If you’re planning a visit to Croatia, get ready to experience a unique country offering an array of diverse delights. Assured of a warm welcome, be sure to set time and budget aside to discover crystal-clear seas and white pebble beaches, tasty seafood, fine wine, historical sites, ancient treasures and cultural landmarks.
One thing’s for sure – whatever your budget, you’ll find lots to see and do here. The Croatian capital city Zagreb is equally ideal for those who appreciate good restaurants and bars as it is for those interested in medieval history. English is widely spoken here and the currency of Croatia is the kuna (HRK).
Dining out in Croatia
Diverse and foreign influences have played a major part in shaping Croatian cuisine. Each separate region of Croatia has its own culinary traditions, and the differences are most obvious between mainland and coastal regions. Coastal areas have strong influences from Roman and Greek, while mainland areas have strong Hungarian and Turkish influences. A three-course meal for two people in a mid-range restaurant will cost between £24 and £36.
For meat lovers, try peka, a braised meat casserole (usually chicken or beef), often served with potatoes.
If you enjoy pasta, try fuži – a traditional pasta from the Istrian region. Handmade, this quill-shaped pasta is served with truffle cream sauce and can be made with wild game or rooster.
Food found along the Dalmatian coast and on the islands takes its inspiration from the Mediterranean and is brimming with fish, olive oil, green vegetables and herbs.
If you enjoy seafood, try buzara, a mussel stew served in a wine broth, topped with breadcrumbs and flavoured with garlic. Or try black risotto, made with squid, garlic and red wine, with its trademark colour coming from squid ink. Brodetto is a classic fish stew, similar to France’s bouillabaisse and made with the catch of the day.
A main meal in an inexpensive restaurant will cost you between £4.25 and 7.25.
The price of drinks
A 500ml bottle of domestic beer in Croatia will cost you between £1.45 and £2.20. Imported varieties are slightly more expensive, at £1.60-£2.40.
A 750ml bottle of wine will cost you approximately £4.20 (around 35 kuna). Two to try include Malvazija and Teran. Malvazija, an easy-drinking white wine with apricot and apple notes, pairs nicely with seafood dishes. If you enjoy red wine, try Teran, a robust red, perfect paired with meat dishes.
Croatian brandy is delicious, too – you can choose from different flavours including plum, herbal, pear and grape.
It’s safe to drink tap water in Croatia, but if you prefer bottled water, this will cost around 80p for a 1.5-litre bottle from a local supermarket.
Out and about
Start your adventures in Croatia with a tour of Dubrovnik. With splendid views and plenty of places to drink and snack, try the ancient city walls tour – lasting one to two hours, it will cost about £16. Or alternatively, check out the Dubrovnik cable car, from around £17.
For Game of Thrones fans, from approximately £43 you can take a boat and walking tour exploring the locations used in the show. You’ll sail around Dubrovnik on the Adriatic in style, on a boat used in the filming.
If history is your thing, pay a visit to Pula, which boasts a stunning amphitheatre that overlooks the harbour to the north-east of the old town. It’s a huge and glorious structure built from limestone.
Plitvice Lakes National Park is a great idea if you love the great outdoors – hiking, waterfalls, lake cruises and scenic tram rides are all on offer. A day trip from Split costs from around £58.
For the adventurous, a pirate rafting experiences will take you six miles through the Cetina canyon. These stunning rapids will take you to the Island of Love, and en route you will travel through a 40-metre-long cave – not for the faint-hearted!
How much spending money should I take to Croatia?
You should budget for approximately £45 per person per day, or £315 per week, to visit Croatia, including all meals and excursions. It may be worth considering an all-inclusive deal to Croatia – try the Bluesun Hotel Bonaca for 7 nights from £367 per person*
Tipping in Croatia
Tipping is customary in Croatia. Expect to tip between 5-15% in restaurants, even if a fee is included. 15% is recommended if the food and service is good. In bars and hotels, tip between 5% -10% and up to 10% for taxis.
*Prices correct at the time blog was published and are subject to availability. T&C’s apply.