Croatia has long been a European dream getaway, but over the last few years, Americans have been getting in on the dream, too! Croatia, and the entire Balkan Peninsula, has had a rough go for several decades. Over the last decade or so, however, Croatia has become one of the safest, most beautiful tourist destinations in Europe. Whether you’re a fan of Game of Thrones, medieval architecture, or unbelievable landscapes, Croatia needs to make its way onto your “must go” list!
Getting There and Getting Around
First things first. You’ve got to get there, right?
You will most likely be flying into Croatia. Major airports are in Dubrovnik, Zagreb, and Split, but there are others as well.
It may take a while to get there: Exactly How to Handle a Layover
Uber is available in Croatia, but you can certainly also drive yourself. Just remember that greater Dubrovnik is separated from the rest of Croatia by a small section of Bosnia and Herzegovina, so take your passport on road trips to or from Dubrovnik!
Keep reading: The Ultimate List of Road Trip Tips
Did you know you can travel much of Croatia by boat? It’s true! Croatians have an important maritime trade history, and with its hundreds of islands in the Adriatics, sailing is still an important means of travel. You can take ferries between major cities on the Croatian coast, as well as to and from countless islands. Also, you can take a ferry to Croatia from Italy!
Croatians speak… Croatian! It uses a similar alphabet to English, with the addition of accent marks that change the sound of their attached letters. We had no problem getting around with English, though, so don’t let a language barrier put you off!
That said, it’s always kind to learn at least one word in any local language: Thank you! In Croatian, “thank you” is “hvala,” pronounced like “vala.” Trust me, you’ll be saying it a lot. In our experience, Croatians are very kind and helpful!
Read next: What to Know Before You Visit Dubrovnik
At the time of this writing, Croatia is still on the Croatian Kuna as their official currency. Beginning in January 2023, however, Croatia will switch over to the Euro. This will make traveling easier—only one currency to keep up with on a Euro trip, one exchange rate to calculate, etc. Many Croatian businesses are already accepting the Euro, but if you’re visiting before January 2023, you’ll still want to get some Kuna for your trip!
A Little Basic History
It’s hard to fit in two thousand years of a region’s history in any kind of a concise way, but here goes nothing! Croatia has been home to people since prehistory, and over the years it’s been a Duchy, Kingdom, a Union with Hungary and Venice, part of the Ottoman Empire, even Napoleon made an appearance.
After World War II, Croatia became part of Socialist Yugoslavia. When that entity broke up, the Croatian War for Independence began. They won it, and the country has recovered well over the last 30 years. Now, Croatia has a major tourism industry, is the setting for movies and TV shows (like Game of Thrones and Amazing Race), and it’s famous for olive oils, wines, and lavender!
Want more? Get everything you need on my dedicated Croatia Page!
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