''The country only just gained independence in 1991, whilst Croatians are truly free, with a well-deserved sense of national pride. Therefore, steer clear of calling them Yugoslav'', wrote Travel Channel advising potential visitors to Croatia.
Globetrotters often seek information about destinations they want to visit on the British Travel Channel website, and now they can pick up some tips for proper behaviour while in Croatia. Therefore, here is a bit shortened version of the article published by Travel Channel.
1. Don’t Be Afraid of the Bus – ‘’Unlike other European countries where hitting the rails is a no-brainer, Croatian train travel is not always the easiest way to get around. Although Croatian Railways, the national train company, does connect many cities, there is no service in the south, for example from tourist-heavy Split down to Dubrovnik, arguably Croatia’s most popular travel destination. The public transportation solution? Hop on the bus!’’
2. Do Drive With Care (And Don’t Talk on Your Cell) – ‘’If you want to zip around more freely, rent a car. Almost all Croatians drive a manual transmission, so if you prefer automatic, let the rental car company know when you make the reservation. Also, don’t drive and talk on your cell phone -- it is illegal in Croatia, and strictly enforced’’.
3. Do Take Ferries and Charter a Boat – ‘’If you are visualizing many paradisiacal swims in clear blue waters, then the Croatian islands are calling your name. Most of the residents of Croatian islands have their own small boats to travel between islands and the coast -- it’s the easiest way to get around. Public ferries in Croatia are another common way to island hop. If you need more flexibility, look into chartering a boat’’.
4. Don’t Walk the Walls With the Masses – ''If you plan to travel to Croatia during the peak months of July and August, you might have to buck some trends to avoid the crowds. For example, the No. 1 tourist activity in Dubrovnik is to walk atop the famous City Walls that run for over a mile around the Old Town. But take a cue from the locals -- stay away from the walls during the middle of the day in the summer when it can be very hot and crowded''.
5. Do Watch Your Step – ''If you tend to venture off the beaten path, beware of unexploded minefields in inland areas like Eastern Slavonia, the Brodsko-Posavska County, the Karlovac County, areas around the Zadar County and in more remote areas of the Plitvice Lakes National Park. Up to 2 million mines were laid during the war of the early ’90s, and Croatia is not expected to be mine-free until 2019. The mines are not in tourist spots and chances that foreigners would visit many of these places are slim. If you do happen to travel in these areas, stay on cultivated paths and look out for warning signs''.
6. Do Remember the Patron Saint – ''According to the last major census, almost 90 percent of Croatians are Catholic. So keep in mind that each village and town has a patron saint whose feast day will be celebrated with processions and ceremonies and probably a day off from work. Croatians are especially devoted to the Virgin Mary, whom they call "Gospa."
7. Don’t Call It Yugoslavia – ''Croatia has long grappled with invading forces and external governments: Hungarian, Habsburg, Ottoman, Venetian, Serbian and Yugoslav. The country only just gained independence in 1991, and immediately thereafter was thrust into the devastating Bosnian War of the early ’90s. Now, Croatians are truly free, with a well-deserved sense of national pride. Therefore, steer clear of calling them Yugoslav''.
8. Do Call It Croatian - ''Linguists say the Croatian language is almost identical to Serbian, except that Croatian is written in the Roman alphabet, while Serbian is written in Cyrillic. Nonetheless, always call their language “Croatian,” and not “Serbo-Croatian,” as it has sometimes erroneously been called in the past; comparisons to anything Serbian can still be a touchy subject for some''.
9. Do Watch Where You Go Topless! – ''If you’re tempted to go European and drop the bikini top, feel free. Plenty of travellers sunbathe topless on beaches in northern and central Croatia -- and go totally nude in specified areas-- but you may need to be more discreet in the south, where values tend to be more conservative. And if you happen to find yourself on the island of Krk, know that this is the birthplace of numerous Croatian bishops and a very religious community to boot -- so, keep your clothes on''.