Croatia is a small country in central Europe bordered by the Adriatic Sea. A paradise for nature lovers with a wide array of waterfalls, beaches, mountains, caves and lakes. Croatia has become a very popular tourist destination in recent years due to it’s beautiful beaches, stunning landscapes, hot summers, deep-rooted culture and delicious seafood. The unspoiled countryside contrasts with the vibrant capital city Zagreb which is home to fantastic museums, art galleries, and restaurants.
CROATIA TOP 5 THINGS TO DO
Looking to get away from the crowds in Dubrovnik? Lokrum is a beautiful, forested island full of black ash, holm oaks, pines and olive trees. Only a 10-minute ferry ride from Dubrovnik’s Old Harbour, so day trips to the island are a top attraction for visitors to Dubrovnik. Austrian Archduke Maximilian once had a holiday home on the island and a monastery and a botanical garden survive from his era.
Diocletian’s Palace in Split
Visit this ancient palace, built for the Roman emperor Diocletian and see one of the most imposing ancient Roman structures still in existence today. Diocletian’s palace is certainly the main attraction of the city of Split, Croatia. The ruins of Diocletian’s Palace, built between the late 3rd and the early 4th centuries A.D., can be found throughout the city and today forms about half the old town of Split, Croatia.
Explore Pula Arena
The Arena in Pula is a 1st-century Roman amphitheatre, the 6th largest in the world. Two thousand years ago in this very arena, 25,000 spectators would watch gladiators fight each other and exotic animals to the death. These days, tourists can tour the arena or watch a theater or musical performance. Luciano Pavarotti, Sinead O’Connor, Elton John, Sting, and Alanis Morissette have all performed at the Pula Arena.
Plitvice Lakes National Park
Soak up the natural beauty and serenity of Croatia’s Plitvice Lakes National Park. This is one of the oldest and largest national parks in central Croatia. It’s known for a chain of 16 interconnecting lakes that vary in color from emerald green to turquoise to deep blue. These lakes are joined by waterfalls, that extend into a limestone canyon. Walkways and hiking trails wind around and across the water, and an electric boat links the upper and lower lakes.
Kornati National Park
The Kornati Islands National Park between Sibenik and Zadar is a spectacular archipelago that includes 109 mostly uninhabited islands, islets, reefs and craggy rocks scattered over an area of 224 square kilometres. The largest island is Kornat and the main settlement on the island is Vrulje. Although uninhabited there are a few dozen houses available to rent and a couple of restaurants open during the summer.
Read more: Top 10 amazing things to do in Croatia
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CROATIA TOP 3 FESTIVALS
Croatia’s biggest rock and indie open air music festival.
A five day festival that brings together beach vibes, boat and pool parties and electronic music. Hideout Festival is an annual music festival that travelers attend for a sun-drenched week of dance music on Zrće Beach on the island of Pag.
Fresh Island Festival
Founded in 2012, Fresh Island Festival is a hip hop music festival held at Zrće beach (at the locations; Aquarius, Papaya and Kalypso) near the city of Novalja in Croatia. Fresh Island Festival is usually held in mid July and focuses on hip hop culture along with R&B.
Language: Croatian is the official Language of Croatia. Although about 80% Croatians are multilingual. English is a commonly spoken language with about 85% of the population fluent in spoken English.
Currency: Croatian kuna.
Visa: Visiting Croatia will usually require a valid passport and visa for anyone that is not from the European Union. Use these free online visa checker and calculator tools so you know if a visa for Croatia is required (which will depend on the country you are from) and if so, how long it will take to process your visa and the cost.
Electricity: In Croatia the standard voltage is 230 V and the frequency is 50 Hz. You can use your electric appliances in Croatia, if the standard voltage in your country is between 220 – 240 V (as is in the UK, Europe, Australia and most of Asia and Africa). Buy a Universal Travel Adapter so you don’t need to keep buying new adapters for each new country you visit.
Lonely Planet Croatia: Check price on Amazon
WHAT TO EAT IN CROATIA
Some of the most delicious, traditional dishes that you must try when in Croatia are listed below. Don’t drool!
Crni Rizot: You will find Crni Rizot served in practically every restaurant in Croatia. A squid risotto which is black in color, the risotto contains a variety of seafood like clams, mussels and shellfish.
Strukli: A pastry that is filled with sour cream and cottage cheese. The origin of this dessert is in Slovenia, but today it is a very popular food in the Zagreb region of Croatia. Strukli can either be baked in an oven or boiled in water.
Pašticada: This dish is referred to as the ‘queen of Dalmatian cuisine’ and is very popular in Croatia. Pašticada, or Dalmatinska Pašticada, is a slow cooked beef stew served with homemade gnocchi. What makes pašticada is the distinct flavour of the sauce which includes ingredients as prunes, panceta and the sweet dessert wine prošek.
Hobotnica ispod peke: Hobotnica ispod peke is a popular Dalmatian dish made by slowly cooking a fresh, whole octopus in its juices under a big, traditional, bell-like lid called peka. Potatoes, onions, carrots, tomatoes, and bell peppers are usually cooked together with the octopus, making this a practical one-pot meal.
Skampi na buzaru: On Croatia’s Dalmatian coast, shellfish are often prepared na buzaru, simmered in a brandy-and-wine-enriched tomato sauce. This simple yet delicious dish is a must try when you are in any coastal town of Croatia.
WHERE TO STAY IN CROATIA
Croatia is a reasonably affordable place to visit. Finding excellent accommodation in Croatia is super easy because there’s so many options whatever your budget.
Hostels and dormitories make travel to Croatia affordable for backpackers and any travelers on a shoe-string budget. Whether you’re a backpacker, flash-packer or a luxury vacationer, Croatia will not disappoint you. A basic hotel room in Croatia can cost less than 100 euros.
If you’re looking for accommodation that includes luxury amenities and comforts then there will be endless options to choose from in the big cities and popular tourist hotspots like Zagreb, Dubrovnik or Split. Whatever month you choose to visit Croatia, it’s wise to book your accommodation in advance. Don’t wait until you arrive to see what’s available or you may be disappointed to find that all the best places to stay have been snapped up already. Croatia is an extremely popular year-round destination.
Jetset Bunny recommends using Booking.com for the best accommodation deals in Croatia. However, if you are backpacking in Croatia or traveling on a tight budget then Hostel World is another great option. Staying in hostels makes travel in Croatia very affordable and is also a great way to meet new travel buddies where ever you go.
PLAN YOUR TRIP
The best time to visit Croatia is in May and June or September and October when the weather is reliably sunny. It is also less crowded at these times than the summer months of July and August which are high season and can be very hot, more expensive and extremely crowded, especially during the afternoons.
CROATIA TRAVEL BUDGET
Croatia is generally an affordable destination for travelers on all budgets. The cost of your trip to Croatia really depends on the level of comfort you want. If you are backpacking and planning on staying in dormitories, hostels and eating fast food then budget between 50 to 100 euros per day. If you prefer to stay in 3-4 star hotel rooms and eat in mid-range restaurants you could spend anywhere between 100 to 200 euros per day. If you want to enjoy luxury 4-5 star accommodation and gourmet restaurants then budget at least 200 to 500+ euros per day.
IS CROATIA SAFE FOR FEMALE TRAVELERS?
Safety does not need to be a huge concern for women travelers in Croatia which is considered a generally very safe country to visit. As with any country you visit, always be extra careful when walking alone or at night. Some parts of Croatia aren’t as safe as other areas so do your research before you go and avoid these places. Based on many years of travel in Europe I would never leave home without insurance and recommend checking out the travel insurance plan that World Nomads can offer you a few weeks before your Croatia trip.
CROATIA VISA CHECKER
CROATIA FLIGHT DEALS
CROATIA TOURS & ACTIVITIES
CROATIA PACKING TIPS
Packing for a trip to Croatia, like most other places in Europe, is a breeze. You really don’t need as much travel gear as you may think for a trip to Croatia.
That said, the gear you do bring on your trip should be the very best option available for you and that doesn’t always mean the most expensive. Jetset Bunnies around the globe are always discovering the latest and the greatest in travel gear for women and this is where we share our awesome finds with you.
If you’re visiting Croatia during the warmer months it will be much easier to travel light. Pack mainly lightweight and breathable clothing but still be prepared for cold mornings and evenings depending on the month you visit. You’ll need to wrap up warm between November and February. So pack a warm sweater, waterproof coat, gloves, scarves and a wooly hat if you’re traveling during winter.
Other essential items to pack for a trip to Croatia include, most importantly, a good quality travel backpack. Choose the brand carefully and make sure you find the right size backpack for your torso. Believe me, doing this will make all the difference and prevent major backache. Read our related blog post with advice on how to choose the best backpacks for women travelers. Smaller items to pack include a padlock, sleep sheet and a money belt to keep important documents close to you.