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Croatia - Exercise normal security precautions
There is no nationwide advisory in effect for Croatia. Exercise normal security precautions.
Safety and security
Safety and security
Landmines and unexploded ordnance remaining from the 1991-95 war pose a serious risk in some former front-line areas. Demining operations in certain areas are expected to continue until at least 2019. You should stay on paved roads and avoid ditches, open fields and the shoulders of roads in areas where signs indicate the possible presence of landmines. While most tourist destinations are not affected, you should contact the Croatian Mine Action Centre (e-mail) if you have questions regarding the presence of unexploded landmines.
Petty crime such as pickpocketing and document theft occurs, especially in busy tourist areas and along the Adriatic coast.
Ethnic tensions exist but rarely become violent.
In certain establishments, it is legal to charge any price for drinks as long as prices are posted. Check prices before placing an order. Some bars and “cabarets” have been known to charge exorbitant prices. Discussions about overcharging may lead to threats of violence and security guards may force you to pay.
Spiked food and drinks
Never leave your food or drinks unattended or in the care of strangers. Avoid accepting snacks, beverages, gum or cigarettes from new acquaintances, as the items may contain drugs that could put you at risk of sexual assault and robbery.
On November 21, 2016, the U.S. Department of State issued a Travel Alert for Europe, alerting U.S. citizens to the “heightened risk of terrorist attacks throughout Europe, particularly during the holiday season” and advising them to “exercise vigilance when attending large holiday events, visiting tourist sites, using public transportation, and frequenting places of worship, restaurants, hotels, etc.”
There is a threat of terrorism in Europe. Terrorist attacks have occurred in a number of European cities and there is a potential for other violent incidents, which could target areas frequented by expatriates and foreign travellers. Continue to exercise normal security precautions.
Demonstrations occur periodically and are usually peaceful. Nevertheless, avoid all demonstrations and large gatherings, as they have the potential to suddenly turn violent. Follow the advice of local authorities and monitor local media.
Exercise caution when driving on highways and respect speed limits. Travel on small roads can be hazardous. Drivers do not always follow safe driving practices. Many roads are narrow and poorly maintained. In particular, roads in Istria and along the Adriatic coast are congested, narrow and very slippery when wet, and many lack guard rails. Highways cover main routes; however, some highway segments are not yet completed. Expect heavy traffic congestion on major routes on weekends, particularly during the summer tourist season and in main cities during rush hour.
For road conditions and safety information, consult Croatia Traffic Info, published by the Croatian Automobile Association, Hrvatski Autoklub.
Dial 1987 for roadside assistance.
The Government of Canada does not assess foreign domestic airlines’ compliance with international aviation safety standards. See Foreign domestic airlines for more information.
Trekking or rock climbing
If you intend to trek or rock climb, hire an experienced guide and ensure that the company is reputable. Buy travel health insurance that includes helicopter rescue and medical evacuation.
General safety information
Exercise normal safety precautions. Ensure that your personal belongings, including your passport and other travel documents are secure at all times, particularly on public transportation and in railroad stations and airports.
Be vigilant if you attend soccer matches. The crowd occasionally becomes rowdy and violent.
There has been a significant increase in the number of migrants and refugees entering Europe. Some countries have already experienced disruptions to transportation services, including at ferry ports and railway stations, and have seen major delays at border crossings. The situation also heightens the potential for demonstrations that could turn violent without warning, particularly at railway stations and other transportation hubs. If you are travelling in the region, monitor local news and follow the advice of local authorities, and contact your transport carrier to determine whether the situation could disrupt your travel.
It is the sole prerogative of every country or territory to determine who is allowed to enter or exit. Canadian consular officials cannot intervene on your behalf if you do not meet entry or exit requirements. The following information has been obtained from the Croatian authorities and is subject to change at any time. The country- or territory-specific entry/exit requirements are provided on this page for information purposes only. While every effort is made to provide accurate information, information contained here is provided on an "as is" basis without warranty of any kind, express or implied. The Government of Canada assumes no responsibility, and shall not be liable for any damages in connection to the information provided. It is your responsibility to check with the Embassy of the Republic of Croatia or one of its consulates for up-to-date information.
If you are staying in private accommodations, you must register with local police within 48 hours of arrival. Confirm that the hotel or tourist accommodation has registered you on your behalf; registration could take up to 24 hours. You may be fined or expelled for failure to register.
Croatia is a member of the European Union but it is not part of the Schengen area. A passport is required to travel between Croatia and other European countries.
Canadians must present a passport to visit Croatia, which must be valid for at least 3 months beyond the date of expected departure from that country. Prior to travelling, ask your transportation company about its requirements related to passport validity, which may be more stringent than the country's entry rules.
Temporary passport holders may be subject to different entry requirements. Check with diplomatic representatives for up-to-date information.
Official (special and diplomatic) passport holders must consult the Official Travel page, as they may be subject to different entry requirements.
Tourist visa: Not required for stays up to 90 days
Business visa: Not required for stays up to 90 days.
Student visa: Not required for stays up to 90 days.
Children and travel
Children need special documentation to visit certain countries. See Children for more information.
See Health to obtain information on this country’s vaccination requirements.
- Measles: Global Update - July 28, 2016 00:00 EDT
Be sure that your routine vaccines are up-to-date regardless of your travel destination.
Vaccines to Consider
You may be at risk for these vaccine-preventable diseases while travelling in this country. Talk to your travel health provider about which ones are right for you.
Hepatitis A is a disease of the liver spread through contaminated food and water or contact with an infected person. All those travelling to regions with a risk of hepatitis A infection should get vaccinated.
Hepatitis B is a disease of the liver spread through blood or other bodily fluids. Travellers who may be exposed (e.g., through sexual contact, medical treatment, sharing needles, tattooing, acupuncture or occupational exposure) should get vaccinated.
Seasonal influenza occurs worldwide. The flu season usually runs from November to April in the northern hemisphere, between April and October in the southern hemisphere and year round in the tropics. Influenza (flu) is caused by a virus spread from person to person when they cough or sneeze or by touching objects and surfaces that have been contaminated with the virus. Get the flu shot.
Measles is a highly contagious viral disease and is common in most parts of the world. Be sure your measles vaccination is up-to-date regardless of your travel destination.
Rabies is a deadly illness spread to humans through a bite, scratch or lick from an infected animal. Vaccination should be considered for travellers going to areas where rabies exists and who have a high risk of exposure (i.e., close contact with animals, occupational risk, and children).
Tick-borne encephalitis is a viral disease that affects the central nervous system. It is spread to humans by the bite of an infected tick. Vaccination should be considered for those who may be exposed to ticks (e.g., those participating in outdoor activities in wooded areas) while travelling in regions with risk of tick-borne encephalitis.
Yellow Fever Vaccination
Yellow fever is a disease caused by a flavivirus from the bite of an infected mosquito.
Travellers get vaccinated either because it is required to enter a country or because it is recommended for their protection.
|* It is important to note that country entry requirements may not reflect your risk of yellow fever at your destination. It is recommended that you contact the nearest diplomatic or consular office of the destination(s) you will be visiting to verify any additional entry requirements.|
|Country Entry Requirement*|
Food and Water-borne Diseases
Travellers to any destination in the world can develop travellers' diarrhea from consuming contaminated water or food.
In some areas in Southern Europe, food and water can also carry diseases like hepatitis A. Practise safe food and water precautions while travelling in Southern Europe. When in doubt, remember…boil it, cook it, peel it, or leave it!
Insects and Illness
Travellers are advised to take precautions against bites.
There is no risk of malaria in this country.
Animals and Illness
Travellers are cautioned to avoid contact with animals, including dogs, snakes, rodents, birds, and bats. Some infections found in Southern Europe, like rabies, can be shared between humans and animals.
Medical services and facilities
Satisfactory medical care is available, but emergency services, especially on the Croatian islands, may be inadequate. Medical services sometimes require immediate cash payment.
Decompression chambers can be found on the Adriatic coast in Crikvenica, Dubrovnik, Pula and Split.
Keep in Mind...
The decision to travel is the sole responsibility of the traveller. The traveller is also responsible for his or her own personal safety.
Be prepared. Do not expect medical services to be the same as in Canada. Pack a travel health kit, especially if you will be travelling away from major city centres.
Laws and culture
Laws & culture
You are subject to local laws. See Arrest and detention for more information.
Canada and Croatia are signatories to the Convention on the Transfer of Sentenced Persons (Council of Europe). This enables a Canadian imprisoned in Croatia to request a transfer to a Canadian prison to complete a sentence. The transfer requires the agreement of both Canadian and Croatian authorities.
Dual citizenship is legally recognized in Croatia. However, Canadian officials may be limited in their ability to provide you with consular services if local authorities consider you a Croatian citizen. You should always travel using your valid Canadian passport and present yourself as Canadian to foreign authorities at all times to minimize this risk. You may also need to carry and present a Croatian passport for legal reasons, for example to enter and exit the country (see Entry/exit requirements to determine passport requirements). Citizenship is determined solely by national laws, and the decision to recognize dual citizenship rests completely with the country in which you are located when seeking consular assistance. See Travelling as a dual citizen for more information.
Although dual citizenship is formally recognized, the police usually process dual nationals as Croatian citizens only. Dual citizens are strongly advised to contact the nearest Croatian embassy or consulate well before departure in order to seek advice on any required administrative procedures. Failure to do so may also subject dual Canadian-Croatian citizens to national obligations, such as taxes.
Carry adequate identification, such as your passport, at all times. Keep a photocopy of your passport in case of loss or seizure.
Penalties for possession, use or trafficking of illegal drugs are strict. Convicted offenders can expect jail sentences and heavy fines.
An International Driving Permit is recommended.
Seat belt use for the driver and all passengers in the car and the use of car seats for infants are mandatory. Children under 12 years of age are not allowed to sit in the front passenger seat.
The use of a cellular telephone while driving is prohibited, unless the phone is fitted with a hands-free device.
The use of headlights is required when driving during winter (from the last weekend in October until the last weekend in March)—even during daytime—as well as in fog and other inclement weather.
Motorists must wear a fluorescent vest when attending to a car breakdown along the road.
When driving, a vehicle coming from the right has the right of way, unless otherwise indicated. Right turns at red lights are prohibited. Failure to respect these laws may result in fines.
Penalties for drinking and driving are strict. Police undertake routine spot checks. Convicted offenders can expect heavy fines and jail sentences. The legal blood alcohol limit is 0.05 percent, but there is zero tolerance for driving under the influence of alcohol when a motorist or boat operator is involved in an accident. The legal blood alcohol limit is also 0.00 percent for professional drivers and drivers younger than 24 years of age. In the event that an accident causes serious injury or death, police will take blood samples to test alcohol levels. You are advised to seek legal counsel immediately if you are charged following an accident.
Vehicles with foreign licence plates can operate in Croatia up to three months after arrival. After three months, vehicles must be temporarily registered in Croatia.
Recreational skippers must be certified; however, under Croatian law, the Ministry of Maritime Affairs, Transport and Infrastructure recognizes licences issued by the national authorities of other countries.
The currency is the Croatian kuna (HRK).
All major Western currencies are easily exchanged for local currency. Keep receipts to reconvert kuna to foreign currency. Credit cards and traveller’s cheques are accepted by most banks and hotels. Automated banking machines are widely available in urban centres.
When crossing one of the external border control points of the European Union (EU), you must make a declaration to customs upon entry or exit if you have at least €10,000 or the equivalent in other currencies. The sum can be in cash, cheques, money orders, traveller’s cheques or any other convertible assets. This does not apply if you are travelling within the EU or in transit to a non-EU country. For more information on the EU legislation and links to EU countries’ sites, visit the European Commission’s Cash controls.
Natural disasters and climate
Natural disasters & climate
Croatia is located in an active seismic zone.
Bush and forest fires are common from June to September in the coastal areas of Croatia. In the event of a wildfire, avoid the affected areas, follow the advice of local authorities and monitor local media. If you suffer from respiratory ailments, take into account that the air quality in areas near active fires may deteriorate due to heavy smoke. Visit the national protection and rescue (DUZS) website (available in Croatian) for the latest information on wildfires in Croatia.
Heavy rains are frequent in the summer in the Eastern and Central regions, sometimes resulting in localized flooding. Exercise caution, monitor local media and follow the advice of local authorities.
Dial 112 for emergency assistance.
Zagreb - Embassy of Canada
For emergency consular assistance, call the Embassy of Canada in Zagreb and follow the instructions. At any time, you may also contact the Emergency Watch and Response Centre in Ottawa.
The decision to travel is your choice and you are responsible for your personal safety abroad. The Government of Canada takes the safety and security of Canadians abroad very seriously and provides credible and timely information in its Travel Advice to enable you to make well-informed decisions regarding your travel abroad. In the event of a large-scale emergency, every effort will be made to provide assistance. However, there may be constraints that will limit the ability of the Government of Canada to provide services.
See Large-scale emergencies abroad for more information.
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