Safe Travel in Croatia
When to Go
Croatia is a safe country to visit; the bullets stopped flying many years ago (see more on the "Homeland War"). No trip is entirely risk-free of course, but Croatia is generally as safe as Europe and North America (if not more so). Not that Croatia is a crime-free paradise! Government corruption remains a problem; roads link Croatia to some of Europe's dodgier corners which facilitates smuggling; disenchanted young people fuel a burgeoning drug trade (despite stiff penalties for drug possession). Few of these issues will affect your trip but here are some common visitor concerns:
The usual precautions are quite sufficient in Croatia where street crime is relatively low and violent crime is rare indeed. Foreigners are not targeted for crime but it makes sense to watch your belongings in public places, especially train and bus stations in major cities.
Croatia's road accident rate has always been quite high but authorities have cracked down heavily on drunk drivers in recent years which has made a huge difference on the roads. Nevertheless, you have to be careful. Drive defensively (Croatians don't) and within the speed limit (Croatians don't). Be prepared for two-land roads and drivers passing on hair-raising turns. See more on driving in Croatia.
The war of former Yugoslavia ended in 1995 but, unfortunately, the mines linger on. The former confrontation line was heavily mined and, despite continuing de-mining, some 240,000 mines remain. Where are they? Read more.
If you're on your own, you need to be more guarded. Men are subject to "bar scams" and women can be pestered in large cities. Read more about safety for solo travellers.
Dubrovnik is in an earthquake zone and gets shaken up every so often. Buildings in the Old Town look old and crumbly but in fact the city government has been rigorous in implementing modern reinforcement techniques to stabilize the ancient structures.
Your main health problem is likely to be a sunburn or a hangover from too much good Croatian wine. Tick-born encephalitis is a risk for hikers in northern forests. Medical care is generally adequate in Croatia but you must pay cash for medical treatment. Read more about medical insurance for your Croatian trip.
It's a good idea to review your insurance coverage before you leave to make sure it's adequate. Read more.
Further Resources on Safe Travel in Croatia
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