Every country has its own customs and peculiarities and it’s always a good idea to get informed before visiting. Maybe you’re wondering about tipping in Croatia, how to get around or similar things, so here are some facts about Croatia that you may want to learn before visiting!
We already wrote about the beautiful coastal cities that you can explore in Croatia and the best ideas for the most unforgettable family adventures. And you probably know what Croatia is like – it’s small, sunny and spectacular in terms of nature and food. Here are some other things to know about Croatia if you are planning your first visit – we say ‘first’ because once you visit it, you are going to come back for sure.
It’s always nice to learn a few basic words when you are visiting any country and in this article you can find a little dictionary with pronunciation instructions to get you started. Croatians, however, usually speak pretty good English and often other languages such as German and Italian, especially in the tourist sector.
To tip or not to tip?
Tipping is not expected or obligatory, but if you are happy with the service, why not reward it. If you are only having coffee or light lunch, feel free to just round the amount up. When dining, a 5 to 10 percent tip will be highly appreciated.
Water is safe to drink in all of Croatia. There is simply no need to buy bottled water because water quality in Croatia is one of the best in the world. Of course, you are not going to drink out of decorative fountains, but safe drinking water is always going to be labelled as such, and if you are not sure, just ask the locals. Nobody buys bottled water for home use.
Croatians LOVE their coffee. They can spend hours sipping on a single cup and enjoying the view – and gossip – usually dressed their best. It’s part of the culture and when the weather is nice, even during working hours, all the terraces will be full. We all like to act surprised and say – Do people even work in this country? – while sitting at our own favourite café. An invitation for coffee is really an invitation to socialise – and you don’t even have to drink coffee! Drink anything you want, but the invitation will always be Let’s go for coffee.
Much like coffee, rakija holds a special place in Croats’ hearts. It’s a type of strong brandy made from any fruit you can imagine, but most often plums. Croats are very proud of their rakija and this is the first thing you are offered when you come to somebody’s home or to a restaurant. Of course, moderation is key. Croatian wine and olive oil also have a rich and long-lasting tradition.
The food in Croatia is delicious, but did you know that Croats are also prone to exaggerating when it comes to food? There is an unspoken rule that you must always eat at least three times as much as you would like, otherwise your host will be disappointed with your poor appetite and lack of taste. Grandmas are the pillars of Croatian overeating and they will usually ask you anywhere between five and ten times to “have some more because you haven’t eaten anything, dear”. Vegetarians don’t fare very well either, especially in rural areas.
Don’t count on trains and buses. Bigger centres are well-connected, but it’s best to get around by car. Car rental is cheap in Croatia, so no worries there.
We hope you like our inside tips about Croatia, so now you know what to expect – come and see for yourself, go for coffee (or rakija!) and enjoy!