Goran Visnjic was born in Croatia, in a family of a father who was bus driver and a mother that worked at the local food market. Visnjic began acting as a child in Croatia. After completing his military service in the army, he studied at Croatia's Academy of Dramatic Arts in Zagreb. His first notable appearance on stage was while Visnjic was a second-year student and was cast in the role of Hamlet at the Dubrovnik Summer Festival. He played that role annually until 1999, winning several awards for his performance, including Croatia's equivalent of the Tony Award.
Goran is married to Eva Visnjic a well-know artist-sculptor and a daughter of Antun Vrdoljak. The couple has three children, two sons and a daughter.