Basic Croatian phrases you can use to impress locals

Croatian islands

If you’re travelling to Croatia, you won’t have trouble getting by with English alone. However, learning a few key phrases in Croatian will help you to better navigate the world around you.

It’ll allow you to step deeper into Croatia’s culture and experience the country from a different perspective. It may also bring you very palpable benefits – you may get a free drink or even a date.

So, are you ready to impress both the locals and your holiday friends?

In this article, your Croatian translator has rounded up a few useful phrases you’ll love to try during your trip to Croatia.

1. How do you say ‘Hello’ in Croatian?

Young woman offering her hand

Let’s immediately start with the most important greeting for your trip:

To hear the audio, please click or tap the orange box.

This is a colloquial greeting used more in the north of Croatia, but you’ll sound posher if you use it. And it’s super easy to remember.

On top of that, you can also use it as a farewell greeting.

On the Croatian coast, Italian language and culture have had a big influence, so instead you can use the Italian greeting ‘Ciao’ when arriving or leaving.

And if you want to be slightly more formal, use the following phrases depending on the time of day.

2. How to say ‘Where is …’ in Croatian?

Coffee shop outdoors

After we’ve mastered the basics, it’s time to relax over a coffee or alcoholic drink. To ask for directions, use the question ‘Gdje je …’ and then add any noun.

Up for a swim afterwards? Head for the beach. If you don’t know where it is, just ask:

Chef looking at his dish

What I like about Croatian restaurants is the hospitality. After you’ve had your meal, the waiter should always ask you whether you liked it.

You can use the same phrase in all other situations when something was great.

4. How do you say ‘it’s hot’ in Croatian?

High temperature

5. How do you say ‘beer’ in Croatian?

Raising a glass of beer

After a day in the agonising heat, you’ll probably want to grab a beer in a bar.

When everyone gets their drinks, it’s time for a toast!

6. How to say ‘This is crazy’ in Croatian?

Partying in the club

Happy partying!

7. How do you ask for a cigarette in Croatian?

Smoking in the bar

If you’re still at the party and want to smoke, you can ask around for a cig. This is a very popular thing to do. Don’t worry, in Croatia no one will ask you for money in return.

8. How do you say ‘I like you’ in Croatian?

Flirting in the club

9. How do you say ‘Let’s go …’ in Croatian?

Croatian flag

One short, handy phrase is most definitely ‘Let’s go …’

You can also add a noun after the verb and say:

10. How do you say Croatia in Croatian? Why is Croatia written HR?

Cake with Croatian flag

Now practice your pronunciation, and then you’re ready to go! Let your Croatian translator know how it went!

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