Local traditions and culture in Croatia

  • Local Customs
    by croisbeauty
  • Local Customs
    by croisbeauty
  • Local Customs
    by croisbeauty

Most Viewed Local Customs in Croatia

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    Mjesano meso

    by croisbeauty Updated Jun 12, 2014

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    One of the most characteristic dishes from Croatia is called "mjesano meso", the mixed grilled meat. It is content of: sausages (kobasice), thin slices of meat roasted on a skewer (raznjici), spiced meat (cevapcici), pork filet (lungic), etc.
    Do not trust, however, to any grilled house you meet around! In most of touristic places exist "grilled houses" which work during summer season only, practically these houses are open for tourists only. They use industrial packaged spiced meat and kebabs bought in the nearest food shop. Good quality "cevapcici" and "raznjici" must be hand made in the restaurant, out from the fresh meats and oval in shape. Those industrial has flat shape and stick together.

    Mjesano meso
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    by balhannah Written Feb 25, 2012

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    What we noticed when travelling in Croatia, was the large amount of private homes with accommodation.
    What you look for is a sign that says 'ZIMMER FREI,' this means there is a room to rent.
    We stayed in one near Plitvice Lakes, there are dozens around this area.
    Our room was in a full house, it looked like they had built a new house next door.
    We had a huge bedroom, a huge newly renovated bathroom and a proper kitchen for our own use.
    We happened to be the only ones staying here. The owner brought over a nice plate of savouries, was nice and friendly and helfpul. Breakfast wasn't included and in this case the Double cost 200kr - A bargain!
    We decided we would stay in one again!

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    by croisbeauty Updated Oct 19, 2011

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    Opanak is handmade and very light leather shoe, inevitable part of the national garb. There are special and very skilful craftsmen who produced this shoes. This kind of the shoe is characteristic for the most of the Croatian regions. The difference can be noticed in decorations and colours.

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    National garb of Croatia

    by croisbeauty Updated Oct 19, 2011

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    Not every region but every place in Croatia have its own garb, very different in style and decorations. All garbs are made excusevilly from the nature fabrics only; wool, coton, hemp and flax. Morover, all parts of the garb are handmade, usually during the long winter days. By the type of the decorations and colours it is easily to know from which part of Croatia the garb is coming.
    This one on the picture is from the region of Banija.

    girl's garb from Slavonia traditional garb from surroundings of Zagreb garb of elderly women from Slavonia
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    Glaglolitsa - the "forgotten" Slavonic alphabet

    by GyuriFT Written Sep 11, 2011

    The "difficulties" of the Cyrillic alphabet are well-known. In quite a few countries with predominantly Slavonic population the official alphabet differs from Roman. It is called as many know "Cyrillic" and as much less people know - in all it's variations it is a very phonetic and easy-to-remember alphabet.

    What is less known: it has a brother, called "Glagolitsa" - which today is used as Croatia's second alphabet but much less common. Still, one can get a surprise... In some villages the road signs are in both Glagolitsa and Latinica!

    The Glagolitsa may look very exotic... but the order of the characters matches it's brother 100%.

    The most sadistic kind of road sign would be a bi-lingual Glagolitsa-Kirillitsa (and nothing else!) but I did not see such thing yet.

    There is an interesting difference that while in Kirillitsa the numbers are like in "western" alphabet, in Glagolitsa it's not the case, they use letters for that.


    You may notice, the infamous "shch" (try imitate a hissing snake!) is there, it used to be the hissing like in Russian, now it became something like soft "ch". Neither has English equivalent, so have fun trying it out!

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    Coffee Croat-style

    by croisbeauty Updated Aug 19, 2011

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    Just like their meals, Croats like to draw out a drink of coffee as though they hadn't anything better to do. A typical day can involve three or more coffees in the morning, noon and night. Cafe is the place where locals prefer to pass the time and makes for a common meeting place for both business and pleasure.
    When warm weather hits it is amazingly common to see half the city population sitting outside chatting the day away. Don't be surprised if noticing the same people at the same cafe-bar, day after day, we like to have "our" cafe-bars where everybody knows everybody.
    So, when you come to Croatia, sit back and relax.

    coffee time Bogoviceva ulica
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    Cheese from the island Pag.

    by cachaseiro Written Jun 1, 2011

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    The island Pag has some of the best cheese in the world.
    It´s main sheep cheese and it has it´s own unique taste because the island is very barren and a lot of sea salt gets blown on to the island so that the sheep milk has a different taste.
    The most famous cheese from Pag is called "Paski sir" and is really really good.
    It has been voted one of the best cheeses in the world at several food fairs and i totally agree with that.

    Cheese from Pag. Paski sir.
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    Croatian wine

    by acemj Updated Apr 4, 2011

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    All of the local wines that I tried (all reds) were good. I was told the best is the Dingac, but I also enjoyed the Viski plavac from the island of Vis and the house red pictured here was pretty decent as well.

    For some reason, the quality of wines surprised me, but then again, if you think about the Roman influences here, it's really not that shocking that Croatia would produce some good quality wine. In fact, it is said the the robust red Zinfandel style wine was first made in Croatia.

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  • The Language (habits)

    by my.nr1 Written Apr 23, 2010

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    I assure you - its better not to understand every word we say. Especially for your mental health :-)

    Croatian language is part of slavic languages spoken in mid and eastern Europe. We do - actually - understand each other (cro and foregin countries) but it depends on langage and how fast one talks of course. BUT often we dont understand each other. One from Meðimurje and one from Dalmatia - if the talk dialects - wont understand eachother a word.

    Now when we speak to eachother its most likely we will use lots of curses and generally bad words in our sentences. This is not because we want to insult someone - its just a bad habit. Let me give you an example:
    ''Utakmica je bila dobra u p..... m....., ne možeš vjerovati...''
    ''The game was good in your mothers v...., unbelivable...''
    ''Bio sam žedan j.....te i onda sam maznuo litru vode''
    which means
    ''I was thirsty f.....u and i drank one liter of water''.

    So, generally, noone wants to insult, just lack of good habit. Its not expected that you do the same. If you do, everyone will be amused coz we love to hear stranger cursing and we find it sympatic.
    Auckward isn't it??? Well, thats the way it is!

    Most people will be able to speak english with you, some of them german and/or italian. When you travel, in the ticket offices you might have problems understanding or that they will understand you - happens.

    Generally everyone speaks english.

    Pronauntiation in croatian and in english is much difference. Here i bring some of usable words or sentences:

    ''Excuse me'' = Oprostite
    ''Dobar dan'' = Good day (this is how you should greet us)
    ''Dobra veèer'' = Good evening
    ''I don't speak croatian'' = Ne govorim Hrvatski (after this one u dont need new words or sentences hahahaha, u will just switch to english).

    I am not sure if i am allowed to bring some ''bad words and sentences'' so i wont, if u ask me dont worry, ill answer. I wish you good luck with this one!

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  • NEW YEAR!!!

    by blint Updated Jan 27, 2008

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    I spent New Year in Dubrovnik which was absolutely fantastic. Although it was cold everyone gathered on the main street in the old town where there was a stage, music and LOTS OF FREE CHAMPAGNE!!!! In fact, the people on the stalls kept urging you to take more and more (this proved fatal for me). There was such a great friendly atmosphere and no aggression or vandalism like you might find in parts of Britain.

    Apart from all this that took place around 12 o'clock they had lots of other events like a choir group competition and live music all day piped out onto the street. Although no one was drunk in the day many were dancing to the live music in the street. The Croats seem like confident people who love to enjoy themselves. I'm not too sure about their general ability to dance though!!!hehe. Which meant I fitted in really well as it was my kind of dancing (more bobbing and shuffling of feet than fancy moves!).

    I mustn't forget to mention the great firework display at 12 o'clock although I did miss my traditional 12 Spanish grapes!!!

    My Croatian New year was defiantly one of the best New Year's I have ever had. I highly reccomend it!

    New Year scene
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  • Language Help

    by blint Updated Jan 13, 2008

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    I realised numbers were a very important thing to know. For even if you could ask how much something cost ( Koliko kosta -pronounced koshta) it was useless if you couldn't understand the answer.

    Numbers - Brojevi

    0 zero - nula
    1 one - jedan(masc), jednaFem, jedno (nt)
    2 two - dva(masc), dvije (fem/nt) (dveeye)
    3 three - tri
    4 four - cetiri (chetiri)
    5 five - pet
    6 six - sest (shest)
    7 seven - sedam
    8 eight - osam
    9 nine - devet
    10 ten - deset
    11 eleven - jedanaest
    12 twelve - dvanaest
    13 thirteen - trinaest
    14 fourteen - cetrnaest (chetrnnaest)
    15 fiftheen - petnaest
    16 sixteen - sesnaest (shesnaest)
    17 seventeen - sedamnaest
    18 eighteen - osamnaest
    19 nineteen - devetnaest
    20 twenty - dvadeset
    30 thirty - trideset
    40 forty - cetrdeset (chetrdeset)
    50 fifty - pedeset
    60 sixty - sezdeset
    70 seventy - sedamdeset
    80 eighty - osamdeset
    90 ninety - devedeset
    100 a hundred - sto
    102 one hundred and two - sto dva
    500 five hundred - pet stotina
    1000 a thousand - tisu?a
    a million - milijun
    a milliard - milijarda

    Hello - Zdravo (hallo when answering the telephone)
    Goodbye - Dovidenja (dovijenya)
    Yes- Da
    No- Ne
    Please- Molim
    Thank you Hvala
    Excuse me- Oprosite
    Sorry- Pardon

    good- dobro
    day- dan
    good day -dobro dan!
    today- danas
    tomorrow- sutra

    Do you speak English? - Govorite li engleski?
    I don't understand- Ja Ne razumijem (ya ne razumiyem)
    I don't speak Croatian- ja ne govorim hrvatski
    a little- mala

    the bill- racun (rachoon)

    room- sobe

    Enterance- Ulaz
    exit- Izlaz
    Open- Otvorenos
    Closed- Zatvoreno

    I- ja
    am - sam
    you are- (ti) si
    we are- (mi) smo

    this- ovaj (masc),ova (fem), ovo (nt)
    that- tai (masc), ta (fem), to pronounced taw (nt)

    Monday- ponedjeljak
    Tuesday- Utorak
    Wed- srijeda
    Thur- cetvrtak (chetvrtak)
    Fri- petak
    Sat- subota (soobawta)
    Sun- nedjelja (nedyelya)

    toilet was normally written as toilette although there are other words.

    I'm sure these phrases sound formal as they were learnt mostly from a phrase book. At least you won't talk down to anyone! I heard a lot of them used anyway.

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    Worshipping of War Crime Criminals

    by Emine_Yilmaz Updated Sep 21, 2007

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    Although travelling through Croatia is a nice thing to do, the Croatians seem to have a strange habit on worshiping people. For many Croatians the generals of the Croatian army who have committed war crimes are heroes, because in their eyes these generals have fought for their independence. Which contradicts with the general accepted idea in the international community that they are still the committers of actions against humanity. So at the moment the discussion about the war crime suspect Kodovor is being held vividly in this country. Often you can find posters of Kodovor hanging, where the message states that Kodovor will never be hand over. Kodovor is on the list of the ICTY of people who suposidly have to be delivered to this court in The Hague. However this Court will close it doors very soon and the responsibility will be hand over to the court of Bosnia and Herzegovina. That rises up the question if this war crimes suspect will be delivered at all...

    ps There is no problem in discussing this matter with Croatians. Many of them reject the crualties of the war also.

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  • Stray Cats

    by sabsi Updated Jun 15, 2007

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    In the coastal towns, especially in Dubrovnik and Trogir, we saw so many stray cats wandering the streets. They are all very small and thin and very cheeky... and I felt so sorry for them I wanted to take them all home. I think next time I visit a Croatian coastal town I will bring cat food... even though I don't know if the cities (or the cats) would appreciate it?!

    My favourite incident was a cat that was chased by a big dog around the Riva in Trogir. It escaped by climbing a palmtree just behind us.

    Stray Cat of Dubrovnik

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  • Kuna and Lipa

    by sabsi Updated Jun 7, 2007

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    The currency of Croatia is the Kuna, its abbreviation is kn. There are 100 Lipa in 1 Kuna. The banknotes look rather similar to the good old German mark which isn't a big surprise considering there is a small note "Printed in Germany" on some of them. ;)

    You can get money from ATM machines all over the country. Petrol stations, shops and bigger restaurants accept credit card as well.

    Here are some hints on how much some things you might need approximately cost:

    1 pizza in Zagreb = 25 kn
    1 pizza at the coast = 35 kn
    1 pizza in Dubrovnik = 45 kn
    1 meat dish, e.g. Cevapcici = 50 kn
    1 pack of Marlboro lights = 20 kn
    1 litre of Eurosuper 95 = 8kn
    1 public transportation ticket = 8 kn
    1 capuccino in a café = 9 kn
    1 softdrink in a restaurant = 12 kn
    0,5 litre local beer = 15 kn

    One Euro is approx. 7,35 EUR as of May 2007. Happy calculating!

    Coke Zero: 12 kn. The view on Split: Priceless Coke Zero: 7 kn. Lying on the beach: Priceless

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  • Language

    by sabsi Updated Jun 6, 2007

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    The Croatian language is quite funny at times when you are a German speaker. There are many words which originate in the German language but the spelling is Croatian. My favourite words were sendvic (Sandwich), švarzvald (Black Forest Gateau ... from the German word Schwarzwald) and bedinerica (house maid) and I really enjoyed learning new ones all the time.

    You sometimes meet people in Croatia that only speak Croatian. On the coast, however, life's normally easier. Most people speak either English or German, and some of them very well. But still there are some people who rent out private rooms in the house which don't speak any other language other than Croatian. I think this is a bit strange and I wonder how they can be successful with what they do.

    As everywhere people love if you try to speak a bit of their language, and they don't care at all if you get confused with the c and the c...

    Here are a few terms for you to learn:

    Yes Da
    No Ne
    Thank you Hvala
    Please Molim
    Excuse me Oprostite
    Good morning Dobro jutro!
    Good afternoon Dobar dan!
    Good evening Dobra vecer!
    Good night Laku noc!
    Good bye Doviðenja!
    One Ticket, Two (Three, four) Tickets please Jednu kartu, dvije (tri, cetiri, etc.) karte, molim.

    Sendvic :)

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