Croatia

Quick Facts

Region: Europe

Population:
4,491,000

Religion:

At the time of the 2001 census, Croatian’s had 87.8% Roman Catholics, 4.4% Orthodox, .04% of other Christian denominations and 1.3% of the population were Muslim. Religion plays a big part in society, as only 5.2% of Croatians have no religion.

Language:

Both Serbian and Croatian languages were considered dialects of a single language known as Serbo-Croatian prior to 1991. The major difference between these languages is that Serbian is written in Cyrillic script and Croatian is written in Roman script. Croatian is the most widely spoken, with 96.1% of the population using it. The most commonly spoken foreign language in Croatia is German. Italian and English are the next most popular languages.

Area (sq. km):
56,542 square meters

Time:

Croatia is 1 hour ahead of GMT. From the last Saturday in March to the last Saturday in October, Croatia is 2 hours ahead of GMT.

When To Travel

Croatia has both a Mediterranean and a continental climate - the best of both worlds! The continental climate is predominant with hot summers and cold winters. Along the coast, the winters tend to be milder and the summers hotter and drier.

May to September are the best months to visit. In April and October the weather is usually fine along the Croatian coast – you can swim in the sea from mid-June to late September.

Useful Travel Facts

Telephone:

Telephone booths are operated by the use of a phone card. These phone cards can be purchased at post offices, some tourist shops and newsstands. The outgoing international code is 00 and Croatia’s country code is 385.

Electricity:

220 volts AC, 50Hz. Croatia uses the standard European round pin plugs.

Food:

Croatia surprisingly has a wide variety of regional cuisines, this has stemmed from the different cultures, which have influenced the country over the years. The Adriatic coast is renowned for it’s Italian-style food and the variety of seafood dishes, including scampi, prstaci (shellfish) and brodet (mixed fish stewed with rice or polenta), all cooked in olive oil and served with vegetables. In the interior, the influence tends to be more Viennese, Hungarian and even Turkish. Visitors should sample manistra od bobica (beans and fresh maize soup), gulas (goulash), or pecenje (spit-roasted meat) with przeni krumpir (roast potatoes). Much Croatian food contains cheese and oil, often mixed with other ingredients in pies or 'donuts'. You can expect to pay around 35KN to 55KN for a starter and 80KN to 120KN for a meat or fish main course in a restaurant in Croatia. Bread is an extra costs and most restaurants will also charge a service fee which should be indicated on the menu. Touristy places such as Drobrovnik tend to be a bit more expensive.

Shopping:

Look out for traditional handicrafts such as embroidery, lace, woodcarvings and ceramics. Croatian embroidery, such as tablecloths, blouses and pillowcases is recognised by the vivacious red geometric patterns set against a white backdrop. Also cropping up in the main towns and tourist centres are jewellery stores run by Kosovan immigrants, here they put their traditional silver-working skills to the test in making fine bracelets, earrings and necklaces of high quality.

Visa: Australians, New Zealanders, Canadians, USA and British citizens, do not require a visa to visit Croatia for a maximum stay of 90 days.

Useful Words & Phrases

Further Reading

The Death of Yugoslavia – Laura Silber & Allan Little: A comprehensive account of the collapse of ex-Yugoslavia CafĂ© Europa – Slavenka Drakulic: a series of post-independence essays by this Croatia journalist. The Best of Croatian Cooking - Liliana Pavicic & Gordana Pirker-Mosher: Features recipes for over 200 Croatian dishes, including over appetizers, soups, meat and fish dishes and over 50 dessert recipes. Lovers and Madmen: A True Story of Passion, Politics and Air Piracy – Julieanne Eden Busic: Tells the story of how four young Croats and an American woman hijacked a plane in the US in 1976 in order to publicise the Croatian fight for independence and the oppression of Croats within Yugoslavia.

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