Croatia is one the faster growing tourist areas in the Mediterranean, with over 1,200 different islands making up the country. Here are some things to know before you travel there.

Unlike most other European cities, the rail system in Croatia is not necessarily easier than just hopping on the bus. The railway is good for connecting between certain cities, but it doesn’t go to certain very popular tourist areas. The bus on the other hand goes all over the place, and it only takes a bit longer than it would take you if you were driving in a car.

You also have the option of renting a car in Croatia, which can actually be a pretty convenient option especially if you like having the freedom of when you can come and go. At the airport you can find all of the major car rental companies, but it is best to book one in advance, especially during the busy summer months. It’s generally cheaper to book online than to do it in person as well.

If you can’t drive a stick be sure and ask specifically for an automatic car when you make your reservation since the majority of the rental cars will be manual. It is illegal to talk on your phone in the car when you’re in Croatia, so don’t do it. Some of the local drivers can be a bit intense, so always keep your focus on what’s happening on the road even as you drive by gorgeous sites on your way.

If you’re interested in doing some island hopping, taking ferries can be a great way to do it. Many locals have their own small boats to get between the islands, and the public ferry is the next best thing. You can also charter smaller boats which is a good option if you’re traveling with a group and want some more flexibility.

Certain remote areas of Croatia still have minefields from the war in the 90’s, and many people have unfortunately came into contact with them. If you are going to be wandering around in remote areas look out for the signs that warn about minefields and be careful when you’re walking. Croatia will be expected to be free of mines around 2019.

The Croatian language is almost the same as the Serbian language, but refrain from mentioning anything related to Serbia. The biggest difference is that the Croatian language is written in the Roman alphabet while the Serbian language is written in Cyrillic.

In certain areas of Croatia sunbathing topless is accepted and encouraged, but other areas can be quite conservative, so do a little research before you strip down on the beach. The island of Vrbnik for example is where many Croatian bishops and important religious figures came from so it tends to be on the conservative side. Most people in Croatia are Catholic and celebrate the patron saint in the villages.

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