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Europe is full of beautiful countries with picturesque biomes and quaint little towns. With over 1244 islands and some of the best wine and food you’ll ever taste, Croatia sits as one of the most underrated tourist destinations in Europe. Croatia is straight out of a fairy tale and was named one of the safest countries in the world.
Most of the locals speak English, which is a great plus for travelers. If you’re looking for a travel destination this summer, Croatia is definitely worth it. That’s why we’ve created this guide for visiting Croatia.
Read on to uncover seven tips when traveling to Croatia.
1. Travel During the Shoulder Season
Croatia is a beautiful country, so it’s no wonder that it had over 15.3 million tourists in 2022. However, if you want to avoid the crowds and make the most of your trip, we recommend visiting Croatia during the shoulder months.
Shoulder season is much quieter, so you can take your time and enjoy the local attractions. If you find yourself in Zagreb during the winter, you can enjoy the festivals at an off-season price. However, winter is arguably also one of the worst times to visit Croatia.
Most bars, restaurants, and attractions close for the winter. Visiting during the shoulder season can also help you save money. During peak season, the prices for accommodation and food are enough to make your bank account blush.
The best time to visit Croatia is from May to mid-June and mid-September to October. The weather is perfect, and you’ll get amazing discounts.
2. Spoil Your Taste Buds
The food scene in Croatia is one of the best things you’ll experience during your visit. Croatia has a solid mastery of Mediterranean cuisine and seafood. The fish is fresh from the Adriatic, which makes for an incredible dining experience.
If you consider yourself a cheese lover, visit Pag to sample some delectable goat’s cheese. You can also join the truffle train in Buzet to get your hands on some hearty truffles.
Each Croatian town has a local market full of fresh produce and fish. This is a great way to experience the local culture and get a taste of what daily life is like in Croatia.
3. Carry Cash and Remember to Tip
Croatia recently started using Euro as its currency. When visiting Croatia, always remember to carry cash. Many local services and mom-and-pop shops are cash-only.
The last thing you want is to miss out on some fancy souvenirs while exploring the towns. Fortunately, there are plenty of ATMs available throughout the country.
Service workers do not expect tips, but it is an accepted practice. If you want to tip, it’s best to have some Euros on hand. You can tip 10-15% or round up the bill to show your appreciation to the wait staff.
4. Know How to Get Around
Ubers and taxis are available, but they are pretty expensive. If you’re traveling with family or friends, you can always split the cost. Otherwise, it’s best to keep taxis as a last resort.
A road trip is one of the best ways to explore Croatia, and rental cars are accessible. However, keep in mind that Croatia has a lot of winding roads, steep cliffs, and drop-offs. Locals have no problem navigating these roads.
Unless you’re an experienced off-roader, it’s best to stay within a comfortable driving speed. If you don’t fancy driving a car, buses are the most efficient way to get around. While Croatia does have a train network, it’s not the best way to explore the country.
Croatia has some of the cleanest and most affordable buses. Compared to trains, Croatia’s bus system is reliable and extensive.
If you plan on getting out on the water, it helps to learn Croatia’s ferry system. Before booking online, you want to decide which islands you want to visit and what options you have.
5. Savor the Wine
Croatia is not known for its wine, but its products are far from mundane. Croatia is a small country, and most wine products go to the local market. Once you leave Croatia, you won’t be able to find their wine when you get home.
So if you consider yourself a wine enthusiast, don’t leave without sampling Croatia’s finest spirits. Dingac is a full-bodied red wine originating from the Peljesac Peninsula. Istria offers some of the best dry white wines for seafood pairings.
Croatia also offers a fruit brandy called rakija. Each region has its own version of this fiery drink.
6. Go Off the Beaten Path
Many people go to Croatia to visit the glittering coasts, but Croatia offers so much more than that. The Plitvice Lakes, located about two hours from Zadar or Zagreb, is a stunning series of over 16 lakes. You can access the boardwalks to go between each waterfall that connects these lakes.
The Plitvice Lakes are beautiful throughout the year. However, it is most impressive in autumn, when the leaves start to change color. Plitvice Lakes has twelve trails to explore, with promises of pine forests and wildflower meadows.
Dubrovnik is another popular destination in Croatia. If you’re a hardcore Game of Thrones fan, it’s definitely worth the visit. However, don’t miss out on the beautiful architecture of Rovinj or Pula’s amphitheater.
7. Book Ahead
Croatia is a hotspot for couples and families, so it can be difficult to find accommodation at the last minute. Croatia is often fully booked during the summer. Even if you plan on visiting during shoulder season, it’s best to come prepared.
The last thing you want is to not have a place to stay.
A memorable trip requires careful planning, so research before going to Croatia. Fortunately, you’ll be able to book cars, accommodations, ferries, and attractions online.
Visiting Croatia? 7 Tips for First-time Travelers
Here are some things you need to know when visiting Croatia. Croatia has some of the world’s most beautiful architecture and natural sites. If you’re making travel plans for Croatia, use these tips to secure an amazing experience.
Looking for more travel tips? Don’t stop here. Check out our other blog posts for more guides.