Every holiday destination offers something all its own, from the timeless style and cuisine of Italy to the exotic shores of Thailand. Yet for many holidaymakers, it’s Croatia that’s inspiring wanderlust galore. In fact, a Croatian holiday factors in more distinctive experiences than you might first think. For some quick inspiration, try a few of our favourites on for size during your break.
1. Discover museums unlike any others
If you’re taking a day away from a beach town like Pula to savour a city trip, Zagreb is the place for museums in a class of their own. While there’s plenty of classic stuff to see, where else outside of California in the USA can you visit the Museum of Broken Relationships? It’s a collection of items, from trinkets to handmade dolls, each with a story of lost love to tell, from the profound to the comical.
Zagreb is also a museum in its own right, as artist Ivan Kozaric created a scientific art installation so subtle that it took ages for locals to realise its full scope. The Nine Views are small scale models of the planets of the solar system, dotted around town on plaques and all accurately positioned around a central bronze statue resembling the sun.
It’s not just Zagreb that boasts unusual museums. If you’re close to Split in Croatia’s south, don’t miss the bizarre Froggyland, featuring dozens of stuffed frogs acting out miniature human activities like going to school or having a picnic.
2. Drink deep beneath Dubrovnik
There are three great reasons to visit Croatia, and those are the wine, the beauty of its natural world, and the magnificent city of Dubrovnik. But there’s actually a really fun way to combine those three into a single afternoon.
Laced deep beneath Dubrovnik Airport are tunnels and caves where Iron Age and Bronze Age history has been chronicled, but ingenious locals have also made it a naturally cool wine cellar. You can visit Durovic Cave, taste locally produced wine at your leisure, and even buy some to take back with you if the tipples tickle your fancy.
3. Follow the footsteps of the Lannisters
While you may have visited the filming location for Game of Thrones’ King’s Landing before in sunny Malta, the series only used that island for its most famous fictional city in the first season. From season two right up to today, Game of Thrones is filmed in Dubrovnik, and for that reason there are plenty of tours of filming locations for you to enjoy. It’s a similar story in Split, which has also featured in the show and welcomes plenty of fans throughout the year to tour its distinctive architectural sights.
4. See a memorial that looks like a starship
Podgaric is much like any Croatian town, its past remains very much part of its present. Croatia’s wartime history is found all over the country, yet no monument or memorial is quite as distinctive as that found in the Podgaric hills. Dusan Dzamonja’s 1960s masterpiece attracts visitors aplenty for its truly otherworldly design, which looks like a replica of a Star Wars spacecraft. Some say it’s a TIE Fighter, some say it’s the Millennium Falcon, but we all say it’s sensational and definitely worth seeing.
5. Listen to the Sea Organ
Croatia’s seaside towns are all jewels of the Mediterranean in their own right, yet it’s Zadar where you’ll find the Sea Organ. Unlike anything else you’ve ever heard, it’s a collection of 35 pipes hidden beneath the 230 steps of the town’s seafront promenade. When hit by the waves, the steps emit soothing tunes from little gaps connected to those pipes, creating entirely natural music in a way that means you never hear the same tune twice.
Don’t be shy in exploring this stunning country from top to bottom, because we’ve only scratched the surface of the secrets it holds. Have you discovered any hidden gems on your Croatian travels? If so, let us know in the comments below.