17 Top Croatia Packing List Items + What NOT to Bring (2018 Update)

Croatia is an Eastern European country that is becoming a popular tourist destination thanks to recent pop culture phenomena, like Game of Thrones. The country is home to more than a thousand islands, a stunning coastline, major cultural capital Dubrovnik, and loads of old castles and offbeat attractions. Check out my must-have packing list for Croatia, and you’ll be all set to explore:

What to bring to Croatia:

1) Driver’s License – Croatia is best explored by car! Public transportation within Croatia is lacking, and the country is not bending over backwards to accommodate tourists, like countries in Asia, for example. The best way to see all of Croatia’s coastline, and its hidden gems, is by renting a car at the airport and going on your very own Croatian road trip. Make sure to buy an insurance policy with your rental!
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2) Offline GPS – If you’re planning on exploring via rental car, make sure you have a GPS that can work in all of the rural and less-traveled areas of Croatia. You can download apps like Maps.me or Google Maps, but I would suggest bringing an old fashioned vehicle GPS so that you don’t have to worry about your phone dying. This is the one that I used on my last trip through Croatia.
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3) Casual Clothing – When you’re traveling in Croatia, you might be wandering through the waterfalls in Plitvice the same day as you hit up happy hour at a cute cafe in Podgorica. Bring clothing that is casual, but cute. Pieces that can go from day to night are key – like basic t shirts in neutral colors! Y ou can wear them with shorts, jeans, skirts, or even sleep in.
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4) Walking Shoes – There is so much to see and do in Croatia. Between hiking in the national parks and strolling through every city’s Old Town, you’re going to be doing a lot of walking. Pack comfortable hiking or walking shoes. No need for extreme hiking boots here, as pretty much all paths (even in the national parks) are paved.
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5) Sturdy Sandals – During the day on your Croatian adventure, you may find yourself walking around museums, or lounging at beachside restaurants. In any scenario, a pair of versatile sandals will be your go-to shoe. These ones can be dressed up or down, and are sturdy enough to do some serious walking in.
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6) Daypack – For day trips that involve hiking or photo expeditions, a backpack is much easier to get around with than a purse or clutch. A solid daypack like this can hold your wallet, water bottle, city maps, camera, and anything else you want to throw in there for the day.
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7) Universal Adaptor – Croatia’s outlets are funky. Bring a universal adapter so that you won’t have to worry about charging up. This one has several USB ports so you and your friends can all juiceup your phones at one time.
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8) Charging Phone Case – While traveling to all the exciting places that Croatia has to offer, you won’t want to waste your time waiting for you phone to charge on a wall plug. Bring a charging phone case, so you can use your phone to take pictures and map routes without having to worry about it dying.
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9) Anti-Wrinkle Spray – When you’re living out of a backpack (or suitcase, or vehicle), your clothes are bound to get wrinkled! You definitely won’t have access to an iron or steamer while you’re on the road, so use a wrinkle-release spray like this one to get the job done. It works quickly, and is my go-to remedy for shirt creases.
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10) Croatia Guidebook – Croatia has a rich and colorful history that can be difficult to wrap your mind around unless you read about it. Lonely Planet’s Croatia guidebook paints an excellent picture for you, and you can read all about the wild places you’ll be seeing on your travels.
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11) Sarong – A lightweight sarong is something that will come in handy during every day of your travels in Croatia. It can be worn as a coverup as you soak in the Dalmatian Coast, or a shawl when you’re walking through old castle walls. This one is neutral and great for any situation.
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12) GoPro – A waterproof GoPro camera is the perfect tool for capturing the beauty of Croatia. Whether you’re cliff jumping on the beaches near Dubrovnik or skydiving further inland, a GoPro is perfect for your trip. It’s waterproof, compact, and nearly indestructible.
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13) Travel Journal – Years from now you’ll want to look back on your time in Croatia (and anywhere!) without having to scroll through your social media. Keeping a physical journal can help your mind process all the cool new experiences you’re having, and serve as a first-hand record you can look back on down the road. This is my favorite travel journal.
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14) DSLR Camera – The unique charm of Croatia is hard to put into words. Let your pictures do the talking, and use a DSLR camera to capture all the dreamy sunsets and sunrises!
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15) Sleeping Bag Liner – If you’re traveling through colder areas and are staying in hostels or camping, definitely invest in a sleeping bag. If you’re going during summer or late spring, a sleeping bag liner will be fine! Good for preventing bed bug bites if you’re sleeping in questionable hostel beds.
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16) TSA-Size Toiletries – Croatia doesn’t have many convenience stores, and even in big cities it can be impossible to find the toiletries you are looking for. If you have a specific face wash or moisturizer that you can’t live without, stock up on their travel-size versions before heading out.
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17) Reusable Bag – It’s always a good idea to be kind to the environment. With Croatia’s recent tourism boom, the country is at risk for more litter and pollution! Do your part in keeping Croatia clean by bringing a reusable bag. You can use it when you souvenir shop, or go to the grocery store. This bag is also durable enough to be used as your personal carry-on item on planes.
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Other packing list items for Croatia:

What to wear while traveling in Croatia:

In Croatia, casual clothes are the standard for daytime wear. If you are planning on going out to eat at a restaurant, know that although most restaurants are not that formal, tourists and locals alike tend to dress up in the evenings! The summer (June, July, August and September) can get very hot and lightweight clothing is best (sundresses, capris, tank tops). Spring and Fall seasons can be chilly, and some months (April and May) can be quite wet. Dressing in layers will help you prepare for variable weather! Bring a swimsuit if you’re going in summer, and a warm jacket if you’re going in winter.

What NOT to bring to Croatia:

1) 🚫 High Heels – Gals, leave those high heels at home. Croatia’s cobblestone streets are not conducive to wearing stilettos.
2) 🚫 A full suitcase – Remember to leave space so that you can bring home some Croatian souvenirs.
3) 🚫 Books – They’re just too heavy. Invest in a kindle (that hold thousands up books) to save space!
4) 🚫 Too many clothes/ shoes – You’ll probably want to buy things while you’re traveling. Bring dual-purpose, neutral-colored clothing that you can mix and match.

FAQs about Croatia:

1) What is the local currency in Croatia?

The local currency is the Kuna. Some places (most places in major cities) may accept the Euro but know that you will get a better exchange rate if you make purchases in the local currency!

2) What language is spoken in Croatia?

Croatian is the main language, but English is widely spoken.

3) Do I need a Visa to visit Croatia?

Members of the EU, US, Australian, New Zealand , Canadian and Japanese citizens don’t require a visa. For other nationalities, check with the Croatian Embassy.

4) Is the water safe to drink?

Yes! Good news – tap water is drinkable throughout Croatia.

5) How should I greet local people I meet?

Shaking hands is a regular form of greeting and saying goodbye.

6) What if my flight is delayed or canceled?

It’s always good to be prepared. Make sure you pack all of the necessities like documents and medications in your carry-on, just in case, and you should be ready to tackle any airport issues. Airline counter representatives will let you know what the next step is, or try to make it easy for you to book a new flight.