The official currency of Croatia is the Kuna (HRK). Although many tourist shop owners can accept euros, they are not legal tender in Croatia. Any amount of kuna remaining at the end of your stay can be exchanged for euros at a local bank or exchange office.
Prices are about 10-20% lower than in most other EU countries. Tourist destinations and tourist items are much more expensive.
ATMs (in Croatian Bankomat) are easily accessible throughout Croatia. They accept various European bank cards, credit cards (Diners Club, Eurocard/MasterCard, Visa, American Express etc.) and debit cards (Cirrus, Maestro, Visa electron etc.). Read the stickers/instructions on the machine before using it.
Tipping is not particularly common, although it may be given in restaurants and bars. Prices are usually already adjusted upwards and labour legislation guarantees a minimum wage for all workers, so tips are generally not expected.
Taxi drivers and hairdressers often receive tips by rounding up the quoted price to the nearest multiple of 5 or 10 kuna.
A unique practice of tipping exists among pensioners who receive their pensions by post in rural areas. They may leave any coin with the postman, who hands it over as a token of appreciation.
If you buy goods worth more than HRK 740, you are entitled to a VAT return (POS) when you leave the country. Note that this applies to all goods except petroleum products. Ask the seller for a PDV-P form at the time of purchase. Fill it out and have it stamped on the spot. When leaving Croatia, the receipt will be checked by Croatian customs. You can get a refund of the tax on petroleum products in kunas within six months, either at the shop where you bought the goods (in which case the tax is refunded immediately), or by returning the verified receipt to the shop, together with the account number to which the refund is to be transferred. In this case, the refund will be processed within 15 days of receipt of the request.
There is another, much easier way to get the refund. Buy your goods in shops with the label “CROATIA TAX-FREE SHOPPING”. This label is displayed at the entrance of the shop, usually next to the credit and debit card labels that the particular shop accepts. By using an international voucher, reimbursement is possible in all member countries of the international TAX-FREE chain. In this case, the service fee will be deducted from the amount of the tax refund.
Croatia now uses the Global Blue System. They make the refund and collect a commission. You can do this at the airport or send it by post after your return.
The ingredients used (herbs, olive oil, etc.) are grown in Croatia. Compared to some world-renowned beauty products, Croatian natural cosmetics have a very interesting price-quality ratio.
Ulola makes soaps, bath salts, body butters and much more. Everything is natural and comes in combinations like: Orange and cinnamon, goat milk and almond oil, and so on.
S-Atea produces soaps, shower gels, body butters and much more. Seaweed, olive oil, rosemary and lavender are some of their main ingredients.
Bracfinisapuni (Brac Quality Soaps) produces a wide range of natural soaps. The latest addition to their bath line is Aurum Croaticum made from virgin olive oil and fine 23 carat gold leaf!
Croatian clothing designers
There are many Croatian designers and clothing specialists.
Etnobutik “Mara” (designs by Vesna Milković) offers a range of truly unique garments and accessories with the inscription “glagoljica” (glagolitic script; ancient Slavic alphabet). Some of her designs are protected as genuine Croatian products.
I-gle Fashion Studio by two Nataša designers Mihaljčišin i Martina Vrdoljak-Ranilović. Their clothes are sold at Harvey Nichols in Knightsbridge (London);
Nebo (“heaven”) is a fashion house that makes very pretty and funky clothes and shoes.
Nit (“Thread”) is certainly not very well known, even among Croatians, but it is really worth a visit as they have some “funky and artistic but serious” clothes that are “good value for money”.
Borovo is a stylish and affordable shoe company that makes everything from flip-flops to desert boots and high heels.