Plan your perfect holiday to Croatia 2024

Plan Your Perfect Holiday to Croatia 2024

If you’ve never taken the leap to holiday in Croatia but have decided that this year will be your year, this page is for you! Alternatively, perhaps you’ve been to Croatia a number of times before and would like to try something a little different this year or need a bit more guidance. Either way, let Visit Croatia help you plan your perfect holiday to Croatia 2024!

Plan your perfect holiday to Croatia 2024

Step 1 – Decide when to go and how long for

Most people approach holiday planning by deciding when they’d like to go away – summer holidays for a week or two break? Half-term hols with the kids? A weekend city break in late Spring or early Autumn?

Think about when you’re able to take a holiday abroad, or perhaps need to if you’re constrained by school summer holidays. Then take a look at When to Go to Croatia page to see if it tallies up with your plans.

All in all, there’s no bad time of year to visit Croatia – but it really depends on your plans. You can’t sit by the Adriatic sipping a fruity cocktail in January whilst you won’t get peace and quiet on Dubrovnik’s pretty cobbled streets in August!

Perhaps you also need a little convincing to go to Croatia. (Erm…why?) If so, we set our Why you should go to Croatia as well.

When to Go to Croatia
Why Go to Croatia?

You will need also to have in mind how long you wish to travel for. A week or two? (Or ten days?) A short break? The whole summer? Give it some consideration – and then look at our guides for itinerary advice.

A weekend break in Croatia
Three Weeks in Croatia
One Week in Croatia
Two Weeks in Croatia
City Break in Croatia

Step 2 – Think about your budget

Of course, another major issue to keep in mind is your holiday budget. Are you going to blow the budget or keep it as low as possible? If it’s the latter, take a look at our How to do Croatia on a Budget for some cost-saving ideas. At the other end of the scale, our Luxury Hotels in Croatia page might tempt you into something very special indeed.

If you’re not sure, perhaps skip this step for now and do some further research – on flights and accommodation – to see what you can come up with and how much it will cost.

Step 3 – Decide where to go

“Oh, sure”, you’re thinking, “why are you getting me to do the difficult stuff?! Is that what Visit Croatia is for?!”

Well, yes! We absolutely can tell you where you should go on holiday in Croatia. How? Take a look at the following pages:

Where to Go in Croatia
The 11 Best Islands in Croatia
Top Sights in Croatia
What Not To Miss in Croatia FB

Step 4 – Book your flights (or get yourself a package deal)

Now that you’ve decided where in Croatia to go, you’ll need to…get there! Take a look at our Flights to Croatia from the UK & Ireland page to see which airlines fly where. We’ve got full timetable information of all scheduled flights to the country from (what’s now) a very wide range of UK and Irish airports.

As you will see, although there are some year-round flights to the country and some flights only operate from June to September, a very good number of flights fly from the end of March to the end of October.

If you’re not flying from the UK or Ireland, see our pages on U.S. to Croatia Flights and Flights from Asia to Croatia for details of flights from these regions.

Or simply check out our pages on Getting to Zagreb, Getting to Split, Getting to Dubrovnik, Getting to Istria, Getting to the Kvarner Riviera and Getting to North Dalmatia for information on flights to these places from all over Europe.

Alternatively, you might prefer to go for a package holiday to Croatia which includes flights and accommodation (and usually transfers) all as one deal. This sort of thing is just the thing if you’re after a particular type of holiday – one that’s good for kids, one that’s adults only, a holiday that’s super luxe, for example. We recommend Jet2Holidays (and no, we’re not being paid to say so) as a package holiday operator although other companies, such as TUI Holidays, are of course available.

Step 5 – Book your accommodation (or…get yourself a package deal)

Okay, so if you’ve got yourself a package deal then you’re sorted for accommodation!

If not, you’re best to head to one of the accommodation booking portal websites, such as, to peruse what sort of things are available for your chosen destination.

Or take a look at our Accommodation in Croatia section which shows hotels, apartments, villas, campsites and more in all destinations in Croatia, large or small.

Accommodation in Croatia
Luxury Hotels in Croatia
Unusual Places to Stay in Croatia
Campsites in Croatia
Boutique Hotels in Croatia

Step 6 – What day trips will you make?

Now, are you the kind of person who likes to alternate lazing by the pool with lazing by the beach when you’re on your holiday? Only pausing to chow down on a leisurely lunch, order another cocktail or perhaps a refreshing iced cocktail? Or will you be trying to cram in as much sightseeing and experiences as you can when you’re on holiday in Croatia?

If you’re the latter, it’s worth researching what day trips are possible from your destination. Take a look at some of our guides below. You’ll find that some day trips may be a short bus (or boat) hop up or down the coast whilst others may be whole-day affairs. You could even consider hopping over the border to Slovenia, Italy, Bosnia & Hercegovina or Montenegro – to which country obviously depends on where you’re staying!

If you’re a planner, you may even like to book some day trips before you go. This would be especially beneficial if you’d like to “timetable” your holiday days with specific activities set out for each day and then some days devoted to taking it easy.

Guided tours are available for all sorts of sights in Croatia, but you can also rely on public transport to make the trip yourself – for example, taking a 1-hour catamaran from Split to Hvar Town, or one of the small ferry boats from Dubrovnik to the Elafiti islands.

Day Trips from Istria
Day Trips from Zadar
Day Trips from Dubrovnik to Montenegro

Alternatively, you absolutely can leave booking for day trips once you’re in Croatia. Just pop along to a local agency (many set up stalls in the main promenades in towns and cities during the summer) to see what’s available.

Do also take a look at GetYourGuide’s guide to some of the best-rated tours in Croatia:

Step 7 – Countdown to the big H – holiday!

Now that you’ve got everything sorted in terms of booking your flights, accommodation and day trips, mark it up on your calendar (or 21st-century version: in your smartphone) and start counting down the days to your holiday to Croatia 2024).

Then make sure to tell all your friends and family that you’re off to Croatia this year. No doubt they’ll say “ooh, wow, how nice” and some might even say “can I come?”. (We’ll leave it up to you to decide whether or not to say yes.)

Winter in Croatia - Plitvice Lakes in Winter

Top 5 Things to Do in Croatia in Winter

Winter is a dreary time of year, isn’t it? (The winter that’s after all the Christmas and New Year excitement, that is.) There’s seemingly not much to do, the weather is quite awful – if it’s not freezing outside it’s blowing a gale – and no one seems to be up for any fun. And there’s surely nothing fun to do in Croatia in winter, given it’s such a glorious summer destination?! Wrong! Spin that bad winter attitude right around and take a look at what I think are some of the most fun things to do in Croatia in winter.

Croatia in Winter – Enjoying the view and winter activities on Sljeme, Zagreb

Zagreb would be my top choice as a winter destination in Croatia anyway, as there’s so much to enjoy in this fantastic city – sights, restaurants, shopping, events, kids activities…the list goes on! But for a special wintery treat, head up to Sljeme above Zagreb to enjoy excellent views of the city and the surrounding area and lots of fun winter activities. I’d highly recommend that you take the cable car up to the top of Mount Sljeme as it’s a super fun experience and one of the nicest (and quickest) ways of zipping up the mountain.

So what winter activities are up here? The main one – skiing! Yes, that’s right, it is indeed possible to ski in Croatia, and Sljeme is probably the best place in Croatia to go skiing. Whilst you wouldn’t come here for a week-long skiing holiday, you can certainly enjoy a few runs on a weekend or an afternoon. (Or even at night as night-time skiing is possible on some days.)

Winter in Croatia - Skiing Sljeme
Sljeme Skiing

In fact, the ski season on Sljeme officially opens tomorrow, 23rd January 2024 (normally running until mid-March) so now’s the perfect time to try a bit of ski fun here. Organisers do use an artificial snowmaking system if the real stuff is a bit patchy.

If skiing isn’t your thing, you can still come up to Sljeme to enjoy a bit of sledging and playing around in the snow, before retiring to a local restaurant or cafe for some filling stew and a hot drink.

If skiing really is your thing, then you might be quite excited about the Snowpark Sljeme to show off your tricks.

Of course, don’t forget that Sljeme is the peak of Mount Medvednica, part of which is home to Medvednica Nature Park. You could shun the skiing/sledging entirely and explore this beautiful forested wonderland instead.


Winter in Croatia – Enjoy the tranquillity of the Plitvice Lakes

If you’ve been to the Plitvice Lakes National Park during the peak summer months, you’ll have had the good fortune to share the experience of the stunning lakes and waterfalls with about a million other people at the same time. (I joke, of course, but boy does it get crowded at that time of year.)

Winter in Croatia - Plitvice Lakes in Winter
The Plitvice Lakes in winter…complete with frozen waterfalls!

The Plitvice Lakes are a pure joy any time of year as the nature of the park undergoes its seasonal changes. In wintertime, the park is a lot less green (the trees and shrubs, that is) but may be a lot more white if there’s been recent snowfall which gives the whole place a really magical feel. Some of the water in the lakes – possibly even the waterfalls – may also freeze if the temperatures have been low enough and consistently so.

Plitvice in winter also means that you’ll be joined by far fewer fellow visitors – nowhere near the crowds of summer. I would still suggest getting to the Park as early as possible in the day (the shorter days of course mean shorter opening hours – only until 3pm until the end of March) and do also note that the upper lakes are closed at this time of year too. But you’ll be delighted by the fact that the entry price is only a quarter of what it is in summer! (€10 in winter compared to €40 during peak summer.)


Winter in Croatia – Celebrations in February

February is carnival month all across the world, and many locations in Croatia also celebrate with carnival processions. The largest carnival in Croatia is the Rijeka Carnival which, in peak years, attracts as many as 100,000 spectators and has a number of connected events. The carnival party in fact in fact already started this past weekend with the first event – the Rijeka Carnival Queen Pageant (where a Carnival Queen is selected!) and the Handover of the Key to the City.

More fun and games take place from 1pm Saturday, 27th January 2024, with Carnival Children’s Parade. Around 6,000 young participants will parade in their colourful costumes.

There are many associated carnival events over the next few weeks (a fun run and the Carnival Snowboard Session as examples) but the main Rijeka Carnival occasion is the parade that takes place on 11th February 2024. It’s an excellent time to be in Rijeka!

Or, as an alternative event in February, head to Dubrovnik in early February when the city celebrates its patron saint, Saint Blaise (Sveti Vlaho in Croatian). The patron saint’s day is on 2nd February which is also marked as the day of the City of Dubrovnik. Celebrations, however, stretch out from late January and beyond. Again, it’s a great time of year to visit this city too to really get a feel for a long-established festivity that is marked by local residents.

Winter in Croatia – Get your cultural fix

Croatia has a few annual events that take place all over the country on the same date and January enjoys one such event. This week, in fact! Night of the Museums (Noc muzeja) is taking place this Friday, 26th January 2024 with participating museums all over the country offering free entry from 6pm (usually until 1am). Museums also offer special talks and other events on this same night.

Winter in Croatia – Head to the coast

Sure, it’s winter, but why not head to the coast anyway? You won’t be able to do any sea swimming or sunbathing is very unlikely, but nothing beats being by the coast whatever season it is.

Winter in Croatia - Split
Split in on a sunny winter’s day

Split would be a top choice, seeing as it’s Croatia’s second-largest city and has plenty to keep you occupied even in the colder months. What could be better than taking a stroll down the Riva and enjoying the sea air.

Some of Croatia’s cities offer special deals for visitors in winter, and Split does too. The Split Card can be obtained for free from the tourist office if you stay for two nights in any kind of accommodation in the city. You can then use it to gain free entry to some of the museums here (the Ethnographic Museum, the Natural History Museum), plus discounted entry to other museums and attractions. You can also use the card to obtain discounts at certain shops and restaurants.

Getting to Croatia in winter

Currently, the only direct flights from the UK and Ireland to Croatia are those to Zagreb which are operated by British Airways, Croatia Airlines and Ryanair with all three offering flights to Zagreb. From there, you can use Croatia Airlines‘ internal flights to other destinations in the country – see our Flights in Croatia page for more details.


Croatia what is where

Croatia What is Where?

Here’s our Croatia infographic to highlight some special places in the country – as well as some places that you may not know about. Presenting to you: Croatia What is Where?

Learn some facts about the capital city Zagreb, stunning coastal cities and towns Split, Dubrovnik, Pula and Zadar, Hvar island, famous-for-its-oysters Ston, the thrilling Plitvice Lakes Nature Park and Papuk Nature Park.

Click on the infographic to enlarge!

Croatia what is where

More facts from Croatia What Is Where?

Let’s expand on some of the facts shown in the Croatia infographic above to help you learn more about Croatia what is where.

  • Croatia’s capital city, Zagreb, has a stunning cathedral that, at 108m tall, is the tallest building in Croatia. Originally constructed in the 13th century, the cathedral was severely damaged in the 6.3-magnitude earthquake of 1880 and required extensive restoration. Unfortunately, the cathedral was damaged again in the earthquake in March 2020 – one of its spires snapped off whilst the other had to removed for safety.
  • It is the FIS Snow Queen Trophy ski race that Zagreb hosts in early January each year.
  • Varazdin County is considered to be the oldest of Croatia’s counties, having first been referred to in 1181 (in the charter of King Bela III). The beautiful town of Varazdin was once also the capital city of Croatia from 1756 to 1776 when a large fire destroyed about 80% of the buildings in the town – and the capital reverted to Zagreb.
  • Papuk Nature Park is one of (now!) twelve nature parks in Croatia and is located in Slavonia. It is the first UNESECO Geopark in Croatia, which designates an area of significant geological heritage.
  • Ilok, also in Slavonia, is famous for being home to one of the largest wine producers in Croatia, Ilocki podrumi. They have British royal connections – as well as having their Traminac wine served at the wedding of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle, their wine was served at the celebration of the coronation of Queen Elizabeth II!
  • The wonderful Plitvice Lakes National Park is the joint-oldest national park with Croatia (along with Paklenica National Park), declared so in 1949. In 1979, the Park became a UNESCO World Heritage site.
  • This leads us on to Split! The Diocletian’s Palace complex was also declared a UNESCO World Heritage site that same year, 1979. This Palace was constructed in the 4th century as a retirement ‘home’ for Roman Emperor Diocletian, close to the large Roman town of Salona (present-day Solin) which once had a population as high as 60,000 people.
  • Dubrovnik is home to many of Croatia’s delights, including the truly wonderful Old Town. The Dubrovnik Summer Festival cultural event, which hosts opera, theatre productions, and classical music performances, was first held in 1950 making it the oldest festival of its kind in Croatia.
  • Little Ston is home to amazing town walls that rival Dubrovnik’s – in fact, those in Ston are the longest preserved town walls in Europe. Ston is also very well known for its oysters (and mussels) – you can see (and even visit) the oyster farms by the town.
  • The island of Hvar is a top destination for the yachting crowd, partygoers, the odd celebrity or two…and everyone else vying to see this amazingly picturesque place! Hvar island is also very famous for its lavender production – about 50 years ago, lavender oil produced on Hvar accounted for 8% of all lavender oil produced in the world – and is often claimed to be the sunniest place in Croatia with about 2,800 hours of sun each year.
  • As well as being the birthplace of Croatian footballing legend Luka Modric, Zadar is home to some amazing sights, old and new – such as the Forum and St Donatus Church, the Sea Organ and the Greeting to the Sun installation.
  • Pula is likewise home to some stunning sights, particularly the Arena which was completed in the 1st century AD – roughly the same time as the Colosseum in Rome. The Arena is one of the best preserved Roman amphitheatres, as it has all four sides intact, and is the sixth-largest remaining amphitheatre in the world. These days, it hosts music concerts, screenings during the Pula Film Festival, occasional sports events…and even mock gladiator fights in summer.
Culture Smart Guide to Croatia

Review: Culture Smart! Guide to Croatia

Although visitors to Croatia are now spoilt by the number of guidebooks there are on the country – many of which are now on their fourth or fifth editions – it’s always interesting to be offered something a little extra. The Culture Smart! series of books go this extra mile, offering up information on customs and cultures of many countries around the world. At present count, almost 100 guides exist in the series, on countries as diverse as Belarus to Bolivia, Ghana to Guatemala, and Oman to Trinidad and Tobago. And there’s of course a guide to Croatia, so we delved into it recently to see what Culture Smart! had to say about the country.

Culture Smart Guide to Croatia
Culture Smart

The Culture Smart guide to Croatia is a handy little book that doesn’t take long to read from cover to cover – but really does provide plenty of useful information on every day life in Croatia, covering topics such as family, work, education, religion, business and much more. Many times I found myself nodding as I read, thinking “Yup – that’s certainly true!”, with some of the text (intentionally!) also raising a smile or two. I personally found that it put into words more than adequately some of what may be considered slightly touchier subjects – such as differences amongst the generations, or locals’ thoughts on politics, the Homeland War, and the former Yugoslavia. The book is certainly packed with information and covers a good amount of ground on the country and its peoples, customs and traditions. Sure, you wouldn’t get this book as your only guide if you were visiting the country, but it’s a great companion book to help you understand the country a little better. If you’re planning on spending a considerable amount of time in Croatia, or see yourself socialising a fair deal with Croats (perhaps you’re planning an extended stay in the country), then I think this book would be invaluable. But there’s also plenty for short-term visitors to learn – in particular, the sections on eating out and entertainment, health and safety and media and communications. But most of all, the book goes some way to helping understand what Croats are like, and what everyday life is like for them. I’d certainly recommend picking up a copy of Culture Smart! Croatia if you have even just a passing interest in the country and its people. The book is available from Amazon, in paperback and Kindle versions. Culture Smart! Essential Guides are published by Kuperard and you can find all of the Culture Smart titles at or via Amazon.

Montenegro is just like Croatia…except it’s not!

I had to laugh at a very glaring error in a Sunday Mirror travel article on Montenegro – published this past Sunday – that leapt out at me as soon as I read it. On Montenegro, the Mirror states that:

The main draw is the picturesque coastline, made of 72 miles of beaches and dotted with ancient towns… and more than a thousand islands.

More than a thousand islands? Wow, that sounds just like Croatia! In fact, that is Croatia, not Montenegro. And whilst Montenegro does of course have a picturesque coastline, indeed with 72 miles of beaches, one thing it does not have is many islands! Certainly nowhere near Croatia’s (estimated) 1,246 islands…

We would of course encourage people to consider exploring Croatia’s neighbouring country Montenegro (how about a day trip from Dubrovnik – or maybe on a holiday with time in both countries?) but would suggest ignoring the dubious Mirror article (what does Morgan Freeman landing at Dubrovnik Airport have to do with Montenegro?) and reading some better researched text!

Article: Travel: Montenegro, jewel of the Adriatic, has it all (The Mirror, 23rd January 2011)