Croatia travel advice
Latest updates: The Health section was updated - travel health information (Public Health Agency of Canada)
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- Risk level
- Safety and security
- Entry and exit requirements
- Laws and culture
- Natural disasters and climate
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Croatia - Take normal security precautions
Take normal security precautions in Croatia.
Safety and security
The violent crime rate is low. Petty crime, such as pickpocketing and purse snatching, is common.
Organized groups of pickpockets often use distraction techniques and are particularly active in:
- main cities
- public transportation hubs
- hotel lobbies
- restaurants, patios and outdoor cafés
- tourist sites and attractions
While in Croatia:
- avoid showing signs of affluence and carrying large sums of cash
- ensure that your belongings, including your passport and other travel documents, are secure at all times
- don’t leave luggage unattended at airport check-in or ticket counters, car rental desks or hotel lobbies
- don’t leave luggage or valuables in a vehicle, and always park your vehicle in secure facilities
- be cautious when travelling on public transportation and overnight trains
- carry a photocopy or digital copy of your passport identification page, driver’s licence, train or airline tickets and credit cards
Credit card and ATM fraud may occur. Be cautious when using debit or credit cards:
- pay careful attention when others are handling your cards
- use ATMs located in public areas or inside a bank or business
- avoid using card readers with an irregular or unusual feature
- cover the keypad with one hand when entering your PIN
- check for any unauthorized transactions on your account statements
Some bars, nightclubs and “cabarets” may try to charge exorbitant prices. Disputes about overcharging may lead to threats of violence, and security guards may force you to pay.
- Always confirm prices before consuming
- Avoid running a tab or leaving your credit card with bar or restaurant staff
- Check your bill to make sure it’s exact
Spiked food and drinks
Never leave food or drinks unattended or in the care of strangers. Be wary of accepting snacks, beverages, gum or cigarettes from new acquaintances. These items may contain drugs that could put you at risk of sexual assault and robbery.
While most of the territory has been cleared, landmines and unexploded ordnance may still pose a serious risk in certain areas. These are usually clearly identified and major tourist destinations are not affected.
The Croatian Mine Action Centre maintains a map of suspected minefields and has also developed a free smartphone app to alert users if they enter a danger zone.
If you plan on visiting areas outside of major tourist destinations:
- consult the map of suspected minefields and download the alert app
- pay attention to signs indicating the possible presence of landmines
- remain on paved roads
- avoid open fields, road shoulders and unmarked trails
- Map of suspected minefields - The Croatian Mine Action Centre
- Minefields info app - The Croatian Mine Action Centre
There is a threat of terrorism in Europe. Terrorists have carried out attacks in several European cities. Terrorist attacks could occur at any time.
Targets could include:
- government buildings, including schools
- places of worship
- airports and other transportation hubs and networks
- public areas such as tourist attractions, restaurants, bars, coffee shops, shopping centres, markets, hotels and other sites frequented by foreigners
Always be aware of your surroundings when in public places. Be particularly vigilant during:
- sporting events
- religious holidays
- public celebrations
- major political events, such as elections
Terrorists may use such occasions to mount attacks.
Demonstrations take place from time to time.
Even peaceful demonstrations can turn violent at any time. They can also lead to disruptions to traffic and public transportation.
- Avoid areas where demonstrations and large gatherings are taking place
- Follow the instructions of local authorities
- Monitor local media for information on ongoing demonstrations
Soccer matches and sports events
Sports events sometimes lead to rowdy behaviour and violent incidents.
Be vigilant if you attend soccer matches and sports rallies.
Coastal waters can be dangerous.
In the fall and winter months, waves can be unpredictable, breaking further than expected and causing strong undertows.
- Be cautious when walking on the shore
- Avoid visiting beaches or coastal areas during periods of severe weather warnings
- Always take into account warning flags at beaches
- Don’t dive into unknown water, as hidden rocks or shallow depths can cause serious injury or death
- Exercise caution and follow the advice of local authorities
If you are planning to go boating:
- know the navigation rules
- follow safe practices for all water activities such as jet-skiing, water-skiing, diving, swimming or fishing
- don’t overload your boat capacity
- carry a VHF marine radio that will generate your position in case of emergency
- be prepared for emergencies
Mountain activities, such as hiking, can be dangerous, especially if they are not well prepared. Trails are not always marked and weather conditions can change rapidly, even in summer.
If you intend to go hiking or climbing:
- never do so alone
- consider hiring an experienced guide from a reputable company
- buy travel insurance that includes helicopter rescue and medical evacuation
- ensure that your physical condition is good enough to meet the challenges of your activity
- ensure that you’re properly equipped
- stay informed about weather and other conditions that may pose a hazard
- inform a family member or friend of your itinerary
- obtain detailed information on trekking routes before setting out
- do not venture off marked trails
- pay attention to signs indicating the possible presence of landmines
Road conditions and road safety can vary greatly throughout the country. Driving conditions may be hazardous on small roads. Many roads are poorly maintained. In Istria and along the Adriatic coast, roads can be congested, narrow and slippery when wet. Many lack guard rails. Accidents involving cyclists have occurred.
Drivers don’t always respect traffic laws.
In Zagreb, always be alert when walking, driving or cycling near tram rails.
Road conditions and safety information - Croatian Automobile Association (Hrvatski Autoklub)
Public transportation in Zagreb is extensive, safe and reliable.
You must validate your ticket before boarding transportation.
Train and bus
Main cities and tourist areas are well connected by bus services and trains.
Ferry services operate between mainland and several islands of the Adriatic coast, particularly during summer.
Taxis are generally safe. Ridesharing services are available.
- Use only officially marked taxis or a trusted ridesharing app
- Negotiate fares in advance or insist that the driver use the meter, as you may be overcharged
We do not make assessments on the compliance of foreign domestic airlines with international safety standards.
Entry and exit requirements
Every country or territory decides who can enter or exit through its borders. The Government of Canada cannot intervene on your behalf if you do not meet your destination’s entry or exit requirements.
We have obtained the information on this page from the Croatian authorities. It can, however, change at any time.
Verify this information with the Foreign Representatives in Canada.
Croatia is a Schengen area country. Canadian citizens do not need a visa for travel to countries within the Schengen area. However, visa-free travel only applies to stays of up to 90 days in any 180-day period. Stays are cumulative and include visits to any Schengen area country.
If you plan to stay in the Schengen area for a longer period of time, you will need a visa. You must contact the high commission or embassy of the country or countries you are travelling to and obtain the appropriate visa(s) prior to travel.
Entry requirements vary depending on the type of passport you use for travel.
Before you travel, check with your transportation company about passport requirements. Its rules on passport validity may be more stringent than the country’s entry rules.
Regular Canadian passport
Your passport must be valid for at least 3 months beyond the date you expect to leave from Croatia.
Passport for official travel
Different entry rules may apply.
Passport with “X” gender identifier
While the Government of Canada issues passports with an “X” gender identifier, it cannot guarantee your entry or transit through other countries. You might face entry restrictions in countries that do not recognize the “X” gender identifier. Before you leave, check with the closest foreign representative for your destination.
Other travel documents
Different entry rules may apply when travelling with a temporary passport or an emergency travel document. Before you leave, check with the closest foreign representative for your destination.
Tourist visa: not required for stays up to 90 days in any 180-day period
Business visa: not required for stays up to 90 days in any 180-day period
Student visa: not required for stays up to 90 days in any 180-day period
Information on visas - Ministry of Interior of Croatia
Other entry requirements
Customs officials may ask you to show them a return or onward ticket and proof of sufficient funds to cover your stay.
Entry by sea
If you plan on entering Croatia by sea on your boat or a rented boat, you must:
- pass through immigration clearance at the closest port open to international traffic
- obtain a vignette from the Harbour Master’s Office or its Branch Office
You must report your presence in Croatia to local authorities within 48 hours of arrival.
Commercial accommodations will generally file the registration on your behalf, but you are responsible for making sure it's done. Registration can take up to 24 hours.
If you are staying in private accommodations, you must register with local police.
Failure to register may lead to fines or expulsion from Croatia.
Learn about potential entry requirements related to yellow fever (vaccines section).
Children and travel
Learn more about travelling with children.
This section contains information on possible health risks and restrictions regularly found or ongoing in the destination. Follow this advice to lower your risk of becoming ill while travelling. Not all risks are listed below.
Consult a health care professional or visit a travel health clinic preferably 6 weeks before you travel to get personalized health advice and recommendations.
Some of these vaccinations include measles-mumps-rubella (MMR), diphtheria, tetanus, pertussis, polio, varicella (chickenpox), influenza and others.
Pre-travel vaccines and medications
You may be at risk for preventable diseases while travelling in this destination. Talk to a travel health professional about which medications or vaccines may be right for you, based on your destination and itinerary.
Yellow Fever - Country Entry Requirements
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.
- There is no risk of yellow fever in this country.
Country Entry Requirement*
- Proof of vaccination is not required to enter this country.
- Vaccination is not recommended.
* 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.
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.
Tick-borne encephalitis is present in some areas of this country.
It is a viral disease that affects the central nervous system (brain and spinal cord).
It is spread to humans by the bite of infected ticks or when you consume unpasteurized milk products.
Vaccination should be considered for those who may be exposed to ticks during outdoor activities.
A vaccine against TBE does exist but is only available in countries where the disease is present.
Learn more on what you can do to prevent tick-borne encephalitis (TBE)
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 (e.g., are children, have an occupational risk, or in close contact with animals, including free roaming dogs in communities).
Measles is a highly contagious viral disease. It can spread quickly from person to person by direct contact and through droplets in the air..
Anyone who is not protected against measles is at risk of being infected with it when travelling internationally.
Regardless of where you are going, talk to a health care professional before travelling to make sure you are fully protected against measles.
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.
Coronavirus disease (COVID-19) is an infectious viral disease. It can spread from person to person by direct contact and through droplets in the air.
It is recommended that all eligible travellers complete a COVID-19 vaccine series along with any additional recommended doses in Canada before travelling. Evidence shows that vaccines are very effective at preventing severe illness, hospitalization and death from COVID-19. While vaccination provides better protection against serious illness, you may still be at risk of infection from the virus that causes COVID-19. Anyone who has not completed a vaccine series is at increased risk of being infected with the virus that causes COVID-19 and is at greater risk for severe disease when travelling internationally.
For destination entry and exit requirements, including for COVID-19 vaccination requirements, please check the Entry/exit requirements section.
Regardless of where you are going, talk to a health care professional before travelling to make sure you are adequately protected against COVID-19.
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.
Safe food and water precautions
Many illnesses can be caused by eating food or drinking beverages contaminated by bacteria, parasites, toxins, or viruses, or by swimming or bathing in contaminated water.
- Learn more about food and water precautions to take to avoid getting sick by visiting our eat and drink safely abroad page. Remember: Boil it, cook it, peel it, or leave it!
- Avoid getting water into your eyes, mouth or nose when swimming or participating in activities in freshwater (streams, canals, lakes), particularly after flooding or heavy rain. Water may look clean but could still be polluted or contaminated.
- Avoid inhaling or swallowing water while bathing, showering, or swimming in pools or hot tubs.
Insect bite prevention
Many diseases are spread by the bites of infected insects such as mosquitoes, ticks, fleas or flies. When travelling to areas where infected insects may be present:
- Use insect repellent (bug spray) on exposed skin
- Cover up with light-coloured, loose clothes made of tightly woven materials such as nylon or polyester
- Minimize exposure to insects
- Use mosquito netting when sleeping outdoors or in buildings that are not fully enclosed
To learn more about how you can reduce your risk of infection and disease caused by bites, both at home and abroad, visit our insect bite prevention page.
Find out what types of insects are present where you’re travelling, when they’re most active, and the symptoms of the diseases they spread.
- In this country, risk of dengue is sporadic. It is a viral disease spread to humans by mosquito bites.
- Dengue can cause flu-like symptoms. In some cases, it can lead to severe dengue, which can be fatal.
- The level of risk of dengue changes seasonally, and varies from year to year. The level of risk also varies between regions in a country and can depend on the elevation in the region.
- Mosquitoes carrying dengue typically bite during the daytime, particularly around sunrise and sunset.
- Protect yourself from mosquito bites. There is no vaccine or medication that protects against dengue fever.
Some infections, such as rabies and influenza, can be shared between humans and animals. Certain types of activities may put you at higher risk of contact with animals, such as travelling in rural or forested areas, camping, hiking, and visiting wet markets (places where live animals are slaughtered and sold) or caves.
Travellers are cautioned to avoid contact with animals, including dogs, livestock (pigs, cows), monkeys, snakes, rodents, birds, and bats, and to avoid eating undercooked wild game.
Closely supervise children, as they’re more likely to come in contact with animals.
Stay home if you’re sick and practise proper cough and sneeze etiquette, which includes coughing or sneezing into a tissue or the bend of your arm, not your hand. Reduce your risk of colds, the flu and other illnesses by:
- washing your hands often
- avoiding or limiting the amount of time spent in closed spaces, crowded places, or at large-scale events (concerts, sporting events, rallies)
- avoiding close physical contact with people who may be showing symptoms of illness
Medical services and facilities
Good health care is available in major cities. It may be more limited in rural areas.
Emergency services, especially on the Croatian islands, may be inadequate. Upfront payments may be requested.
Make sure you get travel insurance that includes coverage for medical evacuation and hospital stays.
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
You must abide by local laws.
Learn about what you should do and how we can help if you are arrested or detained abroad.
Convention on the Transfer of Sentenced Persons
Canada and Croatia are signatories to the Convention on the Transfer of Sentenced Persons. 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. This process can take a long time, and there is no guarantee that the transfer will be approved by either or both sides.
Penalties for possession, use or trafficking of illegal drugs are severe. Convicted offenders can expect jail sentences or heavy fines.
Authorities may request to see your ID at any time.
- Carry valid identification or a photocopy of it at all times
- Keep a photocopy of your passport in case it’s lost or seized
- Keep a digital copy of your ID and travel documents
Certain municipalities, particularly those with a high number of visitors, have adopted public conduct rules which are strictly enforced by local authorities. Certain behaviours are illegal and may include:
- walking in an urban setting or religious places in swimwear or shirtless
- being drunk on the public way
- sleeping in public areas
Public notices about conduct are usually found in and around tourist areas.
Comply with public regulation. You may be fined if you fail to do so.
Dual citizenship is legally recognized in Croatia.
If you are a Canadian citizen, but also a citizen of Croatia, our ability to offer you consular services may be limited while you're there. You may also be subject to different entry/exit requirements.
International Child Abduction
The Hague Convention on the Civil Aspects of International Child Abduction is an international treaty. It can help parents with the return of children who have been removed to or retained in certain countries in violation of custody rights. The convention applies between Canada and Croatia.
If your child was wrongfully taken to, or is being held in Croatia, and if the applicable conditions are met, you may apply for the return of your child to the Croatian court.
If you are in this situation:
- act as quickly as you can
- contact the Central Authority for your province or territory of residence for information on starting an application under The Hague Convention
- consult a lawyer in Canada and in Croatia to explore all the legal options for the return of your child
- report the situation to the nearest Canadian government office abroad or to the Vulnerable Children’s Consular Unit at Global Affairs Canada by calling the Emergency Watch and Response Centre
If your child was removed from a country other than Canada, consult a lawyer to determine if The Hague Convention applies.
Be aware that Canadian consular officials cannot interfere in private legal matters or in another country’s judicial affairs.
- List of Canadian Central Authorities for the Hague Convention
- International Child Abduction: A Guidebook for Left-Behind Parents
- Travelling with children
- The Hague Convention - Hague Conference on Private International Law
- Canadian embassies and consulates by destination
- Emergency Watch and Response Centre
If you plan on buying property or making other investments in Croatia, seek legal advice in Canada and in Croatia. Do so before making commitments. Related disputes could take time and be costly to resolve.
If you plan on travelling between countries that are not members of the European Union and Croatia, make sure you are aware of the rules and restrictions regarding the importation of certain items and merchandise such as tobacco.
Controlled goods - Customs administration of Croatia
Camping outside organized campsites and designated areas is illegal.
As a tourist or temporary resident, you can drive with a valid Canadian driver’s licence. You should carry an international driving permit.
Vehicles with foreign licence plates can operate in Croatia for up to 3 months after arrival. After 3 months, you must temporarily register in Croatia.
You must use daytime headlights from the last weekend in October until the last weekend in March. It’s also mandatory during episodes of fog and inclement weather. Winter tires are mandatory between 15 November and 15 April.
Motorists must wear a fluorescent vest when attending to a car breakdown along the road.
The “priority to the right” system is in effect in Croatia. Drivers must give way to vehicles approaching from the right at intersections, unless otherwise indicated.
This is often a surprise to foreign drivers and results in accidents.
Familiarize yourself with the “priority to the right” system.
Right turns at red lights are prohibited.
The country has a zero tolerance policy for drinking and driving for:
- professional drivers
- drivers under 24
- anyone involved in an accident
Recreational skippers must have an International Certificate of Competence (ICC).
It’s also illegal to operate a boat under the influence of alcohol.
Boating in Croatia - Croatian Ministry of the Sea, Transport and Infrastructure
The currency of Croatia is the euro (EUR).
If you are carrying €10,000 or more, or the equivalent in other currencies, you must make a declaration to customs when you enter or leave the European Union. It includes sums in:
- banknotes and coins
- bearer negotiable instruments such as cheques, travellers’ cheques, promissory notes and money orders
- bonds, shares
- gold coins with a gold content of at least 90 %
- gold bars, nuggets or clumps with a gold content of at least 99.5 %
- any other convertible asset
This does not apply if you are travelling within the European Union or in transit to a non-EU country.
EU cash controls - European Commission
Natural disasters and climate
Croatia is located in an active seismic zone. Even minor earthquakes can cause significant damage.
Forest and maquis fires may occur. The air quality in areas near active fires may deteriorate due to heavy smoke.
In case of a significant fire:
- stay away from affected areas, particularly if you suffer from respiratory ailments
- monitor local media for up-to-date information on the situation
- follow the advice of local authorities
Flooding and landslides
Heavy rains, particularly during spring and summer, can cause flooding and landslides. Roads may become impassable and infrastructure damaged.
- Exercise caution, particularly in areas around major rivers
- Stay informed of the latest regional weather forecasts
- Follow the advice of local authorities, including evacuation orders
Weather forecast and warnings - Croatian Meteorological and Hydrological Service
Dial 112 for emergency assistance.
Dial 1987 for roadside assistance.
Zagreb - Embassy of Canada
For emergency consular assistance, call the Embassy of Canada to Croatia, 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. We take the safety and security of Canadians abroad very seriously and provide credible and timely information in our Travel Advice to enable you to make well-informed decisions regarding your travel abroad.
The content on this page is provided for information only. While we make every effort to give you correct information, it is provided on an "as is" basis without warranty of any kind, expressed or implied. The Government of Canada does not assume responsibility and will not be liable for any damages in connection to the information provided.
If you need consular assistance while abroad, we will make every effort to help you. However, there may be constraints that will limit the ability of the Government of Canada to provide services.
Learn more about consular services.
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