Must Know Facts
FAQS: ABOUT THE COUNTRY
CROATIA TRAVEL TIPS & USEFUL INFO
When is the best time to visit Croatia?
Croatia’s travel season is at its peak in June, July and August. The weather is consistently sunny and warm. It is the ideal Mediterranean oasis. You can find a place for yourself on the luminous beaches of Hvar Island, Split, Korčula Island, and Dubrovnik. The afternoons are hot and the water is just right for swimming.
Croatia’s off-season is in the period of October to April. While it does get cold, you can still have a fabulous time. You’ll have an ultra-luxe holiday for an incredible bargain. While on the trip you can have a stopover by skiing or enjoy a blissful spa stay. If you head out during the colder months inland, you’ll experience an outstanding adventure. Fly into Dubrovnik or Zagreb and see how the locals live.
If you are fortunate enough to get to Croatia during Christmas, the New Year, or Carnival, you are in for a delightful treat. Croatian festivals are always fun so be sure to search for local calendars to maximize your trip!
The Shoulder season (September and May) in Croatia is definitely one of the fitting times to visit Croatia. During May and again in September you will find truly perfect conditions. While the weather isn’t quite as reliable as it is during the peak season, you can still enjoy warm days with minimal crowds and lower prices.
What is the weather like in Croatia?
The continental part of the country experiences a bit more extreme version of the coast’s climate with cold winters and sweltering hot summers. The snow is likely during the winter months especially in the continental part and during the months of July and August, it often reaches temperatures from the mid 30°s to almost 40° (centigrade). The milder daytime temperatures of May and June make it a great time for outdoor activities in Croatia.
Is it safe to drink tap water in Croatia?
The tap water in Croatia is generally considered safe to drink, but as a precaution against stomach aches you may want to drink bottled mineral water, which is readily available at most stores, hotels and restaurants.
Is it standard to tip in Croatia?
Tipping is expected in Croatia and leaving a 10% tip on your bill in a restaurant is generally an acceptable amount. When it comes to other areas of the service in the industry, such as taxis and hairdressers, rounding up the fare or fee is a nice gesture but not obligatory. In the upmarket hotels it is also recommended that you leave the equivalent of a couple of dollars per day for housekeeping and the concierge staff. Tour guides should also be tipped the equivalent of around USD $10-15 per person per day.
What to shop for in Croatia?
The traditional handicrafts such as embroidery, woodcarvings and ceramics make good souvenirs, as does Croatian-produced wine, olives oils and preserves. Olives have been growing in Croatia since the Roman times, and many stuffed and bottled varieties can be purchased including olives stuffed with dried fig, almonds, fennel, capers, anchovy and of course, regular pimiento.
Eduard Slavoljub Penkala (1871-1922) was a Zagreb-based inventor, who invented the auto-pencil in 1906. Penkala writing instruments are available in some stationary shops dotted across Croatia and make a nice gift for loved ones back at home.
Another great idea for a souvenir is a necktie, replete with a traditional Croat design, of course; as Croatians stake claim to having invented them!
Right now, tourists can reclaim VAT on expenditure for more than HRK500. Visitors should ensure that they retain all receipts.
Is bargaining acceptable in Croatia?
There is not much of a haggling culture in Croatia and the vast majority of items on sale in both shops and markets will have a fixed price. If there is no obvious price for an item in a market then bargaining might be possible, but be prepared to be courteous and accepting if your attempt is rejected. If you do manage to open negotiations with a vendor, be polite and remember that haggling should be light-hearted and fun.
What is the duty free allowance for Croatia?
Due to the fact that Croatia is a member of the European Union, passengers coming from the UK are entitled to buy fragrances, skincare, cosmetics, Champagne, wine, selected spirits, fashion accessories, gifts and souvenirs all at tax-free equivalent prices.
For those entering from within the EU, there is no limit on the amount or value of goods you may import, so long as your goods are solely for personal consumption. Goods imported for commercial purposes are subject to duty and the following guideline amounts are in place to determine whether this is the case:
- 800 cigarettes, 400 cigarillos, 200 cigars or 1kg of tobacco
- 10 litres of spirits over 22%, 20 litres of alcoholic beverages less than 22%, 90 litres of wine (no more than 60 litres of sparkling wine) and 110 litres of beer
Travellers over the age of 17 arriving from non-EU countries are permitted to bring the following into Croatia:
- 200 cigarettes, 100 cigarillos, 50 cigars or 250g of tobacco
- 4 litres of wine and 16 litres of beer and 1 litres of spirits over 22% or 2 litres of alcoholic beverages less than 22%
- Other goods up to the value of USD $480 for air and sea travellers and USD $380 for other travellers (reduced to USD $190 for children under 15)
What is the currency in Croatia?
The official currency in Croatia is the Croatian Kuna. Euros, British Pounds, US Dollars and other major currencies can be exchanged locally or in advance of departure. Internationally recognized debit/credit cards can be used for cash machine withdrawals (available in all bigger towns). It's advisable to request bank notes in smaller denominations, as it can sometimes be hard to get change from large notes and smaller notes are handy for smaller purchases and gratuities. Traveller's Cheques are not recommended as they're often difficult to exchange and incur high fees.
What sort of plugs do I need for Croatia and what is the voltage?
The standard voltage is 220 volts, AC 50Hz. Primarily, sockets generally require European plugs of the two round pin variety. We recommend that you pack a universal travel adaptor. You will need a voltage converter and plug adaptor in order to use U.S. appliances.
Sockets & plugs
Czech Republic uses 230V, 50Hz with sockets and plugs Type C and Type E.
Croatia uses 230V, 50Hz with sockets and plugs Type C and Type F.
Hungary uses 230V, 50Hz with sockets and plugs Type C and Type F.
Is Wi-Fi widely available in Croatia?
Yes, good quality Wi-Fi can be found throughout the entire country in restaurants, cafes, bars, malls, hotels and some public spaces.
What time zone is Croatia on?
Croatia is 1 hour ahead of Greenwich Meantime (GMT). From the last Sunday in March to the last Sunday in October, Croatia observes Daylight saving and is 2 hours ahead of GMT.
What's the food like in Croatia?
The Adriatic coast is renowned for its variety of seafood dishes including freshly caught line and net fish and shellfish. Owing to its geographical location, Croatian gastronomy is steeped in Mediterranean tradition. Hard sheep-milk cheese and oysters from Ston are outstanding while Istria in Croatia’s north is famed for its highly valued truffles including the white truffle – Tuber magnatum. The most highly acclaimed cheese in Croatia is paski sir, a sheep's milk cheese from the island of Pag, whilst the salami-like kulen from Slavonia in Croatia’s northeast is the king of cured sausage. Beyond seasoned meats, fresh fish and other fruits de mer, delectable olives, capers and freshly baked breads, fruit and vegetables are also big. Inland, Zagreb grows the best strawberries, small fruits such as plums and exotic mushrooms, whilst figs and almond trees persevere in the south.
Croatian wine and beers are of high quality. Beer drinkers should try Zagreb's Ozujsko pivo, Karlovacko pivo or Tuborg, brewed under license in Croatia. In Dalmatia, some red wines such as Faros or Dingac are exquisite. You should also try Croatia's favourite brandy sljivovica, made from plums, or travarica, an herbal brandy. Coffee (espresso) is also a popular beverage, if you’re crying out for a java jolt.
Travellers to Croatia will rarely have any issues with food. Street food is not a big part of the culture here so visitors need not worry about food being left out in the sun for too long.
Which languages are spoken frequently in Croatia?
Croatian language is an official language used. Croatian consists of three dialects, namely “Shtokavian, Kajkavian, and Chakavian” and the language uses the Latin alphabet. In Istria, Italian is used alongside Croatian as the official languages. English is widely spoken in the country.
Do I need travel insurance?
Travel insurance is recommended while travelling to Croatia.
What activities should you do in Croatia?
Be sure not to miss out on the adventurous sports such as Wind surfing, kite boarding, stand up paddle boating, kayaking both on the river and sea, bungee jumping and water skiing. Also enjoy in hiking around in some of the national and nature parks, visit at least one of many wine roads, or visit some of the museums and historical sites.