A Backpacking Guide Through The Cities In Croatia

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Beautiful sea Coasts, historical architectural structure, Turquoise seas, and enjoyable seafood. Do these catch your interest? Then the cities in Croatia are the best places to be during your next holiday. Croatia is one of the most beautiful countries in Europe with coves, beaches, and bays connected to the Adriatic Sea. Located in Central and Southeast Europe, on the coast of the Adriatic Sea, covering a total expanse of 56,594 square kilometers, Croatia is known to be one of Europe’s top tourist destinations.

Explore our top backpacking cities in Croatia and you will realize the reasons why you shouldn’t miss traveling to Croatia.

Split: Explore The Mediterranean Flower & The Adriatic Sea

Split, also called Velo Misto, is the second-largest city in Croatia. It is one of the most beautiful cities to backpack in Croatia with its ancient Roman walls and squares. Split is located in Dalmatia, Croatia and lies on the eastern shore of the Adriatic Sea. The view of the shores, and those of ancient Roman buildings, and the city’s connection to the Adriatic Island make Split, also referred to as the Mediterranean Flower, attracts many tourists and adventurers to herself.

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There are many things to see in Croatia and a few of them are located in Split:
The Peristil Square: This is the main square of the Diocletian, it has a well-preserved Roman structure making it one of the tourist destinations in Split.

MarjanThis is a hill located in the west of Split, this is a good tourist destination for hikers and backpackers. The Marjan peak also called Telegrin, is around 174 meters high. On the peak, you can see the St. Nicholas Church towards the east and St. Jeronimus church on the south.

Galerija Mestrovic: This is a gallery that contains the works of a famous Croatian sculptor, Ivan Mestrovic. You will be wowed the works of this master artist, no doubt.

Archaeological Museum: This museum is just about 20 minutes from the North of Old Town road. It is the oldest museum in Croatia, made in 1820. It contains artifacts from the Roman Colonies Salona and Narona. A journey to this museum will also be a memorable glimpse into history.

Dubrovnik: Backpack The Pearl Of The Adriatic

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Would you like to see something similar to Game of Throne’s King’s landing? Then you’ve got to visit the ‘Pearl of the Adriatic’. Dubrovnik is a beautiful city on the Adriatic Sea in Southern Croatia and the most prominent tourist destination in the Mediterranean.

One of the things to see in Dubrovnik is its walls. The walls of Dubrovnik alone received about 1.3 million visitors in 2018. They are 13 to 20 feet thick on the landward side, but thinner on the seaward side. Also, they run approximately two kilometers or 1.2 miles around the city to form an irregular quadrilateral ending at each corner with a fort.

Also, within the city walls, you will see Fort Minceta (the most beautiful of the Forts) on the northwestern side, Fort St. John’s on the southeastern side, Fort Lawrence at Pile, and Fort Revelin at Ploce. Additionally, there are only 3 entrances into the walls of this ancient city; through the Stradun by the Pile gate, through Fort St. John’s, and at the Custom’s House gate.

Zadar: Home Of The Sea Organ & The Monument To The Sun

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Situated on the Adriatic Sea, at the northwestern part of Ravni Kotari region. Zadar is the oldest continuously inhabited city in Croatia. It is the second-largest city of the region of Dalmatia and the fifth largest city in the country; covering the 25-kilometer square.

While in Zadar, you must definitely see The Sea Organ and the Monument to the Sun, which are the major attractions in Zadar. The Sea Organ, also called Moriske Orgulje, is a man-made organ on Zadar’s Riva works. The organ plays music by way of sea waves and tubes located underneath a set of large marble steps and accompanied by a light display that creates a visualization of the sounds being produced by the organ.

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The Monument to the Sun is to light what the Sea Organ is to sound. The monument is located at the entrance to the port of Zadar, on the western part of the Zadar peninsula. It consists of three hundred multi-layered glass plates placed on the same level as the stove-paved waterfront. Lighting elements are installed in a circle turned on at night, and produce a light show. Both the Sea Organ and the monument were designed by Architect Nikola Bašić.

Additionally, you can also walk around the streets of the Old town, located on the peninsula. There are 34 old churches located here, each with a unique history. Also, a visit to the Archaeological Museum will give you a glimpse of the periods from Prehistoric Times to the Middle Ages.

Pula: Explore A Roman Amphitheatre, The Temple Of Augustus & The Gate Of Hercules

Pula lies on and beneath seven hills on the inner part of a wide gulf and a naturally well-protected port. It is the eighth-largest city in Croatia located at the southern end of the Istria Peninsula.

Roman Croatian Theater
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Pula is mostly famous for the Pula Arena and its beautiful sea. The Arena is the sixth largest Roman Amphitheatre still standing. You can access the inside of this magnificent architecture and visit the caverns beneath. Once a month, there are mock gladiator fights that are worth watching. The natural beauty of its surrounding countryside and turquoise water of the Adriatic have made the city into a summer paradise.

Also, if you are a fan of Roman architectures, you will probably love Pula. Take your experience two millennia back in time as you move through Pula’s Forum; the city’s main square which is just like in Roman times. Here you can visit the Temple of Augustus which was built during the reign of Augustus more the 2,000 years ago. However, since the 1800s, it has become the city’s archaeological museum. Also, don’t forget to check out The Gate of Hercules, Arch of the Sergii, Kastel, the Venetian fortress, Austro-Hungarian fortress; all of which are architectural wonders.

Additionally, you would definitely like to take a hike in the stunning Brijuni National Park, where 200 dinosaur footprints from the Cretaceous Period have been found.

Šibenik: The City Of Fortresses

Adriatic Sea
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Šibenik, also known as a gateway to the Kornati islands, is a city on the Adriatic coast. Located in central Dalmatia where the river Krka flows into the Adriatic sea, it is the third-largest city in Dalmatia. Šibenik is mostly famous for its central church, the Cathedral of St. James. This church was built between 1431 and 1530, using both Gothic and Renaissance architectural styles.

There are various reasons why The Cathedral of St. James is on UNESCO World Heritage’s list. This includes 72 unknown human heads carved in stone on the external part, along with interesting statues of Adam and Eve, in which Adam is covering his breasts while Eve covers her stomach. Down the steps from the cathedral is a complex of water reservoirs called Bunari, which literally means wells, built in the 15th century for the city’s water supply. Although the reservoirs are dry now, they have been decorated as a museum, gallery, and cafe.

18 kilometers to the north of Šibenik, you will find Krka National Park; a great place for backpackers because of its many waterfalls, flora, and the historical and archaeological remains found here. You will see that Šibenik is also famous among backpackers for housing the Kornati archipelago, located in the west of Šibenik. The archipelago consists of 150 islands in a sea area of about 320 km2, making it the densest archipelago in the Mediterranean Sea.

Zagreb: Make A Wish At The Virgin Mary’s Shrine

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Zagreb is the capital city of Croatia, located in the Northwestern region of Croatia. With an area of 641 km2, it is the largest city in Croatia. The city is divided into two parts; the Gornji grad and the Donji grad. They both house most of the luxurious restaurants, bars, hotels, and beautiful sights. The Gornji Grad or the Upper town is the medieval center of the city and is subdivided into two separate towns; Kaptol and Gradec.

Kaptol is the seat of the Bishop, and you can find the Kamenita Vrata – the Virgin Mary’s shrine. Gradec is a free town where tradesmen and artisans lived. In the summer, it becomes an open-air talent exhibition venue for painters, musicians, and other artists.

Virgin Mary Cathedral
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There are various parks for picnic and backpacking in Zagreb. It is a great place for hiking, cycling and lake rowing. Zagreb also has two popular lakes, Jarun and Bundek. Jarun Lake is great for windsurfing and it has large rowing sections with big stands for spectators. Bundek is mostly active during the summer where there are a series of firework festivals, flower shows, concerts and music that are hosted here.

Additionally, you need to see The Museum of Broken Relationships. You will grasp an insight into how people, from around the world, overcame or became defeated through relationships. You will learn this through thousands of suicide notes, love letters and other objects that have been donated to the museum. The visit here always ends with mixed feelings. You’re the only one that can describe your mood after a visit to this unique museum.

Rijeka: The Home Of First European Torpedoes

Croatian town
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Located in Primorje-Gorski Kotar County on Kvarner Bay, Rijeka is an inlet of the Adriatic Sea. There is a lot of sightseeing here as Rijeka is a commercial, religious and historical hub for the people of Croatia.

You must visit the origin of huge innovation, Tvornica (Torpedo”), the Torpedo factory. It was the factory that created the first European prototype of a self-propelled torpedo. This includes a well-preserved launch ramp used for testing self-propelled torpedoes.

Then go to Trsat, which is a famous part of the city of Rijeka. Here you can explore Our Lady of Trsat Sanctuary as well as the statue of Pope John Paul II; both are responsible for the largest center of pilgrimage in western Croatia.

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Additionally, if you’re looking to get a piece of the city’s history, then there is no better place to visit than the museums. There’s the Maritime and Historical Museum of the Croatian Littoral, Natural History Museum, Rijeka City Museum, Art Museum, among others.

At the end of everything, you will realize that there are many interesting experiences in Croatia. For a price as low as $40 a day will give you an awesome backpacking experience. However, this is only the case if you set your mind on eating local foods and buying your necessities in the Farmer’s markets of Croatia. Also, a nice and convenient low budget accommodation option is Airbnb.

While there are so many places to visit, all you have to do is to start with a single journey and make your first choices. Just know that any backpacking trip to Croatia will surely give birth to another trip. Explore!!!


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