Croatia Traveler Information - Travel Advice
Travel Advice with a Travel Advisory overview from the US State Department. Here we cover Visa, Safety & Security, local Laws and Insurance in our Croatia Traveler Information guide.
At AardvarkCompare we can’t recommend travel insurance enough. Whether you are just traveling a few hundred miles from home to see family, or traveling to the other side of the world, travel insurance should be considered an essential part of your holiday packing. The hope is that you won’t have to use your travel insurance, and that you’ll have a fun and enjoyable trip. The following Croatia Traveler Information should help you make the most of your trip to Croatia.
Note: Always check that your destination country is one approved for travel by your travel insurance provider.
PASSPORT VALIDITY: Three months after the planned date of departure.
BLANK PASSPORT PAGES: One page is required for an entry stamp.
TOURIST VISA REQUIRED: No.
CURRENCY RESTRICTIONS FOR ENTRY: Up to 10,000 euros.
CURRENCY RESTRICTIONS FOR EXIT: Up to 10,000 euros.
Embassies and Consulates
Ulica Thomasa Jeffersona 2
10010 Zagreb, Croatia
Telephone: +(385) (1) 661-2200
Emergency After-Hours Telephone: +(385) (1) 661-2200
Fax: +(385) (1) 665-8933
See the Department of State’s Fact Sheet on Croatia for information on U.S. – Croatia relations.
Entry, Exit and Visa Requirements
You need a valid U.S. passport to enter Croatia. Croatia requests three months validity on your passport. Croatia is not a member of the Schengen area. If you transit a Schengen country en route to Croatia, your passport should have at least six months of validity to avoid difficulties. For further details about travel in Europe, please see the U.S. Travelers in Europe page. Please be aware that a U.S. citizen traveling on a passport that has previously been reported lost or stolen will NOT be allowed entry in Croatia. Visit the Embassy of Croatia website for the most current visa information.
- You do not need a visa if you hold a valid U.S. passport and are traveling to Croatia for tourism or business for less than 90 days within a 180-day period.
- For entry and residence requirements in Croatia, please visit the Embassy of Croatia’s website. The U.S. Embassy is not able to expedite or intervene in the issuance of a Croatian residence permit.
- Visitors to Croatia must register at a local police station within three days of arrival in country. If you are staying at a hotel, hostel, or vacation rental, this process is generally done on your behalf by the property owner.
- Foreign documents submitted for residence in Croatia, including birth certificates, marriage licenses, divorce decrees, educational records, driver’s licenses, or other documents, must be translated into Croatian and have an Apostille stamp. The U.S. Embassy cannot authenticate documents. For information on applying for Apostille and authentication services, please see the Department of State’s Office of Authentications website.
The U.S Department of State is unaware of any HIV/AIDSentry restrictions for visitors to or foreign residents of Croatia.
Military/Status of Forces Agreement (SOFA) Travelers: While active-duty U.S. military personnel may enter Croatia under the (SOFA) with proper Department of Defense (DOD) identification and travel orders, all SOFA family members, civilian employees, and contractors must have valid passports. Active-duty military personnel should obtain a tourist passport before leaving the United States to accommodate off-duty travel. DOD travelers should consult with their unit for clearance before leaving the United States.
Safety and Security
Credible information indicates terrorist groups continue plotting possible attacks in Europe. European governments are taking action to guard against terrorist attacks; however, all European countries remain potentially vulnerable to attacks from transnational terrorist organizations.
- War hostilities ended in all parts of Croatia in 1995; however, de-mining of areas along former confrontation lines will continue until at least 2019. Mined areas are well marked with Croatian-language warning signs using the international symbol for mines: a skull and crossbones inside a red, upside-down triangle. Drivers in former conflict areas should stay on paved roads to reduce the risk of encountering unmarked mines and unexploded ordnance.
- For more information about mine-affected areas and de-mining operations in Croatia, please visit the Croatian Mine Action Center's website.
- Avoid demonstrations. While civil disorder is rare in Croatia, U.S. citizens should monitor local media coverage, review their personal security practices, and be aware of their surroundings at all times. Even peaceful demonstrations can escalate into violence with little or no notice. Security messages about demonstrations can be found here on the U.S. Embassy website.
Crime: While violent crime is rare, isolated attacks targeting specific persons or property may occur and be racially-motivated or prompted by lingering ethnic tensions from Croatia's war for independence.
- Safeguard your belongings in public areas, especially in bus or railroad stations, airports, gas stations, and public transportation. Report incidents of theft to the local police. File a police report if your U.S. passport is stolen.
- Don’t display outward signs of wealth. It may make you a target for thieves.
- Avoid "gentlemen's clubs." In the past, such establishments have presented foreign customers with inflated bills and threatened those who refuse to pay.
U.S. business entities are encouraged to read the most recent Overseas Security Advisory Council (OSAC) Annual Crime and Safety Report for Croatia.
See the Department of State and the FBI pages for information on scams.
Victims of Crime:
U.S. citizen victims of sexual assault may contact the U.S. Embassy at + (385) (1) 661-2200 and check the information on local resources for victims of sexual assault on the U.S. Embassy’s website. Report crimes to the local police by dialing 112, and then contact the U.S. Embassy in Zagreb.
Remember that local authorities are responsible for investigating and prosecuting crimes.
See our webpage on help for U.S. victims of crime overseas.
- help you find appropriate medical care
- assist you in reporting a crime to the police
- contact relatives or friends with your written consent
- explain the local criminal justice process in general terms
- provide a list of local attorneys
- provide our information on victim’s compensation programs in the United States
- provide information about local resources for victims of crime
- provide an emergency loan for repatriation to the United States and/or limited medical support in cases of destitution
- help you find accommodation and arrange flights home if you are destitute
- replace a stolen or lost passport
Domestic Violence: U.S. citizen victims of domestic violence may contact the U.S. Embassy for assistance. You can find additional local resources for victims of domestic violence on the U.S. Embassy’s website.
Tourism: The tourism industry is generally regulated and rules with regard to best practices and safety inspections are regularly enforced. Hazardous areas/activities are identified with appropriate signage and professional staff is typically on hand in support of organized activities. In the event of an injury, appropriate medical treatment is widely available throughout the country. Outside of a major metropolitan center, it may take more time for first responders and medical professionals to stabilize a patient and provide life-saving assistance. U.S. citizens are encouraged to purchase medical evacuation insurance. See our webpage for more information on insurance providers for overseas coverage.
Local Laws & Special Circumstances
Criminal Penalties: You are subject to local laws. If you violate local laws, even unknowingly, you may be expelled, arrested, or imprisoned.
Arrest Notification: If you are arrested or detained, ask police or prison officials to notify the U.S. Embassy immediately. See our webpage for further information.
Real estate: U.S. citizens should exercise due diligence when considering purchasing real estate in Croatia. U.S. citizens should consult with an attorney before undertaking a real estate purchase, and should be careful to fully understand the implications of all parts of a real estate contract. Working with a translator can help ensure that your rights are protected. There is little the U.S. Embassy can do to assist U.S. citizens who enter into private land or business disputes; you must be prepared to take your case to the local courts. Please review the U.S. Embassy’s website for additional information on buying real estate in Croatia.
Travelers checks are less accepted and exchanged at an unfavorable rate. ATMs are common, and credit cards are accepted. Facilities are available for wiring or transferring money.
Recreational Boating: TheCroatian Government requires all recreational captains chartering Croatian-flagged vessels to have a certificate of competence.
- Croatia recognizes certain certificates issued by the U.S. Sailing Association and licenses issued by the national authorities of other countries.
- Details on classes of licenses recognized by country can be found on the Ministry of the Sea, Transport, and Infrastructure’s webpage.
- Tourists in Croatia can be certified by passing a test at harbormasters' offices in Pula, Rijeka, Senj, Zadar, Sibenik, Split, Ploce, Dubrovnik, or at the Ministry in Zagreb.
- Travelers arriving by private marine craft should refer to the Ministry’s website for information on nautical regulations.
Climbing and Hiking: If you intend to hike or climb in the Croatian mountains, seek local guides’ expert advice. For emergencies, call 112 and the Croatian Mountain Rescue Service. Rock climbers in Paklenica National Park should consult a local guide or contact Paklenica National Park prior to their visit.
Faith-Based Travelers: See our following webpages for details:
- Faith-Based Travel Information
- International Religious Freedom Report – see country reports
- Human Rights Report – see country reports
- Hajj Fact Sheet for Travelers
- Best Practices for Volunteering Abroad
LGBTI Travelers: There are no legal restrictions regarding same-sex sexual relationsor the organization of LGBTI events in Croatia. Although lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and intersex (LGBTI) individuals are afforded full rights in Croatia, same-sex couples may face legal challenges in the areas of adoption and next-of-kin determinations. In 2014, Croatia enacted the Law on Life Partnership of Same Sex Couples allowing for formal registration of same sex unions. The LGBTI community is protected by anti-discrimination laws, and there are no legal or governmental impediments to the organization of LGBTI events. However, there have been incidents against LGBTI groups, notably during annual pride events, both in Zagreb and Split. Individual cases of attacks on members of the LGBTI community have also been recorded.
Travelers Who Require Accessibility Assistance. Accessibility and accommodation in Croatia are different from those in the United States. Croatian law mandates access to transportation, communication, and public buildings for persons with disabilities; however, there is a marked difference in new construction compared to old construction, where access can still be limited. Croatia’s geography is hilly and often steep, particularly along the coast, and presents challenges to some persons with disabilities. Access to public transportation may not always be available. Outside urban areas, accessibility worsens significantly.
Women Travelers: See our travel tips for Women Travelers.
Adequate medical care is readily available in Croatia, but the condition of hospital facilities may not be comparable to U.S. standards. Travelers to Croatia may obtain a list of English-speaking physicians on the U.S. Embassy’s website. You may require a prescription to get some medications that you can purchase over-the-counter in the United States.
If you will be in Croatia for more than three months, especially if you anticipate hiking, camping, or other outdoor activities in forested areas, you may wish to get a tick-borne encephalitis vaccine. This vaccine is not available in the United States, but is available in Croatia from local doctors. Use insect repellent and inspect your body for ticks after spending time outdoors.
We do not pay medical bills. Be aware that U.S. Medicare does not apply overseas.
Medical Insurance: Make sure your health insurance plan provides coverage overseas. Most care providers in Croatia accept cash or credit card payments. See our webpage for more information on insurance providers for overseas coverage.
We strongly recommend supplemental insurance to cover medical evacuation.
If traveling with prescription medication, please check with the government of Croatia and its Minister of Foreign Affairs to make sure the medication is legal in Croatia. Always carry your prescription medication in original packaging with your doctor’s prescription. Visit the U.S. Embassy’s website for information on bringing medical drugs for personal use when traveling to Croatia. Note that Croatian law prohibits the importation of drugs via postal mail.
Vaccinations: Be up-to-date on all vaccinations recommended by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Further health information:
Travel and Transportation
Road Conditions and Safety: Road conditions in Croatia may differ significantly from those in United States. Current information about traffic and road conditions is available in English from the Croatian Automobile Association (HAK) or by calling +385 1 464-0800 (English-speaking operators available 24 hours) or +385 1 661-1999.
- Exercise caution when driving in Croatia. On the highways, be aware of aggressive drivers passing on curves or in oncoming lanes.
- Highway tolls are higher than those in the United States and can be paid in cash or by credit card. Information on tolls is available from the Croatian Motorways website.
- Croatian radiobroadcasts programs in foreign languages on several frequencies. From mid-June to mid-September, Channel 2 broadcasts foreign news, traffic information, and important information in English and German.
- Within Croatia, emergency roadside assistance is available by calling 1987. Dial 112 or 192 to speak to the police, and dial 194 for an ambulance.
Traffic Laws: Vehicles drive on the right side of the road and overtake on the left. Speed limits range from 110 to 130 km/h on highways and motorways and 50 to 90 km/h on urban thoroughfares.
- A Croatian driver's license is required for drivers who stay longer than twelve months.
- Don’t drink and drive. The maximum legal blood-alcohol limit for drivers is 0.05 percent (0.00 percent for drivers with less than two years’ experience, drivers under 24 years of age, and truck, or bus drivers).
- Police routinely spot-check for drunk driving and administer breath-analyzer tests at the scene of all accidents. Refusal to take a breath test is considered a de facto admission of driving while intoxicated. Penalties may include fines up to 2,000 euros and/or prison sentences.
- For traffic accidents involving a foreign-registered vehicle, the responding police officer must issue a vehicle damage certificate to the owner of the foreign-registered vehicle; this is necessary to cross the border out of Croatia. Upon written request, the police station in the area where the accident occurred will issue a traffic accident investigation record.
- Seat belts for drivers and passengers are mandatory. Infantsmust travel in child-safety seats. Children under 12 may not ride in the front seat.
- No right on red at traffic lights unless allowed by an additional green arrow.
- Pedestrians have the right of way when crossing in designated white-striped crosswalks. You must stop.
- Headlights must be used all winter, as well as during fog and other inclement weather.
- It is illegal to talk on a cell phone while driving unless using a hands-free device.
For specific information concerning Croatian driver's permits, vehicle inspection, road tax, and mandatory insurance, please contact the Croatian National Tourist Board.
Public Transportation: Pay attention to trams (streetcars) in Zagreb, which travelat high speed through the narrow streets.
See our Road Safety webpage for more information. Visit the websites of the Ministry of the Interior, the Croatian National Tourist Board, and the Croatian Ministry of the Sea, Transport, and Infrastructure, which are responsible for road safety.
Aviation Safety Oversight:The U.S. Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has assessed the Government of Croatia’s Civil Aviation Authority as being in compliance with International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) aviation safety standards for oversight of Croatia’s air carrier operations. Further information may be found on the FAA’s safety assessment page.
Maritime Travel: Mariners planning travel to Croatia should also check for U.S. maritime advisories and alerts at www.marad.dot.gov/msci. Information may also be posted to the U.S. Coast Guard homeport website and the NGA broadcast warnings website select “broadcast warnings.”
For additional travel information
- Enroll in the Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP) to receive security messages and make it easier to locate you in an emergency.
- Call us in Washington, D.C. at 1-888-407-4747 (toll-free in the United States and Canada) or 1-202-501-4444 (from all other countries) from 8:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m., Eastern Standard Time, Monday through Friday (except U.S. federal holidays).
- See the State Department’s travel website for the Worldwide Caution and Travel Advisories.
- Follow us on Twitter and Facebook.
- See traveling safely abroad for useful travel tips.
International Parental Child Abduction
Review information about International Parental Child Abduction in Croatia. For additional IPCA-related information, please see the International Child Abduction Prevention and Return Act (ICAPRA) report.”
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