Visa Requirements:Schengen Visa
Currency Used:Croatian Kuna
Croatia is a republic governed under a parliamentary system and a developed economy with a very high Human Development Index. Croatia is a member of the European Union (EU), United Nations (UN), the Council of Europe, NATO, the World Trade Organization (WTO) and a founding member of the Union for the Mediterranean. As an active participant in the UN peacekeeping forces, Croatia has contributed troops to the NATO-led mission in Afghanistan and took a non-permanent seat on the UN Security Council for the 2008–2009 term.
The service sector dominates Croatia's economy, followed by the industrial sector and agriculture. International tourism is a significant source of revenue during the summer, with Croatia ranked the 18th most popular tourist destination in the world. The state controls a part of the economy, with substantial government expenditure. The European Union is Croatia's most important trading partner. Since 2000, the Croatian government has constantly invested in infrastructure, especially transport routes and facilities along the Pan-European corridors. Internal sources produce a significant portion of energy in Croatia; the rest is imported. Croatia provides a universal health care system and free primary and secondary education, while supporting culture through numerous public institutions and corporate investments in media and publishing.
Places To Go
Croatia is supposed to be one of the sunniest countries in Europe. Visitors should expect more than 12 hours of the sunshine per day during the summer season on average, which makes it a perfect spot for a vacation in combination with the spectacular beaches the country has to offer. Moreover, it is conveniently located, it can easily be accessed from European capitals however remote. Major Croatian cities are just 2 hours away by plane from most major European hubs. The variety of activities and places of interest is so wide that you will never be bored. Above all, the country is very affordable for tourists as prices are around 15-20% lower than in major EU countries.
Dubrovnik, Croatia's most glamorous tourist destination, centers on the magnificent old town, contained within sturdy medieval defensive walls and declared a UNESCO world heritage site. Any first-time sightseeing tour of the city should begin with a walk around the ramparts (the complete circuit measures two kilometers), which incorporate fortresses, towers, and cannons along the way. From high up on the walls, you can enjoy amazing views over the old town rooftops and out across the glistening Adriatic Sea. Wear comfortable walking shoes and bring bottled water and a camera.
Split, Croatia's second biggest city after Zagreb, grew up within the ancient Roman walls of Diocletian's Palace. Overlooking the Adriatic Sea, it was built by Roman Emperor Diocletian, who retired here in AD 305. Square in plan, the palace has four monumental gates, three from the land, and one which originally opened directly onto the water. Within the walls, things to see include the magnificent Peristyle, where you'll also find the Cathedral of St. Domnius with its elegant bell-tower. The old town is pedestrian-only and has been proclaimed a UNESCO world heritage site.
Many tourists visit Croatia to explore the blissful Dalmatian islands, of which the most fashionable is Hvar. Here, trendy Hvar Town is home to some of the country's top hotels and best seafood restaurants. Dating back to the years spent under Venetian-rule (1420-1797), its car-free old town is made up of a spacious main square overlooked by a 16th-century cathedral, a pretty fishing harbor, and a hilltop fortress. Hvar Town is popular with yachters and celebrities, as well as travelers who come here to enjoy its beaches and water-sports. It is served by ferry from Split.
Plitvice National Park
Croatia's most visited inland attraction, Plitvice National Park encompasses steep forested hillsides surrounding 16 emerald-blue lakes connected by a succession of thundering waterfalls. A network of footpaths and wooden bridges criss-crosses the park, and the entrance ticket includes boat rides across the lakes. Thanks to the lush pristine nature, the park is a haven for wild animals, including wolves and bears (though they are timid so you are unlikely to see them) as well as owls, eagles, and falcons. There are several hotels on the edge of the park should you wish to stay the night. You can visit Plitvice on organized sightseeing tours by bus from Zagreb and Zadar.
Sailing Around Kornati National Park
Spreading over an area of sea 35 kilometers long and 13 kilometers wide, this archipelago encompasses more than 80 scattered islets. Rocky and arid with little fertile soil, the islets are practically uninhabited, though there are some very basic stone cottages originally built as one-room shelters by local fishermen and shepherds, but now used as holiday retreats or seasonal seafood restaurants. The best way to explore the islets is by private sailing boat (the nearest charter base is in Biograd-na-Moru). It's also possible to visit the Kornati as a day trip by excursion boat from either Zadar or Šibenik on the mainland.
Zadar's car-free old town is built on a small peninsula. Its top attractions are its fine Romanesque churches, built between the 9th and 13th centuries, and filled with religious paintings and ornate golden treasures. Be sure to check out the 9th-century pre-Romanesque Church of St. Donatus; the 11th-century Church of St. Mary; and the Cathedral of Anastasia and the Church of St. Chrysogonus, both from the 12th century. Other things to see include the Museum of Ancient Glass, and two modern installations, the Sea Organ and the Greeting to the Sun, both on the seafront, close to the tip of the peninsula.
Croatia's most photographed beach has to be Zlatni Rat (Golden Horn) in Bol on the south coast of Brač. An unusual land form known as a "spit," it is made up of fine pebbles and runs 500 meters perpendicular to the coast. Depending on local winds and currents, it moves and changes shape from season to season. Backed by a cluster of pine trees offering shade and overlooked by the rocky heights of Vidova Gora mountain, it is lined in summer with sunbeds and umbrellas. The sea is warm enough to swim from June through September, and some people can manage in May and October, too. Extra attractions on the beach include water sports such as paddle boats, sea kayaks, and banana boat rides. Zlatni Rat is also Croatia's top wind surfing destination. Brač is accessible by ferry and catamaran from Split.
Croatia has a moderately warm and rainy continental climate as defined by the Köppen climate classification. Mean monthly temperature ranges between −3 °C (27 °F) (in January) and 18 °C (64 °F) (in July). The coldest parts of the country are Lika and Gorski Kotar where snowy forested climate is found at elevations above 1,200 meters (3,900 feet). The warmest areas of Croatia are at the Adriatic coast and especially in its immediate hinterland characterized by the Mediterranean climate, as the temperature highs are moderated by the sea. Consequently, temperature peaks are more pronounced in the continental areas—the lowest temperature of −35.5 °C (−31.9 °F) was recorded on 3 February 1919 in Čakovec, and the highest temperature of 42.4 °C (108.3 °F) was recorded on 5 July 1950 in Karlovac.
Mean annual precipitation ranges between 600 millimeters (24 inches) and 3,500 millimeters (140 inches) depending on geographic region and prevailing climate type. The least precipitation is recorded in the outer islands, and in the eastern parts of Slavonia; however, in the latter case, it occurs mostly during the growing season. The maximum precipitation levels are observed on the Dinara mountain range and in Gorski kotar.
Prevailing winds in the interior are light to moderate northeast or southwest, and in the coastal area prevailing winds are determined by local area features. Higher wind velocities are more often recorded in cooler months along the coast, generally as bura or less frequently as sirocco. The sunniest parts of the country are the outer islands, Hvar and Korčula, where more than 2700 hours of sunshine are recorded per year, followed by the middle and southern Adriatic Sea area in general and northern Adriatic coast, all with more than 2000 hours of sunshine per year.
Traveling in Croatia is generally safe, it’s highly rated for its safety index in our list of the safest and most dangerous countries. The country is in top 20 safest countries on earth. Visitors of Croatia seldom face any serious threat during their stay in the country, however, pick-pocketing, petty thefts, bag snatching and ATM scams do happen.
There is a high risk of pick pocketing on the streets of Zagreb as it is the main tourist destination. However, there is no specific safety concern for visitors, although some things are worth avoiding. For further information, you can visit the special city page – Zagreb. In the last 5-6 years, the popular Adriatic beaches experience a spark in petty crimes during summer the season. Since the hard, hostility time ended in 1995, some landmines are still found in certain areas. So, if you plan a trip to a remote part of the country, it’s worth paying special attention to the mine suspected areas, as Croatia counts more than 16.000 mine warning signs. No accidents involving tourists have been reported as all areas visited by tourists are clear of landmines.
We advise avoiding the strip clubs at all costs, especially in Zagreb. Criminal and shady characters own these places and tend to racket visitors. There are known cases when customers were charged 2000 euros for a bottle of Champagne and forced for a pay. Using common sense is essential. If you intend to travel by car, theft risk does exist. So, we advise you use official and underground parking under surveillance both during the day and especially at night. Parking your car, we recommend you don’t leave any valuables in plain sight on a back or front seats of the car. Be very cautious when exchanging money. There are know scams in the currency exchange offices where they may charge a hidden commission. It is essential to inquire beforehand about the transaction rate and fees charged. Rates posted in some offices may only reflect the exchange rate for large amounts.
OVERALL RISK : LOW
Croatia is a very safe country. It is ranked 19 out of 162 in our ranking of the safest and most dangerous cities.
PICKPOCKETS RISK : MEDIUM
As it is a top tourist destination with more than 12 million foreign tourists annually, unsurprisingly pickpockets are also active in Croatia.
MUGGING RISK : LOW
Croatia is a place where you are not likely to be kidnapped or mugged. Anyway, we recommend you do not accept drinks from strangers and avoid street touts, that are common in some touristic neighborhoods. Also, avoid poorly lit areas in the capital city of Zagreb, for instance, “Ribnjak Park” as it has a violent history of fights between local groups or “King Tomislav Park”, which is situated just in front of the Central Railway Station. In addition, the same precautions apply for the area around the “Zagreb Bus Terminal”. Mainly it’s unsafe because of the bars and casinos which work all night long and the density of the intoxicated, aggressive individuals can be very high.
SCAMS RISK : MEDIUM
Overcharging scams are also very common, particularly in the capital, thus avoid any suspicious bars or you might be easily charged a huge bill for your evening. Keep an eye on your credit card art all times, especially when paying at restaurants, shops and particularly in the bars/clubs.
TRANSPORT & TAXIS RISK : LOW
Pickpockets operate in the public transport mainly in Zagreb. Never ask Taxi drivers for a recommendation as to which club or bar to visit, as you might be ripped off in the recommended place. The night tram is not advised as it tends to host homeless intoxicated people and is usually not reliable.
NATURAL DISASTERS RISK : LOW
Croatia is seismically active. However, serious earthquakes are very rare.
TERRORISM RISK : LOW
The threat of terrorism in Croatia is low.
WOMEN TRAVELERS RISK : LOW
The threat or women in Croatia is low.