Croatia has become a super popular place just in the past ten years due to the famous TV-show “Game of Thrones”, part of which was shot in this country. It is an amazingly beautiful place to go to and if you are planning to travel to Croatia soon, here is everything you should know before going on your trip.
The national currency of Croatia is the Croatian Kuna. Currency rate (as of publication): $ 1 = 7,09 HRK, €1= 7,63 HRK.
Croatia joined the EU in 2013 and was supposed to change its currency to Euros after preparing the right conditions for transition (maximum in 4 years term). But it proved to be too short a period for this and now, in 2020, Croatia still uses Kuna as the national currency.
Time zone: GMT +1;
The best time to come to Croatia is in May and June, and in September and October, when the weather is quite nice and it is already warm enough for swimming. In these months there are not that many tourists as in high season
The high tourist’s season is July and August. The weather during these moths is not that pleasant (the temperature can get quite hot).
The official language of Croatia is Croatian. The majority of Croatians speak English (80%).
While traveling more than a month in Croatia we never once had a problem with communication.
Majority of Croatians are Catholics (86 %). Orthodox Christians – 4,5%; Muslim – 1,5% and others.
Crime level in Croatia is very low and violent crime is rare. It makes travel to Croatia quite safe. However, in the popular crowded locations be aware of your belongings and practice normal precautions for avoiding pickpockets and petty theft.
Almost all restaurants accept foreign credit cards with no problems (don’t forget to inform your bank for a trip abroad, so they won’t block your card due to suspicious activities).
There are ATMs and money exchange places all over Croatia and you will not have any difficulty with getting cash.
The Croatian main form of public transport is bus. The bus system is great and in the major cities they operate regularly. The intercity buses are pretty comfortable with wifi and soft chairs with enough leg room.
This is also the best way to get from city to city. We took busses all the way from Dubrovnik up the coast and then to Zagreb.
People over 18 years old can rent a car in Croatia. The procedure is quite straight forward; you need to have valid driver’s license, passport, and money. Depending on the car rental company you might not be required to have an IDP (International Driver Permit), but better to be safe than sorry.
I must say Croatia is not as cheap as Montenegro or other countries on the Adriatic coast. Since the tourist boom due to Game of Thrones, prices have gone way up (which is understandable). Prepare to spend some cash while traveling in Croatia.
For example, for a decent room in Split be ready to spend over $150 (AirBnb can be cheaper). Hostels are reasonable priced and for a bed you will pay anywhere between $15 – $30
A good dinner without drinks is around $15 a person.
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Restaurants: as a general rule, you are expected to tip 10% or 15% (if the service was excellent). Some say that you should tip even if the fee is included in a bill (which I personally don’t understand, but I guess the waiter/waitress doesn’t get that included fee).
It is better to tip in cash in Croatia. Tipping on the credit card is not common here and money probably won’t get to the waiter.
At the cafes you can just round up the bill or leave 5% as a tip.
Hotels: it is not expected to tip in hotels, however if you are staying in fancy hotel 15 – 20 kuna for a concierge to take your bags up or for the maid for everyday cleaning service is considered appropriate.
Taxi: you are not expected to tip but rounding up the fare is a nice gesture. Although if you are taking a long trip and the taxi driver is pleasant you might want to tip him around 10%.