(Re)discover Croatia: Schengen, Euro and more!

Picture of Petra Kurzmann
Petra Kurzmann
Liebt es zu Kochen und sagt nie nein zu Kaffee und Kuchen. Ordnungsverliebt und doch in ihrem eigenem Chaos daheim, gibt es für die Weinviertlerin nichts Schöneres als ihren nächsten Urlaub zu planen. Ob Stadt, Berg oder Meer jede Destination hat für sie ihren Reiz. Und ist sie doch mal zuhause, lässt sie ihre Abende gerne mit einem Buch und einem Glas Wein ausklingen.

On 1.1.2023 it was finally time. For the last time, the border bar went up and will remain there from now on. At the beginning of the year, Croatia became a member of the Schengen area and the eurozone. We took a look at what this change means for your next vacation in Croatia and a bit more.

Abolition of border controls

Gone is the anxiety about how long you might be stuck in a traffic jam at the border this time. Gone is the panicked rummaging for the passport you held in your hand just five minutes earlier. Croatia is now officially the 27th member of the Schengen area, which means that all border controls on land, air (controls at the airport will not be abolished until March 26) and water will no longer apply. All border posts are also to be either dismantled or rebuilt by the end of the year.

Only cash is real

While the euro was already accepted in many resorts, the introduction of the euro as the new currency means that it is now possible to pay with it throughout the country. Gone is the tedious conversion from Kuna to Euro and vice versa. Those who still have kuna from their last vacation at home can exchange them in Croatian banks until the end of 2023.

Only a (car) ride away

With the elimination of border controls and the associated long traffic jams, Croatia is definitely a destination in 2023 that should also be high on the list for a weekend trip.

Weekend in Zagreb

Many know Zagreb only from the highway signs on the way to the sea. But the city with its 800,000 inhabitants has a lot to offer. Here, Mediterranean flair meets Balkan tradition. It’s best to just let yourself drift. Past old buildings, with almost kitschy facades and fountains, and through narrow streets always in search of typical Croatian delicacies.

If you are traveling by car, you should definitely stop by the Plitvice Lakes. Several hiking trails lead past 16 lakes and a 78 m-high waterfall.

To the sea for a weekend

Sometimes there are those days when the longing for the sea is quite strong. So why not just get in the car or on the train and head out. Lie in the sun, swim, or take a walk on the beach. The blue of the sea, the typical smell, and the sound of the waves appeal to all the senses and soothe. While it has been rather atypical to go to Croatia for a weekend, a short vacation should definitely be on the bucket list in 2023. And with the elimination of border controls, the trip will also be a bit easier.

A piece of Croatia in your luggage

But not only the entry becomes easier, but also the exit. Croatia has many delicacies to offer, the taking of which fell into the gray area due to various regulations. Here are three things you absolutely have to take along as a souvenir next time:

  • Fine prosciutto from Dalmatia

The Dalmatian prosciutto has a long history and has been a landmark for years without which no Croatian snack can do. Its typical production finally led to a protected designation of origin. Sea salt, mild smoking, and drying in the sea air make this prosciutto unique. Thus, at least in terms of taste, a vacation feeling comes up at home.

  • Fine wines from Croatia

Croatia looks back on a long tradition of viticulture and has top wines that are recognized worldwide. Among the oldest and best-known autochthonous varieties are the Plavac mali. Its vines grow primarily on slopes in southern and central Dalmatia and produce a tasty red wine. One sip of it and you’re back in the nice restaurant by the sea.

  • A piece of chocolate heaven

Whoever thinks that Croatia only has hearty food to offer is mistaken. The Bajadere pralines, the Mozartkugeln of Croatia, have a long tradition and their recipe is probably one of the best-kept secrets of Croatia. Just one bite and you are in chocolate heaven. The perfect souvenir for friends and family, or for your own stock 😉

So pack your bags and let’s go! We wish you a wonderful time in Croatia.

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