Croatia is 1 hour ahead of Greenwich Meantime (GMT). From the last Sunday in March to the last Sunday in October, Croatia observes Daylight Saving and is 2 hours ahead of GMT.
Standard voltage is 220 volts, AC 50Hz. Primary sockets generally require European plugs, of the two round pin variety. We recommend that you pack a universal travel adaptor. You will need a voltage converter, and plug adaptor in order to use U.S. appliances.
The official currency in Croatia is the Croatian Kuna.
Euro, British Pounds, US Dollars and other major currencies can be exchanged locally or in advance of departure. Internationally recognized debit/credit card can be used for cash machine withdrawals (available in all bigger towns). It's advisable to request bank notes in smaller denominations, as it can sometimes be hard to get change from large notes and smaller notes are handy for smaller purchases and gratuities.
Traveller's Cheques are not recommended as they're often difficult to exchange and incur high fees.
You should seek medical advice before travelling to Croatia from your local health practitioner and ensure that you receive all of the appropriate vaccinations. As a guide Diphtheria, Hepatitis A and Tetanus is strongly recommended.
The tap water in Croatia is generally considered safe to drink, but as a precaution against stomach upsets you may want to drink bottled mineral water, which is readily available from shops, hotels and restaurants.
The Adriatic coast is renowned for its variety of seafood dishes including freshly caught line and net fish and shellfish. We include breakfast and lunch, leaving you the opportunity to make your own independent arrangements for dinner. If you’re a seafood lover, you should reserve your appetite for dinner in port at one of the various local restaurants.
Owing to its geographical location, Croatian gastronomy is steeped in Mediterranean tradition. The Dubrovnik area is famed for its fish from the River Neretva, hard sheep milk cheese and oysters from Ston are outstanding. Further along in Split, the best types of Adriatic fish from dory to red mullet once enjoyed by the Roman emperor Diocletian are still enjoyed today. Istria in Croatia’s north is famed for its highly valued truffles including the white truffle – Tuber magnatum.
The Kvarner region, specifically the islands of Cres, Krk and Rab are famed for succulent, sweet-tasting lamb. Small goods such as cured cheeses and meats are popular in Croatia. The most highly acclaimed cheese in Croatia is paski sir, a sheeps milk cheese from the island of Pag, whilst the salami-like kulen from Slavonia in Croatia’s northeast is the king of cured sausage. Luganige, a sausage served in Split is also good. The hard and soft cheeses of the Kvarner islands are also very popular.
Beyond seasoned meats, fresh fish and other fruits de mer, cheeses, small goods, delectable olives, capers and freshly baked breads, fruit and vegetables are also big. Inland, Zagreb grows the best strawberries, small fruits such as plums and exotic mushrooms, whilst fig and almond trees persevere in the south. Istria is famed for its spring asparagus. If you have a sweet tooth, try Rozata (crème caramel) a traditional desert of Dubrovnik.
Croatian wine and beers are of a high quality. Beer drinkers should try Zagreb's Ozujsko pivo or Karlovacko pivo or Tuborg, brewed under license in Croatia. In Dalmatia, some red wines such as Faros or Dingac are exquisite. You should also try Croatia's favourite brandy sljivovica, made from plums, or travarica, an herbal brandy. Coffee (espresso) is also a popular beverage, if crying out for a java jolt.
Traditional handicrafts such as embroidery, woodcarvings and ceramics make good souvenirs, as do Croatian-produced wine, olives oils and preserves.
Olives have been growing in Croatia since Roman times, and many stuffed and bottled varieties can be purchased including olives stuffed with dried fig, almonds, fennel, capers, anchovy and of course, regular pimiento.
Avjar, a tasty relish made from grilled red pepper, aubergine (eggplant), garlic, olive oil and chili is available in jars and when served with bread and cheese offers a tasty reminder of that wonderful holiday you’ve just enjoyed in Croatia.
Eduard Slavoljub Penkala (1871-1922) was a Zagreb-based inventor, who invented the auto-pencil in 1906. Penkala brand writing instruments are available in some stationary shops dotted across Croatia.
Another consideration is a necktie, replete with a traditional Croat design, of course. But why a necktie? Why, the Croatians stake claim to having invented them! Croatian soldiers in Napoleon’s army wore a kind of scarf. The name for this scarf is said to have evolved to the word cravat over time in reference to the ‘Croats' that wore them.
Presently tourists can reclaim VAT on expenditure of more than HRK500. Visitors should ensure that they retain all receipts.