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Is Croatia Safe for Travel in 2020?

ViaHero
Updated July 6, 2020

Generally, Croatia is a safe place for travelers. And a really wonderful place to visit!

Check out our update below: 

"Linelly helped us beyond anything we could've planned ourselves. Everything she suggested for us was spot-on, and I feel we got the best experience by following a local's guidance."
Kate, Recent Traveler
Kate, Recent Traveler

UPDATE: The coronavirus in Croatia

Like most places around the world, Croatia has cases of coronavirus. So, when will Croatia be safe for travel?

Here's the latest: 

July 6th: Starting on July 1st, Croatia has opened its borders for travelers. Anyone traveling from the EU can enter the country without any restrictions. Travelers from other countries—including the US—are permitted to enter, but they must provide a pressing reason for doing so. This can include business travel or tourism

The U.S. State Department has issued a Level 4 Travel Advisory for all international travel. This strongly recommends that Americans avoid international travel.

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Read our full update about travel and coronavirus HERE. Or, send a message to a local in Croatia

Statistically, Croatia is one of the safest countries in the world

Dubrovnik, Croatia | Jonathan Chng/Unsplash

The stats don't lie: Croatia is the 19th-safest country in the worldThat means that Croatia is statistically 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. For context, that's the best safety rating you can get (and it's better than Denmark. Denmark.)

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Petty theft and scams are your only concerns

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.   

Areas to avoid after dark

Use local insights to keep safe. Our trip planners instruct travelers to remain alert for pickpockets on the streets and in public transportation hubs—mainly in Zagreb and other major cities. They recommend steering clear of the area around the Zagreb Bus Terminal and avoiding Ribnjak Park and King Tomislav Square after dark.

Recently, they tell us there has been an uptick in petty crime on beaches along the Adriatic coast. Take precautions and secure your valuables while you’re on the beach.

Common scams to avoid

Scammers are everywhere in Europe, especially in big cities. Getting local advice can help you avoid them! Here's what our local trip planners say about common scams to avoid in Croatia:

The “buy me a drink” bar scam

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.

The “gentlemen's club” scam

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.

The rosemary scam

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.

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Public transportation in Croatia is safe

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.

For more, read our article on Croatia transportation

Taxis and Ubers are also safe

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.

Alternatively, Ubers are a really safe way to get around most Croatia cities, like Zagreb and the Croatian Coast.

Croatia is terrific for female solo travelers

Solo traveler in Croatia | Camilla Plener/Unsplash

If you’re a woman traveling alone, Croatia is among the safest places in the world to visit. That said, it's always good to get an insider's perspective. Our trip planners provided these safety tips (many of which apply to everyone, regardless of gender!):

  • Don’t walk alone in poorly lit and deserted areas.
  • Don’t accept drinks from strangers. 
  • Always take marked taxis, which are readily available at main squares, ferry ports, and bus stations.
  • If adventure travel is your thing, join an organized group instead of venturing out in the countryside on your own.
  • Catcalling in Croatia isn’t any worse than in any other European country. A firm no or ignoring the comments are enough to deter street harassers.

You won't have to worry about vaccines or safety of drinking water

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.

You don't have to worry about water quality either! The purity of drinking water is monitored by the government. No need to stock up on bottled water while you’re in Croatia. (Whenever you go, we recommend getting a reusable water bottle to cut down on plastic. It's an easy way to make your travel more sustainable.)

Emergency numbers to know

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:

  • Police / ambulance / firefighters - 112
  •  U.S. Embassy Zagreb - (385) (1) 661-2200
  • Website - U.S. Embassy Zagreb
Still have questions about travel to Croatia?
Why not ask someone who lives there? ViaHero connects you with a local to help plan your trip. They’ll create a guidebook based on your personal travel style.
You’ll see a unique side of a destination and travel independently—all while saving time and money in the planning process. Find a local today.

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