Public Holidays in Croatia 2022: A Nation Obsessed With Long Weekends

By 29 December 2021
Public Holidays in Croatia 2022: A Nation Obsessed With Long Weekends

Croatians are passionate advocates of requesting time off work between public holidays and weekends, effectively creating additional mini vacations throughout the year. A look at the nation's obsession with long weekends, plus a list of all national holidays in Croatia in 2022

2021 was a rough year for Croatians. No, not just because of the pandemic and a whole slew of related (and unrelated) socio-economic issues. It was a depressing year because we were deprived of one of our favourite things in life: long weekends. 

While it’s probably safe to say that everyone enjoys taking time off work, people in Croatia take their annual leave very seriously and make extreme use of their PTO balance. See, we don’t just appreciate the occasional long weekend when a public holiday happens to fall on a Friday or a Monday.

Instead, we prefer public holidays to fall mid-week, so that we can take matters into our own hands and create as long of a weekend as possible with a few savvy time-off requests.

Holidays falling on Tuesdays and Thursdays are ideal. Take one day off work between the holiday and the weekend, and you have yourself a mini four-day vacation. It’s called ‘spajanje’ in Croatian, the act of ‘connecting’ holidays and weekends by the means of PTO use. If you manage to pull this off several times a year, it means taking your annual leave to another level.

Each December, as the year draws to a close, we all hurry to check our calendars to see what the next year will bring. Alas, 2021 didn’t provide us with a lot of reasons to rejoice, as most major holidays fell on weekend days. Labour Day (May 1st) was a Saturday, as well as Christmas Day. Statehood Day, Assumption of Mary and St Stephen’s Day all happened to fall on a Sunday. Rude. What a waste of national holidays. 


Are we Croatians a bunch of lazy bums who’d do anything to avoid going to work? It may seem like this is the case, but technically, we’re not slacking off as we still get the same number of days off in a year either way. We’re just very particular about how we schedule our holidays to maximise our annual leave. Why turn down a few additional short vacations each year? 

And yes, we’re aware we're not reinventing the wheel here; workers around the world love booking a few days off around public holidays to bag an extra long weekend or two. It’s just that no one seems to be as excited about this as Croatians are. The national urge to connect holidays and weekends is such a wide-spread phenomenon in Croatia, no self-respecting media outlet would fail to inform the public what they have to look forward to in this regard. This time last year a grim headline on tportal warned, ‘The 2021 holiday calendar is a nightmare. We’ll be working more than ever’. A bleak prospect. 

Things are looking up in 2022, though. It’s the last week of December, and there’s no end to enthusiastic articles about the coming year being a ‘long-weekend paradise’ and advising when to take a day off to get the most out of your annual leave. 'It simply wouldn’t make sense to have a weekend off, go to work on Monday and then have a day off again on Tuesday', says an article on Dnevnik. 'Go ahead, take a day off and connect those two!'

It’s truly a national sport. 

notebook-ga9acb7b19_1920.jpgCroatians to themselves in 2022, probably.  

So, what opportunities do Croatian workers have to take a mini vacation in 2022? We start off with a disappointment, New Year’s Day falling on Saturday.  

Luckily, we won’t have to wait long thanks to Epiphany on Thursday, January 6th. Take a day off on Friday, and you get a nice four-day vacation to recover from the stressful Christmas holidays... or whatever else you prefer to use as an excuse.

June is a particularly fruitful month in this regard. Corpus Christi is observed on June 16th this year (Thursday), while the following week brings the Anti-Fascist Struggle Day on June 22nd (Wednesday). You’d have to take five days off work, but it would mean getting out the office for 11 days in total. Not too shabby. 

There’s also All Saints’ Day on Tuesday, November 1st if you have any leftover time off on your balance. On top of all that, a few other holidays happen to fall on various Mondays and Fridays this year, so there are plenty of long weekends to enjoy either way. 

manasvita-s-9q5vptiE2TY-unsplash.jpgTake a day off.

Of course, not everyone gets to make use of this perk as taking leave, PTO or otherwise, heavily depends on profession. It’s mostly office workers and other 9-5 employees on a Monday-Friday schedule who benefit from ‘spajanje’. Others, from medical professionals to those working in the service industry or the media, don’t even bother marking public holidays on their calendars. Every day is a workday, especially in a tourism-oriented country. 

On a more serious note, what to expect on public holidays in Croatia? If your visit happens to coincide with one of Croatian national holidays, you might not even notice the difference. Government offices and banks will close on holidays, but most supermarkets, restaurants and bars typically remain open.  

Easter Sunday, All Saints’ Day, Christmas and New Year’s Day are notable exceptions, as most businesses close down on those days. Chances of finding an open store on one of these four holidays are slim, so stock up on groceries and other essentials beforehand. 

Public transport in Croatia continues to run on all holidays. Depending on the location and the holiday in question, some services might operate on an adjusted schedule so remember to look up the timetables a day or two in advance.


Here’s the list of all national holidays in Croatia in 2022: 

New Year's Day: Saturday, January 1

Epiphany: Thursday, January 6

Easter Sunday: April 17

Easter Monday: April 18

Labour Day: Sunday, May 1

Statehood Day: Monday, May 30

Corpus Christi: Thursday, June 16

Anti-Fascist Struggle Day: Wednesday, June 22

Victory Day: Friday, August 5

Assumption of Mary: Monday, August 15

All Saints' Day: Tuesday, November 1

Remembrance Day for the victims of the Homeland War and Remembrance Day for the victims of Vukovar and Škabrnja: Friday, November 18

Christmas Day: Sunday, December 25

St. Stephen's Day: Monday, December 26