Croatia with kids
Here are a few pieces of advice that will help you to spend the best holidays in Croatia with your kids.
Too many visits
I understand that many people wish to visit as much as possible during their vacation in Croatia. I really advise you not to do so if you spend your holidays with kids.
Let’s be real, children are only interested to spend hours on the beach and play in the clear warm sea. The best deal would be then to spend one week at the same place where they can enjoy the beach, and from there take some one-day excursions to visit the region.
Discover some exemples of day-trips and excursions to do during your vacation.
Avoid to take the bus with small chilfren. First of all because it is not cheaper than to rent a car if you are at least 3 persons. And because in July and August they are so crowded that it will be difficult to get tickets for a whole family. Let’s add to that heat waves, waiting time, suitcases and urgent need to go to the toilets…. you will not regret to have rented a car.
A car will offer you much more comfort and you will have the freedom to stop at any time to any village, beach or restaurant. Kids will be happy, so will you. 🙂
Cick here to rent a car in Croatia.
There are so many beautiful towns to discover in Croatia. On the coast you will mainly discover the architecture inherited from the Venetian era. Do not miss to visit Rovinj, Pula, Zadar, Split and Dubrovnik.
If your children are not interested to visit museums and churches, you can just enjoy your time strolling around in the towns and villages and admire their small streets and monuments made of stone.
Among the 8 national parks in Croatia, the most suitable for families with children are Brijuni, Kornati, Krka, Plitvice and Mljet.
Brijuni National Park is an animal park situated on an island. You will discover with your children many wild animals. The entrance ticket includes a safari tour on a small train to discover the island and the animals, they will for sure love it.
Kornati National Park is an archipelago of 150 islands. It’s a good opportunity if you wish to spend the day on a boat. Tourist agencies from Zadar to Šibenik propose this excursion, book your tour once there. Apart from sailing the islands, the excursion includes a break for swimming and for lunch.
Krka National Park is a park with many waterfalls. It is a great place to spend half a day and it is suitable for small children. During your visit at the park small paths will take you along rivers and waterfalls. You will have the possibility to take a swim at the largest waterfall and visit as well a water mill.
Plitvice National Park is a beautiful park with 16 lakes and waterfalls. The lakes are crossed by wooden pontoons. It is so crowded during summer that I advise you to always hold the hand of small children. You should know as well that it is not easy to get around with a stroller. On the other hand you can take a train that drives along the lakes, and a boat to cross the biggest lake, children will for sure love that!
Mljet National Park is famous for its two salt lakes. You can have a walk around the lakes and enjoy the shade of the trees. Do not miss to visit the monastery situated on an islet in the middle of a lake. Boats do the crossing all day long.
Paklenica National Park is recommended for lovers of climbing.
Diapers, milk, etc.
You will find everything you need for babies and little ones in any supermarket in Croatia, whether you are on the mainland or on the islands.
There are also in Croatia specialty stores like DM, Bipa and Kozmo where you will find more international brands.
Change a baby
Only recent shopping centers are equipped with a changing table in the toilets.
The rest of the time you will have to show some skills to change your baby, as it is very rare to find a changing table in restaurants wherever you are in Croatia.
Ice-creams and pizzas
Let’s talk about food! 🙂
You will find a wide choice of pasta and risottos in all the restaurants in Croatia.
Otherwise your children will for sure love Čevapi which are small pieces of grilled meat, served with french fries and Ajvar (type of relish made from bell peppers and tomatoes). They should as well try the Pljeskavica sa sirom which is minced meat stuffed with cheese and grilled.
You will as well find many pizzerias all over the country. The price of a pizza in Croatia is about 6-7 euros.
Children will also be delighted by the wide choice of ice-scream. They are really good and not expensive. The price of an ice-cream in Croatia is about 7 kn (a little less than one euro). They can as well be served in a small pot with a plastic spoon that is for sure easier for small kids.
Tap water is drinkable everywhere in Croatia, do not hesitate to drink it.
You should find at least one outdoor playground with swings, slides, etc. in the villages. And in bigger towns like Zagreb, Split or Zadar you should find one outdoor playground per district.
Kids indoor playground
Every shopping center in bigger cities has an indoor playground for children up to 12 years old. The first hour is free. That could be a good idea on a rainy day.
Places you must visit
If you are visiting Istria during your vacation in Croatia, do not miss to spend the day at the Istralandia Water Park, opened in 2014. It is an open-air water park with many pools and slides, perfect for cooling off during hot summer days.
Visit Zadar, kids will be delighted by the sea organ, this is a unique experience that will for sure please the parents as well.
The organ is situated in the old town, it is built into the stone and is operated by the coming and going of the waves. The sea organ produces music throughout the year, day and night.
Right next to the sea organ you will see the greeting to the sun. It is made of small solar panels put together to create a sun of 22 meters diameter which capture the energy during the day, and restores it at night in a random play of light, and offers a different show each evening.
In Split take the children to discover the underwater world on the red semi-submarine of Kristijan. It is moored to the Riva, just in front of the cafés terraces. Departure every hour, the tour lasts 45 mn during the day, and 30 mn during the night.
There is a small train that runs from the National Theater and goes to Bene Center at Marjan Hill. You will find there a children’s playground, a restaurant and a bar. It is situated in front of the sea so you can as well take a swim. You can enjoy different sports such as tennis, badminton or soccer. Marjan Hill is surrounded by a road that runs along the sea, a part of the road is closed to cars, so you can safely walk with children (pay attention to the bikes).
In Split you can also take them to visit the largest marine aquarium in Croatia.
In Dubrovnik children will be delighted by the visit of the city walls. On the other hand, you should know that once up there there is no shadow. So it is wise to plan the visit early in the morning or in the evening when the sun goes down, and do not forget hats, sunglasses and bottles of water.
Just a stone’s throw from the old town take the cable car which will take you up to Mount Srđ from where you will have an incredible view on the old town and the islands. It’s a must see!
In Zagreb you will find many parks where you can relax under the shade of the trees. You can visit the Zrinjevac park, which is just a stone’s throw away from the main square Trg Jelačić.
A warm clear sea and small fishes
Because that’s all they really wants from their holidays in Croatia (and what they will talk about until next summer…) to spend hours in the sea trying in vain to catch small fishes. For this purpose, you will need a mask and a snorkel that you can buy in any village once in Croatia.
Since Croatian beaches are mainly covered with pebbles, you will also need plastic shoes. You can buy them once in Croatia, from one of the many beachside merchants who will provide you everything you need to enjoy your day at the beach.
Be aware of sea urchins. By chance the sea is very clear so you will see them without any problem, but for your safety it is better to wear plastic shoes all the time.