A travel guide to Croatia
Important notes prior to travel to Croatia
When you give Simply Ruritania your first name and surname to be printed on your airline tickets please ensure that they correspond exactly with the first name and surname on your passport. If they do not match exactly, the airline may refuse you the right to travel.
Before you travel, please make sure your passport is valid for at least 6 months beyond your planned return date. It must also have at least 2 blank pages.
Before you leave home, it is a good idea to take photocopies of all-important documents (passport data page, credit cards, travel insurance policy, air tickets, driving licence etc). Leave one copy with someone at home and keep another with you while you travel, in a separate place from the originals.
Entering Croatia as a tourist
Croatia is currently a member of the European Union and working towards joining, but not yet a member of the Schengen area. This means that citizens of countries that are also in the European Union may stay in Croatia with no permit requirements. To enter the country, they only need a valid travel document such as a passport or an ID card. For the time being, this still applies to UK citizens.
If you are a non-UK citizen and not from a country within the EU you will need to apply for a 90-day Visa to be able to travel to Croatia. If anyone stays in Croatia longer than three months, they must notify the relevant authorities of their stay.
You can find out more about how to apply for a visa from the Visa and Consular department at the Croatia embassy in London. You will still need to have a valid passport, and will be required to present the visa and the passport on arrival in the country.
Carry your passport with you at all times for identification. The police may fine you or arrest you if you fail to do so.
Health and Medical Information in Croatia
If you have any concerns about staying healthy while abroad and any precautions you might need to take beforehand, please consult with your doctor before travel.
If you’re from the UK, European Economic Area (EEA) or Switzerland, it’s advisable to take a valid European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) with you. An EHIC gives you the right to access state-provided healthcare during a temporary stay in another EEA country or Switzerland. The EHIC covers treatment that is medically necessary until your planned return home. Treatment should be provided on the same basis as it would to a resident of that country, either at a reduced cost or, in many cases, for free.
You can apply for a card free of charge using the official EHIC online application form: https://www.ehic.org.uk/Internet/startApplication.do. Please note you can obtain a card from other sites, but they may charge you a fee for doing so.
While in the country, if you need to contact the emergency services call 112. If you need emergency help from the UK government, contact the nearest British embassy, consulate or high commission.
No vaccinations are required before visiting Croatia, however the Medical Advisory Services for Travellers Abroad (MASTA) recommends that you are covered for Tetanus and that you might need to consider vaccinations for Hepatitis A, Hepatitis B, Rabies and Tick Borne Encephalitis (TBE). You can find out more and book vaccinations from their website www.masta-travel-health.com. You may also wish to consult your doctor.
Security when travelling in Croatia
The Foreign and Commonwealth Travel Advice Unit may have issued information about travelling to Croatia. You are advised to check this information at www.gov.uk/foreign-travel-advice.
A good travel insurance that covers lost luggage, money and valuables, personal liability, medical and cancellation expenses is essential. It is a condition of travelling with Simply Ruritania that you have adequate Travel Insurance. Many clients prefer to make their own insurance arrangements to suit their requirements.Please note that we will need to know the following information before commencement of your holiday:
Name of your insurers
Insurers emergency contact number
Some money tips for your trip to Croatia
The official currency of Croatia is the Kuna, abbreviated as Kn, with the international abbreviation HRK. 1 Kuna consists of 100 lipa, abbreviated as lp.
Take care when using cash machines, shield your pin and be aware of other people standing nearby. If you need to exchange currency, do so at a currency exchange office or bank, never on the street as this money is often counterfeit. It is very difficult to change Scottish or Northern Irish bank notes in Croatia, so we would recommend that you change this currency in the UK instead.
Major credit cards, such as Visa, American Express and MasterCard are accepted by most hotels, shops and restaurants. Try to avoid signing for optional services at your hotels, pay as you go along to avoid unnecessary delays when checking out.
In Croatia, it is usual to tip in restaurants, bars, coffee shops and other similar places. Sometimes the tip is included in the bill, but mostly it is at the customer’s discretion how much of a tip to leave in a restaurant or bar. 10% is the norm if you feel the service has been good.
What temperatures and weather to expect during your trip to Croatia
The temperature from early March to late May usually stays around 12°C on average in the Croatia. The average rainfall/snowfall averages about 80 mm.
The average summer temperature is about 21°C because it also includes mountainous areas. In reality, the temperature in the towns in June, July and August may reach as high as 38°C.
September is still relatively warm in Croatia, but the beginning of October brings more rain and the average daily temperature falls to 14°C. You may also get some ground frosts in the late autumn.
Winter in Croatia lasts roughly from November to February and is traditionally cold, with temperatures in towns sometimes dropping as low as -23°C, and even lower in the mountains.
Travel and Transport in Croatia:
The largest airport in Croatia is the Franjo Tuđman Airport in Zagreb, named after the first president of independent Croatia. The airport is on the southern outskirts of Zagreb, but it’s very easy to get to the city centre. There are several options:
You may like to refer to Zagreb’s airport’s official website: www.zagreb-airport.hr
The other international airports in Croatia are:
Public Transport in Croatia
As with many places, the best practice with taxis is to use only taxis that are clearly identified and that you have called by phone, not hailed from the street. Ask about the price to your destination beforehand, and if it is too high, do not get in the car. The average price of a taxi is 20 Kn starting price plus 10 Kn per km.
Buses and trains
Croatia has an excellent railway network, especially in the north and a very good bus service. Both trains and buses are reliable. In Zagreb, you’ll also find trams, local buses and a funicular railway.
Croatia Time Zone
Croatia is in the Central European time zone (CET), which means it is one hour ahead of the UK. Like the UK, Croatia also switches to summer time, with the clocks moving forward an hour on the last Sunday in March and back again on the last Sunday in October. The Croats usually use the 24-hour format for telling the time, although they will sometimes use the 12 hour convention in every day speech.
Electricity in Croatia
The electrical network in Croatia has a voltage of 230 V and frequency of 50 Hz. The sockets are the same as in France, Germany, Belgium or Poland. You will need to use an adapter if you are using an appliance with a UK plug.
Phones and internet connectivity:
There is a good broadband service across most of Croatia, so you should have no problem finding an internet connection. Wi-Fi is usually available in restaurants, cafés, bars, hotels or libraries and on some of the transport network, such as certain trams, buses and trains.
The larger cities like Zagreb, Rijeka, Zadar, Split and Dubrovnik have high speed mobile phone networks, so if you have a prepaid data allowance with your phone provider, you can browse the internet that way too. European Union regulations were brought in in the summer of 2017, which means that all EU citizens will be charged at the same rate as they would be in their home country, putting an end to expensive data roaming charges
The international dialling code of Croatia is +385 (00385).
The number for directory enquiries is 11 888 if you need to quickly find a phone number, taxi or other information and you do not have access to the Internet. The operators speak English.
Big companies and public authorities have toll free lines starting with 800 or 801.
If you don’t have a mobile phone or don’t want to use it, Croatia still has phone booths operated with coins or a prepaid card.
Shopping while in Croatia:
Opening hours for shops, banks, pharmacies in Croatia:
As a general rule, the bigger the town, the longer the opening hours.
Banks are open weekdays from 8am to 4pm. ATMs are available 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
Shopping centre opening hours tend to be the same throughout Croatia: usually from 8am to 7pm, Monday to Friday and until 2pm on Saturday, except for public holidays. Sunday shopping is only allowed during the tourist season.
Postal services within Croatia and internationally are provided mainly by Croatian Post (Hrvatska pošta). In the larger towns, post office branches are open from 7.30am to 7pm Monday to Friday and closed on Saturday and Sunday.
In Zagreb, there is a post office branch at Branimirova 4 near the main train station that is open every day, including Sundays and holidays, from 7am to midnight.
Pharmacies or chemists are usually open six days a week from 8am to 6pm in low season and from 8am to 8pm in high season. They are closed on public holidays. In larger cities there is always one pharmacy open 24 hours a day for emergencies.
Tourist sites, historical points of interest, galleries and museums in Croatia are often closed on Mondays.
Normal hours for governmental offices are on Mondays and Thursday with some of the offices being open to the public more often. Most will close for lunch, usually between 12pm and 1pm.
Normal business hours for shops and services in smaller towns in Croatia are usually from 8am to 7pm.
Guide on prices during your trip to Croatia
Here are some approximate prices of basic items that you may wish to buy in Croatian shops:
Bottle of still water (0.5 l) – HRK 3
Bottled beer (0.5 l) – HRK 15 - 30
Wine (0.7 l) – HRK 35
Bread (0.5 kg) – HRK 6
Cheese (100 g) – HRK 5
Approximate prices of admission fees and other services:
Cinema ticket – HRK 35
Theatre ticket – HRK 60 or more
Concert ticket – HRK 100 or more
If you are considering making a major purchase of handicrafts, souvenirs, jewellery, or anything else whilst in Croatia bear in mind that you may be responsible for:
1. Carriage /shipping / postage and insurance charges.
2. UK Value Added Tax (VAT)
3. UK Import Duty
Should you purchase an item please note we cannot be held responsible for the quality or delivery of the goods in the UK and are not able to intercede in any transaction you may make. It’s advisable to keep in mind: ‘The buyer beware’.