CROATIA TRAVEL GUIDE

CROATIA TRAVEL GUIDE

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TOP CROATIA TRAVEL TIPS

Dobrodošli u Hrvatsku!

Croatia – known as “the land of 1000 islands”, Croatia is home to 10 UNESCO World Heritage Sites, including Plitvice Lakes National Park, the Old City of Dubrovnik (one of the Game of Thrones filming locations), and the Palace of Diocletian within the historical center of Split.

Croatia is also known for its capital, Zagreb, its  Dalmation Coast with beautiful islands and stunning beaches – like Zlatni Rat Beach (Golden Horn), the birthplace of Zinfandel wine (no, it’s not California), Marco Polo, Ivan Mestrovic, Nikola Tesla, Goran Visnjic, Rade Serbedzija, and Branko Lustig.

LANGUAGES IN CROATIA

Standard Croatian is the official language of Croatia spoken by 95% of the population. The remaining 5% speak Standard Bosnian and Standard Serbian.

How's Your Croatian?

Need any easy way to brush up on your Croatian for your trip to Croatia?

CROATIAN CULTURE

Formerly part of Yugoslavia, Croatia has been independent since 1991. However, Croatia has been civilized since the 6th century. Since then, it has joined the European Union but will not adopt use of the Euro until its two land masses are formally connected (a bridge is in the works).

Croatia borders six countries from the north, east and south, and the Adriatic Sea to the west, which helps fuel its tourism industry that the Croatian economy relies on.

Croatians like to drink – they are 4th in world alcohol consumption, with Rakija being the most popular spirit. Croatians also enjoy fresh seafood daily like octopus, oysters, shrimp and mussels, along with pasta, olive oil, pag cheese and pork.

Over 85% of Croatians are Catholic with the remaining being Serbian Orthodox and Muslim.

The Croatian government is comprised of a democratically elected parliament with the Prime Minister as the head of government.

Croatians place high importance on family where extended family living is common with children still living at home through higher education and/or until marriage. Croatia is traditionally a patriarchal society, but women have been in the workforce for years and experience mostly equality terms of labor.  Although most Croatians hold the conservative belief that marriage is between a man and woman, most younger Croatians are more liberal. 

Croatians are very friendly and hospitable. They love to entertain and socialize over coffee or meals with family and friends, at sporting events (football is highly popular), and in clubs and pubs.

POPULAR CROATIAN ACTIVITIES

Croatia’s is blessed with a 3,900-mile-long coastline on the Adriatic Sea, which provides some of the clearest waters, best beaches in the world, and access to activities like snorkeling, swimming, kayaking, boating, fishing, diving, and parasailing.

Croatia has national parks with waterfalls, great for hiking, climbing and camping.

Croatians have been making wine for over 2,500 years, so wine-tasting is a popular, especially along the Dalmatian coast and islands.

Food and music festivals can be found year-round in Croatia making for planning a trip to Croatia fun any time of the year.

CROATIAN CURRENCY

The Croatia uses the Croatian kuna (HRK). The Euro may be used in certain places, making a possible back-up if you have no kuna on you. Check throughout your travel planning phase on any exchange rate changes.

CROATIA TRANSPORTATION

Croatia has Bolt, Uber, Carpoolworld, and other possible regional ridesharing services and apps (research in advance if they are in your destination area). There are also rental cars and taxis, of course.

Croatia also part of Europe’s incredible regional and inter-country bus and train services, so getting around and booking transportation is easy.

TIPPING IN CROATIA

Traveling in a new country is easier when you know the country’s tipping etiquette in advance as each country has its own rules.  That said, country rules and norms can shift, so here is an international tipping resource for over 70 countries to use as a general guideline that I have found is constantly updated. 

What’s not on there is how to tip a concierge, beauty salons or spas, travel or tour guides, etc.  For these extras, it is acceptable to tip 10% at minimum. Remember, tipping is for good service only.

Additionally, you should always tip in the local currency (if tipping in cash), and do not be offended if your tip is refused as it may not be the norm. I feel it’s always better to offer a tip for good service than not, unless I know it will be considered offensive, like in Japan.

CROATIA'S HOLIDAYS

key activity to do in your early planning stage is to know, at minimum, the national holidays. I so suggest also looking into the local holidays.  It’s a complete bummer to spend time and money to take the holiday of your lifetime and when you show up at one of your key attractions, it’s closed due to a holiday.  It’s also not fun trying to travel and have a hard time accessing travel or other essential resources when no one is around because, yes, it’s a local holiday. So, take just a few moments to look at Croatia’s holidays.

ELECTRONIC ESSENTIALS

Besides money, required ID and your ticket, Croatia voltage is 230V and the standard frequency is 50 Hz, so bring Type C and F adapters (it doesn’t hurt to bring 2 of each) for Belgium outlets and research if your electronics require a voltage converter, if not already included in the adapter; or, you can bring electronics already adapted for Croatian outlets or wait to purchase them there (I recommend just bringing the adapters with converter).  Remember, most smart phones, tablets and laptops don’t require a converter, but double-check your device(s) before you leave home.  If you are going to another country in addition to Croatia on your trip, you can check the global adapters list to make sure you’re prepared. I have also provided suggested adapters below for your convenience.

Schuko, Germany France Travel Power Adapter by Ceptics, Grounded European Plug - Type E/F Outlet, Adaptor for USA to Europe EU Socket - 3 Pack - Use In Norway, Korea, Spain, Greece, Russa, Iceland
14,100 Reviews
Schuko, Germany France Travel Power Adapter by Ceptics, Grounded European Plug - Type E/F Outlet, Adaptor for USA to Europe EU Socket - 3 Pack - Use In Norway, Korea, Spain, Greece, Russa, Iceland*
  • Compact heavy duty - 3 prong grounded safe Type E/F Plug adapter - Compatible in most of European countries such as
  • Perfect for travelling and using with your iPhone charger, laptop charger, camera charger and other dual voltage chargers.
  • Accepts plugs from all countries including USA, does not accept plugs from S. Africa
European Travel Plug Adapter by Ceptics Europe Power Adaptor Charger Dual Input - Ultra Compact - Light Weight - USA to any Type C Countries such as Italy, Iceland, Austria and More (CT-9C), white
6,002 Reviews
European Travel Plug Adapter by Ceptics Europe Power Adaptor Charger Dual Input - Ultra Compact - Light Weight - USA to any Type C Countries such as Italy, Iceland, Austria and More (CT-9C), white*
  • Perfect for your travel needs: This is all you need to charge your cell phones, laptops, camera chargers, CPAP machine or anything else that is dual voltage Compatible.
  • 2 in 1 Input: Accepts the standard N American 2 and/or 3 prong flat pin Plug (including polarized) - No Messy Universal Outlet
  • Ultra Compact Size & Safe: only measures 1.5 x 1.5 x 1.75" & max load rating: 10-15A/250V, round pin thickness - 4.0 mm
Ceptics Travel Adapter with Types A-M Plugs, Travel Plug Adapter Set Compatible with Power Sockets in All Continents, Compact World Travel Adapter, International Plug Adaptor Kit, Set of 12,GP-12PK
471 Reviews
Ceptics Travel Adapter with Types A-M Plugs, Travel Plug Adapter Set Compatible with Power Sockets in All Continents, Compact World Travel Adapter, International Plug Adaptor Kit, Set of 12,GP-12PK*
  • A Powerful Set of 12 Adapters - Our all-in-one international travel adapter set features 1 universal input socket that allows you to connect a plug from almost any country worldwide, including the 2-prong and 3-prong North American plugs.

TRAVEL DOCUMENTS FOR CROATIA

From the U.S., you will need a valid passport.  Visa’s are not required.  Make sure your passport expiration date is greater than 3 months from your return to the U.S. The U.S. State Department always has their link up to date with pertinent information when traveling to Croatia. It is advised to always check there during your planning stage and again before you leave.  If you are not from the U.S., please check your government’s website.

VACCINATIONS FOR CROATIA

There are normally no vaccinations required for Croatia travel. The U.S. State Department always has their link up to date with pertinent information when traveling to Croatia.  It is advised to always check there during your planning stage and again before you leave.  If you are not from the U.S., please check your government’s website.

CROATIA TRAVEL BOOKING

CROATIA ECOTOURISM TIPS

There are ways to reduce your eco and carbon footprint through air travel, accommodations, tours, and activities in Croatia. To help avoid greenwashing businesses, here are some eco-friendly or sustainable travel (also called responsible travel) tips and resources, you can use to book your travel.

ECO-FRIENDLY AIR TRAVEL

Skyscanner provides a ‘Greener flights’ filter highlighting flights that emit less CO2.

Purchase carbon offsets through your airline or through a third party, like MyClimate.org, Carbonfund.org, or terrapass. Carbon offsetting allows you to buy a certificate to reduce carbon emissions, a major contributor to climate change, which in turn contribute community projects across countries to reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions.

ECO-FRIENDLY GROUND TRANSPORTATION

Try to avoid renting a car in Croatia by using Europe’s regional and inter-country bus and train services.

When booking a rideshare in Croatia, select the Bolt Green or Uber Green options instead of a traditional rideshare, or use Carpoolworld, to support the use of electric cars and carpooling for cleaner transportation in Croatia.

Bolt also has electric scooters to rent in Croatia for fast and clean commuting in select cities.

ECO-FRIENDLY ACCOMMODATIONS

Look for accommodations with the following self and third-party assessed certifications when you book:

Green Globe – Green Globe certifies hotels, resorts, conference centers, transportation, attractions, tour operators, and other tourism businesses globally on sustainable operations and management. Look for Croatia and other European Green Global members.

Green Key Global is an internationally recognized environmental certification for the lodging and meetings industries, including hotels and hostels, campsites and holiday parks, restaurants and attractions in 65 countries. Search for Green Key awarded sites.

Living Building Challenge – if you want to stay in a true, sustainable building, find one certified by the Living Building Challenge. LBC’s certification directory shows all project types globally. Hopefully they will put in a filter soon to allow searching by hotels or hospitality type.

LEED Certified – the USGBC’s LEED Certified label on buildings, like many of the Marriott’s hotels, are those that have verifiably employed multiple and varying green building strategies to improve human and environmental health. Search the LEED directory for Croatia certifications.

Green Lodging Program – Audubon International has an environmental stewardship certification through third-party verification. Search its certified members directory.

GSTC Certified – the Global Sustainable Tourism Council provides global standards for sustainable travel and tourism, as well as international accreditation for sustainable tourism Certification Bodies. Booking sites that offer GSTC certified sustainable are bookdifferent, EcoHotels, and Transat.

Another way to find an establishments implementing eco-friendly or sustainable practices, certified or not, is through Booking.com in which you’ll need to find and review each establishment’s ‘Sustainable Initiatives’ within the booking process. Starting 2022, however, you’ll be able to filter searches for accommodations with the Travel Sustainable badge. Finally!

ECO-FRIENDLY ACTIVITIES

Croatia has ecotourism ideas available to explore for your next vacation.

Search Green Global and Green Key awarded members for eco-friendly activity providers in Croatia. Some may also have the GSTC Certified logo.

MORE ECO-TRAVEL TIPS

There are more ways to do your part for the planet in your responsible travel.  Read my 10 Easy Eco-Travel Tips and view my suggested Eco Travel Resources to learn more.

CROATIA SAFETY TIPS

HOW TO TRAVEL CROATIA SAFELY

For the most part, Croatia is considered a safe place to visit.  Street crime is unlikely. Beyond any possible theft or pickpocketing, which could happen in most tourist places to be honest, there is nothing I can recall from Croatia making it more of a “safety concern” than traveling in my own home country, so my standard tips for female and solo travelers are:

  • always carry photo ID with you; if you don’t want your passport on you at all times, at least carry a copy of it.
  • always be “street wise”.
  • always be aware of your surroundings, especially if you feel the need to imbibe or feel the need to “let loose” – you’re on vacation so have fun!
  • never leave your food or drink unattended.
  • keep your belongs on your person, or at least in your view in close proximity, at all times.
  • be open to meeting and talking with new people – that is where a lot of the travel experience lies – but be careful on how you divulge personal information.
  • research places in advance, if possible, so you know what to expect (i.e., “have a familiar view” – I like to Google the street view of new addresses I’m going to first).
  • if something, someone or someplace makes you feel uncomfortable, go with your gut – leave.

CROATIA BUDGET TRAVEL TIPS

BEST TIME TO VISIT CROATIA

Like other countries in Europe, Croatia’s high, tourist season, and most expensive time, is the summer (June to August). Crowds are not as heavy in the Spring (April to May) and Fall (September and October), and prices in these months are lower than the summer season.  The least expensive time to go to Croatia would be November to March.  For overall best weather and prices, try booking well in advance for Spring or Autumn.

PERSONAL STORY

I was in Croatia in September 2021. First, the weather in September was off the charts, and there were a lot less tourists.  The people are also very nice and accommodating. Croatians are also very proud of their history and are not afraid to share it with you.  Split is very beautiful with many activities to choose from. I went kayaking, cliff jumping, and took a boat to Brac for sun bathing and swimming on the Golden Horn and wine tasting. I also enjoyed great food and a lot of history. I completely recommend Croatia. I must say, I cannot wait to go back.

CROATIA PHOTOS

CROATIA & EUROPE BLOG POSTS

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