• Currency – HRK (Croatian Kuna)
• 90 days Visa free for most visitors
• Good transport links
Croatia is one of the most popular destinations in South East Europe for good reason. The islands are a great place to relax or party in the hot summer sun. On the mainland, historic cities and pretty coastal towns mean there is an endless amount to see and do – whether it’s watching the sunset in Zadar, enjoying the views of Plitvice, or walking the narrow streets of Dubrovnik. Zagreb is becoming a more frequently visited city amongst travellers looking for something different. Croatia is not the cheapest country in the Balkans, but with a wealth of natural beauty, it has to be part of your future journey plans.
Buying food in Croatia is easy and can be good value if you stick to street foods and supermarkets. Burek is sold everywhere and basic sandwiches can be bought for under €2. Cevapi Kebab costs less than €3. If eating out in a small cafe or restaurant, pasta or pizza will cost from €5. Avoid restaurants in high tourism places like Dubrovnik’s old town, as these will be considerably more.
Prices are higher in the coastal areas, especially during summer. Dorm beds will set you back 13 – 20 Euros in Zadar and Split. In Zagreb, there are more hostels and it’s cheaper… Dorms are 10 – 13 Euros and twins start around €13 per person. If private accommodation is more your thing, apartments are the most cost effective coastal solution. Croatians also commonly rent out rooms in their houses or apartments, and you will often arrive at a bus station to be greeted by board waving locals – It can be a good way to negotiate a price in more expensive areas. On the islands, camp grounds are cheap and close to the sea.
Bus and train are the best way to get around the mainland, with buses often quicker. The Zagreb – Split bus is popular and costs around €26, with some awesome views along the way. City buses charge under €2 for a single journey. The rail network runs from Zagreb to Split and the cities in between…. Dubrovnik is not connected by train. Ferries go to the islands and are good value on the whole. The ports of Rijeka, Zadar, and Split all have island connections.
BEST PLACES TO VISIT
Probably the most famous of Croatia’s cities, it is a history lover’s paradise. Situated right next to the ocean, the old town is a maze of intricate streets and alleyways. After the war of the 1990’s, Dubrovnik has been restored to its former glory, and although expensive at times, no visit to Croatia is complete without visiting the city.
Another popular spot on the Croatian coast, Diocletian’s Palace is the main attraction. The hub of the city has shops, cafes and houses within the walls, making it a lived in piece of Roman history. Quite a bustling place, with good bars and plenty to see and do, Split’s harbour is the gateway to the Southern Islands.
Not as famous as its coastal cousins, Zadar is an impressive place. The old town is beautiful and makes a good alternative to the bustle of Dubrovnik. There are plenty of shops to keep you occupied on the marble lined streets. On an evening, visiting the sea organ on the promenade and watching the sunset is a magical experience.
The capital is fast becoming a destination in its own right – plenty of hostels and cheap accommodation have sprung up making it ideal for budget travellers. On the streets you will find little cafes, and a decent music and bar scene. The tree lined streets and parks around the old town help to give Zagreb an image as one of the Balkans cleaner cities, while museums and the National Theatre offer something for the culture buffs.
Go to Rovinj – Another pretty coastal town, but less crowded than the southern part of Croatia. Jutting out into the Adriatic, it has great scenery and some beautiful old buildings. The Punta Corrente park is a short walk from the centre – making an excellent place to relax, have a bike ride, or sunbathe on its many coves.
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