Croatia is a fascinating country that has now been well and truly incorporated into the backpackers’ trail, so infrastructure is good while prices are still pretty cheap. It’s easy to spend a couple of weeks there, but since it isn’t part of the Schengen Zone (yet) it’s a good choice for non-European visitors.
The tourist office has a great map of the central city that has two walking routes marked on it; one for the Upper Town, the other for the Lower Town. Following both will take you to most of Zagreb’s main attractions, including its many churches and museums.
Speaking of museums, the Museum of Broken Relationships is a unique option that curates objects and stories related to now-dead romances. The Archaeology Museum is also a good choice, especially on a rainy day, as its collections are extensive.
If you want to get out of town, visit Jarun Lake, which is accessible by tram. It’s a good spot to get involved in water sports or watch others do them while you sip a beer in one of the lakeside cafes.
1. Sea organ
Zadar’s claim to fame is its sea organ, a set of steps with pipes installed underneath. The movement of the water running through the pipes creates a series of haunting sounds that are well worth hearing.
We enjoyed wandering around the working port watching fishermen unload their boats.
The Archaeological Museum near the Roman Forum chronicles the history of the area from pre-history until medieval times; unfortunately the Roman section has been closed for some time. Apparently the museum of Ancient Glass is also worth a visit.
Just wandering around the large palace complex is interesting (and free) but access to some of the buildings comes at a cost. You can pay individually or for €6 get access to the
cathedral, its treasury, bell tower, and crypt, as well a baptistry in the tiny Temple of Jupiter. The bell tower was the most worthwhile, though climbing it was a little scary.
2. Marjan hill
If you fancy a small hike, head to Marjan HIll just out of town for a good view over the city. A series of steps takes you to a lookout; from there you can continue on over the hill towards some of the beaches.
There are plenty of nice places to eat and drink, but we were recommended Fife on a variety of occasions and it exceeded expectations.
1. Old town
The medieval fortified city is Dubrovnik’s jewel and all the tourists know it. It costs 90 kuna to walk the city walls, so get a Dubrovnik Card for 130 kuna if you also want to visit any of the city’s museums.
2. Other parts
Also check out the port, Lapad and Gruz regions of town to see another side of the city, or head to one of the nearby beaches to relax.
Since it’s a tourist hub, plenty of day tours leave from Dubrovnik. We did one to Mostar in Bosnia, but you can also choose to see more of Croatia, or do a boat tours to a nearby island.
There’s a lot more stories in the podcast itself – including details of our travels from Thessaloniki to Rome to Kuala Lumpur — and all the delicious food we ate along the way. To listen, hit play above or find episode in iTunes, Stitcher or Soundcloud.