Croatia Travel, Backpacking & Gap Year Guide
Croatia is one of the most amazing destinations in Europe with so many sights and attractions. Get information, advice and inspiration for the best things to do if you would like to travel, go backpacking or take a gap year in Croatia.
Activities & Things to Do in Croatia
Travel to Croatia
Seeking sun, beaches, spectacular islands and stunning architecture? Before booking that flight to Greece or Italy why not experience Croatia? This destination is gaining in popularity year on year and it is easy to see why.
Our Croatia destination guide aims to give you all the information you need to have an amazing experience in this amazing country. Find affordable travel and backpacking ideas with advice for amazing things to do and how you can be more than just your average traveller. You can also get travel tips, advice on places to stay and how visit Croatia on a budget.
Get inspired to visit Croatia today!
- Population: 4,500,000
- Capital: Zagreb (population 800,000)
- Area: 56,500 km2
- Language: Croatian
- International Calling Code +385
- Currency: Croatian kuna
Weather & Best Time to Visit Croatia
What time of year you arrive really depends on what you want to do. For sailing and sightseeing we highly recommend visiting during summer (June - August) but this is also the hottest and most busy time of the year. Off season in Spring and Autumn have cooler climates but are still pleasant to see the county. Winter isn't recommended if you would like to be outdoors exploring.
Top Reasons to Visit Croatia
Need some convincing Croatia should be your next destination? This is why you need to go:
- Get here before the crowds arrive
- Great value for money
- Friendly local people
- A lot less touristy than similar destinations in Europe like Greece
- Spectacular islands
- Historic cities
Best Places to Visit in Croatia
Here are some of the main destinations with and tips for the best places well-worth visiting where you can experience the coastline rich, island copious country of Croatia.
Know as the “Jewel of the Adriatic” Dubrovnik host a 13th – 16th century old town, now a Unesco World Heritage Site. This spectacular stronghold is filled with marble streets, baroque architecture, orange brick roofs, seaside guard towers and scenic city walls. Definitely the number one spot and can’t-miss destination in Croatia.
If you are going to be travelling in Croatia the chances are you will visit Split which is located on the Adriatic sea. This is a popular tourist destination especially during summer where you can sail the spectacular islands. Few European cities showcase fascinating history against a relaxing backdrop as effortlessly as Split, situated on Croatia’s picturesque Dalmatia Coast.
Built around former Roman Emperor Diocletian’s palace, the city seems to have carved out a character and charm all its own with its glossy, ivory-hued architecture and laid-back vibe. Shops and restaurants flood the city’s portside, featuring uniquely charming souvenirs and serving up some of the region’s freshest seafood.
If you go: take advantage of the country’s nature-dense landscape. Be sure to visit the mountainous region for scenic white-water rafting, or explore the neighboring islands with white sand and turquoise water often mistaken for the world’s most tropical paradises.
- Korcula – this island is famous for its white wines, Marco Polo links, and a miniature-Dubrovnik-esque old-town
- Hvar – A party-happy island, home to numerous yachts, but also a great night life and beautiful clear waters and mini-islands to swim around
- Brac – Home to the famous triangular beach Zlatni, with round pebbles and lots of great wind, making it a kite and wind-surfers dream
- Krk - A must for any traveller the Krka National Park is spectacular with beaches and waterfalls
- Other islands to consider: Rab, Kornati, Pag, Mljet, Cres and Vis
Other Places to Consider:
- Zagreb, Pula, Zadar, Rovinj, Split and Plitvice Lakes.
Backpacking in Croatia
Whether you would like to discover the stunning islands, go cycling or join an overland adventure, you will be able to find a trip to match your interested in Croatia. The experiences we promote are authentic and unique, you will get to do far more than just sightseeing.
For the ultimate itinerary we recommend visiting Korcula, Stupe island, Vodnjan, Lampajina, Sobra, Mljet and the Lokrum islands. Most travel operators travel to these destinations. On an organised experience you will see the more of the country and the great outdoors, experience the spectacular islands and get exercise at the same time.
If you're interested in a unique and adventurous experience, consider embarking on one of the popular hiking cruises in Croatia during the off-season. In these months, the climate is cooler, making it more comfortable for extended hikes, and the tourist crowds have diminished, allowing you to enjoy a more serene and authentic experience of the country.
Imagine trekking through picturesque coastal trails, exploring hidden coves, and discovering ancient ruins along the way, all while enjoying the mild weather and avoiding the summer rush.
Croatia Travel Tips
Find out everything you need to know before you go.
Croatia is a cheap country to visit compared to other places in Europe, you will get good value on accommodation, sightseeing activities and meals.
Lots of low cost airlines fly to Croatia from destinations all around Europe. Book flights in advance to get the best deals.
Travelling independently is your cheapest way to go if you want to save money. Local transportation is very cheap and you can move around the country fairly easily. On the islands the local catamaran ferries (Jadrolinija) will get you are as well as some buses.
There are lots of cheap hotels, hostels and guest houses located throughout the country. Tourist hotspots like Dubrovnik are very expensive to stay during peak times like summer.
Health & Safety:
Croatia is a very safe country to visit, the 1990's Balkan war has long ended and this region is peaceful and becoming more and more popular with foreign tourists. During summer the weather can get hot so its best you stay hydrated and don't drink too much alcohol. You will find local people very friendly and accommodating, you might want to learn some local Croatian phrases.
Gap Year in Croatia
Croatia is one of the most scenic countries to visit in Europe and the idea places to mix cities, culture, sightseeing and scenery. Croatia is really up and coming and if you are keen to spend your gap year here search trips and programs.
Croatia is located in South-Eastern Europe and getting here is very easy due to cheap international flights and also land crossing by road and rail. The Croatian coast is spectacular and places like Spit and Dubrovnik and must visit destinations.
Croatia's geographical position also makes it very easy to visit nearby countries like Austria, Italy, Hungary, Slovenia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Serbia and Montenegro. If you would like to stay longer there are lots of gap year work, volunteer and travel programs available.