25 Intriguing Facts About Croatia You Probably Didn’t Know

Posted by , Updated on November 16, 2022

Thanks to its beautiful Adriatic coast, stunning national parks and sunny climate, Croatia has become a popular tourist destination. However, a vast majority of more than 11 million visitors who come to visit Croatia every year are from other European countries (particularly from Germany, Czech Republic and Italy), which is why Croatia remains relatively unknown for people from other parts of the world. Yet, as you will find out in this post, this little Slavic country should definitely be on every world traveler´s bucket list. To learn more about Croatia, its history, nature, culture and people, check out these 25 intriguing facts about Croatia you probably didn’t know.


Occupying a total area of just about 57,000 sq km (22,000 sq mi), Croatia is a small country but it has over 1200 islands and islets, 48 of which are permanently inhabited.

CroatiaSource: Central Intelligence Agency via Wikipedia

Nikola Tesla, the famous Serbian-American inventor, was born in the Croatian town of Smiljan. In 1856, the area was a part of the Austrian Empire.

Nikola TeslaSource: biography.com

Located in Northwestern Croatia, Hum is officially listed as the world´s smallest town. It has a population of about 20 people.

HumSource: adriariva.com

Dalmatia, one of the four historical regions of Croatia, is the home of the Dalmatian – a popular dog breed noted for its unique black and white coloration.

DalmatianSource: slavorum.org

Croatian money is named after a little mammal. Their currency is called “kuna” which means “marten”. The origin of the name dates back to times when trappers traded marten´s furs so widely that the animal became synonymous with the money itself.

martenSource: snarkynomad.com

Located in Central Croatia, the Plitvice Lakes National Park is widely regarded as one of the most beautiful national parks in Europe. It is famous for unique rock formations, turquoise lakes, caves and breathtaking waterfalls.

Plitvice Lakes National ParkSource: whc.unesco.com

Once home to bloody Roman gladiator fights, the amphitheater in Pula, Northwestern Croatia, is one of just three preserved ancient amphitheaters in the world.

amphitheatre in PulaSource: chasingthedonkey.com

The island of Hvar off the Dalmatian Coast is the island with the most hours of sunshine in Europe – it basks in more than 2,800 hours of sunshine a year.

Hvar Source: croatiaweek.com

Croatia is mainly known as a seaside destination but it also has beautiful mountains and excellent hiking trails. With a height of 1,831 m (6,007 ft), Dinara is the highest peak in the country.

Dinara Source: hps.hr

The world’s first torpedo was constructed in Rijeka, the third largest city of Croatia. Ivan Luppis (also known as Ivan Vukic) developed the first prototypes of self-propelled torpedo in 1866.

first torpedoSource: croatiaweek.com

An enchanting historical city located in Southern Dalmatia, Dubrovnik was the main filming location in Croatia for King’s Landing, a fictional city in Game of Thrones, the famous television series.

DubrovnikSource: kingslandingdubrovnik.com

The Croats invented the necktie. Croatian soldiers had begun tying identifying scarves around their necks by the early 1600s and other nations soon adopted this practice.

necktieSource: likecroatia.com

The Master of Horror, Alfred Hitchcock once said that the seaside town of Zadar in Dalmatia has the most beautiful sunsets in the world.

 sunsetSource: slavorum.org

Croatia is home to the world´s largest truffle. In 1999, the record-breaking truffle was found in Istria, Northern Croatia. The truffle weighed in staggering 1.31kg (2.9 lb).

truffleSource: lonelyplanet.com

Croatia boasts one of the most renowned and spectacular beaches in the world. The Zlatni Rat (translated as the Golden Cape) is a spit of land located off the harbor town of Bol on the southern coast of the Brac Island.

Zlatni RatSource: CN Traveler via Wikipedia

Croatian coins are named after the lime tree. One Kuna is divided into 100 Lipas, which is the Croatian name for the lime tree.

Croatian coinsSource: e-allmoney.com

The Croats are great at sports. At the 2016 Summer Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro, Croatia won the biggest haul of gold medals in Europe per capita.

Croatian athleteSource: croatiaweek.com

The Island of Brac has one of the weirdest tourist attractions in the world – a house inside another house. In the 19th century, three brothers decided to build a big house around a smaller house that belonged to a peasant who did not want to sell it to the brothers.

Brac IslandSource: bestofbrac.com (Not actual house)

A famous adventurer, merchant and renowned world traveler Marco Polo (1254 – 1324) is believed to come from the Korcula Island in Southern Croatia.

Marco PoloSource: www.henleyglobal.com

White stone mined from the island of Brac was used to build the palace of the Roman emperor Diocletian in Split, Croatia and the limestone columns of the White House in Washington, D.C.

White HouseSource: http://croatiafacts.facts.co

In 2011, Forbes magazine ranked Croatia in the top 12 world best retirement havens.

old manSource: thefactfile.org

The Croats love to make and drink wine. There are more than 300 geographically defined wine producing areas in this country.

wineyardSource: chasingthedonkey.com

Croatia values its beautiful nature. Almost 10% of the country consists of national parks, nature reserves and protected areas.

Croatia Source: Biodiversity of Croatia via Wikipedia

Croatia has extensive cultural and natural heritage. There are seven UNESCO World Heritage Sites in the country and the Croats also hold ten of UNESCO's World's intangible culture masterpieces – the highest number in Europe (they shared the top spot with the Spaniards).

Sibenik CathedralSource: unesco.org, via Wikipedia

Croatia is a hot-spot for celebrities to invest their money in property. Superstars including Steven Spielberg, Andre Agassi, Gwyneth Paltrow, Beyonce, Jay Z, Clint Eastwood, Bill Gates, Roman Abramovic, Bernie Ecclestone and others have all purchased properties for residential and business here.

CroatiaSource: thefactfile.org

Image Credits: 1. S J Pinkney via Flickr CC BY 2.0, 2. Jerzy Strzelecki via hr.wikipedia.org CC BY-SA 3.0, 3-4. Public Domain, 5. Marg via commons.wikimedia.org CC BY 2.0, 6. AgnosticPreachersKid via commons.wikimedia.org CC BY-SA 3.0 , 7. Public Domain: This work is in the public domain in its country of origin and other countries and areas where the copyright term is the author’s life plus 70 years or less, 8. Photo by Adam Jones adamjones.freeservers.com via commons.wikimedia.org CC BY-SA 3.0 , 9. Grzegorz Jereczek from Gdańsk, Poland via commons.wikimedia.org CC BY-SA 2.0, 10. Public Domain, 11. Szabolcs Emich via en.m.wikipedia.org CC BY 2.0, 12. Public Domain, 13. PJL via commons.wikimedia.org CC BY-SA 3.0, 14. One_For_the_Suits.jpg: Michael Cooper derivative work: Themightyquill (talk) via commons.wikimedia.org CC BY 2.0, 15. Bjoertvedt via cs.wikipedia.org CC BY-SA 3.0, 16. Photographer unknown provided to Wikimedia Commons by the German Federal Archive via commons.wikimedia.org CC BY-SA 3.0 DE, 17. Krešimir Bikić via commons.wikimedia.org CC BY-SA 3.0, 18. Andres rus via commons.wikimedia.org CC BY-SA 3.0, 19. Carole Raddato via Flickr CC BY-SA 2.0, 20. Pablo BM from London, England via commons.wikimedia.org CC BY 2.0, 21. SurreyJohn via commons.wikimedia.org CC BY 2.0, 22. Bree via commons.wikimedia.org CC BY-SA 2.0, 23. AnaJur via commons.wikimedia.org CC BY-SA 3.0, 24. Public Domain: This work is in the public domain in its country of origin and other countries and areas where the copyright term is the author’s life plus 100 years or less., 25. Public Domain.

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