What to Pack for a Trip to Croatia?

Croatia has History, Beaches, and an Amazing National Park

Croatia has a long coast on the Adriatic Sea, though there is much more to this country than just crystal clear waters and beautiful scenery.

Head inland and you find a bustling capital in Zagreb. There is a mountainous national park for hikes, water sports and relaxing lakeside spas. The history of Croatia includes Roman amphitheatres, stone castles, and walled histories.

This page is part of my ‘what to pack,’ guides series. It combines a quick overview of the highlights of Croatia along with some tips for packing the right things.

This popular and safe country is now well and truly on the tourist map. Here is how to get the best from your visit.

Overview: Great Reasons to Visit Croatia


#1 – Rovinj on the Istrian Peninsula

My first visit to Croatia involved a drive from Budapest (Hungary) via Zagreb to Rovinj.

While not everyone’s first choice, it is a must-visit.

Rovinj juts out into the sea, the walls of houses around it making up the sea wall. There is a baroque church on top, and cobbled streets full of restaurants, shops and bars inside. For fans of fresh seafood, the outdoor dining is amazing.

What I loved most about Rovinj is the accessibility. Tips to Krk, the roman amphitheatre at Pula and a day trip to Venice in Italy on a catamaran were all simple.

Croatia Highlights

#2 – Dubrovnik on the Adriatic Sea

Head down the coast and you’ll find one of the most photographed cities in Croatia.

The medieval architecture is a must-see, and is worthy of it’s World Heritage Site status, awarded by UNESCO. This city juts into the sea like Rovinj. It’s rich history dates all the way back to the 7th century.

As a popular destination, there are more hotels and facilities to handle the many cruise ships than the northern Istrian peninsular. As well as the famous walls, you can visit monasteries and churches going back centuries.


#3 – Stunning Lakes of Plitvice National Park in Croatia

Most tourists from the UK stick to the coast and historic cities – though the amazing lakes of Plitvice national park really should be on your radar.

This secret is already known by Croatians, Hungarians, and Slovenians. You’ll be surprised how popular this area is. Get there early to avoid queues (before 9am if possible).

Highlights of Plitvice are the lakes. There are 16 in total, which feed into each other – often with stunning waterfalls and meandering streams. Climb to the top and get stunning views across the lush, green terrain.

Beautiful Scenery Croatia


#4 – The Dalmatian Coast

While Dalmatia covers Dubrovnik mentioned above, there is a lot more to this area. It is the peninsular in the south of Croatia, on the stunning Adriatic Sea.

Water sports including kayaking, snorkelling, and sailing are mainstays. If you enjoy hiking, then the rugger mountainous coastline is perfect (there are plenty of easy routes for beginners). Purpose built tourist resorts are springing up all the time – though the size of this coastline leaves unspoiled spots to explore if you step outside of the main tourist areas.

My tip is to check out the private apartments rented out by locals. This is a fantastic way to check out the islands.


#5 – Zagreb: The Capital of Croatia

I was pleasantly surprised by Zagreb, the bustling capital of Croatia.

This is a big, modern city of 800,000 people. In the centre you will find a combination of smart modern shopping streets (with all the major European brands), and street cafes in the many squares.

One day should be enough to see this thriving European capital – though you’ll be glad that you did.


What to Pack for Croatia?

With such a diverse range of landscapes, Croatia is one of the trickier places to pack for. The climate ranges from sub-tropical humid in the far south, to fresh and temperate in the uplands around Plitvice national park.

Sensible foot ware is a must. The rocky cost is not easy to navigate in flip-flops alone. You will also need layers of wind proof clothing outside of the summer months on the coast. My experience is that a phrasebook comes in handy. Of course, the locals don’t expect you to know Croatian before you travel, though a few words here and there are warmly welcomed.


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