How to be a bad tourist in Croatia

Tourists partying in Split, Croatia

The relationship between tourists and locals can be both cherished and strained in any city. In places where tourism is the main industry, like Croatia, tourists are desperately needed to support the local ecosystem and national economy.

However, at times, the interests of tourists and locals can be at odds.

Croatia is lucky to get many wonderful tourists, some of whom love it so much they want to stay forever. I was once one of them.

Unfortunately, not all tourists are wonderful.

Some tourists come to blow off steam and party till they can’t see straight, while locals just want to enjoy their coffee in peace without the scent of sunbaked vomit and urine. Clearly these objectives are misaligned.

Like many countries, Croatia has its share of bad tourists, but this summer is extra. Not only are people escaping their daily lives, they are also making up for 2020 and wholly disregarding restrictions and the social contract.

It’s like the Ultra Music Week that JUST. WON’T. END.

It’s unlikely that Croatia’s dependency on tourism will change anytime soon. Turning away tourists is not the answer. However, that shouldn’t mean tourists have free license to tear this country apart with their debauchery.

We aren’t asking much. It is possible to have the life-changing and restorative experience you seek while in Croatia without disrespecting the country, its people and the other tourists that are just trying to enjoy a tranquil holiday.

If you want to be a good tourist in Croatia, please don’t do these things. After all, you can still have a great time on the playground without shitting in the sandbox.

#1 Throw trash wherever you feel like it

Just finished your cigarette? Throw it in the sea. Done with your burek? Crumble up the wrapper and put it in a bush. Drained the last few drops of your to-go mojito? By all means, leave it on the 2,000-year-old wall.

But perhaps that’s exactly what the founder Diocletian intended. Emperors are known for leaving glasses wherever they wish. After all, they do it in all the movies.

Nowadays, it’s Croatia’s purpose is to serve the world’s tourists, hand and foot, so it must be someone’s job to clean up their mess, right?

While there are people who clean certain areas, it doesn’t happen daily and they are not your servants. They can’t always get to your litter before that lovely sea breeze flings it into the sea. Any trash you throw on the ground contaminates our home.

There are plenty of trash cans. Find one and dispose of your trash like a proper adult. Alternatively, put it in your bag until you can find one.

Litter in Croatia
Drinks left on a wall outside Diocletian’s Palace, 3 meters from a trash can

#2 Vomit in public

We understand wanting to have a once-in-a-lifetime blast because you’ve been locked up for a year with your boyfriend who you were planning to break up with in March 2020 because he wants kids and you absolutely do not, but then the lockdown happened and you didn’t want to be the jerk that put someone on the street during covid so instead you were trapped in a little studio with his OCD, yipping chihuahua, and I-want-to-be-a-daddy eyes for months and now that you’ve been let out of your cage, you decided to go apeshit and drink 10 Long Island iced teas because it just felt like the thing you needed to do to recover from a shit year.

We’ve all been there.

But then you regurgitate the Long Island iced teas and the Ston oysters you had at dinner all over the bar, the streets, public transportation and Ubers.

It’s gross. Just because your body needs to expel something when you’re in public, doesn’t mean you should. Lock it down until you get to a toilet, preferably in your accommodation.

There are always emergencies, but in most cases, it’s not.

Just because someone works in a bar does not mean they should be required to clean up your bad decisions. They are just trying to get through their shift without incident.

#3 Pee anywhere except in a toilet

The toilet was invented in 1596. Now, some 400+ years later, we should all be on board with how to use one.

Diocletian’s Palace is not your toilet. Plitvice isn’t your toilet. The floor of a bar is not your toilet.

Only toilets are toilets. If your body is telling you it’s time to evacuate, go find one. There are public toilets throughout the country and many caffe bars or restaurants will let you do it if you ask nicely, are fully clothed and able to function in a way that won’t make them regret letting you in.

Croatians are very welcoming by nature. If you’re kind and thoughtful, they’ll let you join the family.

#4 Wear beach attire in public

When it’s blistering hot during summer, it can be very enjoyable to live in your bathing suit so you can pop in and out of the water all day to stay cool.

However, when you’re not at the beach, put clothes on. Just because you’re visiting a beach town in Croatia doesn’t mean it is okay to wear bathing suits everywhere you go.

Woman in a Lidl supermarket in Croatia
Woman in a Lidl supermarket in Croatia

Island Hvar will issue fines of 500 Euros (for men) and 600 Euros (for women) for doing so. We’ll save the glaring discrepancy in fines based on gender for a different day.

Croatia is a place where men wear banana hammocks and women wear bikinis all their lives until they die. If this lot thinks you’re not wearing enough clothes in public, you probably aren’t.

Here are some words of wisdom from Split tour guide Gytha Galić:

“Don’t be a shirtless moron.”

#5 Ride your bike in the old cities

The narrow streets of old cities are not your bike lane. They are for pedestrians only. Having to navigate around you and your bike trying to navigate around other people inspires some of the purest white hot rage of that we are capable.

Croatia is a cycling paradise, with plenty of open roads to explore. But when you’re in the crowded heart of an ancient town, hop off the bike and walk it, molim te.

#6 You don’t tip

Tipping is a thing in Croatia. It may not be on the same scale as where you come from, but tipping is still customary and very much appreciated.

Most Croatians in tourism are working 7 days a week without a day off, many in cataclysmic heat. Appreciation is deserved.

And Croatia isn’t cheap. A dinner with wine for one person in Split at a decent place will set you back at least 35 Euro ($42). While that’s insane given the cost of living, it is the case nonetheless.

You should always tip on any kind of service – coffee, sit-down dining, excursions, boat trips and tours. Guides and skippers should be tipped the most, especially if you had a great time.

If you don’t know how to tip in Croatia, here is a detailed guide that will lay it all out for you.

#7 Have sex in public

We get it. You’re on vacation, and that means vacation sex, which is way better than lockdown sex. Croatia is magical and you’re vibrating with excitement and just can’t help yourself.

By all means have all the sex your parts can handle, but please, do it in your hotel or your Airbnb or your hostel. Do not do it on the beach, or the balcony of your hotel, or in a club, or in the bathroom at an ice cream shop.

This isn’t Sodom and Gomorahh. Just because you’re on holiday from your regular life, doesn’t mean you’re on holiday from the rules of human decency. Let us make the decision about which balls we see.

#8 Don’t wear sunscreen

Every year, super pasty tourists flood to Croatia and completely forget the sunscreen. They go to the beach for one day, and spend the rest of their holiday so inflamed, they cannot sit or sleep or function comfortably.

Croatia’s sun is STRONG. It should not be underestimated. I know you want a tan, but sunbathing without sunscreen won’t get it done. It will get you an apocalyptic sunburn on the back of your knees.

It’s painful for you to experience, it’s painful for us to see it. Nobody wins here.

You might wonder why we care what you do with your own body. Well, if you’re in excruciating pain, there is a higher probability of you overdoing it on inebriation, not tipping because you’re too distracted with sun stroke or just being a jerk to service people. It’s the domino effect.

#9 Play loud music

You don’t have excellent taste in music. You don’t look cool because you know all the lyrics to a rap song. Nobody cares about the deep cuts on your Spotify playlist.

Music is subjective. Respect the people around you and keep it to yourself.

If you want to play music when nobody else is around, go for it. But don’t play it on beaches, or group excursions, or boat trips with people you don’t know, or past midnight. That’s what headphones are for.

You guys may be on vacation, but most of those who live here are not.

#10 Steal glasses and mugs from bars

When you leave a bar with glasses and never return, you are stealing from that bar. Even if you leave the glasses on some bench or wall nearby, you are still stealing from that bar.

THEFT = BAD

Stealing from bars that have been doing their best to survive the pandemic makes you a special kind of asshole.

If you want a drink on the go that badly, ask for a plastic cup. They have them for this purpose. Then put it in a trash can when done.

#11 Kill local wildlife

There are many animals that you should not be touching, but that tourists touch anyways in the name a good souvenir or Instagram post.

Here are just a few protected species that you can be fined for messing with:
• Sea urchins
• Noble pen shell (the one with the really cool giant shell)
• Date mussels
• Dolphins
• Tortoises

Here is a list of protected species you might encounter in Croatia that you should leave alone.

Even if a sea creature isn’t listed as protected, you still must have a license to capture it. Here is everything you need to know about getting a fishing license in Croatia. It includes which fishes you can catch and the limits for each.

#12 Lack spatial self-awareness

While you’re exploring our narrow stone streets and seeking the best spot to have coffee on the pjaca, locals are working and running errands.

Our daily routines are made quite a bit harder when we get stuck behind someone who is completely unaware of what is happening around them. And if it’s a giant cruise ship tour group? Forget about it. I might as well just lie down in the street, catch a nap and wait it out.

There is only so much that can be done here, but if you practice a few courtesies, you can enjoy your sightseeing without our heads exploding.

  • If you wish to take a photo, step to the side of the street first. There are people behind you and stopping abruptly causes a human traffic jam.
  • If you’re on a walking tour, please keep to the right when moving, and keep to the sides when standing.

#13 Pass out on the street

If you drank so much that you pass out where you stand (or fall), then you’ve probably overdone it.

I came across a twenty-something on West Coast Riva who was passed out, face down beside a trash can. While I’m certain he suffered some punishment after he woke up, nobody who lives here wants people passed out on streets, or beaches, or benches. If this was happening on your street, you probably wouldn’t be jazzed about it either.

Given that those who do this are usually passed out from drinking too much or getting Charlie Sheen-level high, it increases the chance that they’ll vomit or pee in public as well, completing the circle.

#14 Assume everyone speaks English

It is a myth that everyone in Croatia speaks English. And yet, some confidently make this claim, as if it’s a good reason not to learn Croatian.

If people are working in tourism, then most (but not all) of the time they speak some level of English. If they don’t work in tourism and don’t know any foreigners, there is much less chance they speak or understand English.

No matter whether you live here or are just passing through, you will run into Croatians who do not speak English. It’s not their native language.

Even those on short visits should at least learn how to say hi, bye, and thank you. It’s respectful to put forth a modicum of effort when you’re a guest in someone else’s country.

Learn these phrases:

  • Dobar dan – “Good day”. Of course there is a “Good morning” and “Good evening”, but “Dobar dan” is universal, especially now that it gets light at 4:30 and the sunsets after 21:00. This way you only have to learn one phrase.
  • Bok – Means both hi and goodbye, so you can’t go wrong. Two for the price of one.
  • Fala lijepa (or lipa, if traveling to Dalmatia where Split is). It’s much easier to pronounce than “hvala” for most people.

Learning these 3 things will get you through 90% of situations. Most conversations in Croatia follow the same basic structure.

Croatians greet each other, say thank you for something, and say goodbye. Sometimes more, but not less. Mastering these 3 things will show respect to those who live and work here.

Croatians LOVE when non-Croatians try to speak their language, no matter how imperfect the attempt. It may even earn you a rakija.

When I lived in the Netherlands, it was really hard to practice Dutch because Dutch people speak superb almost American-style English. They can sniff out a foreigner a mile away and in reflex, begin speaking English. It doesn’t matter if you are speaking in Dutch. If they detect any non-native speaker characteristic, they will automatically switch. They seem to love speaking English. When they throw some Chandler Bing reference into the mix, the earth tilts on its axis.

Croatians, on the other hand, give you a chance. They let you do your best to speak their crazy hard language. It’s not an easy one. And Croatians know it.

Given this, they are so supportive and understanding and encouraging when you make an effort. They let you practice. They teach you new things. They engage with you until you say uncle. And then they make a compliment when they see you improve.

Conclusion

If you’ve made it this far, I hope my empathic love of Croatia was apparent amidst the frustration. It’s because of that devotion, I had to defend it.

Croatia is a unique, one-of-a-kind place with a mysterious magic that wraps around you like an anaconda and doesn’t let go.

The country and its residents (including myself) want tourists; they are what keeps this country going. However, if the ancient cities, crystal seas and national parks continue to be treated like toilets, they won’t last much longer.

I see and hear Croatians losing their patience. Some dream of giving up on tourism entirely and that’s pretty sad.

There are many angles to tourism, and there is more at play than bad foreigner behavior alone. But that’s a topic for another time.

Today, there’s hot puke wafting through the oven-baked air and every shop, caffe and restaurant is overflowing and reservationless and our favorite ice cream place has a line of 40 people. And Uber rides are 5x as much. Everything is 5x as much. And the sea is milky from too many humans. And Ožujsko two-liters are floating in the sea.

So this is the post that got written.

I’d love to hear your thoughts and experiences of Croatia this summer. Drop ’em in the comments. 

Please note: All information provided by Expat in Croatia is only for the purposes of guidance. It does not constitute legal advice in any form. For legal advice, you must consult with a licensed Croatian lawyer. We can recommend one if you contact us.

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36 thoughts on “How to be a bad tourist in Croatia

  1. Merrilee MacLean
    August 23, 2021 @ 9:13 pm

    These things do indeed need to be said. Irresponsible, thoughtless tourists can destroy a beautiful place. I had a similar reaction when I visited New Orleans for the first time. I was so excited about seeing a place that I had long heard about, and when I got there I was so disappointed. Even now I only think of the smell of vomit when I hear someone mention New Orleans.
    So, while these comments are true for Croatia, they apply to ALL tourist locations. I just seems worse when it is such a lovely location as Croatia. Can hardly wait to return.

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    • Expat in Croatia
      August 25, 2021 @ 10:01 am

      Hi Merrilee,

      You are absolutely right. Croatia doesn’t make bad tourists. Bad tourists come to Croatia. If someone thinks this behavior is okay, they likely do it in other places too.

      I really think that some are using the pandemic as a get-out-of-good-behavior-free card. Hope things start to calm down now in September and October so Croatia can repair itself.

      Thank you so much for the comment. 🙂

      Regards,

      Sara

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  2. Paola
    August 23, 2021 @ 10:03 pm

    All is true, I kinda hate when tourist season comes. They drive without caring the rules of road, they park where they want even when is a residential area or building, it really piss me off to have to arrive home and not find a free parking place on my building because is like the United Nations parking place. The worst is that they don’t care, and most of them don’t even stay on the building, sometimes they just find a free parking place and leave the car just there for a week to take a trip out in a boat or so. And is exhausting .
    Going on groceries, I wonder if in their countries they just do the same, don’t respect that are some locals which just want to get the usual and leave but we get stuck on lines of idiots who can’t chose which bread to take or are just talking about what or where will go for dinner after beach.
    I do love summer and love Croatia, been here for a while now and have a kid, I agree 100% with the article because is what happens.
    The respect is gone, I know Croatia is beautiful, good for many things to do, but pleaseee respect the people who live here!!! BE NORMAL!. Enjoy your vacation but don’t destroy what is not yours.

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    • Expat in Croatia
      August 25, 2021 @ 10:20 am

      Hi Paola,

      Thank you for commenting and sharing your experiences! It is important to hear what everyone is going through, and hopefully there are some tourists that will read it and adjust their behavior. Maybe not, but I’d like to stay hopeful about it. 🙂

      Regards

      Sara

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  3. Francesca
    August 23, 2021 @ 10:55 pm

    Brilliant! Excellent explanation!
    But many locals in tourist centres never say anything to these vandals.
    Unfortunately I had some strange encounters with Croatian Tourist. They drove with their jet skis into cordoned of swimming areas where children were playing and learned swimming. When I tried to stop these men they said clear and loud : “this is my country and you have no rights to tell me what I’m allowed to do”…
    Many locals were with me but mentioned that only if something terrible will happen, it might have consequences.
    One night local youngsters organised a spontaneous very noisy beach party….until 6 in the morning. Trash and shit all over…
    We all understand that Corona and all the restrictions was not easy for many . But it does not mean that we all just ignore the misbehaviours. We , guests and locals should remind others that we want to protect the beauty and freedom. Just don’t look away !

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    • Expat in Croatia
      August 25, 2021 @ 10:17 am

      Hi Francesca,

      There is certainly bad behavior all over, for sure. I’m glad you at least tried with the jet ski people. That’s what matters in this case. When we look away, then nothing changes. Thank you for commenting and for doing all you can. 🙂

      Regards,

      Sara

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  4. Subha Segaram
    August 24, 2021 @ 7:46 am

    Hi Sara. Thanks for the post. I must admit I was rather shocked to read some of the experiences. I spent 10 days in Dubrovnik three years back and it was very busy but I found the place very clean. I do agree with you about tourism being a double edged sword. I live in Asia and I have seen the negative impacts of tourism, especially mass tourism. What we found amazing in Croatia, was the family bond we saw every where. Another thing we found interesting was that most children did not have mobile phones and hence spent time playing together and not staring at the screen. Children appeared to be very well brought up and almost everyone we met was friendly but clearly one needs some knowledge of Croatian to better interact with Croatians and enjoy the experience. So am picking up now….Bok! Subha

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    • Expat in Croatia
      August 25, 2021 @ 10:22 am

      Hi Subha,

      The family bond is one of the things I love most about Croatia, definitely with you there. I’ve been “adopted” by many families and know I can rely on my community if I ever need anything.

      Thank you for sharing your experiences both in Croatia as well as where you live, and how mass tourism has impacted your home.

      If you need any help with your Croatian, we have lots of resources here that may help.

      Hope you’re able to get back to Croatia again!

      Regards,

      Sara

      {reply}

  5. Marina
    August 24, 2021 @ 10:22 am

    Thank you! Fala lipa <3 3

    {reply}

    • Expat in Croatia
      August 25, 2021 @ 9:55 am

      Hi Marina,

      Nema na čemu! Thank you for reading. 🙂

      Cheers,

      Sara

      {reply}

  6. RP
    August 24, 2021 @ 2:58 pm

    Regarding point #14.

    What irritates me most is when certain type of German tourist in Istria assumes everyone speaks German and stops you on the street asking in German for directions / restaurant / have you seen my child, etc. I actually consider myself an Istrian local and understand the language but nothing for me feels more arrogant.

    Approaching someone and asking in English is much more acceptable in my view, as English is the most international language of all.

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    • Expat in Croatia
      August 25, 2021 @ 9:57 am

      Hi RP,

      Have you seen my child?? Are they all losing their children? 🙂

      Thank you so much for commenting. It’s helpful to hear the experiences of people from all over Croatia.

      Cheers,

      Sara

      {reply}

  7. Sando
    August 24, 2021 @ 5:04 pm

    Hey Sara, i like the article. Got here through a friend’s fcbk page. She’s a tour guide in Split.
    I used to be a tour guide for Croatians in Europe before the plague. And based on my experience, your point about tipping should be taught to Croatians too. They are definitely not too generous when it comes to tips. In restaurants and bars they might leave some miserable tip, but they never tip a tour guide or a driver. If a colleague is in the bus, they might take the i itative to collect something for the guide but it’s only in such cases that a ghide will get a tip from Croats…

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    • Expat in Croatia
      August 25, 2021 @ 9:51 am

      Hi Sando,

      Thanks for reading! You’re not wrong. Sometimes I’m not sure what to do if I’m out with others who don’t tip. It’s challenging to navigate. I appreciate your comment and glad you came across this post. 🙂

      Regards,

      Sara

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  8. Robyn Vulinovich
    August 24, 2021 @ 5:24 pm

    Hi Sara,
    Thank you for writing this article of excellence! I only hope that many visitors get to read it. As you know as an Australian Croatian, I’m also involved in tourism here in Dalmatia but have become totally disgusted with what I have seen this summer, particularly from the younger tourists who have very little respect for those around them and even for themselves. This is tourism at its worst level, unsustainable, and so unattractive to those who are seeking a great holiday destination of quality and value for money. Thanks again Sara, Robyn Vulinovich

    {reply}

    • Expat in Croatia
      August 25, 2021 @ 9:53 am

      Hey Robin!!

      I hear you completely. Every time I go to the center, I am horrified by some new atrocity. I don’t know what the answer is since so much of it comes down to personal responsibility, but it just can’t go on like this.

      Thanks for reading and commenting, Robin! Vidimo se po gradu. 🙂

      Cheers,

      Sara

      {reply}

  9. dayani Wewegama
    August 24, 2021 @ 8:17 pm

    September I prefer come to Croatia get married.cani contact good lawyer?

    {reply}

  10. La Diva Cucina
    August 24, 2021 @ 8:38 pm

    Amen, Sister! I live on Miami Beach and could post these rules for our city too. Thank you, I love Croatia! I loved how little trash I saw in the sea the last time I was there, which was two years ago now. I hope it doesn’t get ruined with all the entitled mouth breathers. By the way, I really tried my best to speak the minimum etiquette Croat words to servers and it always came back in spades. Many told me how much they appreciated my efforts and how demanding some tourists were who expected the locals to be fluent in the tourists’ language (and many are, but, really?) Hvala!

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    • Expat in Croatia
      August 25, 2021 @ 9:49 am

      Hi La Diva Cucina,

      It’s wonderful that you speak as much as you can. As you’ve experienced, it does make a difference. Your love and support of Croatia is appreciated. Thank you so much for the reading and for the comment. 🙂

      Regards,

      Sara

      {reply}

  11. Dick Fischer
    August 24, 2021 @ 8:47 pm

    Bless you Sara! Thanks for honoring the country we love!

    {reply}

    • Expat in Croatia
      August 25, 2021 @ 9:40 am

      Hi Dick,

      Happy to do all I can to defend the country we all love! Thank you for commenting. 🙂

      Regards,

      Sara

      {reply}

  12. Tom Predhome
    August 24, 2021 @ 9:12 pm

    Cheers to all that, Sara. Sound and common sense advice anywhere you go.

    Just a brief observation from Pula this past July. In our first days we were quite admiring of everyone’s Covid manners — masking, distancing, etc. Then, suddenly, as if an invisible switch had been pulled, it all fell apart. Distancing went out the window, and the masks crept down under the nose, under the chin, or disappeared altogether, even on buses. It wasn’t always apparent whether the offenders were Croatians or tourists, but it seemed to be both. Interestingly, the deterioration occurred following the publication of an article in a German newspaper accusing Croatians of not taking Covid seriously: https://www.total-croatia-news.com/travel/54705-2021-croatian-tourism-season. Prior to publication of the article, we had observed quite the opposite in Pula. But after this hit the press, a collective tantrum seemed to ensue on the part of Croatians and tourists alike. Coincidence? Who knows?

    {reply}

    • Expat in Croatia
      August 25, 2021 @ 9:40 am

      Hi Tom,

      Hmm, it’s possible some rebelled because of this, but I think summer and heat and exhaustion with restrictions are contributing factors as well. And then tourists see Croatians not caring, so they don’t care. One domino falls after the other. Here in Split, I think on May 7 (which is a holiday here) the locals declared the pandemic over. It’s been a free-for-all ever since.

      It’ll be interesting to see what happens when season ends.

      Thank you so much for commenting. 🙂

      Regards,

      Sara

      {reply}

  13. Mariana
    August 24, 2021 @ 10:27 pm

    This is so on point it really isnt even funny. As a Croatian Australian, I consider myself a sort of tourist-not-tourist. Unfortunately, every season is getting worse – this year I’ve swam though a floating condom, jogged by puddles of piss, moved multiple times on the beach because the neighbouring towel owner thinks his JBL speaker is God’s gift to all and “kindly” asked someone to “let-the-starfish-go” – it belongs at the bottom of the sea, not on your mantle. Courtesy doesn’t seem so common anymore, I’d like to see what their backyards look like. October can’t come quick enough.

    {reply}

    • Expat in Croatia
      August 25, 2021 @ 9:36 am

      Hi Mariana,

      Oh lord, all of that is awful!! Thank goodness you were there to tell them to let the starfish go. That should be a “duh”, but obviously not. I hear you about October. Tired of Croatia being treated like a trash can.

      Thanks for commenting!

      Regards,

      Sara

      {reply}

  14. Mary barulich
    August 24, 2021 @ 10:40 pm

    Great article.

    {reply}

  15. Jen
    August 25, 2021 @ 10:18 am

    Sara! Soo accurate! & Ladies!!! I agree 100%! October!!! Where art thou!!!???! It’s seems to me, that sooooo many people are living unconscious in this world. (I’m many ways, but let’s talk about tourism here!) Omg! The stopping in the middle of the walk way to take a photo or what ever the F you’re doing…. Kills me! Just step to the side!!! HELLOOOOOO! Trash, piss, disregard for sea life/nature, tiny pieces of clothing… These are all perfect examples of lack of respect… which are missing with a % of these tourists.
    I also consider myself a tourist/non-tourist living here part time. However, I’m always doing my best to be a pleasant foreigner who respects the culture, traditions, & rules of the foreign land I am visiting. It’s really not that difficult people! I am a bit spoiled from last year! I have to say, it was the BEST time to be in Croatia during the height of Pandemic 2020!
    Only a very small amount of tourists ventured out to brave the dreadful Corona. Even though the economy was severely impacted, all my friends (local Croatians) loved having the beaches, and town to themselves! It was Amazing! Thank you for this l article Sara…
    you awesome!

    {reply}

    • Expat in Croatia
      August 25, 2021 @ 12:56 pm

      Hey Jen,

      You are right! 2020 was an amazing year to be in Croatia. Very few tourists, the sea was the cleanest it had been in years, beaches and national parks were empty. Nature got a rest from the humans and repaired itself. It. was. so. NICE.

      The Croats I know also were happy to reclaim their cities and have the opportunity to enjoy them during summer, which they usually cannot do. Of course there was a financial impact, which should not be overlooked, but it’s not the only piece of the picture.

      Thank you so much for sharing your thoughts!

      Cheers,

      Sara

      {reply}

  16. Jelana
    August 25, 2021 @ 10:43 am

    Hi, most of the above bad behavior encountered already In Dubrovnik.
    We have five star Airbnb apartments that our guest from England mistook for free for all behavior. Broken glasses by the pool and jacuzzi, loud music and singing at wee hours. We evicted them the second day, claimed our losses and told Airbnb about. They are banished from coming again forever.
    On the bright note, we so far in few years had most friendly, well behaved guests and we hope they just carry on coming.

    {reply}

    • Expat in Croatia
      August 25, 2021 @ 12:58 pm

      Hi Jelena,

      Ma daj! It’s good that most of the guests have been wonderful. It’s always the bad apples that ruin it for everybody. I hope the rest of your season goes well and smoothly.

      Thank you so much for sharing your experience. 🙂

      Regards,

      Sara

      {reply}

  17. Simon FP
    August 25, 2021 @ 11:37 am

    One of the many reasons I love all of former Yugoslavia is that it is still not spoiled by mass tourism, though Game Of Thrones has a lot to answer for in recent years!
    I used to love going to Zakynthos, Greece, but where I used to go has been spoiled by too many bars, clubs, fast food restaurants etc all attracting the drunkards who just wreck the place. It used to be such a quiet place.
    I just hope that Croatia does not follow suit and become another Zakynthos, but if you want to prevent this kind of thing from happening then don’t provide it! I already hear of Stag Parties in Dubrovnik being advertised! Please … No!

    {reply}

    • Expat in Croatia
      August 25, 2021 @ 1:01 pm

      Hi Simon,

      With regards to mass tourism, give it time. Seems like some cities are at a tipping point. Dubrovnik certainly was pre-pandemic. I think local businesses are doing what they can to survive. There is definitely a larger picture here of who Croatia wants to attract at the highest levels.

      Thank you for sharing your experience here in Croatia as well as in Greece. It’s really valuable. 🙂

      Regards,

      Sara

      {reply}

  18. Martin Holifield
    September 13, 2021 @ 6:40 pm

    I have had a house on Hvar for 18 years and have seen a gradual increase in tourists year on year. I also have property and a business in Bosnia and travel through Monte Negro quite a lot. Everywhere I go I see garbage strewn along the side of the roads; unwanted building material dumped on the side of roads, illegal parking and of course the mandatory cigarette flicked out of the car window: this is from locals. I think it depends on where you choose to go and what your budget is and what kind of holiday you are looking for. Here is an example, just two minutes from my house is a nice swimming spot, not really used by tourists. I go every evening and take a bag and collect dozens of cigarette butts. They are left there by a small group of local ladies who spend their days there and with a couple of dogs. I also collect the dog mess left behind. I speak Croatian and I have asked them why they do this to their own swimming spot in their own back yard… well the responses are always rude. You know the saying: ‘people who live in glass houses should not throw stones’.

    {reply}

    • Marija Tkalec
      September 16, 2021 @ 3:47 pm

      Hi Martin,

      You are wonderful, nothing else to say. Keep rocking! (:

      Warm regards,
      Marija

      {reply}

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