Croatia: An Unexpected Gem

 

I just got back from a four day trip to Croatia! It was absolutely gorgeous.

I’m studying at the Vienna University of Economics and Business, and last Monday was actually my first day of class. Classes operate a little differently here and don’t necessarily occur weekly, so last week I only had one class to go to. Trying to take advantage of my free time, my heart was originally set on going to Barcelona. The tickets, however, were a lot more expensive than I had expected (even with my Eurail pass). My roommate was planning a trip to Croatia so I decided to join her. I hadn’t planned on visiting Croatia while I was abroad because I wasn’t that familiar with the country, but I am so happy that I went!

Here are some highlights from my trip:

It was unexpected. Part of the reason why I probably enjoyed the trip so much was because I had no expectations for how the trip would go. I got to be truly amazed at each sight I saw because it was completely new to me.

The people are friendly. Croatia is starting to really increase tourism in their country. The people I encountered were very helpful, friendly, and eager to show guests exactly how beautiful their country is. People were constantly checking up on us making sure we were enjoying our stay.

Natural beauty. The trips I’ve taken around Europe so far have been to major cities, and my goal in each place has been to experience the culture and city life. Croatia was my first nature trip. We went to the Plitvice Lakes National Park and hiked for 6 hours. There are mountains, trees, waterfalls, and the clearest and most perfect turquoise water I’ve ever seen. To keep the water pure, people aren’t allowed to swim in it. I could see to the bottom of all the lakes and watch the fish swim around.

Zip lining. We saw an ad for zip lining at our hostel and decided to go! I was a little nervous at first, but loved it while I was on it. It was a great price too — only 16 euro.

I highly recommend traveling to Croatia. Do your research before you go anywhere of course, but I also recommend going somewhere other than the places you’ve been dying to go to, just because you’ve heard so much about them in movies and other media. Also, visiting urban centers are great, but it’s nice to balance out those trips with a natural getaway. Be adventurous! You may find an unexpected gem.

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