Are you looking for the best tips for traveling to Croatia?
What comes to your mind when you think of Croatia? Is it beautiful beaches, the opportunity to hop from one island to another, the rich and cultural heritage, delicious food, or the nice Mediterranean weather? Or maybe Zagreb?
Yes, I can only agree with you. On top of that, you might think of Croatia as the most popular holiday destination in the Balkans. That’s also true! Croatia is leading the way in the Balkans with a booming tourist industry.
With a lengthy Adriatic Sea coastline and a rich history that dates back thousands of years, Croatia is a stunning and fascinating place to go. I would therefore like to share my ten most useful tips for traveling to Croatia in this blog with you.
1. Check Visa Requirements
This is probably the first thing you need to find out. Checking your country’s visa requirements is my first piece of advice when visiting Croatia. You can enter Croatia as a tourist without a visa if you are from the United States, Canada or the European Union.
If you’re from another country, you might need to confirm the visa requirements before your trip. In order to prevent any last-minute problems, make sure to review the criteria far in advance.
Recently, Croatia also implemented a new digital nomad visa policy. This allows you to live in Croatia for up to a year while working remotely for a business outside Croatia (including your own business).
You can find the official info from the Croatian government here.
2. Currency Exchange
The Kuna was Croatia’s official unit of currency until the 31st of January 2022. Since the beginning of this year, they adopted the Euro.
It’s always a good idea to utilize ATMs while you’re abroad or to exchange some cash before you travel.
To get the greatest value and prevent being overcharged, make sure to keep an eye on currency rates if you’re from a country that’s not using the Euro.
Croatia is also considered to be one of the most expensive holiday destinations in the Balkans, so make sure you do some good research before you book something.
3. Learn some Basic Croatian Phrases
Although English is widely spoken in Croatia, especially in tourist regions, Croatian is the official language. However, knowing a few fundamental Croatian phrases might be advantageous and welcomed.
You can say “molim” (please), “hvala” (thank you), and “dovienja” (goodbye) among other words, to start with. Here are some more useful basic phrases:
- Dobar dan – Good day
- Izvinite – Excuse me
- Kako se zovete? – What’s your name? (formal)
- Kako se zoveš? – What’s your name? (informal)
- Govorite li engleski? – Do you speak English?
- Da – Yes
- Ne – No
- Koliko košta? – How much does it cost?
- Gdje je WC? – Where is the restroom?
- Molim Vas, račun – Can I have the bill, please?
- Hvala lijepa – Thank you very much
- Laku noć – Good night
- Bok – Bye
Your trip will be more enriching if you can interact with locals and express yourself in their language. Especially when you plan to go rural. But again, if you’re heading to tourist spots, you’ll be more than fine with English.
When you’re making travel plans to Croatia, the weather is an important consideration. Croatia experiences scorching summers and mild winters due to its Mediterranean climate.
Before you leave, check the weather prediction so you can bring the right clothes.
Consider packing layers in case it turns chilly and keep in mind that the weather can change suddenly. It also depends if you’re looking for a beach holiday or whether you decide to go for a hike in the mountains.
I have to start off with the fact that I never experienced anything bad in Croatia. I’ve visited Croatia numerous times. By myself, with my friends, with my wife Jana, but always felt really safe.
But when visiting any country, safety should always come first, and Croatia is no exception.
Although traveling to Croatia is typically secure, it’s still a good idea to be alert of your surroundings and take security measures to protect both yourself and your things.
Try to avoid walking alone at night in isolated regions if you don’t feel comfortable, and use caution in populated areas like markets and transit hubs. Having said that, Croatia feels like one of the safest countries, I’ve been too.
6. Respect Croatian Culture and Customs
This is very important in my opinion and can make or break your holiday. Croatian culture and customs have a rich heritage, with influences from its various conquerors throughout history.
Be respectful of local customs and traditions, especially when visiting religious sites.
For example, dress modestly and take off your shoes when visiting churches, and avoid taking photos of people without their permission.
Showing interest in Croatian culture and history can also be a great way to connect with locals and learn more about the country.
7. Try Croatian Cuisine
Yes! I love Croatian food. While you’re there, make sure to taste some of the regional delicacies. Popular seafood dishes include grilled fish and shellfish as well as classic stews made with mussels or shrimp, white wine, garlic, and tomato sauce, like buzara.
Croatian cuisine also features a variety of meat dishes, with a concentration on grilled or roasted meats, particularly lamb and swine.
Small grilled sausages cooked from a combination of beef, pork, and lamb make up the delicacy known as čevapčići, which is quite popular (you’ll find this dish throughout the Balkans actually and their taste differs from place to place).
Grilled veal and lamb chops are some additional preferred meat meals.
Along with a variety of homemade pasta dishes, Croatian cuisine offers pljukanci, which are short, thick noodles, and fuzi, which resemble Italian fettuccine.
Pasta dishes like these are often served with a variety of sauces, such as classic meat or mushroom sauces. Very nice!
8. Visit the top attractions
Croatia has many attractions for tourists, including historic cities like Dubrovnik and Split, natural wonders like Plitvice Lakes National Park, and cultural events like the Dubrovnik Summer Festival.
I would really recommend doing some research before you go to plan your itinerary, and make sure to book your tickets in advance for popular attractions. Croatia has much more beautiful and interesting places, but it deserves a seperate blog.
Croatia has an effective public transportation system that includes busses, trains, and ferries. Taxis are also commonly accessible, however, be mindful of the costs and only use authorized taxis.
Be warned that the roads can be curvy and narrow, especially along the shore, if you want to rent a car.
Driving at night can be tricky as well. A valid international driver’s license is a must, and you should be familiar with Croatian traffic laws.
10. Take Advantage of Local Festivals and Events
Croatia has a rich calendar of festivals and events, which are a great way to experience the local culture and traditions. Some of the most popular events include the Dubrovnik Summer Festival, the Split Summer Festival, and the Carnival of Rijeka.
Be sure to check the calendar of events before you go, and plan your trip accordingly.
The Wrap-Up: Ten Useful Tips for Traveling to Croatia
Croatia is a great place to visit and is rightfully one of the most popular holiday destinations in Europe. So prepare for an adventure, pack your luggage, and take advantage of everything Croatia has to offer!
If you’re thinking of a road trip through the Balkans, here are twenty-two do’s and don’ts.
And if you’re interested in knowing more about Croatia, check out my post about the 31 things that Croatia’s know for!
Your restless voyager,