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The city is noted for its palm-fringed promenade, where fashionable cafés, bars and boutiques overlook the pretty harbour where many pleasure craft are moored.

One of the main sights in the town is the Franciscan monastery, which was built in 1614. The basement of the monastery houses a Malacological museum which apparently has the largest collection of snails, shells and mussels in the world. Fossils from the region are also on display. Another important sight is the Parish Church of St. Mark, on the main square (Kacicev trg), which was built in 1776.

Makarska is the center of the Makarska Riviera, one of the most popular tourist destinations in Croatia. The Makarska Riviera stretches for 60km between the towns of Brela and Gradac. The Riviera is one of the most beautiful parts of the Adriatic coast with countless sandy and pebble beaches, pine trees, sparkling water and peaceful bays. The area is also known for Biokovo Mountain, which overlooks the coastal area.