Sightseeing in Croatia is spectacular, ranging from Dubrovnik’s ancient walls and forts, lavish palaces, the Roman Amphitheatre and fascinating mountain scenery at Paklenica National Park. Croatia is even home to a remarkably preserved ancient building, Cathedral of St Domnius.
The Cathedral of St. James, located in Sibenik, is one of the most beautiful examples of Croatian architecture to be found anywhere in the country. Completed in 1536, it is a must-see for visitors from all over the world, whether they are Catholic, history lovers or just fans of magnificent architecture.
The many windows of the cathedral let in plenty of natural light and the intricate detail of the carvings within the church itself are absolutely astounding. Whether you are coming for a service or just to marvel at this beautiful building, be sure to pay a visit to the Cathedral of St. James during your Croatian holiday.
The dome is 32 metres high, towering above the rest of the city, making it one of the most striking attractions in Sibenik. The cathedral is also included on the UNESCO World Heritage List. Located right beside a lake, it is also a handy place for boat trips.
Built for the Roman Emperor Diocletian, this majestic palace has stood tall in Split since the turn of the fourth century, AD. Today, it forms half of Split’s old town and is one of the biggest tourist attractions in Croatia, today.
Tours are available to be booked around this historic site, during which you are free to take as many photographs as you like. Your friendly guide will lead you through the palace while giving detailed information about the history behind the castle and the origins of the town itself.
Hotels are available to be booked very close to the palace, meaning you can open your curtains every morning to this stunning example of ancient architecture. Whether you are a lover of history, architecture or just want to see a beautiful sight, be sure to pay a visit to Diocletian’s Palace on your holiday to Croatia.
Located near Omis, Starigrad Fortress is a 15th century fortress which was built to defend against the Ottoman Empire during one of the many Croatian-Ottoman wars. It stands at the top of a ridge which is 262 metres above Omis, positioned so that it would be difficult for enemy soldiers to reach and therefore provide a place of refuge for locals when danger loomed.
Although the fort can only be reached by foot, it is more than worth the hike, as you will be treated to a selection of stunning sights along the way. These sights are topped off with a postcard perfect view of the area once you reach the top of rock formations, Hvar harbour and the red tiled rooves of Croatia’s traditional buildings which are dotted along the hills. The fort itself still has many of its original features visible today, including its 3 feet thick limestone walls and its two-storey square tower which was used as a lookout post.
Perched right on the Dreta River, Gornji Grad has an extremely rich history, making it a massive tourist attraction for visitors all over the world. The settlement is the largest of the Municipality of Gornji Grad in Slovenia, as well as being the area’s administrative centre.
Gornji Grad boasts beautiful old buildings, many of which are still painted in their original white colours, topped with red roofs. Visitors can roam freely around the markets, take in the shops and marvel at the wonderful architecture of the buildings.
Not only is Gornji Grad set on a picturesque river, it is also surrounded by lush greenery. The nearby countryside is perfect for hikers and woodland walks, to take in the incredible sights and sounds of nature.
Gornji Grad is also home to two churches from the 1800s, which prove popular with tourists. There’s plenty of places to eat, too, so you don’t need to worry about going hungry.
Open for 12 hours a day in peak seasons, Mljet National Park is enormous and covers the entire north-west part of Mljet Island. The park borders Veliko and Malo Jezero (Large and Small Lake) two saltwater lakes, which stretch for over 4 kilometres.
The Large Lake is also home to St Mary’s Island, a small island situated in the middle of the lake. Tourists love to take a boat ride, starting from the Small Lake so they can wander around this island, which is home to the former Benedictine Monastery. The monastery dates back to the 12th century and is now a restaurant.
Visitors also love to go swimming and sunbathing in the park; the lakes’ waters are much warmer than those on the seashores of the island, meaning you can swim safely all year round. You can also hike up to 200m in the hills of the park, which offer spectacular views of the sea and surrounding countryside.
Step into a town that will take you back in time; Dubrovnik’s Old Town is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and is renowned as one of the most astonishing medieval cities in the world. The Old Town is a remarkable area of Dubrovnik which contains buildings dating back to as early as the 1660s, but is still a lived-in city. See astonishing pieces of ancient architecture preserved in remarkable condition and walk the narrow cobbled streets of this special protected area. Relish the lavish marble-paved squares, and see historical sights such as Pile Gate, the stone gate entrance to the Old Town which dates back to 1537.
The Old Town can be found towards the south-eastern tip of the island encased within the towering stone walls. Visit the traditional old port which is dotted with numerous small vessels and is home to a number of fine eateries, a perfect spot to soak up the glorious sights and old-fashioned Croatian atmosphere of this historic village.
Get away from the hum and roar of cars and pay a visit to Zadar’s car-free old town. Built on a small peninsula, Zadar’s old town boasts staggeringly beautiful architecture and a vastly rich cultural history.
Whether you have a love of history, religion, culture or architecture, the top attraction for countless visitors to the old town are the various Romanesque churches. Built between the 9th and 13th centuries, these buildings still stand tall and are some of the finest examples of historic architecture Croatia holidays have to offer.
The Church of St. Donatus is the oldest example. Built in the 9th century, it is the largest Pre-Romanesque building in all of Croatia. The interior is just as attractive as the exterior, too. However, there are several other examples including the 12th century Cathedral of Anastasia and the Church of St. Mary, which dates as far back as the 11th century.
Located in Zadar, the Sea Organ is a fascinating piece of modern architecture which uses the sea’s waves to create music. It comprises of a number of tubes which sit beneath a set of marble steps on Zadar’s coastline. The steps extend across a 70m stretch of coastline, and the organ comprises of a total of 35 tubes, each one at a different length, diameter and tilt. The musical tubes, which are simply made out of plastic, create sound when waves crash into them and as wind blows through them, making the site a cacophony of harmonious sounds which vary depending on the conditions. It is a remarkable place for visitors to sit and relax while listening to the organ’s extraordinary sounds.
It was created by architect Nikola Basic as an experimental sound art object, won the European Prize for Urban Public Space in 2006. Playing a total of seven chords of five tones, the Sea Organ truly is an attraction that you have to hear to believe.
Located just off the eastern shore of the old Croatian town of Sibenik, St. Nicholas Fortress is a fascinating ancient fortress originally built in 1540. It is the only one of Sibenik’s four fortresses to be located at sea and is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. St. Nicholas Fortress is considered to be one of the best preserved examples of historic defence architecture in Croatia, making it a great site to visit for those looking to binge on culture and history while on their holiday.
It was successfully used to protect the city from enemies who would attempt to attack the town by sea, particularly to stop Turkish boats reaching the nearby port. Unlike many fortresses which are built with stone, the walls of St. Nicholas Fortress are made of brick as it was believed that this would be the best material to protect the fortress from incoming cannonball attacks. Only the foundations of the structure are made from stone.
Located right on the magnificent coastline of the Adriatic Sea, the Walls of Dubrovnik offer visitors the chance to take in some incredible scenery while also getting a fascinating history lesson. The stone walls date back to the 16th century and encircle the city of Dubrovnik’s iconic Old Town.
Within the walls, you can visit a wide range of sights, including St. Blaise Church and Renaissance Sponza Palace. Shops and restaurants line Old Town’s Stradun, meaning you have plenty of places to browse through and eat during your trip. Guided tours of the famous city walls are easily arranged and are one of the things that everyone must do during their Croatia holiday.
Walking tours of the Walls of Dubrovnik allow you to gaze at the crystal blue waters of the sea on one side while admiring the awesome architecture of the city’s Old Town on the other.