Drifting the Adriatic Sea is Croatia ’s most glamorous attraction—Dubrovnik. Within its medieval defensive walls lies a UNESCO World Heritage-listed town wherein about 28,428 people reside. Despite the 1991 besiegement of the place, Dubrovnik has bounced back as one of the top Mediterranean destinations. For an entrance fee of 120 KN, which includes the boat fees already, you can already tour the beautiful Dubrovnik. Its limestone walls have been the city’s main charm, and you may view the magnificence of the old town by walking through the 1,940-meter long walls that encircle the city. A gallery exhibiting the horrors of war called War Photo Limited can also be visited while you’re in Dubrovnik. The exhibition space features the works of the world’s best photo reporters, some of which includes photographs from the Afghanistan war. A cable car in Dubrovnik can also lift you 405 meters above the town as you admire the beauty of the old town. The cable car can whisk you to Mount Srd wherein Fort Imperijal is located. But if you would like a break from the old town, you may visit the island 10 minutes away from Dubrovnik called Lokrum. Just a short ferry ride away, Lokrum is a popular swimming spot for tourists and locals. With a lush green forest filled with black ash, pine trees, holm oaks, and olive trees, the island offers tranquility and shade to those who would like to relax for a while.
One of the most popular areas among tourists is the Hvar Town in the Adriatic Croatian Sea wherein about 20,000 people visit the place during peak season. Just like Dubrovnik, Hvar is an ancient town rich with history. With its shimmering waters, yacht-lined ferry harbor, light-colored houses stacking up the hill, and a beautiful piazza, Hvar Town is like a scene straight out of a storybook. From the harbor to the cathedral is the stretch of the 4,500 m2 Stephen’s Square which is one of the largest old squares in Dalmatia. Within the square lies the “the most beautiful and the most useful building in the whole of Dalmatia” according to Venetian documents—the Arsenal. A place that once served as a repair and refitting station is now an iconic landmark of the city of Hvar. On the first floor of the building is the Hvar’s theatre which paved the way for the craft of theatre in Europe. To the north of the square is Hvar’s fortress called Fortica. Locally called Španjola, the fort was built in the 16th-century, and it offers a majestic panoramic view of Hvar. Another point of interest of the town is the Franciscan Monastery with its elegant bell tower. Built in the 16th century, the monastery houses Matteo Ingoli’s 8 x 2.5-meter The Last Supper, and the 1524 edition of Ptolemy’s Atlas.
Located in Murter is the Kornati National Park wherein numerous activities await adventure seekers. Mentioned in tourist publications as a “nautical paradise”, the Kornati National Park is about 35 kilometers long and 13 kilometers wide with about 80 islets. You may go the park by using your own boat, but if you don’t have access to any, day tours to the national park usually cost €35 to €40 per person, which already includes a boat ride, a tour guide, a welcome drink, an entrance to the park, and lunch. Once you get to the park, you may explore it hiking the beginner-friendly Kornati Island. Swimming, diving, and snorkeling are also permitted as long as you dive without autonomous diving gear. Recreational fishing is also allowed as long as you provide fishing permits, but if you don’t have any, you may still enjoy the natural beauty of the park by going bird and animal watching. If you time your visit to the park in June, you may catch the Festivity on Tarcu which is held on the first Sunday of July. A Kornati Cup, which is a traditional sailboat regatta, is held in April to mark the start of tourist season.
In the capital of Croatia is a district wherein a number of historic sites are located—the Gornji Grad. With its colorful tiled roof, St. Mark’s Church is one of the most eye-catching buildings in Gornji Grad. Its 138-year old roof is adorned with the medieval coat of arms of Dalmatia, Croatia, and Slavonia, along with Zagreb’s emblem on the right. Sculptures by Croatia’s most famous sculptor, Ivan Meštrović, are placed inside along with frescoes by artist Jozo Kljaković. Built in the 13th-century, the Tower of Lotrščak located near St. Mark’s Church, and it may be climbed for a 360-degree view of the city. One of the modern attractions in Gornji Grad is the museum that holds post-relationship mementos: the Museum of Broken Relationships. One of the interesting museums in the area, the Museum of Broken Relationships holds donated break-up items with stories to tell. The Croatian Parliament’s exterior may be out of place in the district, but its historical importance is irrefutable. The recession of Croatia in 1918 was announced in the parliament’s balcony, and a visit to the Croatian parliament is a must when going to Gornji Grad.
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