Best Time to go: May – September
Best For: National Parks, Architecture, Historical and Religious Sites, Coastline
Croatia is one of Europe`s top seaside destinations, with over 1,000 islands, 1778km of mainland coastline and a mild Mediterranean climate.
In Zagreb, Croatia`s capital, visit the historic monuments of Gornji Grad (Upper Town): the Cathedral, St Mark`s Church (noted for its tiled roof) and the Sabor (Croatian parliament). Then take in the museums of 19th-century Donji Grad (Lower Town).
The Museum of Arts and Crafts traces Croatian craftsmanship through the centuries, and the Mimara Museum exhibits a rich collection of painting, sculpture and ceramics from abroad.
Dubrovnik`s Summer Festival takes place each year, from mid-July to late August, and features open-air evening performances of theatre, jazz and classical music in the old town. Zagreb and Split also have summer festivals, but are a treat to visit at any time.
Slavonia`s Kopaèki Rit Nature Park is a vast expanse of wetland frequented by myriad migrating birds and well away from the tourist crowds. Dive in the ethereal Blue Grotto and explore the shipwrecks sunk off the island of Vis, Croatia`s most remote inhabited island.
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Capital: Zagreb (ZAG)
Currency: Kuna (HRK)
Language: Croatian (Hrvatski). Serbian, Slovenian, Hungarian and Italian are also spoken by minorities. English and German may be spoken in tourist regions.
Dialling code from SA: + 385
Time Zone: UTC / GMT +1 (1 hour behind South Africa)
Daylight Savings Time: From last Sunday March to last Sunday October: UTC / GMT +2 (same time as South Africa)
Side of the Road: Right
Plugs: 220 volts AC, 50Hz. Two-pin plugs as in most of Western Europe
Drinking Water: Mains water in hotels and towns is safe to drink.
Health: There are adequate and well-equipped medical facilities, however visitors are required to pay for these services. Comprehensive health insurance is recommended. If you require any medication on your travels it is best to bring it with you, in the original packaging, with a signed and dated letter from your doctor detailing exactly what it is and why you need it.
Customs: Normal social courtesies
Local Offences / Laws: There are certain restrictions on photography. Passports should be carried at all times.
Travel Tips / Warnings: Travellers are advised to be cautious in former conflict and remote areas, as there may be land mines. Stay on known safe roads, and check with authorities if going to a remote area.
Duty Free: Croatia is within the European Union. If you are travelling from the UK, you are entitled to buy fragrance, skincare, cosmetics, Champagne, wine, selected spirits, fashion accessories, gifts and souvenirs – all at tax-free equivalent prices.
If you are travelling from within the EU, there is no limit on the amount or value of goods you may import, providing your goods are for personal consumption. Goods imported for commercial purposes are subject to duty and the following guideline amounts are in place to determine whether this is the case:
• 800 cigarettes or 400 cigarillos or 200 cigars or 1kg of tobacco.
• 10L of spirits over 22%, 20L of alcoholic beverages less than 22%, 90L of wine (no more than 60L of sparkling wine) and 110L of beer.
If you are arriving from a non-EU country, the following goods may be imported into Croatia by persons over 17 years of age without incurring customs duty:
• 200 cigarettes or 100 cigarillos or 50 cigars or 250g of tobacco.
• 4L of wine and 16L of beer and 1L of spirits over 22% or 2L of alcoholic beverages less than 22%.
• Other goods up to the value of Kn3,200 for air and sea travellers and Kn2,200 for other travellers (reduced to Kn1,100 for children under 15).
Prohibited Imports: Unauthorised firearms and ammunition and non-prescription drugs. There are restrictions on the import of plants, animals and food.
Prohibited Exports: Articles of archaeological, historical, ethnographic, artistic and other scientific or cultural value require an export licence issued by the Croatian authorities.