CroetiaIt seems that one must approach one of the most beautiful countries in the world with a certain level of humour.

So you know the way that if you travel to Paris, one might expect a level of French rudeness – and when you get there and experience said rudeness you’re like “hey! that’s ok! I’m in Paris! I expect this!”, well pick up those Parisian expectations and throw them over the country that is Croatia.

How do we tactfully and truthfully explain what went on in this country? The level of rudeness, dismissiveness, and the outright unpleasantries was a royal shock.

Croatia is one of the most spectacular, impressive, beautiful countries that we have seen so far. The coastline is stunning, the cliffs are postcard-perfect, and the National Park – whoa! Don’t even get us started on how breathtaking that place is – a true heaven on earth.

We spent a month in this beautiful country, travelling from the North right to the South – and the feeling was consistent from all angles – you’re not welcome here.

  • The restaurant staff.
  • The information desk people.
  • The busdrivers.
  • The hotel staff.
  • The cafe owners.
  • The check-out chicks.

Just about every single person we came into contact with as a traveller was so unfriendly, dismissive, rude and unwelcoming – that it almost became quite an incredible joke.

Several times after either being ignored by a bus driver, stared blankly at by a supermarket assistant or being told we couldn’t sit in a cafe we’d just purchased from, we (very passively aggressively) exclaimed “Thankyou for your hospitality!”…even that became quite a joke. It became a game to see just what level of disregard each person would treat us with.

It honestly baffled us.

So we Googled it.

“Why are Croatians so…” – the answer was in the results. It seemed that this was a common question across the interweb (a search for Australians did however come up with the words “arrogant” and “thick”…an interesting comparison).

This awesome travel blog confirms our experience (as well as several people in the comments):

It’s always nice to feel welcome in a country when you’re travelling, otherwise it can be a challenge to stay somewhere for a long time. For us, it was just too aggravating to justify the cost of being there. Sometimes beauty just isn’t enough.

And that’s how we felt too – the scenery was fantastic, but we couldn’t wait to get the hell out of Dodge.

Now of course, the gentle disclaimer here is that this is an opinion on the Croatian Service Industry – not at all on the people of Croatia in general. We’re not that arrogant to think we can stereotype a whole Nation…

We know one very awesome, very welcoming Croatian/Australian woman who I’m sure could show us the “real” Croatian people one day – but until then, us travellers have to deal with those Croatians who are on the front-line of the tourist industry.

So do we recommend Croatia?

Well, yes, as long as you go along with a sense of humour. The country is IMPRESSIVE – really. From Plitvice to Dubrovnik, this country is really a vital destination for mind-expansion. A real wow-factor place.

…which also has the overwhelming tendency to attract the “wow-factor” in all the wrong ways… like “wow, that waiter is deliberately ignoring us”, or “wow, when I asked the info guy if there were toilets nearby he just said “yes” and walked away”

Thanks for the memories Croatia.