Croatian 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 quite difficult to learn. however, you can easily learn several phrases in a couple of days.
If you do not understand Croatian, you don’t need to worry. Istria is a true multicultural and bilingual region: people speak Croatian and are fluid in Italian. You can also freely speak English and German in bars and restaurants though other languages are rare, but you can always be pleasantly surprised!
Tourist Offices and Radio
Every town has a tourist office or tourist information center 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 summer 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.
Electrical Appliances 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. Continental adapters can be bought in any electrical shop or supermarket if your notebook or any other technical device is standardized for North American sockets.
Tap water is safe to drink.
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, 10 and 5 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.
There is no limit to the amount of foreign currency that visitors can bring into Croatia.
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.
Most tourists visit Istria during summer when temperatures rise to 38 degrees. Take comfortable, light clothes, preferably cotton or linen, and do not forget hats. You might need a light blazer for evening walks or sitting by the sea.
Check the forecast ahead; you do not want to be unpleasantly surprised by rain.
Although casual clothing is absolutely acceptable in Croatia, for visits to sacral objects we suggest wearing a blouse or shirt; some cathedrals and churches have visible signs for dress code. Do not wander city streets wearing nothing but your swimming suit: wear at least a T-shirt while returning from the beach.
Croats are keen on fashion and how they dress up is quite important for them especially for a night on town, and you may easily think that you are watching a catwalk while sitting outdoors.
The usual working Mon-Fri working hours is from 8 AM to 7 PM and on Saturdays from 8 AM to 2 PM. During summer season shops in tourist resorts are open until 9 PM, some even longer.
A mid-day break from 12 PM to 4 PM is also possible.
Restaurants are open until 11 PM, working hours for bars vary and they often work till midnight or 1 AM, or even late into the night but with volume turned down.
Foreign-language daily and weekly magazines from Italy, Slovenia, Germany, Austria, Czech Republic, Slovakia, Poland, Hungary, Bosnia and Herzegovina, UK, etc. are sold o newsstands in tourist resorts.
Croatian dailies include Jutarnji list, Večernji list, and 24sata, and popular weekly magazines are Globus, Nacional and Gloria.
ATMs are available in all towns and tourist resorts in Istria 24 hours and accept a huge number of international cards. Check whether the logo of your card is indicated on the machine and protect your PIN from any kind of criminal acts. Better safe than sorry!
Banks, post offices, tourist offices and exchange offices offer exchange services. Check exchange rates and provision percentage before exchanging money. Avoid exchanging money on streets. If you end up your vacation with some kunas left, you can easily exchange them into any currency.