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What To Pack For Croatia, Your Croatia Packing List
You’re reading this, which means only one thing – you have a vacation to Croatia booked. 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 eschew cargo shorts and baggy tee shirts 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.
General Rules To Consider While Making Your Croatia Packing List
- Contrary to popular belief, it IS acceptable to wear casual clothes during the daytime. 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, mosquito repellent, or coffee with you. 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 coast, 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 come to 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 Summer
- Summer 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 summer temperatures range between the mid-70s Fahrenheit (25-degree celsius) and high-80s Fahrenheit (35+ celsius), there can still be rain. That’s just a fact. Trust me, living in Croatia for the last few years has taught me continually to expect some rain during summer.
- I am in love with this Dermalogica Protection SPF50 Sunscreen and this kid’s block out. Because it is so damn hot, you’ll need quality sunscreen. LOADS. Add it to your Croatia packing list, like the stuff we have here in Croatia is not as friendly as elsewhere, and it’s 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
- These months are cold in the evenings and, depending on where you are; it can also be cold during the day.
- There will be rain in both 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.
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 will need to pack an oversized jacket and warm clothing in November, December, and January. As soon as the sun sets, it gets icy.
- If you are in Zagreb or inland, pack a beanie, gloves, and scarf because it may snow. Women in Zagreb 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:
A Black Tank Maxi Dress
You can’t go wrong with a Black maxi dress like this or this one for evening meals on the beach and double simple LBD, which is a perfect day dress if worn with simple flat sandals. Just throw on 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 a fun tassel pendant 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 great with tank dresses or over 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 trip.
Stretchy Skinny Jeggings
I have several pairs of jeggings—the best way to maintain a chic look and be comfortable. Just be sure to find a stretchy pair like these DL skinny jeans. While technically leggings that I said I’d never wear, they are comfy and don’t look like it. They are, however, not as comfortable as genie pants; that is my number #1 go-to.
Levi Strauss & Co Women’s Totally Shaping Jegging.
Anatomie Travel Pants
Stylish and oh-so-European, Anatomie’s travel pants will make you blend in like a local.
The Paola Pants are super-flattering travel pants that make you look and feel good. The stretch-woven fitted cut with a mid-rise wide waistband is perfect for travel in Croatia. I have them in two sizes.
Leave the khaki cargo shorts at home. Why not add a stylish scalloped edge short to your packing list for Croatia (well, anywhere, really)? Instead of a blah tee, pick up an off-the-shoulder lace detailed top. The high waist and pattern keep it current, but it’s still easy to wear for daytime strolls.
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 pregnant cow right now. If you get a basic two-piece outfit – a matching twin set or two-piece dress – they can all be work mix-n-match style, even to the beach.
A Lightweight, Cross-Body 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 bags are 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 should you lose them.
Look Chic At The Beach
There are plenty of good swimming spots in Croatia, and 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.)
For a little more coverage, a Norma Kamali one-piece bathing suit is demure but sexy at the same time. This bold swim cover-up can practically double as a dress.
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 a 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.
If the rain kicks up, and you don’t want to be forced to look out the window instead of being out and about, pack a light waterproof jacket.
What Shoes To Wear In Croatia?
Knowing what to pack in the shoe department is challenging. Think 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:
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 a 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; 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 even more scary is knowing what to bring on vacation 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 are 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: Sailing The Adriatic
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.
Croatia Packing List: Active Holidays
It’s not all beaches here in Croatia; there are brilliant bike and hiking routes as well. We also have eight spectacular national parks, with two sets of giant waterfalls to see. 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
- A 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, like me, you can’t live without WiFi on vacation, 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 airline excess 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 found along the coast don’t often have lounge chairs available. 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 like these 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.
Need More Packing & Travel Gear Help? We’ve Written Packing Lists & Guides About:
- What to Pack For Sailing Croatia: The Ultimate Guide to Help You Pack Light
- Gift Guide For the Traveler in Your Life
- What to Pack For A Beach Trip With Kids
- What to Wear on Long Haul or Overnight Flight
- The Best Travel Pillows For Long Haul Flights
- Best Travel Shoes For All Occasions
- How to Find the Best Travel Wallet
- Find The Best Carry-On Garment Bag
Want Ideas For Things To Do In Croatia?
Are you traveling to Croatia? Great, we’ve got a stack of suggestions! Here are just a few:
Wow! Croatia – such a beautiful country! Thanks for the tips and I can just imagine going there when I read your stories.
you post could have been helpful if your ads didn’t cover half the content….so much I couldn’t even piece it together
Oh well, go find your info someplace else. Writing all day to help you plan for vacay has to have some benefits.
I have to say that you got this spot on!
Nice post! I can’t wait to make it there one day.
I would like to see more of stuff for the older generation. What do they have to consider packing. Like over the 50 age mark.
Great idea for denim jacket for cool night.
Birkenstocks were everywhere in Croatia two years ago. And are more affordable to buy there than in Canada where I live. I didn’t see many adult women wear shorts of any kind, anywhere. Along the coast, people are more body conscious. They dress tastefully for their body type. Shorts look great on women with great legs. Lots of skirts and summery dresses. I find summer dresses to be the perfect outfit for the Croatian coast. No need to coordinate top and bottom. They’re comfy, and breezy. As for shoes, wedges are bulky to pack, but perfect for the cobblestones and comfortable to wear. We always pack a soft folding cooler and freeze water bottles to pack for the beach. Funny, Croats are still afraid of getting sick from cold beverages and propuh! If like me, you end up spending time visiting relatives in the north, in the “selo”, bring shoes you don’t mind ruining, or are easy to clean, and casual, comfy clothes, like leggings, casual shorts and Ts, and bug spray. Maybe I missed it in the post, I suggest a pretty beach cover up and flip flops too.
some of the links to amazon go directly to “add item to cart” without displaying the actual item. just so you know 🙂 thanks for the informative post!
Jeans are totally fine, but in summer you’ll be too hot – what about a linen pant or some others like the ones here…
Do you have any advice for women who prefer not to wear dresses? Are jeans too casual/ out of sync?
I have read through your travel advice and cannot find any info on Mosquitos! is there likely to be a problem in the evening with them. We are going to be in Podgora in mid late July and just wondered if we should pack some deet?
I would never pack it, you can buy it here – but yes, you’ll need it for certain 😀
Am going to try and follow some of these style tips myself this summer! I spend my time usually in denim shorts, a tank-top and unattractive flip-flops! But I don’t think I’ll ever look as good as that lady in the maxi dress! Off now to read up on the toddler packing tips…
When I visit Croatia, I always underpack shoes because I know how easy it is to buy shoes there. Croatia must have more shoe stores per capita than anyplace on earth.
Hahahha, you think? I have never noticed that before.
Coffee and sewing kit? lol :-)!
and if you like hiking and walking bring your shoes and small backpack – not tons of quality outdoor gear for reasonable prices – speaking from experience..
Have been carrying a sewing kit with me while travelling for years, I got it from some motel I stayed in once, it’s the size of a credit card. HAVE NEVER USED IT.
on the coffee. I always have a sewing kit…I need it for the safety pin/SIM card ritual.
I buy a hat when I get to Croatia, no need worrying about the hat getting ruined in luggage. All lotions, cosmetics, I bring in travel size and then buy new in cro when I run out. I actually always feel that my clothes is not quite right for cro, so always end up buying a few things while there to wear.
Ok sewing kit and coffee made me laugh!!! Try to keep your stuff fresh in a picnic basket on summer heat. So hilarious!
we can throw in a thread and needle for you to do your mending while you piknik hahaha just joking – you will be too busy eating and drinking!
Coffee?!!!! Croatian Kava, so so good!! Yum
Beautiful comments about Croatia and Croatians. 🙂
What if I was to go to Medjugorje? Are there places there that have disability amenities?
Haven’t been there yet but as a special education teacher and advocate, I can tell you that although things are improving in this regard, Croatia is many years behind many other European countries in the area of accessibility.
You wouldn’t have trouble finding someone’s baka to sew a button for you. Friendly people, who love to help. Coffee? Take away that bloggers computer.
Yeah I know, what a joke. When someone told me, I had to go look for myself and take a screen shot!!! ahhahahha I thought i was a JOKE.
I actually needed to sew a Button while in Croatia and it took five minutes for me to find what I needed in lidl.. And don’t get me started on the coffee there it’s the best!
Belive me not much they even have Bundaberg brown sugar
Really? Where did you see that? How cool.
I both it in my home town on the island of Losinj Nerezine!
I hate to admit it but I take Vegemite with me.
I am guilty for that too!!!!!!!
The only thing I couldn’t find in Croatia was a dry cleaner! 😀
Haha that’s funny about coffee! I miss the Croatian coffee for sure!
Yeah, I could not find one in Zadar until asked – it was a small shop window – but they do have them 😀
Agreed although i still can’t get my order for coffee right i find it funny how people drag a heap of stiff from home just in case. Even in the most remote parts of Mongolia we have got rexona deodorant pantene shampoo etc
How do you have your coffee?
Croatia is a great summer destination, especially for island hopping on the Adriatic. I spent two weeks there last year, laying out on the beach, eating gelato and sharing drinks with my fellow backpackers.
A mid-size cross-body bag is the most essential item for travel. But I am a maxi-dress skeptic. They always tend to get caught on things – corners, branches, under the feet on the steps and stairs…
Ohh no! I love them, especially in that non crinkle fabric and jersey. My only issues is… ahem… chaffing … ahem
Awesome. Great list! I think this could be applied to pretty much any beach summer destination. I’m getting better about wearing nicer stuff. That’s what happens when you live in Europe for awhile I guess. I hated walked out and looking like a slob. Proper footwear really helps surprising. Plus also not slinging around a backpack.
Backpacks scream I AM ON HOLIDAYS!
Yes, all the locals tend to go out with a big pink suitcase !!!
I love this list and I’m happy that I can use this for other places before I head to Croatia 🙂 Thanks for some fashion inspiration. I love my Maxi dress (now I need to get one in black) and those sandals and cover-ups are going in my shopping list.
Great list! I am terrible at packing, I always over-pack, so these packing tips are very helpful! We are traveling in Asia now, but I think these items will be good here too.
Great suggestions! I really love the maxi dress and the sandals–makes me want to go shopping and pack up to go!
Okay I may not be the target audience for this article but the selections look pretty good. Personally I’m certainly won over by the suggestion that people wear proper sandals; very elegant, practical and much better than the dreaded flip flops.
All the other suggestions look great too. For me the first one of the maxi dress and the one piece stand out.
Wonder if you’ll be able to do a comparable suggestion list for us guys?
Haha I’d like to see a few guy traveler bloggers in the black maxi dress, straw hat, and sandals!
Great list to follow. I really like all the clothes, especially the Tory Burch bag. I used to overpack for trips. Now I take only want I think I need, leaving me some room to shop. 🙂
Good list, I tend to pack for all kinds of weather. I am always worried about the just in case moment…
this is a good list, those go anywhere sandals are nice 😉 thanks for sharing!
Good list. I tend to pack way more than I need. I’d love to visit Croatia someday and I’ll definitely check your blog for more information.
Kristin Francis and Souvenir Finder are awesome and I dig that you posted this one for Sunday Traveler – Prior to reading this post SJ, I’d have said all I’d need to pack is a toothbrush… Croatia has the rest. 😀
Hmmm I’ll have to ck out that Rimowa luggage… 🙂
Great advice. When’s the men’s guide coming?
After years of holidaying, I have finally got it sussed. Great picks by the way, very much what I would try and pack.
I always pack too much, even after a lifetime of travels, so in theory this is a great list for me, but in reality it’s faaaar too chic! I’m much more casual and far less sophisticated!
I aspire to be this chic when I travel! I do always pack some chic go everywhere sandals though. Cuts down on the number of shoes I have to carry around and helps make me look cute even when I’m a bit travel worn. Fun post!
NOW this post comes out, after I’ve already gotten to Croatia! Haha, I felt like such a bum in backpacker clothes with all the stylish women around, but I’m learning to just get over that. 🙂
I am sure you look lovely Mandie. Just strut with confidence 🙂
Love how chic everything is. Too bad my travel clothes don’t look anything like that! I love that swimsuit coverup/dress and the breezy camisoles!
Kristin is much more stylish than I… hence why I asked her to tell you all what yo dress. I do think those earrings would go with my outfits though.
How stylish! Great article.
I’m afraid that I’m the baggy shorts and plain T types, so I am always glad to get suggestions. The cropped denim jacket is clearly a better choice than the zip-up hoodie that I keep wearing, so I’m going to click over and have a look. That Tory Burch bag is EXACTLY what I’ve been looking for. Thanks!
Don’t tell anyone… but me too!
This is a great list! I love wearing bright patterned dresses so it looks like I would fit in with Croatian style! 🙂
Great! Now you just need your ticket.
This is a super list – I always over pack and wear half of what I brought ~ or I underpack and don’t have enough clothes especially when we travel for a few months at a time!
Ohhhh I always over pack, and swear I’ll stop. But never do. Damn… one day.
Great list! I just bought a similar pair of sandals – cute, go with everything and actually comfortable! One of my favorite travel accessories is a sarong – so many uses! Scarf, coverup, blanket, towel… I love them!
Ohh yes, a sarong is a must need item at the beach you are so right.