Your ultimate guide to Croatia

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

Clean up your pup in time for Croatia's first Dog Carnival
News

Clean up your pup in time for Croatia's first Dog Carnival

Is your Alsatian still stodgy after feasting on Christmas leftovers? Has your beloved beagle rested by radiator, looking ruff, ever since the excess of New Year? Do you know a Dalmatian who is overweight, stubborn, lazy and ill-tempered? Well, now the Christmas howlidays are over and it's time to get your dog into shape for Pula's first dog carnival. It's carnival season across Croatia, with events in Pula and Rijeka attracting humans from far and wide. This year, your canine companion is also catered for. So, kit your dog out in winter running wear, book an appointment at the hound hairdresser's or maybe consider sending them to a spa for some poodle pampering, because they'll need to be in peak condition in order to look pawfect at this competition. Pula Dog Carnival takes place on Saturday 22 February at the city's Mars fields between midday and 4pm. There, you'll be able to see a parade of man's best friend, with all types of dogs transfurmed by fancy and funny hats and costumes. Entrance to Pula Dog Carnival is free, although the event is a fundraising effort in support of the Fido Association, which, among other activities, helps look after abandoned cats (this particular detail is perhaps best not shared with your dog). A family-friendly event, there will be face painting for the kids and other fun activities, a raffle, refreshments and, of course, prizes for the best-dressed dogs. Winning entrants and their owners may even end up getting snapped by the local pupara

Great sports, health and fitness events to help you get in shape for summer
Things to do

Great sports, health and fitness events to help you get in shape for summer

Sports, health, fitness and wellness are something of a national preoccupation in Croatia. Most eyes in the country will be fixed to the TV screens when the national teams compete in football, handball, basketball and waterpolo. But, for a very large number of Croatians, it's simply not enough to just be a spectator, especially not with summer on the horizon and when you have thousands of kilometres of beautiful beaches demanding your near-naked attendance. Of course, any time is right to start getting into shape, but Croatians make a concerted effort to do so in winter and early spring, before it becomes too hot for strenuous exercise. And they're extremely welcoming to visitors and foreign nationals who want to join in. From the parks and neighbourhoods of Zagreb to the beautifully varied landscape of rural and coastal Istria, here are some of the best events of the season in which you can.RECOMMENDED: More great things to do in Croatia this winter

Inauguration of Rijeka as European Capital of Culture 2020
Things to do

Inauguration of Rijeka as European Capital of Culture 2020

A huge 24-hour party takes place throughout Rijeka to mark its inauguration as European Capital of Culture 2020. Festivities start on Friday 31 January and continue well into Sunday 2 February (and, indeed, throughout the forthcoming year), but the main day of events and celebration of this inauguration period is Saturday 1 February. Street artists, dancers, open-air exhibitions and street theatre will line the routes of the city centre throughout the day and there will be a soundtrack of music provided by live bands and DJs throughout the day and night. The day begins with a get-together at Skradin bar and guided city bus tours, followed by the official inauguration at the Croatian National Theatre Ivan Zajc Rijeka in the afternoon at which members of the European Commission, diplomats, government officials, 16 EU culture ministers and representatives of previous and future European Capitals of Culture will be present. The central event of the inauguration ceremony, Opera Industriale, symbolises the city and combines sound, music, performers, art and noise and will include more than 120 participants. The gathered crowds will also be asked to join in. It takes place at 7pm at Rijeka Port. More than 70 additional events will take place as part of the inauguration, at over 30 city-centre locations, with some 500 performers taking part. Rock, pop, jazz, punk, electronic and blues performers will play on outdoor and indoor stages with local stars like Jonathan, Parafi, Fit and

2020 is your last chance to swim by the waterfalls of Krka National Park
News

2020 is your last chance to swim by the waterfalls of Krka National Park

2020 will be the final year in which visitors to Krka National Park (pictured) will be able to swim in Skradinski Buk, the largest and most-popular water asset situated there. From January 2021, the practice of swimming in this section of the park will be banned. Park authorities explained that climate change and the need to conserve resources and the richness of biodiversity within the park are the reasons for the rule change.Skradinski Buk at Krka National ParkThousands of tourists and locals visit Krka National Park every year and enjoy swimming in Skradinski Buk, which lies in full view of the park's most impressive display of waterfalls. Many are drawn specifically for this aspect of the park. At some other Croatian National Parks, such as Plitvice Lakes, swimming is forbidden throughout the protected area. Some areas of the park which are more popular with locals will maintain the tradition of swimming within the waters, namely Stinice, Remetić - Pisak and downstream of the Roška waterfall, but the biggest and most popular lake for visitors will be off-limits to swimmers from the end of this year. Grab your last chance while you can.

Great things to do in Croatia this winter
Things to do

Great things to do in Croatia this winter

Croatia's famous Christmas markets may have just ended, but the country's special Advent celebrations are far from the only reason to visit Croatia in winter. As the season progresses, more likely than not, Croatia's castles and national parks will be covered in a magical shroud of snow, giving them their most impressive, annual outfit. It's the start of a thrilling year of events in Rijeka as the city assumes its title of European Capital of Culture 2020 and its thrilling carnival takes place, like the one in Pula, this winter. Zagreb's stunning Festival of Lights is one of the capital's most spectacular events of the year, let alone winter. And, from visiting pop and rock bands, techno DJs and opera events to art exhibitions and film festivals, there are lots of great things still left to do in Croatia, making the country one of the best options in Europe for a winter break.

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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Eye candy

In pictures: 69 photos of the best street art in Zagreb
Things to do

In pictures: 69 photos of the best street art in Zagreb

Zagreb is no stranger to graffiti, from its downtown walls covered in rashes of swirling name-tags to bright and beautiful murals that add flourishes of colour to the city. Here are 69 beautiful examples of urban art in the capital with a distinctly Zagrebian flavour. Photos of Tesla, Human Rights House, Čulinečka (Mali princ) and the Grif bar used by kind permission of Zagreb photography website Lice Grada. Check it out here.

In pictures: why Rijeka is the most awesome city on the coast
Things to do

In pictures: why Rijeka is the most awesome city on the coast

A parade of rain-smeared buildings with splashes of Habsburgian glamour, Rijeka isn't your typical seaside town. It remains one of the Adriatic’s main transport hubs, it’s central port providing Croatia with a window to the world. ‘Port of diversity’ is the guiding theme of its stint as the European Capital of Culture 2020, showing off the city’s multiculturalism and its maritime history. Take a look at this gallery to see what makes Rijeka so diverse.

These then-and-now photos show how Zagreb has changed in the last 100 years
Things to do

These then-and-now photos show how Zagreb has changed in the last 100 years

A lot has changed in Zagreb over the years, beautifully captured in this series of images by Ognjen Ivanović. The photographer has travelled across the city with old pictures and polaroids in hand, documenting how Zagreb looked then and now. The results are fascinating and also rather beautiful - just take a look at this slideshow of pictures to see what we mean. 

The 51 most beautiful destinations in Croatia
Things to do

The 51 most beautiful destinations in Croatia

World-famous TV shows like Game Of Thrones, equally well known international music festivals and the country's unprecedented success at the 2018 World Cup have placed Croatia and some of its cities in the global spotlight. But just how widely is the country known beyond the big hitters like Dubrovnik, Zagreb, Pula and Split? Here's your insider's guide to the 51 most beautiful destinations to visit in Croatia.

The most fairytale-like castles in Croatia
Things to do

The most fairytale-like castles in Croatia

Throughout its history, Croatia has existed under the influence of many different empires. The Greeks and the Romans once ruled here, the independent state of Venice was once in charge, then the Austro-Hungarian empire. Old family names such as Frankopan, Zrinski and Habsburg have ruled the country's regions or entirety, sometimes from fortifications used to fend off invasions by Bulgaria, Hungary, the Italians and the Ottomans. As a result, Croatia is littered with old city walls, pristinely preserved or ruined castles. Here are some of the best. 

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Rijeka's seventh annual Impulse Festival
Things to do

Rijeka's seventh annual Impulse Festival

Rijeka, the Port of Diversity, is receiving its most high-profile year on the international stage, thanks to its status as European Capital of Culture 2020. One of the most desirable aspects of this status is the cultural legacy the year leaves in its wake. Now in its seventh year and organised by Rijeka's most passionate live music promoters, Distune, Impulse Festival is as valuable a cultural asset as any in the city and its guaranteed return in 2021 is assured. Taking place over a week, the festival sees lectures, DJ nights and live concerts occur across several of the city centre's bars and clubs, with a daytime record and music fair also attached. Making Rijeka a special place to visit this and every year, here are all of Impulse Festival's events for the 2020 occurrence.

Croatia villa holidays with Villsy
Hotels

Croatia villa holidays with Villsy

A land of over 1000 islands and almost six thousand kilometres of pristine coastline, Croatia villa holidays are often the very best way to experience and explore this beautiful country. And with over 1000 properties scattered all across the country, Villsy are one of the best choices for Croatia villa holidays. Whether it's the preserved, historic architecture of Pula, quiet coves and beaches reachable only by boat, epic national parks, world-famous music festivals in Dalmatia or bustling cities like Split and Dubrovnik, Croatia is a country with countless offers for the visitor. Choosing to spend your nights in one of Villsy's luxury villas will allow you the freedom to explore whichever part of Croatia appeals to you and your fellow travellers, whether they be family members, business colleagues, friends or just that special someone. Here are five destinations with distinctly different offers, each of which can be explored while on Croatia villa holidays with Villsy.

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The incredible monuments of Bjelovar-Bilogora county
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The incredible monuments of Bjelovar-Bilogora county

Bjelovar-Bilogora county is steeped in history, reflected in its attractive Habsburg buildings, its Austro-Hungarian spas and its post-war memorials. These three monuments provide distinctly different architectural value, which anyone visiting Zagreb, central Croatia or Slavonia should see. This article is sponsored by the Bjelovar Bilogora county TB and The Croatian National Tourism Board: 'Croatia Full of Life'.

Croatia's 'island of vitality' opens itself to restorative weekends aimed at men
News

Croatia's 'island of vitality' opens itself to restorative weekends aimed at men

Losinj Hotels & Villas' award-winning Hotel Bellevue is launching a restorative weekend getaway aimed at men. The five-star hotel is the brand's principle wellness resort and holds the famous Bellevue Spa Clinic, which was just renovated in 2018. Located in Čikat Bay, the complex will play host the men's health and wellness weekend between October 4 and 6. In addition to the usual wellness treatments available from Bellevue Spa Clinic, the weekend offers a specially constructed calendar of event and activities specially designed to interest, destress and relax a male clientele. There will be a welcome dinner at the hotel's fusion restaurant Matsunoki, which combines Japanese and Mediterranean foods. On the weekend's second day, attendees will be offered the chance to experience some of the natural beauty of the island with a selection of outdoor activities including FootNet, SUP, kayaking and much more in the natural embrace of the island. Lunch will be served by the waterside and will be comprised of local wines and Mediterranean specialities. In the afternoon, guests will take their pick of treatments at the Bellevue Spa before that evening's seafood-based dinner at the hotel's sister property, the nearby Boutique Hotel Alhambra which will have a theatrical cabaret theme and will be followed by cognac and cigars at Villa Augusta. On Sunday, a hiking tour around Čikat Bay concludes the weekend. The two-night Gentlemen's Getaway Weekend starts from EUR 351.00 per person (a

Osijek on a plate
Restaurants

Osijek on a plate

Fresh pasta from Istria, served with generous shavings of truffle, sumptuous seafood accompanied by zesty wedges of lemon and the traditional green chard; Croatia's cuisine has become one of the more famous facets of a holiday on the country's coast. And deservedly so. Locally-sourced flavours and ingredients are nearly always found alongside summertime coastal dishes although, with an ever-expanding gastro scene, some of Croatia's top chefs are now looking to employ adventurous techniques which allow them to experiment with such time-honoured dishes. However, Croatia's gastronomical offer extends much further than the seasonal menus of the seaside. And, after turning their attentions to the famous coastal platters of Istria and Dalmatia, the next area ripe for culinary rediscovery must surely be Slavonia. Čobanac © Maja Danica PečanićThe county of Osijek Baranja, located in the far east of Croatia and at the heart of the flatlands known as the Pannonian Basin, is Croatia's great unknown gastronomic star. Here, as in Istria and Dalmatia, flavours and components are selected from nearby, creating a menu in which ingredients complement each other naturally. But, the difference here is the wealth of ingredients on offer. Dalmatia is characterised by its crystal clear Adriatic, glorious sunsets and the spectacular backdrop of the Dinaric Alps. The rock which lies beneath accounts for much of what you'll see there, from the shingle beaches to the mountain ranges. But, it won't

Lošinj's Hotel Bellevue celebrates art and beauty at an exclusive pop-up exhibition

Lošinj's Hotel Bellevue celebrates art and beauty at an exclusive pop-up exhibition

Lošinj Hotels & Villas has announced an exciting new pop-up exhibition at the five-star Hotel Bellevue, a collaboration with leading galleries and curators Josip Konta Art Studio, Galerija Libar Gallery and Patrizio Contemporary Gallery. This autumn season, from September 28 to October 5 2019, guests at the luxurious hotel can experience the rejuvenating 'Art & Beauty' package which offers exclusive access to a curated collection by iconic artists including pop-art icon Andy Warhol and a visit to the Croatian Apoxyomenos, one of the world's best-preserved ancient Greek statues - plus art-inspired treatments at the Bellevue Spa Clinic. Launching on September 28 with an opening reception, the gallery open daily from 10am until 6pm for one week and offers guests the opportunity to meet with prominent curator Goran Margeta and international art dealer and historian Dr. Marco Antonio Patrizio. The pop-up exhibition is the collaboration between academic sculptor and painter Josip Konta, one of the most prominent names of the contemporary Croatian art scene; Croatian art gallery Galerija Libar and art advisor and collector Dr Marco Antonio Patrizio. Visitors can see works from domestic and international artists Julie Knifer, Getulio Alviani, Piero Gilardi, Arnaldo Pomodoro, Bernard Aubertin, Giorgio de Chirico, Andy Warhol, Edo Murtic, Ivan Picelj and many more. The hotel's award-winning Bellevue Spa Clinic will also feature a dedicated menu of pampering treatments inspired by fam

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 on Hvar
Things to do

20 best things to do on 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.