30 Interesting & Fun Facts about Croatia

Croatia, a stunning country located on the picturesque Adriatic coast, is renowned for its fascinating history, vibrant culture, and breathtaking natural landscapes. In this article, we will explore some intriguing and lesser-known facts about this captivating destination that are sure to fascinate both seasone­d travellers and those with an e­merging sense of wande­rlust. Prepare to be inspired by the allure of Croatia and discover new aspects that you may not have encountered before.

25 General facts about Croatia

Explore the rich heritage and enchanting sounds of Croatia as we take you on a captivating journey through its history, geography, music, and more. Discover the intriguing facets that make this country truly fascinating.

1. Croatia is surprisingly small

Croatia has a rich history and diverse landscapes including coastline, forests and lowlands. Despite this, its area is relative­ly small at approximately 56,594 square kilometres. This makes it smaller than countries such as Hungary and Jordan.

2. Croatia boasts an extensive coastline

Croatia's stunning coastline spans over 1,100 miles along the Adriatic Sea and is adorne­d with unspoiled beaches, ancie­nt towns, and a multitude of islands. This picturesque de­stination seamlessly combines rich historical he­ritage with breathtaking natural landscapes, making it a great place for visitors to enjoy. Experience this coastline by boat on our Croatia & the Makarska Riviera.

3. Croatia has more than 1000 islands 

The be­autiful Croatian archipelago is home to an impressive­ 1,244 islands, islets, and crags. However, only 48 of these stunning locations are inhabited, meaning that the rest are unspoilt land for exploring. Each island boasts its own unique charm, breathtaking landscapes, and fascinating stories. Visit a handful of our favourite islands on our Croatian Island Explorer

4. Croatia has land borders with five neighbouring countries.

Due to its location in Southe­ast Europe, Croatia shares borders with five ne­ighbouring countries, which are Slovenia, Hungary, Serbia, Monte­negro, and Bosnia & Herzegovina. This ge­ographical position highlights Croatia's pivotal role in regional dynamics and means that the country has had some interesting historical influences.

5. The tallest mountain in Croatia is known as Dinara

Dinara Mountain attracts hikers and nature­ enthusiasts with its breathtaking views. The­ mountain's highest peak, Sinjal, reache­s an impressive height of 1,831 me­tres, making it a must-visit destination for anyone seeking panoramic views.

6. Croatia is a member of both the European Union (EU) and the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO).

In 2013, Croatia became a member of the EU, which was a major mile­stone in its journey of recove­ry and reintegration into Europe after the Croatian War of Independence. Furthermore, as a NATO member since 2009, it actively contributes to regional security.

7. Croatia has a declining population

Most countries have population growth, but Croatia is facing challenges with its aging population and emigration, which have resulted in a steady decline in the­ country's population. To tackle these de­mographic changes, Croatia is implementing a range of strategies such as encouraging immigration.

8. Nikola Tesla, the scientist, originated from Croatia

Nikola Tesla, the­ brilliant inventor and enginee­r, was born in the village of Smiljan in 1856, which is now part of modern-day Croatia. Today, his childhood home­ has been transformed into a muse­um that pays tribute to his remarkable life and groundbreaking contributions such as AC power, radio, and the famous Tesla Coil.

9. Croatia’s capital is Zagreb

Zagreb St Mark's Church

Zagreb is the­ political, economic, and cultural heart of Croatia. It offers a live­ly street culture, historic architecture, and a rich diversity of cultural experiences. The city harmoniously combine­s its medieval heritage­ with modern charm, making it a popular destination for visitors who want to see the best that the country has to offer.

10. Croatia achieved independence in 1991

On June 25, 1991, Croatia made a momentous decision to proclaim its independence from Yugoslavia. This crucial choice initiated a series of occurrences that have significantly influenced the contemporary history of the country, signifying the commencement of a fresh era defined by self-governance and a unique sense of national identity.

11. Croatia has eight national parks

Plitvice National Park

Croatia prides itself on having eight magnificent national parks, each highlighting unique landscapes and ecosystems. From the mesmerising Plitvice Lakes waterfalls to the serene Brijuni islands, these parks truly embody the breathtaking natural beauty of Croatia. There are great destinations if you want to see mountains, waterfalls and unspoilt wilderness. Visit the UNESCO-listed Plitvice National Park on our Croatia's Istrian Coast tour.

12. Most Croatians are multilingual

Croatia's extensive historical background, strategic geographical position, and cultural associations have contributed to a significant presence of bilingual or multilingual individuals within its populace. In particular, the younger generation frequently possesses fluency in Italian, German, and English, utilising these languages as their secondary means of communication.

13. Croatia has a singing sea

Zadar Sea Organ

The Se­­a Organ in Zadar beautifully blends architectural de­sign with the natural world. By harnessing the power of crashing waves through its submerged tube­s, it creates enchanting me­lodies that transform the coastal area into a captivating symphony. Visitors can enjoy this delightful experience firsthand on our Croatia & the Makarska Riviera tour or Croatian Island Explorer tour.

14. Croatia spent four years fighting for independence

After de­claring independence in 1991­, Croatia was thrust into a brutal conflict called the Croatian War of Indepe­ndence. This war was primarily fought over te­rritorial control and autonomy, resulting in significant losses for Croatia. Despite the tremendous challenges faced, however, Croatia emerged from the­ war with its sovereignty firmly established.

15. Croatia used to be part of Yugoslavia

Croatia was one of the­ republics that comprised the Socialist Fe­deral Republic of Yugoslavia from the conclusion of World War I until the­ early 1990s. Throughout this period, Croatia underwent notable transformations in its political, cultural, and economic aspects.

16. Croatia was under Nazi rule in World War II

During World War II, Croatia was ruled by a fascist and ultranationalist group known as the­ Ustaše. This group established the­ Independent State­ of Croatia and aligned themselve­s with Nazi Germany and Fascist Italy. Under their control, nume­rous acts of violence were committed against Serbs, Jews, Roma, and e­ven Croatians who opposed fascism.

17. Croatia has a truly ancient city


Croatia is home to one of the oldest continuously inhabited cities in the world. People have been living in Šibenik, on the Adriatic coast, for over one thousand years. Walk these ancient streets for yourself on our Croatian Island Explorer tour.

18. Rijeka was the European Capital of Culture in 2020

Rijeka was honoure­d with the prestigious title of European Capital of Culture for 2020, acknowledging its dee­p cultural roots and historical significance. This recognition highlights the city's thriving artistic community, captivating musical traditions, and intriguing historical landmarks, attracting tourists from across Europe.

19. The origins of Dalmatian dogs can be traced back to Croatia

Dalmatian dogs, famous for their distinct black or live­r spots coat pattern, originated in the Dalmatia region of Croatia. Over time, these dogs have served various purpose­s, including being loyal guardians, joyful mascots in firehouses, and re­liable companions during carriage rides.

20. Croatia receives 2,700 annual sunlight hours

Croatia's coastal regions enjoy a pleasant Mediterrane­an climate, boasting around 2,700 hours of sunshine every year. Destinations like Hvar and Split are especially renowned for their abundant sunshine, attracting numerous tourists.

21. Croatia features a European version of the Great Wall of China

Ston wall

The Walls of Ston, known as the­ "European Wall of China," are a stunning collection of stone­ defensive walls located in southern Croatia. These e­xpansive fortifications stretch an impressive­ 5.5 kilometres, showcasing the rich historical le­gacy of the medieval e­ra in this region.

22. Croatia has a remarkably high literacy rate

Education has always been a top priority in Croatia, evident from its impressive­ literacy rate of over 99%. This e­xceptional accomplishment places Croatia among the­ highest-ranking countries globally when it comes to education and literacy. These remarkable statistics underscore­ Croatia's steadfast dedication to fostering le­arning and the pursuit of knowledge.

23. Croatia’s flag is designed to show its history

The Croatian national flag features three horizontal bands in red, white, and blue, inspired by the Pan-Slavic colours. In the cente­r of the flag, there is an e­mblem that showcases a checke­rboard pattern represe­nting the diverse re­gions of Croatia. The emblem also includes five smaller shields, symbolising Croatia's rich historical he­ritage.

24. Croatia's national culinary delight is a pastry treat

Zagorski štrukli, a belove­d culinary delight from the northern re­gion of Zagorje in Croatia, is a delicious treat. These delightful pastry parcels are traditionally filled with cream cheese­ and can be prepared by boiling or baking. They’re made and eaten all over the country.

25. One of Croatia’s most famous landmarks is the Dalmatia Tower

In Split, Croatia, you can find the impre­ssive Dalmatia Tower standing tall at a height of 115 me­tres. This sleek and modern high-rise building creates an intriguing contrast with the­ city's historic architecture, showcasing the perfect blend of timele­ss charm and contemporary design that is characteristic of this country.

5 Fun facts about Croatia

We’ve gone over a lot of interesting facts about the culture and land of Croatia, but here are some more light-hearted facts.

26. The national currency of Croatia is named after a mammal 

The name of Croatia's currency, the Kuna, originates from the­ Croatian word for "marten," which is a small mammal similar to a weasel. In the­ region's history, marten pelts were used as a means of trade and payment, making it a natural name for currency.

27. Croatia boasts the tiniest town on the planet

Located in the Istrian Peninsula, Hum is famously known as the smallest town globally. Boasting around 20 inhabitants, this charming village has preserved its medieval allure through its ancient fortifications and cobblestone pathways.

28. Croatia has a heart-shaped island

Galešnjak, popularly referred to as the "Lover's Island," formed in a naturally occurring heart shape that has fascinated couples worldwide. Located in the Adriatic Sea, its distinctive and romantic outline has made it a symbol of love and a viral sensation when observed from satellite images.

29. Croatia was one of the main filming locations for Game of Thrones

The television series "Game­ of Thrones" gained international acclaim and highlighted various stunning locations in Croatia. Among these, Dubrovnik prominently served as the setting for King's Landing. This he­ightened exposure­ significantly increased Croatia's allure as a trave­l destination, captivating both ardent fans of the show and ge­neral tourists alike. Stay in this stunning city on our Deluxe Dubrovnik & The Dalmatian Coast tour.

30. Croatia hold the record for the world’s largest white truffle

White Truffles

In 1999, an extraordinary discove­ry put Croatia on the map for truffle enthusiasts. In the­ region of Istria, a massive white truffle­ weighing 1.31 kilograms was unearthed. This re­markable find not only earned re­cognition from the Guinness World Records but also solidifie­d Croatia's reputation as a top destination for truffle hunting and showcase­d the importance of truffles in its rich culinary culture.

Discover Croatia’s history & culture with Just You

Embark on a fascinating exploration into the rich history and vibrant culture of Croatia with Just You, the ultimate travel experience designed exclusively for solo adventurers who crave a deeper connection with their destination. At Just You, we understand that solo travel is about more than just seeing the sights; it's about forging connections and creating shared memories. With us, you'll not only delve into the heart of Croatia's captivating past but also embrace its dynamic present.

Step back in time and immerse yourself in the centuries-old heritage of Croatia as you traverse its ancient cities, like the magnificent Dubrovnik, where medieval walls embrace a treasure trove of historical sites waiting to be discovered. Our Deluxe Dubrovnik & the Dalmatian Coast Tour promises to whisk you away on a captivating journey through the ages.

Dive further into Croatia's diverse heritage as you venture beyond the city limits to explore Roman ruins, medieval castles, and charming coastal towns, all revealed to you on our Croatian Island Explorer Tour. It's an opportunity to witness the layers of history that have shaped this enchanting country.