My Husband and I visited Croatia for the first time. We found it to be a beautiful country with lovely friendly people. I found Zagreb to be the most beautiful city that I have ever been in. Croatia was not as cheap as we thought it would be but still less expensive than many countries in Europe.
Travelling: We took a return flight from Mumbai to Zagreb and a one way flight from Zagreb To Dubrovnik. We hired a car in Dubrovnik and returned it at Zagreb Airport when flying out . Roads were excellent and GPS works wonderfully. We drove everywhere.
Accomodation: We stayed in Studios and apartments throughout. Booking through booking.com and airbnb . Dubrovnik was the most expensive. Beware if you book accomodation in the old town you may have to climb many many steps and it is a pain with large suitcases like we had. Check this point before booking in any of the old cities. Old city buildings rarely have elevators and I think we lugged our bags up stairs in every place we stayed in.
Car Hire: We booked through Rentalcars.com ( Sixt ) (If hiring a car make sure you ask for a new car with fitted GPRS so you don't have to seperately pay for it). We did not take any extra insurance cover.This was our personal choice. The car company provided a basic cover with excess of Euro 1050/-. We opted for full tank to full tank option for the fuel. We opted for an automatic car. Manual gear cars were available for as little as Rs.5000/- for 8 days.
Parking: Most of the Old towns ( Zagreb, Dubrovnik,Split, Varazdin,Trogir) don't allow cars . Parking is difficult and can be expensive. As far as possible use local transport for visiting these places or park a little far from the main centre. Please note you cannot park for more than an hour in Zone 1 Areas. We ended up paying a hefty fine because we did not know this.
Language: Most people understand English. We did not face any problem in this respect. Indians may find their pronunciations easy since we have ch and sh sounds in our language too. In Croatian language c is pronounced as ch, j is pronounced as y.
Food: It was easy to find vegetarian food. Most restaurants would have a few vegetarian choices on their menu. Most apartments had basic sugar , salt, oil and tea bags. I carried some basic Indian spices and we sometimes cooked our own food.
Currency: Croatia has its own currency called Kuna. During our trip the exchange rate and 1 kuna=Rs.10/-
Markets: Every city/ town has a morning market every morning where fresh vegetables, fruits,cheese, wine, oils, meat etc are available. We shopped mostly for fruits and ate fresh fruits almost everyday. The Cherries and Peaches were to die for.
Main expenses for the two of us.
*Flight Tickets..Rs.103,000.00; * Visa: Rs.15000/-; *Accomodation: Rs.45000/- *Rental Car: Rs.17000/- Automatic Car Open Astra .
*Other expenses : Food, Tolls, Entry tickets, Car fuel Rs. 70,000/-
Hope you find this post informative and useful and most of all inspiring to make you visit Croatia .I hope to visit Croatia many times in the years to come.