35 Things To Know Before Visiting Croatia For First Timers – Croatia Travel Tips
We will write about Croatia travel tips and all the cool facts about Croatia and things to know before visiting Croatia for first-timers.
This post will be your go-to guide to get to know more of Croatia and what awaits you from amazing history, pristine beaches, beautiful places to visit, how to move around to delicious food to try in Croatia.
Croatia Travel Tips And Things To Know Before Visiting Croatia For First Timers
1. IS IT SAFE CROATIA?
Is it safe travel to Croatia? Yeah you should know that Croatia is one of the safest countries in the world. If you travel to Croatia, safety won’t be a problem. You can feel safe everywhere, literally. Make sure that you keep your valuables with you in crowded places especially in big cities (with pickpockets) and that should be more than enough.
2. VISA IN CROATIA
US Citizens may enter Croatia for up to 90-days only for tourist and business purposes without visa. Staying more than 90 days needs visa. Passports should also be valid for at least 3 months beyond the period of stay.
3. CASH AND ATMS IN CROATIA
The currency used all throughout Croatia is Croatian Kunas just like all European country. The exact currency of Euro to the dollar is A €1 = 7.5 HRK. You can use debit cards everywhere in Croatia. ATMs are available and accessible in all parts of the country.
4. BEST TIME TO VISIT IN CROATIA
In Croatia every season brings out a different side. Summer takes place during the months of June-August in these months you’ll experience high temperatures. From September to December the temperature cools down quite a bit and it is the perfect time to enjoy long walks through stunning neighborhoods.
And Spring season during the months of March-May is the best time to visit Croatia. It starts out with chilly and gets warm, it is a perfect time to spend the day exploring the city’s beautiful garden, at night it remains pretty cold.
5. HEALTH TRAVEL INSURANCE
Things to know before visiting Croatia we recommend always bringing a travel insurance when traveling abroad just in case you have any problems. You can always have food Poisson, fever or any other kind of disease.
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FACTS ABOUT CROATIA
6. CROATIA IS NOT SO CHEAP
Facts about Croatia if you have been traveling around the Balkans Serbia and Albania prices are so cheap but prices in Croatia aren’t so cheap as these countries around. Especially for accommodation where is hard to find a room for less than €10 for a dorm like the neighbor countries, alcohol is not expensive and prices for food and transportation are more affordable. Keep reading below!
7. ACCOMMODATION BUDGET TRAVEL IN CROATIA
Accommodation in Croatia isn’t as expensive than other countries around Euro. You can access a dorm that can go up to €15-20. And while a hotel that is double room in a budget can go up to €60.
8. FOOD BUDGET TRAVEL IN CROATIA
Food budget travel in Croatia can go €15 per day. The typical usual breakfast consists of coffee and bread for €2. You can go to restaurants and expect to pay €10 per person. You can get a beer for less than €2 in local places. You can cook on your own to go down your food budget and travel expenses in Croatia. Make sure your hotel or Airbnb provides a kitchen
9. WI-FI AND INTERNET CONNECTION IN CROATIA
Internet in Croatia works great in big cities and you will have internet connection in most of the places you will have 4G except in remote areas. You can access free WiFi at hostels and hotels and there are lots of restaurants that are offering free WiFi.
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10. ADAPTER IN CROATIA
In our Croatia travel tips you should know they use the European adapter. A few places make it possible to fit your American adapter in the plug. If you are coming from American countries, we recommend you to bring an European adapter to be able to charge everywhere.
11. LOCAL TRANSPORTATION IN CROATIA
Local transportation in Croatia the cheapest way is by bus around €1-2 for a ticket inside the cities. If you prefer more comfortable taxis can cost around €5 depending on the distance.
You can rent a car in Croatia so convenient to move around and prices are around €30-40. For longer distances, the buses work great for affordable prices.
12. FERRY SCHEDULE CAN BE A PROBLEM
You should check the ferries in advance in Croatia. Since sometimes you will have no ferries available to visit the islands. There isn’t so much population in the islands in Croatia and outside the peak season there are only a few ferries per day.
If you are planning to do island hopping the best way is booking a tour or renting a boat for not depending of the ferry schedule.
13. IS CROATIA PART OF EUROPEAN UNION
Croatia is part of European Union since 2013 but Croatia isn’t part of the Schengen and they don’t use Euro as the official currency. Croatia will be a Schengen country soon in 2024!
14. LANGUAGE IN CROATIA
The official language in Croatia is Croatian a Slavic language similar to the countries around like Serbia, Bosnia, Slovenia and Montenegro. Croatian younger people speaks English enough to communicate but with old people will be hard to communicate in English.
15. LEARNING CROATIAN LANGUAGE
As Croatian people don’t usually speak English. The challenge is learning Croatian language at least the essentials to move around. It’s very useful if you will be traveling around the Balkans since they use similar language.
There are some basics that you need to learn to communicate with them, for example numbers, asking daily questions like, “How much is this?” and “Where is it?” – It will be hard but it will be very helpful for meeting locals.
16. CROATIA BORDER CROSSINGS
Croatia border crossings are opened with Bosnia and Herzegovina, Hungary, Montenegro, Serbia, Slovenia and also a maritime border with Italy. I was traveling in a road trip in Europe and I didn’t have any problem when crossing the borders.
17. BRINGING CASH IS A GREAT IDEA
In our Croatia travel tips make sure you are bringing cash in Croatia sometimes for small payments like parking, toilets and some street food you will not be able to pay with credit card.
18. AVOID PEAK SEASON
Avoid the peak season in Croatia especially the summer months of July and August when places can be so crowded. Most of the tourists traveling to Croatia from Italy, Austria and Germany.
When traveling off-season prices are much cheaper and you will not have problems finding accommodation. But as we mentioned above watch out the ferry schedule before your trip in off-season!
19. CLEARWATER BUT ROCKY BEACHES
Croatia has pristine and clear waters but rocky beaches. Just make sure you know in advance and you are ready with proper shoes for this. The water temperature is great and you will be able to swim even outside the summer season in a sunny day.
20. HISTORICAL SITES IN CROATIA
There are many historical sites in Croatia apart from the popular beaches and islands. My favorite ones are in Pula, Zagreb where you can find a lot of places and landmarks about the wars in the past.
And the most popular one is Dubrovnik with castles and ruins in the old town. You will find historical sites in most of the cities like Split and Zadar.
21. ROAD TRIP IN CROATIA
A road trip in Croatia at least for a week is perfect and 100% recommended. You can from Zagreb to Dubrovnik passing by Istria in the coast, Zadar, Split crossing Dalmatia until Dubrovnik. Driving in Croatia is easy since the distances aren’t big and the views from the cliffs are amazing!
MORE THINGS TO KNOW BEFORE VISITING CROATIA FOR FIRST-TIMERS: FACTS ABOUT CROATIA FOOD
Facts about Croatia food is so diverse and referred to as regional cuisine because each region has its own particular traditional cuisine. Food in Croatia has been influencing by the tastes and traditions of neighboring countries that make traditional Croatian cuisine incorporates elements of Italian, Austrian, Balkans Hungarian, and Turkish cuisine.
Ćevapi is the most popular food in Croatia and the Balkans. It is grilled meat prepared using pork, lamb or beef. Ćevapi is usually served in bread with ajvar sauce and more vegetables similar to pljeskavica. You can’t miss it as Croatian food for affordable prices.
Pljeskavica is one of the most popular street food in Croatia. Pljeskavica is a burger served inside the bread and you can add sauce, and vegetables to the meat (lamb, pork or beef).
Sarma is one of the most popular Croatian dishes to try in wintertime. Sarma is wrap rolls that are prepared using cabbage with minced pork, rice and tomato sauce. If you like vegetarians you can make it without meat. Sarma is usually cooked at home for special events or celebrations.
Burek is one of the most popular breakfasts in Croatia. Burek is a baked bread with cheese and it can be with meat or vegetarian with spinach.
Pršut is a salty pig leg or dried thigh that is pressed until all of the juices were drained. It depends on the size of the pig leg, the entire procedure could take many years.
27. COFFEE CULTURE IN CROATIA
Having coffee in Croatia is part of the culture also in the Balkans countries. You will see people sitting outside the bars holding a cup of coffee. The most popular is Turkish coffee and prices are less than €1 in a local bar.
28. CROATIAN WINE
Croatian wine is really good and you will find wine in different regions of the ocuntry. Malvasia and Teran are the two grape varieties that are the stars of the Istria region with Malvasia being among the most famous wines in Croatia.
Rakija is a generic term for a variety of fruit brandies produced in the Balkans. This potent spirit is produced from a mixture of fruits and is often flavored or use as a liquor basis. Rakija, in a shot glass, it’s normally served neat, preferably cold.
PLACES TO VISIT IN CROATIA
30. Plitvice Lakes National Park
Plitvice Lakes National Park is one of the largest National Parks in Croatia. Plitvice Lakes National Park is a UNESCO site in Croatia and it’s a must to visit for enjoying the nature. You will be able to take amazing pictures between the lakes and waterfalls.
Istria Region was my favorite place to visit in Croatia. Istria is popular because of wine and olive oil but also for the beaches towns of Pula and Rovinj. Istria is a nice place for a road trip and enjoying local food.
Zadar is a nice historical city in Croatia located in Dalmatian Region. Apart from history you can also visit the islands around. I was visiting off season and everything was so quiet, the beaches were so beautiful. And in our Croatia travel tips we think Zadar in the middle of the country is a perfect starting point to visit around.
Split is the largest city in Dalmatia and the second in the country. Split is a beautiful and modern city. Most of the tourists take a ferry to the islands around. The port in Split is one of the busiest in the Mediterranean.
Dubrovnik is the most popular destination located in the South of Croatia just one hour driving from Montenegro and Bosnia and Herzegovina. Dubrovnik is a medieval town with beautiful beaches around. You will find a lot bars and restaurants perfect for enjoying the nightlife.
Zagreb is the capital and largest city of Croatia. You will find in Zagreb a local vibe and very different to the Region of Istria and Dalmatia which are the most popular for tourists in Croatia. Zagreb city center is full of history and I loved it walking around the Cathedral, local markets and trying local food.
Hope you liked our Croatia travel tips. Let us know if we missed things to know before visiting Croatia and facts about Croatia in the comments below.
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About the Author: Ruben, co-founder of Gamintraveler.com since 2014, is a seasoned traveler from Spain who has explored over 100 countries since 2009. Known for his extensive travel adventures across South America, Europe, the US, Australia, New Zealand, Asia, and Africa, Ruben combines his passion for adventurous yet sustainable living with his love for cycling, highlighted by his remarkable 5-month bicycle journey from Spain to Norway. He currently resides in Spain, where he continues to share his travel experiences alongside his partner, Rachel, and their son, Han.