CROATIA: INFORMATION TO KNOW BEFORE YOU GO
With cobbled streets that scatter the entire country and a coastline that rivals the Caribbean, Croatia is fast becoming one of the most popular places to visit in Europe. For whatever reason, it’s also the only place in Europe that gives me a tan, so I’m always sold on a road trip in Croatia…Anyway, I digress…if you’re travelling to Croatia then there is definitely a bunch of things you’ll need to know beforehand…so let’s get to it…
WHERE IS CROATIA IN EUROPE?
Not far across the Adriatic sea from Italy and bordering Slovenia, Hungary, Romania, Serbia, and Bosnia, you’ll find Croatia stretching down the coastline. It’s conveniently surrounded by countries that should be on most people’s itinerary when visiting Europe for an extended period of time, making it even more accessible, with no excuse not to visit!
WHAT IS THE BEST TIME OF YEAR TO VISIT CROATIA?
Between May and October is the best time of year to visit Croatia if you want nice weather. July until early September will be busier due to the school holidays and thus, prices are usually higher too. Personally, the end of September is the sweet spot for me, with temperatures around 25°C, most kids back to school, and prices slightly lower than the middle of summer. However if you’re hiking or cycling Croatia, then you may want to choose a cooler month.
IS CROATIA HOT ALL YEAR ROUND?
No, from November until April, the weather is much cooler and often wet! That doesn’t mean to say that you can’t have a great time, just make sure you pack a rain jacket (him/her).
HOW LONG DOES IT TAKE TO FLY TO CROATIA?
This obviously depends on where you’re coming from, but my google analytics tells me you’re probably from one of the below (thanks google, technology these days eh?):
USA average 10 hours
Canada average 10 hours
Australia 23 hours (oooooof!)
UK 4 hours
HOW MUCH IS A FLIGHT TO CROATIA?
USA between $700-$900 USD
Canada roughly $1400 CD
Australia roughly $2500 AUD
UK roughly £150
You can check out the best deals on Skyscanner by searching for the whole month to see which day and time works out the cheapest.
WHAT IS THE MOST COMMON LANGUAGE SPOKEN?
Croatian, however, most people also speak English too. Is it just me or does anyone else feel bad about the fact that most other countries can speak English fluently as their second language, meanwhile I’m over here still wondering what comes next after Bonjour…every year I tell myself ‘this year I’ll learn a new language’. Every year I don’t.
IS IT SAFE TO TRAVEL TO CROATIA?
Yes, it is. You won’t find much criminal activity across the country, however, it’s always a good idea to be vigilant and pack one of these in busier areas.
DO YOU NEED A VISA?
For the US, Canadian, Australian, and British residents a visa is not required if your trip is shorter than 90 days.
WHAT IS THE CURRENCY?
Croatian Kuna. Some places also accept euros but it’s not preferable.
DO YOU PAY A TIP?
You’re not obliged to pay a tip, but it’s always nice to pay a little bit extra if you’ve received a great service!
IS IT EXPENSIVE TO VISIT?
If you compare it to countries like Switzerland then Croatia is a bargain! However, some bordering countries like Hungary are slightly cheaper. Overall, Croatia certainly won’t break the bank and is a great location for those on a budget!
HOW MUCH DOES A MEAL COST IN CROATIA?
USA $17 USD
Canada $22 CD
Australia $22 AUD
WHAT IS A TYPICAL BREAKFAST?
It’s usually a mixture of bread, jams, eggs, and cold meat cuts, however, you’ll usually find things like pancakes, crêpes, and cereals on a restaurant menu too.
CAN YOU DRINK TAP WATER IN CROATIA?
WHICH CITIES SHOULD I VISIT?
There are SO many amazing cities to visit that it’s hard to narrow it down, however, most people would argue that these are the ones that should be at the top of your list:
WHAT IS THE MOST BEAUTIFUL CITY IN CROATIA?
Rovinj is considered one of the most beautiful places in Croatia due to its colourful streets and romantic feel. Dubrovnik is another popular choice based on the old town which is home to a number of well-preserved buildings such as St. Blaise Church. That being said, beauty is in the eye of the beholder and my favourite is Zadar; I’m a sucker for great sunsets and cute cobbled streets, so Zadar fits the bill perfectly!
HOW CAN YOU SEE CROATIA IN A WEEK?
My recommendation would be to travel down the coast and miss out on cities like Zagreb (sorry Zagreb, maybe next time) which sit on the western borders. Something like:
Rovinj to Rijeka to Zadar to Split to Hvar to Dubrovnik.
HOW MUCH TIME SHOULD YOU SPEND IN CROATIA?
The great thing about Croatia is that it isn’t a huge country, but there are a ton of beautiful towns, beaches, and national parks to explore, not to mention all the great hiking in Croatia that will show you the beauty of the countryside! You can drive from Rovinj to Dubrovnik in 7.5 hours, so around 10 days is usually enough to go from the top to the bottom of the country and see most of what Croatia has to offer.
WHERE DO COUPLES STAY IN CROATIA?
Hvar: Full of atmosphere and nightlife, Hvar is best suited to couples who like to go wild at night and relax in the day (er, so not us then…). With swanky cocktail bars and overpriced restaurants, visiting Hvar comes with a pretty hefty price tag compared to other locations in Croatia. It’s also known as Croatia’s celebrity playground, which makes it even more desirable for some! That being said, Hvar is cheaper on the outskirts and is home to five UNESCO World Heritage Sites/lists…yes FIVE! And that means it takes first place out of all of the islands in the world! These are:
- Stari Grad Plain – UNESCO World Heritage Site
- Za Krizen (Behind the Cross) Procession -Intangible UNESCO Heritage
- Agava Lace from the Benedictine Nuns -Intangible UNESCO Heritage
- Hvar’s Mediterranean Diet -Intangible UNESCO Heritage
- Klapa Singing in Southern Dalmatia -Intangible UNESCO Heritage
Dubrovnik or Split: For your typical romantic getaway, Dubrovnik or Split couldn’t be more perfect. They’re cute seaside towns, filled with cobbled streets, stunning scenery, and restaurants oozing with romance. Whether you’re a pair of foodies or a couple of lovers looking for adventure activities to bond over, Dubrovnik or Split will certainly have something to offer you. Find yourself a cooking class, a private sunset wine tasting session, or even book onto an island hopping tour with hiking and swimming – no matter what you choose, you’ll almost certainly find the perfect recipe for love!
Rovinj: Located in northern Croatia is Rovinj. It’s a great choice for couples looking for a more sophisticated break at a slower pace with just as much romance. It’s a sweet town that’s bursting with colour from the brightly painted buildings and packed with gorgeous little restaurants and bars, many of which are hidden down cobbled side alleys (yep, more cobbled side alleys…I did tell you right at the start the country was covered in ’em!). Although it’s generally more expensive in Rovinj, it’s much less touristy than Hvar and Dubrovnik, which to most people make it worth the price tag!
Millie and Tom x
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