8 Unique Things You Absolutely Must Do In Croatia
There’s no denying that Croatia is one of the places to visit these days, especially in the summer when the shiny, blue ripples of the Adriatic, the party scene and the fascinating history pull tourists from around the globe.
It’s easy to see why so many people are now flocking to the country as it really does have something for everyone, from the breathtakingly beautiful old city of Dubrovnik (which is great for history and beauty lovers and Game of Thrones fans alike), to the more socialable towns of Split and Hvar. History buffs will find their haven in lovely Zadar, whilst those looking for a perfect weekend city break can find it in the capital of Zagreb.
It’s also a perfect place for people who like to do things that are a little bit different on their travels. Not only does it add something extra to your holiday, but it also makes for great stories that you’ll be telling for years to come! Are you someone who likes things unique? Ever wanted to swim through a blue cave? Visit wacky museums? Be serenaded by the sea? Well then Croatia is definitely the place for you!
Here are 8 of the most awesomely unique things you have to experience in the beautiful country of Croatia:
1- Walk around never been breached medieval city walls-
The Old City of Dubrovnik is one of the oldest in the world to still have all of its old city walls in tact, despite the numerous attempts at destruction over the years. The walls have been around since the 7th century, when they were built to protect the city- then known as Ragusa. They’re around 6,360ft (1940 metres) in length, and, in some parts, are 82ft (25 metres) tall! As it’s such a long walk leave plenty of time to walk all the way around (although there are a couple of places to exit if you get tired). There’s no cover so don’t walk them in the midday summer sun and be prepared to climb a lot of stairs!
2- See peacocks on a cursed Island in Dubrovnik-
The island of Lokrum is a small island located about a ten minute boat ride from the old port of Dubrovnik. The island is small but has a number of things to do, including a mini-exhibition centre, a dead sea lake with cocktail bar, an old fortress, and there’s even a nudist beach! There are no hotels or houses on Lokrum island as it’s forbidden to stay overnight; legend has it that the Benedictine Monks, who used to live on the island, placed a curse on it on their last night there so that nobody could claim it as their own, which is why nobody lives on it today. Spooky.
It’s also home to free-roaming peacocks. It’s their island, you’re just visiting.
Cost: Everything on the island is free (except food/drink from the few restaurants on it obv) but a return ticket from the old port on the mainland costs 100KN.
3- Have dinner inside an old palace, Split:
The old city of Split was built within the old Palace of Diocletian by Roman settlers. Today, walking around the windy, narrow cobbled streets of the palace you’ll find numerous shops and restaurants tucked away inside the walls. There’s plenty of restaurants to choose from, including your standard seafood restaurants that Croatia is so famous for, to restaurants serving dishes fit for a king (although the palace was never home to a king but an emperor, but you get my point…).
Cost: The palace is free to walk around but prices in the shops vary.
4- Be serenaded by the sea and greet the sun in Zadar:
Zadar might be one of the most historical old cities in Croatia, but it’s also one of the most modern thanks to its wonderfully uniquely awesome Sea Organ and the Greeting to The Sun solar light show. The sea organ is 70ft of steps descending into the sea and, inside the steps, are hollow pipes with whistles which, when the waves from the sea push air through the pipes, it makes a sound which sounds very similar to an organ. It also doubles up as a beach, and it’s not uncommon to see people sunbathing and swimming there all day long. Some find the noise annoying, but it can actually be pretty relaxing to listen to all day long.
The Greeting to the Sun is just next to the Sea Organ and, in the day, is a solar panel in the ground but, at night, it comes alive as a colourful light show. The panel is lit up in lights which are constantly changing colour as people dance, run and walk across.
5- Sit on 2000 year old Roman Ruins and watch a magic show in Zadar:
In Zadar there is a Roman Forum which is surrounded by roman ruins that are just out in the open. There are no cordons or anything so people are free to sit on them as they please, which is awesome but it also involves people being sensible and respectful in order not to spoil them. At night the forum comes alive with media shows, singers and a magician! Grab yourself a big cone of gelato, take a seat on a roman ruin and watch as the magician dazzles you with his tricks.
6- Visit the Art Park outdoor museum in Zagreb:
The nations’ capital is often overlooked in favour of the coastal towns- especially in the summer- but it shouldn’t be as it has lots to offer! The city is split up into the upper town and the lower town. The upper town is the old part and is, yep you guessed it, on top of a (steep) hill. At the top of this hill is an outdoor museum, which used to be an abandoned park but which is now full of quirky artwork and stunning views of the city. If you head down the steps into the art park itself you’ll find yourself walking down the side of said steep hill surrounded by yet more quirky art work, from paintings on the walls, to hand crafted hanging decorations. The park is new for 2016 and, throughout the summer hosted various art workshops and exhibitions by brilliant local artists, which, I presume, is something that they will be hoping to continue every summer. It’s definitely a must see if you find yourself in Zagreb. Oh, and make sure you walk all the way to the bottom to see the wall paintings line up (you’ll see what I mean if you go!).
Cost: Free to walk around (I’m not sure what the workshops cost)
7- Laugh and cry at the Museum of Broken Relationships in Zagreb:
One of the whackiest, but brilliant, concepts for a museum ever. It started as a travelling exhibition featuring remnants from people’s past relationships and a description from the owner. Due to its success, it has now been turned into a museum in Zagreb. The museum houses various items, donated by people from all over the world, which remind them of one of their past relationships along with a description- which ranges from brief to long tear-jerking essays. You’ll laugh, especially at the one about taking the toaster, you’ll cry, especially at the one about the soldier and the girl fleeing from war, and you’ll get warm fuzzy feelings inside- yes, even you, the cynic who doesn’t believe in love!
Cost: 30KN (20KN for students with a valid student card)
8- Swim through a Blue Cave on the island of Biševo:
The Blue Grotto on the Island of Biševo is a 24m long cave full of water, which is open at both ends so you can easily swim through it or pass through on a small boat. The cave is called the blue grotto because, when the sunlight gets in, it shines off of the walls and creates a beautiful blue glow. The place is somewhat of an Instagram/Pinterest phenomenon now so it’s becoming more and more popular with tourists. Apparently the best time to go is between 11am and noon to get the best shade of blue!
Cost: Varies as it’s included in numerous island trips from both Split and Hvar. This six island tour leaves from Split and costs around 110Euro per person.
Have you done anything on this list? What did you think? Anything else you’d add to the list? Leave me a comment!
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