The capital, Zagreb, is home to the world famous Museum of Broken Relationships as well as a host of museums and galleries. For a quirky adventure, head to the Museum of Illusion and absorb the intriguing exhibits, holograms and puzzles. Otherwise, hit the open markets and feast your eyes on fresh produce, clothes, shoes and antiques that they trade at the Dolac Market or the Hrelic. Split, on the Dalmatian Coast, is known for its fantastic beaches and fortresses. While in the city, visit the Diocletian’s Palace which is the best preserved Roman type of edifice in the world. Head to the Ivan Mestrovic Gallery and admire the works of this famous sculptor. In Croatia, beach holidays are popular and the seaside resort of Dubrovnik is a favourite. Bask in the sun all day, take leisurely meals and relax in secluded coves. When you have enough of the sea and sun, wander through the Old Town and marvel at the well-preserved buildings such as St. Blaise Church and Sponza Palace. To escape the crowds, drive north to Zadar which is the oldest city in Croatia. Amble along its quiet marble streets, sail to remote islands or just chill out on the beach. Don’t miss the ‘Monument to the Sun’ on the waterfront built by artist Nikola Basic. At night, the 22-metre disc emits coloured-light patterns.
Drive your hired car to see the Plitvice Lakes National Park in Croatia, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Get lost in the stunning beauty of this mesmerising lake. You can hike through the park, admire the vegetation or hop on board for a cruise of the Kojzak Lake. Get to know Paklenica National Park that covers 95km² of the Velebit Range. The park boasts of breath-taking mountain scenery. For adrenaline rush seekers, it is possible to trek up gorges and climb stone walls. Similarly, a visit to Krka waterfalls in Croatia is a refreshing experience especially if visiting during the hot summer months. If you don’t feel like moving far from your accommodation in Croatia, there are several things that you can do in the city. Explore extraordinary palaces, ruins and fortresses. The Trakoscan and Marusevec Castles in Varazdin County are worth visiting while the Lotrscak Tower in Zagreb offers a splendid view of the city. Fort Lovrijenac in Dubrovnik is another historic fort with panoramic views. At night, get to know the dining and night scene. Meet up with friends at a bar downtown for pre-dinner drinks before heading to an authentic Croatian restaurant that serves both traditional and modern international dishes. Hopefully, you brought your dancing shoes because there are plenty of lively clubs in Zagreb or Dubrovnik that’s probably playing your favourite tunes.
The country’s geography is diverse, made up of rich flat lands mostly found in the north and highlands and low mountains along the coast. Croatia also has offshore islands where the land is hilly, rocky and steep as can be found along the Dalmatian Coast. It is this varied topography that gives the country a unique charm with plenty of postcard-perfect views of lakes, hills, coasts and other nature reserves. Meat and fresh seafood feature prominently in Croatian food. Try black risotto or crni rizot, a dish prepared with cuttlefish or squid, squid ink, olive oil, red wine and spices. Boskarin is an Istrian oxen considered a gourmet delicacy while Brodetor Brodettois a hearty fish stew. Not to be forgotten is Peka, a meat and vegetable dish cooked in a terracota bowl.
If you are on a flight to Croatia, you’ll land at the main airport which is in Zagreb. Other important hubs include Dubrovnik, Zadar, Split and Pula Airport. No matter where you touch down, it is possible to rent a car in Croatia and pick it up at convenient airport locations. You need to be at least 18 years if you're driving in Croatia. Those under 25 years might be subject to a surcharge. Croatians drive on the right and overtake using the left lane. Wearing of seatbelts is mandatory for both drivers and passengers. Drinking and driving is a serious offence and the max BAC level is 0.5. Regular checks are enforced by the police and if you are guilty of a traffic violation, you will be fined on the spot.