Is Croatia safe for travel in 2020? Absolutely! Croatia is an extremely safe country to visit, and if you follow a few common-sense tips, you’ll have a fabulous time. Here’s everything you need to know about safety in Croatia, like common scams to look out for, areas to avoid, tips for solo female travelers, and much, much more.
For even more safety tips, connect with a Croatian local to plan your trip. Not only can they tell you how *they* navigate the country safely, but they’ll help you see Croatia like a local—not a tourist. Learn more.
Croatia is the 19th-safest country in the world, which means that it’s safer than both the UK and the US. The only safety issues you’re likely to encounter will involve pickpockets and scammers. Croatia is given a “Level 1” travel advisory by the US State Department—meaning it’s considered even safer than Denmark, which has a Level 2 advisory. Again: it’s safer than Denmark!
Croatia experiences 4 times less serious crime than the US does. But like any other country with a large number of travelers, Croatia attracts a lot of pickpockets. Our advice: keep your extra cash, credit cards, and passport in your hotel safe and only carry what you need when you’re out and about.
Be alert for pickpockets on the streets and in public transportation hubs, mainly in Zagreb and other major cities. Try to steer clear of the area around the Zagreb Bus Terminal, and avoid Ribnjak Park and King Tomislav Square after dark.
Recently, there has been an uptick in petty crime on beaches along the Adriatic coast, so take precautions and secure your valuables while you’re on the beach.
Scammers are everywhere in Europe, especially in big cities. Here are some common scams to avoid in Croatia:
In this scam, a young woman asks if you want to get a drink at a bar nearby. If you accept, she spends the night drinking expensive cocktails on your tab, leaving you with a hefty bill. If you don’t have the cash, bouncers will escort you to the nearest ATM. If you pay by credit card, the bar will add a 0 to the end of your bill, and you won’t be offered a receipt. Avoid this scam by just saying no.
Gentlemen's clubs should be avoided at all costs—especially in Zagreb. They’re usually owned by criminals who tend to target tourists. In this scam, the bar will overcharge you for drinks (like €2000 for a bottle of champagne) and threaten you if you refuse to pay.
In this scam, a Roma (gypsy) woman will offer you a sprig of rosemary, seemingly for free. She claims that this is a token of friendship or it will bring you good luck. If you accept it, she will demand money. If not she will cause an uproar and while distracted, an accomplice may pick your pockets. Small shells, amulets, or medallions may be offered as well.
Pro tip: Ask your Croatian local what scams to look out for—they’ve probably seen them all.
Public transportation in Croatia’s cities is very safe. Just stay alert if you take the bus or train (or the tram in Zagreb) and keep an eye on your belongings—especially at night. As mentioned above, bus stations are often prime targets for pickpockets, so stay aware of your surroundings.
Official taxis in Croatia are very safe and even have apps—which means you can easily order a taxi from your phone without having to worry about being ripped off. The two biggest taxi companies in Croatia are Cammeo and EkoTaxi. If you decide to hail a cab, just remember to only use official taxis (yellow taxi sign with the number on top of the car) with working meters.
If you’re a woman traveling alone, Croatia is one of the safest places in the world to visit. That said, here are some quick safety tips (many of which apply to everyone, regardless of gender):
Pro tip: The best person to ask for advice about traveling solo in Croatia is a Croatian woman!
If you’re arriving from the US and are up to date on your standard vaccines, then you’re all set to visit Croatia. You might want to consider travel insurance however, in case you fall ill or have an accident.
Drinking water is perfectly safe, and its purity is monitored by the government. You won’t have to worry about stocking up on bottled water while you’re in Croatia.
Just in case you do find yourself in an emergency situation while you are in Croatia, here are all the important numbers you should know:
Croatia is super safe, but why risk it? Connect with a local for safety tips *and* advice on what to see, do, and eat. Not only will local trip planners build an entire itinerary based on your interests and style, but they’ll advise you on how to to get around safely. If you do run into any problems you can always reach out—they’ll be available 24/7 with phone support. Basically, it’s like having a best friend in Croatia—and it’s always great when a local has your back. Learn more.