What is Croatia famous for? That’s a question we get a lot. And it’s not surprising because Croatia is an amazing country with so much to offer!
So, what is Croatia famous for? Let’s start with the fact that it’s one of Europe’s most popular tourist destinations. People enjoy its stunning natural beauty, medieval architecture, and amazing food and wine worldwide. Croatia is also famous for its long coastline and gorgeous islands, which make it a popular summertime destination.
But there’s more to Croatia than just being a great place to vacation. The country has a rich history and culture that make it unique. For example, did you know that Croatia is home to the world’s oldest wine region? Or that it was the first country to use the modern Croatian alphabet? And did you know that Croatia has more UNESCO World Heritage Sites per capita than any other country in the world?
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Keep reading for 30 main things Croatia is famous for:
#1 National Parks
Many people don’t know that Croatia also has eight national parks!
Plitvice Lakes National Park is one of the most popular parks in Croatia, thanks to its 16 stunning lakes. Kornati National Park, comprised of 140 islands, is a paradise for sailors and fishermen. Visit Croatia’s national parks to discover endless natural beauty. They are some of the best national parks in Europe.
#2 UNESCO World Heritage Sites
There are 10 UNESCO World Heritage Sites in Croatia. For example, the Old City of Dubrovnik is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Today, Dubrovnik is a popular tourist destination, and visitors can enjoy its many historic buildings and beautiful views.
Another UNESCO World Heritage Site in Croatia is the Plitvice Lakes National Park. Krka National Park is famous for its waterfalls, which visitors can swim in.
#3 The Zagreb Christmas Market
Zagreb is a city full of character and charm. From its beautiful architecture to its lively cafes and museums, there is something for everyone to enjoy. Cratians capital city is perhaps most famous for its annual Croatian Christmas Market, which has been awarded the title of “Best European Christmas Market” three years in a row!
Held in the main square, the market attracts visitors from all over the world with its festive atmosphere and wide range of traditional Croatian Christmas decorations and foods.
#4 The Croatian Islands
Croatia is famous for over a thousand islands and the Adriatic coast, so it figures that many of them have ended up as perfect havens for tourists!
In total, there are 1244 islands -some little more than rocks-and daunting seas alike.
But with a favourable climate comes opportunity: Croatia offers one beautiful destination after another to take in all those stunning sites you won’t see anywhere else on earth
#5 Zlatni Rat Beach
One of the most famous beaches in the country, Zlatni Rat, is a must-visit for anyone spending their summer vacation there.
The beach gets its name from its shape, which resembles a horn or a finger pointing out into the sea. Zlatni Rat is located on the island of Brac, and it is one of the most popular beaches in Croatia.
#6 Dubrovnik Old Town
Dubrovnik is a Croatian city located on the Adriatic Sea. It is famous for its well-preserved Old Town, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, and its city walls. The Old Town is home to many preserved Gothic and Renaissance buildings, as well as many museums and churches.
The city walls are over six meters thick in some places and offer stunning views of the city and sea. Dubrovnik is also known for its vibrant nightlife and many festivals.
#7 Croatian Wines
The Dalmatian Coast is becoming increasingly popular with wine enthusiasts from all over the world. Croatia is famous for its red wines, which are made from various grape types native to the region.
These wines are typically full-bodied and have a high alcohol content. In addition to red wines, Croatia also produces several white and sparkling wines. These wines are usually lighter in body and have a lower alcohol content than red wines.
#8 Split Harbour
Well, this picturesque harbour is located in the heart of the city of Split and is one of the busiest ports in Croatia. It is also a popular tourist destination, as it is home to several restaurants, cafes, and shops.
The harbour is also a great place to take a walk, as several walking trails wind through the area. In addition, Split Harbour is also home to several historical buildings, including the Cathedral of Saint Domnius, which was built in the fourth century.
#9 Scuba Diving
Croatia is a scuba diver’s paradise with its crystal clear sea and stunning scenery. There are many dive sites to choose from, ranging from shipwrecks to coral reefs. Whether you’re a beginner or an experienced diver, you’re sure to find a dive site that suits your experience level.
#10 Ultra Europe
Ultra Europe is one of the biggest music festivals in the world, and it takes place in the city of Split, Croatia. The city has also become a popular tourist destination in recent years, thanks to its vibrant nightlife and incredible music scene. And, of course, Ultra Europe is a big part of that. The festival takes over the city for three days and is always an incredible party.
#11 Traditional Food
Croatia is famous for its delicious cuisine! The Croatian diet has been shaped by a long history of agriculture and fishing. Croatia’s location at the crossroads of the East and West has also influenced its culinary traditions.
Today, Croatian cuisine is a delicious mix of Mediterranean, Central European, and Balkan flavours. Popular dishes include roasted meats, fresh seafood, and hearty stews.
#12 The Adriatic Sea
Croatia is a country that is best known for its idyllic islands and stunning coastline. The Adriatic Sea is home to some of the most beautiful sandy beaches in the world.
Beneath its sparkling surface, the sea is teeming with life. Hundreds of different fish species can be found in the Adriatic, and the sea is also home to dolphins, whales, and other marine mammals.
In addition to its abundant wildlife, the Adriatic Sea is also an important part of Croatian culture. For centuries, the sea has been a vital source of food and income for locals, and it continues to play a significant role in the economy today.
#13 Nikola Tesla
Nikola Tesla, was born in a small village in Croatia. He developed the alternating current system that we use today, among other things. His work changed the world as we know it and made him a household name.
He’s even got a unit of measurement named after him!
#14 Hvar Island
Island hopping is a must when in Croatia, and Hvar Island is the perfect place to start. This Island is home to some of the best olive oil in the world and public beaches that are absolutely stunning. You could spend days lounging on the beach or exploring the Island, but make sure you save some time for island hopping.
#15 Diocletian’s palace
Split is home to Diocletian’s palace, a well-preserved example of Roman architecture. It’s also situated on the Adriatic Sea, meaning that visitors can enjoy crystal clear waters and gorgeous views.
#16 Croatian Villages
What makes Croatian villages truly special is their local culture. In Croatia, village life is all about community.
Neighbours come together to socialise, help each other out, and celebrate important occasions. This sense of community makes the whole country so special, and it’s something you won’t find anywhere else in the world.
#17 The Museum of Broken Relationships
The Museum of Broken Relationships is a collection of objects that were once part of a relationship that had ended. The museum has items from all over the world, and each item has a story attached to it.
Some of the stories are happy, some are sad, and some are just plain crazy. But all of them are fascinating.
#18 Game of Thrones
Croatia is a hot spot for Thrones tourism. You can find Thrones tours all over the country, and many businesses have Thrones-themed items on offer. The people of Croatia are excited about the show and eager to share their love for it with visitors worldwide.
#19 Lavender Fields
As one of Croatia’s natural wonders, the lavender fields are a must-see. The best time to see them is in the spring when the flowers are in full bloom. The fields are located in the country’s southern region, near the city of Split.
What is Croatia famous for producing? Many people would say its stunning coastline, amazing architecture, and+, of course, its delicious food and wine.
But did you know that Croatia is also one of the world’s leading honey producers? In fact, Croatian honey is so prized that it has been given its own quality designation- “Croatian Honey.”
To earn this designation, honey must meet a number of strict criteria, including being produced in specific areas of the country and being made from the nectar of certain flowers.
Moreover, Croatian honey is also known for its unique flavour and medicinal properties.
Croatia is famous for its waterfalls, which are among the most popular waterfalls in Europe, including the Plitvice Falls, the Krka Falls, and the Kornati Falls.
#22 The Yugoslav wars
The Croatian War of Independence was fought from 1991 to 1995. It was fought between the Croatian government and Croatian mercenaries, supported by the Croatian Army, and the Yugoslav People’s Army and Serbian paramilitaries.
The war ended with the signing of the Dayton Peace Agreement, which created an independent Croatia. Although the war is often referred to as “the Croatian War of Independence”, it is also sometimes called “the Croatian War of Liberation”.
This is because many Croats see it as a war for the liberation of Croatia from Serbian rule. Croatian soldiers fought bravely during the war, and their efforts helped to create an independent Croatia.
#23 World Cup Football
Croatia is a European country with rich football history. The Croatian national team has competed in the FIFA World Cup seven times and reached the semi-finals in 2018. Some of the most famous Croatian footballers include Luka Modric, Ivan Rakitic, and Mario Mandzukic.
Dalmatians, a dog breed with worldwide appeal, originated in Croatia.
These spotted dogs are known for their gentle personalities and devoted nature, making wonderful pets. Dalmatians are also known for being fiercely loyal, and they will always stick by your side.
#25 The Necktie
In Croatia, the necktie is more than just a fashion accessory – it’s a cultural icon. The history of the Croatian necktie dates back to the 17th century when Croatian mercenaries working for the French king wore them as a distinguishing mark. Today, Croatian men often wear neckties as a sign of national pride.
#26 Rimac Cars
Rimac Cars are headquartered in Zagreb, Croatia, and has a strong presence in the European market. The company’s first car, the Rimac Concept One, was unveiled at the Geneva Motor Show in 2011 and quickly gained global attention.
#27 Birthplace Of Marco Polo
Marco Polo was born in the Republic of Venice, which is now modern-day Croatia. He was world famous for his travels and exploration of Asia. Polo’s birthplace is now a museum dedicated to his life and work. The museum is full of things that Marco Polo would have seen and used during his lifetime.
The invention known as torpedo Ivan Lupis-Vukić called salvacosta or saviour of the coast. His original idea was very simple – a torpedo in the form of a meter-long boat powered by ropes from the shore and sails.
#29 Alcohol Consumption
Did you know that Croatians rank eighth in the world for per capita alcohol consumption?
In fact, the average Croatian consumes so much alcohol (12.18 litres annually) that WHO looked into the matter as one of public health.
Whatever the case, alcohol plays a significant role in Croatian culture. Croatians prefer local wine, which accounts for about half of their overall alcoholic consumption.
There are wide different varieties of truffles in Istria, Croatia, but the white truffle is the most priceless. Each kilogram of white truffles costs more than 3,000 euros.
The Motovun woodland near the Croatian settlement of Motovun in central Istria is where the largest white truffle ever discovered was discovered.
Excursions to find truffles are popular tourist attractions.
While white truffle hunting is only permitted from September to December, black truffle hunting is permitted all year round.
Croatians concur that the ideal way to serve truffles is to keep things straightforward, such as shaving some over pasta or scrambled eggs.
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Sylvie Simpson is the founder of European Cities with Kids. For the past 6 years, she has been travelling all over Europe whenever she has the chance, both solo, for work and with her daughter. Sylvie is on a mission to help people make the most of city breaks in Europe with kids and helps over 50,000 readers per month plan and make the most of their trips in Europe with kids.