Things To Do In Croatia: Plunge Into History
Things to do in Croatia for history lovers
The list of things to do in Croatia is potentially endless, and we want to help out with your trip planning! We all know that Croatia is home to some of the most beautiful beaches and natural parks in Europe, but this country is also very rich in history. Croatia in fact presents an interesting blend of cultures in its historical background, all of which is magnificently represented in the architecture of its major cities. If you are a bit of a history and architecture enthusiast, Croatia should definitely be on your list!
When I travel I always have a bit of a soft spot for ancient ruins and historical monuments. I relish for those moments in which you feel like you are walking in the footsteps that thousands took before you. History is not part of our past, it is still very much alive and present today through these pieces of art and architecture. Croatia is one of the lucky countries which still preserves many artifacts and monuments, all of which are worth seeing. For this reason, I would love to give you some ideas on what to visit, focusing on the southern area of the country.
The benefits of a guided tour!
There is no right or wrong way to visit a country, everyone has his own style. You may prefer gearing up with guidebooks, maps and a compass, but I have come to the conclusion that one of the most enjoyable ways to tour a country is with a guide. Our tours are brought to you only by professional and passionate local guides, who will give you all of the insight you need to truly get to know Croatia.
All history lovers will enjoy our private transfer from Zadar to Split with a guided tour of Sibenik and Trogir, two marvelous UNESCO World Heritage Sites. You will be picked up by private transfer at your hotel in Zadar and dropped off at your hotel in Split after a full day tour. And what a tour it is!
First you will visit the city of Sibenik, known as the first true Croatian city on the coastline. Cruise ships rarely visit Sibenik, as only the smaller vessels can enter the canal which has protected the city from sea invasions since its beginnings. As a result, the streets are not crowded and aside from an occasional tour group you will be able to fully enjoy the mysterious atmosphere of Sibenik.
The jewel of Sibenik is the cathedral of St James. The crown of the cathedral – the unique frieze of 71 heads adorning the exterior – is the symbol of the city and the entire structure is built solely from stone. It is a feat of architecture which is definitely worth the visit.
After the tour you will enjoy lunch at the Pelegrini restaurant, one of the best restaurants in Croatia and appropriately set in a restored Gothic style fifteenth century home. A good pit stop before setting off to Trogir.
Also known as “little Venice”, the historical center is set on a small island which used to be protected by a wall which surrounded the entire town. You will stroll through the intricate maze of streets and find jewels of architecture at every corner. While touring you will also have the chance to visit St Lawrence cathedral, located in the main square, and witness the beauty of Radovan’s Romanesque portal.
Trogir is a unique town with romance filling the air as you slowly get lost in the folds of its history. And after a wonderful day of touring Sibenik and Trogir, you will have the assurance that your private driver will take you to your hotel in Split and you don’t have to worry about a thing!
What about Zadar and Split?
Now, the tour I just described will guide you through Sibenik and Trogir going from Zadar to Split, but what if you want to visit these two major cities as well? No problem, you can explore Zadar with our half-day walking tour of the city: you will follow an expert local guide through the sixteenth century fortifications of Zadar and walk through the imposing land gate, which was built in 1543 by the Venetians and is considered one of the most important landmarks of the city. Then you will proceed towards the Roman Forum and get to visit the church of St. Donatus as well as the St. Anastasia Cathedral. A real treat for architecture and history admirers and only one of the many things to do in Croatia.
Split has undergone an amazing transformation in the past five years and the energy is palpable just strolling through its streets. Various boutiques and hotels have opened in the heart of Diocletian’s palace, while still preserving and respecting the original architecture. Born from a fourth century emperor’s palace, it has gone through many transformations as various countries came into power and left their mark. Today you can visit the basements of the palace where everything is exactly as it was in the fourth century, then step outside onto the emperor’s main square which has been adapted and built upon in the thirteenth century, then walk the many streets of the palace where people still live and have businesses in seventeenth century Gothic palaces.
When taking our historical tour of Split not only will you follow in the footsteps of emperor Diocletian, but you will also visit the oldest cathedral in the world, Cathedral of St. Domnius, roam the streets uncovering hidden gems and at the end relax with a coffee while soaking in the experience that is Split.
Things to do in Croatia’s wonderful Dubrovnik
If we move further South we find the one and only Dubrovnik, “the pearl of the Adriatic”. This city showcases some of the most unique architecture and layout in the country. It is definitely worth visiting, especially with our half-day private tour!
You will start your exploration of the city from Srdj Hill: from this location you will have a breathtaking view over Old Town Dubrovnik, a great way to start the tour. After a visit to the Fort Imperial you will then go back into town via private transfer and stroll down the marbled streets of Old Town. Here, the Franciscan Monastery will give you a glimpse of European history: in the building you will find a pharmacy which first opened in 1317, a real treat for history lovers!
You will then get the chance to visit St. Blaise Church and view the Stradun from the top of its stairway. A suggestive location which will make you instinctively gather your thoughts on what you’ve learned during the tour and Dubrovnik’s past.
Art, history, nature and culture: Croatia has it all
Our travelers are always pleasantly surprised by how rich Croatian history is and how well preserved and cared for the historic locations are. Croatia is the kind of place where one goes to awaken their senses and leave the stress of everyday life behind. Whether you love history, are an adventure junky, enjoy amazing food and drinks, love taking walks in nature, go sailing or just want to soak up the sunshine on a beach by the crystal clear sea, you will find plenty of things to do in Croatia. And whatever your style and desires, we can help you plan the perfect trip!
written by Isabella Ott
What is your favorite Croatian city? Do you prefer laid back vacations on the beach or are you more of an explorer?