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Croatia Travel Guide

With a long and beautiful coastline flanked by more than a thousand islands, Croatia has become one of Europe's most popular coastal holiday destinations. Croatia emerged as a vacation hotspot after many years of civil unrest, but tourists are losing no time in taking advantage of the country's many attractions.

Croatia's capital, Zagreb, is a stately European city with beautiful architecture, vibrant culture and lively nightlife, and plenty of first-class shops and restaurants to entertain visitors. The inland region of Croatia contrasts with the Dalmatian coast with its lush forest-covered mountains and centuries-old castles. A paradise for outdoor activities like hiking and rock climbing, northern Croatia is also a great place to sample traditional Croatian culture, which dates back to Roman times.

The most popular holiday spots in Croatia are along the coast, however. Holiday resorts on the Adriatic rival the Greek islands for idyllic weather, stunning scenery and lively local culture, and cruises along the Croatian coast are rapidly gaining in popularity. Medieval port cities like Dubrovnik and Split offer cultural and historical attractions, while tiny towns on islands like Krk and Hvar are a great place to escape the bustle of big cities and enjoy the sleepy atmosphere of this Mediterranean gem.

Best time to visit Croatia

The weather in Croatia is fairly predictable, with warm summers and cold winters. The best time to visit Croatia is in the warm summer months between May and September; however, July and August can be very crowded, especially in coastal resorts.

What to see in Croatia

-Stroll the cobblestone streets of Trogir.

-Watch a 15th-century Moreska sword dance in Korcula Town.

-Explore the 13th-century Trakoscan Castle.

-Visit the ruins of Diocletian's Palace near Split.

What to do in Croatia

-Spend a weekend in the holiday towns of Krk Island.

-See a ballet at the lovely Croatian National Theatre.

-Go shopping at the markets in Dubrovnik's Old Port area.

-Hike to the gorgeous Plitvice Lakes near Zagreb.

Getting to Croatia

Getting to Croatia is fairly easy. There are direct cheap flights to Croatia from London and other major UK airports, and even some direct flights to Croatia from the US. There are also great cruise deals available.


The Survival League by Gordon Nuhanovic, and Zagreb, Exit South by Edo Popovic.




Acting Hamlet in the Village of Mrduša Donja (1974), Horseman (2003), and the Game of Thrones TV series (part of which is shot on the Dalmatian coast).


Sweet Muscat wine and Maraschino liqueur.


Fresh-roasted Dalmatian game and seafood.

What to buy

Handmade lace and Croatian wine.

What to Pack

Bring comfortable shoes for walking around cobbled streets and hiking.

What's on in Croatia

Croatia hosts numerous folk festivals as well as world-class music concerts. Top international acts perform each summer at the Dubrovnik Summer Festival. The International Puppet Festival, held each summer in Zagreb, is entertaining for both old and young.

Did you know?

-The necktie was invented in Croatia; the name 'cravat' comes from the word 'Croat'.

-Dalmatians originally came from the Dalmatian coast.

-Almost 90 percent of Croatians consider themselves Roman Catholic.

-The roads in Croatia are said to be some of the best in Europe.

A final word

Sunny beach resorts, lively cities, and quaint medieval towns make Croatia an increasingly popular European holiday destination.


The official language is Croatian.


The official unit of currency is the Kuna (HRK). One Kuna is divided into 100 Lipa. ATMs are plentiful throughout the country and banks, authorised bureaux de change, post offices and most hotels exchange foreign currency. Banks open Monday to Saturday and some banks also open on Sundays in the main cities. Major credit cards are widely accepted at the main hotels and restaurants, and may be used to draw cash from ATMs which are widely available throughout the country.


Electrical current is 230 volts, 50Hz. European-style, round, two-pin plugs are standard.


In tourist or upmarket restaurants, a tip of 10 percent will be appreciated. But otherwise, it's common to just round up the bill if the service has been good, unless a service charge has already been added. Tour guides expect to be tipped.


Most visits to Croatia are trouble free. Crime levels are low and violent crime is rare, but petty theft can be a problem in busy tourist areas so it's worth keeping a careful eye on valuables. Outside normal tourist routes, travellers should be aware that unexploded mines might remain in rural areas, particularly in Eastern Slavonia and the former Krajina.

Tourists are urged to be cautious in former conflict areas, including the aforementioned Eastern Slavonia, Brodsko-Posavska County, Karlovac County, areas around Zada and in more remote areas of the Plitvice Lakes National Park. They should stay on known safe roads and areas, and check with authorities before setting out into remote regions.


The international access code for Croatia is +385 and WiFi availability is good.


No vaccinations are required. The medical facilities and care in Croatia are fairly good, with free emergency medical care available to EU citizens with a European Health Insurance Card (EHIC). After Brexit, the Global Health Insurance Card (GHIC) replaced the European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) for UK citizens. The GHIC allows UK citizens access to state healthcare during visits to the EU. The GHIC is not valid in Norway, Iceland, Liechtenstein or Switzerland, nor is it an alternative to travel insurance. Non-EU nationals are advised to take out comprehensive travel insurance, and those who need particular medications should take the supply needed for the duration of their stay with them, plus a doctor's letter to get the items through customs.

Public Holidays

St Stephen’s Day26 Dec26 Dec
All Saints’ Day1 Nov1 Nov
New Year's Day1 Jan1 Jan
Epiphany6 Jan6 Jan
Easter Monday13 Apr5 Apr
Labour Day1 May1 May
Corpus Christi11 Jun3 Jun
Anti-Fascist Struggle Day22 Jun22 Jun
Statehood Day25 Jun25 Jun
Victory and Homeland Thanksgiving Day5 Aug5 Aug
Independence Day8 Oct8 Oct
Christmas Day25 Dec25 Dec
Assumption of Mary15 Aug15 Aug


Business in Croatia tends to be quite formal. Punctuality is key, dress should be smart and handshakes are the preferred form of greeting.

Titles and surnames are usually used unless otherwise indicated and business cards are often exchanged at the beginning of a meeting. English and German are widely spoken but any attempt at speaking some Croatian will be appreciated. Women frequently hold high positions in business and are well respected.

Building a good working relationship is important in Croatia and it's useful to work with a reliable local partner. Although Croatia appears typically European in its dealings, business can take some time to conclude. Business hours are usually 8am to 4pm, Monday to Friday.

Passport & Visa

All foreign passengers to Croatia must hold return/onward tickets and the necessary travel documentation for their next destination, as well as proof of sufficient funds (at least EUR 70.- per day of stay, at least EUR 30.- per day of stay if holding a confirmed invitation or a tourist voucher). It is highly recommended that your passport has at least six months validity remaining after your intended date of departure from your travel destination. Immigration officials often apply different rules to those stated by travel agents and official sources.


In some towns and cities, it's prohibited or considered inappropriate to walk around town centres shirtless or in swimming costumes. In some places, such as parts of Dubrovnik, there is signage indicating that people are required to cover up and that fines will be imposed on those that don't comply. Even when there is no such signage, travellers are advised to be sensitive to local conventions and sensibilities.

Duty Free

Non-EU travellers to Croatia can enter the country with the following items without incurring customs duty: 200 cigarettes or 50 cigars or 250g of tobacco; 4 litres of wine, 1 litre of spirits and up to 16 litres of beer; and other goods up to the value of HRK 3,200 if arriving by air or HRK 2,200 if arriving by other means of transport.


Croatian National Tourist Board, Zagreb: +385 (0)1 469 9333 or

112 (General Emergency Helpline)

Entry Requirements

US citizens must present a passport valid for three months beyond period of intended stay. Visas are not required for stays of up to 90 days.

UK nationals must have a passport valid for the period of intended stay in Croatia, or valid for three months beyond period of intended stay, depending on the endorsement in the passport. For stays of up to 90 days, a visa is not required for holders of British passports endorsed British Citizen, British National (Overseas), British Overseas Citizen, British Overseas Territories Citizen, British Protected Person or British Subject. Other UK passport holders should check with the embassy whether a visa is required for travel.

Canadian citizens must have a passport valid for three months beyond period of intended stay in Croatia. No visa is required for stays of up to 90 days.

South African nationals must have a passport valid for three months beyond the period of intended stay in Croatia, and a visa is required, unless already holding a multiple-entry Schengen C visa.

Irish nationals must have a passport valid for the period of intended stay in Croatia. No visa is required.

New Zealand citizens must have a passport valid for three months beyond the period of intended stay in Croatia. No visa is required for stays of up to 90 days.

Embassy Consulates

United States Embassy, Zagreb: +385 (0)1 661 2200.

British Embassy, Zagreb: +385 (0)1 600 9100.

Canadian Embassy, Zagreb: +385 (0)1 488 1200.

South African Embassy, Budapest (also responsible for Croatia): +36 1 392 0999

Embassy of Ireland, Zagreb: +385 (0)1 627 8920.

New Zealand Consulate, Rome, Italy (also responsible for Croatia): +39 06 853 7501.

Embassy Consulates

Embassy of Croatia, Washington DC, United States: +1 202 588 5899.

Embassy of Croatia, London, United Kingdom: +44 (0)20 7387 2022.

Embassy of Croatia, Ottawa, Canada: +1 613 562 7820.

Embassy of Croatia, Pretoria, South Africa: +27 (0)12 342 1206.

Embassy of Croatia, Dublin, Ireland: +353 (0)1 476 7181

Consulate of Croatia, Auckland, New Zealand: +64 274 998850.


Croatia's popularity as a European holiday destination has grown rapidly over the last few decades. There is much to see and do along its magnificent coastline, boasting over 1,000 islands, islets and reefs. Most visitors come to Croatia for the cruises, boating and beaches, but the country also boasts cultural attractions and plenty of ancient history.

Many of Croatia's cities are built on the sites of Greek and Roman settlements dating from as far back as 400 BC. Visitors are encouraged to explore the Roman ruins in Zagreb and Split, stroll through the cobblestone streets of fairytale medieval villages or simply take in the local cuisine and history. The Croatian History Museum in Zagreb features an impressive display of Neanderthal remains, while culture vultures will enjoy a trip to the Croatian National Theatre in Zagreb.

Dubrovnik is one of Croatia's top holiday destinations, boasting a picturesque Old Town and exquisite beaches along a rugged coastline. The breathtakingly beautiful Split is a great base for exploring the Dalmation Coast and is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. It also boasts such gems as the city of Trogir and Brac Island just off shore.

Spring and autumn are good seasons to visit as milder weather, fewer crowds and lower prices mean travellers can discover the country more freely. But summer (June to August) is the peak season because it's the best time to enjoy Croatia's stunning beaches.

Travelling by bus is economical, while ferries and catamarans are the only mode of transport to the islands, and a way of life on the coast. For a more relaxed but slightly more expensive option, hiring a car allows visitors to get off the beaten track and discover this Balkan gem at their own leisure.


Croatia's climate differs quite dramatically from the coast to the interior of the country. The coast has a typically Mediterranean climate with hot, dry, and sunny summers (June to August) and relatively mild, sometimes wet winters (November to February). Summer temperatures average around 79°F (26°C) but it frequently gets as hot as 90°F (32°C).

Winters are significantly colder but they are not severe and along the coast snow is unusual. Winter temperatures seldom drop below 41°F (5°C). Visitors should experience some sunny days in autumn and even a few in winter, but the colder months can be rainy.

In the interior of Croatia the climate is continental and more extreme with colder winters and more common snowfall; temperatures in winter frequently drop below 32°F (0°C). Summers, on the other hand, are similar in temperature to the coastal regions but feel hotter in the interior due to the lack of refreshing cool breezes from the sea.

The peak tourist season in Croatia is in the summer months when the weather is hottest and driest, but the best time to visit is probably September or May when the weather is still warm enough for swimming but the country is less crowded.

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