Countries like France and Italy tend to be the most visited places in Europe, but there’s much more to see in this amazing continent as one heads further west. Croatia is one example of a country that's starting to see a real surge in tourist interest in recent years, with many people choosing Croatia over other European destinations for its warm weather, gorgeous beaches, and unique culture.

More ideas: Best Weekend Getaways, Best Day Trips

Many people flying to Croatia land in the coastal city of Dubrovnik and spend most of their time in this stunning city. Looking out over the Adriatic Sea, Dubrovnik is renowned for its historic Old Town district, which is completely surrounded by huge stone walls built back in the 16th century. Some of the top landmarks to see in Dubrovnik include the Rector's Palace, Sponza Palace, and St. Blaise Church, and there's lots more to see and do all around this Croatian city.

Dubrovnik is also a popular destination due to its location right near the international borders separating Croatia from other countries like Bosnia and Herzegovina and Montenegro. In fact, many people wishing to visit Montenegro find it easier to fly into Dubrovnik first and then travel over the border. There are plenty of great day trips to Montenegro you can do from Dubrovnik too. Here are some examples.

Day Trip From Dubrovnik to Niksic

The second biggest city in Montenegro, Niksic is situated in the western part of the country. Many tourists in Montenegro tend to flock to the country's coastal regions, but Niksic has a lot to offer as well. Surrounded by hills and lakes, it's a beautiful place with history dating all the way back to the 4th century.

There are plenty of historic monuments to be found around Niksic, and many people visit this city to enjoy peaceful days near the local lakes of Slano, Krupac, and Liverovici. You can drive to Niksic from Dubrovnik, following the M6 for around two hours in total. It's also possible to find buses running along this route, but the timings can vary as Niksic is not one of the most popular day trip destinations in Montenegro.

Day Trip From Dubrovnik to Kotor

A gorgeous coastal town looking out over the Adriatic Sea, Kotor is a beautiful place with lots of little winding streets and alleys, as well as some amazing architecture and unique monuments like the Our Lady of the Rocks island and Kotor Cathedral. The Bay of Kotor is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and the city is a very relaxing place to walk around.

Those who choose to drive to Kotor from Dubrovnik for a day trip will need to follow the D8 and E80 along the coast. The journey can be done in a little over two hours. You can also find buses running direct to Kotor from Dubrovnik, and this can be one of the cheapest options for a Montenegro day trip out of Dubrovnik.

Day Trip From Dubrovnik to Budva

Another dream destination looking out over the Adriatic Sea, Budva is home to around 60,000 people and is a very popular spot with young people and groups of friends due to its thriving nightlife scene. There are some great bars and clubs in Budva, but it's also home to some super beaches and fascinating medieval buildings and religious monuments too.

Budva is one of the furthest destinations you could choose for a Montenegro day trip from Dubrovnik. The drive will take about three hours in total. A bus ride will take even longer, so it can be wise to either hire a rental vehicle and set off early in the morning, or sign up for a spot on an organized day trip tour. Those who visit Budva should take a walk around the Old Town district to see the best sights and be sure to spend a little time down on the beach.

Day Trip From Dubrovnik to Herceg Novi

If you're looking to head off the beaten path a little, Herceg Novi is widely considered to be one of the true hidden gems of Montenegro's coast. It's quite a small and sleepy place, however, especially when compared to some of the other cities further along the coast, so it's a nice spot for couples or travelers looking for something a little more intimate and cozy.

You can get buses to Herceg Novi or drive there yourself, and the journey can be done in around 90 minutes on a good day, so it’s a very convenient option as a day trip from Dubrovnik. Be sure to check out the Forte Mare fortress and the highly impressive St Michael Archangel Church during your stay.

Day Trip from Dubrovnik to Podgorica

Podgorica is the capital city of Montenegro, so it's definitely worth a visit for anyone who wants to see and experience a rich slice of Montenegrin life. There are a lot of things to do and see in Podgorica including walks along the Ribnica River, crossing over the Millennium Bridge, admiring the old Clock Tower, and stopping off at Skadar Lake.

Podgorica is quite far from Dubrovnik, but if you follow the M6 to Niksic and then turn off onto the E762, you can be there in less than three hours. Those wishing for a more scenic drive can also follow the roads along the coast, but it’ll take you an extra hour or longer to actually reach your destination.