A Visitor’s Guide To Croatia
The Balkan nation of Croatia was one of several in the region that was created in the aftermath of the collapse of the former state of Yugoslavia in 1991, and although it did experience conflict, it has been going from strength to strength ever since. With a long coastline on the Adriatic Sea, and some spectacular scenery and historic towns and cities in the inland regions of the country, it has swiftly become one of the most popular new tourist destinations in Europe. The country is also famous for being the home of the Dalmatian dog species, and also has a claim to fame for having the smallest town in the world, Hum, which had only seventeen residents in the 2001 census.
The main threat to visitors identified by the US State Department is from the areas that are yet to have all of the land mines removed following the conflict in the region after Croatia achieved independence, but these areas are clearly signposted.
Top Attractions To Enjoy In Croatia
The Old Town Of Dubrovnik – The old walled city of Dubrovnik dates from the time when it was one of the most important trading ports in Europe, with a beautiful main boulevard and historic fortifications including the Minceta Tower, and has been dubbed the ‘Pearl of the Adriatic’.
Plitvice National Park – Located in a hilly area with steep karst cliffs, the azure blue lakes are connected by small streams and rivers, with the spectacular scenery making it one of the most popular destinations for visitors in the country.
The Snow Queen Trophy – This spectacular slalom skiing event takes place on the slopes above Zagreb every year, and is one of the most popular skiing events in the calendar, drawing the best skiers from across the world hoping to win the trophy which is shaped like a crystal crown.
Brac – This small island is located in the Adriatic Sea a short distance from mainland Croatia, and is noted for its excellent beaches and the wonderful Dominican monastery museum which has a significant collection of ancient coins and artifacts.
The Palace Of Diocletian – Located within the modern city of Split, this Roman palace was built by the Roman emperor in the fourth century, and is noted for its impressive scale and the underground basement where many homes and businesses have been located and grown over the years.
Medvedgrad – A short distance north of Zagreb, this fortified town occupied an impressive hilltop position, and offers visitors great views of the area, as well as being a fascinating look at how living quarters were combined with military requirements when it was built in the thirteenth century.
Makarska – This charming town is located on the Adriatic Coast between Split and Dubrovnik, and has several historic buildings and a beautiful promenade with some nice nature walks in the surrounding hillsides.
Osijek – This historic city developed around the confluence of two important Croatian rivers, and is noted for historic buildings such as the Tvrda Fortress near the city center and the Co-Cathedral of St Peter and St Paul, which has the tallest tower in the country.
Rovinj – The beautiful red roofs of the buildings in this historic Venetian town make this an attractive place to visit, with a reputation for excellent seafood and it is also a popular rock climbing destination with some great cliffs a short walk outside the city center.
Krka National Park – This beautiful park is named after the River Krka which flows through the park, with plenty of hiking paths allowing visitors to explore the park with many leading to the stunning waterfalls at Skradinski buk.
Where To Stay In Croatia
Arcotel Allegra Hotel – While the exterior may give off the impression of a Soviet office block, this lovely hotel is located within easy reach of the city’s sights, and offers visitors comfortable rooms with large welcoming beds, and access to a fitness center, sauna and jacuzzi.
Dream Hotel – A short distance outside the city center, this hotel offers guests comfortable rooms with pleasant bathrooms along with a restaurant and bar downstairs, all available at a good price.
Valamar Lacroma Dubrovnik – A short trip outside the city itself, this hotel enjoys a lovely location overlooking the sea, and provides guests with nicely furnished rooms, many of which have a balcony area, along with an outdoor pool, jacuzzi and tennis courts.
Apartments Beato – An ideal choice for those visiting this historic city on a budget, these apartments are within walking distance of the sights of the old city, while also offering visitors comfortable beds and spacious accommodation.
Hotel Waldinger – This traditionally decorated hotel is a pleasant and comfortable place to stay, with attractive rooms and large beds, while also offering a sauna and fitness center and being right in the city center.
Guesthouse Maksimilian – The ideal choice for those looking for a balance between cost and comfort, this guesthouse is near the university and the city center, and provides simple yet comfortable rooms in pleasant surroundings.
Hotel Luxe – This stylish well designed hotel gives guests the chance to stay in the Split city center in luxury, with beautifully decorated rooms including large comfy beds, and access to a sauna, as well as being within walking distance from the main sights of the city.
Guesthouse Vrlic – Offering an ideal base from which to explore Split, this hotel gives guests well designed and simple rooms at a good price, coming with pleasant bathrooms and being right at the heart of the city.
As a country which has long been an important international trading power, it is no surprise to see international influences playing a role in Croatian cuisine, with Greek and Italian dishes common on many menus in the country. Like many countries in the region sausages play an important role, with Cesnovka being a garlic flavored pork sausage and Kulen being another popular spicy sausage. Near the coast there is a natural prevalence for seafood, with Buzara being a popular dish of shellfish fried in garlic, while another popular dish is Zagrebacki Odrezak, which is a grilled veal steak stuffed with ham and cheese.
Currency And Visa
Croatia is one of many countries that is part of the Schengen Agreement, and visitors coming to these European countries do not need to arrange a visa in advance for trips under ninety days. However, this is a cumulative period, so those staying in Europe for over three months in total may want to check that their itinerary does meet these criteria in advance. The local currency is the Croatian Kuna, which usually exchanges for around 5.5 Kuna per US Dollar. However, if you do have Euros there are many retailers who will accept Euros, particularly in the tourist areas of the country.
The capital city of Croatia is also one of its most popular destinations, and this article looks at Zagreb and its main attractions. This is another interesting article that looks at a Donkey racing event in the small town of Sali on an island in the Adriatic.