Report   DETAILS


Croatia 2017 Crime & Safety Report

Europe > Croatia; Europe > Croatia > Zagreb

Overall Crime and Safety Situation

U.S. Embassy Zagreb does not assume responsibility for the professional ability or integrity of the persons or firms appearing in this report. The ACS Unit cannot recommend a particular individual or location and assumes no responsibility for the quality of service provided.

THE U.S. DEPARTMENT OF STATE HAS ASSESSED ZAGREB AS BEING A LOW-THREAT LOCATION FOR CRIME DIRECTED AT OR AFFECTING OFFICIAL U.S. GOVERNMENT INTERESTS.

Please review OSAC’s Croatia-specific webpage for proprietary analytic reports, Consular Messages, and contact information.

Croatia, located in Southeastern Europe, declared independence from Yugoslavia in 1991, making it one of Europe’s youngest nations. The capital has all the characteristics of a historic and modern central European city. About the size of West Virginia, Croatia covers 56,500 km2 (21,829 mi2) of mainland and somewhat less than 32,000 km2 (12,316 mi2) of sea. The Adriatic coastline, which includes 1,185 islands, islets, and reefs — of which only 66 are inhabited — is 5,740 km (3,566 miles) long, and is famed for its clear waters.

Crime Threats

Zagreb is a safe city by U.S. and European standards. There are no specific security or safety concerns for U.S. businesses or American citizens living in or visiting the city or Croatia. Pickpockets and purse snatchings are not as common as in other European cities. The popular Adriatic beach cities are safe, but do experience a rise in petty crimes during the busy summer months.

Residential burglaries are infrequent and generally target unoccupied and poorly secured residences. Generally, only cash, jewelry, and other non-traceable, small items are taken.

In late August 2016, a hand grenade detonated outside a local café/bar in a residential neighborhood, and a police investigation revealed an ongoing dispute between the owner of the café/bar and the landlord led to the incident. While incidents involving grenades are rare, there is a large number of grenades and other unexploded ordnance among the population left over from in the 1990s. Some of this ordnance are used during domestic incidents, but U.S. citizens have not been targeted.

Cybersecurity Issues

Cybercrime is not as prevalent as in other parts of the region, and it is generally safe to use credit/ATM cards; however, spear phishing, social engineering, and other Internet scams do exist.

Other Areas of Concern

Drivers traveling through former conflict areas should stay on paved roads to reduce the risk of encountering leftover mines or unexploded ordnance.

Transportation-Safety Situation

Road Safety and Road Conditions

Streets are often narrow and crowded, and parking is often tight, making a mid- to compact-sized vehicle more practical. The number of cars has been growing steadily over the last decade, so rush hour traffic can be congested. Roads are in fair shape and are maintained and cleaned regularly. Croatia’s highway network is well developed and provides good connections throughout the country. Construction continues on the highway extension south from Split to Dubrovnik. Primary roads are generally adequate, but may have only one (narrow) lane in each direction.

During the winter, the main roads are plowed often, but secondary and side roads are not always cleared. The twisting roads in the hills outside of Zagreb are often treacherous in bad weather. During the summer, roads on and leading to the coast may be congested, especially on weekends.

Public Transportation Conditions

Zagreb boasts an efficient, extensive public transportation system that is inexpensive, reliable, convenient, and safe. Tickets can be purchased individually or in booklets at most kiosks and newspaper stands, or passengers may buy a ticket on-board the tram/bus (single ticket costs 10 kuna). Tickets are good for 90 minutes of travel in one direction regardless of the number of transfers, but they must be validated upon entry. Plainclothes inspectors randomly check passengers, and fines for riding without a validated ticket are steep (150-200 kuna).

Trains are not generally the most efficient method of travel because rail lines cross and re-cross national borders on some routes. Other rail routes are infrequently serviced, slow, or more expensive than comparable bus service.

Domestic bus service is more frequent and far less expensive than rail service.

Taxis are available at taxi stands throughout Zagreb or may be ordered by phone. Taxis are safe and plentiful. The most well-known are Radio Taxi Zagreb, Cammeo, and Eko Taxi. Average meter rates are 9.90 kuna to start and an additional 4.90 kuna per kilometer. Rates are 20% higher between 2200-0500 and on Sundays or holidays. Most taxi companies do not charge an additional fee for luggage.

Other Travel Conditions

Croatia's coastal towns are well-served by both passenger and car ferry services. A "coast-hopper" ferry runs regularly along the coast from Rijeka to Dubrovnik, and there are links to Croatia's 66 inhabited islands, though inter-island links are few. During the summer tourist season (late May-late September), ferry sailings are much more frequent and include fast hydrofoil services. The largest passenger ferry terminals are in Rijeka, Zadar, Split, and Dubrovnik. International lines include connections to Ancona, Pescara, Bari, and Trieste (Italy), and Igoumenitsa (Greece).

Terrorism Threat

THE U.S. DEPARTMENT OF STATE HAS ASSESSED ZAGREB AS BEING A LOW-THREAT LOCATION FOR TERRORIST ACTIVITY DIRECTED AT OR AFFECTING OFFICIAL U.S. GOVERNMENT INTERESTS.

Local, Regional, and International Terrorism Threats/Concerns

Croatia is not a major source country for foreign fighters traveling to the conflict areas of the Middle East. The Ministry of Interior reports only a few (non-fighting) Croatian spouses of Bosnian fighters who have traveled to conflict areas in the Middle East. However, it is quite possible that Croatia is used as a transit country. Croatia continues to strengthen border controls in an effort to join the Schengen region.

Political, Economic, Religious, and Ethnic Violence

THE U.S. DEPARTMENT OF STATE HAS ASSESSED ZAGREB AS BEING A LOW-THREAT LOCATION FOR POLITICAL VIOLENCE DIRECTED AT OR AFFECTING OFFICIAL U.S. GOVERNMENT INTERESTS.

Croatia has undergone significant changes since emerging from the Yugoslav wars of the 1990s. Croatia’s entry into NATO in 2009 and EU accession in 2013 followed the work of successive governments to implement political, economic, and social reforms. There were no incidents of political, economic, religious, or ethnic violence in 2016.

Religious/Ethnic Violence

The flow of migrants through Croatia to Western Europe in 2015 and 2016 was significant but had a minimal impact on the country’s overall security and safety. There were several instances of anti-immigrant graffiti on walls in parks and other public spaces within Zagreb, but they were removed without incident.

Post-specific Concerns

Environmental Hazards

Croatia is seismically active, and Zagreb is rated 3 (“high”) on the State Department’s Bureau of Overseas Buildings Operations’ seismic risk scale.

Drug-related Crimes

Croatia remains a transit point for illegal drugs trafficked along traditional Balkan smuggling routes. Heroin and high-quality marijuana are trafficked westward, while precursor chemicals and synthetic drugs are smuggled eastward. Few illegal drugs are produced in Croatia. The availability of illicit drugs has increased in recent years, partly resulting from liberalized customs controls and the increased movement of goods and people through the country due to EU integration.

Police Response

The police have adequate resources and usually respond to calls for service quickly and professionally. English speaking operators are on duty at the Zagreb emergency center, but that may not be the case in all regions.

Crime Victim Assistance

The countrywide police emergency service number is 192, and the general emergency number is 112.

If you need immediate assistance from the Embassy for a life or death emergency involving a U.S. citizen after hours, please call +385 1 661 2400.

Police/Security Agencies

Croatia has a national police service that falls under the Ministry of Interior with a Criminal Investigation, Special Police, General, Crime, Terrorism, and War Crimes units.

Medical Emergencies

Adequate medical care is readily available, but the condition of hospital facilities may not be comparable to U.S. standards. There are pharmacies in almost all Zagreb neighborhoods, which carry reliable medication. 

Contact Information for Available Medical Services

A list of English-speaking doctors and dentists can be found on U.S. Embassy Zagreb’s website.

Insurance Guidance

Supplemental insurance is strongly recommended to cover medical evacuation should it become necessary.

Country-specific Vaccination and Health Guidance

The CDC offers additional information on vaccines and health guidance for Croatia.

OSAC Country Council Information

There is currently no active Country Council in Croatia. Please contact OSAC’s Europe team if you are interested in private-sector engagement in Zagreb or have questions about OSAC’s Country Council programs.

U.S. Embassy Location and Contact Information

Embassy Address and Hours of Operation

Thomasa Jeffersona 2; 10010 Zagreb, Croatia.

Business hours: 0800-1700

Embassy Contact Numbers

Switchboard: 385-1-661-2400
RSO: 385-1-661-2228
Website: http://zagreb.usembassy.gov/

Embassy Guidance

US Embassy Zagreb recommends travelers enroll in the Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP) program and research country specific travel requirements at www.travel.state.gov when visiting Croatia.

Additional Resources

Croatia Country Information Sheet