Croatian Culture

Do's and Don'ts

Primary Author
Chara Scroope,


  • When with your Croatian counterpart, show respect towards everyone you encounter, including those you do not know.
  • Be open to asking Croatians about their opinions on most subjects. They often are happy to assist you with advice or help, and this will aid you in earning their trust. However, it is best to wait until you are more acquainted with your Croatian counterpart before discussing the topic of religion.
  • Be mindful that religion is an important part of the Croatian lifestyle, particularly the Roman Catholic faith. Topics that may offend those who identify as Christian – such as divorce, euthanasia and family planning – should be approached with sensitivity.
  • Croatians tend to be quite proud of their culture and country; thus, complaints or critiques should be presented in the form of a suggestion. However, Croatians are open to conversing about the political situation and politics of the country.


  • Do not refer to Croatia as Yugoslavia or to a Croatian as ‘Yugoslavian’. As a nation, Croatia has endured many difficulties in asserting their identity as independent from surrounding countries and cultures.
  • Avoid discussing the conflict between Croatia and Serbia or making comparisons between nationalities of the former Yugoslavian states. This is a sensitive topic for many Croatians and can evoke emotions of anger or sadness. The topic of Serbia during the war is particularly sensitive, especially for the older generation. Nonetheless, if you do wish to discuss the war, make sure you are well-informed about the history of the countries involved and the conflicts.
  • It is best to be sensitive around discussions about personal wealth or the national economic status. It is not rare for Croatians to discuss and be critical of the country’s economic status. Similarly, it is common for Croatians to ask one another about their wealth. However, in more recent times, discussing salaries has become more taboo among specific social groups. If these topics do arise in conversation, approach them with a high degree of empathy.
  • Avoid insulting Catholicism. In Croatia, appearing heretical or boasting about one’s non-religious position can cause offence. Many people in Croatia view Catholic practices and beliefs as an important part of their identity.

Get a downloadable PDF that you can share, print and read.

Guaranteed secure stripe badge

A unified, searchable interface answering your questions on the world's cultures and religions

Sign up for free