General information about Croatia

Language
Croatian language is the official language of the Republic of Croatia; it is a South Slavic language. Numerous foreigners claim that it is very melodious but yet quiet difficult to learn. People in Dalmatia tend to speak fast and quite loudly and you will find their conversation very interesting, especially in open-air markets! If you do not have some small pocket English-Croatian dictionary, do not worry. English is widely spoken in Dalmatia, as well as German and Italian, yet Croatians will be delighted to hear you saying a few words in the national language such as hvala (thank you) and dobar dan (Good afternoon).

Climate
Mediterranean climate along the coast with numerous sunny days throughout the year.Summers are hot, sometimes temperatures raise above 35°C\95F, and the average sea temperatures are around 25°C\77F in July and August; swimming season starts in June and ends in late September. Sometimes temperatures may drop due to few days of bad weather in the middle of August. Winters are mild, and spring and autumn are ideal for sports activities and walking. Summers in hills are fresher, and winters are cold with lots of snow.
 
Voltage and water
Local voltage is 220 V/50 Hz and the Europlug is used in wall sockets throughout Croatia. Wall sockets may be a “Schuko” or a French socket. We advise you to buy continental adapters in electrical shops or supermarkets if your notebook or any other technical device is standardised for North American sockets. Tap water is safe to drink in hotels, camps and private houses; avoid drinking water from wells and springs in national parks.

Working hours
Most shops, banks and post offices are open from 8:00am to 8:00pm without a break from Monday to Friday; on Saturdays from 8:00am to 2:00pm. During summer season shops in tourist resorts have longer working hours and are also open on Sundays. You should have in mind that there are possible mid-day breaks from 12:00 to 4:00pm. Restaurants are mainly open till 11:00pm, working hours for bars vary and they often work late into the night but only with soften music.

Tourist offices and radio
Every town has a tourist office or tourist information centre where you can get all the necessary info regarding accommodation, excursions or travel; they offer brochures, maps of cycling tracks and similar handy stuff. During tourist season (June-September) Hrvatski Radio (HR1-92,1 MHz; HR2-98,5 MHz) broadcasts radio news in English, Italian and German. HR2 has an hourly traffic bulletin, reporting on driving conditions and ferry services.

Currency
The currency in Croatia is the Croatian kuna (HRK), and there are 100 lipa to the kuna (1 HRK= 100 lipa). Banknotes are 1000, 500, 200, 100, 50, 20 and 10  kunas portraying eminent Croats and important cultural buildings and monuments. The flora and fauna of Croatia is on the backside of coins; there are 5, 2, and 1 HRK coins and 50, 20, 10, 5, 2, and 1 lipa coins. Foreign currency is not restricted, and amounts up to 40 000 HRK may be brought in or out the country without declaring it.

ATM’s
There are numerous cash machines in larger towns and other  tourist resorts in the  region accepting various cards. Check whether your logo card is on the machine and make sure to protect your PIN from any kind of criminal activity. Better safe than sorry!

Exchange Banks, post offices, tourist offices and exchange offices offer exchange services
Check exchange rates and provision percentage before exchanging money; banks generally offer more favourable rates and the euro is the most easily converted currency. Avoid exchanging money on streets, you could easily get swindled. If you end up your vacation with some kunas left, you can have them easily converted into the currency of your choice.

Credit cards
Major credit cards are widely accepted in hotels, stores, supermarkets and restaurants. Few cafes and souvenir shops accept credit cards, and there is no way to pay your groceries or souvenirs with credit cards on open-air markets. We advise you to always carry some amount of cash while on holidays in Croatia to cover your costs for at least a day.

Newspapers
Foreign-language daily and weekly magazines from Germany, UK, Austria, Italy, Slovenia, Czech Republic, Slovakia, Poland, Hungary, Bosnia and Herzegovina etc. are sold on newsstands in larger towns and tourist resorts. Croatian dailies include Večernji list, Jutarnji list, 24sata and Novi list.
 
Hospitals\Health Clinics\ Pharmacies
The largest institution for medical care in Istria is General Hospital Pula (Zagrebačka 30 and Alda Negria 6).The largest institution for medical care in the Kvarner region is Rijeka’s Clinical Hospital Centre in Krešimirova 42. The largest institution for medical care in Dalmatia is Clinical Hospital Centre in Split, Spinčićeva 1. General hospitals are in towns of Zadar (B. Peričića 5), Knin (S. Suronje 12), Šibenik (S. Radića 83) and Dubrovnik (Dr. R. Mišetića 2). Other larger towns and larger islands have health clinics and pharmacies. Tourists coming from countries that have reciprocal health agreements with Croatia can get free emergency medical care but they have to pay other medical consultation and prescription charges. However it is always wise to have a comprehensive travel insurance just in case.
 
Tipping
Service is normally included in the price of meal or drink in Croatia but it is customary to round up the bill or leave an additional tip of 10-15% if service has been exceptionally good.

Public holidays
 1 Jan; 6 Jan; Easter Sunday and Monday; 1 May; Corpus Christi (May\Jun); 22 Jun; 25 Jun; 5 Aug; 15 Aug; 8 Oct; 1 Nov and 25-26 Dec are public holidays in Croatia. Banks, shops, post offices are closed and few family-owned shops and newsstands may work in the morning. Restaurants and bars are generally open during tourist season regardless of public holidays.

Communications
Three mobile operators offer their regular mobile and prepaid services in Croatia: T-Mobile (098, 099), Vip (091, 092) and Tele-2 (095). We advise you to check roaming prices with your home mobile operator. It is prohibited to use a mobile phone while driving in Croatia! Public phones only work with a phone card which can be bought at a post office or a newsstand. Post offices can be found throughout the region. You can check your email and browse the Internet in Internet cafes that are all over Dalmatia, coin-operated terminals are common in hotel lobbies and many hotels have wireless connection.