Ms Skinnyfat

A Food & Travel Blog from Singapore

Travel Review: Croatia Unveiled

By Wednesday, June 20, 2012 , , , , ,

Central and Eastern Europe is pretty much misunderstood by the typical Singaporean. When people heard that I was going to Croatia, questions that inevitably popped up were - “Is it safe?” “Do they have proper roads?” “What are you gonna eat? Peasant food?” “Is the water drinkable?” "Don't die there please."

Well... I came back in one piece. In fact, I came back a bigger piece because the food was awesome and I had a ball of a time. 
One of the best meals in my life. That's me mopping up the last bits of my shrimps dish.
S marveled at how this is one of the rare times that i actually finished all of my food without being forced to. 

And seriously people, Croatia is a developed country just without all that huge commercial brands and overly touristy stuff. AND we felt much safer here than in the typical crime ridden European countries like Spain, Paris, Greece and Italy or London. We walked around late at night and had no issues at all.

I suppose that is just the “Paranoid Singaporean” syndrome kicking in. The distrust and wariness we have of all things foreign and strange. I’m not saying it’s not good; we have only our upbringing and artificially safe environment to blame for that. But sometimes you just got to live a little, be a little trusting even when gut reaction tells you to pick up your slippers and run in the opposite direction. 

So anyway, it was 1 awesome trip to Croatia. 11 days. Left footprints in 6 countries. Transited in 2 countries, Qatar (Doha) and Hungary (Budapest), visited 3 countries, Croatia, Slovenia, Montenegro and threw in a pit stop in Bosnia
View from Dubrovnik Old Town.

The stops went like this. Singapore-Doha-Budapest- [Croatia] Zagreb- [Slovenia] Ljubijana (day trip)- [Croatia] Plitvice National Parks- Zadar- Sibenik(day trip)- Split- Hvar & Pakleni Island (day trip)- [Bosnia] (beach stop)- Dubrovnik- [Montenegro] Sveti Stefan & Kotor- [Croatia] Lokrum Island- Zagreb- [Singapore]. It seems like a crazy packed to the brim kinda holiday but it wasn't. We had lots of time to chill out at caffe bars, chase waterfalls, sunbathe with a bunch of naturalists, catch sunsets, do nothing at all. 

Chilling out at Buza- Bar on a Cliff in Dubrovnik 

What's cool is that we didn't break the bank for the trip. Well i never break the bank unless there's shopping involved. Here's a breakdown of how much we spent.

Air ticket-approx SGD1.7k (Qatar Airways)

Travel expenses (food, accommodation, car rental, sights)- 1000 Euros each. We had a range of meals from budget to high end but 1 good meal a day is guaranteed (by good i don't mean it has to be expensive). 40-50Euros would get you 2 mains, 2 starters and drinks. 

Accommodation- Mid range apartments and 1 4* Hotel (which wasn't fantastic). 70-100Euros/night
Currency- Croatian Kunas. Bring Euros for currency exchange in Croatia (that's if Euro is still in use then). Current exchange rate 1Euro:1.613SGD. S$1: 4.5KN approx. You do the math.
Our lovely apartment in Zadar. Huge and rustic with Wifi, AC, Satellite TV and Jacuzzi shower.
The best time to visit Croatia is probably early to mid June. Get a golden tan. Swim in the cool sapphire Adriatic sea. Party hard at cross country festivals. Trek under the shade of vast green canopies. Hop on and off ferries with efficient summer schedules. Avoid high season prices and 3am parties at overbooked hotels.
My very own swimming pool in Bosnia.

I'm really glad that we went on this trip before too many Asians and Singaporeans hit the beautiful Adriatic coast and before it's marred by all the cut throat tourism and scams. We were practically the only Asians/Singaporeans in some towns.
Sunset at the top of Dubrovnik at our secret spot
Croatia has got to be one of my favorite countries at the moment (because i will never stop exploring cool places). Travel to Croatia, will you?

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  1. yes~~ definitely wanna go after reading your review :)

  2. Where did you stay in Zadar? That place looks lovely. Me and my guy are always looking for nice places to stay on the coast. :)

    1. It's call Hotel Accomodation Gina. You can google or check it out at ( Lovely place above a coffee bar. I'm a little slow on the Croatia updates. Shall do a post on Zadar soon! :)

  3. Thanks for your review. Wld like to visit Croatia with Hub. Did you rent a car and is the language a barrier for you?

    1. Do go! It's a fantastic place. I love Croatia. Car rental is readily available at the Zagreb airport. Cheaper to compare and book there than online. There's a range of automatic cars as well. English is widely used so no issue at all. It's easier to communicate here than in Japan or Korea so no worries.

  4. Hi,
    FYI, Croatia is Southern Europe. The best time to visit is May and mid Sep. Not advisable to visit during the tourist season June-August as the prices are doubled. Glad to enjoyed my beautiful home.

    1. Hi, Croatia is considered to be part of Central Europe though it looks like it's the southern tip. The landscape is very interesting as it stretches up north (Zagreb) and down to the Adriatic coast in the south. The peak tourist season is summer and specifically July-Aug. Through my personal experience and conversations with the locals, i found June ideal as the businesses are prepping themselves for the summer peak but prices are still in the non-peak rates. No issues with overcrowding in June as well. Hope that helps. :)

    2. Hi,
      Croatia will be joining EU in July 1st 2013. Croatia's tourist season starts as early as May and ends in early September. The more southern towns belonging to Dalmatia region are pretty warm all the way till September and extremely hot in mid summer. Approaching almost 40 degrees. There will be overcrowding in areas such as Hvar island and the coastal towns that are more well known. It's a main attraction for German, Italian and Hungarian pensioners.
      Rent a car preferably from Italy and drive in. It's way cheaper and accommodation-wise, avoid hotels.
      Once again, I wish more people will visit my beautiful home. :)

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