I was choosing the theme for our next post and stumbled upon the article of SmarterTravel about the ‘Is Croatia safe’ topic. And so I started reading and with every new paragraph I was asking myself: “Am I living in the same country this guy is describing”? And at moments I couldn’t believe what I am reading there. Was the person writing that article ever in Croatia? Was he driving on the Croatian roads? Or was he citing some sources just to get their article written?
I decided to write a blog post about how safe is Croatia, just to correct everything that was being said there. Just let me put the stolen money in my theft envelope and we’ll start immediately.
I suggest you read the linked article first so you can have a better understanding of what I’m talking about here. I believe that articles like this one might give you a wrong impression about a particular country. Media is a powerful thing, but I suggest you do research of your own, just like the author writing the article on SmartTravel should have done.
Instead, we have done it for them, and the statistics we’ll present in this article will let you know is Croatia safe country.
And let me assure you, I’m not going to make things any better and worse than they are, I’ll write facts only and you’ll learn anything you need to know about your ‘is Croatia safe’ and ‘how safe is Croatia’ questions.
a bit of background about croatia
Croatia is a young independent country, it had a rough past and war for the independence was not a long time ago. When I was reading the mentioned article, I thought that it was written back in the ’95 cause some things might have sense back then. But the article was written in 2019 and it doesn’t make sense at all.
Croatia is a beautiful small country, everybody knows that and that’s one of the reasons why so many tourists come to Croatia each year. Starting with the year 2013, Croatia is a member of the European Union. You could consider Croatia to be a part of the Balkans, and I have no problem with that. But when you talk about the Balkans, people usually have bad connotations even though they differ from the truth.
People from the Balkans might be culturally different from Western Europe, but they are welcoming and friendly. And so are the Croats.
is croatia safe – from a croat perspective
Ok, we are still in the subjective section, we’ll get to some statistics later. ‘Is Croatia safe’ question can be at least partly answered if you look at the way people in Croatia live. Especially the ones in smaller communities. Believe it or not, we often leave our house doors unlocked and nothing ever happened. The same is with cars, sometimes we forget to lock a car, nothing ever happens.
Do you know what people in Croatia do when they have just one house key and go out knowing the other member of the household will return before them? They put the key beneath the doormat even though everybody knows that everybody put their keys there.
What else? Ah yes, all of our cycles are often left in the courtyards. Anybody could steal them anytime, but it never happens.
I spent a lot of time on the bus and railway stations in my student years. And anybody could easily mistake me for a foreigner. Nothing ever happened. Nor do I know anybody that had any kind of problem at these places. Yes, a lot of ‘shady’ people indeed roam around the bus and railway station, like in every country. But most of these persons are just homeless people and the only thing they will do is ask you for a quarter. Nothing else.
what about croatian people? what are they like?
Croats are very welcoming and will help you if you need any assistance. There’s a 99,99% chance that you’ll have a good experience with all the Croatian people you meet along the way. We are like any other Mediterranean country. Maybe a little bit stubborn and loud, but never wish any harm to you. If we can help, we’ll help. There are always bad people among any nation, but that’s not in the nation but in the heads of these persons.
What do you say about people who risk their lives and save people from the mountains free of charge? Croatian mountain rescue service is one of the rare mountain services to give you a helicopter ride at no charge. Try having that experience in some western countries of Europe.
A lot of Croats speak English fluently, especially the young ones. If someone is not speaking English and you need assistance have some fun and try to communicate in sign language. Or use Google translate.
you want statistics, let’s talk about statistics
Ok, I agree that the subjective view is right that, subjective. And with us being Croats, you might think that we are looking at everything through the rose colored glasses. But statistics never lie and right now we are starting to discuss it so you can compare crime levels in Croatia to other countries and answer the ‘is Croatia safe’ question. All the statistics come from Eurostat’s official data and you can look at them yourself.
Let’s start with robberies. In the article by Smartertravel, it’s said that petty crime and pickpocketing is a common phenomenon. Let’s see what statistics have to say about that. When you look at the robbery cases divided by 100 thousand inhabitants, Croatia is at the bottom of the European Union with around 20 cases of robbery per 100 thousand inhabitants. A lot of western countries have much higher numbers with Belgium and France being on the top of the European Union regarding robbery crimes.
It’s funny how countries like Bulgaria, Croatia, Romania, Hungary have much fewer robberies than all of the Western European countries. And yet, most people think it’s the opposite. Just look at the graph. To put things in perspective, the robbery rate in Croatia is the same as in Switzerland. And also, there are 7 times fewer robberies per 100 thousand inhabitants than in France. Enough said.
Still wondering is Croatia safe?
Let’s talk about the homicides now. Again, statistics show the data per 100 thousand inhabitants. Croatia has less than 1 (one) homicide per hundred thousand inhabitants. And again, it’s at the lower end of the homicide crime spectrum of the European Union with only a few countries having lower numbers and not by much. Again, look at the graph for yourself.
And once more, the closest country to Croatia by the homicide rate is – Switzerland. Wow!
theft of a motorized vehicle
Now here’s something interesting for everyone coming to Croatia by car. What are the chances of your car being stolen in Croatia? If you are to trust Eurostat statistics, very very low. Lower than in 90% of other European countries. There are around 25 car thefts per hundred thousand inhabitants. Look at the graph and compare it to the rest of the European Union.
Still thinking is Croatia safe?
If the crime rate in Croatia is so high, you would expect a lot of people in prisons. Let’s see what Mr. Statistics has to say about that. Wow. Once again, Croatia has one of the lowest numbers of prisoners per hundred thousand inhabitants. Ain’t that great, these numbers must say something and give at least part of the answer to the ‘is Croatia safe’ question.
Now we couldn’t find a graph for this one comparing the assault crimes for every country like the previous ones. We only found the one showing that the assault crimes in the European Union are in decline.
But then again, we believe that Croatia would be somewhere at the low end when it comes to the assault crimes, just like it has been in all the other crimes so far.
driving in croatia and road safety
SmarterTravel then talks about driving in Croatia. And they write that roads in Croatia get slippery when wet. Really? Slippery when wet, who would have thought about that? Croatian roads are just fine, and you should have no trouble when driving in Croatia.
To be honest with you here, statistics show that the traffic accident rate in Croatia is higher than the average of the EU and Croatia is near the higher end of the spectrum. But hey, better in traffic accidents than in crime.
When it comes to the roads, Croatia currently has a newly built motorway that connects Zagreb, the capital of Croatia, with the rest of the country. It’s a modern motorway and a perfect choice if you need to get from A to B fast. We always recommend driving the regional roads that pass through the beautiful landscape of Croatia. Most of these roads are in very good shape.
We drive on the right side in Croatia. I remember a time when we went to Ireland and Scotland and rented a car. Two of us, from a right driving country, renting a car and driving in a completely different system. We had no problems and enjoyed it. Driving is not nuclear physics, you can do it. Even in Croatia.
landmines in croatia
In the original article by Smartertravel, there’s a paragraph about land mines. We already mentioned that Croatia fought a war for its independence and landmines are the inevitable poison of every war. Yes, some places are littered with mines. All these are marked and you should by no means walk there. Demining is being done throughout Croatia but it’s a delicate and slow process so nobody knows when Croatia is going to be a landmines-free country.
A good thing is that most of the minefields are in touristically unattractive places.
What? There’s a paragraph about political demonstrations in the text by SmarterTravel. There have been no political demonstrations for a long time. There have been no demonstrations for a long time. Croats are very inert people when it comes to demonstrations, I hate to admit it. When there is any kind of demonstrations in Croatia they are 99% completely peaceful. I can’t remember anyone losing life in any kind of demonstrations in Croatia.
So don’t worry about this at all. Demonstrations are so rare in Croatia they might be considered as a touristic attraction if you see one. Is Croatia safe when it comes to demonstrations? You bet it is!
Hm, what should we say about the taxi service in Croatia? Most of them are honorable, but you might stumble upon a taxi driver that might want to charge you extra. Uber is the best choice when using a taxi service in Croatia. If you use a regular taxi, make sure he has the taximeter on and that’s it. Use the official taxis only.
what about public transport in croatia
We always say that the best experience of Croatia would be to travel it by rented car. We do that in any country we visit. Croatia is not so large so you can see a lot of its beauties during your vacation. We do not suggest renting a car because public transport is bad. No. It’s simply because we believe that it’s the best way to explore any country.
Public transport in Croatia is safe and not so expensive. Maybe it’s too slow, especially the trains. But it can turn into a nice experience, train rides in Croatia are fun. I have spent most of my student life in trains and buses and never did I have even the slightest trouble.
so is croatia safe at the end?
Safer than most of the European countries. According to the statistical data. You don’t have to worry about anything when visiting Croatia. You won’t find anything you would normally find in any other country. Yes, there are few bad persons here and there, trying to use you or steal your wallet. So keep it near you as you should always do with your money and documents. Do that in every country you visit. There is always somebody who might want to take advantage of you.
But be confident. Don’t be scared. You are a smart person. I believe the text by SmarterTravel might discourage you in your decision to visit Croatia. And who knows how many similar texts are out there on the internet. Texts that were written by someone never been to Croatia.
what to have in mind when visiting any country
Well, it’s the wild world we live in and not everybody wishes us good and prosperous lives. The last thing you can do when traveling is to keep a wallet and your money with you at all times. In any country. Even in the ones you consider to be safest ever. There’s always a chance that someone is going to try to fool you. But that is, by no means, a reason to stay hidden among 4 walls. Go out and explore. ‘Is Croatia safe’ question has finally been answered.