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Preface Last Updated: 3/2/2004 3:27 AM

A Post to Croatia combines the challenge of working and living in a newly emerging democracy with the enjoyment of living in a naturally beautiful country and a historically rich culture. Croatia, located in the center of Europe, declared independence from Yugoslavia in 1991, making it one of Europe’s youngest nations. The capital, Zagreb, has all the characteristics of a historic and modern central European city. Once a Consulate General in Socialist Yugoslavia, Embassy Zagreb has grown rapidly since its establishment in 1992. The Embassy relocated in 2003 to the southern part of the city, and now boasts one of the most modern Embassy buildings in Europe. The professional advantages of serving in a mid-sized and active Embassy, combined with the cultural and travel opportunities afforded by Zagreb’s location in the heart of Europe make for an enjoyable Post.

The Host Country

Area, Geography, and Climate Last Updated: 2/23/2004 4:35 AM

About the size of West Virginia, Croatia covers 56,500 km2 (21,829 mi2) of mainland and somewhat less than 32,000 km2 (12,316 mi2) of sea. The Adriatic coastline, which includes 1,185 islands, islets, and reefs -- of which only 66 are inhabited -- is 5,740 km (3,566 miles) long, and is famed for its clear waters. The highest peak is the Dinara Mountain at 1,831 m (5951 feet) above sea level. The republic swings around like a boomerang from the Pannonian Plains of Slavonia between the Sava, Drava, and Danube Rivers, across hilly central Croatia to the Istrian Peninsula, then south through Dalmatia along the rugged Adriatic coast. It is bordered by Slovenia to the north and north-west, Hungary to the northeast, Serbia-Montenegro to the east and southeast, and Bosnia and Herzegovina to the east and south. Croatia’s geography is diverse with its rocky coastline, densely wooded mountains, plains, lakes, and rolling hills. In an effort to preserve its environment, Croatia maintains eight national parks.

Zagreb’s climate is predominately continental, with hot and dry summers and cold winters. Rainy weather, with accompanying fog, is common in the fall from October through December. In winter, from December to March, snowfalls are common, occasionally heavy, and temperatures often dip below freezing. Zagreb's mean minimum and maximum daily temperatures are -7ş / 3ş C (20ş / 38ş F) in January; 15ş / 27ş C (60ş / 81ş F) in July. On the coast, the climate is typically Mediterranean with long, hot, dry summers and moderate but windy winters.

Population Last Updated: 3/2/2004 3:29 AM

According to the Republic of Croatia's 2003 Statistical Digest, Croatia’s population is 4.44 million. The population of Zagreb is 779,000. The last census was in 2001 -- the first since independence -- and it revealed the following breakdown of the population: 89.6% Croatian, 4.5% Serbian, 1.3% Moslem, 0.9% Rutheno-Ukrainian, 0.4% Italian, 0.4% Hungarian, and 2.8% "other" (including Albanians, Austrians, Bulgarians, Montenegrins, Czechs, Macedonians, Germans, Poles, Roma, Romanians, Russians, Slovaks, Slovenes, Turks, Vlachs and Jews). An estimated 2.3 million ethnic Croats live abroad, including almost 1.5 million in the United States. Pittsburgh, Cleveland and Buenos Aires have the largest Croatian communities outside Europe, though substantial communities also exist in Australia and Chile.

The 2001 census also reveals that Roman Catholics account for 87.8% of the population. The Orthodox community (Serbian, Russian, Greek, Romanian and other Orothodox faiths) represents another 4.4%, Moslems total 1.3%, and 5.2% of the population claim to be agnostics or atheists. The remaining 1.3% of the population includes Greek Catholics, Old Believers, Protestants (various denominations), Latter-Day Saints, and others.

Croatian is a South-Slavic language. Before the breakup of Yugoslavia, Croatian, Bosnian and Serbian were officially considered to be dialects of Serbo-Croatian. However, since independence this term is no longer used. Croatian uses Roman script and spelling is phonetic. Many people in Istria speak and understand Italian, and both English and German are widely spoken as second languages throughout the country.

Public Institutions Last Updated: 3/2/2004 3:33 AM

Croatia first emerged as a nation-state in 925 A.D. and later became a semiautonomous province of Hungary, a status that lasted until the collapse of the Austro-Hungarian Empire following World War I. Throughout the centuries, Croatia faced wave after wave of would-be conquerors, principally from the Venetian and Ottoman Empires. With the defeat of the Austro-Hungarian empire in WWI, Croatia became part of the Kingdom of Serbs, Croats, and Slovenes (called Yugoslavia after 1929) with a centralized government in the Serbian capital Belgrade. In 1939, an administrative reorganization granted Croatia some regional autonomy.

After the German invasion of Yugoslavia in March 1941, a puppet government dominated by the fascist Ustaša movement was set up in Croatia and Bosnia-Herzegovina under the leadership of Ante Pavelic. Pavelic proclaimed the Independent State of Croatia (Nezavisna Drzava Hrvatska -- NDH). The Ustaša launched an extermination campaign, murdering perhaps as many as 350,000 ethnic Serbs, Jews, Roma and Croats who disagreed with the regime.

At the end of WW II, Croatia became one of six federal republics of the new socialist Yugoslavia, under the control of the former partisan leader Josip Broz-Tito. Tito built a union which, despite unresolved underlying ethnic conflicts, lasted until well after his death.

In 1989, with political changes sweeping Eastern Europe, many Croats felt the time had come to end more than seven decades of union with the other Yugoslav republics and attain complete autonomy. In the April 1990 elections, Franjo Tuđjman’s Croatian Democratic Union (Hrvatska Demokratska Zajednica -- HDZ) easily defeated the old Communist Party. On May 30, the new Croatian Parliament was formally established, and on December 22, 1990, a new Croatian Constitution was promulgated.

On June 25, 1991, Croatia declared independence from Yugoslavia. The Serb minority opposed its secession and started a rebellion, backed by the Serbian-led Yugoslav army. During six months of fighting in Croatia, 10,000 people died, hundreds of thousands fled, and tens of thousands of homes were destroyed. By January 1992, when a U.N. cease-fire was agreed to, one-third of Croatia was under the control of the Serbs, who proclaimed their own republic of Krajina comprising three enclaves.

Croatia was formally recognized by the European Community (now European Union) on January 15, 1992. The U.S. recognized the new nation on April 7, 1992. Croatia became a U.N. member in May 1992. In August 1992, Tuđjman was elected President and his HDZ party won an absolute majority in the Lower House of Parliament.

In two blitz offensives in May and August 1995, the Croatian army reconquered the largest chunks of the Krajina, prompting an exodus of Serbs. In November 1995, Croatia agreed to peacefully reintegrate the last Serb enclave of Eastern Slavonia (located along the Danube River border with Serbia). In December 1995, Croatia signed the Dayton Peace Agreement, committing itself to a permanent cease-fire and the return of all refugees.

President Franjo Tuđjman died in December 1999. The January 2000 elections ushered in a new era for Croatia with the victory of a six-party coalition committed to democracy and the rule of law. Less than a month later, Stipe Mesic was elected president to replace Tuđjman. Together Mesic and the government worked to reduce the powers of the presidency in order to guard against the type of abuse of power that was common during the Tuđjman era. While the resulting Constitutional changes transferred much of the president’s authority to parliament, the president remains the head of state and commander-in-chief of the armed forces.

Since January 2000, Croatia's foreign policy has consistently focused on ending Croatia’s isolation and integrating into Euro-Atlantic institutions. The government has moved to implement policies to address the legacy of ethnic war, including cooperation with the International Crimminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY) at The Hague.

Elections in November 2003 brought about a return to power of the HDZ party. In a dramatic turnaround from the ethnocentric, nationalistic practices of party founder Franjo Tuđjman, Prime Minister Sanader has indicated that he seeks to forge stronger ties with the U.S. as Croatia continues to work towards qualification for membership in NATO and the EU. He has pledged full cooperation with the ICTY.

Arts, Science, and Education Last Updated: 3/2/2004 3:34 AM

Museums Croatia has over 200 museums, galleries, and museum collections, as well as 60 ecclesiastical and numerous private collections — a treasury of the cultural and natural heritage of Croatia.

The Mimara, one of Zagreb’s most prominent museums, contains the works of Rafael, Rubens, Velazquez, Goya, Rembrandt, Hals, Degas, and Pissaro. The Mimara has 42 exhibition halls and a multimedia center. The diverse collection also contains large sections of glassware, sculpture, and oriental art. The Strossmayer Gallery houses many of the Old Master works such as Boticelli, Bellini, Tintoretto, Veronese, and El Greco. The Archeological Museum contains one of Europe’s richest numismatic collections including some 260,000 samples of old coins, medals, medallions, and decorations. There are also Roman stone monuments dating back to the period from the first to the fourth centuries B.C. The Ethnographic Museum has collections of Croatian folk costumes, delicate pieces of lace from the Island of Pag, gold embroidered scarves from Slavonia, and the jewelry of Konavle. Also popular in Zagreb are the Museum of Contemporary Art and the Croatian Museum of Naive Art.

The works of Croatia’s most famous sculptors, Antun Augustincic and Ivan Mestrovic, are renowned beyond Croatia’s borders. Mestrovic’s works can be seen all around Croatia. His sculpture and architecture display a powerful classical style he learned from Rodin. His Zagreb studio and his retirement home in Split have been turned into galleries displaying his work. Croatian naďve art has also gained an international reputation. The most celebrated painters in the naive style are Ivan and Josip Generalic, Ivan Vecenaj, Mijo Kovacic, and Ivan Rabuzin.

Performing Arts Zagreb has 20 theaters, the oldest of which is the Croatian National Theater (Hrvatsko Narodno Kazalište -- HNK), founded more than a century ago and built in the neo-Baroque style. Culture historically was heavily subsidized, and admission to operas, ballets, and concerts is still reasonably priced. Opera tickets in Zagreb (October–May) can be purchased for USD 10-60 per performance. Operas are presented in their original languages, though the quality of performances can be hit or miss. Visiting opera companies from the region perform as well. Zagreb has a popular children’s puppet theater. Most theater is performed in Croatian. The Vatroslav Lisinski Concert Hall is the favorite place to hear the Zagreb Philharmonic Orchestra and various holiday musical concerts.

Croatian folk music has had many influences. The kolo, a lovely Slavic round dance in which men and women alternate in the circle, is accompanied by Gypsy-style violinists or players of the tambura, a three- or five-string mandolin popular throughout Croatia. The measured guitar-playing or rhythmic accordions of Dalmatia have a gentle Italian air. The Croatian folkloric ensemble “Lado” performs lively Mediterranean dance rhythms and sing folksongs with haunting voices.

Education Zagreb is a university center — home to some 40 graduate and undergraduate schools and over 80,000 students. Its first secular school was founded in the mid-14th century, and the first secondary school was established at the beginning of the 17th century. Zagreb University is one of the oldest universities in Europe, opened in the latter half of the 17th century. The roots of higher education began with the establishment of the Jesuit Gymnasium in 1632 to teach moral theology. Thirty years later, in 1662, the Academy for Philosophy was introduced. In 1669, Emperor Leopold granted the school the right to award doctorates. The cities of Split, Zadar, Osijek, and Rijeka also have universities.

Libraries Croatia has about 2,000 libraries: 166 rank as scientific libraries, 5 of which are university libraries. The University of Zagreb Library is also considered the National Library. There are 87 faculty libraries, 57 libraries attached to research institutes, and 1 central library (attached to the Croatian Academy of Arts and Sciences).

Cultural Institues in Zagreb include:

The French Institute has a library and reading room. CD’s and videos can be borrowed. Cultural activities include theater, films, dance, lectures, and concerts.

The Information Resource Center (IRC) of the U.S. Embassy in Zagreb offers up-to-date reference materials and advanced research services on a wide range of U.S. topics.

The Austrian Cultural Institute sponsors such activities as concerts, exhibitions, seminars, lectures, films, dance, and literary events.

The British Council has a large selection of books, periodicals, reviews, and videos. The Council promotes cultural, educational, and technical cooperation between Britain and other countries.

The Italian Cultural Institute in Zagreb has various cultural activities including films, concerts, shows, literary meetings, scholarships, and research assistance for students.

The Goethe Institute has a large public library with books, magazines, newspapers, CDs, and videos. Cultural activities include exhibits, film projections, concerts, dance and theater. The Institute sponsors language courses in German.

Commerce and Industry Last Updated: 2/24/2004 5:24 AM

Since independence twelve years ago, Croatia has achieved significant progress in developing a market economy and positioning itself regionally. The main thrust of current economic policy is to establish Croatia as a competitive market economy integrated into larger European and global markets.

The foundation for Croatia's integration into Europe is the 2001 Stabilization and Association Agreement (SAA) with the EU, which will enter into effect once ratified by all EU countries’ parliaments. Under an interim agreement in effect since January 2001, Croatia has established bilateral relations with the EU on trade, transportation and certain legal matters. The EU has unilaterally opened its market to most Croatian products. In February 2003, Croatia formally presented its application for EU membership.

Since independence, Croatia has had to completely reorient its trade after the loss of markets in the southern regions of former Yugoslavia. In 2002 almost 53% of Croatia’s exports went to EU and 58 percent to all developed countries. Italy, Germany, and Bosnia and Herzegovina are Croatia’s largest trading partners, followed by Slovenia and Austria. Imports from developed countries led by Italy and Germany accounted for one-third of total imports. Major European retail chains, such as Metro, Mercatone, Billa and Mercator are located in various cities, though predominantly in Zagreb.

Croatia’s GDP has grown continuously since 2000 with GDP per capita in 2003 exceeding $5,500. The average wage at the end of September 2003 was about $650 a month. An austerity program introduced in 1993 curbed inflation, which was running at 38% a month. It has remained stable since and as of November 2003 inflation in Croatia was 1.5%. Prices remained relatively stable and are comparable with costs in large, urban U.S. areas. The IMF estimates GDP rose by 5% in 2003. In 2002, industry accounted for 19.8% of GDP, public sector services 17.5%, agriculture 6.8%, trade 10%, transportation 9.6%, construction 4.5% and tourism 3% (this last figure only encompasses narrowly defined "hotels and restaurants" and does not capture the true importance of tourism in the Croatian economy). ILO unemployment in the first six months of 2003 was 14.1% down from a high in 1997 of 16.6%.

Among large state enterprises, which are privatized individually under separate laws, most of the banks and Croatian Telekom have been sold. Around a dozen other large industrial firms remain in government hands, as well as hundreds of smaller, usually debt-laden firms, often in agriculture and tourism. MOL of Hungary acquired 25 percent plus one share of the state oil company (INA) in July 2003.

In February 2003, the IMF approved a second Stand-By Arrangement for about $146 million to support the country’s economic and financial program through April 2004. Even though the Arrangement is only "precautionary", the SBA is important, since it underscores international support for the government's economic policies and boosts the country's international credit rating.

U.S. policy supports strengthening bilateral economic ties, particularly business relations. Investments by American citizens are in addition covered by the U.S.-Croatian Bilateral Investment Treaty, which entered into force in June 2001. Croatia is a member of the International Monetary Fund, IBRD, EBRD as well as CEFTA and WTO. Over the period 1993 - 2003 the U.S. was the third largest investor in Croatia, following Austria and Germany. Some of the main U.S. exports to Croatia include computer technology and pharmaceuticals. While much progress has been made, U.S. and other investors find that red tape and government inefficiency hamper investment, as does a slow and non-transparent judiciary. On Transparency International's Corruption Index, Croatia ranked 59th out of 133 countries (with 133 as the worst ranking).


Automobiles Last Updated: 3/2/2004 3:36 AM

Vehicles Personnel assigned to Croatia usually bring cars from the U.S. or from neighboring countries. Most people ship a vehicle, although it is possible to obtain used cars from people departing post or through the many auto dealers in Zagreb, as well as from the Aviano/Vicenza (Italy) military bases (a 4–5 hour drive from Zagreb). Among American manufacturers, General Motors, Harley-Davidson, Ford and Chrysler have authorized dealers and services in Zagreb. European, Korean and Japanese cars are much more popular in Croatia, and Zagreb has dealers representing Škoda, Citroën, BMW, Audi, Mercedes, Lada, Renault, Fiat, Opel, Mazda, Hyundai, Honda, Volkswagen, Volvo and Lancia, among others. The Aviano/Vicenza military bases have excellent AAFES dealer service on most U.S. and European cars.

Fuel Croatia has both gasoline and diesel fuel available. Unleaded gas is readily available, making it unnecessary to remove your catalytic converter. Unleaded gasoline sells for an average USD 1.10/liter (about USD 4.00/gallon) as of February 2004. The Embassy has made arrangements with the large chain of INA gasoline stations in Croatia to receive VAT and local taxes back on all gasoline purchases from their outlets, making the final price some 25% lower. Details on these tax refunds will be provided to new arrivals once they reach Post.

Spare parts can be difficult to find in Zagreb for American-made cars. Bring the usual spare parts, to include: oil, air and fuel filters, fanbelts, hoses, headlights, windshield wiper blades, a tune-up kit, spark plugs, and a full-sized spare tire. Spare auto parts are available through online outlets in the U.S. or AAFES in Aviano/Vicenza. Zagreb auto shops can usually perform service if the employee supplies the spare parts for American-made cars.

Vehicle Shipment Personnel assigned to Zagreb should take every precaution to ensure that their car does not arrive in Zagreb before they do, since Croatian Government regulations require that an employee be physically in the country in order to process the customs clearance and importation. In some cases, the car has arrived prior to the arrival of the employee and could not be cleared through customs until the employee arrived at post. The car had to remain in the customs compound in town resulting in damage through exposure, as well as incurring excessive storage fees. To facilitate the customs clearance when the car arrives, it is absolutely essential that the information requested below on the personally owned vehicle be submitted to GSO in advance of the car’s arrival. The importation process cannot start until the Croatian protocol issues the certificate for the personally owned vehicle, so GSO needs:

1. Make of vehicle, model, year, type, include number of doors, vehicle chassis number, color, weight, horsepower (HP), cubic centimeters (cm3), type of engine (gasoline or diesel), and other (specify) if any; and

2. Bill of sale or registration from previous city/country (or an invoice if newly-purchased); a letter from your previous insurance company showing the period of time without any accident (this letter may significantly lower your local insurance rates). If a car is purchased in Zagreb from another diplomat or another person with import privileges, the seller must provide the car’s Export Declaration.

Customs and Licensing If your car is shipped into Croatia through official channels, GSO will handle the customs clearance. GSO will take care of finalizing the importation papers, and will arrange for a safety (technical) inspection, insurance, registration, and license plates for your car. Employees are responsible for paying all fees related to the technical inspection, insurance and registration.

Local Liability Insurance Croatian law requires that all motor vehicle owners, including foreign diplomats, have locally-purchased liability insurance. GSO will assist you in obtaining this insurance as part of the registration process for your vehicle. The car’s engine size determines insurance cost, at a higher rate than U.S. rates. Most employees purchase collision and comprehensive insurance privately through an American company.

Rental Cars The large car rental chains represented in Croatia are Avis, Budget, Europcar, and Hertz. Independent local companies are often less expensive than the international chains. CLO can provide details on rental offices in Zagreb, including some offering specials for Embassy personnel.


Local Transportation Last Updated: 3/2/2004 3:36 AM

Public Transportation Zagreb boasts an efficient and widespread public transportation system that is both inexpensive and reliable. Tickets can be purchased singly or in booklets at most kiosks, newspaper stands or tobacconists (6.50 kuna each); passengers may also buy a ticket on-board the tram/bus -- at a higher price (8.00 kuna). Tickets are good for 90 minutes of travel in one direction, irregardless of the number of transfers -- but they must be validated upon entering the tram/bus. A day-pass (dnevna karta) good for unlimited trips until 4 am on the day following purchase can also be bought (18 kuna). Monthly and yearly passes (210 kuna and 2,100 kuna, respectively) are also available, but require passengers to first obtain a public transport photo-ID. The Human Resources Office can assist with this procedure. While it may be tempting to ride the trams without buying a ticket, plainclothes inspectors do randomly check passengers, and fines for riding without a validated ticket are steep (150-200 kuna). The Zagreb public transportation company's website, which includes tram and bus route maps, timetables, and information on fares and hours of operation, can be found at:

Funicluar Railway Zagreb's tiny funicular railway (Uspinjaca) is the oldest public-transportation system in Croatia. Built in 1890, it runs 82 meters steeply uphill from the main shopping street (Ilica) to the Medieval Upper Town (Gornji Grad). (3.00 kuna per ticket)

Taxis are available at taxi-stands throughout the city, or may be ordered by phone (tel. 970). Taxis are safe, but can be quite expensive. Standard meter rates are 25 kuna to start, and an additional 10 kuna per kilometer (USD 1.00 = 6.00 kuna as of Feb. 2004). Rates are higher after 10 pm, and on Sundays or Holidays.

Zagreb Driving is defined by narrow, crowded streets, and parking is often tight, making a mid- to compact-sized vehicle more practical. The number of cars in Croatia has been growing steadily over the last decade, and rush hour in Zagreb can now rival DC. Roads are in fair shape and are maintained and cleaned regularly. In winter, the main roads are plowed often, but secondary and side roads are not always cleared. The twisting roads in the hills outside the center of Zagreb are often treacherous in bad weather, so consider bringing snowtires for your car.

Driving outside of Zagreb can be frustrating if you are in a rush. Roads toward the coast experience heavy congestion on weekends. Primary roads are generally adequate, but may have only one (narrow) lane in each direction. An ambitious highway construction plan should be finished within the next few years -- completed sections are four-lane modern highways, and have significantly reduced travel time toward the coast in the summer. If you travel through former conflict areas, stay on paved roads to reduce the risk of encountering leftover mines. Emergency road help and information may be reached by dialing 987. For additional road condition and safety information, contact the Croatian Automobile Association (HAK) at telephone (385) (1) 455–4433.

Domestic Bus and Rail Service Trains are not generally the most efficient method of travel within country, since international borders have shifted since many rail lines were built; southern Dalamatia and the entire Istrian peninsula, for example, cannot be reached from Zagreb without transiting another country. Other rail routes within Croatia are infrequently serviced, slow, or more expensive than comparable bus service. One popular exception is the overnight auto-carrying train from Zagreb to Split that allows you to avoid crowded highways to the coast on busy summer weekends. Domestic bus service is, on the whole, more frequent and far less expensive than rail service. Complete bus schedules and fares can be found at: Rail schedules are available at:

Domestic Air Service Croatia Airlines offers service to Brac (4x weekly), Dubrovnik (daily), Pula (6x weekly), Rijeka (2x weekly), Split (daily) and Zadar (6x weekly). Flights are often full in summer months. The complete schedule can be found at:


Regional Transportation Last Updated: 3/2/2004 3:36 AM

Train Travel From the main Zagreb railway station (Glavni Kolodvor) there are daily international trains to Ljubljana, Vienna, Graz, Munich, Zurich, Budapest, Belgrade, Skopje, Sarajevo and Athens. Connecting through Ljubljana are trains to Trieste, Venice and Milan. The Croatian Railways website, including timetables, can be viewed at:

Bus Travel Zagreb's main bus station (Autobusni Kolodvor) has daily direct routes to a large number of cities within the region, including multiple destinations within Slovenia, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Serbia-Montenegro, Austria and Germany. Longer-distance bus lines run several times weekly to cities further afield, such as Budapest, Trieste, Skopje, Berlin, Barcelona, Madrid and Moscow. A complete timetable of arrivals and departures can be found at:

Air Travel Zagreb's International Airport is located 17 kilometers from the center of the city. Airlines serving Zagreb include Croatia Airlines, KLM, Lufthansa, Aeroflot, Air France, Austrian Airlines, CSA, LOT, Malev, TAROM and Turkish Airlines. There are frequent, direct flights available to many European locations, including: Amsterdam (2 hrs), Brussels (1ľ hrs), Budapest (1 hr), Frankfurt (1˝ hrs), London (2˝ hrs), Moscow (3 hrs), Munich (1 hr), Paris (2 hrs), Prague (1˝ hrs), Rome (2˝ hrs via Split), Vienna (1 hr) and Zurich (2 hrs). Flights to other destinations (including Tel Aviv, Warsaw, Skopje and Istanbul) operate several times weekly. The Zagreb Airport website, which includes an electronic flight schedule, can be found at:

Sea Travel Croatia's coastal towns and cities are well-served by both passenger and car-ferry services. A "coast-hopper" ferry runs regularly along the entire length of the coast from Rijeka to Dubrovnik, and there are also links to Croatia's sixty-six inhabited island -- though inter-island links are few. During the summer season (late May to late September), the frequency of ferry sailings is much greater, and fast hydrofoil services are added. The largest passenger ferry terminals are in Rijeka, Zadar, Split and Dubrovnik. International lines include connections to Ancona, Pescara, Bari and Trieste in Italy, as well as Igoumenitsa in Greece. Timetables and fare information for the four main passenger shipping lines serving Croatia are, in order of size and number of connections: Jadrolinija (, Adriatica (, Blue Line ( and SNAV (


Telephones and Telecommunications Last Updated: 3/2/2004 3:43 AM

Telephone service in Zagreb is good and reliable. The Croatian phone company (Hrvatski Telekom) is a foreign subsidiary of Deutsche Telekom, and you should expect to pay higher user rates than you would in the States. Long-distance calls to the U.S. are expensive (two to three times higher than calls placed from the U.S.), and calls to continental Europe are very expensive. International operators can be accessed directly for AT&T, MCI, and SPRINT. Some Embassy personnel use international call-back services, which can reduce rates substantially. The Croatian Post Office (Hrvatska Pošta) offers an international telegram service which is both inexpensive and reliable.

All government housing units have telephone service available at your expense. Monthly bills include a monthly service charge and a per-call charge. To use public telephones in Croatia, you’ll need tokens or a telephone card; both are sold at any post office. A 3-minute call from Croatia to the U.S. costs about USD 2.00.

To call the Embassy from abroad dial 00 (the international access code), 385 (the country code for Croatia), then 1–661-2200. After hours, dial 00-385-1-661-2400.


Telephones and Telecommunications

Wireless Service Last Updated: 2/18/2004 3:36 AM All direct-hires are issued a cell phone. However, you are responsible for all personal phone calls you make.

Employees will also receive a handheld radio for Post's Emergency radio Network. Post conducts monthly radio checks to ensure the network is functional and all equipment operational.


Internet Last Updated: 2/19/2004 6:59 AM

Internet Connections Zagreb has several Internet Service Providers (ISPs). General satisfaction with the services is good, though it is worth shopping around, as prices vary (even within companies). Services offered range from basic dial-up to broadband service (such as cable modem). Dial-up and ISDN connections are the most commonly-used services within the Embassy community. Both have good and bad points; dial-up is cheaper (but with a lower connection speed), while ISDN has superior connectivity (at a higher price). ISPs generally offer lower rates at night, usually starting after 7 PM.

Some of the local ISPs are:

CARNet tel. 0800-CARNET or 616-5616, e-mail:,

HTNet tel. 491-3800, e-mail:,

GlobalNet tel. 0800-0500 or 659-9000, e-mail:,

ISKON tel. 0800-1000 or 600-0700, e-mail:,

Net4U tel. 0800-444-444, e-mail:, tel. 091-7700, e-mail:,

Internet Cafés Rather popular in Zagreb, but have anywhere from 4-10 terminals. Most cafés charge USD 2.00-4.00 per hour for browsing, some have additional charges for printing.

@ VIP, Iblerov trg 10, tel. 091-209-1091

Aquarius Net, Drzislavova 4, tel. 461-8873

Art Net Club, Preradoviceva 25, tel. 455-8471

Charlie Net, Gajeva 4, tel. 488-0233

Cyber Cafe Sublink, Teslina 12, tel. 481-1329

Ergonet, Vojnoviceva 7, tel. 464-0901

INTER-NET CAFFE, Miramarska 36, tel. 611-2884

Iskoninternet - KIC, Preradoviceva 5/I, tel. 481-1758

Net kulturni klub mama, Preradoviceva 18 (in the courtyard), tel. 485-6400

SIC, Preradoviceva 33/I, tel. 481-7195

VIP, Preradovicev trg 5, tel. 483-0089

Computer Supplies There are several computer stores in Zagreb, but it is more affordable to buy equipment, computer games and supplies in the United States. CDs are available for sale in kiosks and in music stores. Computer paper, ribbon cartridges and other computer supplies are available both at some large bookstores and at specialty shops. Prices can be higher than in the U.S., but you can still usually find what you need if you run out.


Mail and Pouch Last Updated: 2/23/2004 4:43 AM

Department of State Diplomatic Pouch Post receives and sends official mail, personal letters, medical prescriptions, and magazines via pouch. Letter mail normally takes two weeks to reach Post; packages may require 2-3 weeks. Incoming packages cannot be bigger then 17 x 18 x 32 inches and cannot weigh more then 50 lbs. Address all pouch mail as follows:

Personal Mail: Employee’s Name 5080 Zagreb Place Dulles, VA 20189-5080

Official Mail: Employee’s Name 5080 Zagreb Place Washington, DC 20521-5080

International Mail Letters sent through the Croatian Postal Service (Hrvatska Pošta) take an average of 7-10 days to reach the U.S., and only a few days to get to other parts of Europe. Postage rates are currently about USD 1.40 for a 20-gram (˝-oz.) airmail letter to the States. Most people find the service reliable. The international mailing address for the Embassy is:

Employee’s Name American Embassy Zagreb Ul. Thomasa Jeffersona 2 10010 Zagreb, Croatia

APO/FPO Service Although Embassy Zagreb does not have local Army Post Office (APO) privileges, you can go to Aviano, Italy, to use the APO facility at the Airbase there.


Radio and TV Last Updated: 3/2/2004 3:47 AM

Broadcast Television The vast majority of the population gets their information from television, primarily Croatian Radio and Television (HRT). Croatian Radio and Television currently broadcasts on three national channels. In addition to HRT, there is another TV station which broadcasts on the national level, Nova TV, as well as a network of nine local TV stations, which broadcasts its daily news program on the national level. Croatia also has at least a dozen private, regional TV stations. Most of the Croatian channels show many American movies and sitcoms in English, with Croatian subtitles. Some television websites, including program listings and information, include:

Croatian Radio Television (HRT) Nova TV

Radio Croatian radio broadcasts are similar in format to Western European stations with the music being largely Western. The stations are diverse, playing pop (Top 40), classical, Jazz, oldies and some rock music. The most popular radio station in Zagreb is privately owned Radio 101. Other popular radio stations, in addition to Croatian Radio (HR), include Obiteljski radio, Otvoreni radio, Plavi radio and Narodni radio. Some Slovenian stations are recevied in Zagreb as well, and a sizable portion of the population listen to them. Radio websites, including live audio feed, include:

Obiteljski radio Radio 101

Cable and Satellite TV American TV (NTSC) is incompatible with the local Croatian transmission system (PAL). A PAL TV or a multi-system TV with PAL capacity is necessary if you want to view Croatian/European TV. It is also a good idea to have a multi-system VCR and/or DVD player; with many video/DVD stores operating in Zagreb there is a wide selection of recent movies. PAL or multi-system electronic equipment such as TV, VCR, DVD player, Satellite equipment and more can be purchased off the AAFES PX truck that comes to the Embassy once a week, or at the Aviano AB in Italy, where prices are lower then local prices.

Most Embassy personnel choose to have either a cable TV hook-up or a satellite dish, allowing receipt of German, Austrian, Slovenian, Italian, French and other channels, as well as BBC, CNN, and CNBC. Cable TV is only available in some regions of Zagreb, however.

AFN Service The Armed Force Network (AFN) can be received here in Zagreb. Most employees buy their dish locally and buy their receiver box from the PX truck or at Aviano. The AFN system has 7 channels, which receive popular sporting events and popular television shows from the states. The AFN system usually costs around USD 550 for the receiver and around USD 10-30 for the dish. Some personnel purchase their equipment directly from families departing Post.


Newspapers, Magazines, and Technical Journals Last Updated: 2/20/2004 5:00 AM

Local Press With five daily newspapers and three influential political newsweeklies, the Croatian public does not lack for sources of information beyond broadcast. However, for many Croatians the price of the dailies (6 kuna – approximately USD 0.95) and the weeklies (between 12 and 15 kuna – approximately USD 2.00) is far beyond what the majority can afford on a regular basis. The circulation of most print media tends to be relatively small and the vast majority of the population get the preponderance of all of their information from television, primarily Croatian Radio and Television (HRT).

There are five major daily papers in Croatia: Government-owned Vjesnik, mass-circulation Zagreb-based Vecernji list and Jutarnji list, Rijeka-based Novi list, and Split-based Slobodna Dalmacija. In addition, there are three major weeklies: Zagreb-based Globus and Nacional, and the Split-based Feral Tribune, plus a number of specialized weekly and monthly magazines, all with national circulation. The newspaper which reports most fully on Government activities is Vjesnik. The highest circulation dailies are Vecernji list and Jutarnji list. Associated Press, Reuters, and Agence France Press have offices in Zagreb.

Some useful websites for Croatian press include:

Globus Nacional Novi list Slobodna Dalmacija Vjesnik Vecernji list

Foreign press, including newspapers and magazines, can be found at newspaper kiosks all around the center of Zagreb. The International Herald Tribune and USA Today, as well as international editions of American and European news periodicals such as Time, Newsweek, or Paris Match, are also available. Daily newspapers and some reviews can be read in the reading rooms of the various cultural centers and libraries in town.

Books Two English-language bookstores in the center of Zagreb sell paperbacks, technical and educational materials, children’s books, and computer software, all at considerably higher prices than in the U.S. Magazine subscriptions from the U.S. by mail are more economical, and the selection of books is much greater through book-buying services on the Internet or a book club/catalog. The CLO maintains a small library of used books that people donate and swap.

Health and Medicine

Medical Facilities Last Updated: 3/2/2004 3:50 AM

Embassy Health Unit The Embassy maintains a small Health Unit staffed by a contract American Nurse and a Croatian pediatrician/general physician. Health Unit hours are Monday-Friday 0730 – 1600 for the conctract Nurse, and Mondays 1000 – 1200 for the Croatian physician. These personnel are always on call. They can make referrals for specialist consultations; arrange for hospitalization, labwork, and medications; and treat routine, minor illnesses.

The Regional Medical Officer (RMO) in Vienna (Tel: 43-1-31339, ext. 2255; or 6-8-872-2255 using the Embassy’s IVG lines) usually visits quarterly. The Regional Psychiatrist (RMO/P) is also located in Vienna and visits posts as needed (usually one-two times a year). Scheduled visits are announced in Management Notices and through the Embassy newsletter, the Buzin Buzz.

The purpose of the Health Unit is to provide limited urgent health care services for employees and eligible family members. The Health Unit can provide an initial evaluation of illness, well-baby checks, immunizations and blood pressure checks. The Health Unit is not intended to substitute for the services of a primary health care provider. The Health Unit stocks some basic medications for minor illnesses.

You and your family should have complete medical and dental physicals before coming to Zagreb. Zagreb has many local pharmacies, and some of them even provide 24-hour service. However, persons taking medications on a regular basis should consider making arrangements with a pharmacy or relative in the United States to ship needed medications and medical supplies through the pouch, as pharmaceuticals in Croatia can be expensive.

Croatian health facilities, although generally of Western caliber, are under severe strain. Hospitals and other facilities are often dated, and standards of appearance are lower than what U.S. residents are accustomed to. The medical competency locally is adequate, but not high. Embassy personnel requiring hospitalization or consultations outside Zagreb are usually authorized travel to Italy, Vienna, or London, depending on the problem and availability of specialists.

Health and Medicine

Community Health Last Updated: 2/23/2004 4:44 AM

The public water supply is considered safe in all major cities in Croatia; the water in Zagreb is high in mineral content. Naturally carbonated mineral water (mineralna voda) is customarily sold in restaurants and stores. Sterilized long-life milk is available and has a shelf-life of six months. Fresh milk is pasteurized, but spoils quickly. Fresh fruits and vegetables are of good quality, plentiful in season, and safe to eat using washing precautions normally followed in the U.S. Fish, meats, and poultry should be cooked well. Sewage and garbage disposal is adequate.

Health and Medicine

Preventive Measures Last Updated: 2/23/2004 4:44 AM

Personnel should have their shot records up-to-date and be immunized against tick-borne encephalitis, which is prevalent in the hills and forests around Zagreb. Encephalitis shots are available from the Embassy Health Unit. A flu shot is also recommended before winter, and can also be obtained through the Health unit. In Zagreb, sinus and respiratory ailments are aggravated by dry wintertime air, and springtime can provoke allergy problems. In some areas of the city, foxes and other small mammals are known to carry rabies. Otherwise, Zagreb is a healthy post.

Employment for Spouses and Dependents Last Updated: 2/23/2004 4:45 AM

Dependents of American personnel interested in employment should participate in the FLO Skills Bank Program and provide the Human Resources Officer, before arrival, with as much information as possible on skills and previous experience. Several positions exist at Post which are reserved for Eligible Family Members (EFMs). These jobs are typically secretarial or clerical in nature, and can be full- or part-time. At present, EFM positions at Post include: GSO assistant, RSO secretary, two CLO positions, and several security escort positions. The Management Office tries to offer short-term contracts to dependents, especially in cases where the dependent is not a U.S. citizen.

Several spouses have taught or worked as teacher’s aides at the American International School of Zagreb. Teacher certification is required to teach at AISZ. Outside the Embassy, job opportunities for dependents are limited. There are many humanitarian relief/international organizations (based in the U.S. or other parts of Europe) in town, though these job opportunities are limited, especially now that the war in the former Yugoslavia has ended and many organizations are downsizing. If you are interested in working for any of these organizations, contact the organization in the U.S. The local community offers some volunteer jobs.

Occasionally, post has summer-hire positions available to minor dependents who are at post for a short time and want to work.

American Embassy - Zagreb

Post City Last Updated: 3/2/2004 3:51 AM

Zagreb, a city of some 779,000 people (2003 data), is the political, cultural, scientific, industrial, and commercial center of Croatia. The city is located between the green hillsides of Mount Medvednica in the north and the Sava River in the south. Sljeme (3,354 feet) is a mountain park on the peak of Medvednica, easily accessible from the city by public transportation. It has many hiking trails and during the winter skiing and sledding are possible when there is enough snow. Zagreb is an ancient trading center with an old Central European look to it, reminiscent of Lvov, Prague, Krakow and other former Austro-Hungarian provincial cities. Narrow streets slip between the walls of former houses of 18th-century nobility, and gardens bloom in the center. In the spring and summer the streets are lined with outside cafes that are always full of people enjoying coffee or a beer.

Medieval Zagreb developed from the 11th–13th centuries in the twin towns of Kaptol and Gradec. In Kaptol, the oldest part of town, is found the cathedral of Sveti Stjepan, the Bishop’s Palace, and remains of the towers from an 11th century fortress. On an adjoining hill of the upper city called Gradec, there are the ancient city gates, St. Mark’s Church (which sports a distinctive multicolored tiled roof), several museums, the Parliament building, and other government offices. Historically, Kaptol was the seat of the diocese, but Gradec was a free royal city, and the two towns often fought one another for precedence, particularly during the 15th and 16th centuries. Fortunately, the city weathered both WWII and the chaotic period that followed Yugoslavia’s breakup without sustaining significant damage.

In the late 19th century, the city spread out onto the flat area between the hills and river. Since WWII extensive high-rise construction has occurred in "New Zagreb" (Novi Zagreb) across the Sava to the south.

Security Last Updated: 3/2/2004 3:51 AM

There are no specific terrorist threats against Americans in Croatia. The city is considered safe by U.S. standards. Despite the low crime rate, the RSO recommends that travelers adhere to standard precautions to protect themselves. Burglaries of Embassy residences are infrequent, averaging about two per year. Residents should use all of the locks and external lights provided to deter burglary. During lengthy absences from Post, employees should make arrangements for housesitters or colleagues to routinely check on their residence. Be aware of your surroundings and maintain a low profile. Do not carry a wallet or purse, whenever possible. If necessary, carry wallets in front pockets, and shoulder bags tightly agains the body with clasps facing inwards. Wear waist packs in the front. Pay particular attention to your surroundings if in a crowd or using public transportation, and guard your valuables when getting on and off public transportation at train or tram stations. Leave extra cash, credit cards and important documents at home, or in your hotel safe. Carry copies of important documents and passports separately from the originals. Lock your vehicle and do not leave valuables inside, as thefts from parked vehicles are not uncommon. A more detailed security briefing is required for all newly-arrived Embassy personnel, and a briefing is available upon request for TDYers or other visitors.

The Post and Its Administration Last Updated: 3/2/2004 3:52 AM

History The official American presence in Zagreb goes back at least to 1920, when the American Consulate in Zagreb, Kingdom of the Serbs, Croats, and Slovenes, was established. The Consulate remained open in the Kingdom of Yugoslavia until World War II began. At that time, the records indicate that American diplomatic personnel departed between May 1 and 14, 1941, in response to the German capture of Zagreb, and subsequent establishment of the Nezavisna Država Hrvatska (the fascist Ustašha government).

The Consulate in Zagreb was reopened after the war on May 9, 1946 and orignially housed in small offices near the Botanical Garden. In 1951, the government of Yugoslavia donated a building now known as Hebrangova 2 to the U.S. government and, in 1953, the Consulate moved into the building that it was to occupy for the next fifty years. The Consulate was elevated to the status of Consulate General on August 1, 1958, and the first Consul General arrived later that year.

On August 25, 1992, the Consulate General was elevated to the status of Embassy after the establishment of diplomatic relations between the United States of America and the new Republic of Croatia. On June 2, 2003, the U.S. Embassy opened its new chancery in Buzin on the southern outskirts of Zagreb.

Staffing Agencies represented at Post are: Department of State, Department of Defence, Foreign Commercial Service, U.S. Agency for International Development, Department of Agriculture, and Department of the Treasury, as well as a Marine Security Detachment. There are 62 American and 214 locally-engaged personnel at the Embassy (as of February 2004).

Workweek Embassy Zagreb has a flextime program in place, with various work schedules possible between 7 am and 5:30 pm. The core hours of Embassy operation are Monday-Friday, 8 am to 4:30 pm.

Additional Information The Department of State's IntraNet Post Profiles offer a great deal of information on post management, including lists of key officers and telephone numbers.


Temporary Quarters Last Updated: 2/18/2004 4:16 AM

Newcomers almost always occupy their assigned quarters immediately upon arrival. If leased housing is unavailable, they may stay in a temporary apartment or at a hotel in town (Dubrovnik, Sheraton, and Opera are the three most-commonly used), which are all within the per diem rate. However, few hotels in Zagreb accept pets and kenneling can be difficult to arrange.


Permanent Housing Last Updated: 3/2/2004 3:52 AM

General The U.S. Government owns the Ambassador’s residence. All other housing is short-term leased. The Embassy has a pool of detached houses, townhouses, and apartments located mostly toward the north of the center of town. Properties range from small downtown apartments to large modern houses. With the relocation of the Embassy to a New Embassy Compound on the southern outskirts of the city, commute times for personnel now average 30-45 minutes. Housing assignments are made by the post Interagency Housing Board and comply with Department of State space standards. Standards take family size and position grade into consideration. Housing units generally contain two to four bedrooms. Any special needs or requirements should be conveyed to your sponsor or to GSO. The Embassy provides a Hospitality Kit containing bed and bath linens, pillows, blankets, dishes, flatware, pots and pans, etc. You must return this Kit when your household effects (HHE) arrive, so pack accordingly.

In recent years, single-family housing has become more readily available in Zagreb, and the housing pool is being constantly updated. However, gardens, play areas, pet areas, and off-street parking are not always available and cannot be guaranteed.

Room layout can seem unusual to the American eye, and room sizes, especially bedrooms, are often small. European appliances are smaller than their American counterparts and occasionally cannot be replaced by American ones because of size and plumbing constraints. Closets and storage space are at a premium. In most houses, built-in closets are not available for storage, but rather armoires and other pieces of furniture are used. Post has neither storage to accommodate personal effects nor funds to pay for commercial storage. In some areas of Zagreb, infrastructure deficiencies mean that problems with low water pressure or voltage fluctuations often cannot be fixed.

Chief of Mission Residence The Ambassador’s residence, a 65-year-old, U.S. Government-owned residence located on the hills to the north of downtown, is a multilevel house with grounds and a tennis court. The representational area includes a home office, living room, dining room, and breakfast/sunroom. Private quarters consist of three bedrooms and two full baths. Guest quarters located in the lower level of the house consist of a bedroom, full bath, living room, and small kitchenette. The uppermost level contains another spare bedroom and attic storage area. The residence grounds have a terrace and are suitable for large summer garden parties.


Furnishings Last Updated: 2/18/2004 4:20 AM

Chief of Mission Residence As well as basic furniture, the house contains three freezers, four refrigerators, washer, dryer, two dishwashers, two vacuum cleaners, official china, glassware and utensils, linens, blender, icemaker, microwave oven, coffeemakers, two range ovens, copy machine, table fan, two TVs, four humidifiers, rug shampoo machine, and a stereo system.

DCM Residence As well as basic furniture, the house contains one freezer, three refrigerators, washer, dryer, dishwasher, vacuum cleaner, official china and glassware, cookware and utensils, guest room linens, food processor, microwave oven, coffeemaker, one range with oven, and one TV with satellite tuner. Outdoor furniture is also provided.

All other quarters have standard living room, dining room, and bedroom furniture (periodically replaced on a rotating basis), including refrigerator, freezer (space permitting), electric range oven (sometimes the house has a European stove), table lamps/ceiling fixtures, rugs, vacuum cleaner, microwave, and washer and dryer. The provision of window coverings varies from agency to agency, depending upon their regulations. All homes have contact smoke detectors, carbon monoxide detectors, and fire extinguishers. The Mission provides each State Department unit with a set of State Department furniture. Personnel assigned to other agencies at post should ask their agency directly on what is and is not provided.

Dishwashers, electric overhead fans, floor lamps, stepladders, additional wardrobes, and spaceheaters are installed/provided in some housing. Bring your own baby furniture, tools, china, linens, glassware, shower curtains, pillows, special office furniture (computer desk or printer stand), small appliances (toasters, coffeepots, irons, etc.), and kitchenware. Such items as glassware, food containers, and small electrical appliances are freely available here.


Utilities and Equipment Last Updated: 3/2/2004 3:53 AM

Basic Information All quarters have heating and hot water. The housing board policy allows for the installation of one air-conditioner (either a split-pack or a window unit) for each occupied bedroom. Most cooking is by electric range oven, but a few units have gas ranges. Washers and dryers are provided in each residence, though plumbing issues prevent the installation of American-sized machines in some units.

Electric Standard electric power is 220v, 50 cycles. Outlets are standard Central-European (German)type with 2 round prongs. The Embassy provides at least two transformers per home. Transformers are not readily available in Croatia, but Aviano AFB, Italy, sometimes has them in stock. Adapter plugs can be found at most U.S. military bases and travel stores in the States. Plan to bring a supply of small transformers, dual-voltage, or 220v appliances, since transformers are limited in quantity. (Note that 110v/60Hz appliances such as turntables, clocks, etc., often will not operate correctly even when used with a transformer unless other adjustments are made. These adjustments usually must be performed by a trained technician and can be expensive.) A power-surge regulator is recommended for personal computers, and all other expensive electronic equipment. Surge protectors puchased in the U.S. may not function properly in Croatia.

Telephone Where a phone line does not already exist, Post will pay to install a telephone in each home. Extra lines, such as for internet service, must be paid for by employees. Service charges on phone lines include a basic monthly fee, plus metering charges for all outgoing calls. The telephone company sends monthly invoices to you, but Post pays all other utilities (electricity, water, heating, garbage removal) for all homes.

Food Last Updated: 3/2/2004 3:54 AM

Local Supermarkets The Embassy community shops at a variety of large, well-stocked stores - Metro (Austrian), Mercatone (Italian), Mercator (Slovenian), Billa (Austrian), Getro and Superkonzum (both Croatian) - which contain American, German, Italian, Austrian and Slovenian and Croatian products. There are also small but well-stocked grocery stores within a 10-15 minute walk from most of the Embassy housing areas around the city. The larger supermarkets all accept western credit cards.

Farmers' Markets (sing. -- trznica) are located in many parts of the city. These markets are mostly outside, although Dolac, the biggest of all, has some stalls in a covered building. There is always a large selection of seasonal fresh produce, fruits, fresh herbs, dried spices, nuts, dried fruits, “out of season” imported fruits and vegetables, as well as “fresh from the farm” sour cream, eggs and cheese.

Bakeries Delicious and inexpensive fresh bread is baked and sold in numerous bakeries (sing. -- pekarna) around the city. Preservatives are not used, so fresh bread must be bought daily, or frozen.

Larger open-air markets sell flowers, plants, clothing items and handicrafts. For shoppers with limited or no Croatian language skills, vendors will sometimes help you understand prices by showing you the numbers quoted on a calculator. Payment is in kuna. Most major neighborhoods have a nearby food market, even if it is small. The main market, Dolac, is located right in the center of the city, off the central square.

Besides all large grocery stores, fresh meat can be bought in special shops (mesnica) all around the markets. Pork, beef and chicken are the most popular types of meat; they are safe to buy, but the selections differ from U.S. cuts. Lamb is also available, though not everywhere. There is a large selection of sausages, smoked meats, salamis and prosciutto (pršut), with prices comparable to those in the States. There is also a wide variety of dairy products, including lower-fat varieties. Cheese and yogurt are good and inexpensive. Fresh and long-life milk is available.

As mentioned before, the American personnel at the Embassy have privileges to shop at the military commissaries and AAFES stores in Aviano and Vicenza, Italy, each about a 4-5 hour drive from Zagreb. Meat is generally cheaper and of greater variety at Aviano and Vicenza than in Zagreb. There is also the possibility to order items from a military base in Tuzla, Bosnia and Herzegovina. An AAFES PX truck with orders comes once a week to the Embassy compound. It carries a limited variety of health/hygiene supplies, small electronics, computer supplies, cameras/photo supplies, canned and frozen foods, cleaning supplies, small appliances and snack foods. The PX in Tuzla does not carry infant, kids and pet supplies, wines or liquors. The CLO office will assist you with placing your order for the PX truck from Tuzla.

What To Bring With You

If you are a fan of ethnic cuisine, be prepared to bring your own supply of spices and sauces, order (non-liquid items) through mail order, and to buy a large amount of the basics at the U.S. military bases in Italy. Although the spice and ethnic food selection in Zagreb has improved recently, there is still room for improvement. And, although the stores are stocking far more Asian and Mexican fare, they are expensive, usually dinner kits and much higher in sodium than you may be used to. Ethnic fare is available here, though in many cases is a far cry from the original. If you do not grow your own coriander, your only other source is the U.S. bases in Italy or the PX truck, as it is has not made an appearance in the stores.

For bakers: cake mixes, brownie mixes, prepared frostings, and graham crackers (for pie crusts) are not available except through the PX truck or the U.S. military bases in Italy. You can order many essentials from King Arthur Flour’s The Baker’s Catalogue (also on-line) and Penzey’s Spices (also on-line).

Cheddar and Parmesan cheeses might be hard to find in Zagreb. They are available from the commissaries at Aviano and Vincenza. But the cheeses available locally are wonderful! The local gorgonzola and bleu cheeses are far less pungent than their original counterparts.

Ziplock bags are not available locally. If you use them frequently you might consider bringing a package or two in your baggage.

Clothing Last Updated: 2/20/2004 5:49 AM

When shopping for clothing you will find that Zagreb is a city where the little “boutiques” abound. The little stores have a satisfactory selection of goods, mostly imported from Italy, Austria or Germany, and this is the main reason why the prices may vary tremendously according to the quality and origin of the items. Many Croatians however prefer to shop for clothing, as well as for kitchenware, furniture, and houseware directly from Austria, Italy and Germany since they consider the prices are lower there. Ilica is Zagreb’s most fashionable shopping street. One can continue along Gajeva, Francopanska, Radiceva and Vlaska streets to see more of the same stores. There are several stores that sell brand products, such as Benetton, Donna Karan, Osh Kosh, Max Mara, Esprit, etc.

While good-quality clothing can be found locally, prices are generally much higher than those in the U.S.; most Embassy personnel choose to shop on-line, through mail-order, at the U.S. military bases in Italy, or on day-trips to Graz. Some catalogs are available in the CLO office.

Zagreb has several very nice, but expensive tie shops with designs which incorporate ancient Croatian motifs and symbols -- appropriate, since the cravat was derived from the scarlet bands worn around the necks of Croatian military auxiliaries, thus bringing the necktie into European fashion.


Men Last Updated: 2/23/2004 4:53 AM

Most entertaining is informal (coat and tie) or casual. The annual Marine Corps and Fašnik Balls are black-tie or equivalent military dress. Seasonal clothing needs are similar to those of New York or Washington, D.C.


Women Last Updated: 2/20/2004 6:01 AM

Most women tend to wear skirts or dresses in the summer, and slacks in the winter. Women's suits, dress pants, and knitwear are practical and often worn to lunches, receptions, and parties. At least one formal dress is recommended for the annual Marine Corps and Fašnik Balls.

If you are a woman, and larger than a size 10, you will find it difficult to find what you are looking for in Zagreb. Many members of the Embassy community have found it necessary to shop at stores in Graz, Austria (a 2˝-hour drive from Zagreb) at the U.S. military bases in Italy, on-line, or by mail order. Be advised also that 100% cotton products are hard to come by -- and when available, they tend to be expensive and of varying quality and performance.


Children Last Updated: 2/20/2004 6:06 AM

Children Bring a supply of children's clothes. Snowsuits, heavy jackets, coats, hats, mittens, ski pants, and warm boots are necessary for winter when temperatures go below freezing and snow and ice can linger on the ground for weeks at a time. For summer bring clothes for sports such as tennis and swimming. Temperatures reach 35ş C (95ş F) frequently in summer, so shorts and T-shirts are a necessity. You'll save yourself a lot of time and hassle if you think ahead and bring special items like Halloween costumes, soccer cleats, ballet shoes with you.

Infants If you have an infant when you arrive, bring clothing in all sizes for the next several months and then plan on ordering the next size immediately. There are several local stores that stock infant and toddler clothing, but they tend to be very expensive, and may not have what you need when you need it. A down-filled baby bag for babies and toddlers for use in the stroller is very useful. You can find U.S. brand-name disposable diapers in Zagreb, but they are pricier than what you would pay in the States, so most parents find it necessary to buy in bulk at the U.S. military bases in Aviano and Vicenza. Children's shoes are widely available in Zagreb, of good quality at reasonable prices. Some parents also shop for children's items at the Toys-R-Us in Graz, Austria (a 2˝-hour drive from Zagreb).


Office Attire Last Updated: 2/13/2004 8:24 AM

Office attire is the same as in Washington, DC.

Supplies and Services

Supplies Last Updated: 2/23/2004 4:56 AM

Shopping Malls The closest thing you’ll find in Zagreb to the varied selections of an American mall is the Importanne Centar, situated underground in Starcevicev Trg, across the street from the main railroad station and Hotel Esplanade. There is also Importanne Galerija, on Vlaska Street. A third mall in Zagreb is called Kaptol Centar, is situated on Nova Ves not far from the main square. Each of these malls includes numerous boutiques and coffee shops, one or two grocery stores and pharmacies. There is a large new shopping center called King Cross on the outskirts of Zagreb in the direction of Ljubljana. It has a variety of clothing and shoes shops for adults and kids, toys shops, a large sport department, and a big supermarket (Ipercoop) where you can find everything from fresh bread, meat, fruits and vegetables to garden supplies, household appliances and clothes. Another large store, similar to a Walmart, is Mercatone, located about 20 km (13 miles) from downtown Zagreb. The malls in the central district have underground parking, which makes them easily accessible by car. King Cross and Mercatone also have huge outdoor parking lots.

Pet Supplies Pet food and litter are widely available in supermarkets. Available brands: Lambs, Whiskas, Friskies, Pedigree, Hill’s Science Diet, Eukanuba, Purina, Chappi. There are specialty pet stores with large selections in Zagreb, many of which cater particularly to dogs.

Veterinary Services Several well-trained veterinarians practice in Zagreb, including some who make house calls. There is also a clinic which keeps animals for extended periods of time when surgery is necessary. The CLO can provide more information to employees after arrival at Post.

Party Supplies In general, these types of items are all available here—again, at much higher costs than in the States. Local bookstores often carry charming Croatian greeting cards. Bring “Thank You” cards, “You’re Invited” cards, “Get Well” and “Sympathy” cards if you use them, as they can be difficult to find in Zagreb.

Photo/Film There are stores all over the city that develop film on a few hours/next day basis. You can also buy film at these places. Some Embassy members do all their film developing through US mail order companies.

Children's Supplies Bring a supply of children's gifts, wrapping paper, party supplies, and cards for birthday parties and holidays. The local toy stores have a satisfactory selection, but they lack educational toys, the prices are higher than in the U.S., quality varies, and the video/computer games are made for the European system. There is an English-language book store with some children's books and cassettes, but most parents subscribe to children's book clubs or order books from catalogs through the mail. Parents of children at the American School of Zagreb have the opportunity to order books from the Scholastic Book Club every two months or so.

Coloring books, crayons, magic markers, chalk, glue, birthday favors and presents will come in handy. If you already have a supply of these items, plan on bringing them with you. Again, you will be able to find them in Zagreb, but they will be more expensive. If your child’s (ren’s) birthday will occur in your first few months at post, you should bring all birthday party items (such as decorations, invitations, goodie bags and favors) in your suitcases or airfreight. You may, however, with a little ingenuity and store hopping, find pretty much everything available locally for a party.

Supplies and Services

Basic Services Last Updated: 2/20/2004 6:08 AM

Tailors, dressmakers and cobblers are available locally and offer excellent service at fair prices. Fabric is available at bargain prices and all you need is a picture from a catalog, and most items of clothing can be duplicated. Local dry cleaners, beauty and barber shops, radio and small electronics repair shops, and other service facilities are adequate and reasonably priced. Beauty treatments are available such as facials, waxing, tanning, massage, manicures and pedicures by appointment.

Supplies and Services

Domestic Help Last Updated: 2/18/2004 7:45 AM

Official Residence Staff In Zagreb the Ambassador is authorized three domestic employees, in addition to gardening services. The DCM is authorized a housekeeper and a cook.

Local Hired Help Most families at post do not have live-in employees. Families tend to hire a housekeeper, babysitter, waiter, or caterer on a temporary, or as-needed basis. Help for special occasions can be recommended by the CLO or others in the international community. There are many young university students in Zagreb who speak English and like to baby-sit. The average wage for child care is USD 4.00-6.00 per hour.

If employed on a full time basis (40 hours/week), the employer's total costs would be approximately:

Maid USD 700 - 1,000 Cook USD 1,200 - 1,400 Driver USD 1,000 - 1,200 Gardener USD 1,000 - 1,200

These are gross monthly salaries. The employer is responsible for making all social security contributions, while the employee is responsible for reporting and paying personal income tax.

If employees are employed from time to time, or just a few hours per week, there is no employer-employee relationship, and employees are generally paid at an hourly rate. Hourly rates vary:

Maid USD 4.00 - 7.00 per hour Cook USD 7.00 - 9.00 per hour Driver USD 5.00 - 7.00 per hour Gardener USD 5.00 - 7.00 per hour

Third-Country Nationals If you are planning to bring a domestic employee to Post, the Government of Croatia requires the individual to be declared through the local police (Department for Foreigners). The Human Resources Office can assist in this process.

Religious Activities Last Updated: 2/18/2004 7:32 AM

As the rest of Croatia, Zagreb is predominantly Roman Catholic, but the Serbian Orthodox, Lutheran, Baptist, Church of Christ, Seventh-day Adventist, Muslim and Jewish faiths are also represented. There is an English-speaking Catholic group which has regular Sunday mass, and a First Communion and CCD program for the children. Jewish services are held in the Jewish Community Center on Friday evenings, as there is no operational synagogue in Croatia.


Dependent Education

At Post Last Updated: 3/2/2004 3:55 AM American School Presently most of the school-age children at Post attend the American International School of Zagreb (AISZ). AISZ accepts children from Junior Kindergarten (must be 4 by October 1 of the year of entrance) through 10th grade. The school should be contacted in advance to arrange for 11th- or 12th-grade programs.

The school is located in a residential neighborhood about 10 minutes from the city center in the north hills of Zagreb where the majority of personnel reside. The school has 12 classrooms, a library, two computer laboratories, an art room, workrooms, a cafeteria, and a multi-purpose room. There is a playfield and a playground, an outdoor basketball court, and a gym is leased from the adjoining seminary. There are 172 children (Americans, other foreigners temporarily residing in Croatia, and Croatians) enrolled for the 2003-2004 school year; about 40% are from the Embassy community. The school year usually begins the last week of August and dismisses the second or third week in June. Vacations are comparable to those ordinarily observed in the U.S.

Parents of school aged children should contact the CLO as soon as possible after assignment so that the Embassy can request that space be reserved for your children. You may wish to visit the school website, where you will find a lot of information about the school as well as the enrollment form. Questions about the school can be addressed to

The school has increased in enrollment in the last few years and has begun a search for a new facility in Zagreb.

The curriculum is based on that of U.S. public schools and the International Baccalaureate in the high school. Instruction is in English. English as a Second Language instruction is offered to students with limited English proficiency. There is no special education available, however a resource teacher is employed to assist children with minor needs who can function in the regular classroom. The foreign language program includes German and French classes that start in senior kindergarten. Croatian is not taught at the school, except as an after-school activity.

The children take the WrAP standardized test annually. Students in the high school take PSATs and SATs.

Tuition and transportation costs for dependents are covered in full by Post's educational allowance, though State Department regulations forbid payment for field trips, including mandatory ones. Tuition fees for Junior Kindergarten are not covered by the educational allowance, and currently stand at USD 4,600 per year. A Croatian bus company provides transportation to and from school.

Extracurricular activities include karate, Tae Kwon Do, ice-skating, tennis, swimming, piano, guitar, ballet and modern dance, and soccer. Private tutoring in various languages is also available. The cost for children to participate in these activities with a private instructor, or in a club, is comparable to or less than prices in the U.S.

IB Program For high school-age dependents there is a Croatian International Baccalaureate Program that offers the Diploma Program in English for Grades 11 and 12 in Zagreb. The school also offers the Middle Years program, for grades 9 and 10. The school is officially accredited by the Croatian government and by the International Baccalaureate Organization from Geneva, Switzerland. The tuition is € 5200 per year – to include tuition, books, one meal daily (for the Diploma Years) and two school trips.

Preschools and Junior Kindergartens There are several English-speaking playschools and kindergartens in Zagreb. Most of them are private, with a program that runs from 8:30 am to 1:30 pm; some have a longer day (until 3:00 pm). Private programs are more expensive than the state-run Croatian kindergartens, and tend to have fewer children in each classroom. If you decide to put your child in a Croatian kindergarten, be aware that as a non-resident of Zagreb, you will be charged more than a resident.

Most preschools and junior kindergartens start enrollment in May and charge an enrollment fee.


Dependent Education

Away From Post Last Updated: 2/23/2004 4:58 AM Some Embassy personnel with high school-age children have chosen in the past to send their 11th- and 12th-grade children to boarding schools in England, Italy or Switzerland. Others have sent them to the U.S. for schooling. Check with the Human Resources Office for eligibility and details.


Special Needs Education Last Updated: 2/20/2004 7:06 AM

There is no special-needs education program available at the American International School of Zagreb. Such programs at other schools in Zagreb are Croatian-language instruction only.


Higher Education Opportunities Last Updated: 2/20/2004 7:08 AM

Croatian language classes are offered at the Embassy during office hours to interested American personnel and dependents, subject to the availability of funds. The Embassy currently contracts with a Croatian firms that provides teachers. Croatian language classes taught in English are also available at the University of Zagreb.

Recreation and Social Life

Sports Last Updated: 2/23/2004 4:58 AM

Zagreb has a variety of recreational facilities. The following sports are popular: skiing, ice-skating, hunting, waterpolo, handball, basketball, tennis, soccer, and sailing. For swimming, Zagreb has several indoor/outdoor swimming pools with lap lanes, diving platforms, and baby pools. There are many private tennis clubs. The cost to play once a week is about USD 150 a year; indoor courts are available in winter at similar prices. Squash, racquetball and/or handball courts are available at certain clubs and can be rented by the hour. All Embassy personnel can schedule court time on a hard clay tennis court at the Ambassador’s residence.

Basketball is popular in Zagreb; from October to April professional games take place at the Cibona Centar. Professional soccer (football to the Croatians) attracts an ardent following, and well-attended matches take place at the Maksimir Stadium.

Yoga and aerobics classes are available in Zagreb through health clubs and private lessons.

Outdoor sports possibilities in Zagreb during winter are limited to skiing, horseback riding, skating, and sledding. Sledding is very popular in hilly Zagreb and its many parks. There are many natural hot springs (Toplice) with indoor/outdoor swimming facilities; the one most commonly frequented by Embassy personnel is at Catez, roughly a 30-minute drive from Zagreb, just over the Slovenian border. A day pass, including water slides, sauna and wave pool is just USD 5.00. Skiing is popular and easily accessible on Sljeme; however, most people drive to Slovenia, Italy, or Austria to ski. There are excellent downhill and cross-country trails for experts and beginners. Several ice-skating rinks offer skates to rent and children’s lessons.

Foreigners in Croatia can hunt deer, birds, etc., as guests of Croatians. Without such an invitation, you must belong to a hunting club, which can be difficult to arrange as it required obtaining a permit to own a weapon. Fishing licenses cost 40 kuna a day.

On Croatia’s Dalmatian coast, sailing, wind surfing, and other water sports are very popular. Scuba diving certification is available in Zagreb as well as at multiple dive centers on the coast. The rugged islands off Croatia’s mountainous shoreline from Istria to Dubrovnik are a yachtsman's paradise. The channels are deep, and the winds are steady. Yacht rentals can be arranged. You can hire a “bare boat” (no crew) for your party and set out on your own (you must prove your competence), or join a “flotilla” of yachts sailing along a fixed route. Crewed yacht charters are also available. Most charters are for a minimum of one week, and sailing yachts are more common than motor yachts. Prices start at € 800 per week for an uncrewed 12-meter sailing yacht, and go up from there depending on the season, the size of the craft, and crew requirements. Motor yachts are generally more expensive.

Sea kayaking is popular around the Kornati Islands, and white-water rafting is available on several rivers in Dalmatia and Hercegovina during the brief snow-melt season (May-June). There are package tours available.

Recreation and Social Life

Touring and Outdoor Activities Last Updated: 3/2/2004 3:59 AM

Close to Zagreb

There are nice day-trips within a few hours' drive of Zagreb. Zagorje, a region north of Zagreb, is known for its rolling hills, vineyards, orchards, small villages, streams, ancient castles, spas and health resorts.

Zagorje's Castles Trakoscan, Miljana and Veliki Tabor are the most beautiful in this region. The scenery is reminiscent of West Virginia's Appalachian region in the U.S. In Zagorje, Varazdin is a pleasant little town with a few Baroque churches and a medieval castle which now contains the municipal museum.

Risnjak National Park at Crni Lug, between Zagreb and Rijeka, is a good hiking area in the summer. There's a small park-operated hotel at Crni Lug with rooms at USD 20 per person. It's a nine-km, 2 1/2 hour climb from the park entrance at Bijela Vodica to Veliki Risnjak.

Kumrovec is the birthplace of Josip Broz (better known to the world as Tito). His house was built in 1860 in the center of town. Today it is a memorial museum with furniture and household implements from the time of Tito's childhood. Around Tito's house about thirty village houses and farm building from the turn of the century have been preserved. They were restored and reconstructed to form the Staro Selo (Old Village).

Samobor is a small town west of Zagreb with a tradition in crafts and inn-keeping. It's a nice area for fishing, swimming, and Carnival festivities. Many people enjoy shopping in the crystal factory there. Easily accessible from the Zagreb-Ljubljana highway, Samobor is a picturesque place to visit, boasting several beautiful monuments, good restaurants and the famous Samobor kremsnite (custard pastry).

From Samobor, you can continue your trip to two other nature parks – Divlje Vode and Eko Selo. At Divlje Vode, aside from the hiking trails, the volleyball and football courts, and the playground, there is a little zoo and a fish farm. Seventeen kms further away, on the same road (the paved road ends soon after Divlje Vode) is Eko Selo. The owner of Eko Selo had in mind an American ranch when he built his business in the hills of Samobor. This area is very popular as it offers a good restaurant, riding, pony trekking, fishing, great hiking.

Krapina is a small town situated in Zagorje only fifty km from Zagreb. Krapina became famous in 1899, when the remains of an early human settlement 30 to 40 thousand years old were discovered at this site. Today there is an archeological park featuring sculptures of early humans and animals.

The Plitvice Lakes National Park occupies 195 km of forests, lakes, and meadows. There are hiking trails along the waterfalls and lakes. The color of the lakes depends on the plankton density--they range from a dark blue to a strikingly bright emerald color. The park was established in 1929 and is on UNESCO's World Heritage List. It is a nice day trip, or the hotel is reasonable if you wish to stay longer.

Terme Catez, situated at about 30 km from Zagreb, in Slovenia, is a popular water park with 9 outdoor swimming pools, waterfalls, a wave pool, water slides, jacuzzi, pools for water massage, etc. It is the largest thermal spring resort in Slovenia, and it has a lot to offer, especially for children.

Water-Park Aqualuna is located on the border of Croatia and Slovenia in the village of Potcetrtek, very close to the Terme Olimia health resort, roughly a one-hour drive from Zagreb. Aqualuna offers 8 water toboggans, up to 15 m high, with a total length of 480 m. Aside from the water-slides the park has several pools for children and adults, and offers everyday programs, rich catering and even a night program. The Park can accommodate up to 5000 people a day. For more information check their website:

Further Afield

The Adriatic coast is famous for its Mediterranean landscapes and climate. Istria, the peninsula just south of Trieste, Italy, offers many lovely weekend getaways (4-5 hour drive from Zagreb). Porec, even after the fall of Rome, remained important as a center of early Christianity, with a bishop and a famous basilica. There are many places to swim in the clear water by the old town. Rovinj is an active fishing port with a large Italian community. Its high peninsula is topped by the 57-meter-high tower of St. Euphemia Cathedral. The 13 green offshore islands of the Rovinj archipelago make for pleasant, varied views. The cobbled, inclined streets in the old town are where local artists sell their works. Each year in mid-August Rovinj's painters stage a big open-air art show. Pula is a large commercial harbor. The old town has many well-preserved Roman ruins such as the 1st century AD Roman amphitheater overlooking the harbor. The rocky wooded peninsulas overlooking the Adriatic waters are dotted with resort hotels and camp grounds. Brijuni is a fascinating group of islands. Each year from 1949 until his death in 1980, Marshal Tito spent six months at his summer residences on Brijuni. Brijuni is a national park with some 680 species of plants, including many exotic subtropical species planted at Tito's request. In Brijuni visitors can see Tito's three palaces, the luxury hotels where his guests once stayed, St German Church--now a gallery of copies of medieval frescoes, and an exhibit of photos of Tito.

The Gulf of Kvarner is also a nice part of the coast for weekend getaways (a 3-4 hour drive). South of Rijeka, between the Istrian Peninsula and the Croatian mainland, are many islands including Krk, Cres and Pag. Many people frequent Opatija, a fashionable bathing resort of the Hapsburg elite until WWI. Many grand old hotels remain from this time and the promenade along the water affords a fine view. Island Krk is linked to the mainland by a massive concrete arch bridge. It has many tourist hotels and many medieval churches and walls built in the 12th to 15th centuries. Medieval Rab was an outpost of Venice for hundreds of years until the Austrians took over in the 19th century. Tall church towers rise above the red roofed mass of houses on Rab's high peninsula. Places to stay in Istria range from private rooms for as little as USD 30 per night to hotels which can cost up to USD 150 per night. Prices will vary according to the time of year (May to September is high season). There are nearly 100 camp grounds along the Croatian coast. Most operate from mid-May to September only.

Dalmatia is Croatia's most famous vacation area. Historical relics abound in towns like Zadar, Trogir, Split, Hvar, Korcula and Dubrovnik. These towns are framed by a striking natural beauty of barren slopes, green valleys and clear water. A warm current flowing north up the coast keeps the climate mild. You can swim in the sea right up until the end of September. Unfortunately Dalmatia was not spared the damages of ex-Yugoslavia's civil war and many historic sights suffered shelling. The drive from Zagreb to Dubrovnik takes over 9 hours and the winding, two-lane coastal highway is scenic, but slow going, especially if you're stuck behind trucks and buses. There are daily flights from Zagreb to Dubrovnik for USD 100 one way but prices vary according to the time of year. There are ferries from Rijeka and Split to Dubrovnik as well.

Italy, Slovenia, Hungary, Austria and Germany are all easily accessible by car from Zagreb. Ljubljana (a two hour drive) is near the mountain and lake resort district. Lake Bled is a resort area which features an excellent golf course as well as the full range of winter sports. Trieste, Italy and Graz, Austria are favorite shopping towns--both about 2-3 hours drive from Zagreb. Budapest and Vienna are about 5-6 hours drive away. Venice is 4 hours drive away. From Zagreb it is easy to explore and enjoy other European cities.

Recreation and Social Life

Entertainment Last Updated: 3/2/2004 3:59 AM

Zagreb is the main cultural center of Croatia. With 18 theatres and 12 concert halls it has a very active cultural life with opera, concert, ballet, and theatre performances presented regularly. A monthly guide of events and performances is published by the Tourist Association, and copies can be obtained from the Tourist Information Center on Trg Bana Jelaćiča or from the CLO office in the Embassy.

Opera and concert seasons run from September to May offering a wide variety of Croatian, German and Italian operas and performances by orchestras and chamber music groups.

Movie theatres are popular in Zagreb showing feature films from all over the world – many of them recent U.S. films. The admission fee is about USD 4.00. Most theatres show films in the original language with Croatian subtitles.

Zagreb is also a city of museums. There are 21 museums, 33 galleries and art collections in Zagreb. Among the finest ones are the Mimara Museum which boasts one of the most interesting art collections in Europe, the Croatian Naďve Art Museum, considered one the first Naďve Art museums in Europe, the Strossmayer Gallery of the Academy of Arts & Sciences, and the Gallery of Modern Art.

There are restaurants, discos, casinos, nightclubs, and dance clubs around Zagreb as well.

A monthly guide of events and performances is published by the Tourist Association. Copies can be obtained from the Tourist Information Center on Trg Bana Jelaćiča. You can also see the information at and

The embassy newsletter, Buzin Buzz, also carries information about different cultural and sport events in the city.

For those who can understand a little bit of Croatian the daily newspapers Jutarnji List and Vecernji List, carry details of scheduled events in Zagreb.

Recreation and Social Life

Social Activities

Among Americans Last Updated: 2/24/2004 7:55 AM The official American community in Zagreb is small, but in addition to U.S. employees and their families at the Embassy, you can meet other U.S. citizens who work for humanitarian relief organizations, the American School, the UN, as missionaries, businessmen, American citizens married to Croatians, and journalists.

Among American personnel assigned to the Embassy, most entertaining is informal, revolving around dinners at home, monthly CLO-organized "Ladies' Nights Out," barbecues in the summer, and so on. The Marine Guard Detachment hosts parties for the community at least monthly.

The annual Marine Ball, held in the fall, and the Fašnik Ball, held in the spring, are both formal affairs popular within the American community.

Recreation and Social Life

Social Activities

International Contacts Last Updated: 2/20/2004 8:28 AM A friendly and active international community exists in Zagreb. Frequent social events revolve around the various embassies represented here, but no one has special facilities. The American International School of Zagreb has annual picnics and holiday parties for families as well as spring and Christmas programs which the children present for parents.

The International Women’s Club (IWC) is open to wives of business and diplomatic personnel, as well as Croatians. It is useful for making contacts with people outside the Embassy and in the host country. The IWC sponsors tennis, yoga classes, nights at the opera, a mother and baby group, book discussions and craft circles. The IWC also supports many charities. Their major fundraising event is the annual Christmas bazaar. Monthly meetings are held to exchange news and views over coffee at the Sheraton Hotel.

The active Zagreb chapter of the "Hash House Harriers" gathers for a run and barbecue every month or so, and have an Adriatic cruise "hash" in the summers. The Harriers, founded originally by British diplomats in Kuala Lumpur, are popular all over the world.

Official Functions

Nature of Functions Last Updated: 2/23/2004 5:00 AM

Official functions are similar to those at posts throughout Europe — receptions, cocktail parties and buffet dinners — usually informal. Lunches are the most common type of representational event; black-tie dinners are exceedingly uncommon. Senior officers may expect a fairly steady schedule (three or four invitations a week for the Ambassador, one or two for others), but representational obligations for junior officers, depending on the position occupied, are considerably less. Contact between members of the diplomatic corps and host government officials is frequent. Guests usually present flowers, candy, or a bottle of wine to the hostess.

Many Embassies hold large national day receptions to which some of the staff are invited. Most receptions are in the evening, and sometimes spouses are invited to attend. Most of the representational allowance is used to take contacts to lunch during the workweek.

Official Functions

Standards of Social Conduct Last Updated: 2/18/2004 8:32 AM

Officers may wish to bring an initial supply of about 300 calling cards with them. Informal cards are useful for invitations, reminders, and thank-you notes. Invitations and calling cards can be printed in Croatia, but at higher than U.S. prices. GSO can also provide blank caradstock with the Department Seal for you to print your own cards using an Embassy laser printer.

Special Information Last Updated: 2/13/2004 6:48 AM

Notes For Travelers

Getting to the Post Last Updated: 2/18/2004 8:56 AM

Routing Personnel flying from Washington D.C. and New York usually fly United Airlines (in conjunction with Lufthansa or Austrian Airlines), in compliance with the Fly America Act. The main gateway cities for Zagreb are Frankfurt and Vienna, though some personnel arrive at post via Paris or London. Multiple flights are available daily from Frankfurt and Vienna, less frequently from other cities. Total transit time is from D.C. to Zagreb is about 11–12 hours.

Arrival Information Provide the Management Officer as early as possible with your arrival date, mode of travel, names and ages of dependents, and any special needs. Your sponsor will meet you at the airport. The airport is only a five-minute drive from the Embassy. Once on the ground, the baggage claim and customs are rather easy and not too time-consuming, as it is a small airport. New arrivals are assisted with customs formalities and escorted to temporary or permanent quarters. Your quarters will be stocked with food to tide you over until you get to a local grocery store. Once you go to the office, general in-processing begins and you will meet Embassy colleagues. An Embassy duty officer is available through the Marine Security Guard at all times. After arrival at post, you will have detailed administrative and security briefings. The CLO is a good source of information as you and your family settle in to your new surroundings.

HHE and Air Freight Transit time for surface freight shipments from Washington is around two-three months. Consider this fact when deciding what to pack in your accompanying baggage and air freight. As noted previously, welcome kits are available until your HHE arrives. Bring baby supplies and food with you or ship in air freight. Air freight transit time is about 2-3 weeks. If air freight is shipped ahead of time, it should be in Zagreb upon your arrival or shortly thereafter. It cannot be received until you are registered with Croatian Protocol. The Embassy GSO will coordinate with local Croatian Customs authorities and will have it delivered shortly thereafter.

Customs, Duties, and Passage

Customs and Duties Last Updated: 2/18/2004 8:50 AM

All personal effects, including airfreight, car, and HHE must await your arrival at post and your registration with the Foreign Ministry before customs clearance can be begun. Therefore, plan shipments to coincide as closely as possible with your arrival to avoid loss or damage to property and storage charges in the customs warehouse. No other restrictions are placed on contents of shipments except those regarding firearms (see Firearms and Ammunition). Official members who are not on the diplomatic list, however, must import all of their shipment within one year of arrival date.

After your arrival, give the GSO a copy of the packing list of your HHE and airfreight and all loading and airway bills for shipments to expedite clearance. The Embassy customs office will translate your list and submit it to the Croatian authorities. Surface shipments by sea are generally received at the Port of Antwerp (ELSO), Belgium.

For information on customs clearance for your car, see Automobiles.

If you have antiques or high-value items, register them with Croatian customs upon their arrival. This will preclude any problems when you packout at the end of your tour.

Customs, Duties, and Passage

Passage Last Updated: 2/18/2004 8:47 AM

Diplomatic and Official Passports Each member of a family, including children, should have his/her own passport. Bearers of U.S. Diplomatic and Official passports may enter Croatia by car over any main road border crossing, by train, or by air at the Zagreb airport. A visa is not required, but a stay of over 90 days requires the Embassy to register you with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. When entering Croatia for the first time, to take up an assignment, you should request the border guard to stamp your passport to show date of entry. This will assist the Human Resources Office in arranging your registration as a member of the U.S. Embassy staff. Please carry at least eight photos of all family members for I.D. cards.

Tourist Passports For tourist or business trips of less than 90 days, a visa is not required for U.S. passport holders. Visas are required for all other types of stays in Croatia. Croatian authorities require foreigners to register with local police when they first arrive in a new area of the country. This is usually handled in routine fashion during hotel registration. However, failure to register is a misdemeanor offense, and some Americans have been subjected to expulsion from the country and fines. Additional information on entry requirements may be obtained from the Embassy of Croatia (2343 Massachusetts Ave., NW., Washington, D.C. 20008, tel. (202) 588–5899), or from the Croatian consulates in New York City, Cleveland, Chicago, or Los Angeles. Overseas, inquiries may be made to the nearest Croatian embassy or consulate.

U.S. citizens are encouraged to register at the U.S. Embassy and obtain updated information on travel and security within Croatia.

Customs, Duties, and Passage

Pets Last Updated: 2/18/2004 9:19 AM

Entry Requirements No quarantine restrictions are in effect for household pets. Animals must have a health certificate signed by a veterinarian (no older than 30 days) and a rabies/distemper vaccination record. Dogs must have an I.D. tag showing the owner’s name. To be valid, the rabies vaccination must have been administered no more than 180 days (6 months) nor less than 30 days (1 month) prior to the animal’s arrival in Croatia. Faxing copies of the paperwork to GSO in advance of your arrival (fax: 011-385-1-661-2371) will help facilitate clearance. If the animal is arriving at the same time as the owner, appropriate papers are all that is needed for customs clearance. No pets should arrive at Post before their owners, as the airport has no kennels.

If pets arrive as airfreight, a Croatian veterinarian must be at the airport to clear the animals. It is essential that travelers notify the Embassy in advance to make the appropriate arrangements. If pets are shipped as cargo, avoid weekend arrival dates at all cost, as the cargo Customs office is closed on Saturdays and Sundays. If you decide to ship your pet, contact the local airlines for price quotes. Employees must bear all costs associated with the shipment of pets.

Most hotels do not allow pets. Post recommends that owners delay arrival of pets until the employee is assigned to permanent housing. Dog and cat boarding is available in Zagreb, but can be expensive.

Services and Supplies Several well-trained veterinarians practice in Zagreb, including some who make house calls. There is a clinic that keeps animals for extended periods of time when surgery is necessary. Dog and cat food is widely available in the local pet stores, grocery stores and other outlets. Brands available include Iams, Whiskas, Purina, Sheba, etc. If your animal is finicky, bring a supply of its favorite food. Kitty litter is also available locally. Local pet stores have food for hamsters, birds, and fish as well. Croatians love dogs, and it is easy to find items such as brushes, bones, leashes, flea/tick collars, etc. Pet supplies are also available at the U.S. military bases in Italy.

Firearms and Ammunition Last Updated: 2/18/2004 8:50 AM

The Chief of Mission has established the following policy regarding the importation and/or local purchase of firearms by the American staff and family members:

Importation of U.S. Government issued firearms which are required in the performance of official duties at post may be imported by American staff members upon the recommendation of the Regional Security Officer and written approval by the Ambassador.

On a case by case basis, the Ambassador may approve the importation or local procurement of personally owned firearms for hunting and sport. If approved by the Ambassador, importation or purchase will be limited to one (1) shotgun and one (1) rifle per family with a maximum of 100 rounds of ammunition per weapon. Individuals who import approved firearms must comply with all Croatian firearms laws, and obtain the required Croatian firearms registration license. In addition, hunters in Croatia must successfully complete a safety course before the issuance of a hunting license. So-called assault rifles, other automatic weapons, and all firearms not expressly permitted (i.e., shotgun and hunting rifle) are not allowed at post. Firearms and ammunition imported from the United States require formal licenses (form DSP-5) from the U.S. Department of State and U.S. Customs declarations. The employee is responsible for obtaining necessary documentation and abiding with U.S. law.

Employees must request permission through the Regional Security Officer and obtain the Ambassador’s written approval prior to importation.

Personally owned handguns are not permitted at post at this time.

Please contact the Regional Security Officer if you have any questions regarding this policy or require assistance in importing authorized firearms.

Currency, Banking, and Weights and Measures Last Updated: 2/18/2004 9:28 AM

The official currency in Croatia is the Kuna (kn). There are 100 lipa to one kuna. There are notes of 5, 10, 20, 50, 100, 200, 500 and 1000 kuna, as well as coins of 1, 2, 5, 10, 20, and 50 lipa, and 1, 2, 5 and 25 kuna. The exchange rate, as of mid-February 2004, is 5.92 kuna to USD 1.00 (kn 1.00 = $0.16).

The metric system is used for all weights and measures in Croatia. Like other Continental Europeans, Croatians indicate decimals with commas and thousands with points (e.g., kn 1.000 = one thousand kuna; kn 100,00 = one hundred kuna).

Taxes, Exchange, and Sale of Property Last Updated: 2/23/2004 5:05 AM


The American Diplomatic and Official staff of the Embassy of the United States of America in the Republic of Croatia and their immediate family members are exempt from paying Value Added Tax (VAT, or PDV in Croatian) according to article 13, paragraph 1, section 3 of the Croatian Value Added Tax Act (Official Gazette 47/95). In practice, taking advantage of this privilege can be as easy as flashing your diplomatic ID, or so difficult that it may not be worth your time. The Embassy has negotiated point-of-sale tax exemptions with a number of vendors frequented by members of the Embassy community. At other stores, you will generally have to pay the full amount, including taxes, and then process a request through the government of Croatia to authorize the store to return the tax to you. You then take the government protokol form back to the vendor, who will refund the VAT to you. GSO can assist you with this, and will provide detailed information on the VAT-refund process after your arrival at Post.


Credit cards, like American Express, Visa, Diners, Eurocard and Mastercard, are widely accepted in stores, supermarkets, and restaurants. Credit cards are convenient for traveling in the region, and for ordering online or from mail-order catalogs.

Foreign currency may be exchanged into Kuna at banks, exchange offices (mjenjacnica), and duty-free shops. They all offer similar rates. When exchanging money a receipt must be issued. Banks and exchange offices keep long hours and both deduct a commission of 1.5% to change cash or travelers checks. Before leaving Croatia, a foreign national may exchange unspent Kuna into the foreign currency shown on the receipt. Travelers checks and Eurocheques can also be exchanged at banks and exchange offices. Checks issued by banks and personal checks can be exchanged at banks.

ATMs are common throughout Croatia; some will even accept U.S. debit cards. There is an ATM located in the Embassy neear the cashier.

Embassy Cashier Services U.S. citizen direct-hire personnel may cash personal checks for either dollars or kuna, not to exceed USD 500 per week, per person. U.S. dollars are not accepted as payment in Croatia.

Reverse accommodation exchange is not permitted at the Embassy cashier, except during the last month of your Post in Zagreb, when two reverse accommodation exchanges will be permitted.

Sale of Property

All U.S. Government personnel, military and civilian, have the usual diplomatic privileges of duty-free entry for their personal belongings, HHE, automobiles, and other goods for their personal use and convenience.

Regulations that govern disposition of personal property abroad, imported duty free by all U.S. Government U.S. citizen employees, contractors, and family members, are to ensure that individuals do not profit from transactions with persons not entitled to exemptions from import restrictions, duties, or taxes. Employees and contractors must request and receive approval in advance to sell any personal property of over “minimal value.” Minimal value is defined in 5 USC 7342 as a sales price (or the retail value if received as a gift) of USD 180 or less. Individuals shall not sell, assign, or otherwise dispose of their duty-free imported personal property over a value of USD 180 without prior written approval of the Chief of Mission or his designee (in Zagreb, the Management Officer). Nor shall any individual sell, assign, or otherwise dispose of personal property imported duty free that was not acquired for bona fide personal use.

Individuals shall not retain any profit from sales of personal property, including any interest earned on that profit. Such profit shall be disposed of within 90 days of receipt by contribution or gift to a charity.

“Profits” are any proceeds (including cash or other valuable consideration but not including amounts of such proceeds given, as charitable contributions) for sale of personal property in excess of the basic cost for such property.

“Cost” of an item includes the initial price paid, inland and overseas transportation costs (if not reimbursed by U.S. Government), shipping insurance, taxes, customs fees, duties or other charges, and capital improvements. Cost does not include insurance on an item while in use or storage, maintenance or repair costs, or finance charges.

Although minimal value items need not be considered, automobiles, boats, computer systems, or other integrated-machine systems or items of equipment must be valued as a single item even if acquired separately, except that spare or superseded parts (e.g., an old set of tires that has been replaced on a vehicle) may be valued as separate items.

If you sell a vehicle, whether or not a profit is generated, you must provide the vehicle registration and the original dealer invoice or some other document that verifies the purchase price, the date of purchase, and the currency used for the transaction.

If a car is purchased in Zagreb from another diplomat or another person with import privileges, the seller must provide the Export Declaration for the car.

Recommended Reading Last Updated: 2/18/2004 8:52 AM

These titles are provided as a general indication of the material published on this country. The Department of State does not endorse unofficial publications.

Bralic, Ivo. Our Lovely Croatia. Marin Drzic: Zagreb, 1992.

Bralic, Ivo. The National Parks of Croatia. Skolska Knjiga: Zagreb, 1995.

Cooper, Robert. Croatia. Benchmark Books, 2000.

Croatia and the Croatians. Associated Book Publishers: Scottsdale AZ.

Croatia Country Study Guide. International Business Publications, USA, 2003.

Croatia for Tourists. Mozaik knjiga, 1995.

Croatia in the Heart of Europe: Mediterranean and Central European Cultural Landscapes of Croatia. Croatian Paneuropean Union: Zagreb, 1997.

Croatian Academy of Sciences and Arts. HAZU: Zagreb, 1994.

Croatian Food: Export Guide. Oziris: 1995.

Croatian Music. Music Information Center: 1992.

Denitch, Bogdan. Ethnic Nationalism: The Tragic Death of Yugoslavia. University of Minnesota Press: 1994.

Eterovic, Ivo. Zagreb, An Intimate View. Masmedia: 1987.

Glenny, Misha. The Fall of Yugoslavia: The Third Balkan War. Penguin Books: 1992.

Goldstein, Ivo. Croatia: A History. McGill-Queens University Press, 2000.

Hitrec, Hrvoje. Zagreb: Croatian Metropolis.

Holbrooke, Richard. To End a War. Random House, 1998.

How To Do Business With Croatia. Croatian Chamber of Economy: 1994.

Horvatic, Dubravko. Zagreb and its Surroundings. Mate: 1996.

Ivancevic, Radovan. Art Treasures of Croatia. Motovun: 1993.

Kampus, Ivan. Zagreb Through A Thousand Years. Skolska Knjiga: 1995.

Kaplan, Robert D. Balkan Ghosts. First Vintage Departures Edition: March 1994.

Lampe, John R. Yugoslavia as History: Twice There Was a Country. Cambridge University Press, 2000.

Makovic, Zvonko. Istra. Omnium, 1997.

Marasovic, Tomislav. Split: 1700 Years of Development. Brevina: 1997.

Mazower, Mark. The Balkans: A Short History. Moderny Library, 2000.

Mohorovicic, Andre. Lovely Croatia. Buvina, 2003.

Museums and Galleries of Croatia. Ministry of Culture and Education: 1993.

Mohorovicic, Andro. Architecture in Croatia/Architecture and Town Planning. Skolska Knjiga: Zagreb.

Novakovic, Anuska. Dubrovnik and Its Surroundings. Privredni vjesnik: 1991.

Obad-Scitavoci. Castles, Manors and Gardens of Croatian Zagorje. Skolska Knjiga, 2001.

Radovinovic, Radovan and Naprijed, Naklada. Croatian Adriatic.

Sekulic-Gvozdanovic. Fortress Churches in Croatia. Skolska knjiga.

Schevill, Ferdinand. A History of the Balkans. Dorset Press, 1991.

Silber, Laura and Allan Little. The Death of Yugoslavia. Penguin Books, BBC Books, 1995.

Singleton, Fred. A Short History of the Yugoslav Peoples. Cambridge University Press: 1985.

Tanner, Marcus. Croatia, a Nation Forged in War. Yale University Press, 1998.

The Natural Heritage of Croatia. Burina, 1995.

Trinajstic, Petar. Zagreb—The Croatian Metropolis. Naklada: 1996.

West, Rebecca. Black Lamb and Grey Falcon: A Journey Through Yugoslavia. Macmillan London Limited: 1942.

Woodward, Susan L. Balkan Tragedy. The Brooking Institution, 1995.

Zagreb—Croatian Metropolis: City Guide. Masmedia: 1993.

Local Holidays Last Updated: 2/18/2004 8:51 AM

The U.S. Embassy in Zagreb observes all U.S. Federal Holidays and all official Croatian Holidays. For 2004, the list of holidays observed is as follows:

Jan. 1 Thu. New Year's Day Jan. 6 Tue. Epiphany Jan. 19 Mon. Martin Luther King's Birthday Feb. 16 Mon. Washington's Birthday Apr. 12 Mon. Easter Monday May 1 Sat. Labor Day May 31 Mon. Memorial Day June 10 Thu. Corpus Christi Day June 22 Tue. Croatian Uprising Day June 25 Fri. Croatian State Day July 4 Sun. Independence Day July 5 Mon. Embassy Closed for July 4 Aug. 5 Thu. Patriotic Gratitude Day Aug. 15 Sun. Assumption Day Sept. 6 Mon. Labor Day Oct. 8 Fri. Croatian Independence Day Oct. 11 Mon. Columbus Day Nov. 1 Mon. All Saints' Day Nov. 11 Thu. Veterans' Day Nov. 25 Thu. Thanksgiving Day Dec. 24 Fri. Embassy Closed for Christmas Dec. 25 Sat. Christmas Dec. 26 Sun. St. Stephen's Day Dec. 31 Fri. Embassy Closed for New Year's

Adapted from material published by the U.S. Department of State. While some of the information is specific to U.S. missions abroad, the post report provides a good overview of general living conditions in the host country for diplomats from all nations.
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