Croatia Travel Guide: 2019 Resources For Croatia Travel Tips

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Croatia Travel Guide: 2019 Resources For Croatia Travel

We have compiled some useful travel information about Croatia for you. This includes information about the weather, exchange rates, and links to find accommodation deals and transportation within our incredible country.

In this Croatia travel guide, you will also find travel tips about getting to and from Croatia, learn about Croatian food, as well as receive information on driving and dozens of other useful suggestions.

If you’re just getting started on your travel planning journey, you may want to read the following two posts first:

 

Top Things To Do In Croatia In 2019

We’re often asked what to do in Croatia? Because there are so many ways to experience the magic of Croatia, it’s really hard to choose between all available options and places to see in Croatia. Below, we help you decide.

SHOW ME WHAT TO SEE AND DO

If you need to know where to find the best Croatia travel deals, scroll down to see our recommendations.

Best Croatia Travel Deals

There is no doubt that planning a vacation can be time-consuming. And the best way to avoid that comes with knowing where the best deals are. Here is our guide to what sites we use, know and trust. Everything from where to stay in Croatia to finding a good Croatia car rental deal.

Croatia Car Rental

 

 

Rental Cars.com

For car rentals in Croatia, try Rental Cars. They are the world’s biggest car rental booking service and compare all the major brands like Hertz, Avis, Alamo, and Europcar.

 

Auto Europe

For another car rental in Croatia option, we recommend Auto Europe. We’ve had all positive experiences with them and so, too, have our readers. If you’re traveling to Croatia and planning on renting a car, check them out.

Booking Accommodation In Croatia

Booking.com

Booking.com is a popular choice for booking accommodation in Croatia. Oh, and they have 700,000+ hotels, apartments and hostels worldwide, all with no booking fee.

 

Hotels Combined

Search more than one booking site at the same time with Hotels Combined. A few clicks and you can compare rates and save money in minutes.

 

Hotels.com

Did you know that for every ten nights you book with Hotels.com, they’ll give you a free stay? They also have no booking or cancellation fees.

 

Hostelworld

A super cheap way to save money. This resource collates hostels deals from across the country. Book your hostel online to secure the best rate.

 

Airbnb

An alternative to hotels, here you rent from locals. We just started using Airbnb ourselves to stay in apartments owned by locals. It’s a great way to get local knowledge on the ground, while saving money using cooking facilities. You can get €18 off your booking below.

Tours In Croatia

Viator

Viator is the world’s leading resource for researching, finding and booking the best travel experiences worldwide. Most important, their Croatia travel experiences kick-ass.

Tinggly

Tinggly offers experiences worldwide. They have a particularly great Plitvice Lakes National Park tour that you should try!

 

Guide Books

Need A Book To Carry

We’ve shortlisted the best guide books on Croatia for you.

Travel Insurance

Best Travel Insurance

I was always taught, if you can’t afford insurance, you can’t afford to travel. At RoamRight, they know no two travelers or trips are the same. That’s why they offer travel insurance plans for all situations. (USA residents only)

 

Kornati National Park | Travel Croatia Guide
Kornati National Park. Photo credit by a very talented Croatian photographer Davor Strenja

2019 Croatia Travel Guide – Your Questions Answered

Do You Need A Visa To Come To Croatia?

The question “do I need a visa to enter Croatia” is asked me often. Answering this for each individual is tricky as the circumstances and your reasons for entering Croatia will determine if you need a visa to travel to Croatia. Plus, there are other question to answer, such as: do you have Croatian family? Or do you plan to work in Croatia? If you do need a visa for Croatia, .

Here is a detailed breakdown of who needs what visa, if any!

Where Is Croatia Located?

Croatia lies in the western Balkans and borders Slovenia, Hungary, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Serbia and Montenegro. It’s most interesting border, however, is the Adriatic Sea coast. It’s the Croatia beaches, islands and historic towns on the Croatia coast, after all, that draw in the vast majority of tourists. Just across the Adriatic Sea lies Italy.

When Is The Best Time To Go To Croatia?

Well, what weather do you like and what events interest you? In my opinion, that is May, June, and September. That’s when the average temperature is 20°C, and the country is far less crowded.

Of course, peak season rolls around in July and August, when the average temperature jumps up to 26°C and many towns have festivals to keep you busy.

Winters in Croatia can be cold, and the Adriatic Coast almost entirely closes down. In some parts of Croatia, you’ll find snow on mountains.

Croatia has become a tourist destination due to its history, culture, and warm temperature. There are two climate zonesInland, there is a temperate climate that spans the continental mountainous areas. The south along the coast enjoys a mild Mediterranean climate. This area has summers that are hot and dryer, but winters that are much milder and more humid. The average temperature in January can range anywhere from around freezing to about 5°C and in August, the average temperature is about 21°C. This is for the inland area. The coastal zone temperatures are much warmer, ranging from 4° to 10°C in January all the way up to 26°C in August.

Obviously, the summer season is a busier time as the warmer temperatures attract more tourists to the area.  If crowds are not your idea of a good time, you might consider booking your stay during the off-peakk season.

Winter is traditionally the cheapest season for traveling around Croatia. However, you might want to check some of the attractions you plan on visiting to make sure that they are not closed during the winter months.

If you are looking for an authentic winter season, the mountainous inland area will be your best bet. No matter where you are or what you are doing, though, between January and February, you must visit the Carnival in Rijeka. It is one of the largest events of the year and is a cultural experience that should not be missed. 




What Is The Currency In Croatia?

The official currency in Croatia is the Kuna. One Kuna is equal to 100 Lipa’s. You can find foreign currency exchange centers throughout all cities and towns. Currency exchange is also provided in banks, some post offices as well as some tourist agencies.

Denominations of 5, 10, 20, 50, 100, 500, 1000 come in paper form. The Lipa comes in coin form in denominations of 1, 5, 10, 20, 50. The 1 Kuna and 5 Kuna also come in coins.

Local tip: Wherever prices are listed in Croatia the word Kuna is abbreviated to kn.

You’ll get the same Croatia exchange rate at any bank or exchange office.

Is Croatia Safe For Solo Travelers?

Let’s just say, it’s very safe. It’s safe as houses, as the saying goes. Don’t take my word for it, ask Mandie, a solo female traveler herself.

She says: “There’s a reason Croatia has become one of the most popular tourist destinations in Europe. In my opinion as a solo female traveler, Croatia might be the safest, and arguably most picturesque, of the Balkan countries to travel through.”

Big words to stand by, huh? She wrote five solo travel tips for Croatia. After reading it, I am sure you’ll see what she means.

How Long Should Someone Spend In Croatia?

Forever. And, if that is not a possibility, you need at least ten days. Really, there is so much to see. Two nights in each of the key places like Dubrovnik, Split, Zagreb and Plitvice Lakes will just get you by. Here are a number of our itinerary suggestions for a ten-day Croatia vacation:

Option 1

Zadar – Pula – Plitvice Lakes – Zagreb

Option 2

Zagreb – Plitvice Lakes – Zadar –  Split – Dubrovnik

Option 3

Zagreb  – Zadar –  Split – An Island – Dubrovnik

Option 4

Zagreb – Plitvice Lakes – Rovinj – Pula

Option 5

Dubrovnik – Peljesac Peninsula – Korcula – Split – Zagreb

We’ve compiled some easy-to-follow itineraries here.

Croatia Travel Blog: Croatia Travel Guide with Local Tips for Exploring Croatia

Is Croatia Wheelchair-Friendly?

Croatia has a long way to go to be more wheelchair-friendly, to be honest. However, here is some information by , which will help with your travel planning.

Is Dubrovnik Really That Busy?

Yes, really it is. If you are planning a trip to Dubrovnik, you will want to look ahead and try to avoid the peak days when the cruise ships come in. That’s about the best I can suggest. Well, that and coming out of peak season.

How Is The Internet In Croatia?

You might get lucky with your hotel or apartment having Wi-Fi, but if it is anything like my experience, the signal is not great. Moreover, you may also have to pay for it. You can pick up prepaid SIM cards from Hrvatski Telekom at kiosks all over the country. Or, you could get your own personal Wi-Fi hotspot in Croatia with TEP.

 

Croatia Travel Blog Travel Tips Zadar

Cultural Events And Notable Festivals

Different regions host various events such as the Summer Festival, Varazdin Baroque Evenings, and the World Theatre Festival. These are cultural experiences that immerse you in the rich history and heritage of Croatia. They are must-visit events if you happen to be traveling in the region during your stay. If you want to visit Croatia during the cheapest time of the year, you will not be able to hit some of these festivals that happen in the summer.

See a list of festivals in Croatia here.

The best festivals in Croatia PIN 1

Where To Stay In Croatia

Lodging accommodations in the area are plentiful. You can choose from any of the numerous quality luxury hotels, hostels, apartments, or rental properties that exist throughout the region. The price is relatively cheap considering what you would pay in other resort locations. For about a third of what you would pay at a luxury travel resort, you can stay at one of Croatia’s hostels or rental apartments.

With a little planning and creativity, you can make sure that your Croatian vacation will be one to remember. You may even discover places that might require that you visit Croatia a second time. You will meet people who love life and are intriguing and friendly. The food is absolutely incredible and will leave your taste buds enticed and satisfied. 

The locals are helpful when it comes to answering questions about unique locations or landmarks.  The Croatian nights are enchanting and a great way to unwind after a long day of sightseeing.  Once you visit during one part of the year, make sure you return to visit during another season. Each season in Croatia lends itself to an entirely different travel experience. Its rich history and cultural diversity will keep you coming back year after year.

Here are some useful links to get your search started.

Things To See And Do In Croatia

THERE. ARE. JUST. SO. MANY! We created this whole travel blog of ideas to get your creative juices flowing. We can also say that if you are coming to Croatia, you may want to look at our ideas on:

Things to do in Croatia | Croatia Travel Blog

Our Personal Favorite Things To Do In Croatia

Explore The Seven UNESCO World Heritage Sites

For a small country of just over 56,000 square kilometers, you may be surprised to know that there are seven – yes that’s right seven – Croatian UNESCO World Heritage sites you can explore. When planning a trip to Croatia, absolutely make sure to include some of the following in your itinerary.

  • Plitvice Lakes National Park
  • Episcopal Complex of the Euphrasian Basilica in the Historic Centre of Poreč
  • Historic city of Trogir
  • Historical Complex of Split with the Palace of Diocletian
  • Old City of Dubrovnik
  • Stari Grad Plain, Hvar
  • The Cathedral of St. James in Šibenik 

You could also visit some of the lesser-known Croatian sites that are on the tentative UNESCO list such as:

  • The Episcopal complex in Zadar, which is just a two-hour bus ride north of Split
  • The fortified walls and salt pans in the towns of Ston and Mali Ston, which are less than an hour from Dubrovnik by car
  • The Istrian hilltop town of Motovun
  • The historical nucleus of  named as one of the top places to visit in Croatia

Want even more UNESCO goodness? Okay, try the UNESCO Intangible Heritage list. There is just so much Croatian culture for your upcoming vacation.

Take A Trip To Croatia’s Best Beach

In case, you did not know which one that is, it’s Zlatni Rat Beach, an iconic beach with a long golden pebble tip that stretches out to the Adriatic Sea. Head to Brač Island, one of those gorgeous Croatian islands, and make a beeline for the port town of Bol.

Things to do in bol croatia cover
Zlatni Rat Beach Bol, Brač Island

Ditch The Beach And Get Outdoors

Skip the beach and mix in some outdoor fun. As you breathe in, you’ll draw in an abundance of fresh, crisp mountain air. You’ll hear the crunching of leaves underfoot, coupled with the sound of waterfalls in the distance. Birds will be chirping, and you’ll be relaxed and without a care in the world. Where are you? You are in one of these eight national parks, the absolute best places in Croatia for outdoor adventures.

Want more adrenaline-pumping fun, head to the zip line in Omiš, which is the fastest zip line in Croatia, or try rafting on the Cetina River. Look at us go!

Things to do in Omiš Cetina River Rafting Video - Travel Croatia like a local
Things to do in Croatia to get your heart pumping: rafting.

Best Croatia Travel Guide Books

Our goal is to be an excellent Croatia travel guide and blog, but we still haven’t been to every place in Croatia (well, at least not yet). We always suggest getting a travel book to read before your vacation to Croatia, to help you decide which places to go to in Croatia. Plus, planning is half the fun of a holiday, in my opinion. So, which Croatia travel guide book is guaranteed to help you find the best places to visit in Croatia? Here, let us help you choose the best guide book.

Our top book suggestion if you are a first-time traveler to Croatia, and you are looking for a comprehensive guide book, is . It’s the newest edition, released just this year and packed with Croatia information. I love the colored maps, which really help to plan the perfect holiday.

Chasing The Donkey Guides

We’re slowly updating the old guides on our Croatia travel blog, so check back often:

Learn Croatian Phrases - Chasing the Donkey #Croatia

Language In Croatia

The language in Croatia is… Croatian. And, boy, is this language hard to learn. I have been trying for more than two years now. Some Croatian letters are a little different to those in the English alphabet; there are many that are the same, and several that are completely different like č, ž, and Lj, and they do not have X and Q.

The spelling of Croatian words is (mostly) phonetic. Therefore, words are written as they are pronounced, which makes things a little easier. Yay. Give this a whirl:

Hello

Bok (bohk)

How are you?

Kako ste? (kah-koh steh?)

I’m fine, thank you

Ja sam dobro, hvala (sahm doh-broh, hva-lah)

Nice to meet you

Drago mi je (dra-goh mee yeh)

See, it’s not so bad, is it? We have created a few handy guides to get you on your way to sounding like a local as you travel Croatia.

Learn Croatian – the basics part one

Learn Croatian – the basics part two

Croatian swears – just for fun

Food In Croatia

This is one of the many things in abundance, so bring stretchy pants for your flight home. Croatia and food, they’re a match made in heaven. We often get asked what is typical Croatian food? The answer to this question depends on what Croatian region you are from or which one you’re visiting.

Dalmatians may respond to the question with Crni Rizot, while someone from Slavonia would explain fish paprikash. Each region has its own traditional Croatian food and claim that it’s the best. Mr. Chasing the Donkey says that the best Croatian food is all the Croatian food his mum makes! As a sampler, here is just some of the food we eat in Croatia. Are you hungry yet?

If you want to start making Croatian food before you come, take a peek our Croatian recipes in English.

Croatian Recipes in English | Chasing the Donkey

Getting Around Croatia In 2019

Croatia Car Rental & Driving In Croatia Tips

Croatia is a country situated in southeastern Europe, across the Adriatic Sea from Italy. Being one of the most picturesque countries in Europe, driving in Croatia is highly recommended. Especially the roads hugging the dramatic Adriatic coast are breathtaking.

There are numerous cheap car rental companies as well as several luxury car rental options for your to choose from. Although renting a car in Croatia is easy, it is important to note that the traffic laws in Croatia may slightly differ from those of your home country.

We created a whole guide about which car rental companies operate in Croatia, which lane is used when driving, the cost of using toll roads, what motorway signs to look out for and the ever problematic question regarding the border crossing card in order to enter Bosnia-Herzegovina as well as other informative tips.

Here is the guide for things you should know when renting a car and driving in Croatia. If you don’t look at it, I’d highly recommend downloading the FREE app from iTunes from the Croatian Auto Club. It provides traffic and travel information, as well as roadside assistance services, and is available in English, German, Italian and of course, Croatian.

Car Rental in Croatia | Croatia Travel Blog

If you plan to drive, please check  out these Croatian traffic information sites

  • Sea traffic timetable

Buses

Croatia has a bus system that is truly extraordinary. Unlike most bus systems that you are accustomed to, the Croatian bus system is intercity. This means that they will take you from city to city depending on the type of pass that you have purchased. There are many options to choose from, and it is well worth taking some time to plan out your transportation before you arrive. There are several local bus lines as well, once you get to your chosen destination.

Bus from Zagreb to Split:  |  Bus from Zadar to Zadar Airport:  | Bus to Zadar from Split and Split to Zadar:

Other sites that help are:

 |  |  |  |  |  is also a useful website where you can look up bus timetables for the whole of Croatia.

Taxi Cabs

Taxis are the most expensive means of transportation. You would probably fare better by taking one of the buses or trains upon your arrival if you are budget conscious.

Railway

The Croatian rail system is part public and part privately owned, yet both are easy to use and similar in nature. They are a handy and convenient means of navigation throughout each city. Also, the main rail line runs through the heart of the region so you can use this for traveling if you are not keen on making a three- or four-hour bus ride again.

As with anything, make sure you plan this part of your trip before you get there. This is one of those travel instances where an ounce of prevention truly is worth a pound of cure.

 |

Ferries

A network of ferries crisscrosses the Adriatic. Plan ahead in summer, when ferries can fill up very quickly, and be sure to look for the off-peak season timetable to be sure you can get back to your starting point.

 

Wandershare Infographic

Getting To Croatia

Whats the best way to get here?
h3>Flights To Croatia

Many airlines offer cheap flights to Croatia and back, from all over Europe.

Vueling
www.vueling.com

Iberia Regional Air Nostrum
www.iberia.com

Germanwings
www.germanwings.com

SkyWork
www.flyskywork.com

Jet2.com
www.jet2.com

Lufthansa
www.lufthansa.com

Ryanair
www.ryanair.com

Croatia Airlines
www.croatiaairlines.com

Croatian Airports

  • –  And here is how to get in Zagreb

Croatia Travel Blog Travel Tips Zadar

Fast Facts About Croatia

  • Croatia became an independent country on June 25th, 1991
  • The population is 4.4 million (plus myself and a few other expats)
  • Croatia became the 28th member of the European Union on July 1st 2013
  • The official language is Croatian
  • If you are coming to Croatia, you’ll need Kuna’s, which are our currency. Not Euros as many people assume
  • The average temperature between May and September is 23-28 degrees Celsius
  • In 2011, more than 11.2 million people visited Croatia
  • Most tourists are from Germany, Slovenia, Italy, Austria and the Czech Republic
  • Loads more facts here

Croatian Inventions

  • Parachute. In 1619, a Croatian Bishop, Faust Vrancic, adapted plans for a similarly designed device by Leonardo da Vinci, which went on to become the parachute.
  • Fountain Pen. Born to Dutch and Polish parents, Eduard Penkala moved to the capital of Croatia, Zagreb in 1900 and fell in love with Croatia. Who could blame the guy? He then took on the Croatian name Slavoljub and became a citizen. In 1906, Slavoljub invented the mechanical pencil and the solid-ink fountain pen a year later. He founded a pen and pencil factory called Penkala-Moster Company, which became one of the largest in the world. The company is known today as .
  • Alternating Current / Electricity. You know that little thing that that powers our homes and businesses? Well, that is a Croatian invention… kind of. Most people will say that the genius Nikola Tesla who thought up the idea was Croatian. He was born to Serbian parents, but was a citizen of Austria, which then became Austria-Hungary. Tesla was educated in Graz, worked in Budapest, Paris and Prague before moving to America and becoming a US citizen. The place of his birth is now within Croatian boarders, so you decide. He is the same guy who also invented X-rays, fluorescent bulbs, lasers, the radio, and the electric motor. Either way, he was a smart cookie!
  • The necktie. The most well-known Croatian invention, if you can really call it that, is the cravat. Also known as a necktie. Worn by soldiers in the 17th century, and made popular by the Parisians, the cravat even had an entire day dedicated to it. Pay your respects on October 18th.

Even More Croatia Travel Tips For You

State Departments Sites

  • MUP

Comments (12)

  1. Thanks so much for producing such a comprehensive guide, you have put a lot of work into this and it shows! I will use your links whenever I can.

    I do have a couple of quick questions that I’m hoping you could answer…
    We are planning a trip this July. We have decided to start in Dubrovnik (mainly to avoid the Ultra crowds) and end in Split. I realize we will be there in peak season (my husband is a teacher so we have no choice) but I would like to choose our options wisely to avoid cruise ships and Med-sail regattas when we can.
    We have 10 days and were thinking 2 islands (Korcula and Hvar). My thought is to spend 2-3 nights in each… here’s my question: Would Stari Grad be a better choice over Hvar town in July? While I’m worried Hvar Town will be overrun, I’m also worried Stari Grad will be too sleepy… Is there a happy medium between the two? We plan to explore the whole island, maybe even rent a boat for the day… Does one stand out as a better base for that?

    Same goes for Split, would it be better to stay in Trogir and day trip to Split or visa versa?

    Last but not least, how important is air-conditioning? I suppose having a/c is a good tool for noise reduction but is it a “must have” during July?

    Thanks so much for reading this and/or replying!

  2. Hello! My Mother is Croatian & we’ve traveled ‘Jugoslavia’ several times in the past years from our home in Canada! Your article title denotes ‘do’s & don’ts…..what are the don’ts? Thanks……

  3. I was planning a trip to Split last summer, but failed to find right accommodation option on Airbnb. Hope now with this guide I’ll get the most out of a visit to Croatia!

  4. This was so enlightening about Croatia! I have been wanting to travel her for a long time. I will definitely be using this when I plan my trip!

  5. Fantastic! I needed desperately some information about Croatia. I am going on a business trip and my first destination is Croatia. Thank you for helping me! Keep posting! Greetings!

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