Some posts contain compensated links. Please read this disclaimer for more info.
What To Pack For Croatia, Your 2021 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, when deciding on your packing list for Croatia, think seaside glamor and effortless chic. You’ll notice while on vacation in Croatia 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 hike in the mountains, 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 and tidy 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 no need to pack anything too over the top.
- Ignore any stupid packing list advice that says 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. There are three different climates in Croatia, 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. As a general rule, the northern parts of Croatia are cold, and some parts 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, keep in mind 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. Trust me, living in Croatia for the last few years has taught me always to expect some rain during summer. That’s just a fact.
- 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. If you do not use it all on your vacation, leave it behind. Your room cleaner will be delighted. I am in love with this Dermalogica Protection SPF50 Sunscreen, and also this kid’s block out.
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, and it can also be cold during the day.
- In both spring and fall, particularly in April and May, there will be rain. It’s always a good idea to dress in 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 really 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 definitely need heavier winter wear. In more southern parts of the country near the Adriatic coast, a light jacket or thick sweater and scarf should suffice.
- By mid-October, we usually get the fire ready on the coast. I get cold. I see tourists wearing t-shirts, and I shudder. You’ll need a coat unless you are from a chilly climate.
- November, December, and January, you will need to pack an oversized jacket and warm clothing. 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. To transition into night, just throw on a beautiful silk scarf or some bold jewelry. 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 to your packing list a Levi’s Women’s Authentic Trucker Jacket like mine. This works great with the 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
The best way to maintain a chic look and be comfortable. Just be sure to find a really stretchy pair like these DL skinny jeggings. I have several pairs of jeggings. While technically leggings that I said I’d never wear, these don’t look like it and are comfy. They are, however, not as comfortable as genie pants that are my number #1 go-to.
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 will have you looking and feeling good. I have them in two sizes. The stretch-woven fitted cut with a mid-rise wide waistband is perfect for travel in Croatia.
Leave the khaki cargo shorts at home. Why not add to your packing list for Croatia (well, anywhere really) a stylish scalloped edge short? The high waist and pattern keep it current, but it’s still easy to wear for daytime strolls. Instead of a blah tee, pick up an off the shoulder lace detailed top.
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 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 just 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, and 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 I’m traveling and exploring villages, I like to be hands-free and not worry about my handbag. Since I’m going to be lugging it around all day, I want to make sure to get the lightest bag possible. Unfortunately, most nylon “travel” bags are hideously ugly. Add to your packing list for Croatia a bag like this Tory Burch Messenger Crossbody Bag. 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.
You can never have too many pairs of sunglasses. Good quality sunglasses are a must. 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, take a look at the Suncloud Poptown Polarized collection. They are safe and very affordable so that 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. They take up so much room. Think comfortable but stylish shoes, such as a beautiful pair of sandals. 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 that is 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 heel. Wear these gladiator-inspired sandals to the beach or out at night, with a few colors to choose from. If you spend a lot of 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 back 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 little 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. Cool kids are wearing loafers, and these Cruyff Sneakers have become very popular!
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 the summer season. 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 2021: Sailing The Adriatic
We have this full post dedicated to what to pack to go sailing. We’ve done it so many times now and know just 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 will undertake during the trip.
2021 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. Alternatively, you could hire one of these cheaply while in Croatia and never miss a connection.
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:
- A Massive List of Things to do in Croatia
- Top Croatia Travel Guides & Books
- The Ultimate Guide to Croatia
- The Best Travel Blenders on The Market
- Best Things to do with Kids in Croatia
- Car Rental Tips and Deals
- See Which Croatia Tours we Recommend
- Hvar Accommodation