Croatia: Visa Information

 
   
 
 
 
     
 

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The beautiful and historic country of Croatia offers a bounty of activities, sights, and culture to tourists from around the globe. It is a largely coastal country with over a thousand islands, so there is no shortage of beaches and gorgeous ocean vistas. However, there are also plenty of exciting cities, quaint villages, and stunning national parks to be found inland. Croatia’s climate varies with its topography, but summers are generally quite hot all over the country. The official language is Croatian, but most people working in hotels, restaurants, tourist attractions, and travel agencies will speak some English. Croatia is a hotspot for tourism, with nearly 20% of the country’s GDP coming from the tourism sector. It’s not hard to see why, with all the history, culture, natural beauty, and amenities that Croatia has to offer. Read on to learn more about tourism in Croatia and traveling to Croatia after the ETIAS authorization system is implemented.

As a member of the EU, Croatia will soon be adopting the European Travel Information and Authorisation System (ETIAS). As of 2022, visa-free nationalities travelling to Croatia will need to first acquire and ETIAS before entering the country. The process of obtaining one will be very simple, requiring only some simple information and documentation. The fee for adults under 70 will be just 7 euros. The entire application process will be conducted online, and if approved, you will receive your ETIAS shortly after applying through your email. Your travel authorization will be valid for three years before you will need to renew it. It will allow you unlimited entries into and out of the EU, and you can use the same ETIAS to visit all member countries within the three year validity period. The reason for ETIAS implementation is to keep better record of all of the travelers coming into and out of the EU, particularly in the wake of increasing security breaches, illegal immigration, and terrorist attacks. By monitoring visitors to the EU, authorities will be able to better decide who should and should not be allowed to enter. This will ultimately keep both the EU and travelers safer and more secure.

You will likely stop in the capital city of Zagreb at some point in your vacation, and with good reason. It is situated along the Sava river, at the base of the Medvednica mountains, and accommodates roughly one quarter of the country’s total population. Most of Zagreb’s top destinations can be found in the cobblestoned Upper Town. From there, you can see the magnificent Cathedral of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary, a Neo-Gothic beauty that towers over the surrounding city. You should also check out Saint Mark’s Church, an iconic Zagreb place of worship that is also one of the city’s oldest building. It was built in the 13th century, and was later fitted with the colorful tiled roof that makes it so recognizable today. If you want a real local experience, head over to Dolac market, the city’s largest open air farmers’ market. You can find all kinds of local produce, fish, meat, cheese, flowers, pastries, and souvenirs. It’s a great place to mingle with the locals and take in some regional snacks. If you’re interested in a truly unique experience, head over to the Museum of Broken Relationships. It is a collection of artefacts and stories from relationships that didn’t work out. It may seem like an odd idea, but it has attracted visitors from all over the globe interested in going on an emotional journey through the tales of love had and lost. Strossmayer promenade is the place to go when you need a great photo op. It offers incredible views of the city and often hosts musical and cultural events.

If you want to get out of the city, you can get lost on one of Croatia’s many islands and smaller islets. Korcula is a great choice for history lovers, who will delight in the array of Gothic-Renaissance architecture. The island even has its own wine, a crisp and tasty white made using the Posip grape. Hvar is popular with those seeking glamor and opulence. A hot spot for celebrities and wealthy vacationers, the island is surrounded by luxury yachts and beautiful beaches, also offering peaceful vineyards, a variety of restaurants, and exciting nightclubs. Mljet is a good option for those seeking a little peace and quiet among nature. The island is home to a national park, with walking trails meandering all through the lush greenery and around the island’s two saltwater lakes. Finally, you can visit Croatia’s most recognizable beach Zatni Rat on the island of Brac. The beach forms a spit of sand, stretching out into the ocean. Brac offers other beautiful beaches, excellent dining options, rich history, and a thriving olive scene. Whether you choose one of the above mentioned islands or another of the more than 1,000 in the country, you are sure to have a sun-filled and unforgettable beach holiday.

There are plenty of delicious regional dishes to try while in Croatia. One of the most popular dishes near the sea is crni rižot, or black risotto. It is a simple risotto made with red wine and squid ink, which gives it a rich flavor of the sea and a black color. It is served with grilled squid or cuttlefish. You may be lucky enough to come across Peka, which is not a specific dish but a manner of cooking. Different types of meat or octopus are cooked in a fire underneath a large terracotta lid for a wonderful smoky flavor. And we certainly can’t forget about the wine. Malvazija, a crisp white, and Teran, a hearty red, are both regional wines from the Istria peninsula. And, what better souvenir than a wonderful bottle of locally grown wine?

Croatia is a country of breathtaking beauty, interesting history, and friendly people. Croatians love to host so if you are lucky enough to be invited to a Croatian party or wedding, be prepared to eat and drink. A lot. And above all else, have an excellent time in Croatia!