korcula harbour

Do's and Don'ts For Travel in Croatia

Disclaimer: the opinions expressed in this post are not my own, they are from the previous owners of this blog. I haven't visited Croatia myself, so I can`t comment on them. Everyone is entitled to their own opinions and I welcome the discussion, as long as the comments stay friendly and polite.

Croatia was one of the most difficult places we've travelled to. My first draft of this post was a bit less forgiving, but then we went to Korcula and the people became friendlier, the weather cooler and the beaches more inviting. I realized that for as many unfriendly, unhelpful people as there are working in the service industry, there are just as many kind, welcoming and hard-working people who are ready to show you a good time. Chatting with our friendly taxi driver in Zagreb, we caught a different perspective. "People in Croatia don't like to work," he said. "Sometimes the wages are so low that you don't have the will for a smile."

pula beach

Holidaymakers soak up the sun on a beach in Pula.

I don't know what to say to that. When I'm travelling in a country I take notice of the socioeconomic conditions. I've travelled to poor regions before, none poorer than Bolivia. And everyone there had a genuine smile on his or her face. Thailand was also full of friendly people, despite the fact that many of them live in substandard housing and I saw a few bathing in the Chao Phraya River.

Economically Croatia is nowhere near as poor as these two examples. Perhaps they feel so because of their proximity to the Schengen area countries? Is this a good excuse for such consistently rude, unwelcoming behaviour to visitors? I'd love to hear from other readers on this issue.

Those who keep up with us on Facebook and Twitter may know that we cut our time there short by two weeks. Croatia is a very beautiful country and we didn't even get to some of the most attractive cities and areas. It isn't cheap, however, and we're celebrating our one-year wedding anniversary this month. We don't want to deal with unfriendly people and a lot of nonsense. But I want to be helpful and for visitors to have the knowledge to make the most of their time. Here are my do's and don'ts for exploring and preparing for your Croatian adventure so that you can have hopefully have a better time than we did.

DO Choose your accommodation carefully

Yes, you can stay in a hotel. But you'll pay a lot more money and have a much more impersonal time than if you go on a site like HostelBookers and find an apartment. We stayed in two: one in Pula and one in Korcula. These had amenities like satellite television, free wireless internet and kitchens. At Nina we had an entire apartment to ourselves with our own kitchen, air conditioning and a table. Both times we were hosted by kind families who did our laundry, made us breakfast, gave us tips on what to see and do and we got to experience the local people. Our hotel experiences were nowhere near as nice. In Zadar we were yelled at as we checked in because the woman hadn't bothered to check her email from the online booking site we used. In Rab we left three days early because our tiny hotbox hotel room had mosquitoes and their idea of a sea view room meant you had to stick your head out the window and look around the corner.

Korcula Town

Our favourite spot in Croatia was Korcula. This is a view of Korcula Town from the water.

DON'T Expect great service

You might be blown away by friendly, attentive service at a shop, restaurant or hotel, but let this be a pleasant surprise rather than an expectation. Croatians don't exchange the normal pleasantries you might be used to elsewhere in the world (unless they know you and then they'll chat for twenty minutes while the rest of the customers stand there waiting to be served) and quite a few of them just have no idea how to assist someone with questions. On a positive note, everyone speaks at least a little English so you'll have no problems with language barriers. Even the tourism office is no guarantee. When we visited the one in Rab we were trying to get to Split. "Good luck," said the guy behind the counter with a straight face. It was only after I outlined the options we'd already researched and became frustrated about the fact that we'd come to him for help (the old, 'you're the expert, if you don't know who does?' trick) that he finally became helpful, even friendly in the end. Which brings me to my next point.

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DON'T Try to island hop

Our itinerary included the islands of Rab, Brac, Korcula and Hvar with plans to stay three to five nights in each place. We thought it would be a breeze to get from one to another. Wrong. Each journey involved about three legs even if the islands seemed close. Ferries don't run from one island to the next with any regularity. In most cases you have to take a ferry (or two) and then a bus to your destination. The hubs are Rijeka, Split and Dubrovnik with connections from some of these requiring careful timing. Most of the ferries are run by Jadrolinija, but smaller operators do exist. We had some long travel days and probably would have been happier choosing our favourite island and staying there the entire time. How do you know which island you'll like the best? You don't until you visit. For us, Korcula was the best, but this may be simply because of the experiences we had there. It's the gastronomic island, with great food, nice beaches and a pretty little town. Rab was our least favourite and isn't really suitable unless you have a boat. Many people swear by Hvar but it's the most popular and can be very expensive. We ended up forgoing travel there so we could enjoy more time in another country.

Jadrolinija ferry Croatia

Jadrolinija runs most of the ferry services in Croatia.

DO Bring the right gear

Croatia's beaches are not the sandy affair you might be used to. While sand beaches do exist, most of them have pebbles or sharp rocks, so purchase some reef shoes. Don't um and ah about it: it will make the difference between skipping happily into the water or wincing as you tiptoe for fifteen minutes out to the deep part. You'll also probably want some snorkel gear and a beach towel as even the more expensive hotel we stayed at in Supetar didn't provide these. Hats and sunscreen are a must.

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DON'T Visit in August

This was probably our biggest mistake. It's stinking hot, teeming with German and Italian tourists (which is fine but you might get tired of constantly being addressed in German when you're speaking Croatian or English) and many locals are absolutely sick and tired of foreigners. I suspect this was our biggest foible but, unfortunately, this was the only time we had this year to visit. Everything is more expensive, more crowded and more aggravating.

badija beach croatia

DO Bring cash

Even if the door of the establishment has the Mastercard and Visa logos on the door and even if you see the credit card machine sitting there on the counter, don't assume that your card will be accepted. We came across more 'cash only' businesses in Croatia than anywhere in South America. And bring plenty of money in general. The only bargains are beer and transportation.

DO Enjoy the nice local food

We didn't have a bad meal in Croatia. From delicious grilled meats to fresh seafood to excellent Italian dishes, you can't go wrong with restaurants. For those with a sweet tooth, you'll find a gelato shop every 50 metres and bakeries have excellent pastries and desserts. In general, 'caffes' serve coffees, ice cream and specialty drinks while restaurants and takeaway shops have the food. Diversity is not common - restaurants of a similar type will offer pretty much the same menu and we didn't find much in the way of international cuisine. Be sure to try cevapcici and the delicious fish such as Sea Devil, which is like monkfish.

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Our favourite restaurants were:

Bistro Palute - Put Pasike 16, Supetar, Brac island

Vinotoka - Jobova 6, Supetar, Brac island

Kod Kadre - Arsenalska 3, Pula

Pizzeria San Marco - Rapske brigade 6, Rab island

korcula harbour

Laid-back Korcula town

DO Be prepared for some shocks

Some things might truly surprise you, especially if you've never visited the Balkans before. People sound more aggressive when they speak and it takes awhile to realize that they aren't yelling at you. In Pula we sat through a dinner across from a pregnant woman in her third trimester smoking cigarettes and drinking beer and no one besides us was batting an eye. On a beach in Supetar I was taking pictures of the sunset when a local started throwing rocks at me because I was unknowingly in the way of his photos. Never mind the fact that there was a whole empty stretch of beach to his right. When John came over to tell him to stop, the guy became even more aggressive and grabbed his arms, pushing him away. After we went back to our table their teenage daughter followed up by giving us the finger repeatedly, making faces and yelling obscenities at us. The owner of our hotel told us that some people are a bit crazy because of the war, but that was just too crazy for me.

korcula sunset

A gorgeous Korcula sunset

I'm sure many people travel to Croatia and have a positively wonderful experience. The locals we met who weren't in the service industry were lovely people, so please don't take this review as a commentary on Croatian people in general. It's always nice to feel welcome in a country when you're travelling, otherwise it can be a challenge to stay somewhere for a long time. For us, it was just too aggravating to justify the cost of being there. Sometimes beauty just isn't enough.

Have you visited Croatia? What are your top tips?


  1. victor 8 February, 2016 at 21:24 Reply

    1.I am shocked with this article about the rudeness in Croatia. I do believe that people compared to americans are crude. But I was told by any american who visited Croatia they had a great time. Not once did someone complain (which was surprising actually, lol). I’ve been working as a waiter for the last 10 yrs + and met so many people.
    2. “A pregnant woman drank beer, smoked, and nobody couldn’t have cared less” ???!!!!! Is this a joke? She would’ve gotten GLARES !!!! Based on this I really doubt the credibility of this article, I am sorry.

  2. atikamalaya 17 December, 2015 at 05:19 Reply

    Korcula is lovely, a magnificent view indeed. Regardless what country you visit, you are sometimes bound to have less pleasant experiences and we just have to accept this

  3. Sofia 27 September, 2015 at 09:47 Reply

    Hi, I agree with most things in this article except for the great food. I am a Croatian born in Australian and speak both Croatian and English fluently. I have also lived all over the world for 12 years as a private yacht stewardess including poor countries in the Carribean and Cape Verde.

    Never have I been treated with such disrespect as a single (40 year old) woman in the world. Constant abuse, rudeness and regularly being ignored and refused service in restaurants, especially if you (God forbid) want to ask a question about how a dish is prepared. I have been called stupid on so many occasions for asking a simple question.

    I have seen other tourists get shouted at and abused regularly. I feel it is such a shame as aesthetically the country is so beautiful and the people should embrace the tourists as they help their economy. Croatians will dig their own graves if they don’t learn how to behave in a more civil and respectful manner. They consistently bite the hand that feeds them.

    I wrote on this forum (which is incidentally, the first time I have ever written on any forum ever!) because I did an internet search to see if any other tourists have had bad experiences in Croatia. Apparently so. I have been here for 5 weeks and will never ever return.

    I really hope the Croats take some feedback on board and make an effort to modify their abusive and rude behaviour.

  4. paul 20 July, 2015 at 06:07 Reply

    Korcula is lovely, a magnificent view indeed. Regardless what country you visit, you are sometimes bound to have less pleasant experiences and we just have to accept this. Yes, the taxi driver has a valid point, it’s hard to be genuinely happy and welcoming when you know you have unpaid bills. It may be harder for some of us to understand this and the fact that you also met helpful, happy people that made your trip better is a clear sign that not all people are the same, regardless where you find yourself.

    • Natasha 26 October, 2015 at 06:38

      I have to agree with Paul. There is mention of Bolivia to compare how happy people seem to new comers in that how much they smile. While i believe that there is added challenge to life in Bolivia when it comes to daily survival or safety, it may be argued that it’s also much simpler at another level. The observance that we don’t always smile too openly when approached in the street is quite accurate. I have to stress that a lot of this is through the down-to-earth bearing Croatians tend to display while talking to others. You will generally encounter kindness in random people in Croatia though (though some may lack manners or patience i’ll admit) and they will truly try to help you. Also, most of us do disapprove of pregnant ladies drinking and smoking! And what can i say of the person throwing rocks at you tagging along the very rude daughter? That this is far, far away from common behaviour here and i am honestly embarrassed to know anyone should have crossed path with someone like this in Croatia, especially a foreigner who will carry with them a dreadful memory. I may only try to apologise for these… fellow citizens… And i am glad that your stay was at least half pleasant.

  5. Krille 9 July, 2015 at 13:47 Reply

    Very sorry to hear that. I’m half Croatian myself, and I feel ashamed when hearing that. But at least you found people who were friendly and helpful.

    I have never experienced that Croats hate to work. In the southern parts, it can be so that people prefer to work in the night hours, due to the heat in the light hours. That’s a phenomenon that can be seen in other southern European countries, f ex Italy and Greece.

    A question: Did you experience that the Croats were more crazy than Serbs or Bosniaks? Did you find the Croats more Middle Eastern-like in their culture, or are they as European as their neighbours? My experiences are that Croats are similar to Slovenes and Polacks, but maybe I’m wrong.

    • Inspiring Travellers 11 July, 2015 at 09:04

      Krille, thx for your reply. Since I (Geert) haven’t visited Croatia or Poland myself, I can’t really answer your question. Perhaps some of my readers can answer that question…

    • David from Germany and Vietnam 29 August, 2015 at 06:20

      I really like Croatia after I experienced 4 days in August in Zadar. Everything there is fine and people are also good, friendly and good services and acceptable price. We rented an apartment and buy seafood to cook there. We found it better when eating in the restaurants and cheaper.
      You should visit Zadar if you interested in beach and seafood. We are from Vietnam and Germany. Tchuss and Do Ba Da (= Hello).:))

  6. ImperatorMachinarum 18 March, 2015 at 03:14 Reply

    Reading the blog and comments was interesting. It seems to me that some critics have unrealistic expectations for a country still emerging from decades of conflict, oppression, and economic challenges. How about the arrogant and ignorant assertion that rich Croatians should be as deferential as poor Bolivians? What an unwitting act of self incrimination!


    I’m Croatian-American. Trust me, I know my heritage and am a harsh critic. Croatians can indeed be proud, hard, and apathetic. I won’t even get into the corruption. But Croatians can also be warm, loyal, and generous friends, cosmopolitan and cultured as well. If you are patient, understanding, and have a thick skin, you can experience this.

    Get to know the historical context that illuminates why folks in the Balkans are a bit on the hard side. In fact, I do this in advance of traveling anywhere. I do my best to understand and conform to local cultures…and at least understand and tolerate breaches of my Western notions of civility and service. Whether for business or pleasure.

    If you can’t do this, honestly, you shouldn’t be traveling.

    • Geert @ Inspiring Travellers 18 March, 2015 at 04:01

      I totally agree! As the new owner of this blog, I always try to understand the culture of the country I’m going to and as a Belgian I know what compromise is 😉 and how to adapt myself to other cultures. In fact, people in general, should be more tolerable towards each other.

      I don’t want to remove the article from the blog, because everyone has the right to have their own opinions, and I’m sure that Andrea and John did have a lesser experience and I welcome the discussion (as long as comments stay civilised), but perhaps it’s better if I add a disclaimer to the article that they are not my opinions, since I haven’t visited Croatia myself and I can’t comment on them.

    • ImperatorMachinarum 18 March, 2015 at 09:07

      I agree on the exchange of ideas and information. It’s better to share them, as we educate one another in the process. It helps set expectations when traveling.

  7. Teresa Fritschi 16 March, 2015 at 14:01 Reply

    I spent three months in Croatia – visiting from the end of the first week in November 2014 to the end of the first week in February 2015. Quite true, you failed to research sufficiently to NOT visit in August when 1/3 of the 11.5 million visitors descend on Croatia and the local population has been working 16 hour days since May and is heartily sick of hearing whining and senseless demands. You also failed to understand the local culture(s) – yes, Dalmatia is vastly different from Zagreb, as will be one island to the next. No one with any amount of travel experience would look at the islands of Dalmatia as easy to “hop” these aren’t any easier to get to and from than one might Scotland’s Outer Hebrides. I would random a guess that you didn’t even bother with learning such pleasantries as Dobar dan, Dubro jutro, Molim te or Oprosti – quite a pity as Croatians respond (as any polite society might) when you, as a guest and visitor, make the effort. Most people don’t want to talk about the Homeland War – but some will when trust is earned, and if you never refer to Croatia as being part of “The Balkans”. Your whole piece comes across as judgmental, entitled and arrogant, and culturally insensitive. Croatians tend to be very sensitive to such energy I would suggest you received exactly what you gave off – negativity. Do the world a favor, stay home.

    • CJ 13 July, 2015 at 07:06

      You come across as an outrageous apologist. I think that the author’s husband did well not to have ripped that guy arms off who threw rocks. I would have.

      Sometimes it’s not bumbling cultural insensitivity that leads to bad behavior. It’s just bad behavior.

    • Amaryllis 19 July, 2015 at 16:30

      Incidentally, I’ve had Croatians be ruder to me when trying to use Croatian phrases and terms of greeting than when I just think screw it, I’m exhausted, and I’m going to speak English and hope. In the latter case, they are usually helpful, and at worst perhaps a bit disinterested. In the former case, it sometimes appears that my attempt to return a greeting in their language, and saying I don’t speak Croatian if they rattle off some burst of language I haven’t learned has actually ruined their day and rendered them unable to look at me any longer. Definitely the opposite of other places I’ve visited.

      Additionally, you seem incredibly bitter for no apparent reason. Do you actually think these judgements you make based on little or nothing, and which are plainly stated to be anecdotal, contributes anything to ANYBODY’S cause, or are you just trying to find a direction to expel the ugliness out of yourself?

  8. Mirkozz 9 February, 2015 at 16:40 Reply

    An interesting article, I love the photos! Sad to hear you didn’t have a good time, but a lot has changed in these four years, are you planning on revisiting?

    • Inspiring Travellers 9 February, 2015 at 18:05

      Dear Mirkozz, I (Geert) took over this site from Andrea & John a couple of months ago, so I haven’t visited Croatia myself, and I really would like to visit Croatia in the near future to see it for myself and then publish my own experiences.

  9. Croatian Adventures 29 January, 2015 at 03:33 Reply

    The best way to visit Croatia is to get good guidelines of the local people who will guide you through the sights and beautiful places. This will avoid many problems that are mentioned in this text.

  10. Marko Mario 3 January, 2015 at 21:57 Reply

    Also, I’ve been to Italy on more than one occasion and it is also a case that tourists get duped unless they are careful, in Spain too. In USA it’s different since everything is regulated and there’s a price to everything. In Southern Europe it’s normal to be cheated. In Italy a girl selling city bus tickets at the bus station selling point in Rome tried to cheat us when returning money. Although I spoke Italian, she easily recognised tourists and charged 8 tickets instead of 4. Luckily my Italian was good enough to tell her off and get our money back. In Spain the lady at a tobacco stand in Valencia also didn’t return me the exact change, where I was left 5 euros short. They know how to swindle when they see a tourist. Such things happen everywhere but the subject here is more on the attitudes towards tourist. Croatia is cheaper than Italy and France of course, and somewhat cheaper than Spain. That is a great motivator for a nice vacation. The problem is how to get visitors satisfied so that they become “returning visitors”. If there are no returning visitors the tourism will decline in a decade. Luckily again I stress the fact of being now in the EU and over time attitudes change as more discipline is instilled in business transactions and so on. Also, the business sector in Croatia is very chaotic, and serious rules are almost non-existant. So, people who work during summer in a totally chaotic system may not act with respect to everybody.

  11. Marko Mario 3 January, 2015 at 19:54 Reply

    Most tourist who go for a vacation don’t do it to make friends with the people who work in tourist sector.. Most people want a nice vacation where they get what they paid for. If the locals or the toursim staff try to impose themselves over visitors or make them feel unwanted then that tourist region won’t prosper. There are other countries in Europe that are harsh competition to Croatia – Greece, Turkey, Spain.. What’s the point in selling over priced domestic olive oil for 14 euros a liter, when there are equally good Italian or Spanish ones. Plus mixing the olive oil with other types of oil and selling it as virgin olive oil happens in some ocassions. Now, as Croatia is a member of EU the attitudes will change and rules will be more respected.

  12. Dan 3 January, 2015 at 11:02 Reply

    I live in Australia and have been to Croatia many times as I love it. One thing about Croatians is that they are not very fake and what you see is what you’ll get. They have a dry sense of humour and can seem short and abrupt to westerners especially from America , Australia etc where shop attendants and hospitality workers will smile even if they have had the crappiest day. Please note that this is just the make up of the people and if you make an effort to get to know them Croatians can be the best friends you will ever have, very loyal and warm , although the short and dry sense of humour will always be there.

  13. Mario AKA Mario 20 December, 2014 at 14:29 Reply

    Seems to me like poor vacation and leak of knowledge about traditions and mentality.As a Croat i don’t have the money to make often vacations in my own country because of my underpaid job serving allot different types of foreign guest’s like you or any other. But i smile to mine guest’s even when they are rude and they Are often. Some of them are having good reasons to complain, but others are complaining because of their ignorance.
    Croatia is a inexpressibly beauty! And if the beauty is not enough for you, we have very good food… everything that we have is WOW! And we know it well, when visitors come with an attitude like yours… its hard to force someone to enjoy his vacation. Somehow i think that the behaviour of the personnel is your personal experience and you had just bad luck. If the prices are to high your should search more “local” things or ask the locals where do they eat, to find a konoba with good food and wine or visit a island that is less mainstream, or visit us now in winter. Croatia has 1244 island’s islets rocks… imagine is every would be connected whit a ship cmon. Take in mind that the population in Dalmatia small and allot workers are not experienced well and many are managed by foreign firms that are profit only driven. If you wish to visit Croatia and spend less money come pre-season rent a sailing boat see the islands and eat the best food in local places that are not crowded whit people. Visit family restaurants and find a room in old town areas. If you plan to visit Šibenik contact me! :-) None throws rocks on tourists here. Give us another chance you’ll not regret it. TY

  14. Jason 14 November, 2014 at 08:11 Reply

    Travelled the Balkans for many years now in particular Croatia, there is so much wrong with this post. You clearly don’t truly understand Croatia and its people.

  15. Dan 8 November, 2014 at 22:19 Reply

    Great comment Rock. I’m the same. I go to countries to enjoy the beauty it has to offer. I just want to be served with the minimum of fuss. Customer service is so pre meditated and anyone who has worked in Australia or USA would know that we are trained to say what our employer wants to make an extra dollar. Do we really care about that customer…… not really if truth is to be told.

    I have travelled to Asia and Turkey, and tired of the friendly approaches from locals who obviously just want your money. I loved Croatia on the other hand as people just leave you alone in restaurants, shops etc. They are friendly enough and in 95% of cases perform their jobs more than satisfactory and I find if you let of a good vibe you normally get it back. Croatians strike me as very real and honest people who don’t talk a lot of jibberish but also quite intelligent and well educated.

    I think too many tourist go to countries and try to force their own values onto other cultures and Americans have a habit of doing this. I say just accept that other cultures are different to yours- there is no right or wrong in this but is just natural human evolution. Don’t expect everyone to be like they are back home or otherwise “just stay home’ as I actually find this attitude quite rude and obnoxious.

    Croatia is a beautiful country, easily one of the most beautiful I have visited. No they don’t ask would you like fries with that at every opportunity but are honest and quite humble people who make a lot of effort to speak English, German , Italian with their guests which I have to say I have not seen in too many other countries.

    I say focus on yourself and what you can give to society rather than constantly looking at what it is giving back to you and you will enjoy your travel a lot more.

  16. Rock 9 September, 2014 at 10:45 Reply

    I was doing research to visit Croatia. I first looked it up cause I wanted to see where Marin Cilic the gentleman who won the us open tennis championship was from. I thought he was a lovely gentleman. I’m not going to visit the people, I would be going to visit to see the beauty. It’s absolutely beautiful. I travel to see the place I’m going to visit. I don’t need to make friends, I have enough. It’s a bonus if I meet someone nice. I’m more concerned about my behavior then how someone treats me. I can blow off someone being mean or rude to me. I just care about my behavior to others without any expectations of how someone else acts. It’s all good!!!

  17. jack 8 August, 2014 at 18:09 Reply

    I received this email off-site. My response at the top inclluding the link to the video might be of interest.
    Damn! If only I could somehow certify that my smile is “genuine”!
    Is this close?

    Author: david butler
    > Comment:
    > Ive been to croatia (zagreb) woring several times and just holidayed to Brac island. Ive also travelled to the US, Europe, Middle East and Asia many many times. I love croatia, no false smiles and ‘have a nice day’ like the US; maybe its the english in me but i dont find anyone rude, they are just direct and dont get into too much small talk, ideal for me :-) Split and Brac island is was great, safe, never riped of once, food brill, ferry always ran on time; all in all brill. And as an ex UK Army chap, who was in Kosovo back in the day perhaps i am a little more aware of the history and hence more sensative to what the country and its people has gone thorugh. And lets be honest the women in split are quite possibly the best looking in the world :-) Its a small but proud country, and why shouldnt it be! I hope the economy recovers, and that being part of the EU helps. We will be going back again thats for sure.

  18. Marko Mario 8 August, 2014 at 17:08 Reply

    Visitors, tourists are not on an anthropological research so there is no reason they should become part of the living tissue of every secluded village on a Croatian coast where people rent rooms. It is totally true what Pamela said about big hotel names and resorts. This year Croatian government started giving out grants to citizens who rent out rooms and apartments to build swimming pools around their houses. The governmente figured out swimming pools are a nice amenity and are a nice thing to offer to a visitor. And the thing with the beautiful Croatia. It is beautiful of course, but I feel there is also some kind of an exaggeration in it also due to a massive marketing campaign focusing only on natural beauty as there still no are real high end tourist facilities and amenities. Italy is also beautiful, and Greece too, and Spain. We had tourism before the outset of this new type of tourism that started from the 2000s. Before in the 60s, 70s, 80s I don’t remember that natural beauty was so emphasised. The focus was more on having a good vacation – it meant – enjoying your vacation – swimming, sunbathing, eating well, drinking, disco in the evening, some sexual opportunity, and very simple. But after the war the haughtiness really took over – Croatia had to be an exclusive destination, upperscale – they managed to do something with it in Dubrovnik, a couple of 5 star hotels – night costs around 300 – 600 euros, and they did something on Hvar – but Hvar is more for the rich with the yachts. The rest remained underdeveloped for years and there are still 96 ruined hotels along the coast that were deserted by the state during the ’90s, as there was no tourism. They are hidden in pine woods, or in plane sight, like Kupari near Dubrovnik, or they stand deserted next to the refurbished ones. I feel a bit ashamed when I hear tourists- we came, we heard it is beautiful beyond imagination – it is an exaggeration of marketing campaign, plus they might feel disappointed – nobody will say it to a TV camera but here on blogs and sites like this. Plus the deceptive marketing campaign make the new image of Croatia like it didn’t exist before and had mass tourism in Yugoslavia when the 90 % of present hotels and resorts was built.

  19. Željko 8 August, 2014 at 15:08 Reply

    Nice greeting, Jack and Pamela me from inhospitable Croatian, that you are right, people are wicked and need to work, but will not, general culture is very bad, but these are, we lived under communism, we had a war, we have bitterness in us because of the condition in Croatia, sea, come badly trained and working 12 hours for little pay, but when you ask us something, kindly respond and help, so we have been, personally, I’m always with a smile help every tourist, or on the sea or in the mountains and I’ve always with a smile and continued his journey happy to have helped, the beach we were exactly what it is the nature and god made, badly-bred people have svagdije and in our country, and accommodation, each with its own choice, if not good, goes further, those who prefer exclusive, will receive is not mad at you I, I am aware of everything, and I invite you to come back to Croatia, we are not always so bad and without culture, Croatia is not just sea and Plitvice, there are many places to see in the interior of Varazdin to Slavonia, especially nature – mountains. Velebit, Gorski Kotar and others, visit me on Facebook groups Planinarski kutak (Hikers corner) :)

  20. mario 8 August, 2014 at 15:01 Reply

    well, we are now about to test foreign investors about their real intentions, our government put to market some old tourist complexes which were ruined during war times, so if they want to invest in our tourism here they have chance …… because they will not get unspoiled and untouched land just so easily, we will not make some mistake as spain (despite our corrupted politicians on all levels, local one especially, who will sell anything for some little bribe money)
    remember that our tourism is developed mainly spontaneously within local communities and with them, we are not like turkey where germans just come and build huge resorts on empty land and where they ship “en mase” their customers in all inclusive arrangements
    it is simple, my property is in typical small dalmatian village and when you come to me, you have to live with us, for good and for bad, because you are not in an segregated resort, you are in our living tissue .. that will give you opportunity to met real us, as we are
    for me that is much better than fabricated smiles and artificial kindness which you will get in tourist INDUSTRY (how awful this sounds)

  21. david butler 8 August, 2014 at 14:50 Reply

    Ive been to croatia (zagreb) woring several times and just holidayed to Brac island. Ive also travelled to the US, Europe, Middle East and Asia many many times. I love croatia, no false smiles and ‘have a nice day’ like the US; maybe its the english in me but i dont find anyone rude, they are just direct and dont get into too much small talk, ideal for me :-) Split and Brac island is was great, safe, never riped of once, food brill, ferry always ran on time; all in all brill. And as an ex UK Army chap, who was in Kosovo back in the day perhaps i am a little more aware of the history and hence more sensative to what the country and its people has gone thorugh. And lets be honest the women in split are quite possibly the best looking in the world :-) Its a small but proud country, and why shouldnt it be! I hope the economy recovers, and that being part of the EU helps. We will be going back again thats for sure.

  22. Pamela 8 August, 2014 at 13:12 Reply

    Mario – I respectifully disagree with your view on development. There has been hotel-resorts built in the country. I can think of one specific in Hvar City that was packed wall to wall with tourists – mainly from Germany and Russia – it was not a well done resort & in it’s crouwd masked the beauty of the island – which is my point. It seems that with the natural beauty it would be a magnate for a beautiful, tastefully done, high end resort.

  23. mario 8 August, 2014 at 12:09 Reply

    “You do not see a lot of big name resorts building in the country – which with the beauty it has, you would expect to be happening”

    well, Pamela that is exact and main reason why our beloved country is so beautiful: no big name resorts to implement their mc donalds type of tourism (in which is absolutely the same are you in Varadero, Bali, Cancun, wherever …..) with mastodont sized complexes completely surrounded with fences and completely cut off from surrounding area and inhabitants

    want to enjoy stay in croatia? be polite and earn our trust and you will be served as a queen …
    try to be typical usa or similar ignorant with arrogant attitude who looks at us as servatns and we will spit in your drink and piss in you soup :)

    btw, if you really plans to come back to croatia, you are always welcome to my place

    ps: we can not beat our ego, it is our ego who keeps us alive as a nation during centuries, so we are as we are, on croatian “kur?eviti i zajebani” (do not use google translate, find some croat to translate this properly to you :) )

  24. Pamela 8 August, 2014 at 11:20 Reply

    Having read these comment on Croatia over the years – I find two interesting threads to most of the comments 1) everyone who visits appreciates the beauty that Croatia has to offer and 2) Croats on this thread still have their egos involved rather then the county’s best interest. Perhaps this beautiful country – and it is BEAUTIFUL – has a population which has had to think of themselves before others, merely for survival (family economics, personal safety, etc.) sake for so many generations, that it is a mind set which is not going to change until the next generation. I find that an attitude of helpfulness seems to equate weakness in their minds. One on one, I found many friendly people but it is a shame that it takes being in their personal inner circle to receive a welcome. The country has all of the assets which should make tourism it’s #1 economic model. It could be a huge success as a destination – but the economics of isolationism which permeates the Croatian community is wreaking havoc on the economy. You do not see a lot of big name resorts building in the country – which with the beauty it has, you would expect to be happening. That all being said, I would love to go back, it has been years since I was there and I would like to see if things have changed with the people. Croatia is a beautiful country but as often happens, their people’s pride often gets in their way of success.

  25. Marko Mario 7 August, 2014 at 15:42 Reply

    Do not come in Croatia is no answer. One should always accept the facts because people who travel and spend money, and are not Serbian (this is sarcastic) are obviously objective about the service they received because they have no reason to hate Croatia. Or people who even bought real esate in Croatia. Arrogance and rudness and tourism do not go together. If one depends on service sector to make a profit then appropriate behaviour in business should occur – because it is businees – you sell the service – be it a room, a souvenir, or a view to the sea – and if I buy it I would expect professional service only. Otherwise there is not tourism. Arrogant “patriotism” and we’re the best – f**k the rest attitude won’t book rooms in the hotels and resorts.

  26. mario 7 August, 2014 at 15:41 Reply

    eh, john, i do not remember that we met each other and that we know each other …. so from where you get the right to comment here me personally?

  27. John 7 August, 2014 at 09:26 Reply

    Thank you to everyone for helping this post reach 200 comments!!
    Jack and Marko Mario, I really appreciate your discussions and thoughts on living in Croatia.

    As for mario, I must wonder why you still make such vile rubbish? You are more than welcome to continue to do so, because all you’re doing is perpetuating the notion that Croatia is an unfriendly and hostile place to visit. I’ve gone back and read the article many times and your responses are completely arrogant, defensive and preposterous! The fact that many other Croats agree with some of our findings just proves that our experience was not an outlier.

    By the way, I have no idea what gfoaoh stands for? Nor do I need to know. I can guess the first two letters, but you’re not fooling anyone who reads this post – you are a despicable person and I hope you enjoy stewing in your own misplaced anger. Feel free to respond with more vulgarity (which no doubt you will), but I will say nothing further.

    • mario 7 August, 2014 at 15:23

      well if i write gfoaoh in full words, it will be removed by editor :) as it happens before
      btw, this whole discussion is pointless and solution is simple: you are right, we are just as you write here, so please, do you and us a favor, please DO NOT COME IN CROATIA
      you will find some other place for holidays and we will live here our own way as we like it … win win situation, everybody happy
      except Jack, he made bad investment and he can not go out of it easily :)

  28. mario 7 August, 2014 at 04:32 Reply

    i am only hoping that you two croatia haters are finished with your love letters …. you simply spam the blog, and you are repeating yourself
    so let me repeat: jack sell the apartment and gfoaoh, marko mario you have whole world to move, why to suffer here

  29. jack 6 August, 2014 at 20:02 Reply

    Thanks Mario
    Your comments make perfect sense to me.
    I’ve done favors for my Croatian neighbors – not money, but given and shipped them things that they need, and they don’t thank me for it – it offends them as being condescending. One neighbor said “what, do you think I need this from you?” and the other didn’t even acknowledge the gift. And yes, as a matter of fact, these were things that they did need or could make good use of and couldn’t have easily obtained in Croatia.
    When people are determined to dislike you there isn’t much you can do.
    Fortunately I don’t need a lot of company, and bad treatment doesn’t crush my spirit. But it’s a good thing that my time in the beautiful country of Croatia is limited, because the lack of positive human contact wears on one after a bit.
    I have a cabin in British Columbia which I just returned from, and the contrast is like night and day. Making friends with the Canadians up there is effortless. But interestingly, there’s an Austrian-Canadian and a Slovakian-Canadian, both in Canada for over 20 years, who are more standoffish than the others. Go figure.

    • Marko Mario 6 August, 2014 at 20:50

      Yes, I know how they don’t like to feel thankful or express thankfulness in Croatia-Dalmatia. It is part of the cultural habits of being rough -which is considered as a positive trait. I recently read in Croatina newspaper that foreigners stop purchasing apartments and houses even in the Dubrovnik area, as there is no vibrant life style when it’s not summer. It is funny since so many years of tourism didn’t break the habits of aloofness and reservedness, or roughness and rudness. Canadians are friendly, I personally met some Canadians and that’s a fact. There are a lot of prejudice in Croatia-Dalmatia and narrow-mindedness. To maintain the middle ages world view in the 21 st century is a difficult adventure which is seen already this year as the tourist season is not as expected. Falling number of visitors. Because they impose restrictions on everything. They don’t like drunk half-naked tourists around beautiful Dalmatian tourists because it offends the “morals” yet they want money from them. In the ’80s the trends were really modern – for example – nudism, special tourist resorts just for nudist tourists were built. During the war and after with the rise of Croatian isolation towards their neighbors and renewed catholicism things went down the road against modernity. Just an example of the backward trend in Croatia was a referendum (petition for the referendum signed by 700 000 citizens) which wanted a ban on same-sex marriage, that is that any same sex union cannot be constitutionaly called a marriage – 950 000 voters or 66 percent voted yes. It illustrates the radicalization trends in Croatia all coupled with xenophobia. In Croatia they also dislike the asylum seekers. Some asylum seekers in the northern parts of the country were arbitrarily accused of provoking distress in those local communities if they walked through the park or talked to the local girls. I can imagine a typical dalmatian reaction to a married gay couple coming on vacation and stating they are married and want to share a room, the whole town would talk about it and gossip around that subject but they would say – who cares, as long as they pay well, and they’re only here for 2 weeks, and we need sweet money of theirs. So, I’m repeating myself but I think people here got more corrupted, disrespectful and rude over the last two decades.

    • jack 6 August, 2014 at 21:25

      I’m straight but like any sensible person, of course respect the human rights of the LGBT community, which of course have nothing to do with national sovereingty and everything to do with basic human decency. I do not, however, respect illegal immigration, and feel that it’s only Croatia’s unhealthy economy, unfortunately, that’s protecting it from an invasion similar to that which America has allowed for the past 25-30 years, much to its detriment.

    • Marko Mario 7 August, 2014 at 08:36

      Jack, I used the example of the anti-gay marriage referendum to show that the trends are not modernity, openness, tourism but rather the contrary -leave us alone with our narrowmindedness. And here we talked about toursim and the attitude many people have in Croatia towards tourists. The asylum seekers are people who leave their country if their rights are threatened – just like many Croats looked for asylum abroad in the communist period,. and they were welcomed in the countries they seeked asylum, yet not the same amount of hospitality is given back once the others need it because foreigners are seen as a threat. So, it is demonstrated also in the case of the authors of this blog – the cases of rudness and sheer violence by the locals. Just luring tourists for their money and rubbing into their faces that they are a burden and a threat is producing negative feedback. And also I found the same comments of disappointed visitors on other travel blogs, chats and even on a Spanish one- Spaniards who traveled to Croatia and all agreed on the lack of courtesy and helpfullness. That’s sad since it might happen that Croatian tourism deteriorates heavily , no returning visitors. This summer season already started to show that trend. Obviously, a national strategy of serious service tourism staff training is needed and a general campaign on kindness and openness – I doubt it will happen.

  30. jack 6 August, 2014 at 16:40 Reply

    I decided in 2005 to love Croatia whether it loves me back or not, and have an apartment in southern Dalmatia. So my money’s where my mouth is.
    I’ll be back in Sept. – Oct. for another visit, enjoyable, horrible, or more likely something in between.

    • Marko Mario 6 August, 2014 at 17:45

      Good point – enjoyable, horrible or something in between. An the Venetian Biennale of Architecture of 2006 the Croatian artists represented Croatia with the slogan “Inbetween the systems”. In between the West, East, communism, capitalism, this and that. All excuses. Pure corruption and self rightousness – that’s what’s been ruling Croatia for the past two decades. But on the positive note the scenery is real nice in Southern Dalmatia and here’s a piece of advice – try out a psychological experiment – give out some smaller tips to people you encounter or need help – plumber, taxi driver, next door neighbour. They will love you in a second. The problem is to keep them loving you – you will have to occasionally repeat the ceremony of tipping them otherwise they’ll hate you again. So, you d’better not do it because you know it’s hypocrisy. Nothing. Just try to enjoy it and maybe get to know some more educated people over there or students. They love speaking in foreign languages. The ordinary locals do not. This all may sound cynical but that’s how it is. But really, there are people who are crazy about practicing their English in Croatia – usually those with some college education. It’s hard. Croats hate each other if they are pro communist or pro nationalist – imagine the case with foreigners who do not bribe them. This all sounds too horrifying what I wrote, but I understand the psychology of them – a foreigner – what is he doing here – the looks and all. Try to get to more educated crew and things will get better, hopefully. Sorry if I was too direct. Thanks for exchanging views.

    • Marko Mario 6 August, 2014 at 18:25

      I just read again your above comments that you bought an apartment for regular vacation in southern Dalmatia but despite being friendly the locals turn out to be unpleasant. It is a problem for sure especially if it is a smaller town. They are very uptight and not opent for communication unless you are a spending German. Maybe selling the apartment and buying another one in Istria or Kvarner is a better idea. People are more friendly in those parts as they are mixed with Italian minority so the cultural pattern is different. I know what you are talking about as I am from Dalmatia. Rough personalities, and can be very impolite.

  31. Marko Mario 6 August, 2014 at 15:53 Reply

    Well, I am personally from Dalmatia and I know how people operate there, but I moved. Just during the Ultra festival in Split the locals raised the prices of private rooms for rent for 300 % their regular price – talk about morality and honesty. The party that ruled Croatia for 18 years – the Croatian Democratic Party is responsible for a massive marketing campaign on CNN and other big TV stations promising Carribean weather in Croatia and all that crap. On the other side intellectuals propose cultural tourism – visiting all the renaissance churches and palaces over and over again. The ruling party’s tourism strategy was no investment in hotel industry, or in educating the staff, but just selling the sun, sea and rocky beaches. That party is on the trial now for corruption with a court sentence that has to be appealed facing a multi-euro fine. Everyone started to rent-out rooms, some of them not even equipped for renting. The hotels that were refurbished are owned by foreign companies. The whole attitude is because of the social anomie – normlessness. The norms and rules were consisently broken by the ruling party for years, corruption and all. Since those at the top do it, those at the bottom saw it is ok for them to do it too. Sociologists and many citizens of Croatia for years have been saying that generally rudness and lack of manners increased in Croatian society since the 1990-s. Of course, if there is no sanctions for bad behaviour themajority will tend to behave badly. So is with tourism. Lack of responsibility and professionalism are rampant in Croatian tourism.

    • jack 6 August, 2014 at 16:04

      I think a lot of the problem stems from an exodus of the best and brightest from Croatia.
      Croatian who’ve moved to other countries and have done well financially have an opportunity to spend some time and effort back in the home country and help revitalize it, bring it up to speed and show a good example of modern civilized behavior.
      I hope some of them will do so.

    • Marko Mario 6 August, 2014 at 16:19

      Yes, there are some distinguished scientists and businessmen but the case is they way of thinking when they’re back to Croatia is too western for Croats. Some of them have been invited to national TV to various TV panels and interviews. None of them was offered assistance of the government for some needed changes. Unless they got involved in politics with the ruling party they were not able to do anything. The notorious Croatian Democratic Union is a fixation in minds of many Croats and that party had the power and money to do or not do. It is a centralized system and just a banal example – violent teenage behaviour. In ex Yugoslavia it was severely punished, those teenagers would get qualified as criminals and they were placed in youth penitentiary institutions. In modern Croatia it stopped existed, severy violent teenagers still exist, yet they are not punished, the behavior is either qualified as foolishness and if faced with prison a connection to the ruling party, a call to a friend, some money bribe would ease the fuss immediately. There are cases for example in the town in southern Dalmatia, where the local politician’s son murdered two 20 year old girl when he was drunk and speed driving. He got acquitted by the court, since the father is powerful enough to influence the local court as the laws on speed drunk driving can be interpreted in Croatia any way you want it. So, it is with tourists. Who cares if they’re offended, we don’t need them if they are too demanding. We’re Croatia, we can do what we like. It’s hard to summarize it.

    • jack 6 August, 2014 at 16:23

      I kind of anticipated that what you’re describing might be the case – you’ve explained it very well. Pleasure talking to you.

    • Marko Mario 6 August, 2014 at 16:35

      Well, it is a relief when foreign visitors see and point out what everyone in Croatian tourism sector denies. Your views on the situation in Croatia are sharp and correct – I hope you did have a nice vacation in spite of it all.

  32. mario 6 August, 2014 at 15:39 Reply

    you do not know nothing jon sn… ops, marko mario :)
    fyi, i have constant rise in nr of guests, nr of nights spent, income and profit .. plust that, my guests adore me, they keep coming back and i have by far the best rating on some serious world web sites and portals.

    now, i am getting little bored and i go to drink some homemade wonders with my guests.
    you, marko mario, keep dig in statistics and facts, that must be some hell of a fun :)

  33. jack 6 August, 2014 at 15:36 Reply

    The replies by Croatians here are all pretty lame in my opinion, replete with ignorance, immaturity and belligerence.
    One could argue that this is not representative of Croatians as a whole, but where are the reps of the Croatian tourism industry who one would expect to take tourists’ concerns seriously and make respectful replies exhibiting some intelligence? None in evidence.

  34. Marko Mario 6 August, 2014 at 15:26 Reply

    Well, the mario’s 100 % croat, atheist reply to my purely statistical and factual comment on the plausible root of all the rudness in Croatia towards tourists epitomizes perfectly the attitude of any another average 100 % croat. The percentage of croatness, “hard cash” and all. Croatia is loosing a lot of hard cash for being totally closed and hostile for any plausible gay venue on the coast except for Istria. Croatia’s tourism is deteriorating and one of the causes is that tourists do not return because they’ve been met with rudness or hostility here. Not all, some tourists. Those “some tourists” in numbers and percentages amount to quite a few unsatisfied tourists. Just reading the Spanish internet chats on Croatia and tourism is really sad – comment after comment about lousy service, unhelpfulness and so on. The “I am the best attitude and 100 % Croat” won’t help a lot, it is exclusive to other cultures – xenophobic. Foreigners feel that and they choose not to come back to Croatia.

  35. Marko Mario 6 August, 2014 at 14:43 Reply

    Yes, the worst part is when some of the Croats and Dalmatians travel the world or live abroad for a while and come back home they inisist Croatia is the ultimate place to live, a part of the earth “God” made last but not least, on the contrary the best part of the planet, where it is mandatory to wave the Croatian flag into everybody’s face, worshipping Virgin Mary which is called the Queen of Croats, and saying God and Croats – meaning God is for Croats only and they for him/her. Croatia is one of the most catholic nations in Europe according by a high Vatican official who made the statement in 2003 prior to Pope John Paul II second visit to Croatia. They really are crazy about Catholic church, and patriotism, if they do not go to church, they do hold the traditions of Saints and all of that very rigorously. This is not an anti-catholic rant, rather a state of the affair that many liberals in Croatia expose as a problem, too much church in everday life, although it is a secular state. France and Spain and Italy are also very catholic nations but compared to Croats they should take a few more lessons in their catechism. Apart from religious rigidity and thinking that Westerners are depraved because they have same-sex marriage, some Croats can turn a blind eye on a gay tourist couple since they bring the desired riches. The problem with Croatia is that nobody is objectively poor, everybody wants to get rich fast – meaning owning an apartment or a house by the time they’re 35, a job where you don’t have to work but you earn a 1000 euros – usually in a state-owned companies or state public sector. So, during the summer they can’t stand the stupid depraved westerners who do not spend enough money as before, plus they are not Croats, which is an immediate threat, they might not be catholic, and if they’re gay they will just be disgusted but calm when charging for the room twice as much the market price. Yes, they behave rudely, want money fast, don’t give sh**t about manners, and think you’re might be their enemy to their independence and moral hyopocrisy.

    • mario 6 August, 2014 at 15:13

      marko mario, you are not croat, no croat alive could say such a huge amount of lies about croatia and croats .. .for me looks like you are some mix marriage wretch, badly abused during childhood.
      it is sad to see that amount of hate and contempt toward one country and their inhabitants, i can only fell pity for you, it must be hell to live in such a horrible place which croatia must be, according to your description.
      btw, i am 100% croat, atheist, and i fully support gays, gay marriage and all that hype about LGBT communities, especially when they come to me as guests and bring some hard cash :)

  36. Pamela 6 August, 2014 at 13:44 Reply

    I totally agree. I am very friendly with. Few Croatian families in the US as well as Croatia and the women, from teens to 50’s – truly give off an arrogant vibe of believing they are stunning – perhaps this is due to generations of repression within the eastern bloc countries which compared themselves against each other – but to the world the women I have met have generally not had the best taste in the world, though perhaps for Eastern bloc countries they do. In general, the country could use a little humility – though I believe currently they believe humility equals weakness rather then warmth. Sadly they are heading down a bad economic road which could end up worse then Greece.

    • mario 6 August, 2014 at 14:52

      well pamela, my old friend, i will not comment your nonsense about repression, i will just put to comparison average croatian girl vs average american girl and i can only say: thank god i am croatian :)

    • fatkat 13 October, 2014 at 05:27

      Pamela, Croatia was never part of the Eastern Bloc. Yugoslavia was a socialist country but people were free to travel and live elsewehere as the country wasn’t a member of the Warsaw pact. And as for being Croatian women being arrogant – I don’t know, it’s the first time I heard anyone say this, but many Croatians (and I’m Croatian myself, albeit a diaspora one) are said to be quite shallow so that might be it.

  37. Marko Mario 6 August, 2014 at 12:57 Reply

    Yes, a few weeks ago there was a music festival in Split – Ultra festival and many locals commented how funny the foreigners behave. Saying “sorry”, “thank you” and all that staff. Also no pushing or skipping the line is also a miracle for the locals. Croats in Dalmatia and other parts see such normal stuff as effeminate, real dudes and gals here never say sorry, thank you or wait in the straight line. Also, they perpetuate the illusion that dalmatian girls, especially Split girls are the most beautiful on the planet and they actually think it is the case, being boastful is a quality of a personality, rather than a flaw of character. Also, they think they are being very tolerant and open-minded if they say LGBT people are not mentally ill, but same sex marriage is an abomination to the gentle catholic croatian-dalmatian soul which is connected as I said to the polite manners which are effeminate or ridiculous according to the most beautiful girls on the planet and the coolest dudes on the planet, a belief supported by their uptight parents.

  38. jack 6 August, 2014 at 12:17 Reply

    Just a short comment about generalizations.
    Some of the posters seem to feel that when one gives a couple of examples and expresses an opinion, this is promoting stereotypes and is therefor unfair and inaccurate, and it’s true that this can be the case.
    However, that also can be inaccurate and a stereotype. I personally don’t have the time or interest in listing every incident or encounter I’ve had in Europe and doing a statistical analysis of them. Rather, It’s fair and reasonable to look on one’s experiences and sort and analyse them internally in order to get an impression of the populace, and then describe it in a reasonably short piece for the benefit of others. As long as one recognizes the fact that he or she has only met a finite number of people in a finite area, this opinion need not express any unfair prejudice.
    I don’t see why every travel description and opinion need be criticized with the caveat that there may be others who behave differently – of course there are. But those we deal with in a random sample have meaning when trying to determine the characteristics of a population. Otherwise one may as well read statistics from a website and ignore the actual experiences and opinions of travelers.
    ‘Generalize’ is not a dirty word – it’s the way we make intelligent decisions when we analyse data.

  39. Zeljko 6 August, 2014 at 11:47 Reply

    I read this blog a long time and I do not see anything nice about my country, but well, everyone has their own opinion, even I do not speak good English, but I have Google translate and translate and read, nothing is difficult, but it is difficult when someone comes along and tells badly on your country and then again go back, I was there many times and in the cities and in the mountains and I always adapt, I got friends and it was fascinating, maybe it’s because of me or my behavior, because it does not come as a owner than as a tourist or as a friend who respects everything that surrounds it, try another time when you first make one and there you come, you have a choice, if you do not like going on, I also, people in Croatia are friendly, but can not poeople behave as though they servants at your service.

    • jack 8 August, 2014 at 12:00

      Hi Zeljko
      Just a short response to you, sir, because at least you write with a minimal amount of respectful language. You also, however, share your fellow Croatians’ lack of sympathy for any troubles that tourists have in Croatia, evidenced by your descriptions of us as “talking badly about your country and then going back” which I assume means that the solution to being treated badly, in your mind, is to stay away from Croatia and leave it to people who treat tourists badly. This does not strike me as a productive, mature or fair-minded attitude.
      You also hint that those of us who describe the problems we’ve encountered are incapable of appreciating or adapting to the various ways that other people live – but I don’t think this is the case. We travel because we enjoy and savor people’s differences. But we can differentiate between good and bad behavior no matter where we are in the world. Trying to convince intelligent people that meanness is just an interesting quirk of culture and must be accepted without criticism is not going to fly. Rather, we think that it’s a positive thing to point out bad behavior so that those responsible for it will increasingly be held accountable and then have to improve or lose business.
      The last third of your post is not very clear due to the translation difficulty, but your very last point is clear but unfair. Nobody one this site has indicated that they think all Croatians should behave as if they are tourists’ servants. We only feel that Croatians should behave as if they are our fellow human beings. I do not treat my fellow humans in a rude, unfriendly and surly manner, and I feel that it is only common decency for Croatians to treat me similarly.
      As for the tourist industry, Croatians who work in this industry have even more responsibility than the average Croatian to be nice and friendly to tourists, whether they personally like them or not. Tourists are taking their own vacation time and spending money they have saved for a pleasant time, and have a right to expect that the tourist industry in any country makes an effort to ensure that this limited vacation time is more pleasant for the tourist than his everyday working life is. That is what they’re being paid for. And, to apply your faulty reasoning to a case where it does make sense – if the Croatian who works in the tourist industry doesn’t want to serve the tourist (it’s called a service industry for a reason) then he shouldn’t continue in a profession in which he or she has no competence.

  40. Dalmo Brit 4 August, 2014 at 06:19 Reply

    I am British – Croatian and I have to agree with the way you have written this article. It is generally not a nice way to have to generalise a nation as a whole however when comparing a nation to other places I have visited in Europe and Central Amercica,carribean etc.. the percentage of rudeness and lack of curtesy towards people and general behaviour of a high percentage of people in Croatia can easily make people feel like the entire country is like this.

    I personally find that people in the Northern region like Zagreb to be a lot different and a lot friendlier. Along the coast they are rude in many ways.

    1. The driving culture is awful. Nobody stops at roundabouts to look if anyone is coming, nobody stops to let you through if your stuck in traffic, nobody waves or flashes lights to say thank you if you help them out. They do however toot their horn if your slowing them down. There is no curtesy towards “other people”. Extremely primitive.

    2. Not all but most, when I say most I mean over 50% of restaurants waiters do not provide the same level of service as you would expect in the UK or other places in Europe. I have never received a welcome “how are you today?”, rarely do I receive a smile. Instead I seem to receive glaring eyes when entering a restaurant with an annoyed look of “oh I have to work today”

    3. The Gym.. In general there is gym etiquette, In croatia this does not exist, from people not using towels, to people standing in front of the mirror or right next to me while Im lifting and trying to carry out a workout. Weights are never placed back where they belong, and if someone requires the same weight or machine they will usually tell you to share it with them, without a can I or may i, or thank you.

    4. The newsagent stands, you don’t spend much time on them, however in general at all when receiving my change, they just slam it down on the table and walk away. I feel like a prison inmate receiving food being slapped on my tray. In fact I think even this is done in a nicer way now days in prison….

    5. Just other simple things, like food deliveries, there is no thank you when leaving a tip (in Zagreb there is though every time)…

    6. At the clubs and night bars, local girls tend to think very highly of themselves and gods gift to this world, they will often push you away with their shoulders from the bar if while you order your drink and they feel you are in their space, when croatians pass through a crowded night club they will barge and push straight through you. Without a scuse me or sorry.. I had three Croatian girls visit me once in the UK and when a group of lads said sorry because they were in their way when they tried to pass through in the beer garden the girls were shocked.

    Don’t get my completely wrong, I have Croatian friends and when you know people here they are actually friendlier and more willing to help and potentially more inviting than British people, and I can have a lot of fun in conversation. It seems to be the general public and service industry that needs to modernise its behaviour.

    Its sad but this really is the way it is, and that high percentage of incidents of rudeness that occur will make most tourists feel like the entire country is like that and they will generalise, simply because its not such a high percentage anywhere else.

    On a positive my local butcher is great here.

  41. Marko Mario 12 June, 2014 at 07:28 Reply

    I think it would be also insightful for the Croatian Tourist Board to hear about the negative experiences Inspiring Travellers had in Croatia. It would maybe help Croatian Tourist Board to point out to local tourist board subsidiaries to deal with the issue of helpfulness and friendliness of the staff. Great deal of public money is invested every year into the international marketing campaign yet obviously not as much is invested in the proper training of the staff.

  42. Pamela 11 June, 2014 at 18:15 Reply

    Mario proves everyone’s point – lovely country but often lacking in warmth and logic. I met many Mario’s while there. But this does not mean there are not lovely, kind and helpful Croatians, but there are just as many Mario’s who are not helpful for the country’s tourism trade.

  43. Marko Mario 11 June, 2014 at 17:22 Reply

    I personally felt appalled when I read what happend to Inspiring travellers on their trip in Croatia – attacked by a local throwing rocks and other unpleasant situations. I did not insinuate anything regarding that and that’s all. What I wanted to stress for the sake of justice is that not all people in Croatia are like that. To think that would be insane. If that were true nobody would come here. There are incidents everywhere but that is not a rule. By saying Croats should drop bad habits you’re insinuating all Croats. For the sake of justice one should always use words such as some, individuals and majority or minority. All Croats cannot drop bad habits because not everyone behaves badly. I am not fooling anyone into believing anything false about travelling in Croatia. I did travel around and yes some Americans can be unpleasant, some Croats can be unpleasant. I worked in a hotel in USA so I met guests from all over USA on a daily basis. I also worked in tourism sector in Croatia and it’s not a general rule that tourist complain about the unfriendliness. But, of course what Inspiring Travellers experienced is terrible and it is shocking. They themselves do not portray it in their article as a thing every Croatian would do, of course not. They point out that there is lack of pleasentries in the communication. I don’t know the reason for that – I thought of several reasons – people from the inland coming to work just for the tourist season to earn something – so no real interest or motiviation for work in tourism or experience in it. I also thought of
    the nationalistic argument, as some people tend to be nationalistic with other ex-Yugoslav tourists. Since they occasionaly used Macedonian language I thought that might the reason for some of the unfriendliness. I am not defending anyone, just trying to be objective.

    • CJ 13 July, 2015 at 17:20

      I’m a New Yorker who’s been to Croatia a few times and I’ve had negative experiences there that I haven’t had anywhere else. That said, you should be on the tourist board Marko. It’s been a pleasure to read your posts.

  44. mario 11 June, 2014 at 15:19 Reply

    jack, sell apartment asap and go somewhere else …. what did you expected, that we are some exotic “natives” which will adore you just because you buy something here? remember one thing, we cannot be forced to “to drop bad habits” in our own country, because here we decide what bad habits are …. understand? so go fys and find some other place for regular vacations

  45. Marko Mario 11 June, 2014 at 15:11 Reply

    I personally know Germans and British tourist who bought houses back in the ’90. on the Croatian coast. And they were not disrespected in any way. I think generalizing bases on one example is totaly misleading. One cannot say all Croats, and so on. I lived in USA and there were some Americans who were unpleasant yet I never said all Americans are like that. In every country people can be unpleasant to each other. Violence occurs anywhere also. In England when I was years ago to learn English in a park girls passed by us tourists saying – oh, foreing, foreign again. So, in the most civilized countries people can be unfriendly to tourists. There are unfriendly and friendly persons in Croatia but it is normal as there are anywhere in the world.
    Just to explain the aggressions that occur. They are usually triggered off by nationalism but they occur rarely and even in England some hooligans sometimes attack a tourist because of its manners, skin color or something like it. I am not justifiying. I just think it is unjust to generalize.

    • jack 11 June, 2014 at 16:36

      I just said, essentially, that I discount the comments that insinuate that the original post is by people who don’t know how to be nice. Now you make a post that makes the very same insinuation. Then you accuse me of generalizing about all Croats, which is also false.
      Then you go on to describe troubles you’ve had in America and England.

      There is nothing untrue in the original post that we’re responding to, or in mine. We have not generalized, we have not lied. However, there are false accusations in your

      Also, although I cannot prove it, I am of the opinion that to hint that the probability that someone a Croatian meets in America is likely to be no more friendly than someone an American meets in Croatia is just silly. Anyone with any experience in the 2 countries knows it.
      Try to fool people to think otherwise all you like on the web, but don’t try to fool someone who travels.

  46. jack 11 June, 2014 at 14:29 Reply

    Croatians have their own small country, but they don’t have their own planet. Currently some of them may not have the sense to work toward improving their own fortunes by treating others decently, but they’ll increasingly be forced to drop their bad habits.
    Let’s hope it’s sooner rather than later.

  47. jack 11 June, 2014 at 14:03 Reply

    In 2010 I bought a tiny apartment in southern Croatia to use for regular vacations, and also have found interaction with the locals less pleasant than I’d expected, even though my expectations weren’t unreasonable. I thought that my normal, friendly attitude would be enough to bring out what I consider to be at least average treatment from them, but not so much.
    I appreciate this article and find it to be honestly written by people who seem intelligent and who show no indication of failing to understand that there are cultural differences in the various places they travel to.
    I place a large discount on the replies which insinuate that anyone who is subjected to abuse has brought it upon themselves, or makes excuses for behavior which is undesirable, meanspirited, ignorant and unintelligent. These are qualities which are to be shunned by all humans everywhere.

  48. maria 4 June, 2014 at 16:52 Reply

    Hello everyone! I’m visiting Croatia next month and wanted to know what the attitude towards swimwear is?
    Are brazilian bikini bottoms acceptable? (skimpy but not a thong)

    • Marko Mario 4 June, 2014 at 17:09

      hi, I’m from Croatia, the coastal region. Yes, it’s absolutely acceptable. I remember in the early eighties when I was a child I was running around the beach and everywhere I looked were topless German tourists. It’s standard. On a regular beach it’s totally normal brazilian bikini, thong, topless whatever. No one of the local population who is also on the beaches frowns upon it as it is usual for decades now as I mentioned and Croatina women also wear brazilian bikinis, thongs and topless frequently.

  49. Mark 12 May, 2014 at 07:11 Reply

    My German wife and our dog have now been living in Croatia just north of Zagreb for approx. one year and I visit regularly, I work in the UK. We have generally been treated with great friendliness and are often invited back for dinner or coffee and cake. We have noticed though that money really does talk and they will do just about anything for you to earn a few Euros. We feel sorry for the way that a lot of them have to live in broken down houses and with very little money indeed. The Croatian economy just about had its back broken due to the war. They usually react to the way they are treated. I you are friendly to them and not arrogant they they will be friendly back

  50. Marko Mario 4 May, 2014 at 00:31 Reply

    I’ve just read the previous comments and read that John spoke Macedonian on every occasion and got a response. And the guy throwing rocks at you was Croatian as you could clearly understand him. I am half Macedonian myself, half Croatian. My maternal grandfather is from Gevgelija in Macedonia. The thing is that they showed contempt and dislike because of the Macedonian. It is really possible. Some people in Croatia are really nationalistic and hostile to Eastern, ex Yugo tourists. If they heard you speaking Macedonian what they deemed as Serbian it is possible they got hostile. If you spoke English all the time exclusively they would probably not show they contempt to you or rudness in such a vivid way. It makes sense to me now as I was wondering on the explicit rudness since I know they all want money and would kill for 10 euro tip it didn’t make sense to me.

    • inspiringtravellers 4 May, 2014 at 11:47

      Editor’s note: we did not speak Macedonian all the time, mostly English. John only used the words he thought were similar. Also, we did not converse with the guy throwing rocks before he started throwing them. Thank you for your comments.

    • Marko Mario 5 May, 2014 at 00:46

      It’s good to know the other side of the story of tourist experiences in Croatia. People here started to develop tourism massively in the sixties, seventies. By the end of the eighties tourists where loved and cherished and they were mostly western Germans and Italians. There was no tourism in the nineties and then from the 2000s onward a massive marketing campaign has made Croatia look as Saint Tropez. While the habits remained the same the tourist structure changed. Less Germans and more visitors from other countries. Germans here are most loved because of the perception that they spend a lot and just come for the good weather, sun, sea and fresh fish. So, more international structure of visitors is in collision with the expecations of the locals – tourists that don’t ask for anything but nice weather and fresh food.

  51. Marko Mario 4 May, 2014 at 00:08 Reply

    The thing is that during the tourist season in the summer everyone wants to earn an extra euro. Many people that work in services during summer are not from the coast but from the continent, particularly Slavonia. They are acquainted with the local area and local customs as much as a tourist who visits for the first time is. This is a fact of Croatia’s tourist season that inlanders flock to work on coast. They are culturally different from Dalmatians and they might get rude as they only come to work for 4 months and then they leave back home to the Croatian continent. Of course, this is not a rule, but the tourist season is chaotical for everyone in Croatia and everybody wants to earn money badly. So, such haste in earning money leaves behind the pleasantries. Also, saying thank you, please, you are welcome with a smile is considered as an unnecessary “ordeal” in the summer heat for some people in Croatian services as they would like not to be working during the hot summer – and I don’t think it is because they don’t get paid enough – there are always tips in hotels and restaurants. And it is precisely the summer when everybody gets paid regularly.

  52. Visko 27 April, 2014 at 16:54 Reply

    Don’t get frustrated because of tiresome, rude and lack-of-decent-manners persons that work in tourism. You met them as a tourist for a week or two. The local Croatian population has to live with those morons whole the time. Morons are to be found everywhere on this planet.

    Why some people are not smiling?
    They are working, but the owner does not give salary regularly or not at all. The labour market is dominated by job-givers, not by labour (job-takers).
    For the labour it is: take it or leave it. If You take it, You must hope that the owner will give you your salary. That’s why some people don’t have smile on their faces. If You do not take it, then hope that You will won on lottery (=find a job).

    don’t ever say that there was a “civil war” in Croatia. It was not.
    Serbia + Bosnian Serbs + Serbias satellite Montenegro waged a war to conquer Croatian territory + expelling or killing of all Croats on the territories that Serbia temporarily managed to conquer.
    Besides that, for 70 years, Croatia has been denigrated by the Yugo-diplomacy that was completely held by Serbs.
    Croatia passed through hell to reach international recognition and later to restore occupied territory. Croatia barely survived the Serbian attack.
    Petty interests of super powers that disliked Croatia, also contributed to Croatian problems.
    That is why you must never use the term “civil war”. It was a war of conquest. Serbia waged a war to conquer Croatian territory.

  53. Liz 17 April, 2014 at 04:45 Reply

    I lived in NY, Germany and France. Now regarding people: NYorkers in general: rude, stressed and riddled with crime. france: beautiful history and architecture and terrible service, if you want to compare rude waiters to Criatian waiters it would be reduculous. By the way the Croats work more than the French and have a very tiny salary. Beaches in Francr don’t compare to the beauty of Croatia. If you want to talk about overpriced food and drinks go to France! Now Germany: weather sucks, people are generally rough and I would not call them welcoming. Regarding the beauty of their mountains, palaces and architecture yes it tops Croatia. When you are speaking about Croatia you really mean Dalmatia and that a different world. Just focus in swimming and eating fresh fish: the locals are proud but they are honest and yes once you meet them they have a SOUL and believe me it is a lot purer than a lot of the other “developed” countries. How crazy to say that Croatia is more expensive than other European countries. No is not “sophisticated” but the population speaks more English than they do in France. Mario you are a bit too proud but I get you; I will continue to visit “rude ” Croatia where the last taxi driver gave us a bottle of wine and figs to take on our trip. We only met her twice! Neve would that happen in Germany or ny. Maybe in France people would be a little kinder for they are also proud but once you respect their language and customs you can get by but I still prefer the Dalmatinski people! I’ll take a cheap cofee by Bol anytime than an 8 euro cofee in the center of Paris invaded by rude tourist thrown by a rude waiter. What nonsense this blog: I understand the people who wrote it because I felt like that in Tunisia but once I realized that I had to respect their prayer times and fact they follow you everywhere to sell you something and even joke with them about it I could enjoy their incredible culture. Mario is right: don’t go back but if you do put on a different mindset. Observe the old people getting together outside their villages to chat (never in Ny, Germany) or people fishing for their daily fish! May I suggest you bask on the beauty of its people and listen to their music and try to understand it! I’ve been going to Dalmatia for 25 years and I feel blessed by its beauty and their clean water. Try florida with jellyfish, sharks and crime! Mario you didn’t express yourself well, your emotions got the best of you as it does for most Dalmatians so calm down but I get you.

  54. LCroatia 18 March, 2014 at 16:09 Reply

    I assume your exeperience wasn’t that well,but I assure you it’ rare.There are many let’s say “impulsive” Croats, but generally we are friendly and famous for being relaxed- maybe even too much.Good assuption though that in august people are maybe fed up with tourists.
    I’ve been working in catering industry for many years now (all over Croatia) , and wherever I’ve been colleagues and I tried to maximize our service, and it’s not really hard to be friendly if our guests are “not-expecting-world-to-stop-because-of-them”. And you have to understand that I don’t own restaurant – I’m just normal person who works 12h (and we all do -a girl who sold you an icecream and a women who sold you fresh fruit and a fisherman who got up in 4 a.m. so you could eat a fresh fish) a day during summer and I still have a smile for you,as do my colleagues,as do Croats! As a matter a fact I ended up in this page because I wanted to maybe invite someone interesting and help him-her-them to explore Croatia by providing them advices,homemade organic food,even accomodation-which is humble,but everything else is breathtaking. I will get back to this page in a few days,to check if there is anyone interested,so we can exchange data.
    Sadly,this is my last summer in Croatia, because summer does not lasts long enough,and we eat food and get bills, and there is no room for non-rich people anymore. Please excuse my english, it’s a bit rusty.

    • mario 28 February, 2014 at 11:17

      Carol you are welcome :)
      if you are anywhere close to Omiš or Makarska or between them, send message here, you can visit us :)

      i hope you will have good time in our beautiful :) … if you will be on south, and you find people little nervous, it is nothing, just southern air flow keeps us little off balance :)

  55. Polkabike 28 February, 2014 at 06:52 Reply

    Croatian inability and refusal to even consider that someone might be sincerely genial in their dealings with tourists and others, as showcased here in the comments, reveals a lot about our culture and social climate, which is that of cynicism and resentment. There are many warm and loving people in Croatia, but there are even more which are bitter, spiteful and cold.

  56. Monna Innominata 29 January, 2014 at 14:57 Reply

    I read the whole thread and found it very interesting. I understand everyone’s points of view and there were many valid ones. As a Croatian living in the uk for longer than home I also have a mixture of criticisms as well as patriotic defence. My (black British) husband would agree with some of the stand-offish points made about people but he feels this is an initial attitude with majority of Eastern Europeans towards him.
    There is a dichotomy in Croatians between not wanting to invade your privacy, giving you personal space and at the same time being too familiar, telling you all their troubles (neither good nor professional in hospitality).
    I’ve come to a conclusion that travelling and experiences are vastly a subject to one’s attitude. Everywhere I/we’ve ever travelled we had more than positive experiences from people we’ve met; from those employed in tourism to people on bus stops we’d ask directions from.
    For example, I flew back to Croatia and took a road trip to Belgrade/Serbia with a friend last year and although we had Croatian number plates and had clear, unmistakable accents, everyone was incredibly friendly to us, especially random people we’d ask for help when we’d get lost on numerous times. When my husband comes to Croatia, everyone ends up wanting to talk to him, be his friend or flirt, so don’t believe Croats and Serbs all hate each other and that we are all racists.
    Dan reminded me of what we often notice about American tourists in Europe (I have many American friends and was engaged to an American, so am not prejudiced) is that they are the loudest and, as he says, uninformed (a lovely euphemism). I have many more examples similar to his but have also met Americans who told me they loved Croatia and moved there permanently. I am aware there are very different standards of customer care in the States and I personally dislike that uniformed over the top friendliness (I’m a moody Croat after all !) :-)
    Want to thank everyone for sharing their impressions. I met loads of people who’ve been to Croatia and all raved over it which surprised me since I see so much room for improvement – but whenever I point this out, am reminded of how bad the economic situation is at the moment.
    It will be another generation or two for the attitudes to ‘die out’ so please make some allowances and come with an open mind.

  57. Dan 30 November, 2013 at 23:37 Reply

    I have travelled to Croatia on numerous occasions. It would have to be one of the most beautiful countries I have ever seen. just stunning. But you will notice a different customer service in different parts od the countries. Istria up north is extremely friendly as is the capital Zagreb and the islands of the Coast of split ie Hvar, Brac, Korcula and Vis. Central Croatia is also friendly but if you have been to Croatia more times you learn more about the dynamics of the people. Europe is a diverse regions and even different regions of countries differ quite a bit in their make up. The Central coastal people are very proud and tall striking people with very defined jaw lines they can seem intimidating whilst at the same time seem almost too good looking . What one must realise is in the smaller villages and not so developed tourist towns the ladies normally only speak their native language thus when you have all these myraids of cultures passing through your town it is intimidating for them as they know they are not locals and sometimes find it difficult to know how to respond and in what language.
    What does frustrate me is that Of all the travellers I have met the Americans leave a sour taste in the mouths of locals and other foreigners like myself. They for some reason feel they are the chosen ones and need to be treated like they are royalty. They often make ill uninformed comment and are extremely uneducated travellers. I was on an international flight and I had a man from Chicago standing in front of me saying to his son, now they are going to herd us off like cows into a communist Croatian plane- and he said that at the top of his voice not realising most Croatians speak good English. When flying out of Croatia I was sitting with a group of Americans who were in Zagreb for two weeks, I asked them if they have been to other parts of Croatia or seen Dubrovnik. They had no idea what I was talking about and only knew they were in the city of Zagreb and after two weeks in the country didn’t know the name of the country or that Croatia had a beautiful coast. There were ten in the group- I was gobsmacked.
    I give the above examples as the comment above about having to cross a Serbian checkpoint in Croatia when infact all it was the Bosnian border is just a typical American comment and so ill informed and arrogant. I have noted that a lot of the Australians and British do some research to where they are travelling and are a lot more laid back and thus better received. No Croatia doesn’t have McDonalds on every corner. There are sandy beaches, quite a few infact but look at the map and you will realise that the Croatian coastline is a big one. The islands of Rab, Paradise beach, Saharun Beach and even Bacvice Beach in Central Split are sandy but people need not expect sand everywhere. The pebble beaches makes this region one of the most beautiful and indented coastline in Europe. The waters are normally very calm due to the very consistent tides. For sandy beaches you need changes in tide levels. The water is so blue and clear it almost looks photo shopped and in some places you want to drink it looks so good. There are bays and islands everywhere and no shortage of stunning views and places to swim. But please people don’t expect every culture to be the same, Croatians are not generally people of fake smiles to strangers but that does not mean they will not go out of their way to help you or if you learn about their culture you might actually really learn to appreciate them. there is good and bad in every race but I think travellers need to relax and not be so judgemental. When I travel it is sights, food, entertainment opportunities that shapes whether I like a place. Whether people greet me with a smile everywhere is not going to shape my opinion of a place. Sure it is nice every now and then but really if this is the reason you travel then you should stay home or go to a third world country where smiles , a cheap-tshirt, a long sandy beach and a cheap massage is mostly what they have to offer.

  58. myan 23 October, 2013 at 23:51 Reply

    Hello to you,
    First of all thank you for sharing your experience with us.
    I came across this while looking for 10 things you should never do or say while in Croatia….
    I am a Croat who is planning to open a private accommodation for tourists in Croatia, so that is one of my interests to help me offer the best I can to tourists.
    As a future employer , I do understand the stress employees are going through during the summer in Croatia, but that’s not the reason why they should be rude to tourists since it is their job to smile and be polite. They are paid for it. If they are not ( as they often say) paid enough, they should look for another job. …
    I make sure that my future employees are happy working for me, but in case they are not keeping up to my expectations, they will lose their job immediately.
    In my experience, most of Croatian people like to moan and groan about everything, but when the time comes to do something about it, they almost always fail. Moreover, if we don’t persuade the tourist to feel sorry for us then we get aggressive. A horrible personality in general, I must say, which I am not proud of. I hope it is changing with me. ?
    When one goes to visit another country no one can guarantee the attitude of locals one will come across, so having a bad experience with that it’s just a bad luck. …you can get that anywhere in the world.
    But the facilities that are meant for tourist should ALWAYS BE FRIENDLY AND NICE. No matter what. The people working there should leave their problems as soon as they enter the working premises.
    I wish you a great life and hope that in the future you will only experience great moments during your visits to other countries.
    Wishful greetings: m.m

  59. Kanannie 15 October, 2013 at 07:10 Reply

    Thanks for sharing your honest views on Croatia. We have been in the country for 10 days and we have another 10 days to go. So far, I agree with most of your observations on the service and tourism industry. At first I thought it had something to do with us being a gay Asian couple, but now I just think that most people in the service industry here are just plain old indifferent and in some cases, blatantly rude. Dealing with unpleasant service people doesn’t make my experience in a foreign country bad, but it certainly doesn’t make it good either. It’s too bad that some commenters took your post the wrong way and can’t seem to understand that you were discussing your personal views based on your personal experiences. We’ll see how we feel after we finish up the second half of our trip here. Good luck on your future travels!

  60. Morana 8 October, 2013 at 19:37 Reply

    Oh come on people, no one likes Croatia. The comments are postet by the toothless Croats themselfs. Croatia is a terrible country, the coast once belong to slovenian people. Croats as gypsy like as they are stole that coast. We have a lot of Croats in our country and we just wanna make them go back to where they came from, no good from those people. They are not educated, they do not like to work, they do not have teeth and they are violent pretenders.

  61. Pamela 7 October, 2013 at 19:51 Reply

    You will have a fabulous time. It is a very interesting country. It just isn’t up to the level of tourism in theory, that it presents itself to be. It will get there, it just takes time. I felt a serious level of distrust from the croatians to myself and my family – even though we were there wiith Croatians – but mainly in the large cities and destinations. The kindest people I found were way outside of the economic centers. One day we were driving on the top of an island and stopped in a little village that didn’t even have electricity, a group were cooking dinner over a fire and invited us to stay and eat. We could not communicate at all but it was a lovely time. Once I was back in towns I felt very hustled and felt like I was constantly trying to not be taken advantage of as the American. You will have a lovely time, it is a beautiful country – but it has had a rough history which it is still trying to shake off.

  62. amarko 7 October, 2013 at 17:36 Reply

    Wow,so much diversity in each post,Croatia sounds like marmite,you either love it or hate it!I am thinking about going their next month and even though i read all these posts im stil going to go,why not?? Im going to do some volunteering so il be with people from all parts of the globe and some locals so im sure to get a mixed review of the country.Oh and DANIEL i think you are wrong about “anglo saxon people” we dont have to be like that “in a shop” the point is its nice to be nice to people and it makes most people feel good about themselves when somebody does acknowledge you and says hi how are you,i have lived in aussie and nz and i would go to work and say that to people,walk down the street and say it,meet people at a bar and say it,its called communication and being friendly.Also we do not expect every body to speak English its just that so many people do so it makes it harder for native English speakers to chose a second language,i learnt french at school,i have never been to france and never planned to,so you say you travelled the world?did you learn the language of every country you went to or did you use your secong language???English maybe? So it has nothing to do with us expecting people to speak english,its just a fact that most people do.If they dont then theres always ways to communicate without knowing the language,it just takes time.I have been to places to hopfully learn another language but when people know i speak native English they would only speak it to so they could improve on it aswell.Anyway you made some invalis points but i kind off understand your meaning…………I hope i enjoy Croatia.

  63. Joanne 1 October, 2013 at 06:49 Reply

    I am an American married to a Croatian for 40 years and have been back to Croatia EVERY YEAR for 40 years. There are many differences today from the “yougoslave” times under Communist (Read Serbian) control. It was ONLY 20 years ago that Croatia was invaded by Serbs and have every right to be mad about how they were ingnored by the whole Western World. So, when going to Croatia, do your research and understand that it is part of the West. The tourist season lasts only 3-4 months which doesn’t give them much time to make a living for the whole year. Therefore, if you want to enjoy the beauty and pristine conditions of the sea and coast, you must pay the price.

    I have never had people treat me rudely in Croatia in the last 40 years! Maybe its because I love the country and they can feel it!

    The tourist tradition in Croatia goes back over 100 years! In the 1890’s there were Austrian and German tourists coming to the Island of Rab! So, please get your facts straight before making statements…..

  64. Julie 25 September, 2013 at 15:19 Reply

    We just got back from a 10 day Croatia trip and this is all still very accurate. Wish I had read it before we left, so my expectations would have been adjusted appropriately!

  65. Daniel 22 August, 2013 at 04:38 Reply

    I live in Australia and am of Croatian background. I have also travelled all over the world. What people have to realise is that Anglo Saxon culture ie Aussie, English, American is very fake and structured. You go to shops and you get the same cliché greeting “how are you, how may I help you, how was yr day”. THE REAL TRUTH IS THEY COULDNT CARE LESS ABOUT YOUR DAY BUT ARE TAUGHT this from a customer service perspective as it gets you to spend more money. Croatian people generally do not do this and what you also have to remember in countries with so many tourist like Croatia they have no idea where you are from or what language you speak so they just tend to be quiet when serving you in a supermarket. The Anglos expect everyone to speak English but please realise you are in their country now. Croatians on the other hand are very real people, who say it as it is and don’t just make idle chit chat for the point of it. However if they are your friend and you earn their trust the Balkan people are the best of friends, loyal, and will do everything for you. Their relationships with family and friend are a lot closer than what they are in the listed countries above. Croatians are not rude they are just real and do not put on the fake customer service acts. They are more likely to welcome you in their home when you get to know them than what Americans are. The Americans will be nice and smile but they will stand and talk to you on the front garden. A Croatian is likely to ask you to join him for dinner whereas an American will say goodbye my dinner is waiting.

  66. Paul M 18 August, 2013 at 13:19 Reply

    Nice read. It’s nice to hear from personal experiences rather than a generic one.
    It is also amusing to read the comments from Joe smith, mario and ana L which reinforce a few points you made about the locals and their patriotism.
    If ana L reads my thread: Saying that in poor countries people smile at you for your money, shows that you don’t understand AT ALL different cultures and whether you have traveled or not has not in any way enriched your understanding of other cultures!

  67. Grace Ocampo 14 August, 2013 at 12:26 Reply

    First of all, I understand that as travelers we all have our own personal experiences about a place, both positive and negative, so this is just my experience, not a judgement on yours. We literally just got back from Croatia, and both my fiance and I are already planning on going back. We fell in love with the country, food, the wine, and the people.

    Next time we will plan to go back after the tourist season, but even in August we found uncrowded beaches, art museums, and great restaurants. We love food and wine, and we found that this was a great ice-breaker with our servers. We also would ask how the locals felt about Croatia’s recent admission the the EU, which gave us great insight on how people felt about current politics. People love talking about themselves, and if you are genuinely interested, they will typically open up; this is true in Croatia, as well as any other country. This is not to say we did not encounter any unfriendly people, but those experiences were nothing compared to the rude service I’ve experienced in my own tourist hometown (San Diego). At a restaurant in rural Hvar, we became so engaged in conversation with the family that the chef’s son Marco remarked, “You are not like the other kids who come here drunk.” Who wouldn’t be annoyed with the spoiled brats who invade the Hvar Town port on their mega yachts, and do not give a damn about the local culture?

    This was a last minute trip that I planned with a great Dubrovnik based travel agent. When I finally met her in person, during our conversation she told me that many people mistake the Croatian attitude as being stand-offish or down right rude, but she described it perfectly when she said, “It may take a while for a Croat to warm up to you, but once they see you are interested they are friends for life.” That just resonated with us, I love Croatia, the place really made an impression on us.

  68. Uningnorant Traveler 12 August, 2013 at 11:00 Reply

    I enjoyed your article because after being here for only a few hours, I’m a bit hesitant on the hospitality. I normally give a place 2-4 days to get into the country’s groove, but like the two of you, I have roots here and speak one of the former Yugoslav languages but I am American. Thank you for your honest post of what you experienced, both good and bad.

    Maria and others disagreeing that Croatian is unlike Macedonian, Bulgarian, Russian, etc., shame on you. Sram na vas. There are many aspects which are wildly different among all of the countries, and those differences run deep. But to deny that there is basically any link and to pretend that it is offensive to speak a similarly rooted language, I find that painfully ignorant.

    I have traveled extensively and upon meeting people with a Slavic background abroad, they are actually the ones to initiate conversation with me. They speak their language, I speak mine and we manage to communicate. Both parties can speak English but there is a bonding that happens while speaking our “native” languages that doesn’t happen when speaking English.

    Additionally, I have watched countless people speaking Brazilian Portuguese who communicate with Spaniards, Italians and other members of the romantic Latin languages that have a similar root. Do you think that they think it offensive to speak to each other in their language, yet understand each other conversationally?

    I could be a strong pain on the *** and say that I’d rather someone speak to me in ANY language rather than broken English, like Mario… Like you. But I do not.

    I understand Croatian enough to communicate. The vice versa should be equivalently true.

  69. Maria 9 August, 2013 at 12:39 Reply

    Macedonian is not similar to croatian! I agree with Mario …..that is NOT gibberish ….in my opinion it is very rude to say that.
    It can be considered arrogant or rude to speak macedonian with the croatians and expects that everyone understands …as if we don’t have our own language! I think that might be a reason why people reacted unfriendly.

    “Some things might truly surprise you, especially if you’ve never visited the Balkans before. People sound more aggressive when they speak and it takes awhile to realize that they aren’t yelling at you.”

    Croatia is croatia not the Balkans…..

  70. Željko 8 August, 2013 at 16:03 Reply

    Google translate! Limited English, thank you for allowing me to read this blog and comments how did you spend in Croatia and I understand completely, but you have to realize that different cultures as well as the people I was in Slovenia when I went hiking, Kostanjica where I was drunk slovenac stab in my plastic box of food, as well as for us as svagdije else has a rude and stupid people, I hope that next time will be better and that you will be great to spend as a small smile and a word the Croatian opens all doors. http://planinarskikutakblog.blogspot.com/,

  71. emma 8 August, 2013 at 11:18 Reply

    really saddened by this post – I have travelled Croatia for 9 years now and love it so much I decided to get married there two years ago. I LOVE the people there so much, they are quiet, humble, friendly and down to earth in my experience. I have stayed in a mixture of hotels, B&Bs, guest houses and peoples homes, all of which I have loved. I hope your post doesnt put people off as Croatia really has my heart.

  72. Fla 8 August, 2013 at 09:45 Reply

    I totally agree with your post! I’ve just come back from Croatia and I will never go there again! I met so many rude people and had such an awful experience… Besides, there are a lot of beautiful beaches where we fell much more welcome! :)
    Thanks for sharing your experience!

  73. Why are Croatians so rude? | Tell 'em Stories 4 August, 2013 at 07:41 Reply

    […] This awesome travel blog confirms our experience (as well as several people in the comments): […]

  74. Omis 1 August, 2013 at 07:03 Reply

    Good and intriguing post, you can see it by comments. I don’t understand why people take someones travel experience so personal. You had some negative experience, but you still menage to write good post.
    And that story about taking photos, and guy throwing rocks on you was hilarious. It sure was very shocking for you :))). Damn, it was for me, and I’m from Croatia.

  75. Dara 31 July, 2013 at 08:08 Reply

    Could not agree more. Thankyou for your honest post – my partner and I feel exactly the same about Croatia. We are here right now in fact, and just can’t wait to get on a plane to somewhere where we feel welcome. There are of course the VERY few exceptions – people that treat you like normal humans – but on a whole the “Croatian Gruff” is an attitude that we want to avoid.

    Stunning country, unwelcoming people. Such a shame. Great blog!!

  76. Ivo Horvat 30 July, 2013 at 10:11 Reply

    This blog sounds pretty fair. Although after spending some time in Hungary I can say for a fact that Croatians leave Hungarians for dead when it comes to being friendly so in comparison with another East Euro country, as a generalisation Croatians are friendly. I had an experience though where an Asian man was asking for help and he was brushed off and told to read information on a noticeboard while I was given much better treatment, which hinted at some prejudice as I have Croatian heritage therefore look like a local. As far as Croatians and Serbians not liking each other I can also say for a fact that this is a load of rubbish, usually proclaimed by those who were neither born there or have ever set foot there and have no idea about the truth in what people really think. This utter crap filled belief stems from those who were personally affected (which is understandable) or those who never set foot there but think they are supposed to hate each otherbbecause of the war. The only hatred Croatians and Serbians have is when a football game is on.

  77. Ed Allegretti 19 July, 2013 at 22:22 Reply

    Huh I just got back to the US from a 3 week solo tour of Croatia. I stayed mostly in Split and Dubrovnik and didn’t want to leave. Everyone I met was super friendly and found time to chat with me about their culture and history. Most offered me a drink and a seat and shared conversation and cigarettes with me. If your in a rush then go somewhere else, that’s the beauty of Croatia – the people take it easy and have warm hearts. It’s not like rush around NYC. I avoided the places frequented by cruise ship tourists, I imagine if I had to deal with these folks I’d be unfriendly too. It is true that there are some that have issues with the neighboring countries, learn the history and you’ll understand. Croatia for me was the nicest place I’ve ever been to. For the record I stayed in sobe’s and hostels and ate from the local street vendors and small shops. A few grams of prosciut or mortadella, a fresh roll, maybe some chevapi and avjar, some cabbage, I ate well for less than 20 kuna per meal. I did enjoy home cooked meals at some of the places i stayed that were absolutely incredible. A half liter bottle of good beer for 7kn in the tourist district? I thought it was very reasonable if not insanely cheap to travel there. The best part is I felt safe everywhere I went in Croatia. I wasn’t at all worried about my personal safety or someone robbing me in the cities. Next time I’m going to travel inland to Zagreb we’ll see how it is.

  78. Brian Padilla 14 July, 2013 at 17:13 Reply

    My wife and I are just wrapping up our 3 week vacation. The first week and a half were spent driving in Turkey. The second half were spent driving around Croatia. My experience is remarkably similar. I have adopted the term for Croatia (The land of long faces) I guess the welcoming attitude from the Turkish people versus the unwelcoming, step aside on the sidewalk attitude of the Croations. Makes the difference between the two, so much more profound.
    My comments to my wife when leaving Turkey, was Wow, the people we met, made it all so wonderful. I have not seen this in Croatia. And I am not one to stay on the beaten path. I drove through so many small towns, looking for a smile. A simple gesture of Welcome. No I didn’t get it.
    The country is beautiful yes. Maybe I have set my expectations too high. I will be spending my tourist dollars elsewhere on my next trip abroad.
    Signed, Shellshocked !!!

    • kashtan 22 August, 2013 at 09:06

      We went to Turkey last year and just came from Croatia. And I would completely disagree with your comments. People in Turkey are very slimy – when you spent your money they smiling to you, when you walking by the day after – they don’t want to know you and making a jokes behind your back(especially if you a woman). Don’t fair to generalise all the nation, but it was like this everywhere(hotel, markets, places we visited). We’ve travelled a lot! but Turkey was our worst experience ever. In Croatia it was different situation – very proud people, but at same time very helpful and hospitable. And we would prefer to have it like this rather than faked “Turkish” smiles.

  79. Expertmom 8 July, 2013 at 03:00 Reply

    What an interesting post :-)
    I think that it is understandable that people get fed up with all of the tourist. Looking at pictures of some of the sandy beaches available I can’t imagine going there, where will I sit?
    I haven’t been to Croatia and it is not at the top of my list, but if I would go it would have to be off season when one can actually see some of that magnificent landscape…
    Also, I found that comment on the reaction to low wages very interesting considering your experiences in countries that are much poorer. I wonder why this could be…. Usually countries in the Mediterranean have happy people no? I thought the sun and mild winters did their trick :-)

    • inspiringtravellers 8 July, 2013 at 06:09

      The happiest Mediterranean people I’ve met are in Turkey – if you want gorgeous beaches, a relaxing atmosphere and friendly folks, head there!

    • Pamela 8 July, 2013 at 09:48

      The beaches ar not sandy. They are pebbles and stones – pretty in their own right – but I also was naive and thought there would be sandy beaches meeting the stunning sea (which is stunning) – they aren’t bad, you just have to get use to them. There are a few sandier spots around the country but most have been built up by resorts.

    • mario 8 July, 2013 at 14:17

      next time do not be naive, go to tropics, enjoy sandy beaches, sharks, poisonous jellyfish, poisonous other fish, malaria mosquitoes, deadly spiders, undrinkable tap water etc … :)

      but fyi, we do have sandy beaches and they are natural, but you have to find them, or kindly ask us to show it to you

  80. Arlene Ainslie-Kennedy 30 June, 2013 at 13:51 Reply

    I have no wish, as one woman said to ever go to Croatia….life is too short. 23 years ago I mistakingly fell in love with a Croatian…and life has been a road to hell ever since. As a Canadian I was not brought up on rudeness. As the previous writer said my partner is lazy, supsicious that everyone is going to screw her over. She is superior in her thinking of Canadians and anyone not Croation. It is not uncommon for her to come into the house and ignore you like you were a potted plant. If you get her a gift she doesn’t like…she will say so. Her demeaner is very aggressive…even if you have the nerve to ask her what she might be thinking….stand back….. Her children are just the same as are any of her family members. In addition they have no problem stero typing Canadians as nothing more than McDonalds Eaters, fat, dirty pigs who cannot keep a clean house. They teach their children to act superior and the favorite family saying is…I would rather my daughter marry a Croatian Sheep Farmer than a Canadian Doctor. They lie, steal cheat ….do not pay their taxes. seem to have incredible love of drinking and have no problem driving drunk. When I read these posts, I for one will be only too pleased to rent a huge boat, round up all I know and send them back to the place just as you described. ONLY AS YET…I have not had stones thrown at me for standing in camera view but I have had a door slammed in my face…been made to eat in the kitchen when others sat in the living room…and listened for hours of Croatian when they could speak English. Thank you very verifying what I wish I had known before letting my heart lead me to hell…because that is what my experience has been with the Croatian culture that I have been introduced to. One of the worst moments was to attend one of their funerals and being the only non Croatian Immigrant….I was peered at, sneered at, and basically felt so unwelcome that I felt forced to leave as it seems that even in my own homeland of Canada, I as unwelcome as if I stepped on their shores. Thanks for letting me tell my experience in Canada with Croatians….no way will I pay big money for more emotional and physical abuse!

    • Pamela 8 July, 2013 at 09:54

      I have watched this same dynamic at work with one of my friends who is married to a Croatian who, when the english speaking Croatian family (they live in the major cities of the US) is around, they specificially speak croatian though they realize she doesn’t understand a word. It is a very agressive gesture which speaks volumes – basically telling her no matter how many years she spends with this family she will never really be one of them. It is a very superior attitude.

    • mario 8 July, 2013 at 14:01

      well, we are superior :) … your friend is married to croatian, and she does not speak nor understand even a bit of croatian? hahahahahhahahahahahahhah, well that is brutal ignorance and deserves the deepest contempt

      ehhh, maybe problem is not in croatian family and croats, maybe problem is in her

    • mario 8 July, 2013 at 14:07

      :) how did you sustain for 23 yrs? held in home prison, forced to serve, unable to break free? should we call police to save you? :) :) :)

  81. mario 19 June, 2013 at 15:42 Reply

    pamela, as i told you before, western guests were, are and will be majority in croatia
    russians (and all others from ex east block countries) just recently starts to travel around, croatia included, and there is not so much of then, they are just little noisier :)


    for ana L. also, as you agree with john doe that croatia is not good place to live, what REMOVED BY EDITOR are you still doing here? go away, as fast as you can, and let us live alone here in this awful, horrible place inhabited with rude savages who thrives only on blood ruthlessly taken from those few tourists who accidentally shows here

  82. Pamela 19 June, 2013 at 11:45 Reply

    Ana – your post is very acurate & informative. I also questioned the extremley high hotel rates. I was on Hvar and in Split – both places rates were over $400.00 for a room. The Hvar accomondations were very pretty in Hvar City, but I could not imagine how hotel prices were that high. I had no idea to ask for a certificate. Does the cartificate have to list the room rates?
    I have also watched Croatian business practices, through my friends who live there who continually talk of “having to have lunch with the mayor” to get anything done there. I have assumed from how they say it, it is a lunch full of seafood and bribes.

    Many places in Croatia were beautiful – just as beautiful as Italy or France – but the large number of Russian tourists lent it an unusual vibe which was not welcoming. One on one the people were lovely, but if you were entering a situation as just a tourist, you continually felt like you were being ripped off and when you would question things you were basically, agressively dismissed.

    Obviously one of the key to Croatia’s financial woes, is tourism from western countries. I hope it develops more friendly practices of inclusion rather then continuing to emit an air of exclusion towards tourists from the west.

  83. Ana L. 18 June, 2013 at 16:09 Reply

    Been following this comment thread in my email inbox, but John Doe’s comment made me wanna contribute a bit more. I’d have to disagree with most of his comment. IMO, most people in Croatia fall in one of two camps. Those who view the country and its people way too positively, and those who view them way too negatively. John Doe’s in the latter camp. (And Mario’s probably in the former, though I don’t feel like going through all his posts now… Mostly I just remember him being terribly rude).

    I suspect that kind of polarisation is fairly common in countries in transition. Though that suspicion may be off-mark, and there may be something more specific to the Croatian mentality to it all. Who knows. In more normal economic (and therefore also societal) circumstances, I think both those perspectives would mellow with time, and become more realistic about the country and the world surrounding it. But that isn’t gonna happen any time soon, since transition has taken us nowhere, mostly due to the greedy crooks always in power here. Of course, this one’s a fairly trivial division, but many other more serious divisions in society will probably deepen in this climate of economic despair. So, though my reasons are different from John Doe’s, one thing I have to agree with him on is that Croatia’s not a good place to live. And becoming worse by the day. What a time to be entering the EU. They’ll be bailing us out in a year’s time. Things could get so bad we might take the spotlight off Greece. Anyway, just a bit of grim info and pessimism from someone on the ground here in Croatia.

    P.S. John Doe mentions dishonest pricing of accommodation. An advice to tourists worried about that – just ask to see your host’s accommodation certificate. They have to show it to you. You can also check if they’ve paid tax for what they’re earning off you. That way you’ll ensure the prices are within bounds. Hope this helps!

  84. John Doe 14 June, 2013 at 19:42 Reply

    First of all let me say that I am Croatian and having read your post and some comments I have to say this:

    We are proud and in a lot situations for no reason whatsoever e.g. the Macedonian thing. We can be VERY hypocritical and racist because. But maybe the most important thing about the Croats is that there is ALWAYS something wrong because we are lazy and we always believe someone is trying to screw us over so the dimwitted response is to screw other people over. Not all of us are like that but sadly many people are. That was kind of a stereotypical description of an average Croat. I don’t have experiences with travelling but I do with renting a flat/apartment and I can tell you that some people really have the nerve to be disrespectful f**ks when it comes to the price and the offer. They also see the Germans, the French, the English etc, as really wealthy and for some reason assume it is all right to give them absurdly high prices for something that is s**t.

    As for the Serbian thing, people here hate them because they attacked us and blame us for everything, I presume that some of the Serbs hate us for a similar reason. There was a war 20 years ago and it is still fresh. But I can tell you that anyone that says ”kill a Serb” or ”kill a Croat” or ”kill a xyz” they are a t**ser.

    People also don’t like tourists because everything is crowded and the weather is terrible so everyone is just stressed. But there are also morons who offend the tourists. Youths are also moronic.

    But there are a lot of nice people and I don’t really understand it either. Sometimes you constantly bump into rude and obnoxious people and sometimes you meet really nice people. And also bus drivers are scum. Rudest beings you will ever meet here.

    I, as a Croat, sometimes feel very very embarrassed by my own people and hope to get out of here in the near future for good.

  85. karen 9 June, 2013 at 13:43 Reply

    me and my husband went to Porec about 4 years ago loved it would go back tomorrow but its hard to get a flight from Newcastle so me and my husband and a few friends are going to Cavtat in a few months time with jet2 can’t wait

  86. Bill 21 May, 2013 at 14:51 Reply

    I just spent 2 weeks in Novi Sad and loved it. very romantic city with the view from Fortress. walking the river, ect.

    Reading thru the comments it seems that Croatians get upset if given some constructive criticism. This could just be in their culture.

    Anyways, Serbia and Macedonia has been awesome and very friendly people. Would recommend to anyone especially Novi Sad, Skopje an Lake Ohrid.

    Im heading to Croatia knowing that if things suck…all I have to do in go back into Bosnia or back to Serbia. In over 1 year of travel I would put Novi Sad in my top 10 for people.

  87. Andrew 12 May, 2013 at 18:58 Reply

    My wife and I stayed in Lombarda for a week summer of 2011 and it was wonderful. After a couple of days in Zagreb to visit my cousin we headed to the beach. Zagreb was good, we visited the old town and market which was fun. Lombarda was wonderful. Found a 1 bd room with kitchen right by the water. We had kayaks, bikes all included. The owners, Bladzinka and Zoran, were great. Very warm and friendly. Found the rental on Air BnB. It was away from the tourist areas and very quiet. Had the beach practically to ourselves. Would go again in a heart beat but we’re heading to Bali in a few weeks!

  88. Susan 25 April, 2013 at 06:03 Reply

    Thanks so much for taking the time to share your experience in Croatia. My husband was enjoying pictures of the beaches and I told him I really did not want to go to the Balkans because life is too short and there are so many other places I’d rather see.

    Your article also convinced him that our time could be better spent in a more hospital destination.

    • inspiringtravellers 27 April, 2013 at 18:35

      Many of the beaches were prettier in pictures than practical for swimming we found. Personally I prefer a sand beach…just my opinion though…

  89. Bol Croatia 27 March, 2013 at 19:30 Reply

    I would agree with some points, but I definitely think that one should not generalize. Not all Croats are wonderful, but I don’t think that’s the case in any other country.
    On the other side you just told it from your point of view, and honesty is to be appreciated.

  90. John R 27 March, 2013 at 00:37 Reply

    I was in Croatia back in 2011 and I enjoyed it. I was in Vukovar, Osijek, Dubrovnik, Zagreb and many of the islands along the coast. I loved the country. The wine was amazing and food was so good. I would go back. I for some reason had the opposite experience then wrote here. I found people friendly and loyal. No one was aggressive except for the drivers on the road.

    I did a week long sail of the Croatian islands. Was more of a booze cruise but still was nice. Enjoy swimming in the Adriatic Sea everyday. I would go back to Croatia any day. Plitivice lakes was amazing.

    • inspiringtravellers 27 March, 2013 at 00:47

      Thanks for sharing your experience, John – so glad to hear you had a great time in Croatia =)

  91. Kathy 22 March, 2013 at 19:55 Reply

    Look Everyone, There is bound to be a spectrum of hospitality wherever you travel. It can seem exaggerated in either direction by how much you let someone else’s behavior affect you. I live in the Mid West and have vacationed in Miami (still home, right) only to be treated like a bothersome tourist because I didn’t use fluent Spanish when conversing with the service providers. ( I knew I should have studied harder in high school!) I say this because of the obvious welcoming generousity Spanish speakers were recieving around me. Then again my time spent in Australia was incredibly hospitable. Locals struck up conversations with my American co-ed group and spontaneuosly invited my group (about 7 of us) to follow him to his place so his Aunt could have us for tea. His family greeted us kindly and put out a huge meal for us, then we ranged their farm in cars to chase kangaroo herds, they demonstrated shearing sheep for us and took us back to our hotel. My friend and I were asked to join a beauty contest on the beach in Victoria, and we were invited to exclusive clubs in KIngs Cross. Life is what you make it- just try to spread the kindness you hope to find! Good Luck!

  92. Ana L. 2 March, 2013 at 09:30 Reply

    Pamela, there is no Serbian checkpoint between Split and Dubrovnik. What there is is the state border of Croatia and Bosnia and Herzegovina (twice). Driving from Split, you cross into Bosnian territory, and soon after into Croatian territory again. It’s a historical thing, to do with the Ottoman Empire centuries ago. I won’t bore you with the details. Serbia is a coutry many, many miles to the East of that spot. It only borders Croatia (and Bosnia) on their eastern sides.

  93. Ana L. 2 March, 2013 at 09:25 Reply

    A pretty amusing read from a Croatian perspective. Some of your grievances sound very valid, and I’d certainly agree much has to be done to improve quality of service in Croatia, especially in parts of the country with a shorter tourism tradition. But I’d like to tackle the “genuine smiles” issue, as someone whose family has been in tourism for many decades.

    Has it really never occurred to you that people in Bolivia and Thailand were so friendly precisely because they’re poorer? They’re thrilled at having tourists and ready to bend over backwards to get an extra dollar. My grandparents were the same when they started, back in the 50s. They chatted to them with mega-watt smiles, no matter how dull and irritating the tourists might have been. By the 70s they’d put their children through school and become more comfortable financially, and the impetus for pretending to always be happy and enchanted by every tourist was gone. Don’t get me wrong, my family are still polite to tourists and the service is not lacking. But the age when they had to have a smile plastered on their face at all times is long gone, thank god. The tourism industry is hell on the service providers. Especially at the ridiculously low prices necessary to stay competitive in the rooms/apartments market in all but the most elite tourist spots in Croatia. Most tourism workers can’t wait for end of season, when they get to see the backs of the tourists. Yes, even in Bolivia and Thailand. Especially there, I’d say, since people have so many other things to worry about in life.

    Tourists are perfectly entitled to choose another destination for their next holiday, of course. It’s just slightly misguided when they act as if they were somehow wronged by people not being exhilerated at the sight of them. Or when they just about ask for their money back because they weren’t smiled at often enough. Also, maybe it’s because I grew up surrounded by tourism, but I can’t understand why people want those plastered on smiles anyway. They’re smiling at your money, not you. There are exceptions sometimes: some tourism workers are genuinely friendly and cheerful in the extreme, or sometimes tourists and tourism workers really do connect (I know of quite a few lifetime friendships started that way), but in most cases they’re just counting the seconds till you leave.

    Also, about your room having mosquitos? A friendly tip: almost all rooms in Croatia in the summer have mosquitos from time to time (sometimes happens when parks maintenance aren’t punctual with their spraying, but can also happen despite it… either way, out of accommodation providers’ hands). If a tourist is bothered by them so greatly, they can simply pop into the nearest store and get the very affordable little mosquito-repellent machine thingy (can’t recall its name in English):

    Anyway, to sum it all up: tourists are a dime a dozen in Croatia nowadays (to my perpetual grief; IMO we should focus more on building up proper, stable industries, less stressful to our people, infrastructure and environment). It doesn’t take much to figure out why they smile at tourists less than the Bolivians.

    • inspiringtravellers 2 March, 2013 at 13:10

      Thanks for your insightful comment, Ana. Sorry if I gave the wrong impression – I don’t need plastic smiles when I’m travelling – that certainly isn’t the reason that we won’t be running back to Croatia. I need to re-read this post again but I think I mentioned the examples of Thailand and Bolivia simply because of the taxi driver’s comment about the fact that everyone was so unhappy was because of their economic situation. I think it has come across to you that I expected the locals to fawn all over me, which is certainly not the case. When I’m travelling I actually prefer to just blend in – and thus receive a similar treatment as any other person would. My feeling was quite opposite to that: a few people went out of their way to be unpleasant because we were foreign. That is the primary source of my dissatisfaction.

      Personally, in every encounter with every human being I meet, whether I’m in a customer service situation or just on the street, I aim for a certain degree of pleasantness. Just the basic civilities. I realize that anywhere in the world you can encounter rudeness, ambivalence, whatever…the point is that to feel like nobody wants you around for two weeks when you’re visiting a place is just not appealing to me. And having travelled the world I have to say that nowhere did I feel not just fatigue towards tourism, but out and out hostility from a majority of people towards foreigners (not all), than during our time in Croatia. It is good to know from your comments that I don’t need to take this personally, it’s just the normal mode of operation. I think your idea of building up other industries is a very good one. Because certainly passion and enthusiasm for providing great service and at least a basic level of respect are in order if anyone is going to succeed in the tourism business. This is not something that any operator anywhere in the world can take for granted.

    • Ana L. 17 March, 2013 at 15:06

      It is good to know from your comments that I don’t need to take this personally, it’s just the normal mode of operation

      Well, I’m glad to be of any help to you, but,just to clarify, I certainly don’t mean to say that outright rudeness is the norm. There’s quite a bit of it, unfortunately, but definitely not the norm. It’s the very perfunctory attitude to dealing with tourists that’s quite par for the course (depending of course on the individual tourist worker, the region of Croatia, the season, the type of tourism in question – ie. mass vs. elite, etc. etc. ).

      And from my experiences from travelling across Europe, my friendships with tourist workers from other countries (yep, mostly started while they were hosting me as a tourist, or when my family was hosting them), people’s feelings (or lack thereof) towards tourists are esentially similar (throughout Europe, at least). So I guess much really could be down to cultural peculiarities – ie. some cultures being more predisposed to smile a lot and make lots of small talk, whether they genuinely feel like doing it or not. (Not casting aspersions on people who do that, btw, I just personally don’t see the need, or miss it when other people don’t).

      Of course, I don’t wish to push any issues of downright rudeness under the carpet. People like that have no excuse, but unfortunately, with the kind of unchecked, mostly mass, tourism taking place and growing on the Croatian coast, I can only realistically expect it to get worse. Take, for example, the cruisers which stop in Dubrovnik every couple of days, paralysing the entire city, only for the bazillions of tourists who stop off to spend virtually nothing in the city. All they do is lower the appeal of the city to tourists who actually do spend in the city and the quality of life for the locals. It’s a barely tolerable situation. I’m not blaming those tourists, of course, but the country’s inept administration and non-existent tourism plans and policies.

      Also, I trust that you didn’t want people to fawn over you, which is great to hear. There are many who do, usually the same ones who are bitter at everything not being dirt cheap. Also, quite a few utterly uninformed people like Pamela. Unsurprisingly, can be quite frustrating for tourist workers, but also for locals not in the tourism sector (of which there are quite a few, me being one now too). Anyway, I sincerely hope you’ve had/will have a better time on your other travels. And that you’ll have better luck if for some reason you ever do find yourself in Croatia again.

  94. mario 11 February, 2013 at 18:39 Reply

    ohh, just now i noticed “serbian check point”
    well, thank god, we solved all serbian check points in croatia in 1995, once and for all

    serbian issue in croatia is case closed, we do not even think about them anymore

  95. mario 11 February, 2013 at 18:29 Reply

    nevermid, just forget that i said anything
    simply, do not come here, problem solved

    ps: it must be some other mario mangaing my tourist bussines, when my guests likes me sooo much, aussies included … or maybe i do not understand english well enough, who can tell …

    • Nina 28 January, 2014 at 09:30

      Dear Mario,
      as a Croatian, I am embarrassed people like you work in tourism.
      You are exactly the kind of person that gives Croatia a bad name.
      A wise man does not tell a potential customer to “not come here” simply because they pointed out a few problems. Instead, he learns from it and improves his service.

      To anyone considering visiting Croatia : not everyone is like Mario. There are reasonable people that understand they must treat *every* customer with respect (not just the ones you are friends with). I wish I could give you the recipe to find them, but to be honest, I sometimes struggle locating them too. I guess one hint is not to stay in places where the owner is called “Mario”. :)

    • mario 28 January, 2014 at 11:15

      hahahahhahahaha Nina Nina ….. ccccc

      i do not want to advertise myself or my property, but there are spot on booking.com where MARIO, means me, have highest score by all reviews (i do not take in consideration properties with less than 20 reviews) and guess what, when you read those reviews you will realize that main reason for mark 10 is …. well, MARIO

      little hint for you Nina: go to booking.com and type split-central dalmatia county

  96. Pamela 11 February, 2013 at 18:18 Reply

    Mario – all you seem to keep doing is supporting all that has been written concerning the bullying culture towards tourists. In almost – and I say almost because I can’t say all – situations I was met with attitudes such as yours. I have traveled all through Asia, Europe, Eastern Europe, and Croatia rank (with a few others) at the top of my list of arrogance and bullying towards tourists. It is a beautiful country – but there are a lot of beautiful countries and cultures that are kind and appreciative towards tourism.

    On the Serbia issue, I was constantly told by Croats that the EU wouldn’t accept (though it is currently in the process of) Croatia into it because of, what the Croats termed, their “bad neighbors” – Croats couldn’t understand that it was due to Croatia’s own issues and their ability or inability to get their house in order. Their distaste for Serbians is very present to tourists – which is something the country will have to learn to deal with in what they present to people who travel far to get there. Driving from Split to Dubrovnik, through the Serbian check point, is not a great tourism experience.

  97. mario 11 February, 2013 at 17:44 Reply

    since is winter here and i have some time to waste, i have to say few words to pamela and john

    first to john: macedonian IS NOT similar to croatian, no matter macedonian is also slavic language, and younger croats do not know even word of macedonian, especailly youngs born after 1990. And i, born in ex yugoslavia do know only few words of macedonian, and even i ex yu times we croats allways considered macedonia like foregin country which is somewhere far far away on east, which sucks our money earned in tourism … one more thing, some of macedonian words are like and sounds like serbian , and we do not love serbian …. so next time, just stay on english

    pamela. “the fact that they are relatively new to having such a large influx of tourists” … ehhh this your statement is just not true, it is rediculous … since we have not yet reached the pre-war figures in toursim, nor in nuber of guests or in overnight stays …. only if you think that our tourism starts with you :) .. well go to my second post and read it again …

    on the other hand, you can foreget all i said, simply do not come to croatia, we will not miss you :)

    • John 11 February, 2013 at 18:01

      Mario, I completely disagree with your gibberish about Macedonian. The FACT is that every time I spoke it, I received a response. Once again, you make things personal and using the excuse to include Serbia in your comment is just childish.

  98. Joe Smith 11 February, 2013 at 11:21 Reply

    Although some of the things you mention are true. MOST ARE NOT. The guy that threw stones at you was probably a tourist and by my experience most likely from Greece. People in all of Croatia are like the taxi driver you mentioned. All Croatians would like to be on a beach with the sun high up and the sea close. I lived in Croatia for 14 years and had an absolutely lovely experience. Many people do not go to the coast from Zagreb and the other big cities because of their job, but most that have children take time off to go swimming. You should have done more research before going there go find out the average temperatures, pricing and accommodations. There are good and bad B’n’B places everywhere. It took me about two hours to find out where to eat, sleep and swim in any place in Croatia. When I first got there I learnt the basics of the language in about two weeks and from there I could have a conversation that was a mixture of English and Croatian, but people understood what I was saying and I never met a person that did not smile every five minutes or less. After living abroad for a long time I got accommodated to the customs of the different countries I spent time in and found that Americans like you are stiff, strict, dumb and generally eat at McDonalds, Pizzahut and other fast food places that can be found almost anywhere. I would walk up to any person on the street that looked like they were in a good mood and I would find out anything I wanted to know. Your review will not make people want to visit Croatia, but the fact that in 2008 more then 11MILION people went there I would say that you are one of the Americans that does NOT know how to relax.

    • John 11 February, 2013 at 16:06

      Joe Smith (if that IS your real name), you make assumptions that are both incorrect and outrageous. The guy that threw rocks at Andrea was indeed a Croat, because he told me when I asked where he was from. And then you assume he was Greek, so I guess that you have a basis for this assumption – maybe on YOUR personal experience? How can you say that all people in Croatia are nice? Have you met them all? We write about the personal experience that happened to us and it’s the truth. I’m glad you had a wonderful experience in Croatia for 14 years, but because you loved it has no bearing on what we encountered.

      Just to enlighten you, I speak fluent Macedonian which you may or may not know is similar to Croatian. So I spoke it at every chance and NO, not everyone smiled at my questions or conversation attempts. We’ve both lived abroad and enjoyed many different cultures, but this didn’t happen in Croatia. Because you take it so personally and resort to name-calling and ridiculous generalisations about eating habits, only reflects on the sad state of mind you must have. I am actually Australian, so please feel free to hurl some more abuse my way.

      Your brilliant knack of spotting people “in a good mood” must be amazing. But what if the one person behind the counter is not in a good mood and you need to pay for what you’re buying – do you simply leave the product and then find another shop?

      For your information, this review was not intended to persuade or dissuade people to visit Croatia. It’s just OUR blog with OUR experiences. If you don’t like it, I really don’t care.

    • Pamela 11 February, 2013 at 16:33

      As I previously wrote – the country is truly beautiful. I have personal relationships with many Croats due to being very close – like family – with a family that splits their time between California and Croatia. I am considered part of the family by the branch still in Croatia as well as the branch in the states. That all being said, when dealing with the country as an obvious tourist, I felt very taken advantage of & slightly bullied in almost every venue – restaurants, hotels, taxis, stores. As many people here have mentioned it is extremly expensive for foreigners – more expensive then any of the hassels are worth. When a 4 star hotel costs more then a 5 star hotel in Paris, something is seriously wrong with their system. I chalked alot of this up to the fact that they are relatively new to having such a large influx of tourists and see everything as merely an immediate money making situation rather then building a culture of tourism based on bring tourists back year after year. When I was with my Croatian family friends, the Croats treated me totally differently then when I was without them. They have a very strong culture patriotism towards their country, they have had to be due to their tumultuous history – and I constantly felt like they were in theory bullying me with how much better their coungtry was from the rest of the world. I actually had people say – the world does not appreciate the greatness of our country. Some of that may be true, but they still have a lot to learn on the friendly tourism scale. But as I said. it is a beautiful country. And Joe, most of the people who have spent time traveling Croatia in the last decade have not gone there looking for McDonald’s.

    • nino dmarni 1 March, 2014 at 11:55

      I go every year and must say you obviously didnt travel much in croatia or allowed your self to get involved with the cultures, every restaurant was friendly and yes through economic strain and change your going to get the few hotels trying to put up prices, overall I found croatia very cheap in comparison to the euro, there were visa outlets and money exchange everywhere. If you think you can go into any country in the world without pre booking hotels and accommodation through online engines, your only asking for trouble, never met more friendlier people on all my travels, you have to under stand a civil war ended to long ago and to rely on tourism is a huge change and yes it is kinda like walking into a small village in ireland if they have noy seen you before you will be treated different unless you adapt to the culture you have entered.. I have brough my English inlaws for 5 years in a row and we stay in Ciovo the old Trogir town and the markets, people and atmosphere and culture and exchange rate is brilliant , yes there is a language barrier in some places but there is always someone to assist you when you least expect. Maybe frkm now on research where your going first then maybe your experiences will be better instead of throwing assumptions on people and a culture that in many cases, are if you look closely fascinating and some what advanced.

  99. Jasna 3 February, 2013 at 20:35 Reply

    You see Mario,the very first rule of polite conversation would be not to speak the language others present don’t understand, and yes, politness was the other carateristic i forgot! …this is not a private conversation, but not wasting words or time…

  100. mario 3 February, 2013 at 12:45 Reply

    jasna ti ako si hrvat onda ?eš ovo razumijeti, kako možeš re?i da te sram svoje zemlje? … ahh da, pa to nije tvoja zemlja, tvoja zemlja je australija .. pa sretno ti bilo tamo i ne vra?aj se, previše je tu kod nas stvari kojih se sramiš!
    iako ne znam zbog ?ega, pa ti si si australka, tamo su svi pristojini i fini, ma gospoda samo takva :)

  101. Jasna Antunovic 3 February, 2013 at 04:53 Reply

    It’s really embarassing reading some of the comments, but I’m not surprised, I’m just trying to hide them from my New Zealand partner who will say ‘I told you!’.. i know; pushy, opinionated, rude, grumpy, no customer skills, intolerant and much more.
    I am from Korcula myself (living in Australia) and I still haven’t included it in my tours, many things are still just too embarassing

    but believe me, the country is gorgeous and there are many lovely people there… come on one of my tours and you can see yourself

  102. mario 14 January, 2013 at 20:51 Reply

    well bea, i am brilliant in my touristic business, as guests say
    but i give up, do not come to croatia (especially dalmatia), your bad

  103. Bea Seaman 14 January, 2013 at 09:44 Reply

    Wow. I am almost speechless reading these posts.

    There have been some brutal personal opinions expressed here… Let’s remember that personal opinions are not facts and since they are personal, they should be kept to ourselves?

    People working in tourism … It is a requirement of this career that you act happy when you are frustrated and not make your personal feelings known to the customer? At least, that is what I expect of you. Tourism is a business, not personal. Perhaps save the personal feelings for a private outlet like with friends or family?

    • Mariana 8 February, 2013 at 14:43

      I have a feeling that last paragraph is aimed at me?

      Stressing that this is only my own opinion and attitude, read a short elaboration of my post:
      I do not work in tourism industry (I’m not a ‘tourist worker’ in a formal sense), but I have worked several summers as a geologist/ranger/trail guide in a geotourism information centre catering to tourists interested in specific activities in a geologically interesting area (e.g. hiking on geological educational trails). I also have educational bacground in economics and trade, so I have it drilled in me that a “customer is always right” from before, and I do have a “friendly face” on even when they’re being annoying.
      However, I draw the line at rude and insulting. I don’t care how much money you pay for accomodation, or how rich you are – if you don’t like it here and are therefore acting like a spoiled angry brat, feel free to go elsewhere, because there’re people literally waiting in line for that room you’ll free up for the next visitor. There have been wonderful tourists and fantastic experiences, but some of them (like always and everywhere) lacked basic common decency and manners (that’s very mildly put).
      With this “…Tourism is a business, not personal. Perhaps save the personal feelings for a private outlet like with friends or family?” I agree only partially. Completely impersonal business is so obviously phony. How can you trust and do any kind of business with a person who has a fake smile on their face? In some industries – maybe; in tourism, when you’re in direct contact with tourists almost 15 hours a day – it’s difficult (and sometimes not advisable) to be impersonal, especially in geotourism which is a very specific tourism branch.

  104. mario 13 January, 2013 at 22:41 Reply

    oh, i almost forgot, those your croatian friends are hypocrits :) but good sees all, their olive grooves will never succeed, they need true love and care

    ask them do they want to come back …. :)

  105. mario 13 January, 2013 at 22:32 Reply

    pam, nevermind, my proposal stands, i will give you unforgetable croatian experience thats for sure

    i do not want to advertise my apartments directly here, but if i can send you priv message or mail, i will give to you link on booking.com to my house, and than, just read reviews and watch marks… carefully :)

    little hint if interested: go to booking.com, type in dalmatia, croatia, and go look than to review score, all reviews :)

    knowledge is true power :)

  106. mario 13 January, 2013 at 19:01 Reply

    Mariana, wonderfully said :)
    you as a croat knows our old one : “do not throw pearls to pigs”

    i only want for pamela to go to real third world country, then i will ask her about croatia
    i was in third world country, but i am not shure that pamela was

    and i think that those poor 3rd world people, but poor in materialistic means, in owning unnecessary stuff which americans are foreced by media to buy with money they do not have, that those people are way more happier than people like snobbish pamela, typical american ignorant which means that world exists, and spins because and for usa

    well, pamela you are wrong, those damn russians and chinese will eat you alive :)

    but, nervermind, i am inviting you to my aparrtments, so i will show you completely different perspective of that isolated third world country :)

    • Pamela 13 January, 2013 at 20:00

      Mariana, great reply. I do think the isolationism which was forced on the country has a lot to do with the current attitudes which can switch from welcoming to greed as soon as money comes into play. But the people have had to fend for themselves through a rough regime for half a decade. But some areas are not particularly civilized – you can see it in how they treat animals. When I was their the people liked to complain that they were not being allowed into the EU due to their neighbors though the EU was trying to get the country itself in order, before allowinng the country into the Union. Some of my closest friends are Croats, actually a famous ones in their own right, sports, culinary, photography and acting – and are brutally honest about their country. It is a little behind the times, but will soon be up to speed – but they have all been buying up large areas of land and growing olives.

      Mario, You are not doing your country any favors.

  107. mario 13 January, 2013 at 18:28 Reply

    Mariana, wonderfully said :)
    you as a croat knows our old one : “do not throw pearls to pigs”

    i only want for pamela to go to real third world country, then i will ask her about croatia
    i was in third world country, but i am not shure that pamela was

    and i think that those poor 3rd world people, but poor in materialistic means, in owning unnecessary stuff which americans are foreced by media to buy with money they do not have, that those people are way more happier than people like snobbish pamela, typical american ignorant which means that world exists, and spins because and for usa

    well, pamela you are wrong

    but, nervermind, i am inviting you to my aparrtments, so i will show you completely different perspective of that isolated third world country :)

  108. Pamela 9 January, 2013 at 19:06 Reply

    As a follow up – I also believe that part of the attitude problems people face in Croatia come from their heritage. The country has been relatively isolated for much of the last century and the people forced to be at the mercy of the winds of fate. They come accross very snobish (someone noted this in this chain of commments) but I think it has to do with being uncomfortable with suddenly being exposed to travelers from all over the world (mainly more advanced countries) coming into their country and judging them. It is a third world country trying hard to look modern. Once while traveling around Hvar we came upon a village that didn’t have eletricity yet – there was also a donkey left along with no water hobble-tied which was horrifying to have to see and not be able to do anything about. The country is beautiful – Croatians like to say they are just like the south of France….but people going their thinking they are getting a cheaper version of the South of France will be sorely disappointed – it is not cheap (one evening we had a $750 dinner bill at a restaurant for 8 people) nor is it the south of France (which is cheaper and actually IS the south of France).

    • mario 9 January, 2013 at 21:15

      pamela, you are such a typical american ignorant of facts, that you are simply ridiculous

      we were isolated? in middle of europe? hahahahahahahh brutal stupidity, and you do not know anything about our history, don’t you?

      for example did you know, that we had tourism for 150 yrs at least (started with austro-hungarian emperors and nobles in Opatija) , while at the same time your ancestors still traveled across wilderness in horse drawn wagons :)
      and in ex yugoslavia, during 1950 to 1990, until war, we had millions of guests yearly, primarily from western europe, mainly germany, yeah we were isolated hahahahahahhah

      but we are not cheap, and we are not what you americans expect, we are not touristic mc donalds, we are not like your beloved industrialized resorts like cancun, varadero, you name it, and we do have god given beautiful country and we rent it expensive because my country deserves that …and not to mention safety … :)

      and yes, we are not like southern france, we are much better (i think that you fabricated that we like to say that we are like southern france, since in all my living i never heard something like that, and i am croat all my life)

      on the other hand i did have wonderful guests from usa, and they were more than pleased with our hospitality and care about them, they loved us so much that they decide to move here to spent their retirement days in this beauty and safety

      ps: pamela, i was in south of france, in fact i traveled all europe several times, and yes i was in usa too

    • Mariana 13 January, 2013 at 02:07

      I was about to close this webpage, but I have to react to your post, Pamela.

      (1) Croatia has never been isolated, not even during communism. Mario has explained it quite nicely.
      (2) Generally speaking (because I can’t speak on everyone’s behalf), we’re not snobbish. In many cases what you percieve as snobism and rudeness is a cultural difference, i.e. people are much less extrovert when meeting someone for the first time. We take time to know new people — you have to earn my trust and I won’t act as your best friend in the first week I’ve known you. I also know of Croatians who thought that Americans have been hitting on them by acting too friendly on their first meeting.
      (3) Workers in Tourist industry belong in two groups: older ones with old habits and way of doing business, and younger generations of people with modern education in tourism industry/management/hospitality.
      (4) Above (and once and for-) all, Croatia is NOT and has never been “a third world country”! If you look down on people and the country you’re visiting (even subconsciously), guess what kind of response you’ll get.

      Of course there will always be rude people wherever you go, but I’ve worked in a tourist information centre and believe me, 50% of the tourists (from various countries) have been incredibly rude and snobbish. Do you think I could have kept a happy welcoming smile on my face after a tirade about rocky beach not being sandy (like it was my fault) or how dreadful it was that I didn’t speak German (but it was okay that he couldn’t speak any foreign language – at all)?

      As for Andrea’s initial post, after reading it, I can only conclude that most of her troubles could’ve been avoided with better, more detailed trip-planning.

  109. Zdravka 8 January, 2013 at 23:40 Reply

    Ha Ha ! My father was such a serious man – he was from Croatia. I am a rather serious person too and most Croatians I meet or talk to in America are rude, judgemental & a bit snobish. But as I think about it – a lot of people are that way. But now it all makes more sense. If I ever go there on vacation I’ll make a go of getting drunk with the local Gypsies instead !

    • inspiringtravellers 9 January, 2013 at 07:28

      We have a couple of Croatian friends in Australia and they are lovely so we were surprised to have so many problems in the country. But I think the comment made by Pamela is very accurate…Croatians are great to deal with one on one in a personal situation, but when you’re dealing with anything related to tourism, it can be unpleasant.

  110. Pamela 7 January, 2013 at 19:51 Reply

    Your observations are dead-on. I spent time there visiting Split and Hvar with a friend who has a house on Hvar. When I was dealing person to person with Croatians, I found them friendly. But once you step into any circumastance that involves money, hotel, restaurant, taxi, stores – they became rude and I felt as if I was constantly being hasseled. Taxi drivers would try and find out when I was leaving to try and get another fare. I swore restaurants had a foreigner price (which was extremly expensive) and a cash Croatian price. At the airport in Split, they checked our bags then told us they couldn’t issue us our tickets to take our flight which resulted in my having to play the ugly-American and create a ruckus to get our boarding passes. when we arrived in Zurich the helpful people behind the counter said “that’s what 50 years of communism gets you” & maybe they are right. We left the country early, not because of our friends or the beauty (it is a beautiful country) but because of the attitude – it just got exhausting dealing with all of the hassles when the country was so expensive (and yes, the summer is full of Russians and hookers). I would give the country another try though – it was seriously beautiful – but next time I would stand my ground earlier and make sure I was getting what I needed and not ripped off.

    • inspiringtravellers 7 January, 2013 at 21:30

      Thanks so much for sharing your experience here, Pamela! Though I’m sorry to hear that you also had a difficult time travelling in Croatia. Better luck next time – I’m sure being prepared for it is half the battle!

  111. mario 24 December, 2012 at 21:06 Reply

    you just have to come to me … than you will never forget croatia, thats for shure …
    you just have to explore little more carefully, so you will miss damn mf in our bussines who spoils our hard work to satisfy guests ….

  112. Bea Seaman 16 November, 2012 at 09:22 Reply

    Thank you for the insighful reply to my comment.

    I also agree with one comment made earlier on accommodations. Be very careful. This may not be the time to go off the grid. We have a dog and wanted to rent ‘locally’ rather than through the usual online websites. Our apartment is cheaper, but marginal. It has been 2 weeks and I wonder whether I will ever see the landlord. I would not recommend it. We chose this in a hurry. The apartment we thought we had in Pula wanted us to sign a 2 page, legal document which we chose not to do, as they would prosecute us in Croatia if they had any issues. If you can get by these surprises, the scenery is stunning. We are going to try the pizza at ‘da Serghio’ today.

  113. Bea Seaman 16 November, 2012 at 09:07 Reply

    Hi again, I just wanted to be sure to post this… We had a good meal and great, friendly servers at ‘Baston’ in Rovinj, twice! And we are planning to return a couple of more times. You can check the reviews, all are good. The food is fresh and cooked on the fire!

  114. Bea 12 November, 2012 at 09:42 Reply

    Hi, Thank-you for the first post. We read all the others in the thread… We are just in Croatia now, in Rovinj. It’s mid-November. We rented an apartment in a suburb, about 2.5 km from downtown Rovinj. We have a dog, so there were very few choices at this time of year! We have the gorgeous sea walks to keep us occupied for 2 hours a day and we can walk into Rovinj. We find Rovinj beautiful too. We have to be here because of EU rules (3 months out of 6). We have to stay 2 more weeks. We’ve been here just over a week.
    We were really looking forward to coming here. It is disappointing to us too, because we have to agree that we find the attitudes unwelcoming. The prices are average to expensive, even in November. You have to be careful, because they will add things to your table or your bill that you didn’t order. And yes, I find many servers want to argue… We go to the same restaurant every time we go, because we know the food is good, prices reasonable and the servers are starting to get to know us. We decided early on that this would be a help. It’s the first time in my life that I don’t even want to learn how to say hello. Sounds nasty, but we have lived in villages in Mexico where it was definitely crazy times. Still, we were an ‘amigo’, false as it was. We knew they were ‘just being nice’. But somehow, that is what we North Americans have come to expect? I feel for the local people who went through a civil war complete with ‘ethnic cleansing’ not so long ago. I have no idea how that would feel… It does all come down to where we want to spend our hard earned vacation dollars. We are considering options other than Croatia for the future.

    • inspiringtravellers 12 November, 2012 at 11:20

      Hi Bea,

      Thanks so much for stopping by and sharing your experience. We actually do have family members who lived in a region many years ago that were subject to “ethnic cleansing” so we can appreciate how horrific that is. I believe, however, that people must take pride in their country and rise above this, showing that they are stronger than their oppressors. Part of taking pride in your country is welcoming visitors. Just my two cents, but I don’t find the victim mentality appealing when I travel. They don’t have to be my best friend, but there is no need for out and out rudeness either.

      Hope the rest of your stay is pleasant =) Andrea

  115. lemonz 6 October, 2012 at 22:55 Reply

    oh wow, you really seem to have had a bad time! I feel really bad when I read about bad experiences people had visiting my country, even though I know it’s true (most of the things, unfortunately). There is truly no excuse and let me tell you, they can be pretty rude to natives here as well. You mentioned Bolivia and Thailand, well people there usually live in such conditions they are happy to get any job, money and customers so they can survive and feed their families. Croatia is not doing so bad so if you do have a job, you generally can’t be bothered to enjoy it, you have to do it, for the hell of it. Still – no excuse. People here are generaly unhappy and that’s plain to see in everyday life. If you ask me, I would just pack my bags and leave instantly, because as much as I love the nature here, I just don’t find fullfilment in a day, there are not much possibilities, it’s very dull. However, it all starts when the tourist leave and the Summer is over. Again, i am sad to hear you were disappointed with your trip. Maybe someday things get better here and people actually find fullfilment and motivation doing their jobs and genuinely great you with a warm smile.

    • inspiringtravellers 7 October, 2012 at 11:06

      Thanks for sharing your thoughts on this – I do truly hope that the people of Croatia can find some happiness – it really makes me sad to read this.

  116. Damaltian 24 September, 2012 at 02:29 Reply

    I am an americian, with croatian heritage. I think you are dead on with your observations. I think in general that croatian people to not like to give false appearances. My grandparents and parents speak in a very direct and no non-sense way, and speak with a lot of passion as well. I have a sense that they have a deep belief, that you should not create false appearances, especially for money. It is definitely a culturally “generalization”. It is kind of weird, but I find their “rudeness” quite refreshing at times. US hospitality I find phoney sometimes. United States “happy”malls, I find to be very fake false lonely places, versus an open Market in Croatia. I have experienced the Croatian “bad”service as well, but it makes me kind of chuckle and it is experienced as a refreshing cultural nuasance. If J. D. Salinger, was born in Croatia , I don’t think the Catcher and the Rye ever becomes a novel. Things are a little too real, and there are definitely no phonies. Croatia will never become an American disneyland, that is for sure. Just another perspective, Just what to let you know that it was not you.

    • inspiringtravellers 24 September, 2012 at 09:10

      I can completely appreciate the sentiment and attitude here. It’s just a bit confronting and sometimes it did feel like people went out of their way to be unhelpful to tourists. Thanks so much for sharing this cultural info! =)

  117. hack twitter 23 September, 2012 at 19:31 Reply

    Hy im from Croatia ,and i can confirm almost everything you said except for the Korcula?For me it was the worst island in croatia that i have been too and beaches are definetely worst.Have you been to Hvar? or in Makarska?Beauty of Croatia is at its coast not islands….

    • inspiringtravellers 24 September, 2012 at 09:11

      Very interesting! No, we did not spend too much time on the coast, except for Pula, which did have really nice rocks on the coast to jump from and swim.

    • hack twitter 24 September, 2012 at 20:38

      too sad,you should have at least visited Zadar which is for me most beautiful town in Croatia during summer with a lot of nice beaches :/

    • inspiringtravellers 25 September, 2012 at 13:36

      I think we spent a night in Zadar because we had to catch an early ferry the next day – can’t remember. Ah well, lessons learnt!

  118. Sarah 30 August, 2012 at 19:20 Reply

    We visited Croatia in August of ’09 and stayed for two weeks…we had an AMAZING time. We didn’t experience the slightest bit of rudeness from anyone, but this could be because we were traveling with my father-in-law, who is Croatian. We stayed with my grandfather-in-law on an island off the coast of Zadar and spent time in neighboring island towns as well as in Zadar, Split, Sibenik, and Biograd na Moru. We were in Zagreb briefly and our accomodations there were quite nice.

    Despite it being August, we were still comfortable in my grandfather’s house without air conditioning; we slept with the windows open at night and the breeze from the water cooled everything off. If we got too warm in the daytime, a dip in the ice cold Adriatic took care of that problem! The food was indeed simple but delicious (and YES on the gelato, it’s everywhere!!). There were grapes, olives, figs, and blackberries growing everywhere; we had lots of great homemade wine and olive oil. Croatians take a lot of pride in their heritage and sense of family; every relative treated my children and I like some sort of royalty! The man from whom we rented an apartment in Split was incredibly nice and those accomodations (on Marjan Hill) were FABULOUS. My mother-in-law and I ventured into a convenience store in Marjan without my father-in-law; we don’t speak a lick of Croatian and the woman working didn’t speak a lick of English. Despite this, she was extremely nice and patient with us and we managed to get what we needed.

    I was also extremely impressed with Croatia Airlines and the Zagreb airport. We accidentally left a bag on a plane and were close to missing a connecting flight. I was so tired from lack of sleep and stress I was about to burst into tears. A woman working in the airport looked at me, came over, and told me in English that everything was going to be okay and they would hold the plane for us. We weren’t able to retrieve our bag at that point (it was on its way back to London already) but Croatia Airlines had someone bring us the bag the very next day free of charge…they even had to come across on the ferry to get to our island, which as someone mentioned can be kind of a slow process.

    Obviously I think our experience was different because we were visiting family and traveling with someone who speaks the language. I also liked being in a somewhat isolated, quiet place much of the time and only venturing into the cities when we wanted to be tourists. We adapted to the island lifestyle and didn’t find ourselves in much of a hurry to do anything, so the ferry issue didn’t really faze us. I am surprised by all the negative experiences but again, our circumstances were a bit more unique I suppose. I cannot WAIT to go back!!!

    • inspiringtravellers 31 August, 2012 at 09:27

      Hi Sarah – thanks so much for sharing your experience. It actually makes me feel better to know that you had such a good time there. John speaks fluent Macedonian and, while it’s not the same language, it’s pretty close and one of the things that put us off was some of the snobbishness about the language from a few of the people that we met. But, hey, this was just our experience and certainly not indicative of what every person is going to experience in Croatia. We met a few lovely people as well. I think sometimes on a trip you just end up with a string of negative experiences for whatever reason and those feed off each other and sour the whole thing. I also believe that everything happens for a reason. In our case we ended up leaving early and went to Turkey, where we made friends with an amazing couple who we still keep in touch with. I like to think that the universe just had other things in mind for us. Again, thank you for sharing your very positive experience of Croatia!

  119. Louis 12 June, 2012 at 15:21 Reply

    We are starting sailing around the world and arrived in Croatia ten days ago with the intention to stay for at least two months. We really do not appreciate people attitudes even we meet a great Croatian guy, but there are other places in the world to enjoy with freindly natives, therefore, we are leaving as soon as wind let us sail…

    • inspiringtravellers 12 June, 2012 at 16:16

      How marvelous that you are on such an exciting sailing trip! I went sailing once in the British Virgin Islands for a week and I loved it. Hope the rest of your journey is wonderful =)

  120. Lorraine 27 May, 2012 at 12:06 Reply

    I am going to Croatia next month and just read the review. I do find it borderline racist by stating that in August it is full of Germans. What is her issue with them ? Does Andrea come from a superior race ? I travel to mix and mingle with different people and food, otherwise I would stay in sunny Essex. I found some of Andreas issues very petty. Croatia is like a third world country and will not be as advanced the West . There is no excuse for bad service but sometimes it is a cultural misunderstanding. I look forward to writing my review when I return.

    • inspiringtravellers 27 May, 2012 at 17:35

      Hi Lorraine – thanks for your comment and sorry you don’t approve of my review. I have no issues with Germans – have plenty of German friends, actually and loved my time in Germany. It was simply an observation and you may find that Croatians will address foreigners in German language first because so many of their tourists come from that country.

      And ‘German’ is not a race, by the way.

      I hope you have a wonderful time in Croatia and that your experiences are far better than ours. Many times it just depends on the individual and without knowing the details of our experiences there, I don’t think you are really able to put yourself in my shoes.


  121. Kurt Trumble 6 January, 2012 at 08:03 Reply

    THANK YOU.  No, seriously, thank you.  It’s perfect timing that I found this post of yours.  I felt a bit weird (and possibly insane) having committed to live for 3 months in Croatia, and feeling perfectly fine – dare I say elated – with leaving after only half of that.  I loved plenty about Croatia – Hvar for one (I didn’t get to Korcula), and nearby Trogir.  The truth of the matter is, we had a hard time really connecting with locals, and most of the time people were, as you said, downright rude. Having worked in the restaurant and bar industry back home for eight years, the sheer nastiness of some waitstaff in response to our politeness was incredible.  I expected to wait longer and to have service that was down many notches, but this was a whole different world.  One woman kept us waiting for almost 40 minutes because we didn’t have exact change… and who wants to carry around a bunch of 1 kuna coins in their pockets?   

    There were some exceptions to this – because I had learned rudimentary Croatian before arriving, I was often treated a bit better than the other tourist standing next to me.  It was the off-season, so some people seemed irritated they even had to work at all when we would enter an establishment. We were more fortunate than you two in that we were there in November and most tourist spots like Hvar were cleared out.  All in all, Croatia was one of the places I was most excited to visit, and I have to say that it was a letdown.  In my humble opinion, the most beautiful scenery in the world isn’t enjoyable when you continually get treated badly.  

    • Geert @ Inspiring Travellers 6 January, 2012 at 10:57

      John speaks Macedonian fluently, which is very similar to Croatian and some of the responses he got when he would mess up a word (it isn’t exactly the same but being a Slavic language also you would think people would be more friendly and accommodating with the negligible language barrier). That was even worse to us than if he had spoken in English or German (though I think they all know and expect some German) and been treated rudely. Or perhaps they just have something about Macos…but I’ve never heard of that before.

  122. Jeremy Bohall 20 October, 2011 at 03:31 Reply

    What a helpful post!  I live in Croatia and love it.  But I have encountered my own version of each one of the issues you had during your visit.  After living here, I can say this IS AN ACCURATE picture of traveling to Croatia.  Expect rudeness, logistical difficulties and waiting.  Despite the delicious food, beautiful coast and overabundance of culture and history, spending a week or two here may just cause frustration.  Believe it or not, the best way to enjoy Croatia is move here.

  123. Geert @ Inspiring Travellers 21 September, 2011 at 15:55 Reply

    I think you should give it a chance if you’re interested in going there – I’ve heard such mixed reviews from people that I’m not sure what to think. Quite a few of the people were great – I think just having the right expectations is key =)

  124. Sal Waugh 13 September, 2011 at 08:26 Reply

    Shame you guys didnae enjoy it, I think in another time or dimension the experiences would’ve been more pleasant. We loved it when we went there and the locals seemed alright. Was cheap back in ’04. The gelato was great but in saying that they just couldn’t get the pistachio flavour right. Tasted like medicine. 

    Hope you gave that rock thrower an elbow to the head Tangles.

  125. Reena Ganga 8 September, 2011 at 17:07 Reply

    I wasn’t much of a fan of Croatia either… so extremely packed with tourists and surprisingly effective.

    I can’t say enough good things about Montenegro though… it’s like all of your expectations for Croatia, dramatically exceeded!

  126. suzyguese 8 September, 2011 at 09:55 Reply

    I have always read how much others have loved Croatia. I’m sorry you guys had a bad experience. That guy throwing rocks at you sounds like a nut. I know I have had bad experiences in places other people loved. It makes me wonder how much of it is just luck of the draw.

    • Geert @ Inspiring Travellers 8 September, 2011 at 14:51

      The more we travel the more we think so many things are just luck of the draw, Suzy! I don’t think there are any guarantees when you’re on the road…ah well, I’m sure there is an ideal place for every person out there to visit. Sometimes I think I want to just keep going back to the places I love only, haha =)

  127. Robingraham6 7 September, 2011 at 08:25 Reply

    Well at least the food was decent. I enjoyed this post but I´m not sure what that says about me. I woiuld imagine the war has had a profound effect on many Croatians but like you I have increasingly less patience for ignorant people; I´d rather just give them a miss.

    • Geert @ Inspiring Travellers 7 September, 2011 at 15:30

      I just don’t have time for bs. when I’m travelling. We’re in Turkey now and there is such a striking contrast between the two groups of people. Here, the first thing out of everyone’s mouth is, “Where are you from?” Hardly anyone asked us that in Croatia. When I’m in my home countries or living somewhere long-term, I’m curious, helpful and engaged with visitors…and I guess I’ve just come to expect that when I’m travelling. After all, visitors count on the locals to make their time there worthwhile.

  128. Sherry 6 September, 2011 at 22:57 Reply

    Its almost like a whole ‘nother world out there! I totally had a different idea of Croatia before reading this post.  And after going through it, the only “do” that appeared to be positive is “DO Enjoy the nice local food.”  While I am very fond of food, that’s probably not enough to get me there. So disappointing, but I’m glad there are honest post and opinions out there like this one; even if it isn’t a favorable one for the place its about. Nonetheless, you’re photos were spectacular!

    • Geert @ Inspiring Travellers 7 September, 2011 at 02:37

      Thanks so much, Sherry. So many comments on this post are all about was what wonderful experiences people had…I think preparing for a bit of frustration will make a huge difference. I just assumed Croatia would be like the rest of Europe. And John didn’t have bad experiences the last time he was there. Perhaps we were just unlucky – who knows!

  129. Aaron's Worldwide Adventures 6 September, 2011 at 21:12 Reply

    Yikes! Sorry you guys had such a terrible experience! I’ve certainly been to places that are hard to travel (China…) but never any one country that I truly despised. Cities, sure, but countries, no! Interesting to hear your thoughts!

  130. Michael Figueiredo 6 September, 2011 at 16:38 Reply

    Wow! I had a completely different experience that you when I visited Croatia last year. I thought the people were very friendly! In fact, I thought they went out of their way to be kind and helpful. Plus, most people spoke at least some English and were happy to practice it with us. Yes, they are still struggling economically, but I didn’t think anyone was pushy. We took a Jadrolinia ferry from Italy to Split, then went to Hvar, back to Split and then took a 5 hour bus to Dubrovnik (and then took a ferry back to Italy.) I agree that the ferry schedules are confusing and make island hopping impossible. We had a terrific time and hope to return someday to explore more islands and head to the north and see Plitvice National Park too.

    • Geert @ Inspiring Travellers 7 September, 2011 at 02:32

      Glad to hear it, Michael! We did not make it to Split or Dubrovnik and spent most of our time in the islands. Not sure why we had the experience we did but I’m happy to learn that so many of our readers had a wonderful time =)

  131. jenjenk 6 September, 2011 at 00:26 Reply

    wow. that’s too bad! I definitely want to visit this place so all of your tips is very helpful!!  I’m always disappointed when I hear about poor service – especially in countries that could use the tourism!!

    Love the photos!!

    • Geert @ Inspiring Travellers 6 September, 2011 at 09:28

      Thanks so much! =) Hey, I say forewarned is forearmed, so if you go in with lowered expectations for friendliness you’ll probably have a great time. This was just our experience – hopefully you will have a wonderful adventure there!

    • Geert @ Inspiring Travellers 6 September, 2011 at 09:26

      Haha – you know, we kept making comparisons to South America as we went along but in the end South America won the service challenge. Except maybe in parts of Chile outside Santiago…definitely on par with Argentina for overall frustration though 😉

  132. John in France 5 September, 2011 at 15:32 Reply

    I think that your left early because you did not know how to pronounce the word HVAR!!!! I am in agreement with most of your  comments about Croatia, but I do rate Split as one of the most amazing towns I have come across, but you’d have to read my blog to discover that!!!!

  133. thailand on $20 a day 5 September, 2011 at 12:12 Reply

    Same as Emily, I never noticed a particular unfriendliness among the Croatians, but each journey is different.  Unless I’m in a five star resort (where I’m paying to be smiled at) I never feel put out at a sour face – after all, I’m a rich westerner frittering away more money on a holiday than the locals have to feed their kids 😛

  134. emilyinchile 5 September, 2011 at 11:59 Reply

    I didn’t feel that Croatians were particularly friendly or unfriendly, but I’m sorry you had some bad experiences. I loved the country – even the fact that it was about 10,000 degrees the whole time I was there (in a heatwave in July) just meant I had an excuse for more ice cream. I agree with you that the food isn’t anything too fancy, but simple, fresh food outside in the summer in gorgeous surroundings is hard to beat. Korcula looks gorgeous, I’d love to go!

    • Geert @ Inspiring Travellers 5 September, 2011 at 12:25

      Ahhh – so much ice cream everywhere! You’d love Korcula…really nice food and a summer sea breeze that apparently blows even during the heatwave. We found it so pleasant, even though the best beaches were a bus or boat ride away from the old town =)

  135. Melvin 5 September, 2011 at 08:34 Reply

    Nice post! I was in Croatia last year and since then recommend everyone to choose another destination! :) I liked the scenery & especially the Plitvice Lakes, but I was so dissapointed of the standard of accommodation & food. We went to the best restaurants of the towns and it was nothing special & overpriced compared to other European prices & standards.

    • Geert @ Inspiring Travellers 5 September, 2011 at 11:15

      I agree that the food isn’t special – I cited it because I wanted to find some positives, haha and it is fresh. I don’t mind simple food once in awhile and that’s definitely what the Croats are good at: simple grilled meats and fresh fish. But the prices were very high, I agree!

  136. Kyle 4 September, 2011 at 20:32 Reply

    That’s funny, I just talked to someone who was in Split and loved it. But I definitely believe that everybody should form their own opinions and all you can go off of are your own experience. There are plenty out there that think Chileans are the nicest folks in the world and my own experiences tell me they’re not. That doesn’t mean, I’m right or they’re wrong. Just two views. So I feel you. It’s disappointing that you didn’t like it as much as you thought you would.

    And as for the locals being better off economically but still angrier, I read somewhere that people who are the poorest in a rich neighborhood are much more unhappy than people who are middle to richest in a poor neighborhood. People’s impressions of how much they have is all relative. So I’d imagine that’s how it is for Croatians. They’re way too far away from South America to care how little Bolivians make in relation to what they earn!

    • Geert @ Inspiring Travellers 5 September, 2011 at 11:12

      I definitely think you’re right, Kyle! If I were Croatian I would feel somewhat abandoned by the EU economically, with rich Germans and Italians visiting my country but not being on an equal level. Especially if my neighbours were Greece and Italy, whose economies are dragging the system down, yet they get to be included.

  137. Aberecek 4 September, 2011 at 12:51 Reply

    I’m sorry you had a bad experience in Croatia. My husband and I spent three weeks there last year, but didn’t have the same experience as you for the most part. That’s horrible about the guy throwing rocks at you! We found plenty of friendly Croatians, both in the service industry and not: from the woman who did our laundry for free at our apartment in Korcula, to the woman who invited us to her birthday party in Hvar, to the man who drove us from our konoba to the bus station at 6:00 a.m. in Lastovo, to the man who randomly chatted with us in a restaurant in Split. I agree that it can be challenging to island hop to particular islands depending on the ferry schedule, but we found it easy to go down the coast by ferry as long as you were flexible. It’s funny, because we weren’t a fan of the food most of the time; many of the dishes were bland, pricey and repetitive. My biggest tip for Croatia is that there is not a lot of mid range accommodations – we found accommodation to be either luxury or private rooms/apartments in people’s homes which vary significantly in quality. We booked ahead on sites like Hostelbookers like you noted, but because our schedule was flexible, we often relied on the people who swarmed each ferry and bus stop. We were surprised by the accommodation scene, but it worked out. And oh, Plitvice National Park was amazing! I guess our different experiences just goes to show there is no substitute for experiencing a country firsthand…

    • Geert @ Inspiring Travellers 5 September, 2011 at 11:08

      I’m so glad to hear that you had a much better experience than we did! While quite a few people were really friendly we didn’t have any extra special experiences like you did. Shame – I would have liked to understand the people more and gotten to know a few.

  138. Rachel Joy 4 September, 2011 at 11:56 Reply

    I was in Zagreb earlier this year and my experience was fine (I don’t think Zagreb caters particularly well for tourists compared to many other capital cities, but people were friendly enough), but I did hear a lot of similar stories from people in hostels who had spent time on the islands and coastline and been disappointed. I was once told that friendliness in Eastern Europe is something that has to be earned (but once earned is incredibly strong), and so going up to ticket booth operators, sales people etc with a massive smile on your face and trying to make small talk just seems bizarre to some locals. That said, it’s no excuse for poor customer service – especially in the tourism industry. Still, I suppose there are people in every country who let their own reputation down. It’s sad because, wherever you are, the people can really make or break a trip.

    • Geert @ Inspiring Travellers 5 September, 2011 at 11:06

      Thanks, Rachel – it’s very true. While I can understand not wanting to make small talk (and I never walk up with giant smiles and expect strangers to be my best friend, haha), there is no reason for blatant rudeness. For example, when I handed over my receipt as we returned some bottles for the deposit money, the cashier literally snatched the paper out of my hand instead of just taking it. Little things like that – so unnecessary!

  139. Jennifer Stone 4 September, 2011 at 11:23 Reply

    Thanks for the great trips on traveling to Croatia! We have never been but every time I see pictures of it I want to visit, it looks so beautiful. It’s unfortunate that the people aren’t friendlier, that can definitely take away from what would normally be a great experience.

    • Geert @ Inspiring Travellers 5 September, 2011 at 11:03

      You may have a completely different experience than we did, Jennifer, so if you’re still dying to go, don’t let what I said stop you. I can only write about the time we had there – hope our tips help you get the most of your time! =)

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