Travel Basics Croatia

 

Below is some basic information you need to know about Croatia before visiting.

Visa Requirements

Prior to traveling to Croatia check your passport and make sure that it’s valid for the duration of your visit. Citizens from the following countries don’t need visas. They can visit Croatia up to 90 days in any 180 day period.:

  • Australia,
  • Canada,
  • The EU,
  • New Zealand,
  • UK and
  • USA

For other countries, check the Croatian Ministry of Foreign Affairs’ website for your country’s visa requirements.

Note:

  • Holders of valid Schengen visas can enter Croatia without additional visas.
  • Visa requirements can change. Make sure you double check the visa requirements with your local Croatian consulate prior to booking your trip.

 

Best Time To Visit

The coastal areas of Croatia are blessed with a Mediterranean climate, boasting warm summers and mild winters. Further inland it’s a different story, the summers can be swelteringly hot while the winters bitingly cold.

Personally, I would say the best time to visit Croatia is during the Shoulder Seasons (May/June and September/October). The weather is gorgeous offering plenty of opportunities to enjoy the seaside resorts while avoiding the worst of the summer crowds.

Peak tourist months are July and August. During this time you’ll get the best weather and tourist destinations are at their busiest.

 

Currency

While Croatia is a member of European Union, it doesn’t use the Euro. Croatia still maintains it own domestic currency, the Kuna.

 

Transportation

Getting around Croatia is fairly easy and there are number of options you can consider while planning your trip.

Main Airports

There are three main airports that service Croatia: Zagrab, Split and Dubrovnik

Bus System

Croatia has an excellent bus system, it’s a great option for intercity travel and most importantly it’s budget friendly. Most bus companies offer reclining seats, air conditioned cabins and some have WiFi onboard.

You can buy your tickets online from autotrans.hr, busradar or getbybus. You don’t need to buy your tickets too far in advance, but be warned during the peak summer times bus routes can get busy. Tickets sold are assigned seats, but it’s rarely enforced (usually only on crowded buses).

The following are some useful links you can use to look up bus schedules at main bus stops: Dubrovnik Bus Stop,  Split Bus StopZadar Bus StopZagreb Bus Stop .

Railway System

For tourists, intercity railway travel options are limited. The only useful rail service operates between Zagreb and Split.

Ferries

You can use ferries two ways while traveling through Croatia.

  1. International Ferries: All international ferries into Croatia originate from Italy. These ships leave from the following Italian ports: Ancona, Bari, Venice, Trieste, Rimini and the Emilia Romagna region. When we traveled into Croatia, we took a ferry from Venice into Rovinj on Venezia Lines.
  2. Local Ferries: If you want to visit any of Croatia’s amazing islands, then you’ll need to use a ferry to shuttle to/from the mainland. The main ferry operator in the country is Jadrolinija.

Car Rentals

Renting a car is another great way to get around Croatia. We picked up our rental from Rovnij and then drove to Zadar, Plitvice Lakes and Split (where we returned the car). It was one of the most spectacular road trips I’ve ever taken. There’s plenty of cheap rental companies you can choose from, and most will allow for one way rentals (where the pick up and drop off locations are different) for an added fee.

The only draw back? Most cars will be a stick. Automatic transmission cars (when available) will be more expensive.

Also, watchout for the cops. When we were driving down to Split, we were stopped by a pair of cops who claimed we were speeding. They tried to issue us a ticket and asked for payment then and there. It felt like a shake down. I don’t remember the amount they asked for, but we pretended not to have any Kunas. They eventually let us go with a warning, but it definitely wasn’t a kosher situation.

 

Accommodations

Below are some suggestions for accommodations available to you in Croatia:

  • Hostels: You’ll find a good selection of hostels throughout the country. A hostel dorm room averages 140–200Kn in high season (June–Sept), falling to around 100–120Kn in winter.
  • Hotels: Croatia has a wide selection of hotels to choose  from, ranging from basic 2 star accommodations to some of the most luxurious hotels you could dream of. During the peak tourist season, prices start from 450–600Kn.
  • Apartments: Two-person apartments generally cost around 350–500Kn per night in high season. Where available, four-person apartments cost around 450–800Kn, six-person apartments 600–900Kn.
  • Campsites: There are plenty of campsites to choose from around the country. These sites are generally open from May to September and charge 30–80Kn per person, plus 30–80Kn per pitch and 30–50Kn per vehicle. Camping.hr is a great resource with detailed information on campsites in Croatia.

 

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