22 Fun Facts About Croatia For Your Travel Itinerary

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Croatia is a stunningly beautiful country that I have been lucky enough to visit twice. Full of historic monuments, natural parks, and pristine beaches, Croatia has it all!

This Balkan country should be one of your top European destinations. These fun Croatia facts are sure to make you add it as a stop on your next itinerary!

1. Welcome to the Dalmatian Coast

The coastline in Croatia is called the Dalmatian Coast and it was named after the dog breed which does, in fact, come from Croatia!

2. Croatia Broke a Record for Largest White Truffle

Good news for foodies! If you’re a fan of everything gourmand, you may be surprised that one of the world’s largest white truffles was found in Croatian soil.

The truffle was found in Livade and nicknamed “The Great White”. It weighed 1,310g and reigned supreme for over a year until the Italians found one slightly bigger.

3. Dubrovnik is Featured in Game of Thrones

The Red Keep in Game of Thrones is actually the real-life city of Dubrovnik in Croatia! Visitors to Dubrovnik can even take Game of Thrones tours to see where some of the footage was captured!

Steps in Dubrovnik with a photo in the forefront showing the Game of Thrones scene

Another prominent Croatian filming location is Split, where the city of Mereen scenes were primarily filmed.

4. Croatia is Home to One of the Most Spectacular Beaches in the World

Zlatni rat beach is one of the most photographed beaches in the world. It is one of the most uniquely shaped beaches because it changes its position and shape depending on how the wind blows.

It is often referred to as Golden Horn beach or the Golden Cape and is one of the jewels of Croatia.

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5. Nikola Tesla was Born in Croatia

The famous inventor Nikola Tesla was born in the mountainous region of Lika. Nikola Tesla was a scientist at heart and once worked for Thomas Edison! He was responsible for inventing the Tesla Coil, the Radio, and Hydroelectric power amongst other things.

6. Croatia has an Original Egyptian Sphinx

Croatia once had 12 Sphinxes but only one remains standing. The Black Granite Sphinx in the city of Split is located at the Peristyle and is over 3,000 years old.

The Black Granite Sphinx in Croatia

It is unusual because it’s an androsphinx with a human head and lion body.

7. The Pula Arena is a Roman Marvel

The Pula Arena is one of the best-preserved amphitheaters of Roman design and unlike other locations where gladiators fought, still has all four of its side towers.

8. Croatia Is Surrounded By 5 Countries

Croatia is in a great location alongside the Adriatic sea. It is a great central location for visiting several other countries! It is flanked by Bosnia and Herzegovina, Serbia, Montenegro, Hungary, and Slovenia.

9. Zadar, Croatia has the World’s Best Sunset

Not only does Croatia get more hours of sunshine (2,715) than Sydney, Australia, but according to Alfred Hitchcock, Zadar has the world’s most beautiful sunset.

A sunset with dozens of people in Zadar

10. Croatia Has Over a Thousand Islands

If you want to enjoy that private island feel, Croatia has plenty to choose from! Croatia has 1,246 islands (although some of them are small inlets). A few of the most popular are Hvar, Brac, Krk, and Vis!

They even have a heart-shaped island – Galešnjak which is known as Lover’s Island.

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11. UNESCO Intangible Goods

Croatia has the highest number of any European country of UNESCO Intangible Goods including lacemaking, gingerbread craft, the Mediterranean Diet, and Falconry!

12. Croatia Invented the Necktie

Many historians believe Croatians invented the necktie because the Croatian military wore neckties as early as the 1600s.

13. Mamma Mia 2 Was Filmed in Croatia

Sorry, Greece! Mamma Mia is supposed to take place in Greece but Mamma Mia 2 was actually shot on the isle of Vis in Croatia.

14. Croatia Has the Best Christmas Market in Europe

Located in the capital city of Zagreb, the Christmas Market in Croatia has been voted the best in Europe multiple times by European Best Destinations, winning successive titles from 2016 to 2018.

Zagreb nightmarket

15. There are 300 Wine Regions in Croatia

Wine is a big deal in Croatia, having been introduced to the country 2,500 years ago.

There are over 41,000 vineyards in Croatia, which make both classic wines and indigenous wines you won’t find anywhere else on earth.

Zinfandel grapes have actually been proven by DNA to be native to Croatia!

16. Home to One of Europe’s Oldest Cities

Vinkovci holds the record for the longest inhabited city in Europe. It has been occupied for over 8,000 years and the current population is 35,000.

Agatha Christie’s famous novel Murder on the Orient Express even mentioned Vinkovci.

17. Zadar Sea Organ is the First Instrument Played by the Ocean

This architectural wonder was made to be played by the sea, emitting notes depending upon how water crashes into it, and was built by Nikola Basic in 2005.

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The Zadar Sea Organ in Croatia

At over seventy meters long, it seriously puts to shame the conch shells I used to find at the beach as a kid.

18. Bog is both Hello and Goodbye in Croatian

Much as the Hawaiian people use “Mahalo”, the word “Bog” is similarly exchanged by Croatians.

19. Dalmatia Was the Setting in Shakespeare’s The Twelfth Night

William Shakespeare’s play The Twelfth Night is a romantic comedy and is one of his best-known works. The kingdom of Illyria was inspired by the Dalmatia region in Croatia.

20. Croatia is home to the Biggest Sinkhole in Europe

It would be wise to watch your step! Red Lake, near Imotski has the biggest sinkhole in Europe and the third largest in the world.

Red Lake sinkhole

Sinkholes are caused by erosion amongst other natural phenomena, and in 2021, a farming region in North-East Croatia was likewise devastated when over 100 sinkholes suddenly appeared following an earthquake.

21. It is Illegal to Pick Irises in Croatia

The Iris is the official flower of Croatia and is a nationally protected flower. They grow in many places throughout Croatia and Croatians call them ‘perunika’.

22. Croatia is a Great Place to Retire

Croatia is one of the best destinations to retire due to its Mediterranean climate, charming culture, low cost of living, and retiree tax breaks. Croatia is also one of the safest countries in the world, ranking 15th on the Global Peace Index.


Christina loves to travel and recently moved from America to Austria to experience everything Europe has to offer. Her passion for travel is rivaled only by her love of writing. Armed with her English degree, she funds her travels writing for several websites including MyCountryFacts!

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