During a vacation in a famous destination, tourists have great expectations, especially because of all the good things they have heard about them. But situations, where tourists remain caught up in unexpected events on the journey, can ultimately affect the mood and financial condition. Before you decide to book your vacation in Croatia and start searching all the useful information about the best cities, landmarks, restaurants to visit, try to expand your research, and find forums with the most common mistakes the previous tourists have made and which caused them to spend extra time and money. In order to give you extensive information and prepare you before visiting Croatia, we have put together a list of common tourist mistakes you need to avoid.
You don't like the crowds on the beach? You can also swim in September.
Croatia is most visited during summer. The guides point out that the period from June to the end of August is actually the best time to visit Croatia. True, it's a great time to experience the magic of the Croatian beaches and the clean sea, to enjoy some of the world's famous festivals or visit the famous sights, but that's not the only option you have. If you have chosen Croatia as a travel destination mostly for its beaches and nice weather, you could reschedule the vacation in September. The weather in September is also known for a lot of sunny hours and higher temperatures. Apart from avoiding the crowds, September is a great period for a vacation in Croatia because the prices are relatively lower than those in the middle of the summer season, especially if we talk about accommodation and food. Also, numerous events are also held in September, so you won't miss anything. The last couple of years there is a trend among tourists where they have decided to book a vacation in Croatia in October because the prices are way cheaper, and the weather is still good for going to the beach.
Look for alternative, less crowded beaches
If you have booked a vacation in Croatia in the middle of the season and you are not a big fan of crowded places try to avoid the most famous beaches. The beaches are truly unique as many guests and official guides confirm, but there are also some shortcomings related to them. Great popularity comes with a price and it usually results in a high concentration of people on the famous beaches. Paradise beaches with crystal clear waters can become places that don't look like postcards. Because of the fact that there is a lot of people on the beach, it will take some time for you to find a suitable place for placing a towel. Although the beaches are marked with a blue flag (symbol of the clean sea) the sea can easily lose its recognizable purity. If you want a refreshing place in the shade and enjoy the sea without noises and crowds try to find smaller, hidden beaches. You will not find this beach in tourist guides. The best way to find a quiet place is to seek advice from the locals. Never ask the question, "What is the best beach to go for a swim?", instead, try to find out which places locals go to because these places are crowd-free. The Croatian coast is very indented so you will not have a problem finding hiding beach spots.
Kuna, Euro or credit card?
Croatia is a member of the European Union, but Euro is still not an official currency. The main national currency and the one you should use on vacation in Croatia is Kuna (pronounced koo-nah) (1€ = 7.5 HRK). The reason why the Kuna should be used is that many places (restaurants, bars, excursion agencies, etc.) is that many places actually accept Euro (even they shouldn't according to law), but at a rate that is not affordable for tourists, which means you will actually pay more than you should. If you have taken Euros on vacation, consider changing them first in a nearby bank or exchange office before taking any transaction (pay attention to the most favorable course).
What if you have a card and are you out of cash?
Withdrawing cash will not be a problem because there is an ATM on almost every corner. If you find yourself in such a situation, try to withdraw the money from the ATM that is related to your bank. Why? The reason is the commission. Try to find out which partner your bank has in Croatia (eg Unicredit Bank is linked to the Zagrebačka Bank in Croatia). When raising cash from an ATM, always select the Kuna as the currency for the payment. Many tourists make a common mistake and they convert their currency in Euros and they try to exchange that amount in Kunas which results in high commission. By choosing the Kuna you will directly avoid this problem because the commission is often smaller. If you want to pay directly with your credit card before buying always ask if a store accepts a credit card. There are some stores that have signs of card payment, but when you buy something, the sales manager may say that the card reader is not working at the moment.
In Croatia, there are a large number of reliable taxi companies which you can use to reach the desired destination. However, this is not a guarantee that you will not be in a situation where you could pay a higher amount for a short ride. Reason? In key locations (such as city center, bus stations, airports), unauthorized taxi drivers may appear. They can be difficult to recognize because they have clearly labeled "taxi" tags. How will you easily avoid unauthorized taxi drivers, uncomfortable situations or paying astronomical driving fees? Ordering a ride through an application of a certified taxi carrier is the safest option. It would be desirable to check which taxi companies are most used in Croatia, you can also compare prices and pick a more convenient option. If you find yourself at an airport or train station and you are in a great hurry, before you sit in the first available taxi, ask the driver how much does he charge for the transportation your desirable location, so that you don't get surprised with a large amount of money taxi driver charges you. Another option you might want to consider is to arrange transportation in advance when booking your accommodation.
Avoid over-priced restaurants
As you probably already know Croatian cuisine, especially Dalmatian, has become a major hit among the traveling gourmets. Along the coast, there are a large number of restaurants (some of which have the prestigious Michelin stars) that unite the unique location and rich offer of local specialties. When you choose a restaurant where you will explore the local delicacies you have to be careful because there are a number of restaurants that charge a good position in the center or the sea view. Food in such restaurants often doesn't taste much better because these are the places oriented on mass tourism, which means the quality of the food is not that great (more guest means trying to prepare food for less time). Also, the price of a drink can also jump if you choose to sit in a coffee shop in the city center (for example, the price of coffee can range from € 2 to € 3).
How to choose a real restaurant or cafe? Make sure you try to explore the ratings and comments from the previous guests on Tripadvisor. Higher price and good location will not always guarantee you a quality. You can find a much better price/quality ratio in the hidden places across the town away from the center. If you are looking for exclusive local specialties, try to find smaller restaurants (called konoba in Croatian). They often serve homemade meals at acceptable prices. If you like fish specialties you can be sure that you will get fresh fish instead of frozen that many restaurants serve while they tell you it is fresh.