Exercise normal safety precautions in Croatia. Use common sense and look out for suspicious behaviour, as you would in Australia. Monitor the media and other sources for changes to local travelling conditions.
- Australians have been severely injured after jumping off rocks and cliffs into the sea, especially in Dubrovnik and off the coast of the Dalmatian islands. Warning signs and safety barriers may not be in place. Your travel insurance may not cover injuries from these or other dangerous activities. See
- Excessive alcohol consumption has been the cause of serious accidents on 'party boats' cruising the Croatian coast. Read
Partying safely for ten top tips. See also
- Avoid rowdy or drunken behaviour in public – it's socially unacceptable and could attract negative attention from locals. Dress codes apply in some areas popular with tourists. See
- Drug-related arrests are increasing at music festivals on the Croatian coast. Don't consume, purchase or sell drugs. See
- If you take prescription medication, carry a letter from your doctor stating it is for personal use. Quantity restrictions are in place for some medication. See
- Demonstrations and large public gatherings (including sporting events) can turn violent. Avoid protests and demonstrations. See
Safety and security
- Unexploded landmines are a serious problem in many parts of Croatia. Many mined areas are signposted but there may be areas that are not. See
- Driving in Croatia can be hazardous and accidents are common. See
Entry and exit
Every country or territory decides who can enter or exit through its borders. The Australian Government cannot intervene on your behalf if you do not meet your destination's entry or exit requirements.
Australians travelling for tourism or business do not need a visa to enter Croatia for stays of up to 90 days within a six-month period. If you are travelling for another purpose, such as work or study, or you plan to stay for longer than 90 days in six months, you'll need a visa.
Croatia is part of the European Union (EU) but is not a member of the
Visa and other entry and exit conditions (such as currency, customs and quarantine regulations) can change at short notice. Contact an
Embassy or Consulate of Croatia for up-to-date information.
You must register your place of residence with the nearest police station within 24-hours of arrival. If you stay in a hotel or other commercial accommodation facility, this will usually be done for you. Confirm the hotel will register you when you check-in. If you're not registered, you could be fined or deported.
Embassy or Consulate of Croatia for up-to-date information on work permits and any other residency requirements.
Make sure your passport is valid for at least six months from the date you intend to return to Australia. A valid passport is required for travel between Croatia and Schengen area countries.
Your passport is a valuable document and attractive to criminals who may try to use your identity to commit crimes. Always keep it in a safe place.
Be aware of attempts to get access to your passport by deception. If you are forced to hand over your passport, contact the Embassy for advice.
If your passport is lost or stolen, you must notify the Australian Government as soon as possible.
Declare cash of 10,000 euros or more (or the equivalent in another currency) when travelling between Croatia and any non-European Union country. This includes notes and coins, money orders, cheques and traveller's cheques. If you fail to declare your cash or you give incorrect information, you'll be fined. You don't need to declare cash if you are travelling to or from another EU country.
Safety and security
Terrorism is a threat throughout the world, including in Europe.
In recent years, terrorists have staged attacks in a number of European cities. Targets have included public transport and transport hubs, and public places frequented by foreigners. In addition, a number of planned attacks have been disrupted by European security services.
- Be alert to possible threats, especially in public places.
- Exercise particular caution around locations known to be possible terrorist targets.
- Report any suspicious activity or items to police.
- Monitor the news for any new or emerging threats.
- Take official warnings seriously and follow the instructions of local authorities.
- If there is an attack, leave the affected area immediately if it is safe to do so.
Terrorism threat worldwide
Civil unrest and political tension
Demonstrations and large public gatherings (including sporting events) can turn violent.
- Avoid protests and demonstrations.
- Monitor the news and other sources for information on planned and possible unrest.
- Follow the advice of local authorities.
Pickpocketing and other petty crime occur, especially in busy tourist areas, at bus and railway stations, on public transport and at beaches. Gangs sometimes stage roadside emergencies and then rob drivers who stop to offer assistance. Be wary of requests for assistance.
Some bars and ‘cabarets’ in coastal centres overcharge tourists. They may threaten violence and use security guards to compel you to pay. Check prices before ordering.
Drink spiking can happen and may lead to theft and sexual assault.
- Never accept food or drinks from strangers. Never leave food or drinks unattended.
- Pay close attention to your personal belongings, particularly in crowded areas.
- Carry only what you need. Leave other valuables in a secure location.
- Report any incidents of extreme overcharging and associated threats or violence to local police.
Delays at borders
There has been an increase in the number of migrants and refugees entering Europe. Expect delays at land border crossings between Croatia and Slovenia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Serbia, Montenegro and Hungary due to enhanced border controls. Monitor border conditions by checking local news sources and asking transport providers directly, and follow the advice of local authorities.
Unexploded landmines and military ordnance are a serious problem in parts of Croatia. Clearance operations are ongoing. According to the
Croatian Mine Action Centre, known and suspected landmine areas are spread over the following counties: Karlovacka, Licko-Senjska, Osjecko-Branajska, Pozesko-Slavonska, Splitsko-Dalmatinska, Sisacko-Moslovacka, Sibensko-Kninska and Zadarska.
If you visit former conflict areas, don't leave known safe roads and safe areas. Check the latest information on known and suspected mine areas with the
Croatian Mine Action Centre before you travel.
Australians have been severely injured after jumping off rocks and cliffs into the sea along the coast of Croatia. Many accidents occur in Split, Dubrovnik and in the Dalmatian islands. Warning signs and safety barriers are not always in place. Your travel insurance may not cover you if you participate in cliff jumping or diving, or if you engage in other dangerous activities.
Croatia is a popular party destination but partying carries safety, legal and financial risks.
- Accidents have occurred on 'party boats' in Croatia, resulting in serious injuries, particularly to passengers under the influence of alcohol
- Party venues such as boats and night clubs might not have the same safety standards as Australia. Nightclub fires, balcony collapses and crowd crushes occur.
- Drug-related arrests are increasing at electronic music festivals on the Croatian coast. These events are often monitored by a large number of uniformed and plain-clothed police officers.
- Being drunk may void your travel insurance - carefully check your policy.
- Rowdy and drunken behaviour in public places will attract negative attention from locals.
- You may be fined if you are shirtless or wearing swimwear in towns with signs banning this. It's considered unacceptable in other town centres.
If you plan to party in Croatia, read
Partying safely for ten top tips.
Driving in Croatia can be hazardous, and traffic accidents are common. In winter, severe weather can make roads icy and slippery. Many country roads are narrow and lack guardrails. Beware of aggressive drivers overtaking in unsafe situations.
Familiarise yourself with local road rules, including:
- Motor vehicles must have a fluorescent vest on board; the vest must be worn while attending to a breakdown.
- Headlights must be used at all times from the last weekend in October until the last weekend in March, as well as during fog and rain.
- Winter tyres must be fitted on motor vehicles between 15 November and 15 April.
- Using a mobile phone while driving is prohibited.
- Drivers and cyclists involved in accidents may be fined, even when there are no third parties involved.
Road safety and driving
Check with your travel insurer whether your policy covers you when using a motorcycle, quad bike or similar vehicle. Your policy may not cover you for accidents that occur while using these vehicles. Always wear a helmet.
You'll need a valid international driving permit (IDP) along with your current Australian driver's licence to drive a vehicle in Croatia. Driving without an IDP could void your travel and vehicle insurance.
If you live in Croatia, you must exchange your driver’s licence for a local one through the local police, within 12 months of arrival.
Only use registered taxis and authorised limousines, preferably those arranged through your hotel. Avoid flagging down taxis in the street.
Bus and rail services operate throughout Croatia. Take care of your belongings on public transport as petty crime does occur.
Several accidents have occurred on 'party boats' in Croatia, resulting in serious injuries. Before embarking on a ferry or other vessel, ensure appropriate safety equipment is carried. A number of international cruise lines stopover in Croatia.
The Australian Government does not provide information on the safety of individual commercial airlines or flight paths. See the
Aviation Safety Network website for information on aviation safety in Croatia.
You're subject to local laws and penalties, including those that appear harsh by Australian standards. Research local laws before travelling, especially for an extended stay.
On the spot fines are issued for some minor offences (including traffic violations). If you challenge the offence, or are unable to pay immediately, your passport may be held until the matter is resolved.
If you're arrested or jailed, the Australian Government will do what it can to help you under our
Consular Services Charter. But we can't get you out of trouble or out of jail.
Court staff take leave over summer. If you're detained then you may face delays in having your case processed. This may result in prolonged detention and may prevent you from departing Croatia until the matter is finalised.
Possessing, using or trafficking drugs is illegal in Croatia. If you're arrested for a drug offence, you may be detained for the duration of the investigation process. Penalties include imprisonment.
Carrying or using drugs
Carry identification, such as your passport, at all times.
Foreigners purchasing property have been involved in disputes about the validity of property titles, resulting in lengthy legal proceedings. Seek independent legal advice before signing any kind of contract. Further information (in English) can be found under the real estate section on the
Croatian Government website.
Some Australian criminal laws apply overseas. If you commit these offences, you may be prosecuted in Australia. Laws include those relating to:
- bribery of foreign public officials
- child pornography
- child sex tourism
- female genital mutilation
- forced marriage
- money laundering
Staying within the law
Croatia recognises dual nationality but, under Croatian law, dual nationals are treated as Croatian citizens.
Military service is no longer compulsory in Croatia, but male Croatians (including dual nationals) must report to the relevant Croatian defence authorities to register their details. Failure to report is an offence. If you're a male Australian/Croatian dual national, seek advice from an
Embassy or Consulate of Croatia on the specific registration requirements well in advance of travel.
If you’re an Australian/Croatian dual national travelling to Croatia and intending to stay in Croatia more than 3 months, you may be asked to provide evidence of your Croatian citizenship.
Homosexual activity is not illegal, but attitudes towards LGBTI travellers can vary, particularly outside tourist areas.
Take out comprehensive travel insurance before you depart to cover overseas medical costs, including medical evacuation.
Remember, regardless of how healthy and fit you are, if you can't afford travel insurance, you can't afford to travel. The Australian Government will not pay for your medical expenses overseas or medical evacuation costs. This can be very expensive and cost you many thousands of dollars upfront.
- what circumstances and activities are and are not covered under your policy
- you are covered for the whole time you will be away.
Physical and mental health
Consider your physical and mental health before travelling, especially if you have an existing medical condition.
- At least eight weeks before you depart, see your doctor or travel clinic for a basic health check-up, and to discuss your travel plans and implications for your health.
- Get vaccinated before you travel.
Not all medications available over the counter or by prescription in Australia are available in other countries. Some may even be considered illegal or a controlled substance, even if prescribed by an Australian doctor.
Take prescription medicine with you so you remain in good health. Always carry a letter from your doctor stating what the medicine is, how much you'll take and that it's for personal use only. There are limitations on the amount of some medications that can be taken into Croatia.
Before you leave Australia, check if your medication is legal in each country you're travelling to and seek advice from an
Embassy or Consulate of Croatia on any quantity restrictions that may apply.
Travel in inland forested areas brings the risk of exposure to Lyme disease and tick-borne encephalitis. Ticks are most numerous and active in warmer months from March to September.
A number of cases of West Nile virus (WNV) have been reported throughout Croatia. There is no vaccine to prevent WNV.
Protect yourself against mosquito-borne illnesses:
- ensure your accommodation is mosquito proof
- take measures to avoid insect bites, including always using insect repellent and wearing long, loose fitting, light coloured clothing.
The standard of health care is generally good, but services on the islands are limited.
Public hospitals in Croatia are under severe budgetary constraints and the standard of facilities and availability of pharmaceuticals can be limited. Private hospitals and clinics provide better quality facilities and services but are often more costly.
Doctors and hospitals usually expect immediate cash payment for treatment.
Decompression chambers are located in the towns of Dubrovnik, Split and Pula on the Adriatic coast.
If you become seriously ill or injured on an island or remote area, you may need to be evacuated to a regional centre for treatment. Emergency transport costs could be high.
Croatia is in an active earthquake zone.
Forest fires are common in the dry and hot coastal areas and on the islands from June to September. Avoid affected areas.
Flooding can occur throughout the year. This can trigger landslides and damage buildings, roads and other infrastructure. Road travel can be disrupted.
If there is a natural disaster:
- secure your passport in a safe, waterproof location or carry it on you at all times (in a waterproof bag)
- contact friends and family in Australia with regular updates about your welfare and whereabouts
- closely monitor the media, other local sources of information and the
Global Disaster Alert and Coordination System
- follow the advice of local authorities.
Where to get help
Depending on what you need, your best option may be to contact your family, friends, airline, travel agent, tour operator, employer or travel insurance provider in the first instance. Your travel insurer should have a 24-hour emergency number.
Emergency phone numbers
- Fire: 112
- Medical emergencies: 112
- Criminal issues, contact police: 112 or contact the nearest police station
Always get a police report when reporting a crime.
Tourism services and products
For complaints relating to tourism services or products, contact your service provider directly.
Read the Consular Services Charter for what the Australian Government can and can't do to help you overseas.
For consular assistance, contact the Australian Embassy in Zagreb.
Australian Embassy, Zagreb
Third Floor, Nova Ves 11
10000 Zagreb, Croatia
Phone: +385 1 489 1200
Fax: +385 1 489 1216
Australia in Croatia
Check the Embassy
Australian Embassy website for information about opening hours and temporary closures that may affect service provision.
If you're unable to contact the Embassy in a consular emergency, contact the 24-hour Consular Emergency Centre on +61 2 6261 3305 from overseas or 1300 555 135 within Australia.