Island on Krka National Park

Travel to Croatia: Everything You Should Know

Traveling soon to Croatia, or considering to visit this beautiful country?
I computed some of the most frequent questions I’ve encountered. Enjoy the read and feel free to ask some more in the comments!

Plitvice National Park - don't miss it when you travel to Croatia!
A gorgeous aerial view of Plitviče National Park
Photo by Mike Swigunski on Unsplash

Getting to Croatia

What visa do I need to travel to Croatia?

For EU individuals

Croatia is part of the European Union since 2013, and part of the Schengen Area since January 2023. Citizens of the Schengen area or EU/EEA citizens can therefore travel to Croatia without visa for up to 90 days.

For non-EU individuals

Non EU/EEA citizens will need a Schengen Visa or a Croatia Tourist Visa for touristic stays up to 90 days. More info on this page.

Is the Schengen visa enough to travel to Croatia?

Yes! The Schengen Visa enables you to enter all 27 countries part of the Schengen area for up to 90 days out of 180 consecutive days. And since Croatia entered became an EU state in January 2023, it applies to them, too! You need to apply on the website of the country you will want to visit first. How to apply for a Schengen visa on this link.

Plugeon in Trogir, Croatia
A beautiful springboard in Trogir

How do I get to Croatia?

From within the EU

It’s relatively simple to travel from within the European Union to Croatia, whether you come by train, by boat, by bus, by car or by air.

Here’s how you can reach Croatia from the EU:

  1. By Train: There are train services from various European cities to Croatia. The train network connects to Zagreb, and from there you can transfer to domestic lines to reach other destinations.
  2. By Air: With several international airports across the country, you can fly directly to Zagreb, Pula, Zadar, Split, or Dubrovnik.
  3. By Car: Driving to Croatia could be an excellent option, as road conditions are generally good, and the scenery is beautiful. Ensure you check your car insurance and road rules in Croatia before setting off.
  4. By Bus: An extensive network of bus routes runs between Croatia and neighboring countries. Buses offer a cost-effective way to reach Croatian cities and are quite comfortable.
  5. By Boat: Depending on your location within the EU, traveling by ferry might be possible, especially from Italy. There are numerous routes to the Croatian coast, particularly during the tourist season.

From outside of the EU

There are a few options to get to Croatia from outside the EU: by cruise ship, by car or by plane.

Getting to Croatia by cruise ship

There are several cruise companies organizing cruise trips to Croatia. Check for a cruise with departure from your country or another place of interest in Europe.

Getting to Croatia by air

The 5 main International airports in Croatia are Zagreb, Pula, Zadar, Split and Dubrovnik airport – see map below. The area of the country you want to see will highly influence which airport you should fly to.

Map of Croatia's main international airports
Map of Croatia’s main international airports

Zagreb: Zagreb is the capital city of Croatia and your best option if you want to visit the Northern part of the country. The Plitviče Lakes National Park is also about halfway between Zagreb and Zadar, so it’s a safe bet to fly there if that’s on your list.

Pula: Pula is at the beginning of the Croatian Coastline and generally renowned for its gorgeous long beaches, Roman ruins and quaint harbor. You should fly there if you’re looking to visit the Istrian Peninsula.

Picture of the coast in Pula Croatia
On the coast of Pula, Croatia
Photo by Alen Rojnic on Unsplash

Zadar: Zadar is at the beginning of the Dalmatian Coast, yet it managed to stay free from the crowds you can find in Split and Dubrovnik. It’s also the closest airport if you wish to visit the Plitviče Lakes National Park.

Split: Probably the busiest city of the 5, Split welcomes cruise ships and loads of planes carrying tourists hungry for beach and delicious food from the Balkans every Summer. It’s a good option if you’re looking for a cheap flight and loads of options upon arrival; and a great departure point for Dalmatian Island hopping.

Dubrovnik: City of Games of Thrones, Dubrovnik became overcrowded overnight but it’s still a great place to fly to, especially if you’re looking to island-hopping or if you wish to visit neighboring countries of Montenegro and Bosnia & Herzegovina.

Mostar in BiH - don't miss it when you travel to Croatia!
The famous bridge in Mostar, Bosnia & Herzegovina
Photo by Steph Smith on Unsplash

Planning your trip to Croatia

How much does it cost to travel to Croatia?

Flights

  • From within Europe: €100-300 round trip
  • From the US: $500-1200 round trip

Accommodation

  • Budget: Hostels can range from €15-30/night in a dormitory room.
  • Mid-range: Hotels and private accommodations can cost between €60-150/night.
  • Luxury: Upwards of €200/night or significantly higher.

Transportation

  • Public Transport: Buses and trams within cities are typically less than €2/way.
  • Car Rental: Starts from around €30 per day for a basic car, excluding fuel.
  • Ferries: Average ferry tickets for island hopping are between €5-30/way.

Food & Dining

  • Budget: Street food, fast food, and groceries for self-catering average €10-20/day.
  • Restaurant Meals: Approximately €10-25 for a mid-range restaurant meal.
  • Fine Dining: Can easily go over €40 per person.

Activities & Sightseeing

  • Tours: Guided tours start from €20 and go up as the length and exclusivity increase.
  • Entrance Fees: National parks and museums often have entrance fees of €5-30.
  • Book your activities: GetYourGuide has a wide selection of experiences.

Miscellaneous

  • Shopping, souvenirs, and other incidentals: €10-20 per day.

If you are looking for a moderate level of comfort, a budget of around €100-200 per day, excluding flights, is a reasonable estimate. If you are looking for a backpacking adventure or on a shoestring budget, around €50-70 per day should suffice.

Cobblestreet in Dubrovnik, Croatia
The gorgeous cobblestone streets of Dubrovnik

What is the best month to travel to Croatia?

For warmer weather and swimming holidays, the Summer months of July and August are ideal. If you are like me and wish to avoid crowds while keeping nice weather however, you should visit in May, June, September or October.

Is it safe to travel to Croatia?

Croatia is widely considered to be a safe destination for travelers. The crime rate is low and violent crime is quite rare. But as with any travel destination, it’s always recommended that you exercise common sense and be aware of your surroundings, especially in crowded tourist areas and while using public transportation.

During your trip in Croatia

What Should I see in Croatia?

Depending on what you are looking for, the most sought-after sightseeings are:

  • Dubrovnik’s Old Town
  • Diocletian’s Palace in Split
  • Plitviče Lakes National Park
  • Hvar Island and the Dalmatian archipelago
  • Rovinj
  • Krka National Park
Krka National Park - don't miss it when you travel to Croatia!
Krka National Park
Photo by Simon Infanger on Unsplash

What is the currency in Croatia?

Since it joined the European Union in January 2023 (and Schengen area at the same time), Croatia is using the Euro, which is replacing the Kuna.

Is food good in Croatia?

Yes! Croatian cuisine is one of the best in the Balkans. From fresh seafood to hearty stews inland, grilled meats, olive oil, and Mediterranean flavors dominate. Local specialties include the pasticada, peka, or čevapi. And what about their incredible wines and desserts – savor the sweetness of rozata or krempita.

Is Croatia vegetarian friendly?

While Croatian food is traditionally fish and meat heavy, the country is becoming increasingly vegetarian-friendly. Just ask your waiter upon arrival!

Can I drink tap water in Croatia?

Yes! The country has high-quality tap water that is safe for drinking, so don’t forget to bring your refillable water bottle!

Should I tip when traveling to Croatia?

Tipping in Croatia is appreciated but not obligatory. In restaurants, a customary tip is around 10%, and rounding up the bill is common in cafes and taxis.


I hope you enjoyed! If you have any feedback or questions,
I would love to hear them in the comments. Cheers!


So, ready for your trip to Croatia?
Check out our 3-week road trip in stunning Croatia!

Waterfall in Plitvice National Park
Beautiful waterfalls in
Plitviče National Park
Dubrovnik tile ceilings
View of Dubrovnik from above

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