Croatia - basic information


Geographical position: Croatia extends from the furthest eastern part of the Alps in the north-west to the Pannonian lowland and the banks of the Danube in the east; its central part is covered with the Dinara mountain range, and its southern part includes the Adriatic coast. 

Surface: The mainland covers 56,594 km2, and the surface of the territorial sea amounts to 31,067 km2.

Population: 4,187,994 inhabitants; the majority of the population are Croats; national minorities include Serbs, Bosniaks, Italians, Germans, Czechs, Hungarians, Slovenes and others.

Government system: Croatia is a unitary democratic parliamentary republic.

Official language and script: Croatian language and Latin script.

Time zone: Croatia belongs to the GMT +1 time zone. The zone changes to GMT +2 the last Saturday in March until the last Sunday in October.

Religion: The majority of population are Catholics, then Orthodox Christians, Muslems and members of Protestant churches.

Capital: Zagreb (792,875 inhabitants) - the economic, transport, cultural and academic centre of the country.

Coastline: 5,835 km, out of which 4,058 km comprise a coastline of islands, solitary rocks and reefs.

Number of islands, rocks and reefs: 1,244; the biggest islands are Krk and Cres; 50 islands are inhabited.

Highest peak: Dinara: 1,831 m above sea level.

Climate: There are two climate zones in Croatia; a mild continental, partly mountainous climate prevails in the inland, whereas a pleasant Mediterranean climate prevails along the Adriatic coast, with a large number of sunny days - summers are dry and hot while winters are mild and moist. The average temperature in the inland ranges from 0 to 2°C in January and from 19 to 23°C in August; while the average temperature along the coastline ranges from 6 to 11°C in January and from 21 to 27 °C in August; the sea temperature amounts to about 12°C in winter and 25°C in summer.

Currency: Kuna (HRK). Foreign currency can be exchanged in banks, exchange offices, post offices, travel agencies, hotels and camps. The working hours of the majority of banks are from 8am till 7pm on week-days, and till 1pm on Saturdays.

Credit cards: Most hotels, restaurants, supermarkets and shops accept credit cards (American Express, Diners Club, Eurocard/Mastercard, Visa).

Useful information


Electricity: Voltage of city power grid - 220V, frequency 50 Hz. You will need a voltage converter and plug adapter in order to use U.S. appliances.

Water: Tap water is potable throughout the whole Croatia.

Calling code: The calling code for Croatia is +385.

Important telephone numbers:

  • Emergency: +385 112
  • Ambulance: +385 194
  • Fire-service: +385 193
  • Police: +385 192
  • Roadside assistance: +385 1987
  • Search and rescue at sea: +385 195
  • General information: +385 18981
  • Weather forecast and road conditions: +385 060 616 666
  • Road information and help: Croatian Automobile Club (HAK), phone number: +385 072 777 777

Travel documentation: Passport or other internationally recognised identification documents. Tourists may stay in Croatia for up to three months.

For further information: Diplomatic representative bodies of the Republic of Croatia abroad, or the Ministry of Foreign and European Affairs (phone: +385 1 4569 952).

Customs regulations: Customs regulations of the Republic of Croatia are in line with the standards of the European Union countries. Foreign currency can be freely brought in and taken out of the country, home currency up to the value of 3000 €. More expensive professional and technical equipment should be registered at the border. If bringing dogs or cats along, they need to have an International certificate from a registered veterinarian stating that at least 15 days (and not more than six months) have passed since their vaccination against rabies.

Tax refund for foreign citizens: Tourists who make purchases in Croatia (apart from petroleum derivatives), which exceed 500 HRK per receipt, may reclaim VAT ("PDV"). Upon purchase the sales person will provide the buyer with a form PDV-P (on request), which should be filled out and stamped on the spot. Upon leaving Croatia, the receipt must be verified by the Croatian Customs service. VAT refund in Kuna can be obtained within six months, either in the same shop where the goods were purchased (in which case the tax is refunded immediately), or by posting the verified receipt back to the shop, together with the account number, to which the refund should be paid. In this case the refund is paid within 15 days upon receiving the claim.

National holidays:

January: 1st January - New Year's Day
6th January - Epiphany
April: Easter, including Easter Monday
May: 1st May - Labour Day
June: Corpus Christi (Movable feast) 22nd June - Anti-Fascist Resistance Day
25th June - Statehood Day
August: 5th August - Victory Day and National Thanksgiving Day
15th August - Assumption
October: 8th October - Independence Day
November: 1st November - All Saints' Day
December: 25th and 26th December - Christmas Holidays

Working hours: Shops and department stores are open between 8am and 8pm, and on Saturdays from 8am till 2 or 3pm. A smaller number of stores close between noon and 4pm. Many stores are also open on Sundays, especially in the summer, and a smaller number of them are open 24 hours a day (in bigger cities). Public services and companies usually work from 8.30am to 4.30pm from Monday to Friday.

Post and Telecommunications: Post offices are open from 7am till 7pm, and on Saturdays until 1pm. Stamps are sold in post offices and at news-stands. Public telephones can be used only with phone cards, which can be purchased in post offices, at news-stands, in hotels and tourist complexes.

Mobile telephone network: There are five GSM operators in Croatia: A1 (dialing code 091), T-Com (dialing code 098 and 099), Tele 2 (dialing code 095), Bonbon (dialing code 097) and Tomato (dialing code 092).

Radio news in foreign languages (during the tourist season): During the summer season, Channel Two of the Croatian Radio broadcasts, in addition to regular news and reports from HAK (the Croatian Automobile Club) in Croatian, traffic information in English and German, and in August, also in Italian. On Channel Two of the Croatian Radio, news is broadcasted every hour from the Third Channel of Austrian Radio and Bayern 3 in German, RAI Uno in Italian, Radio Prague in Czech, Absolute Radio in English and from the International Station of Croatian Radio – “Voice of Croatia” also in English, German and Spanish.

Useful links: