Country Profile: Croatia
Getting to know Croatia
Real name: Hrvatska (How we got Croatia from that beats me)
Currency: Croatian Kuna ($1=~6Kuna check for changes)
Visa Required?: Americans and Australians will get a stamp for 90 days when crossing the border. Other countries check here.
Most Visited Cities: Zagreb, Split, Dubrovnik, Rijeka, Zadar, Hvar (Island)
Budget: ‘Street food’ like pastries and bureks are really cheap. Bureks (pastry filled with meat) are pretty heavy. You can easily get a basic meal for around $3-4. Drinks will likely be around the same price. Hostels on the coast are quite expensive. Maybe 15 Euros in Split and around 20-30 Euros in Dubrovnik. Zagreb is much cheaper.
Famous Landmark: Dubrovnik Castle
National Train: Croatia Train
Major bus line: Croatia Bus
Random Fact: The coast near Split is commonly called Dalmatia, which dates back to a Roman Emperor from the area. This is also where the term Dalmatian, as in the dog, originated. Croatia is also the originator of the neck tie.
Overview: In many ways Croatia, to me, is a place that a fair amount of people visit, but few really grasp its marvels. Croatia has been at the forefront of many historically significant events. A tribute to its geographically strategic location no doubt.
I highly recommend Croatia to anyone that likes beaches, history, slavic culture, mountains, beautiful views of the Adriatic sea, or just traveling in general. It is fairly inexpensive and there are many very neat places to check out. To give you an idea of its beauty, I remember one day that I was sitting on a hill overlooking Dubrovnik, I tried to find words to journal about, but really just ended up gawking at the breathtaking sites of the city and coast.
Since the recent advance of the European Union, Croatia has been in hot pursuit of membership. Therefore, it is quite navigable and easily traversed even for a beginning traveler.
In Croatia, you will see excellent ruins left by the Romans. Although, I cannot call them ruins exactly because the Croatian people still live and work in them. As one Croatian lady explained to me, “Croatians live in a perfect harmony with the ancients.” Additionally, you can witness fortresses dating back hundreds of years and even more modern remnants from the Balkan War. Lastly, you will meet wonderful people. Especially once you have befriended them, Croatians are warm and friendly people.
The coastal weather of Croatia is generally good, but it differs greatly from the interior because of a mountain range that separates the two. The interior can generally get quite cold and snowy in the falls and winters.
How to get around?
Trains are not known for being the best in the Balkan countries, but Croatia probably has some of the better trains in the region. Even still, the most efficient way to get around is by bus. The buses are frequent and inexpensive.
Where should you go?
Zagreb is a nice city with lots of things to offer. It is well worth a visit when you are in Croatia. I tend to be a beach guy though as I like warmer weather. Additionally, I like history. Croatia, especially its coastal region, has a rich history. I thoroughly enjoyed Split and Dubrovnik. You might also like to take a trip to one of the islands that sit just of the coast.