« Croatia - Nine Days Itinerary

Planning, Tips & Information


Planning

List
We made a list of all the destinations we wanted to cover in one week and how much each leg will cost in terms of USD (payments are accepted in EUR or HRK). This included airline tickets, bus, ferry, taxi and car rental.

Accommodation
There was some minimal research involved in booking hotels. Across Croatia, one can find a Soba from any port of entries – ferry terminals, bus stations or train stations – though it is not easy to find one at the airports. These are apartments or rooms that someone will rent out for anything between €50-€100 a night. You can just walk up to any of these and will be hoarded by the old women selling the single rooms in their homes. You can also knock on the doors of houses with sobe or zimmer (rooms available) signs. Make sure they are authentic and government authorized.

Sobe

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.

 

We chose to stay at some of the finest and recommended apartments and had to be booked in advance (which is also recommended since they get booked for the Spring and Summer season), mainly because it is mandatory to have confirmed hotel booking for Croatian visa.

Visa
Although U.S. and E.U. citizens do not require a visa to travel to Croatia for 90-days, being non-U.S. or non-E.U. citizens, we required a visa to Croatia. So getting all the documents together was a task. Visa fees are $47 + $20 shipping (Check the Croatian Consulate website if you need a visa to travel to Croatia or not). It takes about 2-3 weeks for the visa to be issued.

If you are driving from North Dalmatia to Dubrovnik, you will passing through 30 miles of Bosnian region and you do not require a visa to drive through.

 

General Tips

  • 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:
    Croatian Post Office Symbol

Language

  • “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

Accommodation

  • 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.

     

    Sobe

    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.

Money Tips

  • 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.

Transportation

  • 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.

Hospitals

  • 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.

 

Itinerary

  • Prices or rates are indicative in USD but can be different depending on the exchange rates. The corresponding and actual rates in either EUR or HRK are mentioned in the Notes column.
  • Prices or rates for car rental, food & drinks and taxi fare are estimated numbers. Actuals may vary.
  • Estimates for transportation will be added as and when available.
  • All prices are per person, except for apartments which are for two persons, per night.
  • Check out the Local Ferry Guide from Croatia Traveller

Note: All values in USD, unless otherwise mentioned, are approximate and based on the exchange rate of USD 1 = HRK 5 at the time of publishing. Each cost is for one adult.
 

Day Where What Est. Cost Notes
1 Zagreb U.S. to Zagreb $1,260
$235
ORD/ZAG & DBV/ORD via Lufthansa. Booked via Dada Tours
Hotel: €75 per night + €20 airport pickup.
2 Zagreb Old Town, Walking Tour $11
$0.50
$2
$100
Zagreb Card (60kn for 24 hrs)
Funicular
Croatian Museum of Naïve Art (10kn)
Meals, etc.
3 Zagreb – Zadar Alamo Car Rental Bus $21
$100
€80 incl. insurance HRK 106
Meals, etc.
4 Zadar $170
$100
Apartment: €60 per night
Meals, etc.
5 Zadar – Split $20
$100
Bus
Meals, etc.
6 Split $99
$4
$1
$6
$100
Apartment: €80 €68 for 2 nights
Diocletian’s Palace (20kn)
Jupiter’s Temple (5kn)
Meštrović Gallery (30kn)
Meals, etc.
7 Split – Dubrovnik $25
$100
Bus
Meals, etc.
8 Dubrovnik Walk around the Old Town walls $170
$14
$5
$7
$100
Hotel: €60 per night
Walk Old Town Walls (70kn)
Franciscan Monastery (25kn)
Rector’s Palace (35kn)
Meals, etc.
9 Dubrovnik $7
$20
35kn for bus to Airport
Meals, etc.

 

Hotels

Hotels or apartments can be booked either online (if available) or by simply sending them an email and they will send a link to a website where you can make payments. Recently, PayPal opened their system to accept Croatian Kuna, so this may definitely be easier and safer for travelers and owners to book in advance. Some hotels or apartments will hold a booking in your name and you have to pay upon arrival. Check with them for the best way of booking – on arrival or in advance.

Zagreb
inZagreb Apartment ‘City’
Price: €75 per night + €20 airport pickup
Address: Remetinečka 13, 10000 Zagreb
Email: info@inzagreb.com
Website: inzagreb.com

Split
Room P1, House of Sandra
Price: €68 for 2 nights for a room
Website: www.vjekoslav-cvitkovic.iz.hr

Dubrovnik
Siena II Apartment via Dubrovnik Apartments Source
Price: €120 for two nights
Website: www.dubrovnikapartmentsource.com

 

Planning

Tips & Information

Some tips & info to get started.

Expenses

How much did it cost?

List of all the expenses.

« Nine days in Croatia

Day 1 – NEXT »

Zagreb

First day in the capital city.

 


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