- Croatians or Croats are proud of their country, so it’s best not to get in to political discussions, although they will not hesitate to talk about the post-Yugoslavia war.
- Practically everyone smokes in Croatia, and almost everywhere! Legally, smoking is allowed in places that are not covered by 3 walls, but restaurants and sobe owners will tell you that you can smoke inside as well. A cigarette pack will cost HRK 15 – 30, depending on the brand.
- Almost everyone speaks English. You can approach anyone in Croatia with a “Dobro Dan” (Good day) and ask questions in English, but slowly.
- Croatians are extremely helpful in showing directions or just about anything. We asked an old woman for directions to Stone Gate in Zagreb and she went out of her way to lead us to a street from where we could reach the place.
- The tourist information center is your best bet for any information local or national. The personnel speak more than 3 languages (usually Croatian, English & German) and will give you whole lot of information about places to visit, costs, bus and ferry timings and directions.
- All over Croatia, post offices can be easily recognized by the word “Pošta” (Poshta) and post boxes are yellow colored with the same words. Or look out for this sign:
- “J” is pronounced as “Y”. Which means Josip is pronounced Yosip.
- “ć” and “č” is pronounced as “ch”.
- “š” is pronounced as “sh”.
- “ž” is pronounced as “zh”.
- Dobra dan – Good day. Greet everyone with this irrespective of what time of the day it is.
- Dobro Jutro – Good Morning.
- Dobra večer – Good evening.
- Hvala – Thanks.
- Molim – Please. This can also be used for ‘excuse me’ or ‘you’re welcome’ after a thanks.
- Zdravo – bye
- Ulaz – Entry
- Izlaz – Exit
- You will hoarded with old women advertising their sobe at every bust top, ferry stop or taxi stand. Make sure to decide on a price and the location of the sobe. After you decide they will take your passport information, which is required by Croatian laws, but make sure to ask for a legal receipt of your stay.
If you decide to go with proprietors at the bus or ferry station, try and ask the location or you could get stuck way out of town. Clarify whether the price is per person or per room. Figure out the exact number of days you plan to stay and when in the day you plan to check out so you don’t get stuck with a surcharge. If you land in a room or apartment without a blue sobe or apartmani sign outside, the proprietor is renting to you illegally! They will probably be reluctant to provide their full name or phone number and you’ll have absolutely no recourse in case of a problem.
- Although all apartments that you rent in Croatia will provide clean towels and napkins, they do not come with shower gel or soap. They do have hand-wash liquid soap at the basin. A backpacker’s tip – use the hand-wash liquid soap for shower.
- Most Croatian restaurants or businesses, including sobe or apartments, will accept Euros, but be prepared to use the local currency – Kuna. The exchange rate is approximately EUR 1 = HRK 7.3 and USD 1 = HRK 5.1.
- You are not required to tip in Croatia. There may be times when the restaurant receipt clearly say “Service charge not included”, even then you are not required to tip, but if you do then it’s appreciated.
- Prices of everything include a whopping 23% tax. So the amounts mentioned on everything includes this tax.
- Tap water in Croatia is safe and drinkable. Water is charged at restaurants and it is wise to carry a bottle of tap water while you’re on the go.
- One of the best ways to travel around in Croatia is by bus or ferry. They have excellent bus services and not too cheap.
- The ferry services may not be available all year round so make sure to check the schedules before planning for one. Croatia Traveller provides an excellent schedule of ferries available for €5.99.
- Driving in Croatia can be a great experience too, especially if you’re driving from Zadar to Dubrovnik. The highway 8 traverses along the coast with stunning views of the Adriatic Sea.
- Major car-rental companies like Hertz, Budget, Avis, Alamo and Europcar have offices across main cities of Croatia. There are a lot of local companies who provide services at a cheaper rate, but the downside is to return the car at the same location as pick-up.
- Expect to pay anything between HRK 1 – 7 per baggage in the bus. There is not enough space in the bus for a small suitcase, but very small carry-ons like backpacks and purses that can be carried inside the bus are not charged.
- Be prepared to get completely lost in the hospitals on Croatia as everything is in Croatian!
- Although some doctors may speak English, the local staff may not. You will have to try and find your way to the doctor’s office.
- Make sure to get receipts for all the services that you may need to claim from the insurance company after you get back.
- Hospitals and doctors offices don’t accept credit cards so make sure you have enough cash with you. It’s best to ask the cost of everything prior to being treated, that way you’re prepared to shell out some serious dough.
Tips & Information
Some tips & info to get started.
Day 1 – NEXT »
First day in the capital city.