Croatia borders Slovenia, Hungary, Bosnia and Serbia—and the culture is influenced by all of them. Travellers will feel it when they land at Croatia’s international airport in Zagreb, and hear all those languages and more in the terminal.
The things to do in Croatia’s capital are as diverse as the city itself. Art lovers flock to the Meštrović Atelier, former home of Ivan Meštrović, a name synonymous with Croatian expression. While the building has stood for over 300 years, Mr. Meštrović renovated much of it himself.
For a quirkier experience, many travellers make time for the Museum of Broken Relationships. The items themselves are nothing special, but the stories behind them are fascinating. This may be the city’s best conversation starter.
Outside the city, people talk about Plitvice Lakes National Park. A two-hour drive from Zagreb, this might be Europe’s most magnificent green space. Lush like a forest and peppered with walking paths and waterfalls, there’s a surprise around every corner. But the biggest surprise is how magnificent the light blue water looks in pictures—it makes even the most amateur photographers feel like pro shooters.
Many visitors who fly to Croatia land in Zagreb and hop on a smaller plane headed south to the Dalmatian coast for a holiday on some of Croatia’s famous beaches in Split or Dubrovnik.
Split is among the best places to visit in Croatia, and not just for sand and surf. If travellers aren’t on the beach, they’re on a boat headed for the Croatian islands off the coast, or in town at Diocletian’s Palace, which is more of a town square than anything else. Locating the synagogue built into the west wall is a special treat for visitors, and well worth a look as it’s among the oldest in Europe and one of the few in southeast Europe to remain relatively in tact after WW2.
But ultimately it’s the beach that brings people to Split, specifically the beach at Bačvice—a must-see for any traveller who wants to experience authentic Dalmatian culture and participate in a game of picigin, an authentically Dalmatian water sport most of the locals show up and play.