Your new local habits in Croatia

Hello everyone,

Living in Croatia is a great way to immerse in a new culture and lifestyle.

Have you embraced local customs since you've lived in Croatia? If so, which one(s)?

Did local customs change the way you see things, appreciate life or organize your daily routines? As far as the language is concerned, did you learn new expressions or words and do you use them?

What do you like most about the lifestyle in your host country? Are there any local specificities you are still struggling with?

Thanks in advance,


Firstly, Croatia is prominently a Christian Catholic country. So if thats your persuasion your of to a good start. Remember Croatia is a fledgling country only 20 years on from a very blood and very religious hostile civil war. The people that were involved and effected still walk the streets of Croatia. My recommendation is to stay away from this topic. It will only bring to the surface painful memories.
If your planning to move and live in Croatia you have to be aware of corruption and of nepotism at all levels.
All of the above slow down processes within local government departments and can drive one crazy trying to resolve anything. As a former socialist country where everyone had a job, this mentality is still in place and the bureaucracy involved as residual left overs from socialist times is prevalent. This effects not just you but people born and raised in the country. Best you make friends with well connected people as soon as possible to help grease the wheels of bureaucracy.

So what is it like culturally so we can move away from the above as that topic will never end.
I can tell you that there is a culture difference from north to south. Even in the language. The Dalmatians use a a lot of localized slang, just as the Scottish dialect is to the English language.
I live on the Dalmatian coast so will use this as my experience.
Food. Very traditional. Meat and fish. Salad and soup. Deserts, ha, Pancakes (crepes actually) Only lately have some restaurants started looking into a broader desert menu. As for service. Ohhh, touchy subject, that is all I will say. Read between the lines. But central Dalmatia does not come top on this topic.
Moving on from restaurants but still on food. Domestic cooking and the family and friends get-togethers are fantastic. What social creatures they are and its just great. All fresh food and good domestic wines. And Croatia does produce fantastic wine.
If your a connoisseur of red wines than prepare to be shocked. It is generally served cold. Also locally they will add water and also ice to red wine!!!!
If you order red wine ask for room temperature.
On the coast there are many celebrations for different saints etc. These can be large festivals or just days of. But there are traditions like on Sv Duje (Saint Duje) where in Split the riva is full of small stalls selling locally made items and the tradition is to through out all your wooden cooking spoons and buy new ones on this day. Great fun and the evens in the city are great. Music, food and drink and all very civilized.
Cafe bar culture on the coast is for sure the number one past time. Everything is done in the cafe bar. Gossip to business deals. Every meeting point is a cafe bar. And where better than on the coast overlooking the harbor or the sea or the local town square. I like nothing better. Sunday morning, 5am, you will find the local gents sitting reading the paper, smoking a ciggy and drinking coffee. Perfect. The only hurry anyone is in is to get to the cafe bar. And why not.

The most commonly used word on the coast is " polako" I started hating this and have now grown to love it. Basically it means chill out. That's not the dictionaries translation off course but you get the jist.

You know i could write a book on all this but generally if you want a retirement home, move to the Croatian coast and die with a smile on your face.

Hi and thank you for this great post.  I appreciate your honesty and ability to express clearly!   I am looking for a non retirement/retirement home.   Relaxed but not boring, please!    Question...where do the women gather?   Sounds like the cafe/bars are for the men folk.   I'm looking for the sisters!   They are perhaps home cooking those great meals?  Won't be to?

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