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Croatia Travel Guide

Despite its growing popularity, Croatia retains its unique identity and continues to uphold its Mediterranean traditions and laidback way of life. Every summer, visitors flock to the irresistible Adriatic coastline where you can explore the crystal-clear waters and likes of Brač, Hvar or Split. No matter which island piques your interest, you can guarantee each will captivate your attention.

The Highlights

  • Plitvice Lakes National Park

    As one of the oldest and the largest national park in Croatia, this national park is a must-see during your Croatian escapades. Spanning across sixteen lakes, Plitvice Lakes National Park gained the coveted UNESCO World Heritage status and while visitors are banned from swimming in the pristine waters, it is a true sight to behold.

  • Dubrovnik

    Dubrovnik is one of those cities where you can visit time, and time after again, and still find a hidden alleyway or a secret restaurant. You can visit notable sites including the Sponza Palace, the Cathedral of Our Lady and eventually make your way down to the Old Port. Most importantly, a visit to Mount Srd by cable car will reward you with an unforgettable view over the Adriatic.

  • Hvar

    The opulent 13th-century architecture, delicious local cuisine and the vibrant nightlife are just a few of the reasons why Hvar is such a popular destination – and why you should consider spending time here. If you’re not much of a partier, you can spend your time at the old town of Stari Grad, or make the trek up to the Spanjola Fortress for the best one of the best views this side of Croatia.

  • Korcula

    Often, people refer to Korcula as “Little Dubrovnik,” because of its fortified walls, and it is also said to be the birthplace of Marco Polo. This spellbinding island is covered with olive groves, rolling vineyards and is surrounded by steep mountains. Interestingly enough, it was built in the shape of a fishbone and all streets branch off to shelter the town from the strong ocean breeze.

  • Split

    More than just a starting point for you to launch into the Dalmatian Islands, Split is Croatia’s second largest city and has carved a name for itself as a cultural hub. In the heart of the city, you will find the grandiose Diocletian’s Palace, a UNESCO World Heritage Site which splits off to the Riva, the Croatian National Theatre while weaving past many restaurants or cafes frequented by locals.

  • Zagreb

    This inland town is everything you would expect from a capital city. Given its distance from the bustling cities of Hvar and Split, Zagreb has formed its own identity as a destination to visit and unlike the coastal towns, it is a year-round city. The best part is the many cafes, museums, restaurants and galleries will be in full swing, and are not limited to operating only during summer.

The Basics

When to Visit

when to visit
  1. Peak Season

    July to September

    If you’re after the best weather (with average highs of 31°C along the southern coast) the months of July to September will be the time to visit Croatia. However, if you’re not prepared to battle the large influx of tourists that grace the streets of Hvar, Dubrovnik and other larger cities then maybe the high season is not for you. Prices will also be at their highest as this is when Europeans will take their summer holidays along with travellers from the Southern Hemisphere attempting to escape the winter chills back home. Travellers can enjoy many great festivals and outdoor activities including Hideout Festival and Ultra Europe.

  2. Low Season

    October to April

    If you’re hoping to explore the Croatian coastline on a budget, the months of October to April is the prime time to embark on a Croatian journey. While many restaurants, hotels and attractions might be closed (as they operate mostly during the high season) you will find properties that are open will offer a significantly reduced rate. If you’re spending time up north, skiers and snowboarders can hit the slopes at Sljeme just outside Zagreb, or enjoy snowy hikes and join in the festive activities over Christmas in Zagreb. The average temperature in the northern part of the country will only reach an average high of 4°C, with lows of -3°C.

Croatia Tours

  • Visit Responsibly

    Travelling responsibly means respecting the communities, culture and environment of the places you visit. Keep these tips in mind when travelling to Croatia:

    Go green. Be environmentally conscious on the road by taking short showers; turning off the lights in your hotel room when you leave; and resisting the urge to collect any plants, seashells, or other natural flora.

    Respect cultural differences. Before travelling, read about the local culture and customs – even just knowing the dress code and a few basic phrases in the local language will go a long way.

    Support local businesses. Enjoy a more authentic experience and directly support the local economy by travelling with a local guide, eating in local restaurants, buying from local artisans, and staying in locally-owned and operated accommodations.

    Wherever possible, avoid single-use plastics. Pack reusable items such as your own shopping bags, utensils, a water bottle, and a straw. These items are typically lightweight and compact, and will greatly reduce your consumption of plastics.

    Be conscious of overtourism. Opt to visit the lesser-known regions of Croatia or travel outside the peak season – you'll likely even get a better deal and won't have all the crowds!
  • Sustainable Tourism in Croatia

    Eco-Conscious Hotels
    Many hotels in Croatia strive to be eco-conscious by not replacing all the bath towels daily and by installing smart rooms with on-demand electricity that only runs when the key card is inserted in a central slot. The Kempinski Adriatic hotel even goes as far as only using recycled rainwater to water its 18-hole golf course.

    Green Action
    Founded in Croatia in 1990, Green Action is widely recognised for its creative advocacy actions and campaigns. Not only does this leading NGO promote the protection of nature and the environment on a local, national, and global level, but it also fights for sustainable development in Croatia.

    Recycling Bottles
    Croatia has been extremely successful in virtually eliminating its glass and plastic bottle litter through a bottle deposit plan. Introduced in 2006 by Croatia’s Ministry for Environmental Protection, this plan gives money back to people who recycle glass or plastic beverage bottles at any store in Croatia that is larger than 200 square meters. It has been estimated that more than two billion bottles have been collected since the return policy first began.

FAQs about Croatia

  • Do you tip in Croatia?

    There isn’t a formal tipping culture in Croatia, and it is completely discretionary, however, will always be greatly appreciated. In restaurants (and across the tourism industry) it is mostly expected that you leave a 10% gratuity. If the service was great, it's advised to tip 15% of the bill.
  • What is the internet access like?

    The coverage of WiFi in Croatia is constantly improving, and you will be able to easily connect your device when travelling in the larger towns and at almost every cafe or restaurants. 
  • Is the tap water safe to drink?

    Is it absolutely safe to drink the tap water in Croatia, however, if you find the taste to be different from back home, bottled water is inexpensive and sold everywhere. 
  • Can I use my credit cards?

    Yes, credit cards are widely accepted throughout Croatia. Please check with your bank about any foreign transaction charges.
  • What are the public holidays?

    Along with common public holidays such as New Year’s Day, Christmas, Good Friday and Easter Monday, Croatia has Three Kings Day on January 6, May Day on May 1, Corpus Christi on May 31, Statehood Day on June 25, All Saints’ Day on November 1 and St Stephen's Day on December 26.
  • Is Croatia safe to travel around?

    Most definitely! Due to the number of visitors that arrive in Croatia every year, you will find there are many safe hostels or hotel where you will meet other solo travellers. Where possible, always keep your wits about you and keep an eye on your belongings.