- Zagreb and PlitviÄe Lakes National Park
- Day trips to Mostar, Bosnia and Herzegovina and Kotor, Montenegro
- A few other places (including our layover in Frankfurt, Germany)
Our 20th wedding anniversary was in March. We wanted to celebrate by going somewhere but weren’t sure where. We tossed around Paris (have been for a couple of short trips before) and Ireland (haven’t been). Suzanne suggested Croatia. I didn’t know much about it but we started doing some research and watching some videos. It looked really nice and it was somewhere neither of us had been before. March isn’t a great time to go so we put the trip off until the end of May which was shoulder season when things should be open (a lot is closed in the off season) and the weather would be quite nice.
For planning, we watched the Rick Steves episodes on Croatia and used his book quite extensively. We also watched various YouTube videos, looked at another couple of books, and used the Rick Steves travel forum for more information. We ended up moving around quite a bit but it worked well in the end. Most places, we would have been bored to stay a lot longer. For hotels, we did use AirBnBs in Split, KorÄula, and Dubrovnik. These worked out great as we got to stay right in the old towns in good size places for less than a hotel. We did book early so had the pick of places in all three towns. We used hotels in Zagreb (only one night) and PlitviÄe Lakes National Park (only option inside the national park).
I also wanted to learn more about the wars in the Balkans during the 1990 and the history of the area in general. All of the these were quite good:
- Croatia: A Nation Forged in War (Marcus Tanner): the whole history of Croatia as a country, from the 1200s through WWII, Yugoslavia, and the 1990s wars.
- Yugoslavia: Death of a Nation (Laura Silber): A history of the breakup of Yugoslavia and the subsequent wars. This is the companion book to a 6-part BBC produced series that is quite good.
- Girl at War (Sara Novic): The story of a young girl caught up in the Balkan Wars.
- How we Survived Communism and Even Laughed (Slavenka Drakulic): Essays from a young women during the end of Communism in eastern Europe.
- Chasing a Croatian Girl: A Survivor’s Tale (Cody Brown): Humorous look by an American man who moves to Croatia with his Croatian girlfriend/wife.
Fri 17-May and Sat 18-May – Flying to Zagreb
We had an early evening Lufthansa flight from Newark to Zagreb (the capitol of Croatia) via Frankfurt. Security at the airport was quite busy and no pre-check line. I was able to get us into the lounge as I was able to transfer (temporarily) my Delta Gold status to United which partners with Lufthansa. I have to say the Newark Lufthansa lounge wasn’t great as it’s really small and it was packed. (Both the Delta and Virgin Atlantic ones are much better.) The flight to Frankfurt was fine though I don’t think I slept much. We were in regular economy though Suzanne had a seat empty next to her.
Our arrival in Frankfurt was fine. It was nice to be back “in” Germany after almost nine years. While there, we registered for the German equivalent of Global Entry, EasyPASS (partnered with the US Global Entry and free). This did involve leaving the secure area of the airport and I had forgotten how much walking you need to do in Frankfurt. After registering, took 10-15 mins, we headed to the lounge for our 5 hour or so layover. This was very nice as we each got showers and had a real breakfast. It turned out the gate area for the Zagreb flight was not so nice so I’m very glad we didn’t have to kill 5 hours there. The flight to Zagreb was fine as well though on a small plane.
Once in Zagreb, getting though immigration and customs was fine. We grabbed an Uber (took a while to find the pickup spot as it’s upstairs from the arrival level). We finally got to our hotel around 2:30pm local time. We stayed at the Esplanade Zagreb Hotel which is one of, if not, the fanciest hotels in Zagreb. It dates from 1925 when it was built as a stopover for the Orient Express and has hosted many famous people including Queen Elizabeth II, Nikita Khrushchev, Richard Nixon, Laurence Olivier, and more recently, U2, Sting, and Orlando Bloom. No, we didn’t see anyone famous during our stay. Also, it was quite reasonable (â‚¬189/$215), a lot less than many places I’ve stayed at in Boston.
After getting settled in, we wandered around Zagreb for a few hours, hitting the main sights, following a tour route in our Rick Steves book from JelaÄiÄ‡ square, up the funicular, past St. Marks church, through the Stone Gate and its Virgin Mary Shrine, down the cafe lined TkalÄiÄ‡eva Street, and to the Cathedral. By this time, it was starting to rain so we grabbed something to drink at the Mali Medo location for the Pivovara Medvedgrad brewery. I had a very nice flight of beer which were all pretty good. For dinner, we ended up at La Struk for some really good Strukli, baked noodle dishes local to Zagreb. While it wasn’t that late after dinner, we were both really tired so we headed back to the hotel and called it an early night.
Sun 19-May – Zagreb, Drive to PlitviÄe Lakes National Park
It turned out we had breakfast included in our room rate. This was a wonderful buffet of many different foods as well as made to order eggs. (I had eggs Benedict and Suzanne had an omelet.) The food was excellent. We headed out after breakfast to wander the market, reduced due to it being a Sunday but still nice to see. We also happened on the well-known botanical garden which was right by the hotel. (We weren’t planning to visit as we thought it was further afield.)
After checking out, we walked over to the rental car office, about 15 minutes. I was a bit hesitant to drive but it is by far the easiest way to get to PlitviÄe Lakes National Park. We ended up renting with Nova Rent a Car which worked well and was much less than the major international chains. (We paid about $125 for two days for a Ford Fiesta manual with $0-deductible insurance.) Driving ended up being fine. The car had Android Auto (which I have in my Mustang) so navigation was great. I did have to use roaming data but AT&T charges $10/day unlimited text and data (and it came in handy for other things). I also had no problems driving a stick as I learned to drive on one and my new Mustang has one as well (though that has a much heavier clutch).
The drive to PlitviÄe Lakes took around 3.5 hours including a stop on the way out of town at a supermarket, a brief stop at the Croatian War of Independence Museum in Karlovac, a stop overlooking waterfalls in Rastoke, and a stop at Restaurant Pino in Slunj for some nice grilled meat for lunch. The ride down was on divided highway for a while and then a long stretch on two-lane road through the countryside. We did hit some steady rain on the way but we were driving so it didn’t make much of a difference.
For the night, we stayed at Hotel Jezero which is the nicest of the three hotels in the National Park. It was a fine hotel though basic, kind of like the lower end US national park lodges. We wandered around a bit and spent some time relaxing before dinner at the hotel restaurant (so-so though I did have a nice local trout).
Mon 20-May – PlitviÄe Lakes National Park, drive to Split
One of the main reasons Suzanne wanted to go to Croatia was stuff she saw on PlitviÄe Lakes National Park so this was a highlight day for her. Our prepurchased tickets to enter the park had a time of 7:30 AM on them so we got up early and had an early breakfast. (The breakfast buffet wasn’t bad. It seemed chaotic at first but was really decently organized.) Turns out, the ticket office didn’t open until 9:00 so we got up for nothing. It was nice staying right there as the entrance was a less than five minute walk from the hotel, and we could leave our car as well. PlitviÄe Lakes NP is a series of limestone “shelves” that form lakes with many waterfalls between. You hike on boardwalks over some of the lakes and right by the waterfalls. It’s divided into upper and lower sections. Unfortunately, the upper section was closed due to the large amount of rain they had gotten. This was a bit of a disappointment but we ended up spending three-plus hours just on the lower section. It was really an incredible place to visit. It started getting busy by the time we were nearing the end of our visit as we had entered at the less used entrance 2 and walked toward the main entrance, entrance 1. I’m glad we got there early as we exited at entrance 1 to use the rest room and the line to get tickets was massive (easily an hour plus) and the tickets weren’t even for immediate entrance!
After riding the “bus-train” back to entrance 2 and hopping back in the car, we headed out for the three hour or so drive to Split, on the Adriatic coast. We made a few stops along the way, including having a “picnic” lunch in a random rest area off the highway. Again, the drive down was a mix of two-lane road and divided highway. We did get to drive through the 5.7km/3.5mi long Sveti Rok tunnel which was kind of cool. Driving into Split was fine though there was a fair amount of traffic. We managed to get gas without any problems. I was really worried about returning the car as they don’t have a parking lot and it was on a street with no lane to stop. We ended up parking at a public lot down the street and then walking to the office. I had planned to ask where to drop the car and then go back and get it but the guy there went and did it for us.
Once we were settled at the office, we met our AirBnB hosts and settled into the very nice and wonderfully located Twins Apartment in Center 4*. This was only a five minute walk from the heart of the old town and in a nice quiet, private courtyard. (It was $116/night including AirBnB fee.)
We next headed out to explore Split a bit. I was really excited to be here as the heart of the city is the ruins of the palace that the Roman emperor Diocletian built as his retirement home, he was from Split, back in 305 CE. I’m always into Roman ruins and history. After wandering along the Riva, we headed into the core of the old city/palace and strolled. We did see the famous Peristyle, probably the most famous site in the city. After an excellent seafood dinner at Trattoria Bajamont, we wandered more as it got dark and then headed back to the apartment, stopping for ice cream at Luka (I had the excellent rosemary flavor) on the way. Even just with our early impressions, you could really tell this area was ruled by the Venetians for several centuries as it had much the same feel.
Tue 21-May – Split
This was our main day in Split. I got up early to wander for some photos. That worked out very well as it got quite busy later in the day. I was able to take photos in the famous Peristyle without any people in them! After breakfast, pastries from the bakery right near the apartment, we headed out for some sightseeing. We started at the Diocletian’s Cellars museum, which are some of the original basement chambers of the palace. (Most of the above ground floors are no longer there.) This section had been filled with trash accumulated over that last several centuries with excavations starting in the last 100 years or so. Highlights included one of the original (yes … from 300 CE) floor beams, original Roman sewer pipes, and the main hall where, though we’re not fans, part of Game of Thrones was filmed. (A lot was filmed Dubrovnik.)
After the cellars, we visited the Cathedral of St. Domnius, originally Diocletian’s mausoleum, and Jupiter’s Temple/St. John’s Baptistery. The latter was originally a temple to the Roman god Jupiter (same as the Greek god Zeus) but later (6th century CE) converted into a baptistery. However, much of the original architecture, including the incredible carvings on the vaulted ceiling, are preserved. Next up was more wandering, including a stroll through the fish market, before heading to the western edge of the main part of town and doing the 15 minute hike up to the Vidilica viewpoint. This was a great spot to see the town from above and get some great photos.
After a brief stop at the apartment for lunch, we continued our wandering with a swing by the market, winding down as it was afternoon by now, before heading to the Ethnographic Museum. I’m not sure this is a must do but we enjoyed it and had extra time. A real highlight was being to walk up to the top of the Vestibule. It was cool to see this from another angle and to see the city from somewhat above.
We stopped for a break of traditional Splitska torta cake at Cafe Marshal for a while before continuing on and doing some shopping. (We got some excellent chocolate from Nardalina.) We had hoped to have dinner at Konoba Fetivi but they were booked until 9pm. Instead, we had an excellent meal at Trattoria Tinel. (I had the grilled squid and it was really good.) After dinner, we headed back to Riva where there was a Croatian Product festival going on. We ended buying some green walnut liqueur (Orahovac), a Croatian specialty, and a warm apple strudel for dessert. This festival was a really nice surprise. It was then back to the apartment to pack for our early morning ferry to KorÄula.
Wed 22-May – Ferry to KorÄula
As this was still shoulder season, the options for ferry travel were somewhat limited. The only ferries to our next stop, the island of KorÄula, were 7:45am or 4:30pm. As the later one was kind of late, we opted for the early one. I had bought tickets online at the ferry company’s website beforehand which worked out well. We got there quite early so were only about 10 people back in line to board and got window seats. The ferry ended up being quite full. The two hour ride down was fine and fairly smooth.
Our apartment host, Dijana, met us at the ferry dock to walk to the apartment. While the apartment wasn’t quite ready, we were able to leave our bags and start exploring. KorÄula is quite small and is fairly quiet, a nice break from the hustle and bustle of Split and the expected (turned out rightfully so) crowds of Dubrovnik. We stopped for a quick coffee right by the apartment, wandered around the old town and a bit outside, and grabbed lunch at Silk, really good Asian food and a great view being right along the seawall.
After lunch, we headed back to the apartment, the Diamond Suite by Depolo Family. This was another nice place, right in the old town and quite reasonable ($87/night including the AirBnB fee). Most of the afternoon, we just wandered town but did visit St. Mark’s Cathedral, including climbing the tower. We also hit the supermarket for some supplies. (A bit confusing to find as it’s under a drugstore which we thought was the “supermarket” on the map.)
After a break at the apartment, we had some excellent local wine (some is only produced within 6km of the town) at Bokar Wine Bar (the staff here was great!) before dinner at Pizzeria Amfora (good homemade macaroni – a town specialty). As we finished, the sun was setting so we headed down to the water where I got some excellent sunset photos. After more wandering in the darkened streets, we headed back to the apartment.
Thur 23-May – KorÄula Island Wine Tour
We hadn’t made any plans for the day but felt we had “seen” KorÄula town. The island is known for wine and we wanted to see more of the country side. We found a small group (there were 12 of us) wine tour through Korkyra Info for â‚¬57/$65 per person. This was a great way to spend most of the day (11am – 4pm). We started at the OPG Komparak farm for honey and jam tasting. Next stops were GroÅ¡iÄ‡ Winery and Toreta Winery, both in Smokvica. We tasted several wines at each. At GroÅ¡iÄ‡ we also were able to taste several liqueurs, including carob, lemon, orange, and herb (Travarica). The last was quite strong and supposed to be good “medicine”. Back in town, we had yet more wine and a lunch of macaroni at Chakula. We did this tour on something of whim but it was very much worth it.
After a break at the apartment, we wandered town a bit before an excellent dinner at Adio Mare.
Fri 24-May – Ferry to Dubrovnik
It was time to hop back on the ferry, this time to Dubrovnik. Boarding was much less organized here and the ferry was quite busy. We happened to board at the aft door which worked well as more people disembarked at the middle door. We were lucky to get seats together, though not window seats. Again, the two hour ride down was fine.
Arrival in Dubrovnik was confusing. The port is 3 km from the old town so we had to take a bus. It took forever (30+ mins) and the first one was too full to board. We did eventually get a bus to the Pile Gate (main gate into the old city). We had another great apartment, Luxury Old Town condo with balcony, though it was on the 4th floor. Our host’s aunt, who lives downstairs, met us there and even gave us a drink of homemade limoncello and some Croatian custard which was nice. This was the most expensive of the three apartments ($185/night including the AirBnB fee) but Dubrovnik is more expensive than the other places and it was a very nice apartment. I had explicitly booked a place with a balcony which was a great spot to eat breakfast and hang out with some beer in the afternoon.
For the afternoon, it was just wandering through town. Dubrovnik really is beautiful but I can’t imagine the crowds in the summer as it was quite busy even in the shoulder season. Sunday (our other day in town) was a bit better as there were no cruise ships in town which can add significantly to the crowds. (Schedules are available online for Dubrovnik as well as other ports.) Dinner at Lady Pi-Pi (named for a rather explicit statue out front) was a plate of wonderful grilled meats, finally got have Cevapi and Ajvar sauce, while overlooking the rooftops of Dubrovnik. After dinner, we wandered though Dubrovnik as the sun went down before grabbing some great ice cream at Dolce Vita.
Sat 25-May – Day trip to Mostar, Bosnia and Herzegovina
One of the things we really wanted to do was to explore some other places in the area of Dubrovnik. We went ahead an splurged and booked a private day trip with Pepo Klaic. While not the cheapest way to get to Mostar (â‚¬180/$205 with a discount as we booked two days), it was well worth the cost. Pepo was a great guide, he is from Dubrovnik so knows a lot about the area, and it was nice not being tied down to a bus. He picked us up right outside the Buza gate (near the apartment but up a lot of steps) at 9:00. Interestingly, to get to Mostar, you go through a short stretch Bosnia and Herzegovina (Neum – we stopped here for a short break), before heading back into Croatia before entering BH once again. On the way, we stopped at the small village of PoÄitelj and hiked up to the castle ruins overlooking the Neretva River.
Next it was onto to Mostar itself. This city is at the crossroads between the Catholic Croatians, Orthodox Serbians, and Muslim Bosnians and was a flash point during the Bosnian war. The famous Stari Most (“Old Bridge”), originally completed in 1567, was destroyed by shelling in November 1993 and was a key moment in the Bosnian war. The rebuilding was completed in July 2004. Local people leap from the bridge, 78 ft above the river, for tips from the crowds.
Mostar feels very different from places we had been in Croatia as there’s a distinctive Muslim/Ottoman feel. After lunch at Babilon with a great view of the river and bridge, we wandered through town along Coppersmiths’ Street to the Koski Mehmet-Pasha Mosque which was very nice to visit (and included a nice view of the Old Bridge from the other side of the river). A quite moving sight was the New Muslim Cemetery. This was a city park before the war but in 1993, residents couldn’t safely get to cemeteries further out of town. Instead, they used this park to bury those killed. It’s very poignant that many, many graves are marked with 1993, 1994, or 1995.
We also visited the Biscevic Turkish House before heading back across the Old Bridge for traditional Bosnian coffee at Cafe de Alma. This is something like Turkish coffee and involves something of a ritual, shown to a group of us by a friend of the owner. One thing that really surprised me about Mostar was the amount of war damage that still exists. Several buildings still had bullet marks or more substantial shell damage. After meeting Pepo again, it was back in the car for the drive back to Dubrovnik where we grabbed some excellent pizza for dinner at Oliva Pizzeria. After dinner we wandered around nightime Dubrovnik, including out to the PloÄe Gate. Dubrovnik is really worth seeing at night.
Sun 26-May – Day in Dubrovnik
This was our day to spend in Dubrovnik. I got up early and spend some time taking photos before the crowds arrived. This was really nice. After breakfast on our balcony, we headed off to walk to walls. It’s a good idea to do this first thing as it gets busy later in the day. The whole walk took us about an hour and 45 minutes, including time to take a fair number of photos. It was worth it as there some wonderful views of the city. (We did get the Dubrovnik Card as it was only 50kn/$7.50 more than the wall admission and included a few other museums.)
‘After finishing the walls, we walked over to Fort St. Lawrence (Fort Lovrijenac). This was a nice spot with some great view of Dubrovnik (and included in the ticket to the city walls). We headed back into town with stops at the Franciscan Monastery Museum, which included an old pharmacy, the Rector’s Palace, and the Maritime Museum (all included with the Dubrovnik card). After a lunch break at the apartment, partially to wait out some rain, we visited the Rupe Granary and Enthographic Museum and popped into the Orthodox Church of the Holy Annunciation. Next up was a stop at D’vino Wine Bar where Suzanne had a flight of Croatian whites (Malvazija, PoÅ¡ip, and Grasevina), I had a couple of reds (one was a Plavac Mali), and we shared a plate of wonderful local cheeses and bread. We ended up at Spaghetteria Toni for some very good pasta.
Mon 27-May – Day trip to The Bay of Kotor, Montenegro
Yet another day meeting Pepo at 9am. This day, we were headed to the Bay of Kotor, a couple of hours south of Dubrovnik. The weather was somewhat worrisome as it was pouring for a good bit of the drive, but it worked out okay in the end. We started the drive on a smaller road out of Dubrovnik. This was an interesting stretch as Pepo talked about his time as a soldier during the Croatian war in 1991. The road we were on was the demarcation between the Croatians defending Dubrovnik and the Serbians shelling the city. Pepo talked about how they initially had only tents on the ridge to the right side of the road before building barracks. He said he is still amazed that he’s now taking tourist down this same road which would have been deadly only 28 years before. We really appreciated him sharing his experiences.
On the way, we stopped at the really nice Verige65 cafe for some good coffee and nice views. The bay is actually a fjord, the southernmost one in Europe, and very scenic. We next drove on to Perast to walk along the edge of the bay. At this point the rain had stopped. After spending about 45 minutes wandering, including a visit to the St. Nikola church though not to Our Lady of the Rocks, we hopped back in the car. Not 10 minutes later, the rain started again.
Upon arrival in the town of Kotor, at the head of the bay, the rain was still coming down. We decided to do lunch right away at City Restaurant which was okay. (I had more cevapi.) By the time we were done, the rain had stopped which worked out wonderfully. Kotor is very much a “wander around town” kind of place so that’s what we did. Included in our wanderings were visits to the Cathedral of St. Tryphon, St. Clara’s, and St. Nicholas’s. We also walked a good stretch of the walls. While walking around, we came across a group of really cute kittens, one of which was friendly enough to be climbing on folks. One interesting note was that the MSC Opera cruise ship was in port. This is the same ship on the same voyage the crashed into a dock in Venice, injuring several people, a few days later.
Getting back in the car, we stopped above town for a great viewpoint before heading back to Dubrovnik, including taking the small ferry across the bay between Lepetani and Kamenari. For dinner, we ended up at Pupica (so-so) as it was pouring for most of the evening. We didn’t do any walking around our last night because of the rain but we had packing to do in any case.
Tues 28-May – Back home (with a stop in Frankfurt)
As we had a 7:45am flight, we scheduled a car (through Dubrovnik Airport Taxi – excellent service) for 5:30. This was plenty of time. We hung out in the very “modest” Croatian Airlines lounge before our flight to Frankfurt. This flight was fine, and on a bigger plane than the one to Zagreb.
We had purposely scheduled our flights to have a long, eight-hour, layover in Frankfurt. We did this to allow us time to visit the city, which is an easy 15-minute S-Bahn ride from the airport. The EasyPASS worked fine for me but not for Suzanne. (It worked fine leaving.) They let her go to the front of the (short in any case) line though. After storing our extra carry-on, we made it to the city (Hauptwache stop) right around 11am. I thought this was pretty good. It was great to be really back in Germany, at least for a short stint, once again. We spent a couple of hours, doing some shopping and having lunch at the so-so Haus Wertheym right off the Romerplatz. I did however get Schweinehaxe, pork hock, which is really hard to get in the US. (Though I had a great one in Maryland a couple of years ago.) Once done, we headed back to airport to hang out in yet another Lufthansa lounge (a very nice one) before our flight to JFK. For this flight, we were in Economy Plus which was definitely a step up as we had two seats by ourselves. We even had real dishes for dinner.
Getting back to JFK was fine. We arrived just a few minutes late, right around 8pm. It was quite chaotic getting through immigration but Global Entry helped speed things along. Suzanne’s bag came out quickly but we had to wait for mine. (We carried-on on the way over but not on the way back.) We met our driver easily and got home a bit before 10pm. This was a really quick trip from JFK. It was good to be home but had been a long day. (We got up at 4:30am Croatia time, so 10:30pm EDT, nearly 24 hours before.)
Overall: When Suzanne suggested Croatia, I was surprised and didn’t know anything about it. However, I’m very glad she did as it was a wonderful trip. We got see everything from a central European capital (Zagreb), great natural landscapes (PlitviÄe Lakes NP), Roman ruins (Split), a laid back island town (KorÄula), and a gorgeous medieval walled city (Dubrovnik). That doesn’t even count the history and scenery in Bosnia and Herzegovina and Montenegro nor our layover in Frankfurt. (If you’re counting, that’s four countries, three of which we hadn’t visited before. Because of day trips, where we crossed several borders multiple times, we ended up with 17 passport stamps.)
Planning: I’m glad I had spent some time learning the history of the area as it really helped my understanding during the trip, especially when considering the influence of the breakup of Yugoslavia and the subsequent Balkan wars. Our planning worked well, though we did rely on our Rick Steves book a lot for dining. Our AirBnB’s were wonderful and reasonable for what we got and where they were located. (We are using AirBnB again in Paris and Berlin later in the summer.) The hotel in Zagreb was excellent while the hotel in PlitviÄe Lakes was perfectly adequate and in the perfect location.
Driving: Driving in Croatia was fine. The roads were perfectly good (in better condition than many here in NJ). There were tolls on the highway portion of our trip but booths accept cash. It was a bit tricky as we had no idea how much it would be (it’s a turnpike type system) but guessed a rough amount to have some cash ready. We did rent a manual as I consider myself pretty good at driving a stick and started doing it again regularly a few weeks before the trip. (However, as I said before, our rental Fiesta’s clutch was so much lighter than my Mustang’s.) We could have rented an automatic for more money.
Time of the Year: It was probably the best time of year to go. We had thought it would be warmer (ended up wearing shorts only a single day and never did go swimming) but it’s been a very cool and very wet Spring according to several people we talked to. The crowds were significant in PlitviÄe Lakes, Split, and Dubrovnik so I can’t imagine what it’s like in the summer.
Costs and Money: Prices varied quite a bit. We found Zagreb very reasonable while Dubrovnik was comparable to our area of NJ. Croatia has its own currency (the Kuna). It’s about 6.5kn per USD which we eventually got used to. (Basically, we figured $1.50/10kn.) We didn’t start with any (though did bring over about â‚¬150). Places in Croatia do not take USD or EUR as many signs reminded us. (We wouldn’t expect them to but other tourists do.) Bosnia and Herzegovina also has its own currency (the Bosnia and Herzegovina Convertible Mark, BAM) but most places would take credit cards, Euro (we used this several times), or Croatian Kuna. Montenegro uses the Euro so we were set there. Both BH and Montenegro were less costly than Croatia.
Tech and Electricity: Croatia uses 230V power like the rest of Europe. They also use the standard European (Type C for ungrounded and Type F, “Schuko”, for grounded). For data connections, a lot of restaurants and cafes had wi-fi but I wouldn’t rely on it. We used AT&T’s International Day Pass at $10/day for several days. (This gives us same as home usage for data and texts and reasonably priced calling.) We did actually call (vs. Skype or the like) a few times.