essential croatia

Essential Experiences To Have In Croatia

It’s easy to plan too many things to do when traveling, but focusing on a few essentials and leaving some free time is a good balance. You won’t want to miss these experiences to have in Croatia.

From seafood and wine to the coastal and the hilltop villages, these are a few of the best places to visit and things to do in Croatia.

Essential Experiences to Have in Croatia

1. Visit Dalmatia

While most think of visiting the Dalmatian coast as hitting Dubrovnik, there are so many other wonderful cities and stops outside of the “Pearl of the Adriatic.” From Split and Šibenik to Zadar and Trogir, the coastline is quite expansive–not to mention the more than 1,200 islands just off it too.

Croatia’s coast is one of the most pristine and beautiful stretches along the Adriatic. So hit the beaches–an absolute must–for sun.

essential croatia

2. Eat Traditional Dishes

Croatia is best known for a handful of dishes. While burek is all across the Balkans, it’s a favourite among frequent visitors. The top three essential dishes to try, however, are anything to do with black or white truffles from Istria, as well as the red shrimp risotto and the black squid-ink risotto from the Dalmatian coast.

These traditional dishes and ingredients find their way onto many Croatian plates, and the seafood could not be any fresher than on the coast.

essential croatia

3. Drink Local

Croatia is best known for its white wines from Istria and its robust red wines from the Dalmatian coast. Both are always solid options to order while in the country–and a wise souvenir to buy too as Croatia does not export many bottles at all.

A couple of other local drinks to try are rakija, a fruit-based brandy, or gmist, a white wine spritz served during the heat of summer to cool off. So raise a glass and say živeli, “cheers.”

4. Visit Istria

Istria, Croatia’s northern peninsula, is another must-see region. While very different from its southern coast counterpart, Istria is made up of hilltop inland villages and coastal cities built under Italian influence. It’s an area with a rich culinary scene thanks to its truffles, as well as wonderful wines. Book a day of truffle hunting, when in season, for an unusual tour.

Visit Istria

Molly Harris

Molly Harris is a freelance travel journalist dividing her time between the United States and the Western Balkans.

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