Fairytale architecture rising above pebbly beaches and piercing turquoise sea — meet the magical coastal cities of Croatia.
Croatia boasts some of Europe’s most enchanting coastal towns that are sure to leave an indelible mark on your memories.
Croatian coastal towns offer a perfect mix of history, culture, and natural beauty. From Dubrovnik’s medieval walled city to the Venetian-style architecture of Split, there is something for everyone to enjoy.
Also, the country has over 1,000 islands, which means there are plenty of opportunities for beach days and island hopping. The Adriatic sea is so clean and clear that you can see the bottom in many places. The coastline is very diverse, with rocky parts as well as sandy beaches, and the weather is perfect for swimming and sunbathing from May to September.
Finally, Croatian coastal cities are incredibly welcoming and hospitable. The locals are known for their warm hospitality and helpful nature. They will go out of their way to make sure you have a wonderful time in their city.
No matter what type of vacation you’re looking for, you can find it on the Croatian coast.
From the bustling city of Dubrovnik to the serene town of Rovinj, there is something for everyone along the Croatian coast. So whether you’re looking for relaxation or a thrilling adventure, sit back, take a deep breath, and come along with us as we tour the top 10 list of Croatian cities on the Adriatic Sea!
Many say Zadar is the city with the most beautiful sunset in the world. You can enjoy the view at the Greeting to the Sun installation, accompanied by the music of the sea coming through the Sea Organ. While visiting one of the most vibrant Croatian cities on the Adriatic, don’t miss its famous pre-Romanesque symbol, the St Donat church.
Things to do in Zadar
Visit the Sea Organ and Greeting to the Sun
The Sea Organ is one of Zadar’s most famous attractions. Built into the city’s seafront, it uses the natural movement of the waves to create calming music. The Greeting to the Sun is another must-see attraction. This solar-powered installation lights up at night, creating a stunning light show that can be enjoyed from the nearby waterfront.
Take a boat trip
A boat trip is a great way to see more of Zadar and the surrounding areas. There are many companies offering different types of boat tours, from day trips to longer excursions. Visitors can choose from sailing trips, island hopping tours, or even fishing trips. Whichever option you choose, you’re sure to have an unforgettable experience
Next on “the best Croatian cities to visit” list should be Šibenik, the oldest town on the Adriatic founded by Croatians. It’s one of the five cities in the whole world with two UNESCO World Heritage Sites — the Cathedral of St James and the Fortress of St Nicholas.
Things to do in Šibenik
Visit the Cathedral of St. James
The UNESCO-listed Cathedral of St. James is one of Croatia’s most iconic landmarks and a must-see for any visitor to Šibenik. With its imposing limestone facade and spectacular location overlooking the city’s harbor, the cathedral is an awe-inspiring sight.
Take a boat tour of the nearby Krka National Park
Krka National Park is one of Croatia’s most popular tourist destinations, and for good reason. The park’s highlight is the magnificent 7 waterfalls of the Krka River, which can be best enjoyed on a boat tour from Šibenik.
Walk along Šibenik’s seafront promenade
Šibenik’s seafront promenade is the perfect place to take a leisurely stroll and enjoy the beautiful Adriatic views. The promenade starts at Šibenik’s Old Town and stretches for over 2 kilometers all the way to Solaris Beach Resort.
Visit Šibenik’s historic fortresses
Šibenik is home to two historic fortresses — St. Nikola Fortress and Barone Fortress, both of which offer stunning views of the city and surroundings. Visitors can explore the fortresses’ grounds, tunnels, and towers, and learn about their fascinating history.
Trogir is one more Croatian city by the Adriatic sea whose history goes back centuries. Influenced by the Greeks, Romans and Venetians, Trogir’s historic centre is home to an abundance of palaces, churches, towers and fortresses. Once you visit it, you’ll know why the town’s nickname is “the stone beauty”.
Things to do in Trogir
Trogir’s Old Town is a medieval labyrinth of narrow streets and alleyways lined with Venetian buildings. Be sure to visit the 13th-century Cathedral of St. Lawrence, one of the finest examples of romanesque-gothic architecture in Croatia. After a long day of exploring or relaxing on the beach, head into town for some drinks and dancing.
Situated on the popular island of Brač, the old town of Bol is a place of small stone houses and streets dotted with purple geraniums. But the real gem of this historic town is Zlatni rat, the most photographed beach in Croatia, whose narrow pebbly end extends 400 meters into the sea.
Things to do in Bol
Some of the best things to do in Bol include swimming at Zlatni Rat Beach, exploring the many caves and cliffs in the area, hiking up Vidova Gora for stunning views, visiting the nearby town of Supetar or taking a boat trip to one of the nearby islands. There are also a number of restaurants, bars and cafes in Bol where you can enjoy fresh seafood, Croatian wine and local specialities.
For a more cultural experience, you can visit the Dominican Church of St. Mary, a beautiful example of renaissance architecture with gothic details.
Other activities in the area include snorkelling and diving, windsurfing, kitesurfing, sailing or renting bikes to explore the island.
Of all Croatian cities by the sea, Makarska is the one with the most extensive network of surrounding coastal villages. Makarska Riviera stretches for 60 kilometres along the Adriatic coast and incorporates numerous beaches, pine forests, and bays, all squeezed under the towering Biokovo mountain.
Things to do in Makarska
Go hiking or biking in one of the several nature parks near Makarska. Popular parks include Biokovo Nature Park and Krka National Park or take a short drive up to the majestic mountains of Dinara range and visit surrounding picturesque villages.
You can also visit some of Makarska’s historical landmarks, such as the Franciscan monastery or the St. Lawrence Cathedral, or take an active approach — a boat tour around the island of Hvar or scuba diving in one of the many underwater caves nearby Makarska.
In the Roman times, Split consisted only of Diocletian’s Palace. With the palace still standing 17 centuries later, Split became the largest of all Croatian cities by the sea, and its entire historical core is under the UNESCO World Heritage list.
Things to do in Split
Visit Diocletian’s Palace
This UNESCO World Heritage Site was built by Roman Emperor Diocletian in the 4th century AD. Today, it is one of Split’s most popular attractions, and visitors can explore its ancient ruins, including halls, courtyards, and temples.
Explore Old Town
Split’s Old Town is full of historic buildings and narrow alleyways. Be sure to visit sights such as St. Domnius Cathedral and the Ethnographic Museum.
Go to the beach
With over 3500 hours of sunshine per year, Split is a great place to relax on one of its many beaches. Popular beaches include Bačvice Beach and Žnjan Beach.
Take a boat trip
A boat trip from Split is a great way to see the surrounding islands, including Hvar, Brač, and Vis. There are many companies offering boat trips, so be sure to shop around for the best deal.
Visit Marjan Hill
For panoramic views of Split, head to Marjan Hill. The forested hilltop is a great spot for hiking and walking.
Split is home to many interesting museums, including the Archaeology Museum and the Croatian Maritime Museum.
Dubrovnik is one of the most prominent tourist destinations, not only on the Croatian coast but all of the Mediterranean. After you take a walk on the ancient city walls, you can stroll to Stradun, the town’s main street, and have a drink in one of the many nearby cafes.
Things to do in Dubrovnik
Visit the Old Town of Dubrovnik
Dubrovnik’s Old Town is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and one of the most popular attractions in the city. Visitors can explore the old city walls, stroll through the picturesque streets, and visit some of the city’s most famous landmarks including the Rector’s Palace and St. Blaise Church.
Museum and galleries
Dubrovnik is home to several museums and galleries including the Dubrovnik City Museum, the Maritime Museum, and the Memorial Room of Dubrovnik Defenders. These museums offer visitors a glimpse into the history and culture of Dubrovnik.
If you’re looking to spend your holiday browsing through various charming towns and villages, you should head to Istria, a peninsula on the northern part of the Croatian coast. Its star attraction is Rovinj, a town with steep cobbled streets and little squares which house luxurious hotels and villas.
Things to do in Rovinj
Explore the Old Town
Take a walk through Rovinj’s historic center, admiring its Venetian-style architecture and narrow streets.
Shop Local Goods
Visit one of the lively marketplaces in town to grab some souvenirs or browse through colorful goods made locally by artisans in Croatia.
Sample Seafood Dishes
Finish your day with a delicious meal at one of Rovinj’s seafood restaurants – you won’t regret it!
Pula holds one Istrian landmark which attracts visitors with its imposing magnetic presence. Pula Arena, an amphitheatre designed for gladiator combat, is a real gem of the Roman architecture and a testimony to the important part Pula played in the rise of the vast empire.
Things to do in Pula
Explore the Roman ruins
As one of the largest and best-preserved Roman cities in Croatia, Pula is home to a number of impressive ancient ruins. The most notable of these is the 1st-century amphitheatre, which is still used for concerts and events today. Other must-see Roman sights include the Temple of Augustus, the Triumphal Arch of Sergius, and the Gates of Hercules.
Visit the Museum of Contemporary Art
For a dose of culture, head to the Museum of Contemporary Art, which houses an extensive collection of Croatian and international art from the 20th and 21st century.
Sample the local cuisine
When it comes to food, Pula has something for everyone. Be sure to try some traditional Croatian dishes like Istrian pasta (or “fu ži”), fresh seafood, and truffle dishes.
The Euphrasius Basilica is the most valuable monument in Poreč, but this Istrian town has much more to offer.
Things to do in Poreč
Visiting the Euphrasian Basilica
A UNESCO World Heritage Site, the Euphrasian Basilica is one of the most important historical monuments in Croatia. The basilica was built in the 6th century and features stunning Byzantine mosaics.
Walking along the Decumanus
Decumanus street is Poreč’s main thoroughfare. The street is lined with Venetian-style palaces and shops, making it the perfect place to do some window shopping.
Admiring the views from the Round Tower
The Round Tower is one of the most iconic landmarks in Poreč. Climb to the top of the tower for panoramic views of the city and surrounding countryside.
Relaxing on Zlatni Rt Beach
Zlatni Rt is Poreč’s most popular park and beach. The beach is situated just a short walk from the old town centre and features crystal clear waters perfect for swimming and sunbathing.
Beautiful Croatian coastal cities are a testament to the country’s rich history and each is a unique experience, but they’re just one of the things Croatia is famous for. Next time you’re in the land of a thousand islands, make sure to visit at least one city from our top ten list. Let your tour begin from Camping Village Šimuni! Contact us to make it happen.