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 Safe Travel in Croatia

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Detail from Sibenik cathedral


Dubrovnik bus station: watch your belongings

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Croatia is a safe country to visit; the bullets stopped flying many years ago (see more in Croatian history). No trip is entirely risk-free of course, but Croatia is generally as safe as Europe and North America (if not more so). If terrorism worries you, Croatia is a safe refuge. There has not been a single instance of bombing or terror since the early days of the "Homeland War" (1991-1995) and there's every reason to suppose that peace will continue. (See religion in Croatia).

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:

Street Crime

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.

Road Safety

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 may or may not). Be prepared for two-lane roads and drivers passing on hair-raising turns. See more on driving in Croatia.

Mines

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? Nowhere that you are likely to be. Read more.

Solo Travellers

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.

Natural Disasters

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.

Health

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.

Insurance

It's a good idea to review your insurance coverage before you leave to make sure it's adequate. Read more.

 

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