Best cities in Croatia for short breaks that need to be on your radar

Croatia has fast become a holiday hotspot in recent years, offering tourists plenty of things to see and do as well as some seriously beautiful beaches .

But if you are looking for a short break, then it’s the cities which need to be on your radar.

For example Dubrovnik never fails to wow tourists thanks to its stunning Old Town and historical walls, while Split is where you’ll find those after a bit of hustle and bustle.

We’re talking breathtaking architecture, heaps of history and culture to discover, eye-catching landmarks and generally quite a budget-friendly offering.

Here we take a look at the six best Croatian cities you’ll want to add to the bucket list.

Looking for more? Check out our Croatia holidays page for extra inspiration.

1. Dubrovnik

Dubrovnik’s popularity soared after it served as one of the Game of Thrones filming locations and fans got a sneak peek of its stunning Old Town with its picturesque walls, cobbled streets and breathtaking surroundings.

A UNESCO World Heritage Site, the Old Town boasts eye-catching architecture, beautiful Baroque churches and some pretty impressive fortresses.

You need about two or three days to take your time exploring everything, but if you do have space on the itinerary it’s worth taking a trip to Banje Beach.

It’s worth noting that while Dubrovnik can get busy because it’s a cruise holiday hotspot, the city is taking measures to limit the number of cruise ships visiting.

2. Split

Split, Croatia
Split, Croatia

Spend three or four days in Split and you’ll find plenty of history, culture and a vibrant nightlife.

The spectacular Diocletian’s Palace fortress is a must-visit, but the city is also filled with breathtaking churches and cathedrals.

Make your way through the narrow streets and explore the best of the local shops and restaurants, while in the evening head to the seaside promenade at Riva where you’ll find the bustling restaurants and bars.

The city also boasts a few beaches for those who do want a day of soaking up the rays.


3. Zagreb


The Croatian capital has heaps of attractions including its breathtaking cathedral, St Mark’s Square and Ban Josip Jelačić Square and one of the world’s weirdest museums – the Museum of Broken Relationships.

You don’t need to book off loads of annual leave either as it can easily be explored within a day or two, so it’s ideal if you’re after a weekend break!


4. Pula

Roman Amphitheater in Pula, Croatia

Pula is home to a whole host of impressive Roman ruins from its amphitheatre to the Temple of Augustus, and you’ll feel like you really have stepped back in time as you make your way around the city.

Meanwhile foodies can get their fill at the brilliant food markets and wineries which are to be found in this picturesque seafront city.

5. Sibenik

Sibenik Old Town

Tucked away on Croatia’s Adriatic coast, Sibenik has a unique charm thanks to its eye-catching architecture, charming local shops and restaurants, and breathtaking seafront location.

It’s well worth taking a walking tour of the city if only to take in the highlights, but if you only visit one thing make it the grandiose St Michael’s Fortress which sits atop of the steep hill overlooking the city’s historic centre.

6. Zadar

Zadar Croatia

Zadar is a must for history buffs with highlights including St Donatus’ Church, the Roman Forum and Zadar Cathedral.

Meanwhile there are plenty of museums from the Museum of Ancient Glass to the National Museum which offer a fascinating insight into Croatian culture and history (and can be handy on those cloudy or rainy days).

It is possible to see the highlights in two days but if you want a bit of leeway then you might want to consider a three-day break.

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Croatia holidays


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