Every year, the Henley Passport Index issues a report on the strength of different passports around the world. The “strongest” passport in the world is the one that lets the bearer enter the most countries without obtaining a visa (or a visa on arrival) first. In 2018, the country with the strongest passport was Germany. The United States — you might be surprised to learn — was in a tie for fifth place. Our passport currently lets us get into 173 of the 177 indexed countries without a visa.
In 2018, Croatia came in twenty-first place on the list. While Croatia is part of the European Union, it is not a part of the Schengen area, which means that people in Croatia need visas to visit some countries that other EU members are able to visit without visas, including the United States.
Unbalanced though it may be, US passport holders are able to visit Croatia without a obtaining a Croatia visa, and going to this beautiful country is well worth your time. Whether you travel to Croatia by itself or add it to an Italian and Grecian getaway, here are some of the best reasons to visit the Republic of Croatia:
Plitvice Lakes National Park
If you’re a nature lover, you’ll absolutely love Plitvice Lakes. This UNESCO-protected national park is teaming with emerald lakes and lovely forests. With everything from easy hikes to challenging treks, everyone can enjoy the beauty of this park at their own pace. Be sure to also head over to Krka National Park along the Krka River to take in dazzling waterfalls and encounter plenty of wildlife.
Wine lovers should spend a weekend on the island of Korcula. Here you can visit local vineyards, stroll along the beach, and head into the main town, an historic walled town with Venetian Renaissance architecture. What could be more romantic?
One of the best preserved ancient amphitheaters in the world, Pula Arena was built in the first century and was once home to gladiator fights. Now the space is used for special exhibitions and even festivals, such as the annual Pula Film Festival held every July.
The Zadar waterfront is said to have the most beautiful sunset in the world. Elegant white steps drop into the ocean surrounded by local art installments and an unforgettable Sea Organ. Stroll through Old Town for fun shopping, sightseeing, and to get a glimpse at plenty of ancient Roman ruins.
Croatia’s second largest city — after the capital city, Zagreb — is located along the Dalmation Coast. This is a must see city for any architecture buffs. The main attraction is the Diocletian’s Palace, built around 300 AD. This palace complex is a virtual city within the city that will dazzle everyone who sees it.
Rob Lee is co-founder of Swift Passport and Visa Services. Originally from Michigan, Rob is an avid fisherman and SCUBA diver who enjoys adventure travel.