Croatia is best known for the beautiful walled city of Dubrovnik, but a whole world lies beyond its walls, from the historic seaside town of Split, built around extensive Roman remains, to the capital Zagreb. Head to the Makarska Riviera, one of the most beautiful parts of the Croatian coast, which offers sandy beaches, pine trees and peaceful bays, or explore the beautiful Plitvice National Park, with its 16 lakes connected by a series of waterfalls and dense woodland that's home to bears, wolves and deer.
Arts and culture
Zagreb has a number of museums and art galleries, including the Mimara Museum, which includes work by painters such as Veronese, Caravaggio, Bosch, Velasquez, Degas, Manet and Renoir.
You can also check out work by Croatian artists at the strikingly modern Museum of Contemporary Art, which also showcases work by international artists, and which also has a replica of the Tate Modern slide.
In the evening, take in a concert, opera or dance at the Croatian National Theatre in Zagreb, an imposing 19th-century building which was opened by Emperor Franz Joseph in 1895.
Croatia stages a range of events throughout the year. Highlights include The Dubrovnik Music Festival, which attracts classical musicians from around the world from mid-July to mid-August, followed by Dubrovnik in Late Summer, another classical music festival. Other events include the Dubrovnik International Wine and Jazz Festival, in September, and the Hideout dance music festival in June.
Things to see and do
Watch the sun go down in the historic seaside town of Zadar. Alfred Hitchcock was a particular fan of the area and raved about the spectacular sunsets here. Walk Dubrovnik's walls and enjoy stunning views across the Adriatic and over the city. See historic attractions such as the huge Roman amphitheatre in Pula or the Roman Palace of Diocletian in Split. Another place not to miss is picturesque Stari Grad, with its Renaissance palaces.
Learn to scuba drive – the clear waters of the Adriatic and the abundance of marine life make it ideal. A number of courses are available, with two of the best locations being near Kornati Island, and Mljet, near Dubrovnik.
You can also hire a kayak and explore the coast. The most popular areas are around Dubrovnik, the Elaphite Islands and Korcula.
Eating and drinking
Croatian cuisine draws on a range of influences, with the north heavily influenced by Mediterranean tastes, while further south in Dalmatia, seafood specialities dominate. Sample octopus, fish stew, or wild boar with gnocchi at Stermasi, on Mljet Island, one of Dalmatia's top restaurants. Excellent seafood can also be found at Konoba Siloko in Vela Luka, on Gradina Bay which offers great sea views.
For a taste of more upmarket cuisine, Restaurant 360 Degrees is hard to beat, and comes with superb views from the top of Dubrovnik's ramparts.
If you're in Zagreb, check out Kino Europa, a café and wine bar housed in what was the capital's oldest cinema, or Time, an American-style bar with DJs playing in the evenings.
In Dubrovnik, Lazareti stages cinema screenings, live music, club nights and much more.
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