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What is beauty without a brain? The great German philosopher said it is a controversy or a painful shame! Croatia is all beautiful, so it is also beautiful its continental part. This part of Croatia is dominated by the economy and the concentration of educated people and technology. Here we primarily think of Zagreb, the main and largest city of Croatia, where every year 80,000 students study! Located under Medvednica mountain, Zagreb offers all that is expected from a metropolis. Beautiful city views, charming Gornji grad with preserved old town core, the unsurpassed Dolac market with a unique offer of agricultural products, numerous theaters, and museums, nightlife, and the possibility to go hike and ski on Medvednica. All this can be experienced by choosing private accommodation in rooms or apartments via direct contact with accommodation owners without agency fees.
Behind Medvednica lies Hrvatsko Zagorje, a hilly part known for wine production and fine food. You just have to visit one of the many wine roads, where you can taste many different tastes. Apart from the free-minded spirit, this region is known for the fact that here are born Croatian presidents. The most famous was Tito, whose birthplace Kumrovec has a memorial center. First Croatian president Tuđman was also born here, whose birthplace is small village Veliko Trgovišće. Cheap and affordable private accommodation and many holiday homes for rent make Hrvatsko Zagorje an inevitable part of the continental Croatia's tourist offer.
North of Zagorje is the baroque town of Varaždin, which is especially nice to visit during the Špancir festival. Then its Baroque spirit is revived by thousands of visitors enjoying the rich offer of concerts and other cultural events and offering local products. Close to Varaždin is Međimurje, a small region of Croatia bounded by the Drava and Mura rivers, which offer similar gourmet offerings along with similar winding wine roads as well as in Zagorje. Of course, the best way to experience all this is via direct contact with the owners of accommodation. Along with all the natural beauties the gentle and good-natured people are the greatest wealth of this area.
And finally Slavonia - the soul of Croatia! Bordered by Drava, Sava and Danube rivers, Slavonia is situated in the eastern part of Croatia. It is the most developed agricultural part of Croatia. Slavonia is arable land of Croatia but much more than that. Throughout history, Croatia was called the kingdom of Slavonia, Dalmatia, and Croatia. Plenty of plains are sown in a variety of agricultural cultures on the slopes of Papuk and Krndija. Many yellow and green fields and the famous wine regions like Ilok and Kutjevo, the beautiful towns of Đakovo, Vukovar and Osijek are places you just have to visit. And here you can find a lot of options for accommodation, from vacation homes and rooms to cheap apartments. Private accommodation is without agency commissions. There is no reason not to visit this part of Croatia along the banks of the Drava or Danube. Along with the famous Slavonian tamburitza, wine and the kitchen it is best to discover the beauty of golden Slavonia. We invite you to visit or at least stop by in the interesting continental part of Croatia, which offers many natural and cultural sites worth visiting. Welcome to continental Croatia and we wish you pleasant holidays!
In recent years Zagreb has been transformed from a city that many tourists used as a short stand on the way to the Adriatic Sea to a real tourist center. Zagreb started to attract many tourists who enjoy the charms of this beautiful city. This was also recognized by Lonely Planet readers who declared Zagreb as one of the most desirable European travel destination in 2017. The city of Zagreb has plenty to offer for its visitors including rich cultural and gastronomic offer. Whether it is walking through the Maksimir park or the Botanical Garden, jogging along Lake Bundek or Jarun, you will certainly not be bored in Zagreb.Although Zagreb has many events throughout the entire year, events such as Advent in Zagreb have made Zagreb even more desirable in winter. During December, the center of the town is filled with numerous small kiosks where you can eat sausages, beer or wine, walk through Zrinjevac or skate outdoors under the open skies on Tomislav square.However, for many guests, the most beautiful part of the city is the Upper Town of Zagreb (Gornji grad) or Gradec. The upper town is located on the hills of Medvednica, close to the city center. There are several ways how to visit it from the central Zagreb square of Ban Josip Jelacic.We suggest taking a walk through Tkalčićeva Street, which is full of cafe bars and restaurants, through one of the six doors of an old town – Kamenita vrata (Stone Gates). Stone gates were built in the 13th century. Another easier and attractive option is to take funicular railway in Tomićeva Street ("Uspinjača").Once you reach the Gornji grad, you can enjoy the Stroosmayer promenade where you can listen to live performances of local bands during the Summer Festival on Stroos. Also, you can enjoy beautiful views of the city or visit one of the yards where you can experience Zagreb as it once was.We also recommend you visit the church of St. Mark, the central attraction of the same square, which was built in 1256 in the Gothic style. The present, baroque style is from the 17th and 18th century.Today's recognizable shape with a famous roof decorated with the coat of arms of the City of Zagreb and the Kingdom of Croatia, Slavonia and Dalmatia was obtained during the reconstruction in the 19th century. In the same square are the headquarters of the Government of the Republic of Croatia and the Croatian Parliament. Lotrščak Tower is also close, from which every day at the noon fires a cannon. On the hills of Medvednica there is also the central Zagreb cemetery Mirogoj, built at the end of the 19th century. Because of decorated park and arcades, Mirogoj is considered one of the most beautiful cemeteries in Europe.For those more romantic, the Museum of Broken Relationships is also located in the Upper Town, where you can find numerous exhibits of unhappy love. Those interested in museums can visit the Croatian Museum of Naive Art, the Archaeological Museum, the City Museum of Zagreb or some of the many museums in Zagreb. If you want to get to know the history of Zagreb in an interactive way, we certainly recommend the theater nightclub Tajne Griča.Other landmarks of the city that are not located on the Upper Town, but are close are Dolac Market and the Zagreb Cathedral. This neo-Gothic cathedral was built in stages and was completed in 1902. The cathedral is one of the symbols of Zagreb because of the 105-meter tall towers.If you choose to visit this remarkable city, you can find accommodation in one of the many newly renovated private apartments or rooms in Zagreb.
Trakošćan Castle, located in the center of Hrvatsko Zagorje near Varaždin and Krapina, is one of the most attractive and most visited castles in Croatia.The castle was built during the 13th century as the part of the defense system of northwestern Croatia. The castle was built as a smaller observation fortress with characteristics of the Romanesque castle. Although the castle has been continuously upgraded during the history, the Drašković family made the largest interventions in 1592. The Drašković family constructed an additional level, raised the central tower, decorated the courtyard and raised artillery towers. One of the artillery towers is decorated with the coat of arms and the inscription of Ivan II Petar Drašković. The castle was upgraded again during the 18th century when defensive buildings, walls and towers were built around the fort.From the second half of the 18th century until the middle of the 19th century Trakošćan Castle was abandoned. In the 19th century, Juraj Drašković transformed the castle into a residential mansion and decorated the environment, park, artificial lake together with supporting facilities. The Drašković family occasionally enjoyed Trakošćan until 1944 when they permanently emigrated to Austria while the castle was nationalized.Together with the castle, the Trakošćan lake is today the largest attraction for visitors, and because of the harmonious landscape, many newlyweds choose the Trakošćan lake for dream wedding pictures. For the ones who like to walk, a 5 km long educational path is built around the lake. The lake is also rich with fish and it is a favorite place for fishermen.In 1954 in Trakošćan castle a permanent exhibition was established with valuable examples of Baroque furniture and objects used in the castle through history. The permanent exhibition of the museum consists of collections of books, furniture collections, weapons collections, collections of pictures and graphics and a collection of photographs.In 2017 renowned travel magazine Conde Nast Traveler has declared it as one of the 12 most beautiful European castles. We suggest you to visit the castle and witness its beauty and historical significance. For sure, 40,000 visitors who visit the Trakošćan castle every year cannot be wrong.Since it is close to Zagreb, the castle is an ideal destination for a one-day excursion. If you want to relax in beautiful Zagorje, you can find accommodation in private apartments in the nearby Krapina or Varaždin.
One of the world's most famous Neanderthal sites is located in the Croatian Zagorje, more precisely in Hušnjak in Krapina, near which operates the Museum of Krapina Neanderthals. The Croatian Zagorje Museums have five museums located in the Krapina-Zagorje County. The Krapina Neanderthal Museum was opened in February 2010 and it has exhibition space of approximately1200 m2. Because of the exceptional the prehistoric findings, the site is protected as the first paleontological monument of nature in Croatia.Investigations of Paleolithic sites in Croatia began in 1899 when workers at the excavation of sand at Hušnjak's hill in Krapina found fragments of Neanderthal bones from a cave. The collection of fossil remains was collected in the period 1899-1905 headed by scientist Dragutin Gorjanović-Kramberger. It is one of the largest collections of Neanderthal remains in the world, its value is of utmost importance for studying the population of early humans. The collection contains about 900 bones of seventy individuals aged between 3 and 27, and a total of more than 5000 items.Since no systematically buried individuals or wholly-preserved skull bones were found, while found parts of the skeleton had broken bones, initially it was considered that Krapina Neanderthal man was a cannibal. Although recent studies have shown that similar damage can occur during fossilization as a result of natural processes, the cannibalism is still the subject of discussion. In addition to the remains of Neanderthal man, remains of extinct animal species such as mammoths, cave bear, marmot, wormwood, wolf and others were also found. About 300 stone objects belonging to the period of the Middle Palaeolithic and the traces of the hearthstone were found indicating that the Krapina man knew a fire. The age of the finding is estimated between 100,000 and 130,000 years. A detailed analysis found that the cave was inhabited by two different kinds of the same species of neanderthals that differed by the structure and body physiognomy.The museum has been awarded with numerous valuable awards in Croatia and abroad, of which the most important ones are the third prize FIAMP 2010 - AVICOM in the category of multimedia content and the nomination for the European Museum Award of 2012.During the summer months, the museum is open every day from 9 to 19 except on Mondays, while during the winter months it is open from 9 to 17. Ticket prices range from 25 to 50 kuna. More information about the time and ticket prices can be found on the official site of the museum. Due to its proximity to Zagreb, we recommend a tour of this interesting museum. Accommodation in cheap rooms and apartments can be found in Varaždin and Krapina.
The city of Varaždin is located in the northwestern part of Croatia, about 80 kilometers away from Zagreb, on the southern bank of the river Drava. Varaždin is the center of the Varaždin County, and the history of the city is closely related to the history of the county. The city of Varaždin is mentioned for the first time in the 12th century when Croatian-Hungarian king Bela III gave his son Emirko power to rule over the part of Croatia.The fact that the Hungarian-Croatian Queen Marija Terezija declared Varaždin as the capital of Croatia indicates the historical importance of Varaždin. However, because of damages caused by the great Varaždin fire, Varaždin was the capital only from 1767 to 1776. During this period many palaces and buildings were built and today Varaždin is still known as a Baroque town.The central city square is surrounded by numerous Baroque buildings, of which the town hall and Palace of Count Drašković are especially important. Near the central square, there is also the Varaždin cathedral that is considered to be one of the most important early baroque buildings. Among the other attractions, an important one is the statue of Grgur Ninski, a work of the famous Croatian sculptor Ivan Meštrović, which is located in front of the church at the Franciscan Square.However, the biggest monument and the most significant historical building of the city is the fortress Old Town (Stari Grad). Old Town dates from the 12th century and it is located in the northwestern part of the city core. During the history, the fortress was the residence of noblemen, and it was separated from the city of Varaždin.The old town was built during several centuries, and its oldest part is the central tower. At the end of the 14th century, the Counts of Celje redecorated the fortress into Gothic style. At that time the central quadrilateral building with the wooden palisades encircled was built. In the 16th century during the wars with the Turks, the walls with circular towers surrounded by tall clay pits and double water ditch were built. This turned Old Town fortress into a modern Renaissance fort. At the end of the 16th century, the family of Erdödy became the owners of the fortress, and they carried out minor adaptations in the Baroque style. The ownership of the Erdödy family was retained until 1925 when it is overtaken by the city of Varaždin. In the same year, in the fortress the Varaždin City Museum was opened. Museum departments are located in the historic core of the city. They are located in the Gothic-Renaissance fortress of Old Town, the Baroque Palace of Sermage, the Classical Palace of Hercer and the watchtower. The museum setup includes a collection of guild items, historical portraits, furniture, weapons, glass, paintings, china, clocks and many other items that the Varaždin nobility used in everyday life.If you are planning to visit the Baroque town, we recommend you to find private apartments in Varaždin and its surroundings.
The first thought that comes to mind when someone says Slavonia are Slavonian fields and plains. Only a few people recall about Papuk - one of the most beautiful mountains of Slavonia that rose above Slavonian fields. Due to its exceptional geological and biological diversity as well as cultural and historical heritage, Papuk was proclaimed a nature park in 1999.The Papuk Nature Park spreads over the Papuk Mountain and the Krndija Mountain. Nature park covers the are of 336 km2. Although the mountains of Papuk and Krndija are not more than a thousand meters, knowing the lowland of their surroundings, their presence is noticeable. Highlands are predominantly covered with very well preserved forests covering more than 96% of the area. Dominated forests are Pannonian beech and fir tree.Some parts of the park have the status of specially protected areas due to the unique characteristics. Specially protected areas are the Jankovac forest park, the geological nature monument of Rupnica, the special reserve of forest vegetation of the Sekulina Mountain, the Nature Monument of Old Oaks, the Nature Monument of the Stanislaus Tisza and a special floristic reserve named after the four hills - Pliš-Mališčak-Turjak- Lapjak.Climatic and geomorphological characteristics of the park provide ideal conditions for different flora and fauna. In the park, you can find almost all representatives of the Central European fauna including deer, roe deer, wild boars, foxes and martens while some years ago this area was a habitat with bears, wolves and lynxes. Papuk also provides habitat to numerous species of birds, as well as habitat over 1300 species of plants.Since the nature park represents the most diverse geological area of that part of the Croatian, in 2007 it became the first geopark in Croatia and a member of the UNESCO Global Geoparks Network.Since it is about 200 kilometers away from Zagreb, a visit to Papuk can be organized as a one-day trip. However, to enjoy Slavonia and this natural pearl as best as possible, we strongly recommend that you find accommodation in nearby Požega.Papuk Nature Park offers numerous opportunities for its visitors from hiking trails to over a hundred kilometers long cycling paths. During the summer months, guests can also visit the thermal pools in Velika and Orahovica Lake. A visit to the park can be organized for larger groups with a tour guide, what is especially interesting to children because of an interactive approach.
The floodplain of the Nature Park Kopački rit is one of the largest wetland plains in Europe, formed by the activity of the Danube River in the east and the Drava River in the south. Kopački rit is one of eleven nature parks in Croatia, and it covers an area of 17,700 hectares or about 177 square kilometers. This natural pearl is located in the northeastern part of Croatia in Baranja and it is an ideal place to visit for true nature lovers. Kopački rit is extremely rich in flora and fauna - it has more than 140 species of birds and a great biodiversity with more than 2000 biological species.Due to the constant flooding of the terrain, different types of vegetation can be found in the area of the Nature Park. The largest area is covered by white willow, black poplars and oak trees of the forest vegetation, as well as bluff community and water lily of the wetland vegetation. Furthermore, the vegetation is also enriched with trunks and a community of tall huts that occupy a large part of the park's surface. They are located on intermittently flooded parts of the park, lakes and along the edges of the canals and they give to the park a distinctive look.Kopački rit represents the largest freshwater fish hatchery in the Danube region and the most important ornithological reserve in Croatia. Of the total 44 species of fish the most important are carp, pike and som. The ecological distinctiveness of the park is also made up of 285 species of birds, of which herring, gull, whiting and the big wolf are particularly interesting. A large area of the park covered by forests, pastures and bars provides ideal living conditions to many other animal species such as deer, wild boar and wild cats.Due to its exceptional natural value, Kopački rit was listed on the list of ornithologically important areas of the IBA (Important Bird Areas) as well as on the list of Ramsar areas that are protected by the Convention on Wetlands. Nature Park Kopački rit is also nominated for inclusion in the UNESCO World Heritage List.Kopački rit is ideal for families with children because of accessibility. The ticket prices for the Nature Park tour depend on the type of program (with or without tour guides) and additional options included in the program starting from HRK 10 (about EUR 1.5). You can find more information about ticket prices and sightseeing programs of Kopački rit on the official website of the park.If you choose to visit this magical place we recommend you to stay in Osijek where you can find affordable accommodation in apartments, holiday houses or a nearby camp. Osijek is less than ten kilometers southwest of Kopački rit, on the right bank of the river Drava.
Climate & Weather
The continental climate prevails throughout continental Croatia with cold, foggy and snowy winters and very hot and humid summers. The characteristic of the climate in the continental part of Croatia is that the precipitation drops from west to east. Further away from the Adriatic Sea is also the amount of rainfall lower. For example, Osijek and Slavonia have significantly less precipitation than Zagreb and Croatian Zagorje. Climatic conditions in this part of Croatia are very favorable and moderate without any temperature and meteorological extremes, and here is a proper change of the four seasons: winter, spring, summer, and fall. Particularly attractive is the spring, when nature wakes from winter sleep, and flowers decorate every tree and every plant. Autumn is very vivid when a beautiful color palette decorates forests and parks, which gives a special charm and pleasure to all those who are walking in the open.
On temperature in Croatia influences position in moderate latitudes, distance from the sea and altitude. January is the coldest month in Croatia, and air temperatures are everywhere in continental Croatia between 0 and -2 ° C. Differences in air temperature along the Adriatic coast and in the continental part during summer are significantly lower than in winter. Some bigger differences occur only during the night when the land faster cools than the sea after sunset. Average air temperatures in July range from 20 to 22 ° C
Below is a graph showing the average maximum and minimum daily air temperature, and the amount of rainfall in Zagreb, which best illustrates the moderate continental climate of this largest Croatian region.
* average air temperature (°C) during the year in region Continental Croatia
* average rainfall (mm) during the year in region Continental Croatia