Croatia joins the Schengen Zone

Croatia joins the Schengen Zone

In the works for a number of years now, and finally confirmed on 9th December 2022, Croatia joins the Schengen Zone on 1st January 2023. Find out what this means for your future travels to the country below.

Croatia joins the Schengen Zone

What is the Schengen Zone?

Currently made up of 26 countries – with Croatia joining as the 27th member – the Schengen Zone is an area of Europe without any border controls or passport checks. Largely, most EU countries (23 out of 27) are part of the Schengen Zone with the exception of Bulgaria, Romania, Cyprus and Ireland. Additionally, Norway, Iceland, Switzerland and Liechtenstein are part of the Schengen Zone despite not being part of the EU.

Travel to Croatia with a Schengen Visa

Although travellers to Croatia could previously visit the country if they were in possession of a Schengen visa (as long as it was a dual or multiple entry one), they were not able to obtain one from a Croatian visa centre or embassy. Additionally, obtaining a Croatian visa did not allow the visa holder entry into the Schengen Zone.

This all changes from 1st January 2023 when obtaining a Croatian visa will no longer be possible – visitors will need to obtain a Schengen visa instead. And this visa will of course permit the holder to travel to the rest of the Schengen Zone too.

Border checks

The main purpose of the Schengen Zone is the lack of border controls between member countries. If you have ever driven from one Schengen country to another you’ll have noticed the absence of a border or controls of any kind. (There are of course signs denoting the new country you’re entering!) This will now be the case for Croatia as well whichever way you enter the country – by land (car, bus or train), sea or air – if you are travelling from another Schengen Area country. But of course, Croatia will now be the “last” Schengen country in this part of southern Europe, so if you are travelling from one of Croatia’s non-Schengen neighbours – such as Serbia, Montenegro or Bosnia and Hercegovina – you will go through regular border checks/passport controls.

In the case of air travel from another Schengen country, airport border controls will still temporarily be in place during a short transition period. These are expected to be fully abolished on 26th March 2023. Again, airport border controls – or a lack of them – are only the case for flights originating from other Schengen countries. If you are flying from a non-Schengen country to Croatia – from the UK, for example – you will absolutely still have to go through passport control upon landing in Croatia.

90-Day Schengen Zone Limit

Visa-free travellers to the Schengen Zone are permitted a 90-day stay in any 180-day period. This means If you stay in the Zone – whether that’s in just one country or several – for 90 days, you must leave for the next 90 days before being allowed to return.

Before joining the Schengen Zone, Croatia had a similar “90 days in 180” limit – but by being outside of the Zone, travellers could swap between the Schengen Zone and Croatia (or other non-Schengen countries) to remain in Europe if they wished. This is obviously no longer the case, so please be careful with your travelling time limit when visiting Croatia and the Schengen Zone. (You may well get into “trouble” if you overstay the 90-day limit.)

Make sure your passport is valid!

Your passport must have been issued in the previous 10 years and you must also have three months of validity remaining on it after your departure date from Croatia.

More info

For news coverage on Croatia joining the Schengen Zone, take a look at Croatia To Join EU’s Schengen Zone In January, Bulgaria And Romania Rejected (Forbes, 9th December 2022) and Schengen and Eurozone. Nothing is the same for Croatia in 2023 (Croatian Ministry of Foreign & European Affairs, 1st January 2023).

For Croatia visa advice, see our Visa Requirements for Croatia page.

Take a look at the UK Foreign Office’s advice on Croatia’s entry requirements.

Euros in Croatia

New currency from 1st January 2023: Euros in Croatia

On 1st January 2023, Croatia will become the 20th European country to adopt the Euro as its currency – and of course, from that date the Kuna will be no more. Find out what this all means for travellers here.

Euros in Croatia

Goodbye to The Kuna

Croatia introduced the Kuna as its currency back in 1994, following use of the Croatian Dinar in the country for three years following its independence from Yugoslavia. (The Yugoslav Dinar was the currency in that country.)

If you have any Kunas lying around at home, it is unlikely that foreign exchange offices in your home country will still accept them to change. However, should you visit Croatia in 2023 (or beyond), bring them with you to exchange in a Croatian bank. Or hang on to the Kuna coins for a souvenir!

Euros in Croatia

Since the announcement that Croatia was the join the Eurozone, the Euro-Kuna conversion rate has been fixed to €1 = 7.5345 Kunas. From early September 2022, prices of items in shops have been displayed in both Kunas and Euros, and this will continue into 2023 as well. Croatian citizens have been able to purchase a small package of Croatian Euros from 1st December 2022, although these can only be used as payment in Croatia and elsewhere in the Eurozone from 1st January 2023, of course. And for the first two weeks of 2023, cash payment can be made in either Euros or Kunas although change will only be issued in Euros.

Given the Euro already exists as a currency in a pretty widespread fashion across much of the EU, there’s not much preparation that visitors to the country need to undertake. Simply obtain your Euros as you normally would – from your preferred foreign exchange office or bank – and use them in Croatia! Alternatively, you may prefer to wait to travel to Croatia to withdraw Euros from ATMs (which are very common in the country) or simply make use of a debit or credit to pay for goods and services.

As before, we’d still recommend that you travel around Croatia with a small amount of cash rather than relying on card payments for everything.

What do Croatian Euros look like?

Croatian Euro coins began to be minted in July 2022 and the coins contain four different designs. The 2 Euro coin depicts a map of Croatia on the reverse; the 1 Euro coin shows the animal the kuna (pine marten in English), of course a nod to the previous currency; the 50, 20 and 10 cent coins show the Croatian-born inventor Nikola Tesla; and the 5, 2 and 1 cent coins show Glagolithic script, the first known Slavic alphabet.

You can see the designs of the Croatian Euro coins below.

Croatian Euros
Credit: Hrvatska Narodna Banka/Croatian National Bank

Will anything else change after Euros in Croatia are introduced?

Apart from generally making travellers’ lives easier – especially those who travel to Croatia from Eurozone countries – a switch to the Euro in other EU countries has often seen concerns regarding an increase in prices, whether substantially or simply rounding up when prices are converted. It’s hard to gauge whether this will be the case for Croatia at the moment – this will be cleared in the coming months.

More info

For general Croatian currency advice, take a look at our Money in Croatia page.

Croatia what is where

Croatia What is Where?

Here’s our Croatia infographic to highlight some special places in the country – as well as some places that you may not know about. Presenting to you: Croatia What is Where?

Learn some facts about the capital city Zagreb, stunning coastal cities and towns Split, Dubrovnik, Pula and Zadar, Hvar island, famous-for-its-oysters Ston, the thrilling Plitvice Lakes Nature Park and Papuk Nature Park.

Click on the infographic to enlarge!

Croatia what is where

More facts from Croatia What Is Where?

Let’s expand on some of the facts shown in the Croatia infographic above to help you learn more about Croatia what is where.

  • Croatia’s capital city, Zagreb, has a stunning cathedral that, at 108m tall, is the tallest building in Croatia. Originally constructed in the 13th century, the cathedral was severely damaged in the 6.3-magnitude earthquake of 1880 and required extensive restoration. Unfortunately, the cathedral was damaged again in the earthquake in March 2020 – one of its spires snapped off whilst the other had to removed for safety.
  • It is the FIS Snow Queen Trophy ski race that Zagreb hosts in early January each year.
  • Varazdin County is considered to be the oldest of Croatia’s counties, having first been referred to in 1181 (in the charter of King Bela III). The beautiful town of Varazdin was once also the capital city of Croatia from 1756 to 1776 when a large fire destroyed about 80% of the buildings in the town – and the capital reverted to Zagreb.
  • Papuk Nature Park is one of (now!) twelve nature parks in Croatia and is located in Slavonia. It is the first UNESECO Geopark in Croatia, which designates an area of significant geological heritage.
  • Ilok, also in Slavonia, is famous for being home to one of the largest wine producers in Croatia, Ilocki podrumi. They have British royal connections – as well as having their Traminac wine served at the wedding of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle, their wine was served at the celebration of the coronation of Queen Elizabeth II!
  • The wonderful Plitvice Lakes National Park is the joint-oldest national park with Croatia (along with Paklenica National Park), declared so in 1949. In 1979, the Park became a UNESCO World Heritage site.
  • This leads us on to Split! The Diocletian’s Palace complex was also declared a UNESCO World Heritage site that same year, 1979. This Palace was constructed in the 4th century as a retirement ‘home’ for Roman Emperor Diocletian, close to the large Roman town of Salona (present-day Solin) which once had a population as high as 60,000 people.
  • Dubrovnik is home to many of Croatia’s delights, including the truly wonderful Old Town. The Dubrovnik Summer Festival cultural event, which hosts opera, theatre productions, and classical music performances, was first held in 1950 making it the oldest festival of its kind in Croatia.
  • Little Ston is home to amazing town walls that rival Dubrovnik’s – in fact, those in Ston are the longest preserved town walls in Europe. Ston is also very well known for its oysters (and mussels) – you can see (and even visit) the oyster farms by the town.
  • The island of Hvar is a top destination for the yachting crowd, partygoers, the odd celebrity or two…and everyone else vying to see this amazingly picturesque place! Hvar island is also very famous for its lavender production – about 50 years ago, lavender oil produced on Hvar accounted for 8% of all lavender oil produced in the world – and is often claimed to be the sunniest place in Croatia with about 2,800 hours of sun each year.
  • As well as being the birthplace of Croatian footballing legend Luka Modric, Zadar is home to some amazing sights, old and new – such as the Forum and St Donatus Church, the Sea Organ and the Greeting to the Sun installation.
  • Pula is likewise home to some stunning sights, particularly the Arena which was completed in the 1st century AD – roughly the same time as the Colosseum in Rome. The Arena is one of the best preserved Roman amphitheatres, as it has all four sides intact, and is the sixth-largest remaining amphitheatre in the world. These days, it hosts music concerts, screenings during the Pula Film Festival, occasional sports events…and even mock gladiator fights in summer.
Croatia Post Brexit

Visiting Croatia Post Brexit in 2021

We are here – over four and a half years after Britain voted to leave the EU, the country is finally, officially, no-going-back-now, doing it. (Well, it actually officially left in January 2020 but what with the transition period to the end of the year, there wasn’t much of a difference.) But what does Britain leaving the EU mean for Brits travelling to Croatia in 2021? Here we’ll a look at the changes to visiting Croatia post Brexit.

Croatia Post Brexit

Entering Croatia Post Brexit

Updated Please see that latest entry conditions for Croatia for ‘third-country nationals’ (i.e. non EU citizens/residents) or our Croatia Travel Restrictions 2021 page.

Immigration/Passport Control

Don’t forget that when you’re entering Croatia or any other EU country, British travellers can no longer use the EU/EEA queue at passport control. 🙁

EU Visa Waiver

The EU will be introducing its own visa waiver programme (much the same as the one for visiting the U.S.) in 2022. Named ETIAS – European Travel Information and Authorisation System – British travellers will need to apply for this visa waiver before visiting Croatia and the EU once the system is up and running.


From 1st January 2021, British travellers will need to have six months left on their passports when travelling to the EU, Croatia included. Do make sure that your passport is not due to expire in the next six months if you’re travelling to Croatia/the EU.

You passport does also need to have been issued within the last ten years.

Length of stay in Croatia

When visiting the EU post Brexit, British travellers will only be able to stay for 90 days in any 180 day period in the Schengen Zone.

This is very relevant in the case of Croatia as – although, of course, the country is part of the EU – it is not yet part of the Schengen Zone. (Although is inching ever closer to joining!) But just like for the Schengen Zone, British travellers will be permitted to spend 90 days in any 180 day period in Croatia.

That means, as it stands, British travellers could spend 90 days in Croatia and then still spend another 90 days in the Schengen Zone. And, technically, you could then return to Croatia for another 90 days, and then back to the Schengen Zone for another 90 days…

Driving in Croatia Post Brexit

Driving Licenses

Updated You now do not need to hold an International Driving Permit (IDP) to drive in Croatia or the EU, Switzerland, Norway, Iceland or Lichtenstein. You can confirm this on the GOV.UK website.

British travellers will be required to obtain an International Driving Permit in order to hire a car in the EU, including in Croatia. These can be easily obtained from your local Post Office and cost £5.50.

Green Card

You will need to obtain a ‘green card’ from your motor insurer if you are intending to visit Croatia with your own vehicle. This green card shows that you have the minimum level of motor insurance for your vehicle.

Croatia Post Brexit - Slovenia/Croatia Border
The border between Slovenia and Croatia

EHICs and Travel Insurance

Updated EHICs remain valid until their expiry date. So if yours is still valid, you can still ‘use’ it when visiting the EU.

Updated Global Health Insurance Cards (GHICs) will replace EHICs for UK citizens. If your EHIC has already expired (or you don’t have one), you can apply for a GHIC on the NHS website.

From 1st January 2021, the European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) will no longer be valid for British travellers to Croatia and the rest of the EU.

Please make sure you obtain appropriate travel insurance (which you should really have been doing anyway) before travelling to Croatia.

Data roaming

British travellers may no longer enjoy free data roaming in the EU from 1st January 2021. *sound of thousands of Instagrammers crying*

However, you should really contact your mobile phone provider to find out what charges (if any) are applicable for phone and data use for you in the EU from 1st January 2021.

Customs Restrictions

When returning from Croatia, an EU country, to the UK you are now limited as to the amount of goods you can bring back. There is a limit on personal goods worth £390, as well as additional limits on alcohol and tobacco. You can see these limits on the GOV.UK website. Any amount above these allowances must be declared.

Travelling with Pets

Those travelling with pets to Croatia or the EU need to obtain an animal health certificate (instead of a pet passport) before heading off. You can find out more information on this on the GOV.UK website.

More Information on Visiting the EU and Croatia Post Brexit

The British government has its own guide to Visiting Europe from 1 January 2021. Take a look there to find out more information on travelling to the EU, or if you’re a British national living in the EU.


Visiting Croatia in September

Although the summer holiday crowds have gone home, many travellers come to Croatia to visit this month. That’s no surprise – there’s a lot to be said for visiting the country in late summer/early Autumn. But what’s it like visiting Croatia in September?


Getting to Croatia in September

Travellers shouldn’t have any problems in reaching Croatia in September – most airlines that operate flights from the UK and the rest of Europe continue their summer schedules well into September, if not into October too. (Some even to early November!) Take a look at our Flights to Croatia from the UK & Ireland to see the full operating dates of all routes from these two countries to Croatia.

Getting around Croatia in September

Likewise, most transport options – with buses and ferries being those that travellers will most likely use when visiting Croatia – still continue with high season or special ‘summer’ schedules in this month too. For example, Jadrolinija – the largest ferry operator in Croatia – continues its high season schedule until the end of September. Kapetan Luka – operator of the very popular catamaran service that travels from Split to Brac, Hvar, Korcula, Mljet and Dubrovnik (and return too, of course!) still continues to operate this service daily in September. (Note: it changes to being a three-times a week service in October.)

Some seasonal bus routes may have stopped operating at the end of August, although most of these of are of the kind that take (domestic) holidaymakers from inland Croatia to the coast. Check out our Bus Travel in Croatia section for help in planning bus routes.

Visiting Croatia in September - Plitvice Lakes

Accommodation in Croatia in September

Not to sound like a broken record…but since absolute peak season is now over, accommodation should be slightly cheaper in Croatia in September. But seeing as it’s still a busy month, it’s not the time for bargains! Check out our Accommodation in Croatia section if you need some help with planning and booking where to stay.

Weather in September in Croatia

This is a big one – what’s the weather like during the ninth month of the year? Well, traditionally, summer temperatures and conditions normally do stretch out well into September if not beyond. This is one reason that many choose September as the month to visit Croatia – especially as the summer holidaymakers have gone. Sea temperatures will also be warm, given waters have been heating up for a number of months!

Southern and Central Europe was undergoing something of a heatwave in early September, with temperatures reaching into the 30s Celsius. However, mid-20s C is a more normal temperature for this time of year – and it looks like this sort of weather has returned to Croatia and will stay.

The Croatian Meteorological Service website is a great website to check out weather forecasts (although I’m sure you already have your own favourite weather website or app!) – but do be sure to take a look at their current sea temperatures page.

What’s on in Croatia in September


Korcula is the location of the 4th Korkyra Baroque Festival, 5th to 12th September.

The 20th Split Film Festival – an international festival of new film – will be taking place in Croatia’s second city from the 12th to 19th September.

The 9th Giostra Festival will take place in Porec, 9th to 11th September 2015. Over the three days of the event, around 250 participants celebrate costumes, culture and events from the 18th century.

If you’re in Istria towards the end of the month, look out for the Parenzana Bike Race (25th – 27th September), a World Cycling Federation event. Or if you’re feeling active, join in on the recreational ‘race’ on the Sunday!

The Food Film Festival will be held in Zagreb from 11th to 20th September, combining two wonderful items – food and film! Films with a gastronomic focus will be shown. Also in Zagreb is the 48th International Puppet Festival (14th – 19th September) and music and food event RujanFest (literally, ‘SeptemberFest’) from 11th to 20th of the month.

Nightlife and festivals in September in Croatia

Outlook Festival, held in Fort Punta Christo near Pula from the 2nd to 6th September concludes the festival season for Croatia for the year…so if you planned to attend one of these gatherings, you’ve kind of missed the boat!

Most of the island clubs (such as in Novalja) also normally close for the season at the end of August. But if clubbing’s your kind of thing, we’d advise sticking to one of the larger cities or towns in the country – such as Zagreb, Split and Dubrovnik.

Enjoy your September visit to Croatia!

Croatia Travel Checklist

Croatia Travel Checklist – are you ready?

Are you travelling to Croatia this summer? Here’s our guide to some things you might like to consider before you go!

Croatia Travel Checklist

Do I need a visa for Croatia?

Citizens of EU countries, the U.S., Canada, Australia and New Zealand DON’T need a visa to visit Croatia. There are also many other countries whose citizens don’t need a visa for Croatia – we won’t list them all here, so please do check against the information on Croatian Ministry of Foreign Affairs website.

It is also possible to visit Croatia using a double- or multiple-entry Schengen visa – which is useful if you’re doing a fair amount of travelling around Europe this summer. Again, please check the information on the above website.

What if I do need a visa?!

If you need a visa for Croatia, please contact the Croatian Embassy in the country you’re based in – or the Embassy as advised in this list: Diplomatic Missions and Consular Offices of Croatia.

If you want to obtain a Schengen visa, you would obviously have to do this at the Embassy of a Schengen area country. Normally this would be the country in which you are spending the majority of your time when on your holiday.

What about money – what’s the currency in Croatia?

The currency is the Kuna. Plural in Croatian is Kune, but it’s fine to says Kunas. On signs, the currency is abbreviated to Kn; in foreign exchange places (outside of Croatia) it will be listed as HRK.

The currency in Croatia is not the Euro. Euros are not accepted. Croatia will not be joining the Euro anytime soon.

(Slight disclaimer: Some private accommodation places might accept payment in Euros…but really, work on the basis of the currency being the Kuna!)

See more on our Money in Croatia section.

Should I obtain Kunas before I go?

We know that travellers have many preferences when it comes to foreign currency. Our preference is to travel with debit (cash) cards and withdraw money from ATMs/cash machines as we travel. These are readily available in Croatia (even at airports) and exchange rates are normally very good. Of course, your home bank will charge fees – but these can often be quite low. (Check before you travel!)

Otherwise, there are many places to exchange money – bureau de change and banks – practically everywhere. Simply take along your home currency (Pounds, Euros, Dollars) to Croatia if you’re planning on changing money in the country. Avoid changing money in hotels as exchange rates are normally pretty bad.

You can also obtain Kunas before you go to Croatia if you like – for example, in the UK many high street banks,, the Post Office and M&S Money all sell Kunas these days. However, the exchange rate that you get will be a bit better in Croatia than in your home country.

How much money should I take to Croatia?

For those that do prefer taking cash on holiday, this is the $64,000 question! (Although, please don’t actually take $64,000 along with you.) It’s difficult to answer because – what are your typical spending habits? Do you like to splurge for every meal and on drinks? Or will you mainly be having low-key meals? Will you be signing up for daily organised excursions? Or relying on local buses and ferries to get you to other places?

Below is an idea of some prices in Croatia during peak season. Do note that some locations (e.g. Dubrovnik and Hvar) can be pretty pricey during summer! These are all approximate prices, only to be used as a guide – please do note

  • Relatively simple meal for two (pizza/pasta) with a drink each (beer/soft drink): 150 Kunas
  • Push-the-boat meal for two with a nice bottle of wine: 500 Kunas (or more!)
  • Local beer: 15-20 Kunas
  • Glass of wine: 15-20 Kunas
  • Soft drink: 15 Kunas
  • Bottle of water (at a restaurant/cafe): 10-12 Kunas
  • Coffee: 10-15 Kunas
  • Ice cream: 9/10 Kunas
  • Buses journey – Split to Dubrovnik: 125 Kunas (Obviously, bus prices vary depending on the journey! See Bus Ticket Prices in Croatia)
  • Catamarans – Split to Hvar: 55-70 Kunas (As above!)
  • National park entrance fees e.g. Krka National Park: 110 Kunas (summer price)
  • Excursion e.g. Split to Plitvice Lakes: 500 – 600 Kunas

You can save money by buying your own food/snacks at markets and supermarkets – which are pretty cheap – ideal for a picnic-style lunch; drugstores/pharmacies usually stock a small range of snacks as well.

What cards are accepted in Croatia?

Visa and Mastercard are readily accepted in Croatia. However, you may find that some places – such as smaller, family-run restaurants – don’t accept cards at all, so do always have some cash to hand!

What electrical travel adapters do I need?

Croatia uses the standard European 2-pin electric plug. It’s best to bring one (or a few!) along with you – don’t rely on buying them in Croatia! (Technically, they’re available, but you don’t want to spend all day hunting around for one.) Or, better still, take one and a 4-way plug adapter – so you can charge a few things at once!

Travel Insurance/EHIC

As with travelling anywhere, you really should arrange travel insurance before your visit to Croatia. Shop around for the best deal.

As Croatia is now in the EU, the European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) is recommended for EU citizens as this will help you get state medical healthcare for free/reduced rates. An EHIC card is free – apply for one (or renew one) online.


If you’re travelling from the EU, many mobile phone providers now offer rather cheap data and phone plans if you plan on using your phone abroad. For example, UK-operator o2 let you use your phone in other EU countries for £1.99 a day which includes unlimited data (upper restrictions apply); you can making/receive calls for 50p then no more for the first hour, and send texts for just 5p. Contact your own network to find out how much it’ll cost you to use your phone – it may be cheaper than you think. (But it’s always best to double-check!)

Wifi is readily available in Croatia these days – almost all accommodation places offer it (normally for free), as do many cafes/restaurants. You may also find free hotspots in some towns and cities.

Guidebooks on Croatia

Why do you need a guidebook when you have Visit Croatia?!

We’re just kidding, of course, for we also love travelling abroad with a trusty travel guide! (Although Visit Croatia is now fully mobile-optimised!)

Check out our Books on Croatia section to see what’s available.

Accommodation in Croatia

We’ll assume many of you have already sorted out your accommodation for Croatia. If not, head to our Accommodation section!

If you’re planning on leaving until you get to Croatia – wanting to go the ‘private accommodation’ route – that’s fine too. However, because summer is peak season, availability is low – though you should still be able to find a bed for the night somewhere. If you’re not that bothered about accommodation amenities or how basic a place is (although everywhere should be clean and safe – don’t worry about that kind of thing), that’s fine. If you have specific requirements/wants, or wouldn’t be best pleased to stay somewhere basic and with a 80s-style bathroom, then think about booking ahead!

If you ever get stuck looking for accommodation, head to the local tourist office. They should be able to help you find somewhere.

Should I learn some Croatian before I go?

Pretty much everyone that works in the tourist industry – hotel staff, waiters, tourist office works – speaks English, with the younger generation speaking it excellently. (Older waiters, for example, probably speak better German, but they’ll still understand you!)

It wouldn’t hurt to learn a few basic phrases – see our Croatian for Travellers guide and below – but don’t worry too much about learning Croatian!

Basic phrases in Croatian

  • Good morning – Dobro jutro (doh-broh you-trow)
  • Good day – Dobar dan (doh-bar dan)
  • Good evening – Dobra vecer (doh-bra veh-cher)
  • Hi! – Bok! (bok!) Note: quite informal – use one of the above, normally!
  • Goodbye – Dovidenja (doh-vee-jen-ya)
  • Yes – Da
  • No – Ne
  • Thanks – Hvala (Hva-lah)
  • Please – Molim (Mo-leem)
Dubrovnik's Stradun

Google Streetview launches in Croatia!

Google Streetview for Croatia was launched today – and let me tell you, that’s very exciting news! It seems like they’ve really covered a great deal of the country (I’ve just been pootling around in a small Croatian village near the Hungarian border!) although a report from Novi List suggests they’ve filmed around 50% of the country.

Google streetview launches in Croatia - Dubrovnik's Stradun
Dubrovnik’s Stradun – not Streetview, Visit Croatia view!

What’s most exciting is when you get to see or “walk through” some of Croatia’s most famous views…such as the harbour in Hvar Town; overlooking Dubrovnik and the island of Lokrum, or in the Old Town of Dubrovnik itself (by the harbour); the Arena in Pula, Zagreb‘s main square, or the Riva – the main promenade overlooking the sea – in Split. Or look at Zadar‘s Greeting to the Sun installation and get slightly scared by that massive cruise ship next to it.

The Streetview images are stunning, and it’s well worth taking a look at these or other places you know and love in Croatia. Perhaps it’s the wonderfully sunny weather that many of the images seem to have been filmed in, or maybe it’s just that Croatia really is that beautiful (I mean, I and many others know it, but it’s nice to be proved right!) – I think Streetview shows Croatia in a wonderful way.

Of course, just as when Streetview was launched in other parts of the world, many want to see the humorous things the Google cameras have come across during filming – the illusions, the practical jokes, the people caught doing things they shouldn’t. I wonder what Google Streetview will show for Croatia in that respect?!

A couple of things I’ve noticed – quite a few people on Dubrovnik‘s Stradun took photos of the Google cameras as they were walking past, including this guy. (Which gives the odd sensation that he’s taking a photo of you, whilst you’re sitting in front of your computer.) Like Stradun, Split’s Riva is fully pedestrianised, which means that the camera was carried on someone’s shoulders instead of being mounted on a car. And that person wore a bright red baseball cap, which makes an appearance (in a spooky, floating way) in quite a few of the images!

Accommodation on Rab

Days of Croatian Tourism comes to a close – and the award winners are announced!

The three-day Days of Croatian Tourism (Dani hrvatskog turizma) conference, the traditional annual gathering of tourism professionals from both Croatia and abroad, came to close on the evening of Friday 21st October. Held in Sibenik this year, the event was organised by the Ministry of Tourism, the Croatian National Tourist Board, the Croatian Chamber of Commerce and Croatian Radio Television (HRT) and was intended to act as a forum for discussion of this year’s tourism results and to also look ahead to next year’s plans.

The culmination of the event saw a number of awards given out for the best tourist resorts and destinations in Croatia, both on the coast and in the interior, as well as awards given out in specific categories (such as best tourist information centre, souvenir, and site of interest) and to employees in the industry. (Some of these awards – in particular destinations that placed second and third in the Plavi and Zeleni Cvijet categories mentioned below – were in fact announced in a separate ceremony on Thursday night.)

Accommodation on Rab

Rab Town

The biggest winner on the night, awarded the “Tourist Flower – Quality for Croatia” prize presented by Prime Minister Jadranka Kosor, was the town of Rab. Other coastal destinations that were winners of the “Plavi Cvijet” (“Blue Flower”) awards were Opatija (in the category of over 10,000 inhabitants); Krk (3,000 – 10,000 inhabitants), Nin, which is near Zadar (1,000 – 3,000 inhabitants); and Mlini, near Dubrovnik (less than 1,000).

Interior destinations received the “Zeleni Cvijet” (“Green Flower”) award, and these went to Velika Gorica, just south of Zagreb; Djakovo, near Osijek; Nasice, also near Osijek; and Groznjan, in the Istrian interior. (These four towns are winners of the same categories according to number of residents as mentioned above.)

For the first time this year, three awards were given out to recognise cultural achievements in tourism in Croatia. The town of Zadar was winner of the Destination of Culture category; the Nikola Tesla Memorial Centre in Smiljan was winner of the best cultural institution; and the Rab Fair on the island of Rab, a medieval summer fair, was winner of best cultural event.

Sources: HRT, Croatian National Tourist Board; HRT; Zadarski List

Zlatni Rat

Croatia’s beaches ranked 2nd in Europe for cleanliness

According to the European Environment Agency just publishing bathing water quality report, Croatia has the second cleanest beaches in Europe – with beaches in all EU member state, plus Croatia, Montenegro and Switzerland, tested.

As reported by HRT yesterday, of the 913 bathing water sites tested in Croatia in 2010 – 887 of them on the coast – 97.3% were found to meet the strict EU water guidelines. This placed Croatia second on the list behind Cyprus, where 100% of sites met the strictest criteria, and ahead of countries such as Greece, Portugal, Spain, France and Italy. In less stringent tests, a slightly higher 98.7% of water bathing sites met the minimum EU guidelines.

Zlatni Rat
One of the most famous beaches in Croatia – Zlatni Rat on the island of Brac

These figures in fact decreased ever so slightly from the previous year. In 2009, 99.6% of sites met the EU’s minimum guidelines, whilst 97.9% passed the stricter tests. In 2009, however, the total number of bathing sites in the country was 8 less – 905. No sites were required to be closed after undergoing testing last year, which was also the case in 2009.

You can read more about the EEA’s Bathing Water Report – including individual reports on all the countries – on their website: Bathing water quality remains high around the EU where there’s also a rather nifty interactive map. You can also look up the results of particular beaches across Europe on their Data Viewer page – although in the case of Croatia, you’ll find almost all ranked excellent!

Sources: HRT, EEA

Croatian hotels’ views on online marketing and sales

A recent survey by Croatian website Posloni Turizam, which concentrates on the promotion of business tourism in Croatia, revealed the extent to which Croatian hotels use the Internet as a means of marketing and to attract sales.

The survey, conducted amongst 95 hotels, showed that all have websites (I certainly would not be able to believe that any hotel wouldn’t in this day and age!), whilst 93% offer means for booking accommodation online – shame on those who don’t! Even fewer,  79.3% of these hotels, offer a way of accepting payment online. However, 93.1% of these hotels do offer their accommodation through some kind of travel portal or booking site, such as or Expedia.

Whilst it may be thought that online booking would be a very popular method of attracting sales, respondents in the survey revealed somewhat otherwise. Only 17.3% of these hotels said that online booking accounted for half of their total bookings. 15.5% said they achieved 25-50% of total bookings online, while by far most – 56.9% – said this method accounted for up to only 25% of their total bookings.

However, about half (in fact 49.8%) of those that took part in the survey suggested that in five years’ time, they expect the Internet to account for half of total bookings taken. For that reason, these hotels intend to invest more in Internet marketing in the future, although at present 44.8% of these hotels stated that less than a quarter of their marketing budget went on advertising online. At the present time, those that do engage in online marketing say that they advertise on search engines (which 65% of respondents claimed they do); banner advertising (58%); targeted online advertising on foreign sites (55%); and advertising on Facebook (51%).

Source: Vecernji