Holders of HKSAR passports or BNO passports are allowed to stay, without visas, in Croatia for 90 days within a 180-day period. For entry requirements for other passport holders, please check the website of the Ministry of Foreign and European Affairs, Republic of Croatia www.mvep.hr.
Croatia is divided into two predominant climate regions: the Mediterranean climate in the coastal areas and moderate continental climate in the interior regions. Cities along the Adriatic coast and the islands enjoy the Mediterranean climate and are mostly sunny in summer. With a relatively low humidity, it does not feel stifling even though the temperature is high. Wintertime is the rainy season. Total rainfall during winter is usually twice as much as in summer. As temperature rarely drops below 0°C, snowy days are pretty unusual in the coastal area of Croatia. The Mediterranean climate is also characterized by the winds. The most common ones are Bora ("Bura" in Croatia) and Scirocco ("Jugo" in Croatia). Bora is often cold and dry. A very fierce Bora in winter can bring the apparent temperature down by up to 5°C. Scirocco picks up lots of moisture as it blows across the Mediterranean Sea. When it reaches the coastal area of Croatia, the wind is often warm and humid. The misty days in autumn and winter are often caused by Scirocco. Croatian inland, including Lika where Plitvice National Park is located, the capital Zagreb and the northeastern region, is separated from the coast by a series of mountain ranges. The continental climate is totally different from the Mediterranean one. Compared to the sizzling temperatures in the coastal areas, summer in the inland is generally cool, but heat waves can bring soaring temperatures at times. Wintertime in the inland is often accompanied by chill and snow. For more updated weather information and forecast in Croatia, please look up www.meteo.hr.
The Croatian Kuna (HRK) is the official currency of Croatia. In general, 1HRK = 1.1~1.2 HKD. Travellers can convert money in EUR, USD and JPY to the kuna upon arrival. Exchange centers can be found at the airports, train stations, bus terminals (such as Zagreb Autobusni kolodvor) and the city center of all major cities. But the exchange rates at the airports are often not that good. HK dollar and the kuna are not interchangeable. It is best to change money in HKD to EUR before going to Croatia. Croatia has become an EU member country on 1st July 2013. However, there is still no set decision for EUR to replace the kuna. The kuna is still the official currency in Croatia. Other than in hotels, where foreign currency is accepted (usually the Euro), almost all vendors in Croatia take only the kuna. The website of the Croatian National Bank displays exchange rates of the kuna to some major currencies: www.hnb.hr.
Value Added Tax (VAT):
Other than for specific commodities and services, customers are required to pay Value Added Tax (VAT) for all purchases in Croatia; no matter it is a cup of coffee in a cafe or other spending. The current VAT is, in general, 25%, whereas VAT for accommodation is 10%. VAT is included in all marked prices and not paid as extra fees. Taking a cup of coffee in a cafe as an example, the usual market price of 10 HRK (that is about HK$11 to HK$12) includes VAT. The actual price of the coffee is 8 HRK whereas VAT is 2 HRK. The breakdown of the price is also shown clearly on the receipt. VAT for goods taken abroad is entitled to a refund, if the amount of the bill exceeds 500 HRK. Paid VAT shall be fully refunded as long as the completed VAT-form (PRV-P) is returned to the seller of the goods within 6 months from the date of the invoice. VAT forms have to be presented together with the unopened/unused goods and invoices to the customs at the point of departure (e.g. airport) before exiting the country. The said forms have to be stamped by a customs officer confirming that the goods have been taken outside the country. VAT refund office is usually found immediately after the passport control counters (just follow the sign VAT/TAX REFUND). The paid VAT can be refunded immediately in cash and the amount is available in foreign currency as well.
Telephone and Internet:
The country code for Croatia is (385). There are four telecommunication services providers, namely T-mobile, A1, Tele2 and Tomato. Travellers can buy SIM cards upon arrival at the airport. Additional credits can be added to the SIM cards in the retail shops of the respective telecommunication services providers, supermarkets, on-line as well as at the newspaper stands called “Tisak”. The European Parliament has approved abolishment of international roaming charge among EU member countries. Starting from 15 June 2017, mobile phone users (for phone calls or internet) of all EU member countries pay the same prices at home or when they travel anywhere within the European Union.
The voltage in Croatia is 220V. Power sockets are of type F as in most European countries. The sockets are round with two round parallel receptacles where as plugs have two round parallel prongss.
Croatia is in the Central European Time Zone (GMT+1).
Tourist Information Centre:
Tourist Information Centres can be found in most city centres and tourist spots. Travellers can ask for local maps, various travel information, transportation details and etc.
Croatian is the official language in Croatia. However, local people have relatively high English standard. Some middle aged people understand certain English while younger generations are completely able to communicate in English. Most of the information and websites useful for tourists are provided also in English.
Useful Telephone Numbers:
|Fire Brigade：||+385 193|
|Zagreb Airport：||+385 16265222|
National Holidays in Croatia:
National holidays in Croatia can be divided into two types: religious (Catholic) and national respectively.
Following is a list of all national holidays in Croatia:
- 1st Jan 『New Year』
- 6th Jan 『Epiphany』
- 1st May 『Labour Day』
- 22nd Jun 『Anti-Fascist Resistance Day』
- 25th Jun 『Croatian Statehood Day』
- 5th Aug 『Victory Day and National Thanksgiving Day』
- 15th Aug 『Feast of the Assumption』
- 8th Oct 『Independence Day』
- 1st Nov 『All Saints' Day』
- 25 – 26th Dec 『Christmas』
- March / April 『Easter』
- May / June 『Corpus Christi』(The first Thursday after the Holy Trinity Sunday)
Travellers can get to Croatia via other major European cities. European flights usually arrive at Zagreb Airport, Split Airport or Dubrovnik Airport. In high season (May to September), flight schedules are more frequent and connections with other European cities are more extensive. Travellers can check flights connecting the above 3 Croatian airports for planning their trips. The above 3 airports provide shuttle bus services between the airport and the city centre.
Bus schedule will meet flight arrivals and departures. Bus fares (additional baggage fees are required) vary for different airports. For shuttle bus information of Zagreb, and Split airport, please visit the website Pleso Prijevoz. Other international airports in Croatia are: Pula Airport, Rijeka Airport, Osijek Airport and Zadar Airport.
Bus (International lines):
Bus is the most used form of public transportation in Croatia and has an extensive network of bus lines. International bus lines link Croatia with nearby countries like Slovenia, Hungary, Bosnia & Herzegovina, Montenegro, Serbia, Austria and Italy. There are all year round connections from Germany, France, Netherlands, Belgium, Denmark and even Sweden. During the summer season, especially in July and August, there are additional bus routes to the Adriatic coast, from almost any country in Europe. Major Croatian bus stations which provide international bus schedules online include: Zagreb Bus Terminal (Autobusni kolodvor Zagreb) and Split Bus Terminal (Autobusni kolodvor Split)
Compared to other European countries, train network in Croatia is not that extensive. Zagreb is the major train station for international lines. The main railway station in Zagreb (known as "Glavni Kolodvor") is located in the city center and served by city tram (the tram station is also named "Glavni Kolodvor"). Coastal cities with more frequent international train connections are Pula, Rijeka and Split. Dubrovnik is not even connected by rail. In addition to Rail Europe and DB BAHN, travellers can also look up the train schedules provided by the Croatian Railway Company (HŽ).
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Traveling by bus and train is the main way to get around in Croatia. Having a more extensive network and more frequent services than train, bus is the most used form of transport for both local people and travellers. With a well developed network of tolled highways and scenic coastal roads, Croatia will not disappoint those who love to drive for their own vacations, either. Roads, especially those leading to the major coastal cities, are often congested by holiday makers from all over Europe during the peak tourist season in summer. For those who are fit enough, renting a bicycle to travel from city to city is another interesting option.
Bus (Domestic Lines):
Autobusni kolodvor Zagreb: Most cities in Croatia are connected with Zagreb by bus. Zagreb is undoubtedly the bus centre of the country. Autotrans Group: Mainly operates bus lines between Rijeka and coastal cities in the neighbouring areas. Autotransport d.d. Šibenik : Mainly provides bus services between Šibenik and coastal cities in the neighbouring areas. Brioni d.d. Pula: Mainly operates bus lines between Pula and other coastal cities in Istria. Autobusni promet d.d. Varaždin: Provides bus services between Varaždin and other cities. Croatia bus d.o.o. Zagreb: Operates bus lines between Zagreb and other cities. Contus d.o.o. Zadar: Provides bus services among Zadar, Zagreb and Split. Panturist d.d. Osijek: Mainly operates bus lines between Osijek and other cities in Slavonia. Autobusni kolodvor Split: Provides bus services between Split and other cities all over the country. Libertas Dubrovnik: Operates bus lines between Dubrovnik and other cities.
The domestic railway services are provided by the Croatian Railway Company (HŽ). The main railway station in Zagreb (known as "Glavni Kolodvor") is located in the city center and served by city tram (the tram station is also named "Glavni Kolodvor").
Tram is the main mode of transportation in the capital city of Zagreb. Travellers may buy tickets at any newspaper stand known as "Tisak". Tram services and some bus lines in Zagreb are operated by the same company called ZET. Therefore, a tram ticket can be used on ZET bus and vice versa (ZET buses are all in blue. Buses in other colours do not belong to ZET). One ticket is valid for unlimited rides on any tram or ZET bus line within one and a half hours. Travellers may also buy 1-day passes which are valid until 4:00am of the following day.
Local Bus Services in Major Cities:
For information and schedules of local buses in various cities, travellers may get the most updated details at the respective local tourist information centers or bus terminals.
Renting a bike for sightseeing in different Croatian cities is absolutely a good choice. Tourist information centers can offer relevant information about bike-renting.
Croatia is known as “the country of thousand islands”. Car ferry and catamaran services are most extensive in summer between major coastal cities (mainly Pula, Rijeka, Zadar, Split and Dubrovnik) and the neighbouring islands. Still, services are reduced and some routes are even unavailable after summer. Travellers shall check routes and schedules with the respective operators or tourist information centers in advanced. Followings are some useful websites: Jadrolinija - Linijska Nacionalna Plovidba - G & V Line - Rapska plovidba - Kapetan Luka - Mediteranska plovidba - Linijska Nacionalna Plovidba d.d.