Croatia is a country of postcard-perfect seascapes and a stunning array of sublime destinations deserving of a spot on your Instagram profile. Here’s why.
Croatia’s antiquity is mixed up of Roman ruins, Greek agriculture, Venetian elegance, and Austro-Hungarian architecture, with spurts of Ottoman heritage and Napoleon Bonaparte. It is a concrete utopia of Yugoslavian design, with an homage to war and fortresses that saved it in battle. Croatia’s coast is sprinkled with over 1,000 islands, accompanied by an emerald and turquoise sea, pearly limestone, and sailboats that shimmer in the sun. In the east, Croatia joins fertile plains with calming rivers, as its farmers cultivate land for the country’s crops. In the capital, Croatia’s chic city dwellers breathe new energy into a nation built on ancient principles – and best of all, Croatia’s locals come together like the pieces of a puzzle designed on bona fide hospitality, vibrant culture, age-old recipes, and the importance of family.
The best photo spots in Croatia
Croatia’s diversity charms millions of visitors every year, who spread their love of the country across social media networks, only to entice future travelers. But with so much appeal, how does one choose which of Croatia’s star attractions to visit?
Let our top 10 most Instagrammable places in Croatia court you on your next adventure in paradise.
Anywhere in Dubrovnik
Let’s start with one you’re most likely already familiar with – Dubrovnik. And it’s really no wonder this Croatian city was named one of the most Instagrammed places on the planet earlier this year. Before Game of Thrones waltzed in and renamed our Adriatic Pearl ‘Kings Landing’, Dubrovnik had long pushed photographers into a trance for its dreamlike scenery. But what is it that seduces over a million tourists to Dubrovnik each year? Perhaps it’s the walls, which were erected from the early Middle Ages and today give a 360-degree view of the Adriatic Sea and mountains in the background. Or maybe it’s the steep alleyways of the Old Town, dressed with draping clotheslines and sparkling stone stairs that transport you into a different era. Its Baroque Roman cathedral, contemporary cable cars, and gothic palaces make it a playground for anyone with an eye for art. And for the real Game of Thrones fans out there, let’s not forget that you can photograph yourselves walking down the steps of “Shame! Shame! Shame!” Outlined by cerulean beaches, forested islands, and the architecture of yesteryear, Dubrovnik is a foolproof destination to spice up your Instagram page.
Dubrovnik on Instagram
Skradinski Buk at Krka National Park
From one of the most Instagrammed places on the planet to the most Instagrammed Game of Thrones location, meet Krka. A national park since 1985, Krka lies in Šibenik-Knin County and is named after the river that runs through it. And trust us, travelers visiting Croatia rarely miss this hot spot. Namely, you might be familiar with the image of Skrandinski Buk, a clear natural pool with magnificent cascading waterfalls where you can swim. Consider it a baptism of sorts. It is this attraction precisely that is posted on your Instagram feed, plastered on pages of travel magazines, and was used as the landscape of Westeros in many scenes of Game of Thrones season 4. Nearly 4 million tourists flock to Krka National Park each year, and once you’ve seen photos, it’s no wonder why.
Skrandinski Buk on Instagram
Waterfalls of Plitvice Lakes National Park
From one national park to the next, it wouldn’t be a trip to Croatia without a visit to Plitvice Lakes. Proclaimed Croatia’s first national park back in 1949, Plitvice is a paradise for nature lovers and anyone who enjoys genuine, untouched, and wild beauty. Comprised of 16 upper and lower lakes, Plitvice’s is unique thanks to travertine barriers which push the lakes into cascading waterfalls. While you can’t swim at Plitvice, you do get to gawk at waterfalls of all shapes and sizes. The tallest waterfall, known as Veliki Slap (Great Waterfall), boasts 78 meters in height and is undoubtedly one of the top picks for Instagrammers visiting the park. The Sastavci Buk is a close second, and we’re pretty sure that Galovački Buk was once the backdrop in a photo of one of your favorite travel bloggers. Plitvice is yet another place where your photographs can do no wrong.
Plitvice waterfalls on Instagram
Rovinj, inside the Old Town and out
Rovinj is a picturesque Croatian fishing town located in the Istria region of Croatia. While records show that it dates back to the 5th century (though it is thought to be even older), Rovinj was initially founded on an island and only became connected to the mainland in 1763. It is a town that has seen the influences of the Byzantines, Frankish rule, the Venetians, Austrians, and Italians. It is a town of Renaissance and Baroque palaces which indicate its prominence. It is a romantic town that still speaks a Romance language, Istriot. And it is a vibrant town of ateliers and galleries that sprinkle the stone streets. It even boasts a sunset that is best seen near the 10th-century Church of St. Euphemia. Whether you’re inside the Old Town or gawking at it, you won’t run out of photo ideas here.
Rovinj on Instagram
Greetings to the Sun in Zadar
Because Alfred Hitchcock once said that Zadar boasts the most beautiful sunset in the world, it’s no surprise that the town of Zadar has a monument called “Greetings to the Sun”. Created by architect Nikola Bašić, the Greetings to the Sun monument is located at the end of the Zadar peninsula, right by the world famous Sea Organ. What makes this attraction so special is that it communicates with light, just as the Sea Organ does with sound. Namely, the Greetings to the Sun monument can interact with nature thanks to photo-voltage solar modules. The model, which is designed as the Sun and the planets of the solar system, erupts into a light show on the Zadar waterfront after sunset, and it indeed is one of Croatia’s coolest sights. It has even received numerous international and national awards!
Greetings to the Sun on Instagram
Diocletian’s Palace in Split
Did you know that Roman emperor Diocletian built a palace in Split back in the 4th century as his retirement home? And that the ruins of the palace are one of the best-preserved monuments of the Roman architecture in the world? Now you do. It’s not hard to see why Split thrives off tourism, and that the beauty within Diocletian’s walls intrigues tourists from all over the world each year. There are some standout spots within the palace worth mentioning, like the Peristyle, where Diocletian used to address his citizens and where today you can find coffee drinkers and dancers to live acoustic music. Or the Vestibule, a stone dome just above Peristyle with a circular lookout to the sky. And even the Cathedral of St. Domnius, known to locals as Sveti Duje, which boasts a view from the top with the Adriatic in the distance. Split is not lacking in perfect photo ops, and even the ancient alleyways serve as the best backdrop for your Insta snap.
Diocletian’s Palace on Instagram
Hvar Fortress (Fortica)
If you’re visiting Hvar town, there is no doubt that you’ll hike up to the fort perched at the top, known as Fortica. With foundations dating back to 500 BC, this ancient Illyrian settlement, which was later completed by the Venetians in 1551, looks over the entire, red-roof topped Hvar with the Pakleni islands in the distance. Settled 100 meters above the town, the fortress is one of Hvar best-known symbols. The walk to the top, albeit a bit demanding in the hot summer months, is worth every drop of sweat – and your Instagram profile will undoubtedly be upgraded with a photo from here.
Fortica on Instagram
Zlatni Rat on Brač
Croatia’s ‘Golden Horn’ or ‘Golden Cape’, depending on which word you prefer, is located on the island of Brač. What you may also know is that it is one of the most popular beaches in Croatia and a tourism symbol of the country. Made famous thanks to its unique shape, Zlatni Rat is frequently listed as one of Europe’s top beaches. Its white pebbles, turquoise colored sea, and Mediterranean pines specifically make this attraction so distinctive. Even more interesting is that when the infamous ‘bura’ wind blows in Dalmatia, Zlatni Rat’s horn alters shape! Lucky for you, this Instagrammable beach is just a catamaran ride away from Split.
Zlatni Rat on Instagram
It’s no wonder why Stiniva Bay was named the best beach in Europe in 2016 – I mean, have you seen this majestic place? Located on the southern part of the island of Vis, Stiniva is defined by two considerable cliffs that form an ‘entrance’ to the beach. Stiniva is also almost wholly concealed to boats passing by and is really only accessible to small boats at all. Though its popularity has grown tremendously since 2016, this magnetic attraction still warrants a place on your Instagram profile.
Stiniva Bay on Instagram
The Blue Cave is located on the island of Biševo, just five kilometers from the island of Vis. Another one of Croatia’s main tourist attractions, the Blue Cave is peculiar thanks to a hypnotizing blue light that fills the walls of the cave after the sunlight hits the sea through the cave’s opening. Tourists are known to wait hours just for 15 minutes inside this natural wonder, and the excitement of ducking down in your boat only to enter the cave gives it a bonus. Oh, and the photos from inside are truly mesmerizing.
Blue Cave on Instagram
The Pula Arena, because it is the only remaining Roman amphitheater with all four side towers intact, and is among the six largest surviving Roman arenas in the world.
St. Mark’s Church in Zagreb, because it is one of the capital’s iconic buildings – and its vibrant rooftop adds flair to any photo.
Trakošćan Castle, because this protected historical entity is straight out of your favorite Disney fairy tale.