The Complete Travel Guide to Croatia: Read This Before You Go

Welcome to the ultimate Croatia travel guide. Below, you can read through 12 in-depth tips to help make your first (or next) visit to Croatia the best travel experience it can be. 

You can start off by watching my “Top 10 Things to Know for Visiting Croatia” video for a quick guide, or read on and get 12 expert travel tips that will answer most of your Croatian travel questions. We will also cover you up when it comes to the best places to stay in Croatia, weather in Croatia, Croatian currency, and any other important Croatia travel advice.

Top 10 Things to Know Before You Go to Croatia (VIDEO GUIDE)

I’m Kim The Abundant Traveler and this is everything you need to know before you go to Croatia thanks so much for stopping back by the channel and if you’re new here I put out weekly laid-back luxury travel videos inspiring you to buy that plane ticket get on that yacht in Croatia and go and see the world make sure to hit that subscribe button and ring the notification melton you don’t want to miss an episode the SUBSCRIBE it’s a little red button below if you would like some exclusive content sent directly to your email make sure to

Join the Tribe! join the tribe in the link below also in the description so this week I’m going to share with you everything that you

10 THINGS TO KNOW BEFORE YOU GO TO CROATIA need to know before you go to Croatia first of all Croatia is part of the European Union but they are not yet on the euro they still use their original

THE CROATIAN KUNA currency called the Kuna and let me tell you in Croatia cash is king it’s quite funny as soon as you get off that airplane there were a row of ATM there so definitely for your ATM card that works overseas we actually even paid for some of our hotels in cash because they do accept credit cards Croatia has an extremely varied and interesting country they are a one crowd gorgeous people it’s a very laid-back easygoing country typically coming from the US I like a little more detail with my descriptions and

LAID-BACK CULTURE CO WITH THE FLON AND ENJOY! directions and all that but in Croatia you just go with the flow and it will all work out because it did [Music] next Croatia has some of the most beautiful beaches in the entire world

BEAUTIFUL BEACHES AND COLD WATER they also have some of the cleanest water in the Aegean they’re known for having yacht week which is in June or July they also have all of these incredible islands like corsola hvar ROG definitely worth going to see all of those Islands when you’re visiting Croatia one thing to note though the water is very cold all year long it’s very salty it’s actually very therapeutic and it’s not common to have sand for beaches so make sure to bring your water shoes speaking of shoes so you definitely want to bring very sturdy stable walking shoes in the cities like

UNEVEN GROUND split and Dubrovnik they have these beautiful limestone pavers from the quarries throughout Croatia this kind of uneven ground so it’s very very important to have a very stable shoes [Music] the topography is very different in Croatia I spent most of my travels Indonesia yes that’s the home of the dimension dog and that is where depending and split are and I would say most of the tourists go there is also an interior part below Slovenia and above

VARIED TOPOGRAPHY VISIT CIFFERENT CITIES Bosnia as well as the northern area along the coast so if you think you’re just going to one part of the country you might want to think again there’s lots to do from hiking and biking to yacht way [Music] make sure when you’re traveling to Croatia if you’re along the coast that you pay attention to the cruise schedules the day that I was in

CHECK CRUISE SCHEDULES OR VISIT IN THE OFFSEASON Dubrovnik it wasn’t too bad there were only two cruise ships however they told me that the next day there would be 26,000 cruisers in town okay Dubrovnik the old town is not that big and there are only 42,000 people that live in Dubrovnik as a whole it gets packed so pay attention maybe you should go to Croatia just on the offseason or on the cusp of the high season I was here in September the weather was beautiful I get to lay out I got to swim I got to do everything I wanted however there weren’t quite as many people as there are in July and August I also found Croatia really safe to

SAFETY travel around in the islands and corsola our guide actually said that they don’t even lock their doors no matter where I went I felt safe whether it was early in the morning or late at night I was traveling through Croatia with some girlfriends to compliment on my own in the evenings and didn’t have a single problem obviously we would look out for pickpockets because everywhere in the world that you’re in the tourist area you potentially have paper and let’s talk food since I was in Dalmatia they were quite famous for their seafood and also since they were controlled by the Venetians for several hundred years they have a huge Italian influence as well what I found to be really interesting though is the food was sort of Eastern European heavy one of my favourite dishes that I hadn’t split at Canova the CV was a chickpea in a brown sauce with octopus it was rich and decadent and heavy oh yes let me say about the portions in Croatia you will
@TheAbundant Traveler not go hungry in Croatia their questions

TRY THE TRADITIONAL FOOD are like this no matter where you go no matter what restaurant they’re going to serve you the largest portions you’ve ever seen and everywhere I went it was lunch dinner breakfast gigantic portions in general I found Croatia really easy to get around really easy to maneuver as well and additionally if you

IT’S EASY TO GET AROUND BY BUS OR CAR want to rent a car they have a great roads or if you feel like taking the bus you can go to get by bus or flex bus and buy bus tickets if you’re with a couple of friends I recommend getting a car though instead of taking a bus buses tend to not run on time and even though they’re nice they usually have bathrooms on them and they do make frequent stops if you have your own car you could stop wherever you want so if you are a shopper or you need to buy some gifts while you’re in Croatia something to look for are the handmade filigree jewelry or the choral make sure

MUST-HAVE SOUVENIRS to go to a registered jeweler or you’re going to end up with imitation jewelry and you definitely don’t want to take that home do you I hope that you found my tips on Croatia valuable and make sure to stay tuned for the videos about my yacht and my cruising the islands in Croatia as well as the other videos in the Balkans again I’m Kathy by the traveler and I’ll see you on that yacht in Croatia on the next adventure it’s kind of like eating at a buffet in the US okay I didn’t say that I really didn’t say that I would never eat at a buffet in the US so but the partner and I loved seeing the very cleanest a Jeep try that one more time

When is the Best Time to Go to Croatia?

Croatia is known as the “Pearl of the Adriatic” because of its beautiful islands, vibrant culture, and historic buildings.

Because there are so many different things to do there, the best time to visit Croatia depends on many factors such as weather, activities, events, etc.

To get a perfect answer, we should consider one by one, starting with the most important – weather.

What is the Weather Like in Croatia?

Three different climates have an impact on the weather in Croatia. Mediterranean climate rules the coast, the continental climate is all over the continent, and the mountain climate can be found in places above 4000ft. In other words, sensations of cold and heat, as well as temperatures, vary from one area to another.

The interior of the continent has cold winters with an average temperature around 40 degrees Fahrenheit. Summers are hot and dry, with an average temperatures in the high 70’s low 80’s Fahrenheit. On the other hand, areas along the coast with Mediterranean climate can boast with extremely sunny and hot summers (daily temperatures exceed 90 degrees) and somewhat mild, wet winters. Even though winters are not as hard as in Croatia’s interior, there is a heavy, cold north wind along the coast named ‘Bura’. This turbulent wind blows from the mainland and brings extremely cold air. In the same way, the temperature of the sea also varies. It is also cold in the mountainous areas of Croatia where winters are heavy and cold with lots of snow. In contrast, the summers are warm and sunny but with fresh and crisp mornings and evenings.

The coldest month in the year is January and the warmest are July and August. However, due to climate change, the weather in Croatia is not always as it should be. That’s why it can happen to be snowy in March or too warm in December.

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When is the Best Time to Visit Croatia?

An important tip for traveling to Croatia is what is the best time to visit Croatia? In previous years, the majority of tourists were heading to Croatia during the summer months of July and August. Today, those months are still popular among sun chasers and summer fans. However, keep in mind that traveling in a high season always results in crowds, higher prices, and humid Croatian weather.

On the other hand, June and September have pleasant weather, sunny days and fewer crowds, which probably makes them the best time to visit Croatia. Furthermore, if you are visiting the continental part of the country, you shouldn’t miss rich amenities and activities during the holidays. December is pretty popular when it comes to Christmas markets, concerts, events, etc. If you are looking for a fun time and real Christmas vibe, head to the city capital, Zagreb.

What to Know About Croatian Currency

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Another tip for traveling to Croatia is that even though Croatia is a part of the European Union, it still doesn’t use the euro as their currency. Croatian currency is Kuna (short: kn), and it is definitely the best currency to use while visiting the country. However, euros are widely used when paying for accommodation, pay-tolls on Croatian roads, and even some meals in restaurants. In this case, you will get your change in Kuna. Keep in mind that the change you’ll get will be by the less favorable exchange rate than at the exchange office.

The current exchange rate is at about 7,45 kn per 1€, 6,77 kn per 1$, and 8,68 kn per 1£. You will find numerous exchange offices across the country. The majority of them advertise ‘no commission’ policy, so head for those. While exchanging the money in Croatia, pay attention to exchange rates. Some offices can have just a bit lower rate than the official rate set by a Croatian National Bank but there are also those that offer extremely low rates such as 6 kn per 1€. Beware of potential fraud and always go for the best rate.

Using Credit Cards in Croatia

Credit cards are widely accepted in Croatia. There are numerous ATMs all over the country, so head for those with a sign of Croatian banks such as Zagrebacka, PBZ, Erste, OTP, etc. Usually, they are very close to the bank’s offices. However, in some accommodation options you will not find an official bank’s machines but blue and yellow Euronet or black and yellow Auro Domus. These kinds of ATM machines are situated in noticeable spots in towns, hotels, and resorts, but they are more expensive to use.

If you ask yourself why there are so many ATM’s if credit cards are accepted, here it is. Small businesses, private accommodation options, and even some restaurants and bars prefer cash. If there is no sticker talking about credit card payments, you can always ask to be sure.

Croatia Travel Tip: when paying with a credit card, the staff will ask you if you prefer the charge in your own currency or local currency. Always choose the local currency! This is important because otherwise, you would end up paying more than you should.

Places to Go in Croatia

Croatia has so many beautiful places worth visiting. It all depends on your preferences. Among those who are visiting Croatia for the first time, main tourist towns and attractions are the first options. Therefore, if you haven’t been to Croatia before, cities like Zagreb, Dubrovnik, Hvar, Plitvice, and Split are some of the best places in Croatia to start your journey. These are also popular Croatia holidays destinations, regardless of weather and time of year.

On the other hand, if you have already visited Croatia and you crave for some hidden gems, this Croatia travel guide has you covered. Various amazing beaches, charming coastal towns, beautiful natural sites, and interesting activities will be at your disposal.

Finally, where to go in Croatia depends on your budget, things you want to do in Croatia, the places you want to visit and the time you plan to spend there.

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How to Get Around in Croatia

The best way to wander around Croatia is by car. Roads are very good and sometimes the best option to reach secluded, charming little towns.

Another great option to consider is exploring Croatia by bus. A company named Croatia Bus has modern, affordable, and fast buses. Find more info on the schedule and prices on their website.

When traveling to the Croatian islands, using a ferry is the only way. The main ferry ports are in Split, Zadar, and Rijeka. However, they also depart from smaller cities such as Makarska, Ploce, Orebic, and Prapratno.

When it comes to getting around the city, public transportation is well organized in bigger cities. Some of the cities like Pula, Split, Zadar, and Rijeka use public buses. On the other hand, Zagreb has a wide network of public trams, trains, and buses.

Croatia Travel Tip: Taxis are generally more expensive, but if you don’t have another option, go for Uber or Bolt. Car rental Croatia is also available, but check out your options before renting one.

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What Should You Pack for Croatia?

It’s always important to know what to pack when traveling somewhere. When visiting Croatia in the summer months, bring light and breathable clothing, as temperatures are high. Weather in Croatia is unpredictable during spring and autumn, so don’t forget to take your waterproof shoes, raincoat, long sleeves, and a light jacket. Finally, winters can be really cold so pack your winter jackets, warm sweaters, boots, hat, and gloves.

Extra tip: the mountainous part of Croatia is always a little bit chilly, even during summer months. That’s why packing a light jacket, warm socks and sweaters is not a bad idea.

Is Croatia a Safe Place to Travel?

When it comes to safety in Croatia, there is one answer. Yes, Croatia is safe. There is no violence and very little street crime.

However, just like in any country, take care of your belongings.

Do You Need a Visa for Croatia?

The majority of tourists don’t need a visa when traveling to Croatia. This refers to citizens of EU countries, Australia, New Zealand, Canada, the USA, and the UK. Citizens of those countries can stay in Croatia for 90 days within 180 days period.

Citizens from countries of the European Union can enter Croatia only with their ID cards, while the others need to show their valid passport.

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Best Places to Visit in Croatia

As mentioned above, there are numerous places to visit in Croatia, including more than a dozen islands. Let’s briefly introduce the 6 best Croatia holidays destinations.

Zagreb, Croatia

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Croatia’s capital is an all-year-round destination. During summer months, you will find various open cinemas, concerts under the starry sky, garden parties, and much more. On the other hand, when the winter comes, the city becomes a huge Christmas market wrapped in holiday vibes.  BOOK NOW:  ZAGREB HOTELS

Split, Croatia

Croatia’s second-largest city is a mix of modern and ancient. It has magnificent ancient monuments, luxurious palaces, city museums, great nightlife, and trendy restaurants. It is known for its lively waterfront promenade called Riva and sandy beaches.  BOOK NOW:  SPLIT HOTELS

Istria, Croatia

Istria is a northern Croatian region known for superb wines, delicious truffles, homemade olive oil, and fresh seafood. There are plenty of historical and cultural monuments, cathedrals, cultural events, beautiful beaches, and local shops. Istria consists of many charming little towns such as Groznjan, Rovinj, Motovun, Hum (the smallest town in the world!). In the same way, the bigger cities such as Pula, Porec, Rijeka, Opatija, are also worth the visit.  BOOK NOW: ISTRIA HOTELS

Dubrovnik, Croatia

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The city, known for filming sets for the popular series Game of Thrones, is much more than that. The UNESCO World Heritage Site, Dubrovnik attracts thousands of tourists each year. City walls surround its pedestrian-only old town. Here you can find luxurious café bars and fancy restaurants. Moreover, Dubrovnik offers magnificent Diocletian’s Palace, interesting Lovrijenac Fortress, amazing beaches, lively nightlife… However, this city is always crowded and much more expensive than the other ones.  BOOK NOW: DUBROVNIK HOTELS

Zadar, Croatia

If you are looking for a perfect city as a base to start exploring Croatian national parks, Zadar is the place to be. This coastal town not only has beautiful architecture and monuments but also vibrant café bars and excellent fine dining restaurants.  BOOK NOW: ZADAR HOTELS

Lika, Croatia

A mountainous region of Croatia is ideal for relaxation and introspection. When in Lika, eating traditional food is a must-do! This part of the country is best known for its gorgeous natural attractions, including world-known Plitvice Lakes. A place that looks like a fairytale is one of the most popular Croatian national parks.  BOOK NOW: LIKA HOTELS

Best Croatian Islands

Whether you are following Croatian yachting or just want to relax on spectacular beaches, Croatian islands are unavoidable when it comes to Croatia holidays.

Here are some of the must-visit Croatian islands.

Hvar Island, Croatia

One of Croatia’s largest islands, Hvar, is known for its spectacular beaches, hilltop fortress, vibrant lifestyle, Renaissance monuments and lively streets full of café bars and restaurants. It has 2724 hours of sun per year, making it an ideal place for sun-seekers. It is also one of the favorite holiday spots among yacht-owners, celebrities, and luxury-loving holiday-makers. In fact, here you will find some of the most luxurious yachts in Croatia.

If you are more of a fan of culture, heritage, and history, go to the coastal towns of Jelsa and Stari Grad.  BOOK NOW: HVAR HOTELS

Korcula Island, Croatia

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Korcula is a Croatian island with a laid-back vibe, a peaceful atmosphere, charming shops, and café bars. It has various great local wineries (don’t forget to try their local white wine!) as well as pristine beaches. It is also known for its medieval walls, galleries, museums, and other cultural monuments.

If you want fully to explore the city, rent a bike and go for a tour!  BOOK NOW: KORCULA HOTELS

Vis Island, Croatia

When it comes to the best Croatian islands, another must-visit spot is Vis. This island is full of sandy beaches and unspoiled natural attractions. One of the most famous attractions is the blue cave of Bisevo that looks like it came from an Aladdin movie. Welcome to the fairytale!  BOOK NOW: VIS HOTELS

Best Things to Do in Croatia

To make the most of your stay, here are the top 5 ‘things to do’ tips for traveling to Croatia.

Attend Yacht Week

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Yacht Week Croatia is a fun thing to do, whether you’re passionate about it or not. It’s a party week on yachts for 7 days. You will sail across the country and see some of the best places in Croatia including Split, Hvar, Krka National Park, and many others!

Discover Croatia's Best Beaches

Croatia is famous for it’s beaches!  One of the most famous beaches in Croatia is a golden sand beach Zlatni rat on the island of Brac. However, it’s not the only beach worth the visit. Best sandy beaches can also be found in Dubrovnik, Hvar, Korcula, Sibenik, Makarska, etc. On the other hand, the beaches in Istria are rockier.

Plitvice Lakes National Park

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Plitvice Lakes is the biggest and the oldest national park in Croatia, under UNESCO protection. Each year, more than 1 million tourists visit this natural attraction. Lakes and waterfalls are simply stunning regardless of the time of year. Experience a winter wonderland or summer feast. Plitvice is always a good idea!  Make sure to hire a guide for the best experience.  We hired Nikola a couple weeks before our trip, and we had the best time.

Click here to watch my YouTube video on Plitvice Lakes

Explore Croatia's National Parks

Besides Plitvice Lakes, Croatia has to offer many other national parks and attractions. Krka National Park is a nature reserve with beautiful waterfalls and castles. For all those who want to combine national parks with hiking and trekking, Paklenica is a place to be. Furthermore, Kornati is a great choice if you want to see yachts in Croatia, go dolphins watching or experience incredible maritime flora and fauna.

Discover Croatia's Traditional Foods

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Croatian traditional food is rich in its diversity as the cuisine is different from one region to another. Mediterranean spices, vegetables and fresh seafood mark Dalmatian cuisine that is light and healthy oriented. Istria represents a great mix of continental and Mediterranean cuisine (just think about delicious homemade pasta and olive oil!). On the other hand, the Continental region is famous for its tasty stews and meat dishes served in spicy sauces.

Additional Tips for traveling to Croatia

  • Public parking in Croatia is charged. It depends on the city you’re visiting, but generally, the city center has the highest rates, while other parts of the town are less expensive. In addition to street parking, there is also garage parking and open-air parking lot. However, lots of accommodation options, hotels, and resorts offer a parking spot free of charge.
  • Most of Croatians speak English or at least another foreign language. German and Italian are also widely spoken in Croatia.
  • Tipping in Croatia is welcomed. Some of the bars and restaurants round up the bill but the majority expects the tip (around 10%).
  • Wi-Fi connection is pretty good. Many cities offer free Wi-Fi hot spots in prominent parts of the city. In the same way, accommodation options will provide you with free Wi-Fi during your stay.
  • Croatia uses European type C & F plugs, 220 V, 50 Hz frequency. If the plug in your device is different, you will need to buy an adapter.

Croatia Travel Guide Conclusion

Croatia is an incredible country to visit.  From Dalmatia to Zagreb the country is diverse and unique with incredible food and inviting people.  It’s relatively inexpensive for European standards and English and Italian are widely spoken throughout the country.  Make sure to add Croatia to your bucket list!

Disclosure:  Please note that some of the links above are affiliate links, and at no additional cost to you, I earn a small commission if you make a purchase.   I only recommend products that I personally know and use, and the income helps to keep this site updated and free for everyone.

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