The 10 Most Beautiful Places in Croatia in 2023

Discover 10 of the most beautiful places in Croatia from idyllic islands to charming old towns, dramatic coastlines and stunning national parks.

If your idea of a vacation includes exploring medieval villages, discovering beautiful islands, and swimming in crystal clear waters, Croatia would be the perfect destination for you to visit.

The diverse country in the Balkans has something to offer for every traveller, whether you’re fond of outdoor adventures or prefer something more relaxing. I have been visiting Croatia for years and even lived there for one month in late 2022.

The Most Beautiful Places in Croatia

With so many incredible places to see in Croatia, deciding where to go can be daunting. If you need help, check out this list of the most beautiful places to visit in Croatia.

1. Mljet Island

Mljet is one of Croatia’s most beautiful islands, about 27 km from Dubrovnik. With its two stunning lakes, Mljet is an ideal destination for a day trip from Dubrovnik.

It is also home to some great attractions that you can explore in a day, such as the Polače Palace and St. Mary’s Benedictine Monastery. Mljet is also home to one of the most stunning beaches in Croatia, Saplunara Beach.

One of the top attractions in Mljet is the gorgeous bay at Prožurska Luka. It’s a small bay and hamlet with breathtaking views, about 5 km from the village of Sobra, and the best place to visit if you’re looking for a tranquil place to hang out while admiring nature.

Another site to check out is the Odysseus Cave, which you’ll find near Babino Polje on the southern part of the island. Getting to the cave will require a 45-min hike through a rocky surface.

If you’re into hiking, you’ll find plenty of scenic trails in Mljet national park. The park occupies the island’s northwestern part and has a lush pine forest and two incredibly stunning saltwater lakes. Walk or cycle through the tarmac paths by the lakeside, where you will find numerous spots to stop and bathe in crystal-clear waters.

2. Korcula


The stunning island of Korcula is one of Croatia’s greenest islands, famous for its historic Old Town. Korcula is also home to some fascinating natural attractions, including stunning beaches. The walled Old Town is fun to stroll around, flanked by sparkling blue seas and has narrow cobblestone lanes lined with magnificent architecture.

It’s pretty easy to explore Korcula since you can reach most attractions on foot. On the southern part of the island, you’ll find a wide stone staircase leading to the 15th-century Revelin Tower.

The St. Mark’s Cathedral, a Gothic and Renaissance church built from the 14th to 16th Centuries, is worth checking out. To learn more about the island’s history, visit the Korcula Town Museum, which details the history of Korcula from the prehistoric era to modern times.

After a day of sightseeing, the best way to relax is to chill out on one of Korcula’s beautiful beaches, the Isopod Duvana Beach, which you’ll find close to the Dominican Monastery.

Korcula can make for an ideal stopping point on a cruise. You will find some great cruises in Croatia to take you to Korcula and many other islands. It’s a fantastic way to see more of the country in one visit.

3. Hvar Island – One of the Most Beautiful Islands in Croatia

Hvar Island Croatia
Hvar Island Croatia

The island of Hvar lies in the Adriatic Sea, off the coast of Makarska riviera, which you can reach on a ferry from Dubrovnik or Split. It’s a long and sunny island surrounded by the islands of Vis, Korcula, and Brac. Famous for its vibrant party scene and beautiful beaches, Hvar is one of the most beautiful places to visit in Croatia.

The town of Hvar is a charming place to stroll around, with charming cobblestone streets lined with Venetian architecture, art galleries, fantastic restaurants, and boutique stores. You’ll also find the Spanjola fortress perched on a hill above the old town. If you prefer a quieter area to explore, check out Stari Grad. Wander around its charming stone alleyways, where you’ll find a lovely harbour and gorgeous bays.

It’s also worth checking out the nearby Pakleni Islands, a chain of rocky islets off the coast of Hvar. The scenic archipelago is only a boat ride from the town of Hvar and is home to stunning beaches and picturesque coves. Aside from swimming and snorkelling, Pakleni Islands are a great place to enjoy hiking.

4. Dubrovnik – Romantic Places in Croatia

Dubrovnik, Most Beautiful Cities in Croatia
Dubrovnik, Most Beautiful Cities in Croatia

When it comes to the most historical places in Croatia, Dubrovnik tops the list. In fact, many of the excellent tours around Croatia include a visit to Dubrovnik due to its historical sites and popular attractions.

The historic city lies along the coast of the Adriatic Sea and was the filming location of the popular series “Game of Thrones.” This is definitely one of the most romantic places in Croatia for its winding lanes, homely bistros and amazing views.

Whether you’re into history or not, a walk on the Old Town walls is a must. Surrounded by walls, the Old Town of Dubrovnik is a fun place to enjoy a scenic walk, with picturesque cobblestone streets lined with houses made out of bricks. After wandering around the Old Town, hit up one of Dubrovnik’s beautiful beaches. Or better yet, take a boat trip to the Elaphite Islands nearby, where you’ll find the more stunning beaches.

Another popular activity in Dubrovnik is riding the cable car towards Mount Srd. Once you get to the top, there is a beautiful viewpoint from where you can admire the stunning views of Dubrovnik and its surroundings.

5. Split – Best Place in Croatia to Party

Split, On of the Most Beautiful Places in Croatia
Split, Croatia

The gorgeous city of Split is another beautiful place worth visiting on your trip to Croatia. It’s the country’s second-largest city, famous for Diocletian’s Palace, one of Croatia’s most famous landmarks and a UNESCO World Heritage Site. You can easily spend the day roaming around the stunning citadel, built in the 4th Century AD by Roman Emperor Diocletian.

For the best views of Split, climb to the top of Marjan Hill at the west of the city, where you will find the churches of St. Nicholas and St. Jerome and a Jewish cemetery.

The Riva harbour of Split is one of the most picturesque areas in the city. It’s a great place to enjoy a scenic walk and relax in one of its cute little cafes while admiring the beautiful views.

On some days, you can catch live performances along the harbour. There are plenty of great things to do in Split making it the ideal destination for a range of travellers.

Check out these awesome day trips from Split to Mostar in Bosnia, one of my favourite places in the Balkans.

6. Plitvice Lakes

Most Beautiful Places in Croatia - Plitvice Lakes
Most Beautiful Places in Croatia – Plitvice Lakes

The UNESCO-listed Plitvice Lakes National Park is one of the most romantic places in Croatia with wooden walkways winding through a series of crystal clear pools, lakes and underneath waterfalls.

It is the oldest and largest national park in Croatia and is located 150 km from the capital Zagreb. This is the perfect place for nature lovers to escape into some of the most stunning countryside in Europe.

The park is made up of 16 cascading lakes where the colour changes from turquoise blue to green. You should allow at least a full day to visit Plitvice and there are some great tours from Split and Zagreb. This full day tour from Zagreb includes a guided tour of the park and boat ride. Book today with Get Your Guide.

7. Sibenik – One of the Most Beautiful Cities in Croatia

Places to Visit in Sibenik
Sibenik Waterfront and Fortress

Historic Sibenik is a charming medieval city located on the Dalmatian coast halfway between Zadar and Split. It is known for its four fortresses; three on the hillside in the city and one on an island in the middle of a channel.

The city is packed with interesting shops, waterfront cafes and even has a small beach. Sibenik makes a great base for exploring the nearby islands like Zlarin and Krka National Park. I lived on a small island off the coast of Sibenik and spent a lot of time in the city.

Read my full guide to Sibenik.

8. Zadar

Boat in the Harbour at Zadar
Boats in the Harbour at Zadar

The charming town of Zadar is the first place I ever visited in Croatia back in 2010 and I have been returning ever since. With cheap flights from the rest of Europe, it makes for a great first stop while exploring the most beautiful places in Croatia.

The quaint medieval old town is set within stone walls and has a myriad of winding cobbled streets, piazzas, town squares and a beautiful waterfront.

One of the most famous Zadar attractions is the sea organ; a unique set of holes carved into the promenade that plays a tune with every rise and fall of the waves.

9. Krka National Park

The Waterfalls at Krka National Park
The Waterfalls at Krka National Park

Krka National Park located just a few kilometres from Sibenik is similar to Plitvice Lakes with a series of winding wooden platforms and walkways across lakes and through waterfalls.

I visited in Autumn 2022 with friends and it is for sure one of the most beautiful places in Croatia.

Check out eight of the most beautiful Waterfalls in Croatia.

10. Zlarin Island

Zlarin Island Croatia
Beautiful Zlarin Island – My home for one month

I lived on tiny Zlarin Island for one month in late 2022 and it is one of my favorite islands in Croatia. One of the best things about it is that cars are banned so if you’re looking for the ultimate tranquil getaway then Zlarin should be top choice.

There are daily boats from nearby Sibenik to the small, picturesque harbour, and the island is very popular with sailors.

There are many wonderful restaurants in Zalrin including Prslika and my favourite Restaran Ivana. Seafood is a speciality, as well as other local Dalmatian delicacies such as Dolma/Sarma (stuffed vine leaves).

There are lots of great things to do on Zlarin from hiring kayaks to explore the secluded bays and inlets to hiking the trails that cut through the island and spending time at the many beaches with crystal clear waters.

Read my full guide to Zlarin Island.

Getting to Croatia

Budget airlines such as Ryanair, Easyjet and Wizzair fly to airports across Croatia including to Zadar, Split and Dubrovnik.

One of the best ways to get around the Balkans and Croatia is by bus which is comfortable and inexpensive. I’ve travelled the whole of Croatia from north to south using services like Flixbus. Check for tickets on Flixbus or check out my guide to taking the Split to Mostar bus.

Conclusion – Is Croatia Worth Visiting?

Croatia is definitely worth visiting and is one of my favourite countries in Europe and having briefly lived there in 2022. With the most beautiful places in Croatia being in easy reach of the rest of Europe, there’s no excuse to miss out on this gem of a country.

You might like my other Croatia articles:

Dunhuang, Gobi Desert, China

About the author:

Steve Rohan is a writer from Essex, England. He has travelled to over 60 countries, lived in China and Hong Kong, and is now living the digital nomad life on the road.

Steve prefers “slow travel” and has covered much of Europe and Asia by train, bus and boat.

Where I am now: Yerevan, Armenia 🇦🇲

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *