Looking for a European destination that's a little more unexpected? Obsessed with food and wine? Love history? If you answered yes to any of these, you'll want to move Croatia to the top of your must-see list immediately. Unlike other European destinations like England, and France, you won't feel the pressure of missing out on major museums and monuments if you'd rather spend your time taking in the sun and jaw-dropping views along the Adriatic coast. Here, all the best things to do and see in Croatia – from a wine country tour to the country's best beaches.
"Game Of Thrones" fans will recognize this ancient walled city as the real-life version of Kings Landing, but even if you're not a fan of the HBO show, you'll appreciate the beauty of the terracotta rooftops and sparkling blue waters of the Adriatic Sea from up above.
Even though wine has been made in Croatia for centuries, it's widely unknown outside of the country – and we're not sure why, since it's absolutely delicious. Visit in the town of Jelsa for a tasting or head to in Dubrovnik to chat with their knowledgeable bartenders about the different varieties of Croatian wine, from powerful reds like Plavac Mali to fruity whites like Pošip.
Greece isn't the only country in the region with amazing seafood. Make reservations at in Hvar Town or in Split for some of the best examples of this coastal cuisine — think grilled squid, prawn risotto and fresh lobster pappardelle — in beautiful al fresco settings.
There are plenty of gorgeous hotels in Croatia, but if you're looking for a little more space and privacy, consider renting a villa through Airbnb — like a stunning that sleeps 10. There are hundreds to choose from along the coast for all kinds of vacations, destination weddings and even bachelorette parties (just be sure to select the "suitable for events" filter when you book).
You don't have to fly all the way to Eastern Europe to find a pretty sunset, but there's something magical about watching the sky change from flaming orange to the prettiest shade of purple from the pool of your .
Ready to go off the grid? Spend a day island-hopping along the Pakleni Islands to discover dozens of secluded beaches that will have you feel like you're sunbathing a world away from home.
Waiters at in Split will serve you a glass of wine right on the steps of Diocletian's Palace, a 4th-century Roman palace. If you find yourself in Dubrovnik, be sure to grab a sundowner at one of the two bars built right into the walls of the old town. Sure, it's a little touristy but how often do you get to sip a drink inside a historical monument at home?
This summer, Dubrovnik is introducing an electric scooter sharing program so that locals and tourists alike can access less-crowded beaches along the coast without having to rent a car.
Instead of posting up at a bar for happy hour, pop open a local craft beer and enjoy it outdoors while you walk along the historic waterfront promenade in Split (it is Europe after all).
While you can book a day cruise or a water taxi in Hvar Town to take you out to explore the Pakleni Islands, getting to jump off the bow of your own into the crystal-clear waters of the Adriatic Sea is totally worth the splurge – especially if you're traveling with a big group.
If you don't have enough time to make it inland to Plitvice Lakes, the waterfalls at are just a one-hour drive outside of Split and are equally as stunning. Plus you'll get to take in the view of located in the middle of a lake.
Most travelers spend all of their time in Dalmatia on Croatia's southern coast, but the Istria region in the north has just as many beautiful waterfront villages, amazing wine and seafood and historic sites to take in.
is made up of 16 lakes that cascade into each other forming some of the most beautiful waterfalls you'll see in your life.
It's tempting to spend your entire vacation on the coast of Croatia, but the growing , colorful farmers markets and elaborate Baroque architecture you'll find in Zagreb make it worth setting aside a few days to explore Croatia's capital city.
While most of Croatia's coastline can be quite rocky, the soft sand on Zlatni Rat Beach on the island of Brač juts out into the crystal-clear waters of the Adriatic making it one of the .