Croatian Cities: A Breakdown MADE For Travelers

Get the 411 and reputation for each Croatian city that may interest you for different reasons.

Traveling to Croatia is an exciting adventure, but which regions should you really explore? Croatian cities are ancient, and each region has its own unique character. Here’s a breakdown of various regions that may interest you.

st. mark's square
PHOTO Wendy Hung

You won’t find every city in Croatia on this list, we only focus on ones that attract most travelers. Here, they’re listed in the order from north to south:

Reputation: The capital.

411: Zagreb is also the largest city in Croatia. It has an alluring medieval vibe that combines Hungary, Austria and Czech Republic’s Central-European architectural influences. You’ll see lots of cobblestones, bustling markets and several cathedrals and plazas.

TIP! Stay near Old Town, it’s within walking distance to most landmarks. If you’re also planning to visit other cities in Croatia, then spend less time in Zagreb (1-2 days are enough.)

Instagram johan_thelander

Reputation: Roman amphitheater in Istria’s biggest city.

411: Pula’s rich Roman Empire history began 3,000 years ago. Since then, Pula had been occupied by Venetians, and Genoese. Irish author James Joyce also lived in Pula in 1904, and taught languages to Austro-Hungarian naval officers at Berlitz school.

TIP! Istria is known for the production of amazing wines. Visiting a winery here is a must, especially if you call yourself a foodie.

Instagram zadar_region

Reputation: Biggest city in Dalmatia.

411: The lesser-known historic port is a fantastic option if you’re not a fan of tourists. The marble streets are adorned with shops and restaurants that are far less expensive than Dubrovnik. The sunsets in Zadar are so beautiful that they even inspired Hitchcock, who famously said Zadar has “the most beautiful sunset in the world” in 1964.

PHOTO Wendy Hung

Reputation: A port city with Roman ruins.

411: Located in central Dalmatia, the city was built around the Diocletian Palace (a site you’ll definitely visit). You’ll spend most of the time walking through Roman alleys, stumbling upon old squares and chilling at cafes/bars by the shoreline boulevard.

TIP! You’ll be able to visit all the famous sites in one day, so booking a day trip on a boat when you get there (kiosks are located by the shoreline) is a good option.

PHOTO Wendy Hung

Reputation: Stunning party island.

411: Known for non-stop parties and island-hops, Hvar is actually more than just drinking and sunbathing (although that’s undeniably fun)! This dream island is also highlighted by charming winding alleys embellished by ancient stairs and shops.

TIP! You’ll want to spend more time here than other cities because there’s a lot to do, including renting a small private boat (600 kunas) for a day to hop through different islands. The food on Hvar island is also famously tasty, so indulge in local cuisine as much as you can even if it’s an expensive city compared to Zagreb and Split.


Reputation: UNESCO World Heritage Site along the Adriatic Sea.

411: Exuding splendid Mediterranean flavors, Dubrovnik is a top tourist center compared to other Croatian cities. It’s very small in size within the famous Old Walls (which is where you should book your stays. )But the city boasts churches, monasteries, and museums that you can explore. Home to the King’s Landing set of Game of Thrones, Dubrovnik welcomes travelers with fantastic restaurants and fun bars.

TIP! There are enormous tourists in Dubrovnik, it’s no joke. If you don’t like crowds at tourist sites, then make sure to arrive early so you don’t bump into too many of them. If you’re staying multiple days in the city, it’s a good idea to make day trips to Montenegro or Bosnia.

Wendy Hung


As the founder of Jetset Times, Wendy is an avid traveler and fluent in five languages. When she's not traveling, Wendy calls Paris and Taipei home. Her favorite countries so far from her travels have been: Bhutan, Iran, and St. Bart's because they were all so different!

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