Croatia Facts

Interesting Facts for Kids

Croatia Facts for KidsEnjoy our Croatia Facts for Kids

Here are some interesting Croatia Facts which were chosen and researched by kids especially for kids.

  • Population: about 4.2 million people live in the country (2019)
  • Capital: Zagreb with 800,000 inhabitants
  • Name: Republic of Croatia (Republika Hrvatska)
  • Motto: 'Our beautiful homeland'
  • Government: Democracy
  • Language: Croatian
  • Religion: mainly Christians (86% of all Croatians are Roman Catholics)
  • Currency: 1 kuna =100 lipas
  • History: First multi-party elections were held in 1990, Croatia declared its independence in 1991 and Yugoslavia broke up into six different countries (Croatia, Kosovo, Macedonia, Montenegro, Serbia and Slovenia). Serbia and Croatia still have some border disputes over areas along the Danube river.

Croatia Map and Geography

  • Croatia is situated in Southeast Europe, about 2 hours flight time from London/England or a 10-hours-flight from New York/USA. 
Croatia Map by Pavalena/shutterstock.comMap of Croatia

The SouthEast European country shares borders with five countries and is located at the Adriatic Sea.

The five countries are: Slovenia, Hungary, Serbia, Bosnia-Herzegovina and Montenegro.

Croatia is about the same size as Ireland or West Virginia/USA.

Croatia Facts | Geo Superlatives

  • The highest mountain in Croatia is Dinara Peak, which is 1 830m/6 004ft high and at the border to Bosnia-Herzegovina.
  • The longest river in Croatia is the Sava with 562km/350 miles.
  • Lake Vrana, also called Lake Vransko, in Dalmatia is the largest lake of the country.
  • The largest island is Krk in the Adriatic Sea.
  • Most of the islands in the Adriatic Sea, which is part of the Mediterranean Sea belong to Croatia!
  • The coastline at the Mediterranean Sea is more than 1 777km/1 100 miles long. 

Croatia Facts:
Tourist Attractions in Croatia

In Croatia, there are many gorgeous beaches along the Adriatic coastline, historic towns and scenic villages, ancient roman buildings and national parks to visit.

  • Croatia has more than 1 200 islands and islets of which only 48 islands are inhabited. The island of Krk is the largest inhabited island of Croatia. 
Old Town of Krk
  • The Istria region is famous for its medieval towns and historic buildings on the largest peninsula in the Adriatic Sea. Pula Arena (Pulska Arena in Croatian) is one of the largest amphitheatres in the world and one of the few reminders of the Roman empire.
Pula Amphitheatre in CroatiaAmphitheatre in Pula/Croatia
  • Opatija: one of the best known summer resorts on the Adriatic with historic buildings from the Austrian-Hungarian empire. Many well maintained majestic houses can be seen.
  • Plitvice Lakes National Park is well known for its numerous waterfalls. This park is one of the country's ten UNESCO world heritage sites.
Plitvice Lakes National ParkPlitvice Lakes National Park

Croatia Economy

Croatia is one of the wealthiest countries in Southeastern Europe. However, almost one if five Croatians live below the poverty line which means they have not enough money and are considered as poor.

Tourism is one of the main economic sectors with almost 20%. Only 3% of the GDP comes from the agricultural sector. The largest cargo port is the port of Rijeka.

Croatian Port of Rijeka - image by Drazen Vukelic/shutterstock.comPort of Rijeka - image by Drazen Vukelic

The main export and import partner countries are Italy, Germany and Slovenia. The main export products are transport equipment such as automotive parts, machinery and textiles.

Croatian embroidery and Croatian lace are known for its delicate and artisan handicraft.

Croatian girls in traditional dress with lace - image by HappyWindows/shutterstock.comTraditional dress with lace

Famous Croatian inventions

  • Did you know that the neck tie is an Croatian invention? A tie is called cravat in Croatian. The first ties were worn by Croatian soldiers in the 17th century during the Thirty Years' War in Europe.
  • The first system for identification of fingerprints was developed by Croatian Ivan Vučetić (1858-1925). He is also referred to as Juan Vecetich. The young inventor immigrated to Argentina when he was 24 years old. In Buenos Aires/Argentina, he was a police officer and later the Director for Dactyloscopy. Dactyloscopy means fingerprint identification and is an important part of forensic sciences.
  • One of the most famous Croatians is Croatian inventor Nikola Tesla (1856-1943). He made many inventions for producing and transmitting electric power and owned more than 270 patents. Tesla invented the first alternating current induction motor and the Tesla coil, which is used in radio technology. In 1898 he presented the first radio controlled device, a miniature boat.
Tesla Cars at Expo 2019 - image by GrzegorzCzapskiTesla electric cars - image by Grzegorz Czapski

Did you know that the electric Tesla cars are named after this Croatian inventor to honour his inventions? Nikola Tesla developed the first electric motors that are used in the cars.

Croatia Facts | Croatian People

Most people live in the northern parts of the country and 1 in 4 Croatians lives in the capital city Zagreb.

The biggest cities in Croatia are Zagreb, Split, Rijeka, Osijek and Zadar.

Tourists in Split in Croatia - image by Nightman1965/shutterstock.comOld town of Split, a popular tourist attraction

Most islands are only sparsely populated.

In Croatia almost all people belong to the Croatian ethnic group (90%), a minority 5% are Serbian and others are Hungarian, Bosniak or Slovenes - among many others. 

Girl in traditional Croatian dress

Children go to school from the age of 6 years and primary school (up to Grade 8) is mandatory. High school and vocational school starts from Grade 9 and many children then must decide if to continue with schooling at high school or specialise at a school of economics or school of engineering. These take then four years before students can continue with courses to get an university or polytechnic degree. At vocational school students learn a special skill or craft such as plumbing or carpentry.

Croatians love the outdoors and sports. The most popular sports are soccer, handball, tennis as well as table tennis (ping pong) and water sports. 

Soccer fans in Croatia - by Goran Jakus

Among the most popular Croatian festivals are the Dubrovnik Winter Festival which takes places every year in December in the historic quarters of the city, the International Folklore Festival in Zagreb in June/July and in August/September, the Diocletian Days Festival in Split.

Interesting Croatian Language Facts

The official language in Croatia is Croatian.

Croatian is also used as an official language by larger minority groups in some provinces of other countries such as in Voyvodina/Serbia and Burgenland/Austria and recognised as minority language in Molise/Italy.

The language belongs to the Indo-European languages and is written in Latin script. The Croatian alphabet has 30 letters.

Try these six useful expressions in Croatian:

  • dobar dan - good day
  • bok - hello
  • molim - please
  • hvala - thank you
  • ja se zovem... - my name is....
  • volim te! - I love you!

Croatia Facts: Croatian Food

Croatians love their food and especially lunch is a special meal especially on a Sunday, when often the whole family comes together.

Many Croatian dishes contain fresh vegetables and seafood. Croatians cook with fish or shell fish such as scampi, mussels, shrimps which are the main catch in coastal regions. Oily fish such as sardines, mackerels, anchovies are very popular too.

Typical Croatian dishes are:

  • Brudet: fish stew that includes fish, onions, tomatoes and chilli pepper.
Typical Croatian Brudet (Fish soup)
  • Black risotto (crni rizot): rice dish coloured with squid ink, usually cooked with shell fish
  • Pasticada: marinated beef with potato dumplings or gnocchi
  • Stuffed Peppers (Pungent paprika): with minced pork meat, tomatoes and rice with tomato sauce.
  • Strukli: sweet pastry dish with cottage cheese and sour cream.
  • Rozata: custard pudding
  • Krostule: deep fried pastry strips sprinkled with icing sugar
  • Fritule: deep fried pastry. These balls are usually flavoured with citrus and raisins - and sometimes contain rum, they are particularly popular during Christmas time
Delicious Croatian Fritule

Croatian animals

Croatia is among the most biodiverse countries in Europe. 101 mammal species live in the country. Among the mammal species are the brown bear, the grey wolf, the golden jackal and the red fox.

Croatia red foxRed Fox

14 of the mammal species are considered threatened among the mammals that are most in danger are the bottlenose dolphins.

The most threatened reptile species are the critically endangered green turtles and the Caspian terrapin.

Almost one third of Croatia's amphibians are endemic, that means only are encountered in this country. Among these are the beautiful fire salamanders.

Dalmatian Dogs

Did you know? The roots of the Dalmatian dogs are traced back to the region of Dalmatia in Croatia. Croatia is recognised as county of origin of this breed.

Last but no least...

Hum in Croatia - The smallest town in the worldHum in Croatia

Hum in Northwestern Croatia is considered to be the smallest town in the world. Only 17 people live in this town, according to Guiness World Records. 

Read more interesting facts on Croatia and Europe here.

More Croatia Facts and Resources


Picture Credits on Croatia Facts: All Pictures, own and if not otherwise mentioned from sxc.hu and shutterstock.com

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