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Croatia > Details

Country Name
Croatia
Geographical Area
56,542 square kilometers (21,831 square miles)
Population
4,491,543 (July 2008 est.)
Capital City
Zagreb
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People   Croat 89.6%, Serb 4.5%, other 5.9% (including Bosniak, Hungarian, Slovene, Czech, and Roma)
Language   Croatian 96.1%, Serbian 1%, other and undesignated 2.9% (including Italian, Hungarian, Czech, Slovak, and German)
Religion   Roman Catholic 87.8%, Orthodox 4.4%, other Christian 0.4%, Muslim 1.3%, other and unspecified 0.9%, none 5.2%
Government   parliamentary democracy; the head pf the state is the president, the head of the government is the prime minister (president of the government)
Head of Government   President: Stjepan Mesic; Prime Minister: Jadranka Kosor
Embassy   Embassy of the United States of America 2 Thomas Jefferson Street 10010 Zagreb Tel: +385 1-661-2200
Visas   North Americans, Australians and many other nationals can enter Croatia with a valid passport and without a visa. Citizens of EU member countries and Bosnia and Herzegovina can even enter the country with a valid identity card. The document of identity must be valid at least three months longer than you plan to stay in Croatia.
Health Risks   There are no vaccinations required to enter Croatia.

If you're going camping or hiking in continental Croatia during summer, you should be aware of ticks and tick-carrying diseases such as encephalitis and lyme-disease. Approximately 3 ticks in 1000 carry the virus.

In Eastern Slavonia (particularly around the Kopacki Rit near Osijek) wear long sleeves and take insect repellent.

Tap water in Croatia is perfectly safe, and in some areas considered the best in the world. However, you can still choose from several brands of excellent bottled water (Jamnica being the most popular).
Clothing Suggestions   Lightweights with rainwear for summer. Medium weights for winter with heavier clothing for inland areas.
The climate of Croatia is classified a warm temperate Mediterranean climate with dry, warm summers and moderate, wet winters.
Time Zone:   Time difference: UTC+1 (6 hours ahead of Washington, DC during Standard Time)
daylight saving time: +1hr, begins last Sunday in March; ends last Sunday in October
Banking / Exchange   Bank hours are Monday - Friday 8am until 7pm with some banks opening on Saturday mornings. Most banks have staff that speak some English.
Currency   Kuna is the national currency but the Euro is widely accepted.
Electric Current   The electrical current in Croatia is AC - the cycle is 50Hz 220 V. A tourist carrying electrical appliances to Croatia should have a transformer, either obtained before leaving your country or bought at an electrical appliance shop in Croatia. Plugs have round prongs not flat, therefore an adaptor plug is needed.
Credit Cards / Traveler Checks   Credit cards are widely, though not universally accepted. Visa, Mastercard and Diners are accepted the most frequently; American Express is accepted less frequently. All stores and hotels accept credit cards and they are increasingly accepted in restaurants as well - at least the larger ones. If you're dining at a small family inn or konoba off the tourist path you should bring cash just in case.

Shopping   Shopping hours
Mon-Fri 8am to 8pm, Sat 8am to 2/3pm. Some shops in cities may open on Sundays.

Croatian shops are well supplied so that you can find everything you need.

We recommend – souvenirs:

* ISTRIA - "istarski kažun" - small Istrian field stone hut used as a protection against bad weather; "sopile" and "roženice" – traditional musical instruments, ecological products of honey, olives and grape, different types of homemade brandies.
* KVARNER - "Morèiæ"- the autochthonous souvenir
* GORSKI KOTAR - jewellery boxes and wooden coats of arms, objects made of ceramic, silk and paintings.
* ISLAND OF LOŠINJ - dolphin, sailboat
* UNDER VELEBIT - Souvenir "Kula Nehaj" (the Nehaj Fortress) and "Pužiæ" (snail) – the trade mark of the Senj Summer Carnival
* ISLAND OF PAG - lace from the island of Pag, cheese of the island of Pag
* TROGIR - Souvenir "Relief of Kairos"
* ISLAND OF HVAR - lavender from Hvar
* ZAGREB - the Zagreb County’s Basket of Souvenirs
Weights & measures   The metric system is standard throughout the country.
How to shop Tax Fee   If you buy goods worth more than 500 kuna you are entitled to a PDV (VAT) tax return when leaving the country. Note that this applies to all goods except petroleum products. At point of purchase ask the sales person for a PDV-P form. Fill it out and have it stamped on the spot. On leaving Croatia the receipt will be verified by the Croatian Customs service. A PDV refund in Kunas can be obtained within six months, either at the same shop where you bought the goods (in that case the tax will be refunded to you immediately), or by posting the verified receipt back to the shop, together with the account number into which the refund should be paid. In this case the refund is dealt with within 15 days of receipt of the claim. There is another, much easier way to receive the refund. Buy your goods in shops with a "CROATIA TAX-FREE SHOPPING" label. This label is displayed on the shop''s entrance, usually next to the labels of credit and debit cards this particular shop accepts. Using an international coupon, refund is possible in all countries-members of the TAX-FREE international chain. In this case the service charge is deducted from the tax refund amount.
National Airport   Zagreb (ZAG) (Pleso International), Dubrovnik (DBV), Split (SPU), Pula (PUY), Rijeka (RJK)
Major Tourist Attractions   Hvar Town, Dubrovnik, Korcula Town, Rovinj, Plitvice Lakes National Park
Tipping Suggestion   Tipping in Croatia is becoming more commonplace, especially in upscale restaurants. In the past, tipping was welcome but not expected. Today, however, in newer, upscale places, an extra 10% or 15% is considered polite. In informal restaurants in smaller towns and coffee shops, tipping is rare and not expected, but most people leave any coins they receive in change. Croatian waiters work for salaries and benefits by law and do not depend on tips for living wages. It is customary to tip tour guides 5 to 7 EUR per person per day on multiday tours and drivers 3 to 5 EUR per person per day. The suggested tip for day tours is 10 to 15 EUR for the guide and 5 EUR for the driver.
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