Croatia is a country located in the Western Balkans. For years it was a part of a communist country called Yugoslavia (that’s kind of a well-known fact about Croatia).
Before that, Croatia was ruled by many different nations that had their capitals in Western Europe (Venice, Austria, and so on).
All these foreign influences were intertwined, along with traditional Slavic culture, and together, formed a culture that is unique and special.
There are many interesting things about Croatian people, and that’s precisely what this article is going to be focused on.
So, sit back, relax and enjoy the article about some of the most interesting things about Croatian people.
- Croats love football (soccer), and are pretty good at it!
- Hospitality is extremely important to Croats (you won’t find friendlier service anywhere else in the world).
- Croats spend most of the major holidays with their families.
List of Things to Know About Croatian People
1. They Love Football
It’s not a secret that Croatian people love football (or soccer if you want to be mean about it), and that they are really good at playing it.
Now, do they love football because they are good at it, or are they good at it because they love it so much? Well, I don’t know, which means this question will have to remain a mystery (and what a mystery it is).
Some of the best football players in the world were born and raised in this beautiful European country.
The list includes names such as Luka Modric, Mario Mandzukic, Ivan Rakitic, and much more. All of these footballers play for the major European clubs and have won a lot of trophies over the years.
One of the biggest successes the Croatian National football team had was in 2018 when they came in second in the FIFA World Cup competition .
The reason for this success can be found in the popularity of the sport, among the Croatian people. If you choose to visit Croatia, you will undoubtedly see kids and adults playing football.
Almost every school has a football field, and almost every kid spends his free time playing this beautiful game.
2. Croats Like to Party
The reason behind this is very simple: Croats are Slavs after all, and what Slavic nation does not like to party?
The only difference between Croats and other Slavic people is that they get to enjoy one of the most beautiful coastlines in the world – the Croatian coastline.
If you are one of those people that like to relax (maybe read a book while sunbathing on the beach), don’t worry, you can do that in Croatia. There are a lot of places in Croatia that you can visit to “get away from everything”.
But, if you are not one of those people, and your main goal is to “party as much as you can”, you would be remiss not to visit this country.
What can compare to beautiful coastal cities, that emanate culture while at the same time having an amazing night-life? Well, nothing if you ask me.
Hvar is a Croatian island, located in the Adriatic sea. Apart from being gorgeous, and one of the best places to visit, it’s also referred to by many as “the party island”.
If you visit Hvar, you’ll get to enjoy a huge number of bars, clubs (from your more casual day bars to more “party all the time” clubs.). If you ever end up visiting Hvar, be sure to check out the “Carpe Diem” club. You’ll thank me later.
Zagreb (although not located on the coast) is still one of the most interesting places to visit (it’s the capital of Croatia). The local population is extremely welcoming (they will make you feel right at home).
Zagreb has a bustling social life, and if you choose to visit this Croatian city, you will undoubtedly get to experience its beauty. You’ll get to enjoy many bars and clubs, as well as a number of festivals that this city has to offer.
If you ever find yourself in Zagreb, check out the Aquaris Club (It’s a two-story nightclub, that regularly hosts some of the most famous DJs).
3. Friendly People
Croatian people are extremely friendly. Now, the important reason behind this might be the fact that a big chunk of this country’s revenue comes from tourism (so they kind of have to be friendly). I, personally, tend to disagree with that.
My own opinion is that it has something to do with their culture as well as turbulent history. Croatians are well-known for their hospitality, warm greetings, and generous nature.
They will gladly help you with directions (if you ever get lost while enjoying the beauties this country has to offer), and, they will do that with a smile on their faces. Why? Because that’s just who Croats are.
If you ever visit Croatia, you will find its people are some of the most welcoming in the world.
No matter where you find yourself (a bar, a local shop, or at the beach), Croats will always gladly help you with your queries.
4. Hospitality Is Their Second Nature
I’ve already mentioned this before, but if a big chunk of your GDP relies on tourism, there is a chance that your people will become more hospitable .
We all know that hospitality is a really important part of tourism (in some cases it can make or break your whole experience). If that’s the case, you won’t have to worry about it, if you visit Croatia.
Croatian people are known for their hospitality (which in part, is the reason why this country is one of the most visited tourist destinations).
If you choose to visit Croatia and enjoy the beauties it has to offer, you will most certainly experience the Croats’ hospitality and their welcoming nature (two of those go hand in hand).
5. Small Talk Is Not in Their Vocabulary
The first thing that many people usually notice is that Croats are not that into small talk. If you want to talk about the weather (usually the first small talk topic that comes to mind) you won’t find many people interested in doing so.
On the other hand, if you want to talk about history, culture, art, or philosophy you’ll find many Croats interested in conversing with you.
Often, you will hear this type of discussion being held over a drink (wine or beer), in many bars and clubs, and sometimes just on the street, park bench, or while waiting in line at the grocery shop.
6. Food and Drink Are a Big Thing
Apart from their beautiful country, Croatian people are famous for their amazing food.
Because a big part of Croatia is located on the Adriatic coast, Croatian cuisine offers an interesting mix of seafood and traditional Slavic dishes.
Dalmatian coast offers a lot of amazing dishes. One of those famous Croatian dishes is called simply – Octopus salad (the name kind of says it all). It’s simple to make and is positively scrumptious.
Peka is a dish often served during family gatherings (usually for Christmas or any other big holiday). Peka consists of slow-cooked veal (or octopus) mixed with potatoes and many other vegetables.
Be warry that the cooking time of Peka is extremely long, so you might want to order it in advance if you don’t want to spend hours waiting in a restaurant.
Bean soup (or Grah) is one of the most famous Croatian dishes. It’s often referred to as “Peasant soup” or bean stew, but that doesn’t matter as it is extremely tasty.
The most famous alcoholic beverage in the Balkans is called rakia (you might have heard of it). Rakia is a national drink of Croatia and is something other Balkan countries have in common.
The version of this drink that is the most famous in Croatia is called travarica or herbal rakia. This drink shouldn’t be taken lightly as its alcohol content is around 40% (and sometimes even more than that.) .
Apart from rakia, Croatian people are famous for making some of the best wines Balkan has to offer. The best way to enjoy these wines is with some traditional Croatian cuisine.
7. Devoted to Their Family
Thanks to Croatian ancestry and the way modern generations are brought up, Croats are extremely devoted to their family.
Almost every major national holiday is traditionally celebrated in a small family circle. Not only that but, a lot of Croat families will dine together every weekend.
So, don’t be surprised if your friend from Croatia spends every weekend with his family (it’s kind of normal for people born in Croatia).
The Bottom Line
I hope you’ve enjoyed this article about different aspects of Croatian culture and its people.
If there ever comes a day when you decide to visit Croatia, be sure to review this list again, so you’ll know what to expect.
If you are interested in learning more about Croatian people, be sure to check out this article about Christmas Traditions in Croatia.