A Guide to Croatia’s 10 UNESCO World Heritage Sites

Croatia is home to UNESCO World Heritage sites, and together they capture the natural beauty and historical depth that Croatia is famous for. This guide dives into each location, revealing their global significance and what makes them must-visit sites for travellers in Croatia. 

From the tranquil splendour of ancient forests to cinematic, medieval fortifications, join us on a journey across Croatia’s varied landscapes and through enchanting layers of the nation’s storied past.

If you’ll be travelling in Croatia this summer, we recommend you don’t miss out on a visit to Rewind’s hometown of Dubrovnik! And if you do visit us, consider booking one of our unforgettable Luxury Boat Tours from Dubrovnik.

1. Plitvice Lakes National Park

The Plitvice Lakes National Park is an enchanting grouping of 16 turquoise lakes, connected by waterfalls and set in thick woodland populated by deer, bears, wolves, and rare bird species. 

The wooden walkways and hiking trails invite you to explore this natural wonder at your own pace, offering breathtaking views and revitalizing moments spent in the wildness of nature. 

Whether you’re capturing the vibrant colours of autumn, the frozen beauty of winter, or the lush greens of spring and summer, Plitvice is a year-round spectacle!

2. Historical Complex of Split with the Palace of Diocletian

At the heart of Split lies the remarkable Palace of Diocletian, a retirement home for the Roman emperor that has withstood the ravages of time and is today a central, living part of old town Split. 

Wander through its well-preserved cellars, stand in awe of the ancient columns, and stroll along the Riva waterfront with a gelato in hand. As the day unfolds, the palace’s ancient stones echo with the music of street performers, the chatter of alfresco diners, and the footsteps of both locals and travellers drawn to its enduring charm.

Croatia has an amazing coffee culture; take advantage of Split’s breathtaking Roman architecture and enjoy a fantastic espresso at one of the many trendy cafes with outdoor seating – there’s no location more epic to sit and watch the world go by. 

3. Old City of Dubrovnik

Dubrovnik, the Pearl of the Adriatic, is encircled by monumental medieval walls and fortresses that have protected the city across the centuries. Walking atop these walls, you’re treated to views of the shimmering Adriatic on one side and the timeless beauty of terracotta roofs on the other. 

Each alley and square in the Old City tells a story, from the Rector’s Palace’s grandeur to the Franciscan Monastery’s serenity. There are few places in Europe as naturally cinematic as Dubrovnik! 

It’s for this reason that the makers of Game of Thrones decided to film so much of their series here. If you’d like to explore the many historical sites used in Game of Thrones, please join us for our dedicated Guided Game of Thrones Tour of Dubrovnik.

Of course, this is only one of the many tour options we have in Dubrovnik. Our Dubrovnik Day Trips feature a range of food and culture tours in Dubrovnik and the surrounding region. Meanwhile, we offer an extensive range of first-class Boat Tours from Dubrovnik – enjoy the sapphire waters of the Adriatic as your hop from one paradise island to the next.   

4. Episcopal Complex of the Euphrasian Basilica in the Historic Centre of Poreč

The Euphrasian Basilica in Poreč is a monument to faith, art, and stunning architecture. Its exquisite mosaics, dating back to the 6th century, glimmer with gold details, telling stories of devotion that echo through the ages. 

Visitors are enveloped in a sense of peace as they wander through the complex, with the Adriatic’s gentle breeze reminding them of the enduring beauty that surrounds them. 

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5. Historic City of Trogir

Imagine walking through a living museum where every cobblestone, church, and palace reveals chapters from the past. Trogir is this museum, cradled by the sea and guarded by medieval walls. Its charming streets are a maze of Renaissance and Romanesque treasures, with the Cathedral of St. Lawrence at its heart. As you lose yourself in its narrow alleys, you’ll stumble upon quaint cafes and artisan shops – the perfect place to enjoy some carefree wandering.

And when you’ve had your fill of cultural attractions in Trogir, you can head to Okrug Gornji, the town’s most popular beach; the beachfront is lined with cafes and ice cream parlours, and it buzzes with activity.

6. Šibenik Cathedral of St James

The Šibenik Cathedral is a masterpiece of Renaissance architecture. Built entirely from stone, its finely carved façade and remarkable dome captivate all who wander into its imposing interior. 

Many master builders and artisans worked on the cathedral over the centuries. The best-known is Niccolò di Giovanni Fiorentino, the Renaissance sculptor and architect from Tuscany, who was responsible for the cathedral’s cupola, considered to be one of the finest achievements of Renaissance architecture.  

Recently, the cathedral was used as a location for the filming of Game of Thrones.

7. Stari Grad Plain

On the island of Hvar, the Stari Grad Plain opens up like a patchwork quilt, green with vineyards and olive groves, its patterns unchanged since Greek farmers laid them out 2400 years ago. 

This living museum of agriculture offers not just a glimpse into ancient farming techniques but a taste of them, too, as the fruits of this land turn into some of Croatia’s finest wines and olive oils. 

If you’d like to visit the island of Hvar from Dubrovnik, there’s no travel option offering as much comfort, convenience, and luxury as our Speed Boat Transfers from Dubrovnik to Hvar.

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8. Stećci Medieval Tombstones Graveyards

The enigmatic stećci, medieval tombstone graveyards, dot the landscapes not only of Croatia but also Bosnia and Herzegovina, Serbia, and Montenegro. These hauntingly beautiful relics, adorned with unique carvings and inscriptions, offer a window into the medieval Christian cultures of the region.

9. Venetian Works of Defence between the 15th and 17th Centuries

Spanning from Italy to Croatia, Montenegro, and beyond, the Venetian Works of Defence stands as a monumental network of fortifications. These imposing structures were built by the Venetian Republic to fend off Ottoman incursions, embodying the military prowess and architectural ingenuity typical of the era.

10. Primeval Beech Forests of the Carpathians and Other Regions of Europe

The third of Croatia’s transnational UNESCO sites, the Primeval Beech Forests stretch across 12 European countries from Germany to Ukraine. 

These ancient woodlands are a living reminder of the beech’s dramatic spread across the continent in the post-glacial period. Walking among these towering giants, one feels part of a broader narrative of ecological history and biodiversity that transcends national borders, connecting visitors with the primal beauty of Europe’s prehistorical past.

We hope you’ve enjoyed learning about Croatia’s 10 UNESCO World Heritage Sites. Now, what are you waiting for? It’s time to begin your adventure in Croatia. Be sure to include Dubrovnik on your itinerary! 

If you have any questions, please get in touch