Need to know what to pack for Croatia? After living in Croatia for the past decade, I can help you.
Have you started your Croatia packing list yet? If not, this is the only list you will ever need to ensure that you are stylish without overpacking for Croatia.
You’re reading this, which means only one thing – you booked a vacation to Croatia. Well, congrats! You won’t be disappointed. And, hey, if you’re still deciding, maybe these destinations will sway you.
If you want to fit in with the local women, think seaside glamor and effortless chic when deciding on your packing list for Croatia.
While on vacation in Croatia, you’ll notice that, unlike other European cities where stylish local women rarely stray from a subdued navy/gray/black/white palate, Croatian women are not afraid to wear brighter colors, which look fabulous against a Mediterranean tan.
Never sloppy, Croatian women have many pairs of shorts and shirt combinations and opt for more streamlined and form-fitting silhouettes.
Considering your summer vacation may take you from a lazy day on the beach to a night out in the city to a mountain hike, it can be tricky to know what to wear in Croatia. Try to find outfits that can work for multiple occasions.
The key is picking simple pieces that allow you to dress down for the day and dress up for the evening. Consider getting a packing cube to keep all your outfits organized and your bag neat for the journey.
Skip Ahead To My Advice Here!
General Rules To Consider While Making Your Croatia Packing List
- Contrary to popular belief, wearing casual clothes during the daytime is acceptable. So many people ask me about how dressed up you need to be. You don’t.
- It deserves a mention that after dark, people will wear something much nicer than a cover-up to eat out, but nothing formal—so there is no need to pack anything too over the top.
- Ignore any stupid packing list advice to bring picnic baskets, sewing kits, insect repellent, or coffee. You can either get it here, or you won’t need it.
- Think about the weather. Croatia has three different climates, and as you drive over the Velebit mountain from the Adriatic coastal cities, the temps drop significantly in cooler months – and you have no sea breeze in the winter. Generally, the northern parts of Croatia are cold; some have snowy winters and moderately warm summers. More southerly portions of the country along the Adriatic coast have a Mediterranean climate with hot summers, cool winters, and otherwise pleasant temperatures year-round. There are so many variances within that, so do find out before you know what to pack. Also, remember that we have four seasons – real seasons, not just two like Australia.
- Layers for cooler nights. The breeze off the ocean can cause seaside cities’ temperatures to drop significantly later in the day, so it’s always a good idea to bring a sweater or two.
Rules To Consider While Making A Croatia Packing List For The Summer Season
Keep these things in mind while making your Croatia Summer packing list:
- A Croatia Summer trip is hot, hot, hot. Peak season months, June through August, can be overwhelmingly hot, especially for visitors from colder climates. Choose light fabrics – they are your friend.
- Even though the average temperature in summer ranges between the mid-70s Fahrenheit (25 degrees Celsius) and high-80s Fahrenheit (35+ Celsius), there can still be rainy days. That’s just a fact. Trust me, living in Croatia for the last ten years has taught me continually to expect some rain during summer.
- I love this Dermalogica Protection SPF50 Sunscreen and this kid’s block out. Because it is so damn hot, you’ll need quality sunscreen like this. LOADS. Add it to your Croatia packing list, like the stuff we have here in Croatia is not as friendly as elsewhere and is costly. Leave it behind if you do not use it all on your vacation. Your room cleaner will be delighted.
Rules To Consider While Making Your Croatia Packing List For Spring & Fall
Keep these things in mind while making your Croatia Spring packing list:
- Depending on where you are, these months are cold in the evenings and can also be cold during the day
- There will be rain in spring and fall, particularly in April and May. It’s always a good idea to wear layers and bring a sweater. A stylish choice like one from PattyBoutik is a good option
- You can leave your strappy shoes at home and wear closed-in shoes. It’s not hot enough
- Find clothes that are practical – and beautiful
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Rules To Consider While Making A Croatia Packing List For Winter
Winter jackets or coats are a must. Some places inland, such as the areas around Gorski Kotar and Lika, receive plenty of snow during the colder months.
- You will need heavier winter wear. A light jacket or thick sweater and scarf should suffice in more southern parts of the country near the Adriatic coast
- By mid-October, we usually get the fire ready on the coast. You’ll need a coat unless you are from a chilly climate. I get cold. I see tourists wearing t-shirts, and I shudder
- You must pack an oversized jacket and warm clothing in November, December, and January. As soon as the sun sets, it gets icy
- Pack a beanie, gloves, and scarf if you are in Zagreb or inland because it may snow. Women in Zagreb (capital of Croatia) are uber-stylish, so be sure your Croatia packing list has a pair of gloves like these Fratelli Orsini Cashmere Gloves to look sleek and stay warm
Here are some of our suggestions for what to pack for your summer vacation in Croatia:
Croatia Packing List: What To Pack For Beach Days & Nights
While you can quickly pack on the lighter side for your holidays in Croatia, here are some items I recommend you pack:
You can’t go wrong with a maxi dress like this or this one for evening meals on the beach and a simple double LBD, a perfect day dress if worn with simple flat sandals. Just wear a beautiful silk scarf or bold jewelry to transition into the night. I don’t recommend bringing valuable jewelry or lots of different pieces. Just pick out a couple of statement pieces. Throw on fun earrings, and you are glammed up for a night on the town.
A Denim Jacket For Cool Nights
A little chill in the air while on vacation in Croatia? While you can bring a cardigan or wrap to add a slight edge to your look, add a Levi’s Women’s Authentic Trucker Jacket to your packing list like mine. This works excellent with tank dresses or casual shorts.
Travel pants should be lightweight for comfort and ease of packing.
Your traveling pants should fit well and be suited to the type of travel you will be doing. And it’s hot in Croatia, so consider pants that convert to shorts quickly and easily. Travel pants come in many styles for all budgets. Take the time to shop for a pair or two before your next Croatia trip.
Leave the khaki cargo shorts at home. Why not add a stylish scalloped edge short to your packing list for Croatia (well, anywhere, really)? Pack loads of plain tees, as they are easy to wear for daytime strolls and can be glammed up with shoes and jewelry later in the day.
Basics like a light camisole are ideal for warm days. I take simple, inexpensive camisoles in multiples, but I always like to have at least one stylish one working on the beach or at a trendy restaurant.
I’m crushin’ on two-piece outfits this season. Too bad I am a fat cow right now. If you get a basic two-piece outfit – a matching twin set or two-piece dress – they can all work mix-n-match style, even to the beach.
A Lightweight, Crossbody Bag
Why exactly do you need a crossbody bag when you venture off somewhere? Why won’t any old bag do? Well, it comes down to a few different things: firstly, fashion; secondly, functionality; and thirdly, security.
These are all pretty important things when you’re on the go, and for those reasons, you need a bag you can trust that will stand up to the rigors of travel, both the actual getting from A to B part of the deal and also when you’re out sightseeing.
When traveling and exploring villages, I like to be hands-free and not worry about my handbag. Since I will be lugging it around all day, I want to get the lightest bag possible.
Unfortunately, most nylon “travel” bags are hideously ugly. Add a bag like this Tory Burch Messenger Crossbody Bag to your packing list for Croatia. The bag is trimmed with leather to make it feel more substantial, but the body is all nylon to keep it light (and easy to clean).
Another great crossbody bag is this COACH pebbled mini bag. Not too small, and not too big. Or, the one from the Kate Spade Collection.
Sunglasses & Sun Protection
Sun protection is a must. Hats, sunglasses, and sunscreen with a high SPF are highly recommended ways to avoid sunburn.
Good quality sunglasses are a must. You can never have too many pairs of sunglasses. My current faves are these Ray-Bans by Erika Round.
Because you can never have too many pairs of sunglasses, I also love these Marc Jacobs transparent-frame sunglasses, which are a lighter alternative to black or tortoise.
If you don’t want to spend a fortune on sunnies, look at the Suncloud Poptown Polarized collection. They are safe and affordable, so you won’t be gutted if you lose them.
Look Chic At The Beach
Croatia has plenty of good swimming spots; it would be a shame to miss out on the experience. If you have the confidence to rock it, you can’t go wrong with a classic striped string bikini. It will always be in style and is surprisingly flattering to most body types. (All the adjustable strings mean you’ll get a perfect fit.)
They Are Ugly, But They Are Needed. Beach Shoes!!
Croatia has a rocky coastline, and most of the beaches are pebbled. This can subsequently be hard on the feet. Also, sea urchins are known to make their home in these waters. Stepping on them barefoot can be a painful experience that may necessitate the need for medical attention. Therefore, travelers should bring and wear rubber-soled swim shoes.
With razor-sharp rocks and little sea creatures ready to pounce, you’ll avoid your next trip to the ER with a cheap pair of these beach shoes. Thanks to the rubber soles like these, you can wear them to the beach and while swimming. Just be sure to throw them in your bag when you head out at night.
You can buy beach shoes in Croatia at market stalls, but they are, um… hideous. Like hideously ugly.
It happens in Croatia – have I said that enough? Bring a jacket with you. So please add to your packing list a cardigan and/or light jacket and maybe something comfy to laze about inside and watch the rainfall. I suggest leggings. They are light to pack and can double as a neck pillow for long bus rides.
Pack a light, waterproof jacket if the rain kicks up and you don’t want to be forced to look out the window instead of being out and about.
What Shoes To Wear In Croatia
Knowing what to pack in the shoe department is challenging. Think of comfortable but stylish shoes, such as a beautiful pair of sandals. They take up so much room. Ladies should avoid high heels because attempting to navigate the cobblestoned streets in them could result in serious injuries.
Travelers should also be sure to bring along comfortable footwear suitable for walking long distances. Even if one doesn’t plan to do any hiking, you will still cover a significant amount of ground by merely roaming from place to place. After all, there is no sense in returning to the hotel room at night with sore feet.
What Shoes To Pack For Croatia
The gladiator sandal is always popular. That shoe trend never seems to go out of fashion. And, a bonus is they are comfortable on your feet. Those cobblestone streets will give you hell if you try to wear shoes with big heels. Wear these gladiator-inspired sandals to the beach or out at night, with a few colors to choose from. If you spend much time on cobblestones this summer, your feet will say thanks.
Espadrilles. With no end in sight to this fashion trend, it’s a safe bet to get one or three pairs in various colors to coordinate your wardrobe.
Fancy flip-flops. Leave your regular flip-flops at the hotel and opt for a slice- or slip-on like these. They don’t weigh much and look cute.
Block heels. Okay, fine; do you want a slight heel? Then don’t go for anything higher than this. Trust me.
Total comfort. Find a tennis shoe that has a mix of stylish and comfort.
Oh, how lucky for boys! So many fewer options and worries. Wear loafers or sneakers, whatever is comfortable.
Croatia Packing List: Croatia With Kids
Packing for a family trip can be daunting, and knowing what to bring on vacation is even more scary when you have a toddler in tow. They always seem to need something you forgot to pack. We live right by the beach and often go with our son, so we’ve listed the top 17 travel checklist items you need for a fun day at the beach with your little one.
The one thing I would say is that you should bring with you a beach tent. It’s so hot here in Croatia that they are almost impossible to find during summer. The other essential item is wipes. With snacks, sand, sunscreen, and maybe even ice cream, you’ll need a lot of these. Luckily, they can be purchased all over Croatia, so don’t forget to pack them if your little one needs to use only one brand.
Croatia Packing List: Adriatic Sailing Trip
We have this full post dedicated to what to pack to go sailing. We’ve done it many times now and know what you need. Three essentials to pack are:
- Soft-soled shoes. No need to buy fancy boat shoes, although there are so many super cool ones in stores like these Keds! You will need shoes with a rubber sole to avoid making scuff marks (which can be deducted from your rental deposit) and ensure you don’t slip and fall on deck. Breaking a leg is one sure way to ruin your vacation on the azure seas.
- Soft bag. If possible, pack your cute bikinis and tanning lotions in a soft bag; they always stow much easier than big, bulky, hard suitcases that take up far too much room. I like this Herschel Supply Co. bag, which comes in many colors and is made with polyester, so it’s easy to clean and won’t be easily damaged by saltwater. Duffle bags like these are an excellent option as they are big but can be stored under your bed.
- Motion sickness medication. If you tend to get seasick, these products must be a must for any ferry rides you undertake during the trip.
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Croatia Packing List: Active Holidays
It’s not all beaches here in Croatia; there are also brilliant bike and hiking routes. We also have eight spectacular national parks, with two sets of giant waterfalls to see (Krka National Park and Plitvice). Whatever your preference, pack a few items, such as comfortable walking shoes and a lightweight fleece, to enable you to explore more comfortably.
- Hiking boots with a good sole
- A range of activewear
- Comfortable walking shoes
- Good socks. Lots of socks
- Lightweight fleece
- Wind protection. Often forgotten on a packing list, but you may get caught in some wind, so pack at least one pullover.
- Pashmina is also a superb idea if things get chilly. I used mine as a blanket on the bus and plane.
So, I always use my roaming mobile internet and end up with substantial phone bills, or I try to connect to free WiFi when I travel, which, as you know, is not always easy to find. Therefore, if you can’t live without WiFi on vacation like me, consider getting a WiFi Network Adapter to help boost any WiFi signal.
Don’t Forget To Pack The Essentials
I am not about to tell you to pack undies, bras, or toothpaste, but because toiletries are one area where you can save a lot of room, I suggest you purchase an inexpensive hanging toiletry bag and pack in just the basics – in travel size.
Don’t get carried away. While making your packing list for Croatia, remember these bonuses for packing light.
- You’ll save money on expensive excess airline baggage charges
- You’ll save time packing and unpacking at each stop
- There will be less luggage to carry up and down stairs and across cobblestone walkways
Packing The Not-So-Essential
If you have room, you may want to think about some of these:
- Beach chairs or towels. The rocky beaches and wooden docks along the coast don’t often have lounge chairs. So, if you desire a cushiony place to sit and are coming by car from nearby locations, make room in your vehicle for beach chairs. If you have to deal with a budget airline and have limited suitcase space, you will still want to squeeze a good-sized or your fave travel towel in your bag, as the ones we have here are thin and “meh.” We recommend this Microfiber Travel Towel from Active Roots
- Reading materials. Guidebooks about Croatia are excellent because you can research your next destination during your downtime, sitting on the beach or waiting for the next ferry. If reading doesn’t sound appealing, be sure to bring along a deck of cards or other items to keep yourself entertained.
Do you now feel ready to pack for your vacation in Croatia? What did we miss from this packing list for Croatia? Let us know below what we can add to this travel guide.