Your ultimate guide to Croatia

Discover Croatia's best things to do, attractions, restaurants, bars and nightlife

In pictures: Zagreb street style
Things to do

In pictures: Zagreb street style

The Croatian capital is a stylish place, and there's heaps of sartorial inspiration to be found on the city streets. Time Out's photographer has snapped the most fashionable street styles from this weekend - get some inspiration (or spot yourself) in this fabulous photo gallery.

A history of Zagreb in ten buildings
Art

A history of Zagreb in ten buildings

Visitors to Zagreb tend to make a beeline for the cathedral and St Mark's church. And while they're certainly worth admiring, the architecture fiend should know that the Croatian capital's finest buildings exceed the ecclesiastical variety. There's hardly a movement since Art Nouveau that hasn't left a trace here, and startling examples of the avant-garde are lurking at every corner. Here's a history of Zagreb in ten remarkable buildings. RECOMMENDED: essential Zagreb attractions.

In pictures: ten extraordinary images of Croatia from the finalists of the 70th WMO calendar
Things to do

In pictures: ten extraordinary images of Croatia from the finalists of the 70th WMO calendar

Ten extraordinary photos taken in Croatia have been shortlisted for the 70th edition of the World Meteorological Organization’s (WMO) calendar. The annual competition celebrates artistic photographs of the beauty and power of the weather and our environment. This year's calendar illustrates the theme of World Meteorological Day 2020 'Climate and water.' Check out the photos from the Croatian finalists in this image gallery.

Five beautiful hilltop towns in Istria
Things to do

Five beautiful hilltop towns in Istria

Croatia has anything you could want from a beach holiday – culture, sun and sea. But turn inland, and you’ll be surprised at just how beautiful upcountry Croatia can be. Medieval stone villages rise from the hilltops, overlooking patchworks of farms, vineyards and olive groves. Pedal a bicycle through the Istrian peninsula and you’ll discover clusters of stone houses huddling above billowing fields – some encircled by ancient defensive walls. Here are just five of our favourites.

Rijeka nightlife guide
Nightlife

Rijeka nightlife guide

If you're looking for somewhere to drink, dance or party in Rijeka, you're spoilt for choice. Ever rebellious Rijeka has a nightlife scene that matches its reputation as Croatia's most alternative city, with an intoxicating array of fun bars, pubs and clubs. Hit up these late-night bars and clubs in Rijeka to quench your thirst into the early hours.

The best of Croatia

The 10 best Croatian islands
Travel

The 10 best Croatian islands

Croatia’s coast is pure, nearly all 2,000 kilometres and 1,200 islands of it, and is open to all.

The 10 best Croatia beaches
Travel

The 10 best Croatia beaches

Everything you need to know about the best beaches in Croatia.

The 43 best things to do in Croatia
Things to do

The 43 best things to do in Croatia

Whatever you’re into, you’ll find your heaven in Croatia.

The 51 best things to do in Dubrovnik
Things to do

The 51 best things to do in Dubrovnik

Dubrovnik is a one-town tourist industry on its own, with endless things to do all year round. As stunning as the clear blue sea around it, the former centre of the independent Republic of Ragusa invites superlatives and attracts the lion's share of Croatia's visitors. Read on for our insider's guide to the best things to do in Dubrovnik. RECOMMENDED: More great things to do in Dubrovnik. Done something on this list and loved it? Share it with the hashtag #TimeOutDoList and tag @TimeOutEverywhere. You can also find out more about how Time Out selects the very best things to do all over the world, or take a look at our list of the 50 best things to do in the world right now.

The 71 best things to do in Zagreb
Things to do

The 71 best things to do in Zagreb

Compact and easy to navigate, Zagreb contains plenty of historic sights and fascinating galleries, destination busy bars and numerous live-music venues.

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The culture trail of Vukovar, Ilok and Vinkovci
Travel

The culture trail of Vukovar, Ilok and Vinkovci

So what is the coolest, most compelling example of Croatian design? It’s actually a 4500-year-old collection of symbols engraved on a grey pot called the Vinkovci Orion. Looking rather like a superbly conceived set of contemporary pictograms, the symbols are the best-known product of the so-called Vučedol culture, a civilization of pastoralists and metalworkers who settled in the region in around 3000BC. It’s a story told with passion and verve by the gripping new Vučedol Culture Museum near Vukovar, a bold new building that slants dramatically out of a hillside, rather like a secret base you might have seen in a James Bond movie. The museum has significantly boosted tourism in an area that was already on the rise: in Western Europe people might talk about the Bilbao Effect. Here it’s the Vučedol Effect.   Sat beside a gorgeous stretch of the Danube river, historic Vukovar and the nearby wine-producing town of Ilok have been quietly touted by in-the-know travellers for quite some time. Driven by growing awareness of the new museum, the Vukovar-Vučedol-Ilok strip is now one of the fastest-growing destinations in Croatia, picking up the European Union’s EDEN prize for cultural tourism in March 2108. Substantially damaged during the war in 1991, the town is nevertheless returning to what it was before the conflict: a pretty Baroque town sprawled along a bewitchingly attractive stretch of Europe’s greatest river. Many of Vukovar’s most handsome buildings have been returned

Get ultimate island seclusion at this luxury off-grid retreat
Hotels

Get ultimate island seclusion at this luxury off-grid retreat

The concept behind the Dol Hills estate is to combine a luxurious island retreat, secluded yet connected, with a self-sustaining estate striving towards carbon neutrality. Backed by solar panels and batteries, with its own waste-water treatment, this year-round pioneering development shows how to live in harmony with nature without having to sacrifice comfort or luxury. © Ante Mandić /Digitalvizija To this end, finding a site 46,000 square metres in size near Dol, inland from Postira and Lovrečina Bay on the north coast, Mirko and his crew followed old paths used by shepherds to lay down and renew some 16km of road, 3km of cables and 4km of stone walls. Reviving the island’s traditional crafts is another vital aspect to this wide-reaching development. But first, the property itself. Twenty minutes from Brač airport yet completely secluded, the Dol Hills estate suits the health-conscious couple looking for a getaway, the active family and any fun-seeking group of friends looking for that special Adriatic island vibe. © Ante Mandić /Digitalvizija Set on the ‘green lung’ of Brač, the estate is spread over two levels, with a pool, jacuzzi, sauna, private bar, laundry room and cinema below ground. The main bedroom connects by a secret staircase to the screening room. At ground level, a covered terrace is complemented by three guest rooms. +385 91 537 0282, dolhillestate@gmail.com, dolhillsestate.com

Hostel 2.0
Hotels

Hostel 2.0

Hostels have come a long way in Croatia in the last decade. Just eight years ago, there was one hostel option in the Croatian city of Rijeka; today there are 21. But, quantity doesn't always mean quality. And no hostel in Croatia has perhaps done more to imaginatively improve its quality and offer than Zagreb's Swanky Mint. 'We are a hostel in name only. What you see here is more like a playground, ' says Swanky Mint Hostel's managing director Ana Kovacic. 'Even from this start, this was always supposed to be so much more than accommodation.' © Petar SantiniPositioned in a quiet, former industrial courtyard, just off Ilica in the heart of Zagreb, it's easy to see just what she means. Set across multiple levels, Swanky Mint Hostel has enough going on within its walls that you needn't even leave in order to enjoy Zagreb. Beyond its 24 hour reception and sleek, modern rooms, which include ten private bedrooms, two studio apartments and eight dorms, the hostel is set across multiple levels and is a bustle of activity at any time of day.  Guests tuck into Asian street food, available from the impressive new on-site restaurant. The much-anticipated SOI fusion bar arrived this summer to lots of local hype, serving up a solid range of Asiatic dishes - from vibrant bowls of tuna poke to sizzling satay skewers. Locals also drink cleverly constructed cocktails at the bar, rubbing shoulders with travellers from across the world. Groups of backpackers make plans with newly found frie

Advertorial: a taste of timeless Zagreb

Advertorial: a taste of timeless Zagreb

Experience bygone grandeur and contemporary comfort at Palace Hotel. A city of one million inhabitants, as with any metropolis, the face of modern Zagreb changes year after year. But deep in the heart of the capital, time moves more slowly. The grand facades of Austro-Hungarian architecture found here were built to last. They offer a flavour of Zagreb as it was when the city was a key cultural and administrative hub of the Habsburg empire. Having welcomed the upper echelons of Habsburg-era society since 1907, the Palace Hotel offers a luxurious taste of Zagreb as it once was. Located in the prettiest part of the city, overlooking the splendour of the three glorious parks which have impressed visitors for over 200 years, you couldn't be better placed to discover the delights of Zagreb, both old and new. Hotel Palace © Ivan Zovko Fully renovated and containing everything you'd expect from a modern premium hotel, each of the Palace's bright 123 rooms carefully balances the old and the new, where modern facilities complement the antique-style furniture. Elaborate stairways and walkways bridged by stained glass concave roofs provide a visual theatre as impressive to today's city break visitors as it was to the high society of yesteryear. Lit by chandeliers, the ornate wooden flooring of the hotel's cafe and bistro are perhaps the best place in the city to sample Zagreb as it once was. There you can relax on antique furniture after a meeting in one of the hotel's

Ten brilliant things to do in Bjelovar
Things to do

Ten brilliant things to do in Bjelovar

A fortress town under the Habsburgs, Bjelovar lies between Zagreb and Slavonia, a busy city of some 40,000 people. Restaurants, cafés and bars dot the grid-patterned centre, the horizon characterised by the bell towers of two impressive churches, with a theatre and cultural centre on either side of the tree-lined park in the heart of town. This article is sponsored by the Bjelovar Bilogora county TB and The Croatian National Tourism Board: 'Croatia Full of Life'.

Ten brilliant wines from the supermarket
Shopping

Ten brilliant wines from the supermarket

Croatia produces some of the finest wines you will ever try. You may know it, you may not. But it's a fact. The country may not have as famous or developed a reputation as a world leader in winemaking like, say, France or Italy, but those in the know have been aware of Croatia’s brilliant wines for many years. This year alone, Croatian wines have swept the boards at each of the leading, internationally-recognised wine competitions and trade fairs. Croatia’s wine products are of too high a quality and some too small in production to ever become ubiquitous on UK supermarket shelves; you’d have to go to a specialist wine trader to pick them up. Croatia itself has terrific specialist wine stores where, if you really know what you’re looking for and you’re willing to travel, you can pick up the very best Croatian wines. But not everyone who likes wine is an expert and not every place you go while on holiday has a specialist wine store. However, wherever you go you will find supermarkets like Spar, which has well over 110 outlets in the country. Here, you can pick up some truly excellent wines to treat yourself or to take home.

Croatia's best cities

The 66 best things to do in Zagreb
Things to do

The 66 best things to do in Zagreb

Zagreb contains plenty of historic sights and fascinating galleries, busy bars and fabulous live-music venues.

The 20 best things to do in Split
Things to do

The 20 best things to do in Split

Split is brimming with high-quality bistros, antiquities aplenty and the best bar scene on the Adriatic.

The 20 best things to do in Dubrovnik
Things to do

The 20 best things to do in Dubrovnik

Your bucket and spade list.

The 20 best things to do in Zadar
Things to do

The 20 best things to do in Zadar

Imaginative public installations like the Zadar Sea Organ by give this historic Roman city a contemporary, vibrant feel.

The 20 best things to do in Rijeka
Things to do

The 20 best things to do in Rijeka

Rijeka has a fascinating history, great restaurants and kicking year-round nightlife.

20 great things to do in Pula
Things to do

20 great things to do in Pula

Istria’s historic main city of Pula is symbolised by its Roman amphitheatre, scene of a surprisingly wide range of outdoor events every summer. Festivals of film and electronic music, and concerts by everyone from Elton John to José Carreras, fill the 2,000-year-old arena, with its near intact walled ring. Roman remains also form Pula’s city centre, dominated by a hilltop Venetian fortress. With docks rather than beaches nearby, many head south for out-of-town seaside fun in Verudela and Medulin. RECOMMENDED: more great things to do in Pula. Done something on this list and loved it? Share it with the hashtag #TimeOutDoList and tag @TimeOutEverywhere. You can also find out more about how Time Out selects the very best things to do all over the world, or take a look at our list of the 50 best things to do in the world right now.

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Croatia's best islands

20 best things to do in Hvar
Things to do

20 best things to do in Hvar

Hvar is Croatia’s most happening island, a destination for celebs, moneyed revellers and visitors familiar with five-star luxury.

20 best things to do on Brač
Things to do

20 best things to do on Brač

The Dalmatian island of Brač is best known for its iconic beach of Zlatni rat, which moves according to winds and tides.

20 best things to do on Vis
Things to do

20 best things to do on Vis

Secluded beaches, sunlit caves and succulent lobster make the longer crossing from Split well worth the journey. 

20 best things to do on Pag
Things to do

20 best things to do on Pag

Pag is Croatia’s up-and-coming island, its profile raised by the Ibiza-like phenomenon of Zrće.

20 best things to do on Cres
Things to do

20 best things to do on Cres

One of the largest but least developed of Croatia’s islands, the relatively untouched gem of Cres is a rugged wilderness.

More amazing islands in Croatia

Popular destinations in Croatia

The 20 best things to do in Rovinj
Things to do

The 20 best things to do in Rovinj

Rovinj is Istria at its most chic, a scenic resort of quality restaurants and cocktail bars, galleries and boutiques.

The 20 best things to do on Krk island
Things to do

The 20 best things to do on Krk island

Nearly 20,000 locals call this diverse island home, their forefathers subject to Roman, Avar, Frankopans, Venetian, Habsburg and Italian rule.

The 20 best things to do in Trogir
Things to do

The 20 best things to do in Trogir

Just behind Split airport, Trogir offers intricate medieval architecture, Dalmatian waterside dining and a busy market across two interlinked islands.

The 20 best things to do in Poreč
Things to do

The 20 best things to do in Poreč

Halfway between Rovinj and Novigrad on Istria’s busy west coast, Poreč has long been given over to tourism, even before Croatia’s current boom.

The 20 best things to do in Šibenik
Things to do

The 20 best things to do in Šibenik

A classic Dalmatian destination in many ways, historic Šibenik is coming into its own after being somewhat left behind by nearby Zadar and Split.

The 20 best things to do in Pelješac
Things to do

The 20 best things to do in Pelješac

Lined with long shingle beaches, the Pelješac peninsula is that wonderful rarity, a Dalmatian getaway without the crowds.

Croatia's best bars and restaurants

The best Dubrovnik restaurants
Restaurants

The best Dubrovnik restaurants

Dubrovnik restaurants are beginning to offer the culinary quality and variety that should be expected of such a luxury destination. And dining in Dubrovnik needn't cost an arm and a leg: many places offers simple, wholesome dishes at wallet-friendly prices.

The 100 best Zagreb restaurants
Restaurants

The 100 best Zagreb restaurants

This ultimate guide to Zagreb restaurants covers it all: from splash-out fine dining to street food, bistros and east-west fusion.

The best Split restaurants
Restaurants

The best Split restaurants

Croatia's second city is a gastronomic destination equal to almost any in the country.

The best Zagreb bars
Bars and pubs

The best Zagreb bars

People in Croatia's capital city always give themselves time to linger and socialise over drinks. Whatever the time of year, new Zagreb bars are always raising and lowering their banners across the city centre and beyond, while traditional landmarks stay firm. Time Out's experts discover the best places to sip across town.

The best Dubrovnik bars
Bars and pubs

The best Dubrovnik bars

Dubrovnik bars spring to life by night, with a number of atmospheric spots serving up anything from fine Dalmatian wines to fancy cocktails.

The best Split bars
Bars and pubs

The best Split bars

On any given night, you’ll find at least one you love, but know you’ll never find again.

More great travel destinations in Croatia

20 great things to do in Motovun
Things to do

20 great things to do in Motovun

Motovun is one of Istria’s most beautiful and best-preserved medieval hilltop settlements.

The 20 best things to do on Rab
Things to do

The 20 best things to do on Rab

The busiest of the islands dotted around Kvarner, Rab has been a popular tourist destination ever since Edward VIII and Wallis Simpson frolicked nakedly in its waters in ’36.

20 great things to do in Makarska
Things to do

20 great things to do in Makarska

Makarska lends its name to the Riviera that stretches for 30 kilometres in either direction, one north towards Split, the other south to Dubrovnik.

The 20 best things to do in Osijek
Things to do

The 20 best things to do in Osijek

Arguably the home of Croatia’s friendliest hosts and some of the finest examples of Austro-Hungarian cuisine in the country.

The 20 best things to do in Primošten
Things to do

The 20 best things to do in Primošten

Fragrant pines back its pretty beaches, hilltop restaurants offer fresh seafood and stunning views, and seafront cafés fill with locals.

The 20 best things to do in Novigrad
Things to do

The 20 best things to do in Novigrad

Novigrad is neither as posh as Rovinj nor as packed as Poreč, but that’s precisely why this can be a charming location for a relaxing time by the sea.