Croatian cities for each travel style

Croatian cities for each travel style

Dubrovnik old town — a city for travelers interested in history and/or culture

Are you planning a trip to Croatia? There’s so much to consider when traveling here. What city will you fly into? How long do you have? Will you stay in one location or visit multiple places? The other thing you might want to think about is the unique characteristics of each city in Croatia. Based on our experiences in Croatia (and our research), I want to direct you to the best Croatian cities for each travel style.

Check out our full Croatia itinerary.

Budget and/or Tradition


Budget is a priority for a lot of travelers. If budget is a priority for you, I would recommend considering spending significant time in Zagreb. Zagreb was actually one of the best surprises on our trip. We really loved it. Most people are drawn to the Dalmatian coast in Croatia. We wished we would have had more time here. It was by far the cheapest place we stayed (accommodation, restaurants, food, etc.).

But it’s much more than that. We were so glad we had Zagreb in our Croatia itinerary because we saw a different, more traditional side to Croatia. Northern Croatia reminded me more of Eastern Europe. We drove to the outskirts of the city and found a couple phenomenal local food shops where English was not widely spoken. It made for such a local and fun experience.

If you have the time, I would recommend a Croatian itinerary that includes a little bit of both Zagreb/northern Croatia and the Dalmatian Coast.

If budget is one of your biggest priorities consider making Zagreb a larger part of your trip.

Party and/or Beach

Hvar Island

There are many islands off the coast of the mainland. One of the most popular is Hvar Island. It’s popular for a reason. It’s so beautiful!! We thoroughly enjoyed our time here. It’s definitely the place to go if you want to spend a lot of time in and/or near the water.

The other thing Hvar Island is known for is it’s nightlife. The beaches and boardwalk are more calm during the day as people relax by and in the water. By night, the board walk and beaches become the reason young Europeans flock to Croatia in the summer — the nightlife.

With that said, if Hvar Island is on your itinerary and you go to bed at 9 pm, you will be just fine! That was the case for us. We were back at our Airbnb at 9pm and found it quiet and peaceful.

History and/or Culture


Dubrovnik was my favorite city!! It makes sense because history and culture tend to be the focus of my travels. Dubrovnik has become really well known for it’s old town. For those of you that don’t know, it’s the filming location for King’s Landing in Game of Thrones. It is one of the most beautiful cities I’ve ever been!

The old town is down on the ocean with an ancient wall surrounding it. The rest of the city was built up and around the old town. You could spend all day in the old city doing walking tours, getting lost on the cobblestone streets, finding a unique Airbnb experience, or just people watching.

In addition to the history of Dubrovnik, it’s a great place for cultural experiences. We had one of our favorite experiences on our trip visiting a local, family-run winery. They taught us about the culture and history of wine to them and the country.

I recommend Dubrovnik for anyone visiting Croatia but especially if you’re travel style revolves around history and/or culture.

Cosmopolitan and/or Food


Split was such a beautiful city. We loved our time there, the place we stayed, and the food we ate. It was so romantic! It was the city that we both thought “we could live here.” This was because there was a lot to do, there was great access to the surrounding cities, the islands nearby, and via the local airport. Split is a hot spot for lots of people sailing, bringing their yachts in, and for those that want a place to stay before they hop to the numerous islands. I would say this gives it a bit of a cosmopolitan feeling — more so than any other city in Croatia.

There is a magnificent boardwalk in Split right along the ocean that is lined with bars and restaurants. You could walk for a long time in search of a great restaurant. Cars won’t get in your way because it’s people and bicycles only.

Maybe this will inspire you to plan your trip to Croatia more effectively. I hope it helps you travel to the right Croatian cities for each of your travel styles.

Read more about Croatia:

How to spend one day in Dubrovnik

The most romantic places in Croatia


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