Do’s and Don’ts For Travel in Croatia

September 4, 2011

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.”

pula1 Dos and Donts For Travel in Croatia

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.

korcula2 Dos and Donts For Travel in Croatia

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.

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.

ferry Dos and Donts For Travel in 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. Dos and Donts For Travel in Croatia

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.

badija3 Dos and Donts For Travel in 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.

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

korcula12 Dos and Donts For Travel in Croatia

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 Dos and Donts For Travel in Croatia

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?


Older comments
  1. Comment by Polkabike

    Polkabike Reply February 28, 2014 at 6:52 am

    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.

  2. Comment by CAROL

    CAROL Reply February 28, 2014 at 10:31 am

    MARIO IM TRaleving to your beloved country tomorrow N

    • Comment by mario

      mario February 28, 2014 at 11:17 am

      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 :)

  3. Comment by LCroatia

    LCroatia Reply March 18, 2014 at 4:09 pm

    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.

  4. Comment by Liz

    Liz Reply April 17, 2014 at 4:45 am

    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.

  5. Comment by Visko

    Visko Reply April 27, 2014 at 4:54 pm

    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.

  6. Comment by Marko Mario

    Marko Mario Reply May 4, 2014 at 12:08 am

    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.

  7. Comment by Marko Mario

    Marko Mario Reply May 4, 2014 at 12:31 am

    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.

    • Comment by inspiringtravellers

      inspiringtravellers May 4, 2014 at 11:47 am

      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.

    • Comment by Marko Mario

      Marko Mario May 5, 2014 at 12:46 am

      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.

  8. Comment by Mark

    Mark Reply May 12, 2014 at 7:11 am

    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

  9. Comment by maria

    maria Reply June 4, 2014 at 4:52 pm

    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)

    • Comment by Marko Mario

      Marko Mario June 4, 2014 at 5:09 pm

      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.

  10. Comment by jack

    jack Reply June 11, 2014 at 2:03 pm

    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.

  11. Comment by jack

    jack Reply June 11, 2014 at 2:29 pm

    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.

  12. Comment by Marko Mario

    Marko Mario Reply June 11, 2014 at 3:11 pm

    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.

    • Comment by jack

      jack June 11, 2014 at 4:36 pm

      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.

  13. Comment by mario

    mario Reply June 11, 2014 at 3:19 pm

    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

    • Comment by jack

      jack June 11, 2014 at 4:39 pm

      I hope everyone reads your post.

  14. Comment by Marko Mario

    Marko Mario Reply June 11, 2014 at 5:22 pm

    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.

  15. Comment by Pamela

    Pamela Reply June 11, 2014 at 6:15 pm

    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.

  16. Comment by Marko Mario

    Marko Mario Reply June 12, 2014 at 7:28 am

    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.

  17. Comment by Dalmo Brit

    Dalmo Brit Reply August 4, 2014 at 6:19 am

    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.

  18. Comment by Zeljko

    Zeljko Reply August 6, 2014 at 11:47 am

    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.

    • Comment by jack

      jack August 8, 2014 at 12:00 pm

      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.

  19. Comment by jack

    jack Reply August 6, 2014 at 12:17 pm

    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.

  20. Comment by Marko Mario

    Marko Mario Reply August 6, 2014 at 12:57 pm

    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.

  21. Comment by Pamela

    Pamela Reply August 6, 2014 at 1:44 pm

    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.

    • Comment by mario

      mario August 6, 2014 at 2:52 pm

      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 :)

    • Comment by fatkat

      fatkat October 13, 2014 at 5:27 am

      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.

  22. Comment by Marko Mario

    Marko Mario Reply August 6, 2014 at 2:43 pm

    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.

    • Comment by mario

      mario August 6, 2014 at 3:13 pm

      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 :)

  23. Comment by Marko Mario

    Marko Mario Reply August 6, 2014 at 3:26 pm

    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.

  24. Comment by jack

    jack Reply August 6, 2014 at 3:36 pm

    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.

  25. Comment by mario

    mario Reply August 6, 2014 at 3:39 pm

    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 :)

  26. Comment by Marko Mario

    Marko Mario Reply August 6, 2014 at 3:53 pm

    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.

    • Comment by jack

      jack August 6, 2014 at 4:04 pm

      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.

    • Comment by Marko Mario

      Marko Mario August 6, 2014 at 4:19 pm

      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.

    • Comment by jack

      jack August 6, 2014 at 4:23 pm

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

    • Comment by Marko Mario

      Marko Mario August 6, 2014 at 4:35 pm

      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.

  27. Comment by jack

    jack Reply August 6, 2014 at 4:40 pm

    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.

    • Comment by Marko Mario

      Marko Mario August 6, 2014 at 5:45 pm

      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.

    • Comment by Marko Mario

      Marko Mario August 6, 2014 at 6:25 pm

      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.

  28. Comment by jack

    jack Reply August 6, 2014 at 8:02 pm

    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.

    • Comment by Marko Mario

      Marko Mario August 6, 2014 at 8:50 pm

      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.

    • Comment by jack

      jack August 6, 2014 at 9:25 pm

      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.

    • Comment by Marko Mario

      Marko Mario August 7, 2014 at 8:36 am

      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.

    • Comment by jack

      jack August 7, 2014 at 10:55 am

      Well said, and thank you.

  29. Comment by mario

    mario Reply August 7, 2014 at 4:32 am

    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

  30. Comment by John

    John Reply August 7, 2014 at 9:26 am

    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.

    • Comment by jack

      jack August 7, 2014 at 10:57 am

      Thank you sir.

    • Comment by mario

      mario August 7, 2014 at 3:23 pm

      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 :)

  31. Comment by mario

    mario Reply August 7, 2014 at 3:41 pm

    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?

  32. Comment by Marko Mario

    Marko Mario Reply August 7, 2014 at 3:42 pm

    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.

  33. Comment by Pamela

    Pamela Reply August 8, 2014 at 11:20 am

    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.

    • Comment by jack

      jack August 8, 2014 at 12:23 pm

      Absolutely agree. See my response to Zeljko above.

  34. Comment by mario

    mario Reply August 8, 2014 at 12:09 pm

    “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 :) )

  35. Comment by Pamela

    Pamela Reply August 8, 2014 at 1:12 pm

    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.

  36. Comment by david butler

    david butler Reply August 8, 2014 at 2:50 pm

    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.

    • Comment by mario

      mario August 9, 2014 at 2:38 am

      exactly david :)

  37. Comment by mario

    mario Reply August 8, 2014 at 3:01 pm

    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)

  38. Comment by Željko

    Željko Reply August 8, 2014 at 3:08 pm

    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) :)

    • Comment by jack

      jack August 8, 2014 at 3:15 pm

      Thanks Veljko
      See you in the future.

  39. Comment by Marko Mario

    Marko Mario Reply August 8, 2014 at 5:08 pm

    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.

  40. Comment by jack

    jack Reply August 8, 2014 at 6:09 pm

    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.

  41. Comment by Rock

    Rock Reply September 9, 2014 at 10:45 am

    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!!!

  42. Comment by Dan

    Dan Reply November 8, 2014 at 10:19 pm

    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.

  43. Comment by Jason

    Jason Reply November 14, 2014 at 8:11 am

    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.

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