12 Best Things to Do in Makarska, Croatia

Nestled along the picturesque Dalmatian coast of Croatia lies the enchanting town of Makarska.

With its stunning beaches, historic charm, and vibrant local culture, Makarska is a hidden gem just waiting to be explored. If you're planning a visit to this coastal paradise, you're in for a treat!

Here's my list of the 12 best things to do in Makarska. ✨

Main | Additional Recommendations | Final Thoughts

Best Things to Do in Makarska, Croatia

1. Relax on Makarska's Beaches

Makarska is renowned for its pristine beaches, and there's no better way to start your visit than by basking in the sun and sea. Makarska Beach, stretching almost 2 kilometers along the town, is a picture-perfect pebble beach offering crystal-clear waters ideal for swimming.

The backdrop of the Biokovo mountains adds to the charm, providing a dramatic contrast between the azure sea and rugged terrain.

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Keep in mind that these beaches can get crowded during peak travel periods in July and August, but they offer a more serene experience during the rest of the year.


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For a quieter, more secluded experience, venture to Nugal Beach, accessible only by a scenic trail through the pine forest. Its untouched beauty and crystal waters make it a hidden paradise for nature lovers.

2. Stroll Along the Makarska Riviera

The Makarska Riviera promenade is a lively hub of activity that provides an excellent introduction to the town's coastal vibe. As you stroll along the palm-fringed walkway, you'll encounter an array of cafes, restaurants, and boutique shops.

This is the perfect spot for a leisurely afternoon or evening walk, especially at sunset when the sky transforms into a breathtaking canvas of colors.

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The promenade is also dotted with benches, making it ideal for a romantic moment or simply enjoying the sea breeze, but the thing I loved the most was going on a kayak tour across the Makarska Riviera.


Click here to see tickets and availability for transport from Makarska to nearby places.

3. Explore St. Mark's Cathedral

A visit to Makarska wouldn't be complete without exploring its rich history, and St. Mark's Cathedral is a prime example.

The cathedral, dating back to the 18th century, boasts a stunning baroque facade that's a testament to the town's artistic heritage. Inside, intricate stonework and exquisite altar pieces captivate visitors.

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Take your time to appreciate the craftsmanship and history of this beautiful cathedral while pondering the centuries of worship that have taken place within its walls.

Whether you're on a romantic cruise for two or a leisurely evening sail with friends, our guided tours ensure you'll experience the Adriatic's splendor in all its glory. Prepare to be captivated by the stunning natural landscapes, creating lasting memories of this remarkable destination.

tour guide

Click here to view romantic tours from Makarska to Brač and Hvar.

4. Hike Mount Biokovo

For outdoor enthusiasts, hiking the Biokovo Nature Park offers a thrilling adventure.

The park's network of hiking trails offers various levels of difficulty, catering to both novice and experienced hikers. The highlight is the challenging ascent to the summit of Mount Biokovo.

While it requires stamina, the panoramic views of the Adriatic coastline, nearby islands, and the rugged mountains themselves are well worth the effort.

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The ever-changing landscape, with its unique flora and fauna, ensures a hike that's both physically rewarding and visually captivating.

Makarska also enjoys proximity such as Krka, which have amazing waterfalls! Take a break from the sea to hike in the mountains and swim beneath beautiful waterfalls. There are many tours from Makarska to Krka!

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The driving distance from Makarska to Krka National Park can vary depending on the specific route you take, but it's approximately 140 to 160 kilometers (87 to 99 miles). The journey typically takes around 2.5 to 3 hours by car, depending on traffic conditions and the route chosen.


To reach national national parks from Makarska, I recommend booking a car through Discover Cars with free cancellation and insurance included.

5. Discover Makarska's Old Town

Makarska's Old Town is a delightful labyrinth of narrow streets, quaint squares, and historic buildings. Wander through its charming alleyways, and you'll find yourself immersed in centuries of culture and tradition.

Be sure to visit the Old Town Square, where you can relax in a cafe and watch the world go by.

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As you explore, you'll encounter architectural gems like the Venetian Baroque houses that line the streets, showcasing the town's Venetian influence.

So, if you're visiting Makarska for the first time, make sure to book your hotel close to Makarska's Old Town.

6. Visit the Franciscan Monastery and Museum

The Franciscan Monastery, founded in the 16th century, is a tranquil oasis amid the town's bustling streets.

The monastery houses a fascinating museum that offers a glimpse into Makarska's past.

Inside, you'll find an impressive collection of art, religious artifacts, and historical documents. The serene courtyard and peaceful atmosphere make it an ideal place for reflection and a break from the town's hustle and bustle.

Whether you're on a romantic cruise or a leisurely evening sail with friends, watching the sunset over the Adriatic is a truly unforgettable experience that will leave you in awe of nature's beauty.


When searching for hotels in Makarska, consider your budget, the type of accommodation you prefer. Click here to view all your hotel options in Makarska.

7. Sample Local Cuisine

Croatian cuisine is a delightful fusion of Mediterranean and Balkan flavors, and Makarska's restaurants offer an array of delectable dishes.

Seafood lovers will revel in fresh catches like grilled fish and octopus salad, while meat enthusiasts can savor traditional lamb dishes and peka, a slow-cooked masterpiece.

To complete your culinary journey, don't forget to try the local wines and rakija, a potent fruit brandy that's a staple of Croatian hospitality.

8. Take a Boat Trip to Nearby Islands

Makarska's strategic location makes it an ideal starting point for island-hopping adventures. Brač and Hvar, two of the most famous Croatian islands, are easily accessible by boat.

A day trip to Brač allows you to explore the iconic Zlatni Rat Beach and the charming town of Bol. You can also take

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Meanwhile, Hvar boasts historic sites, crystal-clear coves, and a vibrant nightlife scene, making it perfect for a day of exploration or relaxation.

Read More: Click here to learn about Hvar's best restaurants!

9. Admire the Sea Shells Museum

Makarska is home to a hidden gem that captivates visitors of all ages—the Malacological Museum, dedicated to sea shells. This unique museum houses an extensive collection of shells from around the world, meticulously curated and displayed.

From tiny specimens to massive conch shells, the sheer diversity and beauty of these ocean treasures are sure to leave you in awe.

The museum provides an educational and visually stunning experience, making it a must-visit attraction in Makarska.

10. Attend the Makarska Summer Festival

If your visit aligns with the summer season, consider yourself lucky!

The Makarska Summer Festival is an annual extravaganza that showcases the town's cultural vitality. During this time, the streets come alive with a plethora of events, including concerts, theater performances, art exhibitions, and local festivities.

The festival offers an opportunity to immerse yourself in the local culture and connect with the warm and welcoming community of Makarska.

For more info on Makarska Summer Festival and the latest events happening in Makarska, click here for the official website, but make sure to translate to English as it's all in Croatian.

11. Experience Water Sports

With its clear waters and favorable wind conditions, Makarska offers an excellent playground for water sports enthusiasts.

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Windsurfing and paddleboarding are popular activities along the coast, and you'll find rental shops and instructors ready to help beginners get started. For a deeper dive into the Adriatic's wonders, consider a scuba diving excursion.

Exploring underwater caves, vibrant coral formations, and diverse marine life will add an unforgettable dimension to your visit.

12. Sunset at Sveti Petar Lighthouse

To conclude your day in Makarska with an unforgettable memory, make your way to Sveti Petar Lighthouse.

A short walk from the town center, this vantage point offers a mesmerizing view of the sun setting over the Adriatic.

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As the sky transitions through hues of orange and pink, you'll witness a serene and romantic spectacle that perfectly encapsulates the beauty and tranquility of Makarska.

Additional Questions

As you plan your visit to Makarska, Croatia, you might have some lingering questions about this charming coastal town and the best things to do in Makarska.

To help you make the most of your trip, here are some common queries that first-time visitors often have:

Is it worth visiting Makarska?

Makarska is unquestionably worth a visit for travelers seeking a blend of natural beauty, culture, and relaxation. Its stunning beaches, rich history, and vibrant local scene make it a well-rounded destination.

Whether you're a beach lover, a history enthusiast, or an adventure seeker, Makarska has something to offer. It's a hidden gem along the Dalmatian coast that promises a memorable and authentic Croatian experience.

How many days do you need in Makarska?

The ideal duration of your stay in Makarska for experiencing the best things to do depends on your travel preferences and the activities you want to explore.

For a leisurely experience that covers the best things to do in Makarska and allows time for relaxation, consider staying for at least 3 to 4 days. This allows you to explore the town, its surroundings, and nearby islands without feeling rushed.


When searching for hotels in Makarska, consider your budget, the type of accommodation you prefer. Click here to view all your hotel options in Makarska.

What is Makarska known for?

Makarska is known for its stunning pebble beaches, nestled against a backdrop of the majestic Biokovo mountains. It's also celebrated for its rich history, including landmarks like St. Mark's Cathedral and the Franciscan Monastery.

The town is famous for its seafood, particularly fresh catches from the Adriatic Sea, and its vibrant summer festivals that showcase local culture and arts.

Additionally, Makarska serves as a gateway to nearby islands such as Brač and Hvar, known for their beauty and charm.

tour guide

Click here to view romantic tours from Makarska to Brač and Hvar.

Is Makarska good for partying?

While Makarska is not as renowned for its nightlife as some other Croatian destinations like Split or Hvar, it does offer a decent nightlife scene, especially during the summer months.

You can find bars, clubs, and beachfront venues where you can enjoy music, drinks, and dancing. If you're looking for a lively party atmosphere, visiting during the peak tourist season, typically from June to August, is your best bet.

Outside of this period, the nightlife may be more subdued.

Are there any hidden gems in Makarska worth exploring?

While Makarska's main attractions are well-known, there are also some hidden gems waiting to be discovered.

Consider exploring the Malacological Museum with its fascinating sea shell collection, and don't miss the peaceful Sveti Petar Lighthouse for a breathtaking sunset view.

Additionally, venture into the quieter streets of the Old Town to uncover charming cafes, shops, and local eateries that may not be as crowded as those along the promenade.

What are the best day trips from Makarska?

Makarska's strategic location on the Adriatic coast makes it an excellent base for day trips to nearby attractions.

Apart from Brač and Hvar islands, you can explore the historic town of Split, the ancient ruins of Salona, or the natural wonders of Krka National Park.

Each of these destinations offers unique experiences and can be easily reached from Makarska.


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Final Thoughts

Makarska, Croatia, is a hidden gem on the Dalmatian coast that offers a perfect blend of natural beauty, history, and vibrant local culture. From its pristine beaches to the awe-inspiring Mount Biokovo, Makarska has something for every traveler.

As you explore the best things to do in Makarska, including relaxing on its beautiful beaches, strolling through the historic Old Town, and savoring delicious Croatian cuisine, you'll find yourself captivated by the town's charm.

Whether you're seeking relaxation or adventure, Makarska promises an unforgettable experience that will leave you with cherished memories of this coastal paradise.

I hope you enjoyed this list of best things to do in Makarska! ❤️ 

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