Sunday, September 19, 2021


By Ana Cerovski

Photo created by teksomolika -

For the last couple of years, Croatia has developed quite an interesting and exciting tourist offer in the combination with the beauties the country already has, and thanks to that, it became one of the most popular vacation destinations. Croatia intertwines amazing historical and cultural sights, beautiful culinary heritage and traditions, breathtaking views, untouched nature, and more than 1000 islands perfect for summer wandering.

What makes Croatia stand out is its diversity. It has everything to offer, and it will seduce you within seconds. Now, let's meet the top 5 of the most popular Croatian towns!


Osijek (Photo courtesy of Unsplash) Click to enlarge

Osijek is the fourth largest city in Croatia, and it presents the economic and cultural center of Slavonia, the eastern region of the country. Osijek is known as one of the friendliest towns in Croatia and the hospitality of the people who can't wait to share some of their local stories will certainly make you feel like a home.

Tourist Attractions

The town is located in the plain on the right bank of the Drava River and it has many interesting tourist attractions (not to mention the amazing view over the Drava!). Osijek has 3 bridges across the river, a rail bridge, and a road bridge, but the pedestrian bridge is certainly its most recognizable landmark. The bridge is amazing for a nice stroll, especially at night because it has a beautiful changing spectrum of lights.

If you're a history lover, you're going to love the fact that Osijek combines Turkish, Austro-Hungarian, and Roman architectures which are intertwined into an amazing story of time and eras. You can visit Tvrđa, the baroque town-fortress from the 18th century, Water gate, catacombs, neo-Gothic church of St. Peter and Paul, and more.

For kids (and adults, of course!), Osijek's ZOO, the biggest ZOO in the country with 11 hectares, is definitely an amazing place to visit. The ZOO is separated from the city in order to give the animals rich greenery, fresh air, and a quiet place to live in. There, you can see camels, bison, goats, antelope, bears, lions, tigers, birds, and more. And the best way to reach the ZOO is by taking a small boat which will take you from one side of the river to the other!

Oh, and for some nature magic, visit Nature Park Kopački Rit!

Osijek, Church Of Saint Peter And Saint Paul (Photo courtesy of Unsplash)

Gastronomy Offer

Besides the beauties which can be explored by wandering through the town, Osijek has quite an amazing offer when it comes to the local cuisine. The cuisine presents a mixture of historical and cultural influences in the regions of Slavonia and Baranja, as well as the traditions brought by many immigrants from Croatia and other countries. Fresh cheese with kajmak (sour cream) and a touch of minced red pepper is a usual breakfast of the town.

Mlinci (Photo by Ana Cerovski)

When it comes to its main courses, you can try sataraš, minced meat, Bečka Šnicla, filled chicken roasted with potatoes or mlinci, sarma, fried carp with potato salad, roasted game, fish stew, pork rinds, kulen, and more. For sweet nuances, there are strudels and pies with all kinds of fillings, dumplings with plums, taške made of potato dough with jam, šnenokle, and so much more. Trust me, you won't be hungry in Osijek!


Zagreb (Photo courtesy of Unsplash)

Zagreb is the capital city of Croatia, and it is the largest city in the country. The town combines history and modernity into an amazingly vivid place rich in culture, art, tradition, and heritage.

Tourist Attractions

The heart of Zagreb is certainly Ban Josip Jelačić Square. The square presents a place of gathering, music, street performances, flowers, coffee, and more. There you can see the statue of Croatian ban Josip Jelačić, as well as a fountain Manduševac in which if you toss a coin and make a wish, all your dreams will come true (at least that's what the legend says!).

Zrinjevac is a beautiful park, often referred to as the most romantic spot in Zagreb, and it is magical in all 4 seasons! Take a stroll along Ilica, explore the old town, get lost in the streets, and the beauties of Zagreb's parks such as Maksimir, Botanical Garden, Tomislavac, and more.

Every part of Zagreb has its own unique greenery, park, and spots that will simply seduce you. In the summer, Jarun Lake (known as Zagreb's sea) is a perfect place for sports activities and refreshments from the high temperatures. Zagreb is a city that amazingly combines urban beauty with natural wonders, so you'll certainly enjoy its offer.

For a bit of history and culture, visit Zagreb Cathedral and Treasury, the Museum of Broken Relationships, Stone Gate, the Museum of Mimara, the Croatian National Theatre, the Archeological and Ethnographic Museums, and more. Much, much, much more. Just explore, wander, and get lost!

Zagreb (Photo courtesy of Unsplash)

Gastronomy Offer

Zagreb is truly rich when it comes to its gastronomy offer. It combines authentic and international cuisines so; besides the traditional dishes, you can find different culinary offers such as Asian, Turkish, Mexican, Mediterranean, Indian, and more. However, if you want to enjoy some good, old classics of Zagreb, prepare your taste buds - they will love it! While visiting the Croatian capital, make sure to taste and enjoy štrukli, a "pulled" dough filled with fresh cow cheese, cream, and eggs, homemade soup, turkey with mlinci, zagrebački steak or to put it simply, a breaded veal steak stuffed with ham and cheese, sausages, kotlovina, odojak, pasta krpice with sour cabbage, filled pepper, and beans with turnips.

Štrukli-Strudels (Photo by Ana Cerovski)

Zagreb has a good offer of street food too - burgers, hot dogs, and beer snacks can be found on almost every corner, while sweets such as strudels, kremšnite, pancakes, medenjaci, orehnjača, makovnjača, mađarica, cooked chestnuts, and other dessert recipes will round up your entire gastronomy experience.

Just make sure to have enough time in Zagreb because - there is so much to taste, enjoy, and indulge!


Rovinj (Photo by Ana Cerovski)

Istria is certainly one of the most popular travel destinations in Croatia. Now, even though this region has many breathtaking towns, cities, and villages, Rovinj is certainly amongst the most picturesque ones. It is located on the western coast of the Istrian peninsula, and it surely is one of the most visited towns there.

Tourist Attractions

Rovinj is truly an amazingly beautiful town, especially if we're talking about its Old Town. It has many small, narrow, and stone-paved streets with colorful buildings while being surrounded by the sea. The Old Town is a protected historical ensemble, and it surely brings the beauty of ancient times and spirits. It intertwines Romanesque-Gothic, Renaissance, Baroque, and Neoclassic architectures and details.

The Basilica of St. Euphemia is a must during your visit. It is located on the hilltop, and it contains several stunning works of art like 15th-century Gothic statues and paintings from the 16th and 17 centuries. Besides, there is an amazing view over the sea from there, especially if you climb the bell tower!

Rovinj has numerous historical sites such as baroque Balbi's Arch, relief of the Lion of St. Mark, Town Palace, Town Clock, Franciscan Monastery, and more. During your stay, you can visit the Musem Batana, an archaeological site Monkodonjo, walk or cycle through the park forest Zlatni Rt, scuba dive and explore the sunk ship Baron Gautsch, take a boat tour, stroll down the port, or simply enjoy all the beautiful sunsets while drinking coffee! Rovinj won't disappoint you with its offer of enjoyment!

Rovinj (Photo by Ana Cerovski)

Gastronomy Offer

Istria, or in this case, Rovinj, is definitely a great place for foodies. The offer is quite versatile, but most specialties are based on fish and seafood. Due to that, you can enjoy various fishes prepared by traditional recipes with a touch of modern twists combined with different side dishes, vegetables, and potatoes.

Fuži (Photo by Ana Cerovski)

Since Istria is quite known for its authentic homemade pasta, you can find various dishes and combinations with fuži, pljukanci, gnocchi, and other types of Istrian pasta. Besides fish, you can enjoy Istrian prosciutto, truffles, ombolo, boškarin, maneštra, Istrian soup (it is not actually a soup, it is a warm wine with sugar and oil in which you dip grilled bread), Istrian frittata, sausages, ravioli, ham, and many more interesting and traditional specialties. Of course, you can enjoy pizza and burgers too, no worries!

Traditional cuisine of Rovinj and Istria will seduce all your senses!


Split - Peristyle (Photo by Ana Cerovski)

Now, Split is one of the most vivid towns you will ever visit! Tourists visit Split throughout the entire year, especially in the summer. It is a great travel destination, as well as the main port of Dalmatia which connects islands such as Šolta, Brač, Hvar, Korčula, Vis, Mljet, and Lastovo with the mainland. Even though it is often overcrowded, Split is one of the best cities to visit and it seduces with its beautiful combination of ancient spirits and modern times.

Tourist Attractions

The main question here is not what to visit, but what not! Split has numerous sights, attractions, and spots that will charm you within seconds. The city's historic core is dominated by Diocletian's Palace. The Palace was built in the 4th century, it is really well-preserved, as well as listed on the UNESCO World Heritage List.

Peristyle, the Cardo, Vestibul, the Temple of Jupiter, and the Cathedral of Saint Domnius are just a couple of important sites located within the palace. If you want to get lost in beauty, make sure to explore the Old Town which presents an amazing maze of stone-paved lanes and streets that surround the Palace. Visit Pjaca, Cambi Palace, Old Town Clock, and the bronze statue of Grgur Ninski.

The inevitable part of Split is the Riva Promenade. It is a picturesque spot surrounded by the sea and palms on one side, and colorful buildings, cafes, and restaurants on the other. For green heaven, there is Marjan Hill, and for relaxation, there are many beautiful beaches. One of the most popular beaches is called Bačvice. It presents a sandy beach perfect for families with kids or playing picigin. If you're more of the adventurous type, catch a ferry and visit some of the surrounding islands. You won't be sorry!

Split-Riva (Photo by Ana Cerovski)

Gastronomy Offer

Sea specialties are certainly the basis of Split's gastronomy offer. You can enjoy grilled fish, brodetto (fish stew), risotto, pasta, and other dishes which will bring you the best flavors and aromas from the sea depths. Besides fish, a classic Dalmatian dish is tingulet and it presents meat simmered in tomato sauce. Pašticada is delicious traditional stewed beef in gravy sauce, while samaštrani beef tongue is a specialty that will bring you truly rich flavors.

Kroštule (Photo by Ana Cerovski)

Baked or cooked lamb is one of the delicacies that await you in most restaurants in Split, and if you want some homemade dishes, make sure to enjoy salted anchovies, Dalmatian prosciutto, and cheese served in olive oil. When it comes to sweets, rožata, kroštule, and Split's cake are a must! Besides those classic and traditional recipes, Split has an amazing offer of pizzas, burgers, and other types of fast food. While wandering the streets, you'll find many international cuisines too.

Split has it all when it comes to its gastronomy offer but make sure to enjoy and indulge its traditional dishes - they will certainly round up your entire trip!


Dubrovnik (Photo courtesy of Unsplash)

Dubrovnik, or how it is often referred to, the pearl of the Adriatic, is one of the most visited tourist destinations in the Mediterranean Sea. It is located in the southern parts of Croatia, and it is often overcrowded with tourists and visitors who bring amazing vividness to the town's streets. The combination of history, culture, sea, and people is simply seducing.

Tourist Attractions

Dubrovnik is quite known in the world thanks to the Walls of Dubrovnik and the Old Town. The walls are around 1 940 meters long and they encircle the old town. They were built in the 13th century, and they have the main wall, 16 towers, 6 bastions, 3 pre-walls with towers, 3 ditches, 2 corner fortifications, 2 fortresses, and 2 drawbridges. The walls present the amazing cultural heritage of Dubrovnik, and they are perfect for exploring, strolling, and enjoying the history, as well as the amazing view.

The Old Town is a place for wandering the streets. Visit Stradun, palaces, Dubrovnik Cathedral and Treasury, and Franciscan Monastery. Stradun also has a fountain at each end - Onofrio's Fountain and Little Onofrio Fountain. The Old Town of Dubrovnik is breathtaking for exploring and wandering and on every corner, you will see a piece of history intertwined with modern touches of cafes, shops, restaurants, galleries, museums, and theaters.

You can take a day trip to Zaton or Lokrum, enjoy the beautiful atmosphere, and simply indulge in your surroundings - Dubrovnik will leave you speechless with its beauties!

Dubrovnik (Photo courtesy of Unsplash)

Gastronomy Offer

When it comes to the gastronomy offer of this beautiful pearl, your palate and taste buds will be satisfied completely! Besides classic Meditteranean and Dalmatian dishes such as risotto and pašticada, you must enjoy šporki makaruli. The dish presents a delicious combination of macaroni and beef or veal, and it is prepared in Dubrovnik since the old times. Konavle green manestra is a specialty - a stew that amazingly combines a variety of meat, cabbage, kale, and potatoes.

Risotto with prawns (Photo by Ana Cerovski)

For seafood, make sure to try oysters. Now, you'll either love or hate them, but they are a true delicacy prepared with just a few drops of olive oil, garlic, and lemon. Dubrovnik also offers Dalmatian prosciutto, Dubrovnik's cheese (an autochthonous product), and homemade bread with olive oil.

Oysters (Photo courtesy of Unsplash)

There are many specialties prepared with fish and meat, while for sweet nuances, you have to try rožata, a Dalmatian pudding made with vanilla flavoring, rose liqueur, and caramel dressing. Arancini and limuncini are candied orange and lemon peel, while Dubrovnik's cake will give you the perfect combination of orange, chocolate, and almonds.

Dubrovnik is a pearl of the Adriatic, and it will surely spoil you with its wide and outstanding gastronomy offer!

Rožata (Photo by Ana Cerovski)

And these are the 5 most popular destinations in Croatia which simply need to be explored! But besides those, there are many more small towns, cities, and villages that hide breathtaking beauty, seductive cultural sights, and above all, amazing traditions and heritage.

Explore Croatia, wander through its towns and streets, meet the people, their life, stories, and cuisine, and you'll have an amazing experience and great travel stories! Oh, and not to mention how you'll want to come back for more. Because that's what Croatia does to you - it captures all your senses!

About The Author

Ana Cerovski is a travel journalist, content creator & foodie based in beautiful Zagreb, Croatia.

You can find her at ("The best source of information for your cooking experience!") or follow her on Twitter

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