Is Croatia Safe To Travel? Tips & Things To Know.

Croatia beckons with its stunning Adriatic coast, enchanting medieval cities, and lush national parks. This Balkan nation has rapidly become a gem for travellers seeking both beauty and adventure.
As with any travel plan, safety is a top priority. Rest assured, Croatia is a very safe place to visit. However, this doesn't mean you should neglect some basic precautions. Let's explore what Croatia is like to help you plan a successful trip.

Is It Safe to Travel to Croatia?

According to Gov.UK, there isn't an escalated risk of terrorism in Croatia, and the crime levels (especially violent crime) are low. However, petty theft like pickpocketing does happen, especially in crowded tourist areas. But the risk of this is drastically reduced when you are consistently mindful of the possibility.
Here's some good news: Croatia ranks 14th on the Global Peace Index, and it has never been lower than 23rd in the past decade! This says a lot about the safety and subsequent popularity of Croatia as a travel destination.
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Croatia has beautiful locations to hike in.

Safe Areas, and Where to Exercise Caution

Croatia boasts a rich heritage influenced by Greece, Italy, and Austria, making it an extraordinary melting pot of cultures. The diverse landscape also makes it one of the best European countries for adventures like hiking, kayaking, and other water activities.
While preparing your trip to this beautiful country, you'll want to note the safest places to go, as well as areas you might want to avoid, especially if you are planning solo travel in Croatia.
The safest areas of the capital city of Zagreb are the Upper Town (Gornji Grad) and Lower Town (Donji Grad). So consider seeking accommodation in one of these regions.
You may want to visit and hike the beautiful Plitvice Lakes National Park, which is the only Croatian UNESCO site. There is a higher-than-average police presence here because it's a popular tourist spot. To avoid a shock when you get there, note that there are unexploded landmines in some remote areas of the park which are left over from the Serbo-Croatian war which ended in 1995. There are plenty of warning signs to highlight regions where you should remain on the trails and not venture into the woodlands or meadows due to this risk, and the chances of a landmine encounter are incredibly low.
This risk is also not limited to the park, as they were placed along the war's frontlines through rural inland areas. If you venture into these areas, there will also be warning signs noting safe paths. Simply do not ignore the warning signs featuring a skull and crossbones - if you see them, remain on the marked paths.
The Dalmatian towns of Sinj, Split and Dubrovnik also rank well in terms of safety. Omiš is also known for low crime rates, so you can enjoy a peaceful holiday and adventures like Skyhook's rafting, canyoning, and kayaking in the Cetina River here.
There are areas where you would be required to be more cautious such as the Zagreb Bus Terminal and surrounding areas, along with Ribnjak Park and King Tomislav Square which pose a higher risk of petty crimes such as pickpocketing. (Tips on keeping your belongings safe below).
When it comes to nightlife venues across Croatia, including non-strip bars and clubs, as well as very popular tourist spots, you may encounter tourist-targeted scams like overcharging or false tours on offer, so it's best to check your bill carefully and try to stick to reputable establishments​, and avoid being tempted by last-minute tour deals on the streets.
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Hikers in Croatia

Travel Tips and Precautions

Even if the country is pretty safe to travel to, you could still use some Croatia travel tips to make your holiday more enjoyable. These include:

1. Emergency Numbers

It's a no-brainer to memorise and carry with you the emergency line number, which is 112 in Croatia. This connects you to police, fire department, ambulance services and mountain rescue just like how 911 works in America. You can also use 192 for the police or 193 for the fire department.
On top of these government emergency numbers, inform a loved one of your whereabouts during your travel and keep emergency contacts on speed dial in case of any unforeseen circumstances. 
Another good tip would be to book a group tour or hire a vetted local guide who can assist you in case of an emergency. Note that Skyhook offers great group-trips in Croatia with trusted local guides.

2. Invest in Travel Insurance:

Although we hope you don't run into any trouble during your trip, it's always better to be safe than sorry. Having travel insurance can save you from potential financial loss due to unforeseen incidents like flight cancellations, lost baggage or medical emergencies.
Make sure to research and find the best travel insurance that suits your needs and budget before your trip. Read the fine print to understand exactly what is covered under the policy.
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3. Keep Your Valuables Secure

Pickpocketing and petty theft can happen in any country, even in the safest ones. Tourist spots, especially the stunning beaches and bustling marketplaces, can attract petty thieves.
Never leave your items unattended and keep your valuables like cash, electronics, and important documents like passport and travel tickets secure. Use a money belt or a concealed pocket to store your belongings while exploring your city. Zipped pockets are great, especially if they are on the inside of your jacket.
Avoiding wearing flashy jewellery or carrying large amounts of cash with you is always helpful in reducing the risk of looking like a prime target. 

4. Respect Local Customs and Culture

Croatia is a culturally rich country with its own customs, traditions, and etiquette. As a visitor, it's important to respect these local practices to avoid any misunderstandings or unintentional disrespect. While your safety isn't automatically at risk, you can avoid uncomfortable situations by showing respect and kindness.
In general, avoid being too loud or disruptive in public places, and always ask for permission before taking photos of people or their property.
To enhance your overall experience, you can learn a few basic phrases in Croatian to show your interest and respect and better connect with the locals. They also value punctuality, so try to arrive on time for appointments or events.
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5. Stay Updated on Current Events

Monitor local news outlets and check for any travel advisories from your government before departing. If you plan on visiting during peak tourist season, be aware that popular destinations may be more crowded and prices may be higher.

6. Stay Hydrated and Carry Water Bottles

With its stunning beaches and warm weather, it's easy to get dehydrated while exploring Croatia. So, always carry a bottle of water with you, especially if you're planning on doing any outdoor activities or spending time in the sun.
If you're planning on swimming in the sea, be aware that some beaches may not have lifeguards on duty. In addition, as a general rule if you want to kayak the ocean in Croatia - do not go over 500 metres from the shore.

7. Pack Adequately

Croatia offers a diverse range of activities, from hiking in national parks to kayaking and swimming in the crystal clear Adriatic Sea and numerous other rivers. You want to pack accordingly for your chosen adventures to make sure you're prepared for related risks.
For example, if you go hiking in Croatia, pack appropriate footwear and clothing for the terrain to avoid injury. And if visiting during the summer months, don't forget sunscreen and a hat to protect yourself from sunstroke.
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8. Transportation in Croatia

Buses: The most popular mode of transportation within cities and between regions. Be aware of your belongings and when to get on and off.
Taxis and Rideshares: Use official taxis or trusted rideshare apps for increased safety and to avoid being overcharged.
Car Rentals: For exploring remote areas or islands, consider renting a car. Be aware of varying road standards, left-hand side driving, and local driving habits. Adhere to speed limits, wear seatbelts, and exercise caution on mountain roads and coastal paths.
Ferries: Ferries operate between coastal cities and islands. Pay careful attention to arrival and departure times and watch your belongings.

Conclusion

Croatia is ultimately a popular and safe place to travel, and you now have the best tips to get around without problems. 
There is much to do in this incredible country. You will love hiking the beautiful trails, engaging in some fun water activities (this is the land of a thousand islands, after all), and exploring historical ruins and cities.

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