see and do in Croatia! Wondering where to begin? Read on!
Although most nations in Europe have been inhabited by the current ethnic group for thousands of years, Croatia is different.
Ethnic Croats didn’t travel to the area until the 7th Century AD. Immediately, these people created a formal government system.
Initially, the region was divided into two duchies, but these were eventually united under the first king of Croatia, Tomislav.
In the 12th Century, Croatia united with Hungary to build a powerful empire. For centuries, this was how it remained.
Croatia’s unity with Hungary lasted through the era of the Austro-Hungarian Empire and the horrors of World War I.
However, at the end of the First World War, Croatia left Hungary and entered the State of Slovenes.
It merged with Serbia to become the Kingdom of Yugoslavia, a socialist state.
Finally, in 1991, Croatia declared its independence.
Independence did not come easily. The next four years saw the bloody Croatian War of Independence. Croatia finally emerged victorious.
Once it was free, Croatia formed a unitary parliamentary constitutional republic.
Soon after, it joined the European Union, the United Nations, and other international organizations.
Today, Croatia is an immensely popular tourist destination and a peaceful, pleasant place to be.
What to do
There is so much to do during your Croatian travel adventure!
Croatia is home to countless islands in the Adriatic Sea. These are especially popular with the yachting crowd.
Whether or not you have a yacht, though, you’re bound to love the Croatian islands and their many charms!
If you tour the Croatian islands, stop at the Blue Grotto. Have a travel blog? Be sure to include this!
The Blue Grotto is a bottom-lit cave with brilliantly blue water. It’s a magical yet eerie place to swim.
Not far away, you’ll find Vis Town.
Vis Town is a sunny community where you can walk through thousands of years of history while making new memories.
Here, you’ll get to experience what is was like to spend an afternoon in ancient Rome at the baths.
You can also tour through a Greek cemetery, wondering what these people’s lives must have been like so long ago.
When you’re done exploring the ancient world, travel to the medieval English fortress and take a stroll through the Middle Ages town nearby.
Of course, there are also plenty of places in Croatia to kick back and have some fun!
Hvar is the major party town in Croatia. Have fun mingling with the crowds and making new friends in Hvar!
Croatia’s weirdest attraction is the Museum of Broken Relationships. It sounds depressing, but it’s pretty hilarious.
Visit the museum to see the donated artifacts from hundreds of broken relationships, from furniture-destroying axes to “Dear John” letters.
What to see
Croatia is filled with interesting sights, from historic villages to beautiful natural wonders.
One of the most famous of Croatia’s sights is Plitvice Lakes National Park.
The woodlands of Plitvice Lakes National Park are stunning, and you could spend your entire vacation just wandering the woods.
The coolest part of the park, however, is the series of waterfalls. These falls link together terraced lakes!
This place also has a series of incredible waterfalls.
Of course, the civilized parts of the country are no less spectacular than the natural areas!
While you’re in Croatia, you can check out some of the local ancient ruins.
The most famous is Diocletian’s palace, where the Roman emperor once lived behind the walls of his fortress.
Another great ancient site is the Cathedral of St. Domnius, an ornately-designed church that was built in AD 305.
Komiza has always been a fishing village, but today it is a popular topic for travel blogs and photographs.
It is perfectly picturesque! The 17th Century homes cling to the hills and overlook a brilliant blue sea.
While it’s a bit far from the mainland, it is definitely worth the trip.
Where to eat
Croatian food is rather diverse, and it varies from one part of the country to another.
Most of the food reflects Europe as a whole. Still, there are some dishes that are pretty standard throughout Croatia.
One staple that you’re sure to find is goulash. You’ll also find lamb, veal, and lobster on the menu.
Of course, each dish can be paired with a delightful glass of local wine!
There are many great places to eat during your Croatian travel adventure.
If you’re in Zagrab (and you likely will be eventually), you’ll have the best of Croatia food at your fingertips.
One of the nicest restaurants in Zagreb is Zinfandel’s Restaurant.
Zinfandel’s serves meals with several courses, making dining out an adventure in and of itself.
Of course, this can get pretty pricey, so if you’re on a budget, you may need to skip this one.
A great inexpensive alternative is Plac, where you can be brave and eat local, or just grab a burger.
If you’re in Hvar Island rather than Zagreb, you’ll find a whole different food scene.
Here, restaurants serve primarily seafood dishes—even octopus is on the menu!
One great restaurant in Hvar is Zori, which serves Croatian dishes with a Mediterranean twist.
Zori also has excellent views of the Adriatic Sea and the best of the country’s wine selection.
A less expensive restaurant in Hvar is Dalmatino. It offers a cozy atmosphere, good food, and great prices.