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About Croatia

Croatia is the beautiful, boomerang shaped country with the thousand islands, magnificent natural treasures, rich culture and traditions, located in southern Europe.
Every nation loves their country and calls it the most beautiful. Croatians, however, actually call their state "Our Beautiful" ("Lijepa naša"), which is also the title of the national anthem.
Croatia has created a unique spirit, and today is a full participant in European culture and science.
Croatians are known to be a hospitable nation, it's sea deep blue and clean, the prices are fair, the villages picturesque, which all adds up to a very pleasant holiday destination. The unforgettable national parks, many sunny days, the fine local foods and drinks in combination with the parties, make it worthwhile to visit Croatia for a holiday. Croatia is a modern country with a combination of a soft continental climate and a Mediterranean climate.

General information about Croatia

Geographical position: Croatia is situated more or less in the heart of Europe. Croatia stretches from the foot of the Alps in the northwest and Pannonian Plain in the east, over the mountain range of Dinara in its central region, to the Adriatic coast in the south. Croatia has a strange shape, which comes as a result of five centuries of expansion by the Ottoman (Turkish) empire towards Central Europe (although Croatia was never conquered by the Turks).

Surface area: Croatia has 56.542 km2, with an additional 31.067 km2 of territorial waters

Population: Croatia has 4.784.265 inhabitants. Over 90% of the population is Croat (the majority of whom are Roman Catholics), but there are also Serbian, Bosnian, Hungarian and Italian minorities.

Climate: The Adriatic Coast has a typical Mediterranean climate with hot dry summers and mild winters. It is one of the sunniest and warmest coasts in Europe with an average of 2.600 hours of sunshine per year and an average summer temperature of 27C.The inland part has a typical continental climate with warm summers and rainy and snowy winters.

Number of islands, islets and reefs: 1.185 of which 67 inhabited; the largest islands are those of Krk and Cres.

Capital: Zagreb, the administrative, cultural, academic and communication centre of Croatia; population: 960.000 inhabitants

Religions: Predominantly Roman Catholic

Official language and alphabet: Croatian language and Latin alphabet.

Political system: Parliamentary Democracy

National holidays:
January 1st - New Year's Day
January 6th - Epiphany
Easter Monday
May 1st - May Day
Corpus Christi - movable observance
June 22nd - Day of the Anti-Fascist Struggle
June 25th - Statehood Day
August 5th - Homeland Gratitude Day
August 15th - Assumption
October 8th - Independence Day
November 1st - All Saints' Day
December 25-26 - Christmas Holidays

Monetary unit: Croatian Kuna (Kn). Banknotes come in denominations of 5, 10, 20, 50, 100, 500 and 1000 and coins in Kn 1, 2, 5 & 25 and 10, 20 and 50 lipa (1 Kuna= 100 lipas). Foreign currencies can be exchanged in banks, exchange offices, post offices and most tourist agencies, hotels and camping grounds. Euro cheques can be exchanged in banks. Banking hours are 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. from Monday to Friday. On Saturdays banks are open until 1 p.m. In the larger cities some banks are also open on Sundays.

Currency: Foreign currency can be changed in the Banks, Exchange Offices, Post Offices, Tourist agencies and Hotels, according to the current exchange rate.

Credit cards: Most hotels, restaurants and shops accept credit cards (American Express, Diners Club, Euro card / MasterCard and Visa).

Electricity: 220V, 50 Hz

Water: Tap water is drinkable throughout Croatia

The telephone code for Croatia: +385

Cellular phone range: Communication by mobile phones is possible throughout Croatia.

Time zone: GMT plus one hour (in summer two hours)

Shopping: Excellent buys include leather articles, local handmade lace ware and embroidery, ceramics, herb brandies, etc. Opening hours: department stores and groceries are open continuously 7:30 a.m. to 8 p.m. , while some shops and groceries close for lunch. On Saturdays most shops are open from 7:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. In tourist destinations, in high season, most shops stay open longer, including Saturdays and Sundays. Duty-free shops are located at the airports.

Working hours: Shops and department stores are open between 8 a.m. and 8 p.m., and on Saturdays from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. or 3 p.m. A smaller number of stores close between noon and 4 p.m. Many stores are open on Sundays too, especially in the summer, and a smaller number in the larger cities are open 24 hours a day. Public services and companies usually work from 8,30 a.m. to 4,30 p.m. from Monday to Friday.

Tax return for foreign citizens: Tourists making purchases in Croatia (apart from petroleum derivatives), which exceed 500 Kuna per bill, may reclaim VAT ('PDV'). When purchasing, ask the salesperson for form PDV-P, which they should then fill out and stamp. On leaving Croatia the receipt has to be verified by the Croatian Customs Service. A PDV refund in Kuna can be obtained within six months either at the same shop where the goods were purchased (in this case the tax is refunded 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.

Pets can enter the country if they have a vaccination record and veterinary certificate. The record must not be older than one year.

Medical services: Medical care for foreigners can be provided at hospitals and clinics in all major cities in Croatia. Croatia is a member of Europe Assistance medical services system. Foreign tourists do not pay for emergency health services if Croatia and the tourist's country of origin have a health care agreement. If not, the tourist must pay for health care costs immediately. Hospitals and clinics are located in all major centres, while doctor's offices and pharmacies can be found in smaller tourist destinations.

Postal services: Post offices are open from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. non-stop. Saturdays from 7 a.m. to 1 p.m. For international calls, besides using hotel and post office services, phone cards (for sale in all post offices) are used in all public phone booths. Postage stamps are sold at post offices, hotel receptions and newspaper and tobacco stands. TNT and DHL air-express carrier's services are also available.

Culture: In Croatia is 4 opera houses, 29 theatres, 151 museums and galleries and 147 cinemas. The theatres are generally closed at summer, although a number of them hold series of summer performances both in Zagreb and on the coast.

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Cultural and historical monuments: There are numerous cultural and historical monuments of great significance in Croatia, such as the ancient amphitheatre in Pula, the palace of the Emperor Diocletian in Split (a UNESCO world heritage site), the Romanesque cities of Krk, Rab, Pag, Korcula and Trogir, elegant Dubrovnik, a 13th century city with excellently preserved Renaissance towers and walls, which is also under UNESCO protection, one of Europe's first public theatres in Hvar, the basilica of Euphrasy's' in Porec, the pre Romanesque church of St. Donat in Zadar, Ĺ ibenik cathedral, and many others.

Major cultural events
Zagreb Summer Festival (1 Jul - 15 August)
International Folk Dance Festival, Zagreb (19 - 23 July)
International Children's Festival in Ĺ ibenik (24 June 8 July)
Dubrovnik Summer Festival (10 July - 25 August)
Ðakovo Embroidery (30 June to 2 July)
Split summer (July, August)
Music Evenings in St. Donat, Zadar (4 July - 6 August)
Music Evenings in Osor (8 July - 26 August)
Sinjska Alka (6 August)
Istrian Cultural Summer (during the season)
Vinkovci Autumn (22 - 24 September)
VaraĹľdin Baroque Evenings (24 September - 8 October)

Entertainment: Most better quality hotels have nightclubs and the major tourist resorts have discos. There are dancing evenings on the terraces during the summer time, along with other entertainment and cultural events.

Gambling casinos: There are 15 casinos in Croatia, 6 of them in Zagreb and other in the following towns: Buje, Novigrad, Porec, Umag, Opatija, Cavtat, Split, Hvar, Makarska

Souvenirs: Folk and artistic ceramics and numerous homemade souvenirs.