Just how touristy is Croatia?

Old Nov 6th, 2006, 05:26 PM
  #1  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Jan 2004
Posts: 427
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Just how touristy is Croatia?

My husband and I are headed to Croatia as part of a larger trip that includes Paris and Slovenia in May 2007. The more research I do, the more excited I'm getting!

But one question keeps coming up in my head: Just how touristy is Croatia? I know it's a popular place among fodorites, and I know a few people outside this community who've been there, but is it overrun with other tourists yet? Is it on par with anywhere in Western Europe in terms of overall numbers? I'm really curious about this. My best guess is that it would have similar numbers to places like Hungary and Portugal, but I really don't know. For those of you who've been there, what would you say? Aside from the gazillion cruise ships that unload in Dubrovnik each day in the summers, does this country feel touristy or does it still feel a bit "off the beaten track"?
Amanda23 is offline  
Old Nov 6th, 2006, 05:32 PM
  #2  
P_M
 
Join Date: Feb 2004
Posts: 23,214
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
bookmarking
P_M is offline  
Old Nov 6th, 2006, 05:46 PM
  #3  
 
Join Date: Mar 2003
Posts: 21,547
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
My cousin reported a campground with 15,000 people. I still don't believe it. But Croatia has been popular with Germans for a long time. When seeking the sun, it is cheaper than any Mediterranean coast in Western Europe.
Michael is offline  
Old Nov 6th, 2006, 05:50 PM
  #4  
 
Join Date: Jun 2003
Posts: 1,432
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
It's pretty touristy, but filled with European tourists. My Czech friends won't go there anymore, because they said they are tired of hearing everyone around them speaking Czech! Kind of funny. I think you'd still like it, since it's exotic in its own way, and still a good deal.
amp322 is offline  
Old Nov 6th, 2006, 06:04 PM
  #5  
 
Join Date: Aug 2003
Posts: 4,464
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
An interesting question indeed. I am gathering information on Croatia for a future trip. Many of the trip reports here are really enthusiastic, so I wonder if it is only certain areas that are overrun with tourists?

Turkey, for example, has “sun & sea” destinations that attract millions of British and German tourists for an experience no different from the Costa de Sol in Spain, yet much of the country offers a genuinely delightful cultural experience.

I’d be really interested in knowing which areas of Croatia are “overrun”.
OReilly is offline  
Old Nov 6th, 2006, 06:07 PM
  #6  
P_M
 
Join Date: Feb 2004
Posts: 23,214
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
I bookmarked this thread because I'm thinking of going to Croatia in the next year or so. I don't think that "touristy" is entirely bad, since a place only becomes touristy when a lot of people like it. So if it is indeed touristy, that's not necessarily a strike against it for me.
P_M is offline  
Old Nov 6th, 2006, 06:20 PM
  #7  
 
Join Date: Jul 2003
Posts: 106
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Parts of Croatia are touristy, if you don't plan right. We just got back from Croatia in October and we totally loved it. Dubrovnik is sort of touristy with the cruise ships coming in everyday, however, if you stay in old town, you get to see the true Dubrovnik at night, when the cruise ships are gone. It's truely spectacular. If it were me, I'd hurry and get to Croatia now before it gets worse, but I'd definitely still go regardless. We based ourselves in Dubrovnik and went kayaking one day, took a boat to Lokrum (you must go to the "dead lake" it's enchanting), and took another day trip to Mljet. There's tons of islands, so you can always island hop to get away as well. Korcula is a MUST, we stayed there 3 nights in an apartment with a GREAT view.

I think it's on par with any other european city. We thought Croatia felt "off the beaten path".

You will love it!
dixieland is offline  
Old Nov 6th, 2006, 06:23 PM
  #8  
 
Join Date: Aug 2003
Posts: 715
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
My guess is that in July and August, it would probably be fair to say that the hot spots of Croatia are overrun with tourists. I have been there only in the last week of September and it was not overrun. The one exception would be Dubrovnik during the middle of the day. My guess is also that going there in May is much like September.

Examples of Croatia not being overrun:
1) I never made a reservation in a restaurant. Though I didn't always get a seat at my first pick without waiting, I always got a seat at a good restaurant within 15 minutes of walking around.

2) The second-tier Old Towns (Stari Grad on Hvar Island, Omis, and Makarska) were practically devoid of tourists. Some of the shops and restaurants had closed.

3) In Hvar Town, I found a vacant apartment 100 feet from the cathedral on the main square. In Makarska, I had my choice of two apartments within 15 minutes of looking. In Trogir, when I was twice bumped from my pre-arranged apartment, I was placed in a different apartment within 5 minutes.

4) Within 5 minutes of showing up at the Buza Bar in Dubrovnik an hour before sunset, my wife and I were sitting at a front-row table enjoying the view of the Adriatic.

You simply can't report those experiences in a place that is overrun with tourists. If going to Croatia in May is similar to Croatia in September, it won't be overrun with tourists.
MikeBuckley is offline  
Old Nov 6th, 2006, 06:25 PM
  #9  
 
Join Date: Oct 2006
Posts: 101
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
You will love Croatia and Slovenia! When we were there, it still felt like it was somewhat off the beaten path. Our family travelled to Croatia and Slovenia in Mid-June and into July of 2005. We spent 4 nights in Dubrovnik and loved it. There are alot of cruise ships that unload each day, but we still loved it! It is not as crowded or touristy as Venice or Prague. We were in Prague in July of 2004 and that place was so crowded! The cruise ships leave later in the day but the place is still so alive at night! We did one of those day trips to several of the islands and enjoyed it alot.

There weren't as many tourists in Split, Croatia, as there were in Dubrovnik. Plitice National Park had tour buses but if you go later in the day it isn't bad.

We also went to Ljubliana and Lake Bled in Slovenia. They did not feel touristy and we enjoyed them both!

We ended our 2 1/2-week trip with 4 nights in Venice. After the time we spent in Croatia and Slovenia, Venice seemed unbelievably touristy and crowded--much more so than when we were there in the summer of 2002. Didn't matter--I still LOVE Venice!

What part of May are you planning your trip for? I would think it would be less crowded in May than in the summer months.

BellaItalia is offline  
Old Nov 6th, 2006, 06:33 PM
  #10  
 
Join Date: Feb 2005
Posts: 75
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
We were in Dubrovnik and Hvar in September and I wouldn't say the volume of tourists is like western Europe at all. Dubrovnik in the middle of the day, with all the cruise ships is a different story but early morning, late afternoon and evening it wasn't overrun at all. And I thought Hvar in September was pretty quiet. I bet May will be even less busy than September so I wouldn't worry. There are lots of less touristy places in Croatia too but no matter how much those cruise ships scare you, you have to go to Dubrovnik.
janaturner is offline  
Old Nov 6th, 2006, 06:53 PM
  #11  
 
Join Date: Aug 2003
Posts: 1,136
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
I would say it still feels off the beaten track. We were there this past summer and what I felt most was that since there is a lack of big major attactions ( an Eiffel Tower, a Coloseum, etc)that you don't necessarily feel jostled and shoved around among the attractions. You can get away from crowds easily.

Dubrovnik which we really loved, however, you might say was the most "toursity", But as an example, even then the Buza Bar, as noted by another poster above, was magical and you felt a million miles away from the Stradun, although its right there.

I would say overall Croatia did not feel like many major European cities( although I love all places in Europe and can always find something good about them all)

As Croatia becomes more popular, it will remain to be seen what will happen. But I think with the lack of incredibly famous attractions, that will keep some away. The best atttraction is just the country itself. It's beautiful.

Have a grand time!
tripgirl is offline  
Old Nov 6th, 2006, 07:51 PM
  #12  
 
Join Date: Mar 2003
Posts: 976
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
We were in Croatia for a week in mid-May of this year. Yes, there were tourists, but except for Dubrovnik, as everyone else has said, which was full of cruise-ship tourists during mid-day, it all seemed pleasantly low-key. When we walked the walls in the morning we enountered maybe 20 other people interspersed around the length of the wall (i.e., not crowded!) And front-row seats for the sunset at Buza Bar two nights in a row, no wait. (Perfection.) Split and Trogir were active and lively, with a nice mix of residents and tourists. No wait at any restaurants or sites (climbing the tower in Split, for example). Very few Americans in any of those places. Hvar town was idyllically low-key, just beginning to ramp up for "the season." And the islands off Hvar were lovely and mostly untouristed (to wit, our fabulous 2-hour lunch at Konoba Dionis on St. Klement, where we shared the open-air dining room with only 3 other couples, no reservations needed at that time of year). No problems with arranging boat or bus transportation at the last minute. Oh, and perfect weather (high 70s, sunny). As you might expect, far fewer tourists than the Cinque Terre, Lake Como, and Venice, where we traveled the previous May.
aprillilacs is offline  
Old Nov 6th, 2006, 09:31 PM
  #13  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Jan 2004
Posts: 427
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Thanks to everyone for the great replies so far! I am glad to hear that while definitely a hot spot on the tourism map, Croatia is still managing to retain some authenticity and a laid-back feel, which are the reasons we chose it as our next vacation. I am also glad to hear that most people found it less touristy than Venice (which I expected of course, Venice being as popular as it is) because we were there in May 2004 and even in the so-called "shoulder season" found the crowds a little bit much....
Amanda23 is offline  
Old Nov 6th, 2006, 11:55 PM
  #14  
 
Join Date: Aug 2004
Posts: 4,667
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
It's pretty touristy, but filled with European tourists.
>>>>>>

tourists are tourists are tourists...why the need for the "but"?

anyway, croatia is a beautiful country but most of the beautiful areas are far from being "undiscovered". expect to see hoards of tour groups from france, germany and the UK. many of the people are just there for cheap sun (well cheaper sun anyway, since croatia is not really cheap).

tourism has been huge in croatia for several decades so the idea that you should "go now before it is discovered is silly". it's far too late for that.

here in england, i dont' think i know anyone who has not just returned from a croatia holiday or is in the process of planning one.

i do agree with the posters who said that the summer is the worst time. however, you may lose the crowds in the off season but i wouldn't expect any more "authenticity" (whatever that is).

example is dubrovnik. the cruise ships may leave at night but you still have restaurants, shops and bars that exist only for the tourist trade...with prices, service, and quality levels set accordingly. dubrovnik is beautiful but i suggest that you just go to SEE it rather than to experience it...there is not much to experience. base yourself elsewhere.

but i wouldn't get so down that it's touristy. most beautiful places are.
walkinaround is offline  
Old Nov 7th, 2006, 12:26 AM
  #15  
 
Join Date: Mar 2006
Posts: 479
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Amanda23

Go now when it is still relatively 'un-touristy'. We were there in late August 2004 and it was not more touristy than any other european destinations.

Dubrovnik is probably the most touristy place with ships docking and ferry from Italy off-loading daily. I like the suggestion above - stay in the old town and experience the true Dubrovnik at night when the crowds are gone.

S
swagman is offline  
Old Nov 7th, 2006, 02:08 AM
  #16  
mjs
 
Join Date: Feb 2003
Posts: 2,360
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Dubrovnik in the summer is the most over touristed place I have ever been to. It is certainly not off the beaten track. The rest of Dalmatia is also quite full of tourists in the summer. Suspect it is more quiet in the off season.
mjs is offline  
Old Nov 7th, 2006, 06:44 AM
  #17  
 
Join Date: Mar 2003
Posts: 205
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
My wife, although born in Canada, is of Croatian heritage. We have travelled a number of times to Croatia and there is a vast difference between the parts of Croatia that most Croatians live in and then the main tourist centres. Most Croatians will not go anywhere near Dubrovnik and my wife's family refers to Split using the Croatian word for "nuthouse". There are many parts of Croatia that are inspiring and with no tourists anywhere near them.
TorontoSteven is offline  
Old Nov 7th, 2006, 10:06 AM
  #18  
 
Join Date: Aug 2003
Posts: 715
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
I believe TorontoSteven makes a couple of good points.

Most Croatians will not go anywhere near Dubrovnik

That mentality is probably true everywhere. Plenty of Northern Virginia residents of Washington DC never go to DC, much less to the tourist attractions.

There are many parts of Croatia that are inspiring and with no tourists anywhere near them.

I think that's probably true of most anywhere also. My wife and I make a point of going to places that aren't tourist hot spots. Doing so is a nice balance with the more heavily touristed places.

MikeBuckley is offline  
Old Nov 7th, 2006, 11:33 AM
  #19  
 
Join Date: Apr 2005
Posts: 3,087
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
What walkinaround says is true.

Here in the Uk every travel agent is promoting 'cheap' holidays to Croatia, and many television programmes are extolling its beauty. But the hotels are mostly in coastal areas. Friends with a family apartment near Pula who went in late July this year returned and said it was a nightmare - incredibly hot and overrun with British tourists. 'Never again' said the wife!

Some of the islands are still very unspoilt but require a longer ferry ride, for example Vis is 2 hours from Split. The island of Vis is fast becoming one of the most exclusive islands on the Dalmatian coast and for good reason. Under Yugoslavia, no foreigners were allowed on the island (as it was a military zone) and as a result the island escaped the building of tourist resorts and hotels on its shoreline. Vis can truly lay claim to the term “unspoilt”. Look at this for example...

http://www.houseonvis.com/
julia_t is offline  
Old Nov 7th, 2006, 12:13 PM
  #20  
 
Join Date: Jan 2006
Posts: 77
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
We stayed in Piran and visited the Istria part of Croatia. I did not feel that these places where "over-run". Enough tourists to have a good infrastructure. Plus most of the tourists we met were locals (Slovenians, Serbs, Croates, etc) We saw two other Americans in Piran during the 5 days we were there. Also, if you visit inland towns in Istria there are very few tourist of any kind, yet great places to see. The coastal towns of Umag, Porec, and Rovinj are nice as well. It seems most people bypass Istria and continue south. I visited other areas of Croatia back when it was Yugoslavia and it was very touristy even back then.
olyman is offline  

Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Contact Us - Archive - Advertising - Cookie Policy - Privacy Statement - Do Not Sell My Personal Information


All times are GMT -8. The time now is 09:13 PM.