Help to choose a great vacation spot in Croatia

by Giorgia
(United Kingdom)

Hi Tobias,

I'm looking to go to Croatia for my 19th birthday in July with a friend and was wondering if you could help me.

I love places that offer culture/history and beaches during the day with good nightlife, but I hate typical tourist spots. Which area would be the best place to visit where I could enjoy these things with the locals?

I spent my 18th in Barcelona which was great because I could avoid the main tourist spots without missing out on the culture and great nightlife.

Hope you can help!


Hi Giorgia,

I will do my best to give you some opinions - your 19th birthday should be something like a "never forget vacation", shouldn't it? :-)

Just one note: Such general questions are not that easy to answer because there are a lot of variables that play a role (personal preferences etc.). All I can provide here are my neutral, personal opinions and suggestions - based on my experiences and knowledge about Croatia that I gained over the years.

I think it could help in your situation to do some kind of top-down decision. Why? Because we can eliminate probably 80% of the areas based on what you've written.

1. Ok, so you are looking for culture/history and beaches:
You will find a lot of culture and history all over Croatia. But the beaches of Croatia are a "must see" and so it would be best to concentrate your vacation on the Croatian coastline and maybe on one or two beautiful islands.

2. Good nightlife:
The well-known coastal towns and the main spots on the islands should have a great nightlife. Nevertheless, this is something which is hard to tell without a specific spot.

The best nightlife in Croatia? You will find it on the island of "Pag". There's the city of Novalija and the near Zrce beach with three beach clubs are just "party round the clock". There are a lot of young people and it's just fun. But it's also a bit of "touristy" if you know what I mean.

3. You hate the "typical tourist spots":
Please note that July is high season in Croatia and there are a lot of people in many areas. So, in this case I would personally NOT recommend the Istria region (the north of Croatia).

All in all:
I would choose the soutern area (Dalmatija region) - something between Zadar (in the middle of Croatia) and Dubrovnik (the great city in the south). I personally love Dubrovnik, but there are a lot of people in July. You have great beaches, culture, history, nightlife and you can also do day-trips to near islands via ferry etc.

One more tip: There are excellent islands in Croatia! My favorite island is "Hvar". Hvar island is fantastic and Hvar city is just phenomenal!

Does that help you?

All the best,

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