Area : 56538.0 km2
Population : 4496869 inhabitants
From London, a flight to Zagreb takes 1 hr 25 mins, a flight to Split 2 hrs, and a flight to Dubrovnik 2 hrs 30 mins on a direct flight. Some flights to Dubrovnik or Split go via Zagreb. Due to the waiting time during connections, add 35 minutes for a flight to Split and 50 minutes for a flight to Dubrovnik. From London, it is 833 mi to Zagreb, 800 mi to Rijeka, 945 mi to Split and 1,060 mi to Dubrovnik.
Zagreb is thirty minutes away from the airport. By taxi, it should cost around £18 and £3 for the airport shuttle. Dubrovnik is 25 minutes away from the Cilipi airport. A taxi should cost £16. From town, a shuttle will get you to the airport for around £3.
No security problems. You can walk around at any time with no risk or danger. In summertime, the cities are lively until very late at night. There is only one problem to keep in mind: the landmine problem. Due to the war, landmines were left behind in the territories occupied by the Serbian Army, close to the Bosnian and Serbian borders. Demining has began in the villages to allow the return of the population. The countryside areas will follow. For example, in Slavonia you can only visit the nature reserve of Kopacki Rit by road. Around the National Park of Krka, the valleys are not recommended. Certain summits near the National Park of Paklenica are also landmine infested. By car, you will sometimes drive through destroyed villages and you should remember this problem because there is nothing to indicate it. For safety, it is recommended not to leave the road. It is obvious the local authorities do not inform the foreign tourists enough. To sum up, it is possible to safely visit 95% of the country. The National Parks are safe, open to hikes and rock climbing. On the beaches and on the islands, there are no problems. So don't panic!
The official language is Croatian, spoken across the country and written with the Latin alphabet. There are three regional dialects that the Coates use, with different accents and vocabularies. German is the most spoken foreign language. In Istria, Italian is frequently spoken, and street names often have a Croatian name and an Italian one. To speak to tourists, Croatians over forty will use German and Italian rather over English, as they can speak these better. Nowadays young people learn English in school.
For European citizens, an identity card or a valid passport are enough to enter the territory. No visa is necessary. By car, you need the car registration document and the insurance certificate.
Catholic (87.8%), Orthodox (4.4%), Muslim (1.3%), Protestant (0.3%), atheist and others (6.2%).
The currency is the Croatian Kuna (HRK), which consists of 100 Lipas. You can exchange pounds in banks, foreign exchange offices, travel agencies, post offices and hotel receptions. Travellers cheques are only exchangeable at the bank. When exchanging currency, avoid 1,000 HRK notes wherever possible because when it comes to using them, nobody will have enough change to give you back. Credit cards (Eurocard/MasterCard, Diners club, American Express and Visa) are accepted. ATM machines are quite easy to find in the cities and called 'mjenjacnica' or 'bankomat'. They do, though, become increasingly rare the further away from the cities you go and are practically non-existent on the islands. As a general rule, it is easier to find bankomats that accept Eurocard/MasterCard than Visa. Bank opening hours vary, from 8:00am to 4:00pm or 5:00pm from Monday to Friday.
During summer, the Croatian ferry boat company, Jadrolinija, has 450 daily departures for the islands. The ferry links to the most visited islands (Krk, Cres, Rab, Hvar, Korcula, Brac) are practically every hour. If you are driving, try and get to the port early. The car queues are often very long.
A bus network is available across the country with frequent departures. For example, there are up to eight daily departures Dubrovnik-Zagreb. Roads and buses are in a good state !
From Zagreb, there are four railway lines linking Istria (Rijeka-Pula), Dalmatia (Zadar-Sibenik-Split), Slavonia (Osijek) and Zagorje (Varazdin, Koprivnica). Trains are cheaper than buses, but also slower and with less frequent departures. InterRail Cards are valid.
You will find locally all of the main car rental agencies. The rates are equivalent to most European countries. During summer, on the coast or on the islands, you can rent a scooter for 24 pounds sterling a day. They drive on the right, at 50 miles/h on roads and 80 miles/h on the motorways. In town, the speed limit is of 31 miles/h and down to 18 miles/h on some streets. The police generally keep an eye on the streets limited to 18 miles/h. The national "Ina" petrol stations accept payment cards. Before going to an island, make sure you fill up because some islands have no petrol station. In case of an emergency on the roads, dial 987.
Types of accommodation:
Hotels. They vary from the simplest to 5 star hotels. You can stay in youth hostels in all the major cities or rent a room in a flat for the night (from 12 pounds sterling per person) or the week. You can also rent flats or villas and there are more than 200 camping sites.
No particular vaccine is required. You will find doctors, health centres and hospitals everywhere. Medicines are available in pharmacies. On the islands, the rule is simple: the more tourists there are, the bigger the health centre will be. No specific hygiene advice, tap water is totally drinkable.
Voltage is 220, 50 Hz. Adaptor not needed.
9,995,070tourists travelled to Croatia in 2005.
Service is included in coffee shops, bars and restaurants. It is up to you to leave a tip or not.
To call Croatia from the UK: 00 385 + regional code (Zagreb: 1, Dubrovnik: 20, Rijeka: 51, Split: 21) + correspondent's number.
To call UK, dial le 00 + 44 + correspondent's number.
21 Conway Street, London W1T 6BN , UK.
Tel: (020) 7387 2022.
Croatian National Tourist Office
Lanchesters 162-164, Fulham Palace Road, 2, London W6 9ER, UK & Ireland.
Tel: +44 208 563 7979.
Fax: +44 208 563 2616.
Zagreb Tourist Office
Kaptol 5, 10000 Zagreb
Tel: (385) 1 4898 555.
Fax: (385) 1 4814 340.
Dubrovnik-Neretva Tourist Office
C. Zuzoric 1/I, 20000 Dubrovnik
Tel: (385) 20 324 999.
Fax: (385) 20 324 224.
Central Dalmatia Tourist Office
Prilaz brace Kaliterna 10/I, 21000 Split
Tel: (385) 21 490 036.
Fax: (385) 21 490 033.
Istria Tourist Office
Pionirska 1A, 52440 Porec
Tel: (385) 52 452 797.
Fax: (385) 52 452 796.
Sibenik-Knin Tourist Office
Fra Nikole Ruzica bb, 22000 Sibenik
Tel: (385) 22 219 072.
Fax: (385) 22 212 346.
Ivana Lucica 4, 10000 Zagreb
Tel: (385) 1 6009 122.
Fax: (385) 1 6009 111.