Want to travel to Croatia? It’s a wonderful country with beautiful nature, interesting history, delicious food, and lovely cities. Here’s my travel guide with everything you need to know before your trip to Croatia.
I’ve been traveling around Croatia quite a lot and visited most places of interest, and I love that it has such a wide range of activities and scenery despite being a relatively small country.
Places to visit in Croatia
There are many beautiful places to visit in Croatia, and you could spend several weeks exploring the country, and still see new places.
Below are some of my favorite destinations, and I think that at least some should be included in your itinerary.
|Dubrovnik||Krka national park|
How to get around in Croatia
It’s easy and convenient to travel around Croatia as a tourist. There are trains, buses, trams, and Uber available in several cities.
Along the Adriatic Riviera, you can reach the islands by boat. If you want to visit several places, I recommend renting a car.
The train routes are somewhat limited, but Zagreb is still accessible from several major cities in Europe by train. Additionally, you can travel across the country between Zagreb and Split as well as Rijeka.
Bus is perhaps the most accessible way to getting around Croatia with frequent buses going between most cities and places.
You can book your tickets online at Buscroatia and see time tables. Payment can also be made directly to the driver.
Uber is widely available in Croatian cities, and in Split, you can even use the boat version of Uber.
If you want to see a lot of places, I recommend that you rent a car in Croatia. It’s cheap and the roads have a good standard with a nice highway stretching across the country.
Food and Drinks
The Croatian cuisine can be divided regionally since each region has its own specialties. Below are some traditional dishes from Croatia that you should try while visiting.
- Frog legs
- Skradinski Rizot
- Black risotto
- Fish & Seafood
- Plavac Mali (Vin)
- Other Croatian wines
- Croatian beer
How to travel Croatia on a budget
- Travel like a local
- Avoid restaurants in touristy areas
- Eat at a local Konoba (tavern)
- Eat a big lunch and a smaller dinner
- Avoid July and August when prices are higher
- Book your accommodation and flights in advance
Flights to Croatia
There are direct flights to Croatia from most major cities in Europe, and you can fly to the following airports. Croatia Airlines is the national airline with departures to various destinations.
Accommodation and Hotels in Croatia
There’s a wide range of hotels and apartments for tourists in various price ranges and standards. Choose between luxury five stars hotels, or mid-range hotels, guesthouses or rent your own apartment.
It’s a good idea to book your accommodation as soon as possible, especially if you plan to travel to Croatia during high-season, where many of the best hotels in Croatia gets fully booked.
There are many apartments that you can rent via Airbnb as well, especially in Zagreb, Split, and Dubrovnik. My experience with Airbnb in Croatia is very good, and I have stayed in Airbnb-apartments in both Zagreb and Split.
In Zagreb, we rented a place for one month to explore the northern parts of the country. The apartment was centrally located with a large kitchen, balcony, and bedroom.
In Split, we found a nice apartment opposite the Mall of Split. We stayed a couple of days, and the family that rented out the apartment lived in another apartment downstairs. The mother even offered to wash our clothes and gave us some Croatian sausages.
Explore Croatia on your own
It’s very easy to travel around Croatia without going on a group tour. Most locals speak at least a decent level of English, which means that there is no language barrier for frequently asked questions and needs from tourists.
Public transportation is also convenient to use, even in most smaller villages and towns. ATM:s are widely available and accepts most major international debit and credit cards, especially VISA and Mastercard. Payments by card is becoming more common as well.
The Croatian people are generally very friendly and helpful, and if you only learn a few Croatian Phrases, it will be a bliss to travel around the country on your own or with friends/family.
Google Maps also works very well, so it’s easy to find places. And since Croatia is a member of the European Union, there are no roaming fees if you have a contract within the EU.
Zagreb and Split have the best shopping in Croatia that is more or less similar to other big cities in Europe. In addition to shopping centers, there are lots of artisan shops and smaller stores that are selling local products.
Mall of Split, Arena Centar, and Portanova are the biggest shopping malls in Croatia.
Things to know before you travel to Croatia
Is Croatia a member of the European Union?
Yes, Croatia is a member of the EU since 2013.
Is Croatia safe to travel?
Croatia is one of the safest countries in Europe and the likelihood of encountering any crime is very small. There are some minor travel scams just like any destination that gets tourists, but it’s limited to higher taxi bills and restaurants that charge hidden fees.
Luckily, these things are relatively uncommon and there is no need to worry about safety in Croatia. Also, there are no dangerous animals that visitors need to watch out for.
Is Croatia expensive to visit?
In the last couple of years, prices have increased due to an influx of tourists from all over the world. However, the price level is still relatively low compared to other countries in Europe, such as Spain and Italy.
A 3-star hotel room typically costs somewhere around 30-50 Euro per night. Dinner in a restaurant will cost around 10-20 Euros per person. Tours are reasonably priced as well, and you’ll often find better deals when booking via local agencies.
Currency and Credit Cards in Croatia
The Croatian currency is called Kuna, and while Euros might be accepted in some places, it’s always better to pay in the local currency.
Credit- and Debit cards are widely accepted throughout the country, although smaller shops and some restaurants only accept cash payments.
Power Plugs in Croatia
The power plugs and sockets in Croatia use the type C and F. Standard voltage is 230 V. Europeans usually don’t need a travel adapter unless you’re from the UK.
What’s the weather like in Croatia?
Croatia has a typical Mediterranean climate and weather with warm summers and mild winters. The spring and autumn have pleasant weather too with plenty of sunshine, although rain is present during those periods as well.
The southern part of the country generally has the best climate and most pleasant temperatures year-round.
There are many interesting facts about Croatia that you’ll come to learn. Below are some quick facts that might be good to know before your trip.
- Capital: Zagreb
- Timezone: Central European (GMT+1)
- Language: Croatian (Serbo-Croatian)
- Population: 4.2 million
- Currency: Croatian kuna (HRK)
When to visit Croatia?
You can travel to Croatia all year round, but the most popular period is during the summer months. However, the best time to visit Croatia according to me is some time from the end of May and the whole month of June.
The climate is very pleasant from the end of May, but the high-season hasn’t yet started, which means that you don’t have to share most places with the crowds. Fewer tourists also mean lower prices and more choices for accommodation.
The temperature is generally pleasant during this time of the year and the majority of the days will be sunny.
Another good time to visit Croatia is in the month of September. This is right after high-season in July and August, which means that there will be fewer tourists. Thanks to the Mediterranean climate, you’ll still have pleasant temperatures and many hours of sunshine.
The high-season typically starts some time by the end of June and lasts until the end of August. This is the busiest period, where many tourist attractions and places see a lot of visitors. Destinations such as Dubrovnik and Split will be crowded with a lot of visitors, and the prices for accommodation will be higher as well.
With that said, don’t hesitate to visit Croatia during this period. Despite the possible crowds, it’s a wonderful country and you’ll have a lovely time during the summer season as well.
Want more tips before you travel to Croatia? Leave a comment below!