The 7 Best Towns in Croatia to Visit

trCroatia, with its stunning coastline, rich history, and vibrant culture, has become a sought-after destination for travelers from around the world. If you’re planning a trip to this beautiful country, you might be wondering which towns to include in your itinerary. 

Luckily, this blissful part of the world is home to many stunning little metropolises that you can explore on top of all of the region’s most famous cities, like Dubrovnik and Split. In this blog, we unveil the 7 best towns in Croatia that you simply can’t miss.

1. Rab

Rab Island
Rab, Croatia, Unforgettable Croatia

Veer off the beaten track to one of the best-hidden gems in Croatia: Rab Island. On this breathtaking island, you will find its eponymous town. The landmass itself lies nestled between off the coast of Pula and Zadar, while the town can be found towards its center. 

The charming island town of Rab is absolutely breathtaking, with stunning coastal views and enchanting architecture. It’s also very easy to visit on a small ship tour. Your intimate vessel, guided by local experts, effortlessly takes you to Rab, ensuring a hassle-free journey. Once there, these experts lead you to discover all the top attractions on the landmass.

While Rab is celebrated for being one of the greenest islands in the Adriatic, it also has a very beautiful town center. The medieval metropolis is a dazzling sight, full of 13th-century buildings with completely unspoiled original features.

Investigate the Old Town walls which are still standing in places, before heading to climb the 26-meter bell tower for glorious views over the island and its coastline. Then, you can spend some time checking out the plethora of churches in the town, the oldest of which is the Church of St. John.

After dipping your toe in the historic sites of the area, you can check out the impressive array of buzzing bars and restaurants that lie in the historic center. With so much to see in this picturesque destination, Rab is one of the best towns to visit in Croatia.

2. Korcula

Cruise ship in Korcula Town
Croatia Korcula

As the birthplace of Marco Polo, it may come as no surprise that Korcula comes in as one of the best towns to visit in Croatia. It’s said that this legendary adventurer was born and raised in this stunning seaside destination. 

You can even visit the property said to have been his home. The building has been transformed into a museum to honor his legacy. Within Korcula itself, you can immerse yourself in a world of quiet, palm-lined streets home to terracotta-roofed homes protected by ancient historic walls. 

One of the best things to see in Korcula is the town’s Gothic-Renaissance masterpiece: the Cathedral of Saint Mark. If you’re lucky, you may also catch the moreška. This is a traditional sword dance which sees two kings fighting over a veiled princess.

Korcula’s old town is a fortified citadel that is perched enchantingly upon the ocean. When it comes to things to do in Korcula, you certainly won’t be stuck for choice. Here you will find a magnificent open-air theater where you can catch free shows during the summer months. 

The town’s citadel is now home to galleries, shops, restaurants and bars, providing an abundance of things to see and do during your visit. As one of the lesser-known of the best coastal towns in Croatia, Korcula attracts locals as well as tourists, preserving a wonderfully authentic charm.

3. Trogir

Harbour in Trogir
Trogir

Trogir is a spectacular town in Croatia. It can be found on a quaint island nestled between the Croatian mainland and the island of Ciovo, 17 miles west of Split. In this charming metropolis, you will find a maze of cobbled streets lined with orange-topped homes that blend into the Adriatic Sea. 

In fact, it is commonly recognized as one of the best-preserved medieval towns in Europe. During your visit, you can wander to the promenade to take in the azure waters of the Adriatic and the lavender flourishing over the hillside. 

Then, navigate your way through the town’s winding ancient streets to restaurants, hidden art galleries and stylish bars. If you’re wondering what to expect from the architecture in Trogir, picture completely unspoiled buildings tracing back to the 13th century. 

You will even be able to investigate Roman ruins, Romanesque and Renaissance architecture and the glorious Venetian Cathedral of St Lovro during your time here. 

With so much incredible architecture to soak up in Trogir, it comes as no surprise that it is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and one of the best towns to visit in Croatia.

4. Hvar Town

Hvar
Hvar old town, Hvar

Hvar is undoubtedly another of the best small coastal towns in Croatia to visit. The stunning oasis is located on an island of the same name and is nothing short of breathtaking. However, the beauty of this little corner of Croatia has not gone unnoticed. 

It has emerged as a playground for many of Hollywood’s most famous stars. While Hvar Town does hold a certain elegance and grandeur, its allure extends far beyond its glitzy reputation. Completely free of car traffic, this tranquil destination offers the perfect escape.

Upon arriving in this blissful paradise, you will be greeted with pristine marble streets, dazzling Gothic architecture and many quaint, unassuming restaurants hidden within narrow alleyways. It is in Hvar Town where you will find one of the oldest and biggest squares in Dalmatia: St Stephen’s Square. 

While here, be sure to set aside some time to sit down at one of the charming cafes lining its perimeter and tend to some people-watching with a gelato in hand. For a bit of culture, head to Hvar Cathedral. Here you can climb to the top of the Fortica and enjoy sensational views over the whole of the town and its glittering-blue shorelines. 

Speaking of its coastline, Hvar is home to some of the most beautiful beaches in Croatia. Dedicate some time to exploring its glittering waters. As night falls, you may wish to uncover why Hvar has earned the reputation of being one of the best party towns in Croatia. Within the medieval streets lie world-famous bars, clubs and restaurants.

5. Motovun

View from Motovun
Motovun at sunset

If you’re looking for the best off-the-beaten-path towns in Croatia, look no further than Motovun. This peaceful destination lies in the middle of the Istrian Peninsula, overlooking the Mirna River Valley. It is a hilltop paradise home to less than 1,000 inhabitants. 

Bringing a touch of Tuscany to the Croatian countryside, many of those living in Motovun still speak Italian and refer to the town as Montona d’Istria. Completely unspoiled, the incredible architecture in the destination reflects Venetian colonial architecture with hints of Romanesque, Gothic and Renaissance styles.

One of the best things to see during a visit to the town is the 17th-century Church of St Stephen and its 13th-century Bell Tower. These picturesque landmarks offer the perfect backdrop for capturing photos to remember your trip. 

While in Motovun, be sure to check out the captivating gates of the old town and all of the unique art studios, shops and restaurants to be found in the historic center. Then, out to discover nature at its finest with a visit to the Motovun Forest, a 10 square kilomoter landscape carpeted in ancient deciduous trees.

Motovun and its nearby forests are renowned for being excellent places to go truffle hunting. This can make for a fun and unique activity for those looking to tick off one of the lesser-known best small towns in Croatia.

6. Porec

Porec
Porec

A party paradise, Porec is also often hailed as one of the best towns in Croatia to visit. This vibrant corner of the country is renowned for its nightlife scene. You will cross paths with locals and tourists alike in Porec’s lively bars, pubs and clubs. 

However, there is far more to see in the town beyond its incredible nightlife scene. Check out its ancient Euphrasian Basilica, spectacular Round Tower, and the sensational display of Gothic, Romanesque and Baroque architecture lining its cobbled streets. 

Another of the best things to see in the town is the striking caves of Jama Grotta Baredine. The fascinating site promises a wonderful adventure for both adults and children. You can explore Istria’s mysterious underground world and encounter unique endemic species living within the formations, such as the olm; an aquatic salamander and one of the world’s largest truly subterranean animals.

One other great thing about visiting Porec is that it is very easy to reach, with lots of tourist infrastructure in place that makes it a breeze to go to from many of the other best places to visit in Croatia. While here, you will also be able to go for a sunbathe and swim along the town’s dreamy coastline.

 Drenched in history and culture and serving up beautiful shores and a magnificent nightlife scene, Porec is easily one of the best beach towns in Croatia.

7. Omis

Omis Town
Omis Town

Seeking a touch of adventure during your Croatian vacation? Look no further than the town of Omis. Here you will be able to go rafting and explore a secret cave that lies hidden behind a waterfall. There are also lots of ziplining opportunities in Omis, most of which provide glorious views over the Cetina River.

For some relaxing adventure, you can head to the town’s beautiful beach where you can go snorkeling, swimming and jet skiing. For those of you looking to combine activity with culture, trek to the Starigrad Fortress. 

The 4km hike takes between two and three hours. From the top, you’ll be able to enjoy spellbinding views over the surrounding landscape. When it comes to the town of Omis itself, it is quaint and charming, home to idyllic narrow streets and ancient architecture. 

Small in size, you will be able to explore it in its entirety in an hour. As you can see, there is so much to do in this quaint utopia. With so much fun to be had in Omis, it is often said to be one of the best towns to stay in Croatia.

Summary

Croatia is bursting with enchanting towns to explore. While you can’t go wrong with visiting some of the most famous destinations in the country, like Split or Dubrovnik, it’s also a great idea to check out some of these lesser-known gems. 

From charming island villages to UNESCO-protected medieval utopias, Croatia’s best towns have a lot to offer for those lucky enough to visit them.

Interested in exploring Croatia’s best towns? Explore our selection of cruises and private tours, which will not only take you to the country’s most renowned destinations but also introduce you to hidden, less-explored metropolises. You’ll have the opportunity to experience it all in the company of a knowledgeable local expert. Get in touch with us today to start planning your dream tour of Croatia.

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