Undoubtedly the most beautiful town in Croatia, it is especially known for its well-preserved historical center within the 13th-century city walls, its terracotta-colored roofs and the wonderful location with a breathtaking view of the Adriatic Sea (Internet: www.tzdubrovnik.hr ). Today, this city, which was a prosperous independent republic until 1808, is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The most magnificent monuments are from that golden age: the 16th-century Rector ‘s Palace, the Franciscan Monastery, which houses southern Europe’s oldest apothecary, and a number of fine Baroque churches, such as the Dom, St Blaise’s Church and the Jesuit Church. The Maritime Museum is also worth a visit.
With its 1778 km of coastline, turquoise waters, secluded pebbly beaches and countless pristine islands, Croatia is the ideal destination for those who love the sea and sun but want to avoid the tourist crowds. The beaches of the Makarska Riviera and the bays of the island of Krk are particularly suitable for a bathing holiday. The municipality of Lumbarda on the island of Korčula offers one of the few sandy beaches in Croatia.
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Plitvice National Park
South of Zagreb, on the edge of the Dalmatian hinterland, is Croatia’s biggest tourist attraction, the UNESCO World Heritage-listed Plitvice National Park (website: www.np-plitvicka-jezera.hr ). Set in a densely forested valley, the park features 16 beautiful lakes connected by a series of spectacular waterfalls. Hotels, motels and campgrounds are plentiful here, but tourism development goes hand in hand with strict environmental protection policies.
Zagreb and its museums
There are numerous museums worth visiting in Zagreb. In the Museum of Arts and Crafts (website: www.muo.hr ) you can admire Croatian handicrafts from the Renaissance to the present day. The Mimara Museum (website: www.mimara.hr ) offers an extensive collection of paintings, sculptures and ceramics from abroad. The Museum of Zagreb, the Archaeological Museum and the Gallery of Naive Art are also worth visiting.
The historical core of Zagreb dates back to the Middle Ages. Here, a labyrinth of quiet cobbled streets connects the city’s oldest and most impressive monuments: the Cathedral, the Church of St. Mark, known for its red, white and blue tiled roof, and the Sabor, the seat of the Croatian Parliament. In the Lower Town, the business center of today’s Zagreb, you’ll find some significant 19th-century buildings, including the main railway station Glavni Kolodvor, the neo-baroque Croatian National Theater and the Croatian Academy of Sciences and Arts, in addition to numerous boutiques, cafes and restaurants. The city has one of the first planned parks in Europe, the Maksimir, a beautifully landscaped green space dating back to 1794 with lakes, pavilions and sculptures.
Kopacki Rit Nature Park
East of Zagreb lies the fertile plain of Slavonia, whose largest city, Osijek, is the ideal starting point for a visit to the Kopacki Rit Nature Park (Internet: www.kopacki-rit.com ). The park’s wetlands attract countless migratory birds, making the Kopacki Rit Nature Park particularly popular with bird watchers.
Brijuni National Park
Brijuni National Park ( website: www.brijuni.hr ) is an archipelago of 14 pristine islands on the west coast of Istria, which attracts many visitors with its beautiful scenery and rich flora and fauna. On the largest island, Veli Brijun, where you can also stay overnight, there are some tourist facilities and a safari park. There are boat connections from Fažana or from Pula.
Port city of Rijeka
The port city of Rijeka in northern Croatia was the European Capital of Culture in 2020. The cosmopolitan city with an eventful past has always been very well connected to the rest of the world, and not just by water. Rijeka Airport is located on the offshore island of Krk. Rijeka has a lot to offer for museum lovers. in addition to the Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art, the Museum of the City of Rijeka and the Museum of Natural History, the Maritime Museum and History Museum of the Croatian Coast is well worth seeing.
Zagorje and its castles
North of Zagreb is Zagorje, a rural area with rolling hills and vineyards, and several castles open to the public. The most well-known castles are the Veliki Tabor Castle (Internet: www.veliki-tabor.hr ), which was classified by UNESCO in the highest category of monuments, and the Trakošćan Castle (Internet: www.trakoscan.hr ), around its fish-rich lake a hiking trail leads.
Art and sculptures
Fine examples of early Croatian religious art can be seen at the Museum of Croatian Archaeological Monuments (website: www.mhas-split.hr ) in Split. Works by the famous sculptor Ivan Meštrović can be seen in the Meštrović Atelier in Zagreb (website: www.mestrovic.hr ). The Museum Documentation Center provides a list of all museums and information about current exhibitions (Internet: www.mdc.hr ).