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Croatia is a magnificent country full of history and fun sites. Before you head to the airport with your suitcase, we’ve got tips and advice on what to wear in Croatia in fall and winter with this Croatia packing list.
What to Wear in Croatia in Fall and Winter
Written by: Lola Méndez
Fall and winter may be the off season in Croatia, but there’s still plenty to discover in the cooler months when visiting this Mediterranean gem. We have a Croatia packing list and tips to help you prepare to enjoy breathtaking waterfalls, modern cities, holiday markets, and the famous Dubrovnik port city.
Here are few more guides to help you when packing for Europe:
- The Ultimate Packing Guide for Europe
- Backpacking Packing List for Europe
- How to Choose the Best Shoes for Europe
- Best Suitcases for Traveling Europe
Croatia Clothing Style
When building your Croatia packing list, keep in mind that this Balkan country is more modern than its more conservative neighbors. Stylish local women follow the latest fashion trends and appreciate a well put-together outfit.
You’ll feel comfortable in Croatia wearing whatever you’d wear at home in similar weather. You may find that local style can be a bit over the top – especially for weddings, when women go all out with sky-high heels, sequins, and perfectly applied makeup.
Temperatures in the fall don’t drop too low, so you won’t need to worry about wearing a bulky jacket. Instead, stay warm by layering like the locals do.
You’ll see ladies wearing a lightweight jacket topped with a large scarf on cooler days and a knitted cardigan on warmer days. Inland in the winter can bring heavy snowfall though, so for trips later in the year, prepare accordingly.
Find out why we love these lightweight jackets for summer travel!
Croatia Weather in Fall and Winter
When creating your Croatia packing list, keep in mind that the weather varies greatly from the coastal cities to the interior regions.
The capital city of Zagreb is a must to visit during the winter to shop at the famous holiday markets. The city is inland and can get as low as 32°F / 0°C with occasional snowstorms.
September is the ideal time to visit the coastal cities, as the crowds have evaporated but the temperatures are still warm enough to dip into the sea.
It’s very rare to see snow along the riviera but it did happen back in 2009, so check weather reports when you’re packing. The coastal cities of Zadar and Dubrovnik have a lot to offer beyond beaches, so don’t rule them out during a winter vacation!
Here are a few outfit ideas to help you plan what to wear in Croatia in fall and winter:
What to Wear in Croatia in Fall
In the capital city of Zagreb, women are dressed in the latest trends. They will lightly layer with sweater dresses, a denim jacket, and chunky heeled booties, so add these items to your Croatia packing list.
Start by reading these general tips on packing for autumn travel:
- How to Pack for Trips with Mixed Weather
- How to Layer Clothes
- Use a Summer Dress to Pack Light in Fall
- Best Shoes for Traveling in Spring and Fall
Fall in Croatia has moderate temperatures, so you likely won’t need scarves or tights. If the weather takes a sudden dip, there are plenty of shops available where you can purchase warm weather accessories.
Croatia Packing List for Fall
To embrace fall style – even with warm temperatures – avoid packing open-toed shoes and short sleeve dresses and shirts. Instead, add to your Croatia packing list denim paired with thin sweaters, maxi dresses in warm hues, and comfortable ballet flats for exploring.
Fall is the ideal time to visit the incredible Plitvice Lakes National Park which can easily be reached from Zagreb or Zadar. Cool weather will make it much more bearable to hike and explore for hours. Opt for hiking shoes over tennis shoes as it’s likely the ground will be wet from frequent rainfall.
Take a look at the best hiking shoes for women!
Swimming isn’t allowed at the Plitvice waterfalls, so you won’t need to bring your swimsuit for this excursion. If the weather is warm enough and you’re already visiting the stunning coastal city of Split, then you can go for a swim near waterfalls at Krka National Park.
The further south you go in Croatia, the longer the warm weather will last! It’s possible to swim even in late October in Dubrovnik.
Here are the best swimwear trends of the season!
What to Wear in Croatia in Winter
If you’re looking to avoid tourist crowds, take long solo walks on the beach, and partake in holiday festivities, then you must visit Croatia in the winter. Even those who dread cold weather will enjoy visiting the usually overcrowded Dubrovnik at this time.
Start by reading these general tips on packing for winter travel:
- Capsule Wardrobe for Winter
- How to Pack for Cold Weather
- How to Stay Warm in Cold Weather (without the bulk)
- The Best Travel Shoes for Winter
Dubrovnik in the winter often stays above 50°F. A sturdy pair of flats should be on your Croatia packing list for when you wall around the ancient city walls, as there are a lot of stairs. You’ll be rewarded with sweeping views of the city and a cool breeze.
Most of the tourist crowds here come from the cruise ships that don’t frequent the city as often during the winter months. You’ll likely have the famous site mostly to yourself!
Looking for comfortable and cute walking shoes for travel? Our readers share their top 20 brands!
Croatia Packing List for Winter
If you’re in northern Croatia or inland, your Croatia packing list will need to include some winter weather essentials, such as a fashionable winter coat, a floppy wool hat, and some sleek pleather gloves.
Locals love to wrap blanket scarves around their shoulders and hang out in cozy cafes to enjoy the cooler weather. It does snow in these parts of Croatia in the deep winter, so it would be wise to bring an umbrella to try to keep yourself dry as you site see.
Take a look at our favorite fashionable winter accessories for women!
The coast is still very beautiful during the winter and worth a visit. If you want to head to the beach, bring a blanket scarf to sit on and wear an extra thick sweater as the air will be cooler by the sea.
If you’re really brave and want to experience a polar bear plunge, then pack a one piece swimsuit and run into the sea. Make sure you have a towel and warm sweatpants and a flannel shirt to put on after your dip to warm your body back up!
Find out how to wear fleece clothing without sacrificing style!
What are your tips on what to wear in Croatia in fall and winter? What would you add to our Croatia packing list? Share in the comments!
For more packing tips, please visit these Europe Packing Lists:
- What to Wear in Romania
- What to Wear in Belgrade
- What to Wear in Istanbul
- What to Pack for the Western Balkan Peninsula
Suggested travel resources:
- Lonely Planet Europe on a Shoestring
- Lonely Planet Croatia (Country Guide)
- How to Choose the Best Walking Shoes in Europe
- The Best Carry-on Suitcases for Europe
I hope you enjoyed this post on what to wear in Croatia in fall and winter and building your Croatia packing list. Please share it with your friends on Facebook, Twitter, or Pinterest. Thanks for reading!
Author Bio: Lola Méndez is a full-time traveler sharing her adventures on Miss Filatelista as she adds to her collection of passport stamps. She travels to develop her own worldview and has explored 46 countries. Passionate about sustainable travel, she seeks out ethical experiences that benefit local communities. You can follow her on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter.