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Croatia is an overwhelmingly Catholic country, as evidenced by the hundreds of beautiful churches and cathedrals up and down the country, two of which make it onto the UNESCO World Heritage Site list (The Euphrasian Basilica at Porec and Cathedral of St. James at Sibenik). Aside from its many catholic churches, convents, monasteries and chapels, Dubrovnik also houses an Orthodox Church, a Synagogue and an Islamic centre inside its old town walls, belying its more religiously diverse past as the independent trading republic of Ragusa.

The language is Croatian, although the vast majority of people speak at least some English, especially in tourist areas where it’s not uncommon to find people fluent in English, Italian and German on top of their native tongue. Menus in restaurants are generally written in several languages, but if you don’t understand what one of the local specialities is don’t be scared to ask the waiter! Most tourists find the Slavic sounds of the language and place names impenetrable, but Croats will always respond enthusiastically (and patiently) to anyone prepared to have a go, even if you just want to say ‘thank-you very much’ (‘puno hvala’).