Croatia v England

Croatia v England – Two nations hope (as does Visit Croatia…we’re just not sure what for)

We here at Visit Croatia will have a very tough evening of it tomorrow. (Not as hard as the two teams on the pitch…but close.) As evidenced by our website, we’re obviously based in the UK and are English. And as also evidenced by our website…we’re also Croatian!

When the 2018 World Cup kicked off on 14th June, never in our wildest dreams would we think that one of our teams would make it to the semi-finals. To have both our teams make it is unbelievable. Two have both our teams make it and play each other is…oh, what?

Croatia v England

As a friend pointed out – “you’ll be the crazy person cheering everyone” during the match, which is very true! If Kane heads a chance just wide, we will be exclaiming “Argh!! NOOOO!!” or “HA HA!! YES!!”? If Pickford saves a long range shot from Modric, we will shout “What a shot!!” or “What a save!!”?

Maybe we’ll just keep our mouth shut, sipping a cup of tea and/or sljivovica to calm our nerves.

Probably both.

Wonder what a sljivovica & tea cocktail tastes like…

England and Croatia at World Cups

In the last World Cup in Brazil four years ago, neither team even made it out of the group stage. Croatia had a disappointing go of it, finishing third in their group (behind Brazil and Mexico), but at least winning one match (a 4-0 victory against Cameroon). England had an even worse time of it, ending up bottom of their group and getting only one point – thanks to a dismal 0-0 draw with Costa Rica.

It can’t have escaped the notice of anyone in England that the last time they reached the World Cup semi-final was in 1990 – when 16 players of the current England squad weren’t even born. By contrast, 10 of the Croatian squad hadn’t been born yet either…but neither had the entire country! (Croatia only gained independence in 1991.)

Croatia were last (and only) in a World Cup semi-final in 1998, when the ‘dream team’ made up of star players such as Davor Suker, Zvonimir Boban, Slaven Bilic, Igor Stimac, Robert Prosinecki and more ended up finishing an absolutely remarkable third. (Not forgetting a stunning 3-0 victory against Germany in the quarter finals along the way.) Davor Suker was even the Golden Boot winner of that World Cup.

Funnily enough, if England had topped their group instead of losing to Romania in their last game – pushing them into second place – they actually would have played Croatia instead of Argentina.

And not lost on penalties.

And probably not had Beckham sent off either.

Oh well.

Croatia v England through the years

The two countries have obviously played each other a number of times over the years, but no match has ever been as important as tomorrow’s game.

The next closest was a game in the group stages of Euro 2004, when England won 4-2 and a teenage Wayne Rooney scored twice.

There’s been plenty of other memorable moments, of course. Who can forget the ‘wally with a brolly’ Steve McLaren, sheltering under a huge umbrella at the side of a very soggy Wembley pitch in 2007 when Croatia unexpectedly beat England 3-2 – completely ruining their chances of qualifying for the Euros?

Or Paul Robinson (not Jim’s son and Scott’s brother – the goalie version instead) scoring a bizarre own goal as Borat looked on, leering. (Watch the video, you’ll see what I mean.)

The very first time the two sides ever met was at a friendly in the ‘old’ Wembley on 24th April 1996. And Visit Croatia was there! I can’t proclaim it was a brilliant match (it was a largely boring 0-0 draw), but it was incredibly exciting to see Croatia play England for the first time, especially in that magical arena. Check out the programme and the squads from that day:

England v Croatia 1996

Tickets only £23!

England v Croatia 1996

And Jackie Charlton as ‘special guest’!

Croatia v England, 11th July 2018

To look at it on the positive side – at least we’ll have one team in the World. Cup. Final. (Wow!! We can’t believe it!)

All we can say is – may the best team win.

(Just not on penalties.

Please.

We’ve already suffered through the drama of three penalty shootouts and we can’t take another one.)

Visit Croatia Rentals Update

The Visit Croatia Rentals section is currently undergoing a revamp and will be back soon!

If you have posted an advert there in the past, this has been saved and will reappear in the new Visit Croatia Rentals section.

Thank you for your understanding.

About Croatia

Share your Croatian trip report with Visit Croatia and other travellers!

If you’re heading to Croatia this summer (or have already been), how would you like to share your Croatian trip report, experiences, tips and recommendations with other travellers?

Share your Croatian trip report!-trip-report

We’re asking you, dear travellers, to share your trip reports on Croatia with us and our readers. However long or short you’d like it to be, however many places you’d like to recommend (or perhaps you want to keep some secret!), we’d love to hear from you!

Whether you’ve enjoyed the magic of Dubrovnik, sailed to the beautiful islands such as Hvar or Vis, have partied at at a festival in Croatia, explored one of the national parks, or visited anything and everything in between, we’d certainly enjoy reading your Croatian trip report and are sure others would too.

We know that many of you are also very talented photographers (we certainly see the proof of that on our Instagram feed every day!) so we’d also love to display some of your gorgeous photos along with your trip report.

We’ll of course credit you fully – whether you’d like to see your full name up in lights…well, not literally…or something a bit more discreet!

Drop us a line at webmaster@visit-croatia.co.uk if you’d like to submit a piece, or have any questions.

Thank you for reading, and thank you if you’re considering sending in a report!

Note: The only thing that we ask is that your submission please be at least 200 words in length. Of course, we very much welcome reports longer than that! 

Croatian For Travellers

Some lovely words about our Croatian For Travellers Croatian language guide

Regular visitors to our site well may be aware of our Croatian For Travellers language section, which features booklets and audio files aimed at visitors to the country. We’re very pleased to have received some lovely feedback from a traveller who recently made use of our Croatian language guide.

The nice lady traveller says:

I’ve just returned from a short visit (4 days) to Istria. Before I left for Croatia, I downloaded your little booklet “Croatian for travellers”, together with the audio for MP3 player. 

It has been so very useful and I really had such fun trying out the language. Your booklet was brilliant – there was nothing I would alter. I couldn’t use very much, but I really enjoyed saying “Dober dan”, ordering “jedan bijele cava”, saying “molim” and “hvala”, and “Do videnja”. I used some of the numbers, and approached a lady to ask where the postbox was “Oprostite – posta?”

So, well done for creating this comprehensive and very useful booklet. It really was the highlight of my holiday, finding I could communicate in a very small way with people in Croatia.

She also adds that “the actual size of your booklet was also very helpful. It was easy to fold it up and quickly slip it in and out of my shoulder bag whenever I needed it.

Thanks very much for your kind feedback, S. K., and we’re glad you found our Croatian language guide so useful. And well done for having a go at some Croatian!

Croatian language guide

We fully admit that Croatian isn’t an easy language to pick up, and that you’ll encounter many people in Croatia that speak excellent English (no to mention German, French, Italian…). However, why not check out our Croatian language guide – it might come in handy to pick up a few basic phrases, and it’s always fun to understand a few words when you hear them spoken or written!

If anyone else has any feedback on our Croatian language guide or about our site in general, do write in – we’d love to hear it! Contact us on webmaster@visit-croatia.co.uk.

Zagreb Cathedral

Reader’s email: Experiences on visiting Croatia in December!

A few months ago, we were very happy to receive a lovely follow-up email from a traveller to Croatia (who we assisted in their travel plans via email), which told of their happy experiences whilst enjoying a summer holiday in the country.

Very recently, we were happy to receive another such email from a traveller (that we also assisted, pre-trip, via email) from Latin America who visited a number of towns and cities in Croatia. His comments are well worth reading as he provides a number of very useful tips on the places he visited, whilst it’s also interesting to note his experiences as he visited Croatia in December – and as Croatia is often considered a summer-only destination, it’s great to see an enjoyable visit during this particular month.

Zagreb Cathedral, Croatia

Zagreb’s Cathedral

So, here’s what our happy traveller had to say:

I’m back from my trip to Croatia and it was great in every sense including the weather. We were able to visit Zagreb and stayed at the Dream Hotel  near the airport on our first and last nights. The hotel is quite new and the furniture is custom made for the limited area of the rooms. The service was more than expected with buffet breakfast (I expected toast and coffee!) including fruit, juices and with eggs made to one’s request. The personnel was very helpful and even prepared breakfast at 5 a.m. before driving us to the airport for free as advertised!
We later visited Vukovar where some of my wife’s relatives live. A new museum of a prehistoric culture is being built. It will be inaugurated in 2013, so there’s an additional tourist attraction besides the war-related things. We visited it and it’s located next to the Danube River with an unobtrusive design on the hill.
From Zagreb we flew to Dubrovnik. It’s definitely one of the most beautiful cities I’ve seen, and I have seen quite a few in Europe and America (the continent). We stayed at the Excelsior because of the location on the beach and within walking distance to the Old Town. I followed your advice and drove the airport bus to Pile Gate and then took a taxi saving some kunas. This was offset by the taxi #91 back to the airport gave us some extra turns as what was supposed to cost 30-35K ended up being 45K with little traffic… The hotel is a 5* and the buffet breakfast has an extensive variety as expected. We paid for a room with seaview which was worth it. As you indicated, we didn’t need a tour guide and just wondered around with a map. Since this is the low season, it was great not to have too many tourists around. The food we had at a Konoba to the right of St. Blaise Church was excellent even if the waitress was not too happy doing her job. Walking on the walls was one of the highlights as it gives a different perspective of the town. Even though we stayed only 1 day, we were able to wonder around all of the Old Town and took many pictures. 🙂
From Dubrovnik we flew to Split (via Zagreb). We stayed at the Palace Judita per your recommendation and were fascinated with the hotel and it’s service. It was worth the looong walk with luggage from the bus station. After Dubrovnik, Split doesn’t seem as impressive or beautiful, but was worth visiting. It would be better to visit Split first. Too many graffiti on the walls give a bad impression. It’s rather difficult to determine where the Palace starts and ends and the shops outside the walls are not a nice sight although they do offer bargains. A map was more than enough and no tour is needed even on a 1 day rush visit. At the hotel, Marija, the manager, recommended Konoba Varos, and we were delighted with the good service and seafood which was fresh, tasty and well accompanied with a local wine. This is a restaurant we will remember for a long time!
Back in Zagreb, we visited the old part of the city. It’s too bad that new buildings are built along old ones because the city has very nice neo classical and gothic architecture in some places. The area near the cathedral is well kept and the cathedral is worth visiting even considering we had seen some impressive ones in Spain, particularly Toledo’s.
Lastly, the Croatian language lessons on your web page were most helpful. Although my pronunciation was not too accurate, the words helped to communicate (although many people speak English). I enjoyed trying to use the different words and phrases and most people were helpful. [Note: See Croatian for Travellers]
Thanks so much for your help in making this trip such a nice one and without ugly surprises! We’d like to return to Croatia although it’s expensive to fly from Guatemala.

Thanks very much, dear traveller, for taking the time to email us after your trip and for your kind comments as well! We’re very happy to hear you enjoyed visiting Croatia, and thanks for providing us (and other travellers) with some great tips!

If you’d like any assistance in planning a visit to Croatia (this is a free service – and we don’t try and push any kind of company or service on you!), please do email us at webmaster@visit-croatia.co.uk. We’d be more than happy to help – and would love to hear your experiences of visiting Croatia!
Panorama of Pag, Pag Island, Croatia

Reader’s email: A follow-up to a visit to Croatia!

We here at Visit Croatia field numerous emails every day about visiting Croatia – from places to visit, or suitable holiday destinations for particular travellers (families, older visitors, party-animals), to advice on travelling around (lots of questions about bus travel!), to reaching the country in the first place, to language queries…we’ve pretty much received and answered question about almost everything Croatia-related, over the years! (See the Travel Advice section on this blog for some more recent examples.)

Panorama of Pag city, the largest city on Pag island, Croatia

Pag Town on the island of Pag

Whilst we’re very happy to help everyone that emails in regarding planning their holiday to Croatia, very rarely do we get to hear the outcome of that holiday. Did they like it? What did they see? What did they like best? How much did they explore? It all honestly, it’s perfectly understandable – and I wouldn’t expect people to write to me telling me about everything they did!  I assume, however, that most people did enjoy their holiday, and hope that they have shared their experiences with friends and family and persuaded some of them to visit Croatia in the future.

This year, however, I’ve been conversing with a traveller who was looking for a quiet place on the Croatian coast for a twelve-day holiday for this month (August). He’d looked through the Visit Croatia site, and suggested that somewhere near Zadar, Sibenik or Split would be suitable for him. I gave him a few suggestions and after he did some additional research, he settled on the island of Pag – though fully intending to do some additional exploring in the nearby area.

The traveller also kindly promised that he’d let me know how it all went – and this week, I got a very lovely email! He wrote:

My holiday is over and I am back from Croatia. I am sorry for this because it was really very nice holiday. But this is the life, as we know, everything finishes.

I have really spent wonderful and great time in Croatia, on the otok Pag (and not only). We have visited many places. Of course we have explored all the island Pag – not only Pag, Novalja, Povljana, Metajna, but also almost all small villages like Vlasici, Kosljun, Simuni, Mandre, Lun and others. Besides this we have visited the towns of Zadar, Sibenik, Split and many small villages like Nin (very nice place), Sukosan, Filip i Jakov, Biograd na moru. Every place was wonderful. We have also made three excursions by boat – 1. around all the island Pag, 2. Kornati National park (we have seen many islands) and 3. islands Olib and Silba. Really excellent, splendid, magnificent and great places. Although we have seen only little part of Croatia I could say that it is very nice country.

Of course we ate Paski sir (delicious), roasted piggy and other specialities which we liked so much.

In two words it was very nice holiday and I am very sorry that the time passed so quickly.

I thank you very much once more because it was also your merit with your help and your advices.

Thank you very much for the follow-up email, dear traveller, and it’s wonderful to hear that you had such a nice time. We hope you have the opportunity to visit Croatia again!

Readers’ Favourite Destination in Croatia

In case you’ve missed it, check out what our readers voted as their favourite destination in Croatia, and see what other towns, islands and resorts make the top 10 list.

Let us know your thoughts! Do you agree? Would you liked to have seen another place take top spot? Leave your comments here or email webmaster@visit-croatia.co.uk.

Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!

In case you are wondering, the sentence in Croatian isn’t quite the same as the English one – it, in fact, translates to “Happy Christmas and best wishes for 2011!”

Either way, we wish our readers both the Croatian and English sentiments! Thank you for reading in 2010.

Welcome to the Visit Croatia blog!

Yes, we’ve finally succumbed…and gotten around to adding a blog to the Visit Croatia website! Although we’ve been pretty active on Twitter (see Visit Croatia Twitter), the 140-character limit has often felt somewhat constricting…and so here we are with a Visit Croatia blog, where we can witter away to our heart’s content.

We hope to bring you the latest travel news on Croatia, with occasional other features on the country and its people, as well as dispensing travel advice.

If you’d like to see anything in particular here, or need any advice or similar, please don’t hesitate to email us: webmaster@visit-croatia.co.uk.

Happy reading!