When in Croatia, do as the Croats do

Love Croatia

March 24, 2015 • Quick tips

When you travel abroad you want to find out a little bit about the culture and lifestyle of the locals. What do they eat? What do they drink? How do they spend their time? How does life go about here? Here are a few tips on how to mingle with the locals and learn first-hand, try them all!

Be friendly – you might find a prijatelj/frend (friend) for life

Love CroatiaYoung locals are often friendly to tourists and willing to teach and show you a few of the local attractions (usually the cooler and more fun non-touristy stuff). They might even offer you some of their (mostly homemade) wine or rakija (fruit brandy, with various flavours). Don’t pass on that, but be moderate, you want to remember your stay!

Talk to the locals – Eeeej! Bok! (Hi!)

People on beachThe best way to learn how to blend in is to talk to the locals, of course. Just don’t believe everything they say – they’ll try to mess with you (for example: teaching you swear words instead of hellos). Humour is everywhere you turn, and we find a lot of things funny. Observe their behaviour, try to find the psychologist in you – watching them might make you a bit more Croatian (we like to know everything that’s going on, and watching others is essential).

Ne (No) is not an acceptable answer concerning food

Seafood CroatiaIf the locals offer you homemade food, do not say no. They’ll want to show you what they like to eat and refusing (even if you’re really polite) will insult them. Well, not so much insult, as they won’t stop nudging you to try some so save yourself some precious time. Tastes do vary, but trying is a part of learning the culture and we love our food. Common meals are different from the coast to the mainland – coastal locals eat more fish (fresh saltwater fish straight from the sea to the market), while mainland locals eat more meat (pork, lamb, chicken, venison, etc.). Vegetables are everywhere, with potatoes (prepared in various ways) being the main ingredient in most meals.

Go to the tržnica/pijaca/plac (farmer’s market) in the morning

Farmer's market CroatiaWe take pride in our fresh home-grown produce and you can find all sorts of local goods in every city and almost every small town (ask the locals for tips, some towns only have open farmer’s markets once a week). Ask the vendors where the products are from, some might be imported. You’ll probably pay a bit more for the local stuff, but there are benefits – it’s usually not grown in enormous amounts and is treated for carefully, and more and more so eco-friendly.

Take an early morning banj (short swim)

Swimming in CroatiaOne of the perks of waking up early on your vacation is the open space and tranquillity of your surroundings. When you spend time on our beautiful coast the best time to enjoy it is in the morning, when the blue sea is peaceful and the beaches are almost empty. Make a sacrifice and set your alarm clock, you won’t regret it. Enjoy the meditative effect of the waves, the sun and the air.

Kava (coffee) in the morning, pivo/vino (beer/wine) in the evening

Coffee in CroatiaThe must morning (and any other time of day) Croatian ritual is coffee. Coffee and some more coffee. It’s a process, we are not quick about it. Drinking coffee can last for hours, and even lead to a whole day and night out – leading to the evening rituals. You thought coffee just meant coffee? You were very mistaken; an invite for coffee can mean just anything from actual coffee through juices to alcohol. We party hard on the weekends, but every evening is a good evening for a glass of wine (just wine, or red wine with coke (bu-bu), or white wine with mineral water (gemišt)) or a mug of beer. Ok, sometimes it’s a bit more than a glass. Don’t judge!

Take your time – sutra (tomorrow) sounds perfect

Sunbathing CroatiaWhy work today if you can do it tomorrow? You’re on vacation, the perfect time to procrastinate and take things easy. Go to the beach and listen to the waves, take an easy stroll through the countryside, try some of the local food, talk with the locals, listen to the music of nature, party hard.  ENJOY LIFE.

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