Every year, more and more visitors are vacationing in friendly, picturesque Croatia along the Adriatic coast. It has much to offer: good food, good wine, beautiful beaches, clean water, gorgeous scenery, historic cities, charming villages, striking architecture, Roman ruins and well-preserved antiquities.

Also, Croatia’s infrastructure is solid since multilane highways and international hotels have been built to accommodate the large number of tourists that populate the country annually. Vacationers from all over the world go to relax and enjoy the laid-back beaches and other beautiful scenery that Croatia offers.


Croatia borders Slovenia, Hungary, and Bosnia and Herzegovina and is close to Austria and Italy. In the interior of the country are mountains dotted with vineyards, castles, lakes and waterfalls. Zagreb, the capital, is situated in the north-central part of the country. The rugged Dalmatia coast is simply spectacular, with towering mountains forming a backdrop for the long, narrow strip of land and rock that is washed by the clear waters of the Adriatic.

Offshore, there are more than a thousand islands, some uninhabited and others endowed with ancient villages. Travelers can choose their favorites for sunbathing, swimming or exploring. Istria (or Istra to locals) is the triangular peninsula that forms the northwestern part of the Croatian coast. Its proximity to the Italian border has long made it a popular resort area for European aristocracy.


If Croatia seems replete with foreign influences—Roman amphitheaters, Venetian palaces, Hapsburg castles, Italian food—it’s because the area’s history has been marked by periods of foreign domination. Seeds of the most recent conflict in the former Yugoslavia date from the division of the Roman Empire in AD 395.

The Western Empire, ruled from Rome, fell to northern barbarians, but it left a legacy of Roman Catholicism in its former territories, including what became the nation of Croatia. The Eastern Empire, ruled from Byzantium (later Constantinople, and now Istanbul), bequeathed Orthodox Christianity to its territories, including what is now Serbia. Later, Turks conquered the region to the south of Croatia and introduced Islam. The religious, cultural and ethnic divisions fomented friction but also created a fascinating multicultural atmosphere still evident in the region.

The idea of Yugoslavia, or “Land of the Southern Slavs,” was created at the beginning of the 20th century. In spite of religious differences, most of the people in the area between Austria and Albania are of common ancestry. Idealists thought it logical that all should unite in one country. The Kingdom of the Serbs, Croats and Slovenes was created at the end of World War I but collapsed when the German Nazis invaded during World War II and set up a puppet state of Croatia, which constructed concentration camps for Serbs, Gypsies and Jews. The Nazis were driven out by the Partisans, a multiethnic army led by Croatian-born Joseph Broz Tito.

Tito downplayed sectarian differences and ruled a united Yugoslavia—with an authoritarian intolerance for regional chauvinism—for 34 years. Communism in the former Yugoslavia was not exactly the type experienced by many Eastern bloc countries. Many Yugoslavs owned appliances and cars, traveled, spoke other languages and worked in the country’s tourism industry. After Tito’s death in 1980, ethnic differences once again rose to the surface and by the end of the decade had polarized the country.

Concerned about Serbian nationalism and spurred on by its own nationalist leader, Franjo Tudjman, Croatia declared its independence in 1991. Backed by the Yugoslavian Armed Forces, Serbia invaded and, after a bloody struggle, occupied a fourth of the country. Serbia’s policy of “ethnic cleansing,” as well as its siege of Dubrovnik and the destruction of the city of Vukovar, turned international opinion in favor of the Croats. The fighting ended after a cease-fire was signed in 1992, and the Serbs turned their attention to Bosnia and Herzegovina.

Though divided, Croatia remained fairly stable until mid-1995, when the government launched two attacks against Serb rebels. First, the Croats invaded the region of western Slavonia and quickly reconquered the area. The Croats then launched an attack against the rebel stronghold of Knin in the Krajina. Within a few days the army had routed the rebels and taken the capital. The defeat sent about 120,000 Croatian Serb refugees into neighboring Bosnia and Herzegovina. With these two victories, Croatia had reclaimed all rebel-held territory, except for the portion of eastern Slavonia that borders Serbia—an area ceded to Croatia by the 1995 Dayton peace accords.

Croatia has worked hard to define itself as an independent country. In June 2011, the country was given the green light to join the European Union, and it officially became a member in July 2013. As a result, prices have risen to the level of those in other European countries—Croatia is no longer the bargain it once was. But most travelers will find that discovering the country’s long-hidden treasures is well worth the cost.


Croatia’s main attractions are beaches, the medieval walled town of Dubrovnik, spectacular coastal and mountain scenery, picturesque towns, museums, ancient islands, lakes, historical sites, fishing, gorges, yachting, marvelous churches and monasteries, folk arts, fascinating culture, health spas and the capital city of Zagreb.

Croatia will appeal to travelers who have already been to many European countries and are ready to get off the beaten track to discover a fascinating part of the world. Croatia makes a great beach holiday—the coastline is spectacular, and the seafood is excellent.


The restoration of Dubrovnik following the war has been an international project, with contributions coming in from around the world. For example, the red tiles that replaced those destroyed by shelling came from France. And Italian artisans did much of the reconstruction of bas-relief sculptures on the cathedral.

You’ll see a number of lion sculptures affixed to buildings in Croatian cities that were once under Venetian rule. Usually, a sculpted book rests under one of the lion’s paws. If the book is open, that means the city was at peace when the sculpture was made. If closed, the work was commissioned during a time of war.

Caves near the towns of Krapina and Vindija, near Zagreb, hold evidence of habitation by Neanderthals, the early humanoid species. Some of the discoveries from the caves are on display at Zagreb’s Natural History Museum.

If you are in Dubrovnik, have a drink at the Troubadour Jazz Cafe near the cathedral. Marco, the bar’s owner, was the founder of a well-known Croatian rock group in the 1960s called the Troubadours. (They had mop tops, wore Renaissance outfits and sang rock ‘n’ roll versions of ancient Croatian folk tunes.) The bar is set in a labyrinth of narrow alleys, creating great ambience for the jazz bands that play there.

Dubrovnik is believed to be the location of Shakespeare’s play Twelfth Night.
The modern man’s tie is a direct descendant of the red scarves worn by Croatian soldiers in the 17th century. The

scarves came to be known as cravats—a corruption of the wordhrvatska, meaning Croatia.

The island of Brac in the Adriatic channel between Split and the island of Hvar is famous for its quarries of high quality white limestone. The stone has been used in the construction of the Roman Emperor Diocletian’s palace in Split, and in more modern times for the White House in the U.S.

In a clever direct-mail campaign, the coastal town of Makarska (between Split and Dubrovnik) sent postcards after the war to past visitors asking for reconstruction funds. (They got the addresses from hotel registers.)


Probably the most famous historical site in Croatia is the Old City of Dubrovnik. This medieval, compact walled town in Southern Dalmatia was first settled in the early seventh century. Walk around the 1.2 mi/2 km of intact city walls or take a cable car to Mount Srd above the town; both offer a fantastic introduction to the town and breathtaking views of the coast. Also make sure to visit the Dominican Monastery, a Gothic-Renaissance-style building constructed in the late 1300s at the same time as the Dubrovnik city walls. Today it houses an impressive art collection of the Dominican friars.

Another important landmark is Diocletian’s Palace in Split, which was the summer and retirement palace of the Roman emperor Gaius Aurelius Valerius Diocletianus, who ruled from 284 to 289 and built the palace around the year 295. Today it is a UNESCO World Heritage site and a living monument with a thriving mix of residences and shops within its original walls. There are four original gates still in place, but much of the inside of the palace has been built over the centuries.

Trogir is another medieval walled town and UNESCO World Heritage site just west of Split, situated on an island accessed from an old wooden bridge from the mainland. The 15th-century medieval fortress of Kamerlengo lies on the south side at the end of a waterfront promenade. On the other side of town, at the end of Trogir’s main street Gradska is the 12th-century St. Lawrence Cathedral with its breathtaking, intricately carved doors with scenes from everyday life and legend.

In the western region of Istria, the Amphitheater of Pula is one of the largest and best preserved ancient monuments in Croatia, and among the six largest surviving Roman arenas in the world, built in the mid-first century BC by the Roman Emperor Vespasian. A labyrinth of corridors in the underground area houses a museum with a rich collection of archeological artifacts, and the arena continues to be used as a multipurpose venue for various exhibitions, performances and festivals.

Croatia has a diverse variety of museums and galleries. In Zagreb, the Mimara is one of the most prestigious museums in the country with a vast collection of painting and sculpture from around the world. Naive art is very well represented in Croatia, and one of the greatest artists of the genre, Mijo Kovacic, has been painting detailed naive scenes on glass for more than 50 years. His gallery in Zagreb is open to the public.

In Split, the Ivan Mestrovic Gallery showcases the villa and atelier of the famous Croatian sculptor by the same name, housing his masterpieces ( The Split Archeological Museum is the oldest museum institution in Croatia, founded in 1820 and situated north of the city center. Exhibitions and contents come mainly from the area of southern Dalmatia with stone epitaphs, ceramics, glass and hundreds of other objects from pre-historic, pre-Christian, Greek and Medieval periods.

One of the most impressive of the eight national parks in Croatia is Paklenica National Park, on the southern side of Velebit, which boasts the largest mountain range in Croatia ( Plitvice National Park is the oldest and most popular Croatian national park, with a series of waterfalls, connected lakes and trails to explore throughout the park. It is listed as a UNESCO World Natural Heritage site ( The Velebit Nature Preserve is the largest protected area in Croatia, covering the mountain range of the same name ( On Krk island is Krka National Park, with one of the most beautiful rivers (the Krka River) in Croatia set in a beautiful lush landscape with gentle falls (Skradinski buk).


Suggested Accommodations in Dubrovnik.

You will always get more bang for your buck staying at Airbnb’s in Dubrovnik.  Look for properties within the old city wall.

A favorite location of mine are properties in Lapad, Croatia. Lapad is only a 15-minute Uber ride to the city center. It has a fabulous beach and lots of cute restaurants. It’s away from the craziness of the old city walls too!

These are some of my favorites! (near Gruz Port perched on top of a hill) (located in the heart of lapad) (The Art Hotel is one of my favorites if you are looking for a little luxury without breaking the budget. ( Cool location and an awesome cave bar) (If money is no option or your trying to get out of the dog house stay here!) (Brand new hotel opened in 2021) (Nice pool and spa)

Suggested Accommodations in Split. 

I recommend staying two nights after our trip in the beautiful city of Split. (Great location and close to Old Town) (Great value and excellent location)  This is a 3/4-star property and it is about a 10-minute walk to the city center. (In the heart of the action)


Favorite Restaurants In Dubrovnik.

Azur : (This is my personal favorite restaurant! You must try the chicken/chorizo tacos!! Also, Crunchy Amaranth Balls in Curry Coconut Sauce! Their cocktails are great too!

Lady Pipi : (I always have to is it this restaurant when I am in Dubrovnik! Excellent location and BBQ. They don’t accept reservations and if you are not there at 5pm you will wait 2 hours to get in)

Nautica : (5-star food and location and you will pay for it. Expensive but you only live once so if you want to impress someone dine here)

Konoba Dubrovnik : (15 minutes ride from Dubrovnik. This a family-owned restaurant and specializes in local Croatian food. Excellent veal, steak, potatoes)

Vis Restaurants

Fort George(Incredible place to watch the sunset and drinks. Dinner is great too! You need reservations for dinner and the taxi ride is 10 minutes up)

Restoran Pojoda
Excellent seafood(must call for reservations)
+385 21 711 575

Konoba Kantun
(My personal favorite)
+385 92 285 4818

HVAR Restaurants

Konoba Bunar

(Excellent pasta and pizza)

(Small menu but super tasty delights)

Vintage Hvar
(Excellent wines and atmosphere )


Visitors will find plenty of outdoor activities to stay busy, if they choose. Croatia’s natural resources include eight national parks where you can hike, swim, picnic, watch birds and wildlife, and more. The Adriatic Coast of Croatia and its islands offer some of the most pristine, beautiful beaches, with clear turquoise and azure water. It is truly a swimmer’s paradise. The beaches vary from small pebble to rocky inlets and cover more than 3,800 mi/6,200 km of coastline on the mainland and islands.

The waters around the Adriatic islands between Rijeka and Dubrovnik are a prime boating and yachting reserve. In particular, Croatia is great for sailors with its 66 islands, 652 inlets and 78 reefs. More than 50 modern marinas are available on the mainland and on the islands, where it is possible to hire a yacht with or without a skipper and organize professional sailing courses. You can also rent a sailboat (ranging from 32 ft/9.7 m long to 55 ft/16.7 m long) or motorboat, or book a charter.

Another watersport that is becoming increasingly popular in Croatia is windsurfing. The town of Bol on the south side of Brac, with its famous Golden Horn beach and ideal winds for windsurfing, is an excellent place to take up the sport.

Croatia has become a premier diving destination, with its crystal clear waters and extensive reef formations. Every diver must have a diving card issued by the Croatian Diving Association (; cards can also be issued at diving establishments. The card is 100 HRK and is valid for one year. A directory of diving locations throughout Croatia can be found at

Although not known as a prime hiking destination, Croatia does have many hiking trails both inland and on the coast. The mountains on Brac, Cres, Krk, and Rab and Pag offer some of the best trails on the islands, while mountains Velebit, Brokovo and Paklenica on the coast boast high peaks and some challenging trails. If you’re in Zagreb, head to the Medvenica, the gentle mountain range in the northern part of the city, where you can take a gondola to the peak and hike down, or vice versa. Alternatively, an area to the west of Zagreb, Samoborsko Gorje, offers trails through forested hills. The Croatian Hiking Association on Kozarceva 22 in Zagreb offers detailed hiking maps. Phone 01-4823-624.

Cycling, horseback riding and tennis round out some of the many activities available in Croatia. A variety of cycling trails can be found around the northern Dalmatian Coast including Zadar, Rovinj in Istria, Cakovec in Central Croatia, and on many of the islands. Both group and individual excursions are available. Contact the Croatian Cycling Federation for clubs and trails ( Slavonia, Istria and parts of the Dalmatian coast of Croatia are known for their excellent horseback-riding centers. The Pegasus Equestrian Center in Sibenik, on the central Dalmatian coast, offers riding at its stables (phone 022-216-901; Tennis courts are available in major resorts along the coast, as well as on the islands. The average cost is about 50 HRK per hour .


Shop for Dalmatian lace, woodcarvings, ceramics, woolens, wines, art, tapestries, embroidery, leather boxes, filigree jewelry, handmade carpets and other locally made items. Narodna Radinost shops, specializing in folk crafts, are good places to begin shopping. Croatia’s thriving folk-art industry makes crafts attractive purchases, especially at open-air markets.

You can find good deals on handicrafts at Dolac, the central market in Zagreb. Although it mostly sells fruit, vegetables and meat, there are also vendors lining the outskirts of the square towards the Gornji Grad (upper town) selling wooden handicrafts, linens, lace and clothing, as well as souvenirs. The large outdoor market in Split (Trznica) just outside the Diocletian Palace walls offers more than 1,000 booths and stalls selling handicrafts, clothing, souvenirs, fruits and vegetables, meats and much more, and is open year round.

A few uniquely Croatian shopping experiences not to miss include Aqua, a Croatian store selling merchandise with distinctive nautical designs in household goods and clothing that can be found in many seaside towns such as Split, Zadar and Dubrovnik, as well as the larger islands ( Another Croatian establishment with a 100-year-long history is Kras, which produces and sells some of the finest chocolates, biscuits and candies in Croatia. The flagship store is located in the main square Trg Jelacica in Zagreb, and various outlets can be found all over the country.

A couple of other unique shopping experiences in Croatia include Croata, the original cravat store, selling unique designs of mens’ ties and shirts, and womens’ scarves and accessories with salons and outlets in Zagreb, Split, Dubrovnik and other larger towns ( Ronchi is a 19th-century hat factory in Dubrovnik that was established by Euphilius Ronchi, an immigrant from Italy. The current owner and heiress Marina Grabovac Ronchi designs and manufactures unique, quality hats in unique designs in the old town of Dubrovnik.

Three large malls include two on the coast in Split, and one in Zagreb. Joker is a centrally located shopping mall in the heart of Split, and City Centar, also in Split, is the largest and one of the newest shopping centers in Croatia, with more than 100 stores, restaurants and bars. Centar Kaptol is a mall in the upper town of Zagreb with shopping on three levels.

Shopping Hours: Generally Monday-Friday 8 am-8 pm, Saturday 8 am-2 pm. During summer, some shops stay open later or close for an afternoon break noon-4 pm. Shops in tourist regions are often open on Sunday (with varying hours) during the peak summer months.


Croatian food is generally very good and very hearty. In the country’s interior, starchy foods are common. Grah is a traditional bean stew made with smoked bacon and paprika, and strukle is a delicate but filling salty cheese-filled dough pocket baked and served with sour cream. Traditional Balkan dishes such as duvec (sauteed vegetables and meat), moussaka (eggplant and minced meat casserole), sarma (minced meat and rice rolled into a cabbage leaf) and raznijici (grilled veal or pork) are found on many menus. Be sure not to miss grilled cevapcici (minced lamb and pork seasoned with onion, garlic and fresh mint).

Sample the local smoked ham and sheep’s cheese. Prsut, a home cured ham made in inland Istria and Dalmatia, is a national delicacy and can be compared to the Italian prosciutto but with a stronger smoky flavor. Paski Sir is a delicious hard cheese that comes from the island of Pag, and it is made from the milk of sheep that graze on the wild herbs and lavender that grow on the island.

A specialty inland, especially in the Lika region and on the interior of many of the larger islands such as Krk, Cres, Brac and Hvar is spit roast lamb. If you’re driving on the larger islands or through the interior, look for road signs for restaurants that serve janjetina na zaru and be sure to stop—it will be the best lamb you’ve ever tasted.

Apple strudel, a vestige of the Austrian influence in Croatian desserts, is divine, as are Croatian crepes known as palacinka, which are filled either with nuts, jam or chocolate sauce. A popular dessert is a flaky pastry with a vanilla cream filling, called krempita. In the fall locals go crazy for kesten pire, a dessert made with chestnut puree laced with rum and served with whipping cream.

At restaurants along the Adriatic coast, you’ll find excellent seafood, especially oysters, scampi (prawns), prstaci (date mussels) and Dalmatian brodet (various types of fish, stewed with rice). Spider crab is a delicacy found throughout the country’s Adriatic islands. Croatian fishermen roast the crabs in fires made from grapevines. When the shell separates from the meat, they know it’s ready. Each crab yields only a small amount of meat, but the taste has been favorably compared to lobster. Fish is often served grilled whole, and then drizzled with a persillade (olive oil, garlic and parsley) when it comes off the grill. Try the local varieties of tunj (tuna), lubin (sea bass) and orada (a mild white fish).

Italian pizzas and pastas are readily available throughout Croatia at reasonable prices. Cuisines of other nations are also available, including Chinese, Czech, Hungarian and others.

Locally made pelinkovac (herbal liqueur), maraschino (superb cherry liqueur from Zadar), sljivovica (plum brandy) and travarica (herbal brandy) are highly recommended. If you enjoy red wine, try Dingac or Postup: Both are excellent. Some of the best wines available are from the Plavac grape. Vineyards from the peninsula of Peljesac in the southern Dalmatian region are regarded as producing high-quality wines at a reasonable price.

Croatian wines are often strong, so the local tradition has adapted to mix wine with other beverages. Bevanda is red or white wine mixed with plain water, and gemist is white wine mixed with sparkling water.


In general, Croatia is a laid-back place to visit, especially in the summer when tourists from all over the world flock to its many beaches and seaside attractions. In social settings, it’s proper to greet acquaintances or even strangers with morning, afternoon and evening salutations (dobro jutro, dobro dan and dobro vecer). Learning a few key phrases of Croatian, such as hvala for “thank you” and molim for “please,” will help you make friends more easily, although the people tend to be gracious toward foreigners, especially if you are polite and eager to understand their culture.


Croatia is a very safe country to travel in; however, there are still some stray mines present in rural areas—remnants from the last war. As the mines are removed, former mine locations are marked with signs. To be on the safe side, don’t go into these areas. If you stay on well-used roads and paths, you will be safe. If you are unsure about an area, ask locals first before venturing there.

The crime rate is relatively low, but displays of wealth—particularly around bus or train stations—increase your chances of becoming the victim of a pickpocket or mugger.

Most of the beaches on the Adriatic are safe from sharks.

In an emergency, dial 92 for the police; 93 for a fire; 94 for an ambulance. You can also dial 112 for any
emergency service, including mountain rescue and veterinary assistance. If driving, dial 987 for roadside assistance.

In case of an accident at sea, call 155 (National Headquarters for Search and Rescue). For the latest information, contact your country’s travel-advisory agency.


The sun can be strong, especially along the coast, so use a high-SPF sunscreen liberally and wear a hat. Don’t forget a comfortable pair of walking shoes. Most of the beaches in Croatia are covered with pebbles and stones rather than sand, so wearing beach sandals is advisable.

Throughout all of Croatia, the water and food are safe. Adequate medical care is available in the larger cities, although some common over-the-counter medications may be available only through pharmacies. If you need medical care, ask your hotel service bureau or guide to direct you to the proper facility.

For more information, contact your country’s health-advisory agency.


Don’t be surprised by the high quality of wines produced in Croatia. Try some white if you’re inland or some red by the coast. Sparkling wines are also available, especially during the holidays.

Do try to visit Zagreb and the surrounding countryside (the Zagorje), in addition to the Dalmatia coast. Most tourists head straight for the coast, but you’ll be missing out on the heartland of the country if you neglect the capital.

Do listen to the local folk and pop music, and pick up a recording. Though you may not understand the words, the harmonies can be haunting and convey the song’s emotion. (It seems that most of the songs translate to mean “He misses his girlfriend.”) Popular folk/pop singer Oliver Dragojevic has entertained Croatian audiences since 1970 with his songs that were originally influenced by the folklore of Dalmatia.

Do try the local specialty dish janjetina na zaru, young lamb roasted whole on a spit. A Croatian tradition at weddings and festivals, this delicious lamb can also be found in many traditional restaurants and gostiona guest houses, particularly inland or on some of the larger islands.


Do check out the donkey races and festivals on the Dalmatian Coast, particularly in the town of Tribunj but also taking place in other small towns on the coast during the month of August. The most famous one has been taking place for more than six decades in the first week of August in Tribunj, near the city of Sibenik.

Do check local theaters for musical performances. Cultural standards are high and ticket prices low. In particular, the summer festivals in Dubrovnik, Split and Pula take place in July and August and feature international and local stars. The festival in Dubrovnik is one of the most renowned and features theater, ballet, classical music and opera performances.

Don’t miss a klapa competition if one is held during your visit. Most of the coastal towns, as well as the main towns on the islands, have their own klapas (small a capella choirs performing traditional songs). Klapa festivals are typically held at the end of June and in July and August in the height of the tourist season.


Passport/Visa Requirements: Passports are needed by citizens of Australia, Canada, the European Union and the U.S.; visitors from these countries may stay for up to 90 days without a visa. Reconfirm travel document requirements with your carrier before departure.

Population: 4,486,881.

Languages: Croatian.

Predominant Religions: Roman Catholicism, Eastern Orthodoxy.

Time Zone: 1 hour ahead of Greenwich Mean Time (+1 GMT). Daylight Saving Time is observed from the last Sunday of March to the last Sunday of October.

Voltage Requirements: 220 volts. 50 Hz.

Telephone Codes: 385, country code; 1,city code for Zagreb; 21,city code for Split; 20,city code for Dubrovnik; 31,city code for Osijek; 51,city code for Rijeka.

Currency Exchange

The kuna (HRK) is the official currency and is divided into 100 lipa. In Croatia, euros and other foreign currencies can be exchanged at banks, post offices and travel agencies. The euro is commonly accepted for payment in many areas, especially for accommodations (where it is actually the preferred currency).

Additionally, the use of credit cards, including Visa, MasterCard and American Express, is commonplace. Funds can also be accessed from debit cards via ATMs linked to international networks.


The PDV (purchase tax or value-added tax) is 25% for all goods except books and items of necessity. A reduced rate of 10% applies to tourist accommodation services. Travelers can receive a refund of the PDV on purchases of more than 501 HRK in one store (indicated by a “Tax-Free Shopping” sign on the store’s window).

Make sure you get a sales receipt for your purchases along with a Global Refund Cheque from the sales clerk before leaving, because you will need to have the check stamped by a customs official. In Croatia, many post offices provide the refund. More information can be found via the tax authority website.


In restaurants, tip 5%-10% of the bill for good service. Taxi drivers and other service personnel don’t expect tips, but they appreciate the ones they get.


May-October is an excellent time to visit, as it’s the warmest and driest time—great beach weather. During March, a cold north wind, the bura, can chill to the bone. You may need a sweater in the evenings, even in summer. The winters are cold, often drizzly, snowy and windy, especially in the interior and the north.

What to Wear

When traveling to Croatia, pack clothes appropriate for the season. Summers are typically very hot. If you will be down by the sea, shorts, a swimsuit and other beachwear is appropriate. During winter, especially in the higher elevations, it can be quite cold, so take heavier coats and shoes.

Business attire is a standard suit and tie for men, dress or suit with skirt or slacks for women. In relaxed settings, jeans are commonly worn. However, if you will be visiting churches you should dress more conservatively. Don’t forget to take an umbrella for any unexpected rain.


In Croatia, you can make both local and international telephone calls via prepaid telephone cards (called telefonske kartice) that can be purchased at post offices, major hotels, kiosks and newsstands. These cards can be used in telephone booths scattered around town. Cards are available in denominations of 15 HRK, 30 HRK, 50 HRK and 100 HRK. You can also make international calls right at a post office without using a card, and pay after you finish your call.

If you want to call a local telephone number, dial the number direct. If you want to dial to another city, add the city code (with a zero) plus the main number; for example, to phone the Castle and Civic Museum in Varazdin from Zagreb, you would dial 042-210-399.

To reach a local operator, dial 988. For international directory inquiries, dial 902. You can also obtain general telephone information by dialing 981. Toll-free numbers start with a 060 prefix.

You can also use your cell phone in Croatia, provided that you are connected to the GSM network. Both local and international calls will be expensive, however. Rather than using your cell phone from home, it can be simple and cost-effective to purchase a Croatia-compatible cell phone along with a prepaid international SIM card before your trip.

As Croatia has more cell phones than people, public pay phones are relatively hard to find. However, an initiative to modernize pay phones with touchscreens and Wi-Fi has proven successful and has led to an increasing number being made available in the larger cities.

Internet Access

Internet cafes are plentiful and costs typically start at 20 HRK per hour. In Croatia, Internet access connections include dial-up, Wi-Fi and broadband. For detailed information on using these services in Croatia, see the website of the international Internet access provider MobilityPass.

Mail & Package Services

Depending on the location, post offices in Croatia (indicated by Posta or HP) are typically open Monday-Friday 7 am-8 pm and Saturday 7 am-9 pm. Smaller postal branches may be open 7 am-2 pm Monday-Friday.

During summer months, post offices in some of the more resort-oriented locations stay open until 9 or 10 pm. Additionally, the main post office in Zagreb, located at Branimirova 4, is open 24 hours Monday-Saturday and 1 pm-midnight Sunday.

Mailing letters and packages from post offices in Croatia is safe and relatively inexpensive. To find a post office or for other information on sending a letter or package in English, go to

Newspapers & Magazines

Via its English-language website, the news magazine Dalje provides information on current events, politics and other topics that affect Croatia. A print edition is also available.

During the tourist season, Croatian Radio broadcasts news programs in English daily at 8:05 pm on Channel One.

You can also obtain major English-language newspapers such as the New York Times and the Guardian and other foreign newspapers in larger city centers, as well as seaside towns on the mainland and the larger islands from the Tisak kiosks.

Detailed tourist guides and books in English are available from the Croatian National Tourist Board. On its website you can download various brochures for free on general tourism in Croatia, as well as brochures on cultural heritage and events, history as well as specialized brochures on Croatian marinas and sailing, camping, wellness services, hotel directories, holiday homes for rent and road maps.


International flights to Croatia land mainly at Zracna Luka Zagreb (Zagreb airport, ZAG;, 11 mi/17 km east of Zagreb; Zracna Luka Dubrovnik (Dubrovnik airport, DBV;, 14 mi/22 km east of Dubrovnik; or Zracna Luka Split (Split airport, SPU;, 12.5 mi/ 20 km east of Split. Croatia Airlines runs numerous international and domestic flights.

Dubrovnik and other cities in Croatia can be reached from Zagreb by buses, which are economical, safe and reliable. The main bus station is Autobusni Kolodvor Zagreb. For additional information on departures from Zagreb, phone 01-600-313-333 or see

For information on bus departures from other cities, go to or

You can also travel by train within Croatia via fast, intercity trains (brzi) or slower, local trains (putnicki). Both are safe and dependable transportation modes. For information on schedules and fares, visit the Croatian Railways (Hrvatske Zeljeznice) website at

Many cruise lines include Dubrovnik and Split on their itineraries.

Escorted and hosted tours, buses, ferries, hydrofoils and trains are good ways to see the country. We recommend taking a ferry or cruise ship along the Dalmatia coast, stopping at as many islands as possible. Jadrolinija, a main ferry line located in Rijeka, connects various seaports domestically and offers numerous sailing voyages. We suggest contacting a local travel agent or a Jadrolinija representative (who will usually speak several languages) to plan trips to and from the islands. Jadrolinija’s ferry service also connects Dubrovnik to Bari, Italy, and Split and Zadar to Ancona, Italy. Phone 051-666-111.

Rental cars are available, although many of the mountain and coastal roads are not recommended for drivers with a fear of heights. Within the cities, there’s excellent bus and taxi service.

For More Information

Tourist Offices

: Croatian National Tourist Board, Head Office, Iblerov trg 10/IV, 10000 Zagreb. Phone 01-469-9333.

U.K.: Croatian National Tourist Office, Lanchesters, 162-164, Fulham Palace Road 2, W6 9ER London. Phone 44-208-563-7979.

U.S.: Croatian National Tourist Office, 350 Fifth Ave., Suite 4003, New York, NY 10118. Phone 212-279-8672. Toll-free 800-829-4416.

Croatia does not maintain tourist offices in Australia or Canada.

Croatian Embassies

: Embassy of the Republic of Croatia, 14 Jindalee Crescent, O’Malley, ACT 2606 Canberra. Phone  61-2-6286-6988.

Canada: Embassy of the Republic of Croatia, 229 Chapel St., Ottawa, ON K1N 7Y6. Phone 613-562-7820.

U.K.: Embassy of the Republic of Croatia, 21 Conway St., London W1T 6BN. Phone 020-7387-1144.

U.S.: Embassy of the Republic of Croatia, 2343 Massachusetts Ave. N.W., Washington, DC 20008. Phone 202-588-5899. There are also Croatian consulates in Chicago, Kansas City, New Orleans, Los Angeles, New York, Pittsburgh, Seattle and St. Paul, Minnesota.

Foreign Embassies Serving Croatia

Australian Embassy, Centar Kaptol, Third Floor, Nova Ves 11, 10000 Zagreb. Phone 01-489-1200.

Canadian Embassy, Prilaz Gjure Dezelica 4, 10000 Zagreb. Phone 01-488-1200.

British Embassy, Ivana Lucica 4, 10000 Zagreb. Phone 01-600-9100. There are also British consulates in Dubrovnik and Split.

U.S. Embassy, 2 Thomas Jefferson St., 10010 Zagreb. Phone 01-661-2200.

Additional Reading

How We Survived Communism and Even Laughed (Harper), Cafe Europa: Life After Communism (Penguin Putnam) and The Balkan Express: Fragments of the Other Side of War (Norton) by Slavenka Drakulic. Three collections of insightful and moving essays by a journalist from Zagreb.

Black Lamb and Grey Falcon: A Journey Through Yugoslavia by Rebecca West (Viking Penguin). Dame Rebecca’s classic account of her trip through Yugoslavia just before World War II.

Balkan Ghosts: A Journey Through History by Robert Kaplan (St. Martin’s Press). U.S. journalist Kaplan weaves history with travel on his trip to the region prior to the breakup of Yugoslavia.

Croatia: A Nation Forged in War by Marcus Tanner (Yale University Press). Covers medieval Croatian history, Joseph Broz Tito’s rule and the breakup of Yugoslavia.


Festivals and other events take place throughout the year in Croatia, often centered around major cities such as Zagreb and Dubrovnik. Summer festivals are popular throughout the country, especially in Dubrovnik, whose monthlong celebrations draw huge crowds. Two that are particularly worth looking up are the Zagreb Folk Festival (June; and the Dubrovnik Summer Festival (July-August;

If you’re in Croatia any time in December, it would be hard to miss a Christmas celebration. Whether it’s large-scale pageantry or just a choir in a park, Christmas is one of the year’s major holidays, and most every town marks the occasion in some special way.
For more information on events throughout Croatia, visit