Croatia is located on the Balkan Peninsula in Europe and borders the Adriatic Sea to the west. For a long time, this region has been considered an intermediary zone, displaying traits of both Central Europe and Southeastern Europe.
Croatia is a popular tourist destination, especially for people living in northern Europe who come down to spend their summer holiday by the warm Adriatic Sea.
After the end of World War II, the Federal State of Croatia became one of the founding members of the Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia. Croatia declared independence from Yugoslavia in 1991, followed by the four year long Croatian War of Independence. Today, Croatia is an independent democratic republic governed by a parliamentary system.
Short facts about Croatia
|Name in Croatian||Hrvatska|
|Full name in Croatian||Republika Hrvatska|
|Name in English||Croatia|
|Full name in English||Republic of Croatia|
|Population||4,154,200 (2017 estimate)|
|Largest ethnic groups||Croats (approximately 90% in 2011)
Serbs (approximately 4.5% in 2011)
|Religion||Christianity (approximately 91% in 2011, of which a majority are Roman Catholics)
Islam (approximately 1.5% in 2011)
Other religions (approximately 2.9% in 2011)
Irreligious (approximately 4.6% in 2011)
Coordinates: 45°48′N 16°0′E
Coordinates: 45°48′N 16°0′E
|Time zone||CET (CUT +1)
Summer: CEST (UTC +2)
|Gambling||Gambling is legal. 5 casinos in Zagreb. Online casino industry is regulated|
|Prostitution||Illegal (but widespread)|
|Drives on the||Right|
|ISO 3166 code||HR|
Croatia is an important tourist destination, with the tourism sector accounting for roughly one fifth of the Croatian GDP. Data from 2017 show that over 17 million people visited Croatia, making over 86 million overnight stays. A majority of the foreign tourists come from Germany, Slovenia, Austria, Italy or Poland.
Most tourists that come to Croatia head for the beaches of the Adriatic Coast, where the tourist season peaks in July and August. Others come for wildlife experiences, for agrotourism, to get first-class SPA treatments, or to visit cultural landmarks and participate in cultural events. The oldest holiday resort in Croatia in Opatija, with its Mediterranean climate and its historic buildings reminiscent of the Austrian Riviera. In the 1870s, wealthy European families began arriving to Opatija on the newly opened railway to vacation here during the summer season.
Croatia is world famous for its naturism, receiving over one million naturist tourists per year. Many resorts catering specifically to naturists are available here.
There are eight national parks in Croatia, plus well over 400 other protected wildlife areas, such as nature parks and reserves.
These are the eight national parks:
(114.6 sq mi)
(36.7 sq mi)
(24.5 sq mi)
(2.1 sq mi)
(84 sq mi)
(13.1 sq mi)
(42 sq mi)
|Sjeverni Velebit||109.0 km2
(42.1 sq mi)
UNESCO World Heritage Sites
Ten sites on the UNESCO World Heritage List.
|Site||Location(s) in Croatia||Year
|Type of site||Info|
|Plitvice Lakes National Park||Plitvička Jezera||1979||
A series of lakes, dams, caves and waterfalls.
The surrounding forest is home to many animals, including wolves and bears.
|Historical Complex of Split with the Palace of Diocletian||Split||1979||
The palace was built by the Roman emperor Diocletian at the turn of the 4th century AD.
The city Split grew up around the palace, with many notable buildings being erected throughout the centuries. Today, the city is famous for its Gothic, Renaissance and Baroque style architecture.
|Old City of Dubrovnik||Dubrovnik||1979||
Dubrovnik is an old port city located by the Adriatic Sea. In the Middle Ages, it was a Maritime Republic.
|Episcopal Complex of the Euphrasian Basilica in the Historic Centre of Poreč||Poreč||1997||
This is one of the best surviving examples of early Byzantine art and architecture.
|Historic city of Trogir||Trogir||1997||
Trogir is the best-preserved Romanesque-Gothic complex in Central Europe.
|Cathedral of Saint James||Šibenik||2000||
|This cathedral is a triple-nave basilica with three apses and a tall dome.
It is one of the most notable surviving Renaissance architectural monuments in the eastern Adriatic.
|Stari Grad Plain||Hvar||2008||cultural||This agricultural landscape, which is still being used by today’s farmers, was created by ancient Greek colonists in the 4th century BC.
The ancient layout has been preserved by careful maintenance of the stone walls over 24 centuries.
|Stećci Medieval Tombstones Graveyards||Dubravka
These monolith stone monuments are tombstones erected in the Middle Ages. They are found in a large region encompassing modern-day Bosnia and Herzegovina, parts of Croatia, Serbia, and Montenegro.
Two sites are inscribed for Croatia; one in Dubravka and one in Cista Velika.
|Venetian Works of defence between 15th and 17th centuries||Zadar
This multinational listing consists of Venetian defence works in Croatia, Italy and Montenegro, a region stretching from Lombardy to the Adriatic Coast.
Sites in Croatia:
– The defensive system of Zadar
– St. Nicholas Fortress in Šibenik
|Primeval Beech Forests of the Carpathians and Other Regions of Europe||Paklenica on the on the southern slopes of Velebit mountain
Northern Velebit National Park
This is a multinational entry consisting of isolated refuges of European beech that survived the last Ice Age.
The Croatian sites are Paklenica and Northern Velebit National Park.
What’s the currency?
The Croatian currency is called kuna.
1 kuna is subdivided in to 100 lipa.
The modern-day Croatian kuna was introduced in 1994, replacing the Croatian dinar. The kuna was originally pegged to the the Deutsche Mark, and when Germany switched to Euro, Croatia switched the peg over to the Euro.
Kuna means marten in Croatian. In the European Middle Ages, marten pelts where highly valued and used as units of value in trading in Slavonia, the Croatian Littoral, and Dalmatia. When the Croatian coain banovac was introduced in 1235, it was adorned with the image of a marten.
In modern-day Croatia, the marten is depicted on the obverse of the 1 kuna, 2 kuna and 5 kuna coins.
Lipa is the Croatian word for linden tree. Linden trees were planted around marketplaces in Croatia and elsewhere in the Austro-Hungarian Empire during the early modern period, a thus became strongly associated with commerce and trade.
Is Croatia a part of the European Union?
Yes, Croatia joined the European Union on 1 July 2013.
At the time of writing, Croatia is not a part of the Schengen Area nor the EMU.
Croatia is a subject to Mifid. This means that brokers and other financial insitutions in other EU countries are allowed to market and offer their services to people in Croatia.
Croatia is a member of:
- The United Nations (UN)
- The World Trade Organization (WTO)
- The Council of Europe
- The Union for the Mediterranean
As an active member of the UN peacekeeping forces, Croatia has contributed troops to the NATO-led mission in Afghanistan. In 2008-2009, Croatia held one of the seats on the UN Security Council, assuming presidency in December 2008.
Croatia was included in the Partnership for Peace in 2000 and joined NATO on 1 April 2009.