Road Conditions and Safety: Road conditions in Croatia may differ significantly from those in the United States. Current information about traffic and road conditions is available in English from the Croatian Automobile Association (HAK) or by calling +385 1 464-0800 (English-speaking operators available 24 hours) or +385 1 661-1999.
- ? Exercise caution when driving in Croatia. On the highways, be aware of aggressive drivers passing on curves or in oncoming lanes.
- Highway tolls are higher than those in the United States and can be paid in cash or by credit card. Information on tolls is available from the Croatian Motorways website.
- Croatian radio broadcasts programs in foreign languages on several frequencies. From mid-June to mid-September, Channel 2 broadcasts foreign news, traffic information, and important information in English and German.
- Within Croatia, emergency roadside assistance is available by calling 1987 or if calling internationally +385 1 1987. Dial 112 or 192 to speak to the police and dial 194 for an ambulance. Dial 112 for emergency services and they will automatically forward your call to either the police, ambulance, fire department, the Croatian Mountain Rescue Service or all of the above.
Traffic Laws: Vehicles drive on the right side of the road and overtake on the left. Speed limits range from 110 to 130 km/h on highways and motorways and 50 to 90 km/h on urban thoroughfares.
- A Croatian driver’s license is required for drivers who stay longer than twelve months.
- Don?t drink and drive. The maximum legal blood-alcohol limit for drivers is 0.05 percent (0.00 percent for drivers with less than two years? experience, drivers under 24 years of age, and truck or bus drivers).
- Police routinely spot-check for drunk driving and administer breath-analyzer tests at the scene of all accidents. Refusal to take a breath test is considered a de facto admission of driving while intoxicated. Penalties may include fines up to 2,500 euros and/or prison sentences.
- For traffic accidents involving a foreign-registered vehicle, the responding police officer must issue a vehicle damage certificate to the owner of the foreign-registered vehicle; this is necessary to cross the border out of Croatia. Upon written request, the police station in the area where the accident occurred will issue a traffic accident investigation record.
- Seat belts for drivers and passengers are mandatory. Infants must travel in child-safety seats. Children shorter than 150cm in height and younger than 3 years may not ride in the front seat.
- No right on red at traffic lights unless allowed by an additional green arrow.
- Pedestrians have the right of way when crossing in designated white-striped crosswalks. You must stop.
- Headlights must be used all winter (from the start of November until the end of March), as well as during fog and other inclement weather.
- It is illegal to talk on a cell phone while driving unless using a hands-free device.
For specific information concerning Croatian driver’s permits, vehicle inspection, road tax, and mandatory insurance, please contact the Croatian National Tourist Board.
Public Transportation: Pay attention to trams (streetcars) in Zagreb, which travel at high speeds through the narrow streets.
See our Road Safety webpage for more information. Visit the websites of the Ministry of the Interior, the Croatian National Tourist Board, and the Croatian Ministry of the Sea, Transport, and Infrastructure, which are responsible for road safety.
Aviation Safety Oversight: The U.S. Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has assessed the Government of Croatia?s Civil Aviation Authority as being in compliance with International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) aviation safety standards for oversight of Croatia?s air carrier operations. Further information may be found on the FAA?s safety assessment page.
Maritime Travel: Mariners planning travel to Croatia should also check for U.S. maritime advisories and alerts at www.marad.dot.gov/msci. Information may also be posted to the U.S. Coast Guard homeport website and the NGA broadcast warnings website (select ?broadcast warnings.?)
Adequate medical care is readily available in Croatia, but the condition of hospital facilities may not be comparable to U.S. standards. Travelers to Croatia may obtain a list of English-speaking physicians on the U.S. Embassy?s website. We do not endorse or recommend any specific medical provider or clinic. You may require a prescription to get some medications that you can purchase over-the-counter in the United States.
For emergency services in Croatia, dial 194 or 112.
Ambulance services are:
- not widely available, and training and availability of emergency responders may be below U.S. standards;
- not equipped with state-of-the-art medical equipment.
Health facilities in general:
- Adequate health facilities are available in Zagreb and other major cities but health care in rural areas may be below U.S. standards.
- Public medical clinics may lack advanced resources and specialized medical supplies.
- Credit card payment is not always available. Some hospitals and medical professionals require cash payment.
- Private hospitals may require advance payment or proof of adequate insurance before admitting a patient.
- Travelers should make efforts to obtain complete information on billing, pricing, and proposed medical procedures before agreeing to any medical care.
- Medical staff may speak little or no English.
- Generally, in public hospitals only minimal staff is available overnight in non-emergency wards.
- Patients bear all costs for transfer to or between hospitals.
- Psychological and psychiatric services are limited, even in the larger cities, with hospital-based care only available through government institutions.
- There are shortages of medical staff (nurses, doctors) throughout the country that produce long waiting lists for exams, imaging, surgeries, etc. at public healthcare centers. Occasionally shortages of special medications may occur.
We do not pay medical bills. Be aware that U.S. Medicare does not apply overseas.
Medical Insurance: Make sure your health insurance plan provides coverage overseas. Most care providers in Croatia accept cash or credit card payments. See our webpage for more information on insurance providers for overseas coverage.
We strongly recommend supplemental insurance to cover medical evacuation.
- Prescription medication: If traveling with prescription medication, please check with the government of Croatia and its Customs Administration to make sure the medication is legal in Croatia. Always carry your prescription medication in original packaging with your doctor?s prescription. Visit the U.S. Embassy?s website for information on bringing medical drugs for personal use when traveling to Croatia. Note that Croatian law prohibits the importation of drugs via postal mail.
- Exercise caution when purchasing medication overseas. Medication should be purchased in consultation with a medical professional and from reputable establishments.
- U.S. Customs and Border Protection and the Food and Drug Administration are responsible for rules governing the transport of medication back to the United States. Medication purchased abroad must meet their requirements to be legally brought back into the United States. Medication should be for personal use and must be approved for usage in the United States. Please visit the U.S. Customs and Border Protection and the Food and Drug Administration websites for more information.
Vaccinations: Be up-to-date on all vaccinations recommended by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
If you will be in Croatia for more than three months, especially if you anticipate hiking, camping, or other outdoor activities in forested areas, you may wish to get a tick-borne encephalitis vaccine (TBE). According to CDC, TBE vaccine is not available in the United States. If you are in Croatia it is available from local doctors. Use insect repellent and inspect your body for ticks after spending time outdoors.
- Influenza is prevalent during the winter season.
- HIV/AIDS: There is a low prevalence of HIV/AIDS in Croatia. HIV/AIDS treatment and medication are available in Croatia.
Visit the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website for more information about Resources for Travelers regarding specific issues in Croatia.
Medical Tourism and Elective Surgery
- Medical tourism is a rapidly growing industry. People seeking health care overseas should understand that medical systems operate differently from those in the United States and are not subject to the same rules and regulations. Anyone interested in traveling for medical purposes should consult with their local physician before traveling and visit the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website for more information on medical tourism, the risks of medical tourism, and what you can do to prepare before traveling to Croatia.
- We strongly recommend supplemental insurance to cover medical evacuation in the event of unforeseen medical complications.
- Your legal options in case of malpractice are very limited in Croatia.
- Although Croatia has several elective/cosmetic surgery facilities that are on par with those found in the United States, the quality of care varies widely. If you plan to undergo surgery in Croatia, make sure that emergency medical facilities are available and that professionals are accredited and qualified.
Air Quality: Cities in Croatia have air pollution levels slightly higher than those in major U.S. cities, with higher levels measured in winter. Visit the European Environment Agency?s website for information on air quality in Croatia.
Croatia has an abundance of fresh water and the public drinking water systems cover around 87% of the population. Water quality is tested daily throughout the country. Tests are performed according to internationally accepted standards. Water in Croatia is of high quality with potable tap water being available in most places. Some rural areas rely on private wells that may not be subject to quality testing standards. Some older buildings in major cities may have led-laced piping leading to increased levels of lead in the drinking water. You can learn more by visiting the Croatian Institute of Public Health website.
Further health information:
Local laws and Special Circumstances
Criminal Penalties: You are subject to local laws. If you violate local laws, even unknowingly, you may be expelled, arrested, or imprisoned.
Arrest Notification: If you are arrested or detained, ask police or prison officials to notify the U.S. Embassy immediately. See our webpage for further information.
Recreational Drugs: Some substances used as recreational drugs, although legal in the United States, may be illegal in Croatia. The Government of Croatia maintains a List of Narcotic Drugs, Psychotropic Substances and Plants Which Can Be Used for Preparation of Narcotic Drugs, which lists illegal substances.
Counterfeit and Pirated Goods: Although counterfeit and pirated goods are prevalent in many countries, they may still be illegal according to local laws. You may also pay fines or have to give them up if you bring them back to the United States. See the U.S. Department of Justice website for more information.
Real estate: U.S. citizens should exercise due diligence when considering purchasing real estate in Croatia. U.S. citizens should consult with an attorney before undertaking a real estate purchase, and they should be careful to fully understand the implications of all parts of a real estate contract. Working with a translator can help ensure that your rights are protected. There is little the U.S. Embassy can do to assist U.S. citizens who enter into private land or business disputes; you must be prepared to take your case to the local courts. Please review the U.S. Embassy?s website for additional information on buying real estate in Croatia.
Travelers checks, or personal checks are no longer accepted in Croatia. ATMs are common, and credit cards are generally accepted. Facilities are available for wiring or transferring money.
Recreational Boating: The Croatian government requires all recreational captains chartering Croatian-flagged vessels to have a certificate of competence.
- Croatia recognizes certain certificates issued by the U.S. Sailing Association and licenses issued by the national authorities of other countries.
- Details on classes of licenses recognized by country can be found on the Ministry of the Sea, Transport, and Infrastructure?s webpage.
- Tourists in Croatia can be certified by passing a test at harbormasters’ offices in Pula, Rijeka, Senj, Zadar, Sibenik, Split, Ploce, Dubrovnik, or at the Ministry in Zagreb.
- Travelers arriving by private marine craft should refer to the Ministry?s website for information on nautical regulations.
Climbing and Hiking: If you intend to hike or climb in the Croatian mountains, seek local guides? expert advice. For emergencies, call 112 who will alert the Croatian Mountain Rescue Service for assistance. Rock climbers in Paklenica National Park should consult a local guide or contact Paklenica National Park prior to their visit.
Faith-Based Travelers: See our following webpages for details:
- Faith-Based Travel Information
- International Religious Freedom Report ? see country reports
- Human Rights Report ? see country reports
- Hajj Fact Sheet for Travelers
- Best Practices for Volunteering Abroad
LGBTI Travelers: There are no legal restrictions regarding same-sex sexual relations or the organization of LGBTI events in Croatia. Although lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and intersex (LGBTI) individuals are afforded full rights in Croatia, same-sex couples may face legal challenges in the areas of adoption and next-of-kin determinations. In 2014, Croatia enacted the Law on Life Partnership of Same Sex Couples allowing for formal registration of same sex unions. The LGBTI community is protected by anti-discrimination laws, and there are no legal or governmental impediments to the organization of LGBTI events. However, there have been incidents against LGBTI groups, notably during annual pride events, both in Zagreb and Split. Individual cases of attacks on members of the LGBTI community have also been reported.
Travelers With Disabilities or Who May Require Accessibility. Accessibility and accommodation in Croatia are different from those in the United States. Croatian law prohibits discrimination against persons with disabilities. It also mandates access to transportation, communication, and public buildings for persons with disabilities; however, there is a marked difference in new construction compared to old construction, where access can still be limited. Croatia?s geography is hilly and often steep, particularly along the coast, and it presents challenges to some persons with disabilities. Access to public transportation may not always be available. Outside urban areas, accessibility worsens significantly.
Women Travelers: See our travel tips for Women Travelers.
Safety and Security
Terrorism: Terrorist groups and those inspired by such organizations are intent on attacking U.S. citizens abroad. Terrorists are increasingly using less sophisticated methods of attack ? including knives, firearms, rudimentary IEDs and vehicles ? to more effectively target crowds. Frequently, their aim is unprotected or vulnerable targets, such as:
- High-profile public events (sporting contests, political rallies, demonstrations, holiday events, celebratory gatherings, etc.)
- Hotels, clubs, and restaurants frequented by tourists
- Places of worship
- Shopping malls and markets
- Public transportation systems (including subways, buses, trains, and scheduled commercial flights)
For more information, see our Terrorism page.
- War hostilities ended in all parts of Croatia in 1995; however, de-mining of areas along former confrontation lines will continue until at least 2023. Mined areas are well marked with Croatian-language warning signs using the international symbol for mines: a skull and crossbones inside a red, upside-down triangle. Drivers in former conflict areas should stay on paved roads to reduce the risk of encountering unmarked mines and unexploded ordnance.
- For more information about mine-affected areas in Croatia, please visit the Croatian Mine Action Center’s website.
- Avoid demonstrations. While civil disorder is rare in Croatia, U.S. citizens should monitor local media coverage, review their personal security practices, and be aware of their surroundings at all times. Even peaceful demonstrations can escalate into violence with little or no notice. Security messages about demonstrations can be found here on the U.S. Embassy website.
Crime: While violent crime is rare, isolated attacks targeting specific persons or property may occur and be racially-motivated or prompted by lingering ethnic tensions from Croatia’s war for independence.
- Safeguard your belongings in public areas, especially in bus or railroad stations, airports, gas stations, and public transportation. Report incidents of theft to the local police. File a police report if your U.S. passport is stolen.
- Don?t display outward signs of wealth. It may make you a target for thieves.
- Avoid "gentlemen’s clubs." In the past, such establishments have presented foreign customers with inflated bills and threatened those who refuse to pay.
U.S. business entities are encouraged to read the most recent Overseas Security Advisory Council (OSAC) Annual Crime and Safety Report for Croatia.
Victims of Crime: U.S. citizen victims of sexual assault may contact the U.S. Embassy at +(385) (1) 661-2200 and check the information on local resources for victims of sexual assault on the U.S. Embassy?s website. Report crimes to the local police by dialing 112, and then contact the U.S. Embassy in Zagreb.
Remember that local authorities are responsible for investigating and prosecuting crimes.
See our webpage on help for U.S. victims of crime overseas.
- We can:
- help you find appropriate medical care
- assist you in reporting a crime to the police
- contact relatives or friends with your written consent
- explain the local criminal justice process in general terms
- provide a list of local attorneys
- provide our information on victim?s compensation programs in the United States
- provide information about local resources for victims of crime
- provide an emergency loan for repatriation to the United States and/or limited medical support in cases of destitution
- help you find accommodation and arrange flights home if you are destitute
- replace a stolen or lost passport
Domestic Violence: U.S. citizen victims of domestic violence may contact the U.S. Embassy for assistance. You can find additional local resources for victims of domestic violence on the U.S. Embassy?s website.
Tourism: The tourism industry is generally regulated and rules regarding best practices and safety inspections are regularly enforced. Hazardous areas/activities are identified with appropriate signage and professional staff is typically on hand in support of organized activities. In the event of an injury, appropriate medical treatment is widely available throughout the country. Outside of a major metropolitan center, it may take more time for first responders and medical professionals to stabilize a patient and provide life-saving assistance. U.S. citizens are encouraged to purchase medical evacuation insurance. See our webpage for more information on insurance providers for overseas coverage.
Entry exit Requirementsh
You need a valid U.S. passport to enter Croatia. Croatia requests three months validity on your passport. Croatia is not a member of the Schengen area. If you transit a Schengen country en route to Croatia, your passport should have at least six months of validity to avoid difficulties. For further details about travel in Europe, please see the U.S. Travelers in Europe page. Please be aware that a U.S. citizen traveling on a passport that has previously been reported lost or stolen will NOT be allowed entry in Croatia. Visit the Embassy of Croatia website for the most current visa information.
- You do not need a visa if you hold a valid U.S. passport and are traveling to Croatia for tourism or business for less than 90 days within a 180-day period.
- For entry and residence requirements in Croatia, please visit the Embassy of Croatia?s website.The U.S. Embassy is not able to expedite or intervene in the issuance of a Croatian residence permit.
- Visitors to Croatia must register at a local police station within three days of arrival in country. If you are staying at a hotel, hostel, or vacation rental, this process is generally done on your behalf by the property owner.
- Foreign documents submitted for residence in Croatia, including birth certificates, marriage licenses, divorce decrees, educational records, driver?s licenses, or other documents, must be translated into Croatian and have an apostille stamp. The U.S. Embassy cannot authenticate documents. For information on applying for apostille and authentication services, please see the Department of State?s Office of Authentications website.
The U.S. Department of State is unaware of any HIV/AIDS entry restrictions for visitors to or foreign residents of Croatia.
Military/Status of Forces Agreement (SOFA) Travelers: While active-duty U.S. military personnel may enter Croatia under the SOFA with proper Department of Defense (DOD) identification and travel orders, all SOFA family members, civilian employees, and contractors must have valid passports. Active-duty military personnel should obtain a tourist passport before leaving the United States to accommodate off-duty travel. DOD travelers should consult with their unit for clearance before leaving the United States.
See the Department of State?s Fact Sheet on Croatia for information on U.S. ? Croatia relations.