Tourists listed the changes that are now waiting for them when traveling to Croatia

Tourists were given the list of changes that are now waiting for them when traveling to Croatia

Traveling to Croatia, which became a member of the Schengen zone on January 1, 2023 and automatically canceled internal borders with the other 26 countries of the Schengen Agreement, and changed the entry rules for tourists, including Russians.

Since the country has entered the eurozone, travelers will face a number of new rules when traveling there, some of which they may not like, according to Schengenvisainfo. This means, for example, that their stay in Croatia will now count towards the total period of 90 days allowed for stay in the Schengen area.

Among other innovations for the country is the rejection of the national currency (kuna) in favor of the euro. It is expected that by the beginning of the 3rd week of January, all ATMs will issue only euros. In the meantime, kuna coins and banknotes will continue to be legal in shops and other services. When using Croatian cash as change, tourist buyers will receive euros. “In accordance with the constant stability of the exchange rate, the kuna will be exchanged at the rate of 1 euro for 7.53450 Croatian kunas,” the EU Commission said.

Local residents and foreign tourists who have cash kunas can exchange them free of charge at the Financial Agency and post offices until June 30, 2023, and in commercial banks – until December 31, 2023.

Borders between Croatia and other Schengen states disappeared

This means that for tourists, border control is canceled when traveling from Croatia to any of the 26 other Schengen countries and back. “From January 1, travelers crossing land borders from Croatia to Slovenia and Hungary, as well as those arriving in the country from Slovenia and Hungary, no longer need to go through passport control. Now they can travel between these countries as if there were no borders, ”the publication explained.

On the other hand, internal air border checks will remain in effect until March 26, 2023, when the summer/winter schedule comes into force International Air Transport Association (IATA). In turn, the abolition of border controls will affect those who often travel to Croatia from other Schengen countries – this will also make it easier for them to enter this country.

A stay in Croatia counts towards the Schengen 90/180 days of stay

Travelers from visa-free Schengen countries who used Croatia as a base to regain their 90-day authorized stay in the Schengen area, from 1 January, they can no longer do this, experts noted. From the beginning of 2023, the period of stay in Croatia counts as 90 days.
Prior to this, travelers who did not require a visa to enter the Schengen countries and Croatia for up to 90 days in any 180 day period used Croatia as their destination country and stayed there for a while to be able to return to Schengen countries without violating the 90-day stay rule. This did not concern the Russians, since the countries had visa relations. In addition, regular direct flights with Croatia have been interrupted since March 2022.

The price increase was 10-15%, but they will return to normal soon

Travelers who travel to Croatia in the first weeks of 2023 may notice an increase in prices in the country.
According to the explanation, the reason is that retailers “rounded” prices after the introduction of the euro, thereby increasing their prices by 10-15 %. For example, a coffee that would have cost 8 kunas (1.09 euros) in a bar in Croatia in December has now gone up in price to 1.5 euros.

Last Monday, January 9, Prime Minister Andrei Plenkovic ordered the organizations to cut prices, threatening government measures in response, which include the abolition of subsidies and the imposition of taxes. The deadline is January 13th.

Tourists should plan ahead for shopping

Another change is that most shops in Croatia will be closed on Sundays. “We want to enable retail employees to spend Sundays with their families,” the government announced on its social media accounts in late November. Shops will only be open 16 Sundays a year during the summer season.
The change does not apply to retail stores located at airports, bus and train stations, ferries, hotels, gas stations or museums.

The authorities expect an increase in the number of tourists

It is expected that with the accession of Croatia to the Schengen area, the number of tourists will also increase. During the past New Year holidays alone, almost 600,000 tourist overnight stays were spent in Croatian hotels and other forms of short-term rentals. Over the same period, more than 214,000 traveler arrivals were registered, up 28% from the previous year. For comparison: in 2021, Russians made more than 145,000 trips to Croatia (before the pandemic, there were 154,000), and the total number of overnight stays exceeded 800,000, according to the Croatian Tourism Office in Russia.

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