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Latest Travel Alert
Given recent terrorist attacks in European cities, Irish citizens are advised to follow the advice of police and local authorities and to exercise increased vigilance, especially if attending large public gatherings or other crowded locations. Attacks could occur at any time and could target tourist attractions, restaurants, transport hubs or other public areas.
The best help is often close at hand so if you have problems, try talking to your local contacts, tour operator representative or hotel management.
You can contact the emergency services in Croatia by dialling 112. Specific emergency numbers are:
Fire department: 193
Our tips for Safe Travels:
- Purchase comprehensive travel insurance which covers all your intended activities.
- Get a European Health Insurance Card
- Add an alert for your destination within the Travelwise App.
- Register your details with us so that we can contact you quickly if there’s an unforeseen crisis like a natural disaster or a family emergency.
- Follow us on twitter @dfatravelwise for the latest travel updates.
- Read our ‘Know Before You Go’ guide.
Safety and security
Safety and security
Landmines remain a very real danger in some parts of Croatia. Populated areas, major routes and almost all tourist sites are clear of mines and are safe to visit. However, isolated areas in the mountains and countryside have not all been cleared. Be careful not to stray from roads, paved areas or marked paths without an experienced guide and never enter areas that are taped off. You can get more information from the Croatian Mine Action Centre.
Croatia is a relatively safe country. However, you should take sensible precautions when carrying passports and money in busy tourist areas.
- Don’t carry your credit card, travel tickets and money together - leave spare cash and valuables in a safe place.
- Don’t carry your passport unless absolutely necessary and leave a copy of your passport (and travel and insurance documents) with family or friends at home.
- Take special care of your valuables if you’re travelling by train, especially at night.
If you’re a victim of a crime while in Croatia, report it to the local police immediately. You can contact us at the Irish Embassy in Zagreb if you need help.
If you’re planning to drive in Croatia, you should exercise caution and please note that vehicles are driven on the right hand side of the road. If you want to drive, you should visit the Croatian Automobile Club’s website and follow these guidelines:
- Bring your full Irish driver’s licence and international driving permit and make sure you have adequate and appropriate insurance.
- Special seats are required for infants and children under twelve may not sit in the front seat of a car.
- Headlights (dipped beams) must be on at all times.
- Headlights must be on during winter time (i.e. outside the Daylight Savings Time period) as well as during the night or when visibility is poor.
- You must have winter tyres on the driving axle and carry snow chains in your vehicle during ‘winter conditions’. Either four winter or four summer tyres are obligatory, each with a minimum depth of 4mm of the rubber thread/slot.
- You must also have a fluorescent vest in the car (not the boot) while driving and to wear it if you have to leave your vehicle at any stage (e.g. a breakdown).
- Under Croatian law, it’s illegal for professional drivers (e.g. hauliers, taxi drivers, etc.) and young people (16-24 years) to drive with any alcohol in their system (there is also a zero tolerance policy for those in charge of yachts and boats). For other drivers, the blood/alcohol limit is 0.05.
- Police routinely spot check motorists for drinking and driving and will administer breath-analyser tests at the site of even the most minor accident. Drivers who refuse to submit to a breath analyser test are presumed to have been driving while intoxicated. Croatian police are obliged to take blood samples to test blood alcohol levels in the event of an accident resulting in death or serious injuries.
Hiring a vehicle
If you’re hiring a vehicle, we advise you not to hand over your passport as a form of security. If you’re allowing your passport to be photocopied, keep it in your sight at all times.
Check that you have adequate insurance and read the small print of the vehicle hire contract (particularly any waiver that will come into effect if the vehicle is damaged).
Local laws and customs
Local laws and customs
Remember, the local laws apply to you as a visitor and it is your responsibility to follow them. Be sensitive to local customs, traditions and practices as your behaviour may be seen as improper, hostile or even illegal
Illegal drug use (no matter what the drug) carries stiff penalties, including fines and long prison terms.
Citizens and legal persons from EU member states are entitled to buy property in the Republic of Croatia under the same conditions as Croatian citizens. However, procedures around buying property often differ significantly from those in Ireland and you should research the matter thoroughly before entering into any agreement. If you’re intending to buy property in Croatia, we strongly advise you to consult an independent legal advisor from the beginning of the process and ensure there’s a clear title to ownership of the property in question. The Embassy can supply you with contact details for English-speaking legal advisors but they can’t offer any legal or administrative advice on buying property in Croatia.
You must register with the local police within 48 hours of arriving in Croatia. You can usually do this through your accommodation - hotels, guesthouses and other accommodation services including campsites, are obliged to register their guests. There’s a standard fee of around €1 usually charged on your accommodation bill for this service. You can also register at the local police station, or at tourist offices in cities and large towns. Failure to register may result in a fine of up to €500 or in being forced to leave Croatia. You can get more information on registration from the Ministry of Interior.
Check with your doctor a minimum of eight weeks in advance of travelling to see if you need any vaccinations for Croatia.
We can’t pay for emergency medical repatriation, repatriation of remains, or for expenses as a result of a personal emergency while you are abroad. If you buy an appropriate travel insurance policy, these costs will be covered, provided you haven’t broken the terms and conditions.
Buying comprehensive travel insurance can save you and your family a lot of money if something goes wrong. It will also ensure that you get the medical attention you need, when you need it. Hospital bills can quickly run into thousands of euro, and a medical evacuation back to Ireland can cost thousands more.
Not all policies are the same, and the cheapest one might be cheap for a reason. Make sure your policy covers all the activities you plan to do on your trip. Insurance Ireland recommend that you purchase a policy that provides a minimum medical cover of €1 million.
Your policy should cover:
- All medical care abroad, including evacuation by air ambulance, or other emergency procedures, and any other costs associated with an unexpected longer stay.
- Your entire trip, from departure to return. Consider an annual multi-trip policy if you’re making more than one trip in the year.
- 24-hour emergency service and assistance.
- Personal liability cover (in case you’re sued for causing injury or damaging property).
- Lost and stolen possessions.
- Cancellation and curtailment.
- Any extra activities you intend to do that are excluded from standard policies (e.g. water sport activities such as jet skiing or other extreme sports).
Exclusions: You should know most insurance policies will not cover drink or drug-related incidents.
European Health Insurance Card
As an Irish resident you are entitled to get healthcare through the public system in countries of the European Union (EU), European Economic Area (EEA) or Switzerland if you become ill or injured while on a temporary stay there. Ensure that you get or renew your EHIC (the new name for the E111) before you go, and remember, you need one for every person travelling in your group.
The EHIC is not a substitute for proper travel insurance provided by a reputable insurer. It doesn’t cover medical repatriation, ongoing medical treatment or treatment of a non-urgent nature. Also, some private hospitals may not accept the EHIC, so you should check with the hospital administrator beforehand.
Make sure you bring enough medication for your entire trip and for any unexpected delays. Bring copies of your prescription in case you lose your medication, or in case you are asked to justify why you have certain medications at an entry point (airport, port, land border etc.).
Bear in mind that not all over-the-counter medications available in Ireland are legal in other countries and do your research before you go. Check with the nearest Embassy or Consulate of the country you’re planning to visit if you’re unsure which medications you may be able to bring with you.
Entry requirements (visa/passport)
Irish citizens don’t need a visa to visit Croatia for up to 90 days. However, if you’re planning to stay for longer, please contact the nearest Croatian Embassy or Consulate.
Make sure your passport is valid for the duration of your stay in Croatia. We advise you to take a number of photocopies of your passport with you and carry one at all times during your stay.
The local currency in Croatia is the Kuna. All major credit/debit cards are accepted in most banks and hotels. ATMs are widespread. If you have a Maestro or Cirrus symbol on your ATM cards, you can withdraw funds from your Irish account.
There have been reports of an increase in the number of forged Croatian Kuna banknotes being discovered, especially 200 and 500 notes. Take care when buying Kuna; you should only do this at reliable outlets, such as banks and cash points.
Earthquakes aren’t uncommon in Croatia and small tremors are recorded several times a month throughout the year without consequences. The last mid-scale earthquake took place in 2010 but there were no casualties or significant damage. If you’re travelling to or living in Croatia, make sure you know what to do in the event of an earthquake.
Forest fires are very common during Croatia’s hot and dry summers. Outbreaks occur regularly and, although these are usually quickly brought under control by the Croatian Fire Service without travel disruption, it’s important to be aware of the potential outbreaks and remain alert.
In particular, please take care when visiting or driving through woodland and forest areas; ensure that cigarette ends are properly extinguished and disposed of carefully; don’t light barbecues; and don’t leave any rubbish, particularly empty bottles, behind.