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REPUBLIC OF CROATIA (HR)

Capital: Zagreb (pop. 960,000)

Area: 56,538 sq. km.

Population: 4.78 million

Religion: Roman Catholic (76.4 per cent), Orthodox, Muslim, and others.

Alphabet: Roman

Language: Croatian

Political system: Parliamentary democracy

Travel documents: Valid passport or some other identification document on the basis of which the border police will issue an entry permit or border pass (valid for three months).

Visas, if required, may be obtained without much difficulty at any border crossing. Pets can be brought into the country if accompanied by an International Certificate of vaccination and veterinary examination. The most recent date of vaccination must not be more than a year from the date of entry into Croatia. The veterinary examination can be effected at the border crossing (in which case a fee needs to be paid).

Boats and yachts brought by visitors for their own use need not be declared, but a proof of ownership (title deed) is required.

Customs: In addition to items of clothing and personal belongings, foreign visitors are allowed to bring the following items duty-free: 200 cigarettes, one bottle of spirits, one kilogram of coffee or tea, and perfumes for personal use. The following items need to be declared when entering Croatia: sports equipment, professional equipment, radio transmitter, radio telephone, photographic and movie cameras, gramophone, tape recorder, portable television set, typewriter, etc. Art objects may be taken out of Croatia only with the written export permit issued by State Administration for the Protection of Cultural and Natural Heritage. Art objects and archaeological, ethnographic and historical items classified as Croatian Cultural heritage may be taken out of the country only temporarily (again with the export permit issued by the State Administration for the Protection of Cultural and Natural Heritage).

Money: The official currency of the Republic of Croatia is the Croatian kuna (HRK). Banknote of 5, 10, 20, 50, l00, 200, 500 and 1,000 kunas are in circulation. as well as coins in denominations of l, 2 and 5 kunas and 10, 20 and 50 lipas ( 1 kuna = 100 lipas). Foreign currency can be exchanged for the local currency in banks, official exchange offices, post offices, etc., according to the published rates of exchange. In addition to cash payments, payment can be made also with credit cards (American Express, Diners Club, Eurocard/Master Card, Visa, JCB) and Eurocheques, as advertised at points of sale. When leaving Croatia, foreign nationals can convert unused kunas into a foreign currency. This can be done only in banks upon the presentation of a receipt of the original exchange transaction. Restrictions apply to the amounts of kunas that can be brought into the country and taken out of it.

Shopping: Items that are popular bargains in Croatia include leather goods, crystal and porcelain, ceramics, and handicrafts. Foreigners can claim a sales tax refund within one year for purchases exceeding 50 kunas in a single transaction. Public holidays:1 January, 1 May, 30 May, 22 June, l5 August 25 and 26 December. In addition, 6 and 7 January, Easter Monday, Ramadan-Bairam, and 1 November are not-working days.

Opening hours: Banks and post offices are normally open from 7 (7.30) a.m. to 7 (8) p.m. non stop. Government offices work from 8.30 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday through Friday. Post offices in tourist resorts are often open on Sundays as well during the season, when they remain open until 10 p.m. on weekdays. Most grocery, stores and department stores are open non stop, from 6 (7.30) a.m. to 7.30 (8) p.m.

Climate: The climate is continental in northern Croatia, subalpine and alpine in the central parts of the country, and Mediterranean along the Adriatic. With an annual average of 2,600 hours of insolation and the average sea temperature between 25 and 27 degrees centigrade during the summer, the Croatian Adriatic coast is among the sunniest in Europe. Spring and autumns are very mild along the coast, while winters are quite cold in the northern and central parts of the country, which also get ample snow.

Accommodation: accommodation is available in class L, A, B, C, D hotels, hotel complex, flatlet hotels, flatlet/apartment complexes, pensions/guest houses, camping sites, holiday homes, youth hostels, rented houses, private homes, and inns. A new classification of accommodation facilities will be made over the next three years, starting in August 1995. Hotels and other accommodation facilities will range between the lowest one-star and the highest five-star facilities.

Medical care: Foreign visitors coming from countries which have signed the convention on health care with Croatia need not pay for medical services while in Croatia (apart from the participation fee).

International telephone prefix for Croatia: 385.

Emergency telephones: Police 92, fire brigade 93, ambulance 94, automobile club road assistance service 987.

Start-Amadeus code: KZT.

Electricity voltage: 220 V, 50 Hz.

Tap water is safe for drinking throughout the country.

Traffic information

Road traffic: Traffic regulations on Croatian roads are the same as in the rest of Europe. Speed limits are posted along the roads. Unless posted otherwise, the speed limits are as follows: dual carriageway motorways 130 km/h, other highways 90 km/h, roads in residential areas 60 km/h. The maximum allowed speed for passenger cars with trailers is 80 km/h.

The toll roads are the Zagreb-Karlovac motorway (E-59. E-65), the Zagreb-Slavonski Brod motorway (E-70), the Zapresic-Gubasevo motorway (E-59), the Ucka tunnel, and the Krk bridge. Road information is obtainable twenty-four hours a day from the Croatian :Automobile Club, telephone (01) 4l5-800, and from the local automobile clubs.

Petrol sold oat petrol stations is leaded super (98), unleaded (91 and 95) and diesel.

Air traffic: Croatia has nine airports: Zagreb, Split, Pula, Rijeka., Dubrovnik, Osijek, Zadar, Losinj and Brac. Regular flights are operated by the domestic carrier Croatia Airlines and a number of foreign carriers (Lufthansa, Swissair, Austrian Airlines, Air France, CSA, SAS, KLM, Aeroflot, etc.).

Rail traffic: There are daily international connections with Leipzig (EC Mimara), Munich (Lisinski), Vienna (IC Croatia), Trieste (IC Kras), Budapest (Adriatica, Maestral, Avas, IC Kvarner), Geneva (Simplon Express), Venice (Venezia Express), Ljubljana (Sava, Lisca), and Maribor (Zagreb). Daily domestic connections link Zagreb with Rijeka, Pula, Osijek, Virovitica, Novska, Sisak, Slavonski Brod, Vinkovci, Varazdin, Cakovec, Split and Sibenik.
Rail traffic information: Croatian Railways (Hrvatske zeljeznice), telephone 9830.

Bus lines: International bus lines operate daily (from Zagreb, Split, Rijeka. etc.) to Munich, Stuttgart, Frankfurt. Zurich, Vienna, Trieste, Nagykanizsa, Berlin, etc. The domestic network is well developed, linking all Croatian towns and cities.

Maritime traffic: Ships and ferries operate along the coast and towards the islands. Express coastal lines start from Rijeka and touch many towns and islands all the way to Dubrovnik. There are regular services to Italian ports (Ancona, Bari, Venice).

Sailing information: Jadrolinija, Riva 16, 51000 Rijeka, tel. (051) 211-444.

Ferry services: Cres-Losinj (Valbiska-Merag, Brestova-Porozina), Pula-Losinj-Zadar, Rab (Jablanac-Misnjak, Baska-Lopar), Pag (Prizna-Zigljen), Ugljan (Zadar-Preko), Dugi Otok (Brivinj-Zadar, Zaglav-Zadar), Pasman (Biograd-Tkon), Brac (Split-Supetar, Makarska-Sumartin), Peljesac Peninsula (ploce-Trpanj), Korcula and Lastovo (Orebic-Domince, Lastovo-Split), Hvar (Stari Grad-Split, Drvenik-Sucuraj, Split-Hvar), Solta (Split-Rogac), Vis (Vis-Split), Dubrovnik-Sobra.

Taxi services: Taxis are available in all larger towns and cities and tourist resorts.

Car rentals: Car rental offices are located at airports, in towns and cities, and in larger tourist resorts.

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