Dangers and Annoyances
Crime levels are low and violent crime is rare.
Some tourists have been the victims of overcharging in so-called ‘Gentlemen’s Clubs’, sometimes amounting to thousands of Euros. Victims can be threatened with violence if they refuse to pay.
Take care in busy tourist areas, where pickpockets are known to operate. Avoid carrying large amounts of cash. Don’t leave valuables unattended, particularly on the beach. Use a hotel safe if possible.
Report all incidents of crime to the local police station and get a police report.
You can drive using a UK driving licence. If you bring your own or rented vehicle into the country you may need to provide proof of ownership by presenting a V5 log book. If you fail to produce this when asked you will be refused entry and the car might be impounded until you can prove ownership.
Contact the Croatian Embassy in London if you have more detailed questions about bringing a vehicle in to the country. The British Embassy is unable to help individuals attempting to bring vehicles into Croatia who do not have the correct documents at the border.
You don’t need a Green Card to drive in Croatia, but if you are driving to or through Bosnia and Herzegovina, including the 20km strip of coastline at Neum on the Dalmatian coastal highway, make sure that you have a Green Card that includes cover for Bosnia and Herzegovina. You can’t buy insurance for Bosnia and Herzegovina at the Neum border crossing.
Take care when overtaking and be wary of other road users unexpectedly overtaking in slower traffic. Minor roads are usually unlit at night.
It is illegal to drive with more than 0.05% of alcohol in the blood system.
You must drive with dipped headlights from the last weekend in October until last weekend in March, even during the daytime. You must have winter tyres on your vehicle between 15 November and 15 April. You must not use a mobile phone whilst driving.
It’s obligatory to carry a fluorescent vest in your car whilst driving in Croatia. You must keep the vest in the car and not in the boot. You should wear the vest while attending to a breakdown. All passengers must wear seat belts and special seats are required for infants. Children under the age of 12 may not sit in the front seat.
In 2016 there were 307 road deaths in Croatia (source: Department for Transport).This equates to 7.3 road deaths per 100,000 of population and compares to the UK average of 2.8 road deaths per 100,000 of population in 2016.
Emergency road help (HAK) may be reached by dialling (385 1) 1987. This service is staffed by English speaking operators. Traffic information in English is available on 98.5FM during the tourist season only.
Local Laws and Customs
We recommend that you carry your passport (or, if a resident your Croatian ID card) at all times. They are the only officially recognised form of identification in Croatia.
Keep a photocopy of the biographical details page in a safe place, including details of your next of kin. If your passport is lost or stolen you should report it to the police and get a police report.
Walking shirtless or in swimming costumes is frowned upon in some town centres in Croatia. You should take notice of your surroundings including signage and judge what is appropriate. Some towns, such as Dubrovnik, have signage to show that the practice is prohibited by law and offenders will be subject to an on the spot fine.
Drug related offences are punished with fines and jail sentences.