Croatia Driving Guide 2021
Since gaining independence in 1991, Croatia has focused on infrastructure and motorways. Driving the roads of Croatia is generally pleasant and efficient between the largest cities, particularly since the introduction of the national motorway network. Get an international driving license and rent a car to explore this.
Croatia is a European nation that is on the northwestern edge of the Balkan Peninsula. It is formerly known as a constituent republic of Yugoslavia. It also sits in five countries’ borderlines, namely Bosnia and Herzegovina, Hungary, Montenegro, Serbia, and Slovenia. This beautiful country is also a famous summer getaway destination for travelers around the globe.
The best way of exploring the epic wonder of Croatia is when you go on driving the highway of the country. However, you must secure first an International Driver’s Permit (IDP) to rent a car and go on a road trip. Having the comfort of driving a car makes a huge difference as you can no longer allot time just to catch public transport. There may be many transportation options, but renting a car can give a unique experience in traveling on Croatian roads.
How Can This Guide Help You?
Roadway adventures may be quite underrated to some, but considering giving it a chance to check out might make you feel you just discovered a valuable travel tip. In this travel guide, you will get to find out the perks of driving in Croatia, helpful information that you can use as a reference in renting a car in the said country, and essential things to know when driving Croatia. Want to learn more about the astonishing charm of Croatia? Read more interesting facts about Croatia, its locals, and the nation’s driving scenarios. s.
Croatia is a small country that borders five nations. Zagreb, as the nation’s capital, is also the largest city. Several turnovers of empires over the years made the country struggle for independence. Despite having a tragic past, it stunningly preserves its unforgettable cultural legacy, which makes a reason not to add to the bucket list.
Technically, Croatia is a geographically diverse nation in entire Southeast Europe. Its fascinating mountainous areas make its climate and weather stick to snowy in winter and mild in summer. Along its compelling coastline are the beautiful islands, including the Dalmatian Coast.
Croatia’s exceptional crescent figure makes it stand out among the sovereign states resting in Central Europe. According to its census population record, the nation scopes a land area of 56 691 square kilometers with over 5 million residents. Croats are the dominant inhabitants, followed by Serbian, Hungarian, Bosnian, and other Italian minority local
Croatian is the native mother tongue in Croatia. Almost half of the bona fide residents, including Bosnia and Herzegovina, fluently speak the said language. The foundation of Croatian is from the Stokavian dialect. In searching about the possibility of English usage in the country, outlanders will find it rare. However, if they will only stick around Zagreb city, they won’t have difficulty adjusting in communication. Over 90% of city people are eloquent in English .
But, exerting extra effort to learn the native phrases used in Croatia can leave a mesmerizing remark to the locals. They will appreciate you even more as they rarely find a foreign citizen speaking to their language. It is also part of fulfilling the ideal traits of an excellent traveler abroad.
Before the Croats ruled in the 7th century AD, it is the Greeks who mostly dominated Croatia. The epic Roman Empire begins around 9 A.D. The Roman leader’s primary settlements are in Pula, Zadar, Salona, and Cavtat. Over the hundreds of years of reigning in Croatia, early Croatian tribes enter the scene. They mainly cross over the various country’s section, which later spread the Christianity in 800 A.D. From then on, they start establishing their governing structure.
However, conflicts begin to arise when Nazi Germany conquered the nation. The said domination is the strictest regime in history. Violence is all over the sovereign state, and countless atrocities are evident in the governance system. With this, Croats build up a movement through its leader, Josip Bro Tito. After its victory against the combustors, Croatia finally achieved its long-due independence in 1991. The country celebrated its 25th year of being liberated in 2016.
The Croatian Government lives up to a parliamentary republic governance system. Croatia has two bicameral bodies in this constitutional framework, namely, the House of Representatives or the lower house and the House of Districts, or the upper house. The members of each house have four years of service. As for the high-ranking officials, it is the President that has superiority in the government.
However, the lawmakers make some amendments to the constitution in 2000, which lower the President’s authority powers and increases the prime minister’s privileges. Though it is a President who will nominate a Prime Minister, the Sabor Committee must confirm its official appointment first. Going to the local government, Croatia has 20 administrative districts with over a hundred municipalities each.
Croatian Tourism sector continues to show fascinating progress as in 2019. The country recorded almost 21 Million tourist visitors. It is a stunning development from its 2018 data with an over 3% increase on its statistical record. It is a breaking improvement in the entire state’s tourism background. In analyzing the sole reason for the massive jump on its data, it is the accommodation that made its incredible achievement for 39 million overnight private lodging recorded.
With this, the Balkans state is eager to make continuous progress in sustaining its precious wonders and iconic heritages recognized by UNESCO.
International Driver’s Permit FAQs
Getting things controlled by your hand is way more convenient than letting others manage things for you. Discovering Croatia’s’beautiful treasures will be even more remarkable when you get to drive on the country’s scenic highways. Of course, you will surely ask, “is the International Driving Permit required in Croatia?” The answer to that is yes! You need to secure an International Driving Permit (IDP), so you can legally rent, drive, and pass through the territories of Croatia.
Having an IDP is like an exclusive pass when you travel by car in Croatia. You will have a stress-free trip on the road if you get this special permit. So, if you plan to pass by Zagreb or Dubrovnik, you wouldn’t need to worry about how to go from one place to another.
Is the International Driving Permit Required in Croatia?
If you are holding a driver’s license that uses a Latin typeface, you can use it when renting a car or driving in Croatia. However, if you are not, applying for an International Driving Permit is recommended. But do take note that an IDP is just a translation of your license, so you still need to bring your native one along with you for verification checking purposes. So when traversing the borders in Croatia, you are confident enough that you would not encounter problems.
When you are visiting Bosnia and Herzegovina, you need to have a green card to pass by. Exemptions are possible if you are coming from an E.U country, but if not, you need to secure a green card covering the two cities so you won’t face problems at the borders. You can avail it at any rental car service provider.
What is the Driving License in Croatia?
In Croatia, they call their driving license “vozačka dozvola.” It is a permit issued by the government allowing the people who request it legally drive the public highway. If you are a foreigner who wants to hit the country’s road, you should be sure that you are a licensed driver in your home country as this proves that you are capable enough of driving in Croatia. However, your native license is just one requirement to acquire an IDP and not an alternative driving license in Croatia.
Some countries allow drivers to use their native license in Croatia and will enable you to exchange your foreign driver’s card for a Croatian permit. But it depends on whether your country is a member of Europski Gospodarski Prostor (EGP). The EGP’s founding year is in 1994 that aims to let people, goods, services, and capital move freely. So, if you are part of the EGP country, your domestic license is valid.
- Republic of Cyprus
- Czech Republic
Is an Indian Driving License Valid in Croatia?
An Indian driving license is valid in Croatia. However, if you plan to rent a car, it is advisable to carry an International Driving Permit. But if you own a vehicle in the country, you don’t need to secure an IDP. If you want to make sure enough, applying for one will be better. Visit the International Driver’s Association (IDA) website, and you will quickly get one.
For the holders of UAE driving licenses, they must apply for an International Driving Permit in Croatia. Check out the official website of IDA for requirements and how to obtain an IDP. Getting one is accessible through the site, and it is less hassle than lining up a long line at your local, regional transport office. When one asks if the UAE driving license is valid in Croatia, you simply refer to the IDA to quickly process permits.
Is a UK Driving License Valid in Croatia?
A valid UK driving license is acceptable when driving in Croatia. This rule will stay as-is until the 31st of December 2020. For drivers whose driving card is from Great Britain, they need to show any driving endorsements. They can get it through the DVLA website. If you wonder if, after 2020, is a UK driving license still valid in Croatia, you can read about updates on their official foreign affairs website.
Singaporeans or foreign residents who have a Singapore driving license and think of driving in Croatia must apply for an IDP. Just always remember that after successfully getting an IDP, you still need to carry with you your native license as it is not a replacement on your Singapore’s driving license in Croatia. If a Singaporean asks you if a driving license in Singapore is valid in Croatia, refer them to the IDA.
Getting through the districts, you might get less strictness in road laws. But, there’s still no tolerance for disobedience. It is always crucial to exemplify respect and professionalism on the road. Do also remember that UAE citizens holding a valid driving license in Croatia should secure an IDP from the International Drivers Association.
Do I Need an IDP to Drive in the Cities and Districts of Croatia?
If your home country is a member of the EGP countries, you may simply bring with you your native license. However, if you are not that comfortable and want to be sure enough, you may apply for one. For countries that are not on the list, securing an IDP is highly advisable. It is way better to avoid encountering local road officers’ problems, especially in Zagreb and other cities. Take note that patrol police are frequent in the capital for it’s the tourist hotspot.
Getting through the districts, you might get less strictness in road laws. But, there’s still no tolerance for disobedience. It is always crucial to exemplify respect and professionalism on the road. Do also remember that UAE citizens holding a valid driving license in Croatia should secure an IDP from the International Drivers Association.
Renting A Car in Croatia
Do you see yourself driving Croatia’s great highway and witnessing the fabulous gem of Europe's magnificent coastline? That perfectly calls for a glorious wanderlust road trip adventure. Before you can personally see yourself in that moment, do you have a four-wheel buddy already? You must be quick to learn that thing. Here are some guides to inform you about renting or booking a car in Croatia to help you.
Car Rental Companies
Croatia has a wide variety of rental options for tourists. There are many convenient ways to rent a car, but only two are helpful and practical. Reserving online using your smartphone or laptop before your scheduled trip, or you may personally visit any car rental branch around Zagreb or Dubrovnik city. To get you started, below are some car rental companies where you can book your car. It may be online or heading to the physical shop.
- M-A-C-K Car Rental
- Uni Rent car rental
- NOVA car rental Zagreb
- Carwiz car rental
- Avax Rent a Car Dubrovnik
- FLIZZR Car Rental
These car rental companies have friendly staff who can help you. It may not always be wise to book ahead of time, but doing so can give you many perks. You can get discounts, choose your preferred car, and it can even wait for you right at the airport. Booking your car rental in advance will also help you avoid encountering agents trying to make you buy something unnecessary.
Renting a vehicle requires you to bring the necessary documents to avail one. To get you out from hassle, better double-check the car rental website you desire to rent out. But here are the general requirements that you should not forget to bring with you:
- Passport (with visa if applicable)
- Valid Native Driver’s License
- International Drivers Permit (IDP)
- International Credit or Debit Card
If you reserve online, you may simply save a screenshot image of your bookings, photo of passport (and visa if applicable), original license, and IDP
Count first how many you are in a group to know the capacity of the car you need to rent out. Be sure to choose what vehicle you will be most comfortable to drive and your passengers. Please note that Croatia has countless small alleys and narrow streets, so it is wise to consider picking a smaller car for a better choice. A mini Fiat 500 or a Fiat Punto will be the best match for you. If you're driving on main roads of Croatia, a regular 2-wheel drive car is enough. When choosing your rental car, always check if the features of the car is perfect for your itinerary.
There are other things to know when renting a car and driving in Croatia, like if you want to save up a little from the rental fee, a manual car is the best. Prices for manual vehicles are almost half of the automatic. So, it will be great if you know of anyone who’s with you who knows how to drive manually. But if you prefer automatic, better reserve ahead of time as automatic sells out fast. Also, be sure to check if the car is A/C equipped. You will need this in the summer season.
Car Rental Cost
There are several factors to consider to figure out how the rental fee is based. Generally, it depends on what type, passenger capacity, inclusion of insurance upon booking, duration of trip, and other additional packages to include in the rent. Here are the standard inclusion and range of renting a car in Croatia to cover the fees.
- Gas Mileage
- Collision Damage Waiver
- Theft Protection
- Roadside Assistance
- Third-Party Liability
- Airport Surcharge
In general estimation, here are the approximate price costs for a one-week rental:
- Economy (Small, four-seater cars) - €20 - €30
- Compact (Medium, five-seater) - €40 - €65
- Minivan (up to nine-seater) - €180 - €295
The legal age for driving in Croatia is 18 years old. But there is a required age if you will rent out a car which is 22 years old. You can still be qualified to rent if you are below the minimum age requirement. You just have to pay a “young driver surcharge,” which usually ranges to 25 €. There are rental shops that offer extra insurance for senior citizen drivers whose age is 70 years old.
Car Insurance Cost
Generally, the rental cost that you will pay already has basic liability insurance. However, most rental companies still try to make you buy their Collision Damage Waiver (CDW) as a preventive coverage to the difference before a collision may happen. This offer may charge you a lot. But there are also rental agencies that already include the CDW.
There are credit card companies with complete car rental coverage, so if you want to know yours, you should check with your bank if they cover car rental overseas. If your card covers it, be sure to collect all receipts, proof of damages, police reports, and other legal documents that you can show to your insurance company so you can easily claim your money back.
Car Insurance Policy
Availing of car insurance will depend on your needs. If you think it is necessary to get one, then make sure to buy what will fit your standards. Take note that there is mandatory insurance to possess when operating a rental vehicle abroad. Ensure that you have sufficient research on what you must purchase and not. There are two typical car insurance policies that you may consider checking upon booking. Those are the Third-Liability Insurance and the Collision Damage Waiver (CDW).
In Croatia, the Third Liability Insurance scopes the elemental property damage and injuries acquired in a road accident. For the Collision and Damage Waiver, besides the maximum amount of dents and medical expenses, it also has the theft protection package. The renter can have a discounted accountability of paying the penalties up to $2500. Please remember that the CDW is an optional policy to get when booking a rental vehicle. The final decision will still depend on you, as the renter. Getting car and travel insurance can help you avoid delays for an awesome drive.
Road Rules in Croatia
Every time you are stepping into another country’s land, you are obliged to strictly abide by their rules and regulations, most especially if you are bound for a tourist driving in Croatia. As you head on for a scenic drive, make time to learn about the general things to remember in driving the highway. To keep you guided, read below the useful information about Croatia’s common road rules to save you from costly penalties and fines while on a journey. Whether it's a family vacation or solo travel, knowing the road rules is important.
Traveling abroad, especially when having a road trip, you must know the basic road rules to keep you away from accidents and hassles on your journey. If you are not confident enough and still quite uncomfortable in familiarizing foreign roads, better be obedient in following the correct speed limit, road signs, and directions.
Drink Driving Regulations
Drink driving is strictly not allowed in Croatia. The country has a law implementing a zero-tolerance policy for drivers who will get caught drunk. For drivers who are under 25 years of age, it is best not to drink any alcoholic beverage as the Blood Alcohol Level (BAC) limit for them is 0%. For those who are above 25 years of age, the BAC limit is 0
Sanctions for Driving Intoxicated
Violating the law about driving under the influence of alcohol will get you an appropriate penalty based on the alcohol amount in your blood once the enforcers caught you. Here are the fines that you will need to pay based on the BAC percentage:
- 0.5% - 0.10% (€140 - €275)
- 0.10% - 0.15% ( €275 - €700)
- 0.15 above (€700 - €2070)
If you also get caught under the influence of drugs, you will not only pay €2070, but you might even end up getting imprisoned for 60 days. That’s the consequence for violating the driving rules in Croatia.
Check the condition
Setting off for a tourist driving on the roads of Croatia, you need to have a proper rest, and you are not intoxicated. Being attentive on the road is a must to remember as you don’t want to ruin your vacation trip if you lose your focus. Remember to check the tires, gas, battery, brakes, and engine’s state if the gas level is relatively low. Head over to a nearby gas station for a refill. There are petrol stations in different areas in Croatia.
And before you hop inside, make sure you have the following items inside your car:
- Reflective Jacket
- First Aid Kit
- Snow Chains (winter season)
- First Aid Kit
- Extra tires and tools
No use of mobile phone.
Using handheld devices is prohibited while hitting Croatian roads. It is essential to keep your full attention on the road as you need to ensure that you are in the right lane and track. Listening to music can be done but make sure to keep the volume low to avoid distractions.
There are only a few parking areas covered in Croatia, but there are open lots that are safe and convenient to use. Watch out for white lines on the roadside plus a giant “P” sign, indicating that you can park in that area.
People who are not licensed drivers are the ones who are not allowed to drive. If you are 18 years of age, you can go but renting a car will charge you an additional fee. You can freely rent a car if you are 22 years of age. You can either rent an automatic or manual transmission car.
Besides the appropriate driver’s age, understanding the essence of matching your skills in operating a manual and automatic vehicle is another significant element to learn. When selecting a rental car in Croatia, make sure you know what will make you comfortably hit the Croatian roads. It is vital to ensure that you know your expertise in driving. Getting an inappropriate car will likely get you in trouble. No one wants it to happen while in the middle of the highway.
City proper is where most people engage themselves so keep in mind to take everything slowly and just enjoy the beautiful sights, landscapes, and views that you will pass in Croatia. Always be vigilant when going to open roads and motorways. If you wonder if driving in Croatia is safe, simply abide by the allowed speed limit on every highway.
- Urban areas (50 KpH)
- Rural areas (90 KpH)
- Highway (110 - 130 KpH)
All passengers of all ages are required to wear seat belts at all times. Whether you are in the front seat or rear seat, you must fasten your seat belt as it is mandatory. If traveling with children ages 2 to 5 years old, they must be seated in a suitable child seat. For children under 12 years of age, they are not allowed to sea in the front. If a traffic road enforcer caught you not wearing your seatbelt, you would pay with €65 to €130.
For foreign drivers that are not familiar with roundabouts, studying how to pass through that section is the answer. Keep in mind that if you are unsure about the strange road marks abroad, you are free to search it up online and read about its definition. You will most likely encounter roundabouts when you stroll around the cities. Overtaking is acceptable, but only if there’s a freeway to do it.
Getting the taste of Croatia’s central city proper, you tend to seek the next town to visit, so gearing up for Dubrovnik adventure is a perfect destination to explore. Driving from Zagreb to Dubrovnik, you are fortunate enough to have multiple routes to choose from, depending on your preference. The first is the highway road via Karlovac and Plitvice National Park, a more extended way but lined up with majestic landscapes.
Traffic Road Signs
One of the basic knowledge taught in a driving school in Croatia is understanding the traffic road signs. Learning the essence of these signs will keep you from getting confused in the middle of the road, having violations, and road accidents. The country has three traffic road signs: the Warning Signs, Prohibition Signs, Mandatory Signs, and Informational Signs.
Croatia follows the international standards' operation in traffic lights. There’s a newly installed traffic light intended for cyclists and pedestrian crossers. It is to warn Croatians as they are too engrossed in the screen of their phones. When the red light is on, the light will project on the sidewalk, making it also reflect on the screen of people who are busy with their mobile.
Right of Way
Based on the law, Croatians use the right lane of the road as their driving side in Croatia, and the left is for overtaking purposes. Drivers should also be attentive when passing on roundabouts. The traffic roundabouts improve traffic safety, reduce contact of vehicles, and enhance traffic flow.
When drivers are heading into a roundabout, they have the right of way, so private vehicles must give way to public vehicles, especially the school buses. For cars that are already inside the roundabout, the cars that surround it should give way.
Legal Driving Age
The minimum age requirement to legally drive in Croatia is 18 years old, like the majority of the world. But if renting a car, you must be at least 21 years old. However, if you still want to push through with the idea of renting a car and driving in Croatia, you need to pay a young driver fee. If you are already a senior citizen with an age of 65 and above, you also might pay an old driver fee.
Law on Overtaking
Of course, there is an appropriate law of overtaking in Croatia. The right side is for driving, while the left is for overtaking. This rule is according to the Convention on Road Traffic 1968. Technically, overtaking is allowed, but on certain conditions.
- Vehicles that are overtaking must show proper signals like blinking lights, horns, and any type of warning approach.
- Only overtake when there is a free way to do it. Don’t take the risk of doing it if there is none.
- Practice restraint and caution when going to town proper. Never overtake if the traffic is bumper to bumper.
Suppose you are curious about which side of the road you will be driving in Croatia. As per the traffic road rules, you need to move on the right side. So, if you are from the country where you are used to driving on the left, you need to practice handling the steering wheels on the right. It’s not that difficult to adapt as long as you know how to drive a four-wheel car.
Driving Etiquette in Croatia
Unexpected circumstances on the road are acceptable, so be prepared at all times is a must. You may encounter minor or major car problems, so keep in mind that you have to think correctly to develop practical actions when a car breaks down. You will need to ask locals for immediate help, so try to learn the primary Croatian language for them to understand your situation. They will appreciate it for exerting effort to converse with them.
Facing car breakdowns in the middle of the road is expected as the environment, traffic signages, and hazards vary on every highway. What’s the most important thing to mind not to panic, for that’s the top rule. It is crucial to continually monitor every situation you encounter to become familiar with the appropriate actions. To keep you adequately guided and informed, here are the general procedures and guidelines to do.
1. Gently pull off at the side of the road.
Once you’ve sensed that there is something wrong with your vehicle, whether it may be on unusual noises, flat tires, or running out of gas, slowly and carefully drive off to the side of the road to avoid any commotion or disruption from other vehicles. Turn on your hazard lights as this will let the other drivers know that you are having problems with your car.
Target for a safe location as much as possible where it is pretty far away from causing traffic. Ensuring your safety, the passengers, and the vehicle are your top priorities in mind.
2. Stay inside your car.
When you get stuck in the middle of the highway or crowded roadway, it is highly advised not to hop out of your car to check for possible damage or problem that halts you from driving. If you need to get out, have your vehicle in a safe area first and make sure that the surrounding is clear.
3. Watch out for passing vehicles before going out of your car.
Before going out of your car, wear first your reflective jacket, so the drivers will know that you are having trouble with your four-wheels. A reflective jacket is a must-have item inside your car. So, be sure you have it before hitting the road. When you are ready to go out, look first at your side mirrors to check if vehicles will pass by. Once you assure that everything is clear, you may now open your car’s door.
4. Set the flares or triangles up to know where you stop.
As you start off inspecting the problem in your car, place first the flares or triangles with reflectors, it will serve as a sign to the upcoming vehicles and drivers to the spot where you suddenly stopped.
5. Never let your passenger out of the car.
It doesn’t matter whether your car breaks down in broad daylight or night. Just don’t let any of your passengers out of the vehicle. Only the driver and one adult are allowed. If you are traveling with children, teenagers, and seniors, just keep them safe and sound inside. Pulling down the windows is okay but remember to keep the car doors shut, especially when the car stops at night.
6. Contact for road assistance help to your rental car provider.
Another to take note of when traveling in any foreign country, you must know the contact numbers to call when you unexpectedly encounter a problem, especially on the road. Be sure to ask for the contact details of your rental car provider so you may be able to reach them in case you face a challenging situation on the road.
7. Politely ask locals for immediate assistance.
If the incident happens in the central city, Zagreb, there are patrol officers scattered around to monitor the motorists passing by, so you may ask for their help. Remember to be polite and courteous when seeking assistance. If there is none, you may approach a local for help. Keep yourself calm and proper at all times.
Passing the borders will signify the start of your trip to Croatia, but there will be times that a patrol officer will pull you over. It may be a traffic violation or a misunderstanding. Simply cooperate with the local authorities. Don’t forget to keep the driving in Croatia requirements for verification. If you get stopped by the police, remember these things that you must do:
- Pullover at the safe side of the road as quickly as you can
- Switch on your hazard lights to signal other vehicles to slow down and give you way.
- Upon request, show them your passport, native driver’s license, and IDP.
- Avoid unnecessary movements. Place your hands on the steering wheel so officers can see them.
- Patiently wait for their further instructions.
- If they want to speak with you at the precinct, just fully cooperate with them.
Navigating directions is already challenging in a foreign place, but asking for driving directions can be a little more complex than you think it is. The national language in Croatia is Croatian, but English is widely spoken by people as well. Try to speak English first. If they don’t understand, try to speak their local language by learning some of their basic phrases.
- Excuse me
- I’m lost
- Izgubio sam se
- I’m not from here
- Nisam odavde
- I don’t understand
- Ne razumijem
- Can you help me?
- Možete li mi pomoći?
- Do you speak English?
- Govorite li engleski?
- How do I get to the…?
- Kako ču doci do…?
If you are driving through the highway of Bosnia and Herzegovina from Croatia, you must present a green card covering those two territories. Exemptions from acquiring a green card are exclusive for E.U countries, so you must secure it at your rental car provider if you are not from an E.U country. You only need a valid driving license to avail it.
When a patrol officer asks you to pull over, obediently follow the command. Greet first the officers and upon their request, kindly show them the necessary documents like passport, driver’s license, IDP, and green card if applicable. If they ask questions, just give them honest answers and remember to speak calmly and with respect. You may use a translator app to make your conversation better.
Road emergencies are possible at all times as exemptions won’t apply to anyone. Even the most vigilant driver may be involved in an accident despite preparedness and carefulness to operate the vehicle on the road. Every driver needs to know the standard procedures to do when facing an unexpected matter on the highway.
What to do in case of a car crash?
Meddling and acting like you know it all are the top no-no in an emergency unless you have sufficient training and experience handling such situations. What you can only do is to dial an ambulance rescue and the police for help. That’s the most efficient action to take in this matter. If you got injuries, do not move. It will only worsen your condition if you do so. Wait for medical personnel to aid you and leave everything to the authorities.
When you only passed by a particular section where there’s a road rage, do not recklessly roll down your window and join the chaos. You will only get yourself in trouble. Just grab your phone and call up the police or any road enforcers to resolve their matters. After that, you may lead other drivers to an alternative route to avoid creating congestion in the middle of the highway.
Driving Conditions in Croatia
Road Safety is a common issue in Croatia, but you won’t be experiencing any delays if you drive with caution. Having a highway-bound journey in this country will not make it hard for you to access. Especially the road signage along the way, you won’t have any trouble reading and navigating it as they are all clear. When reaching a roundabout, always remember giving way to the public vehicles first as they have the right way.
During the summer months, most of the roads in Croatia are congested, so it better to be patient and take everything slowly. All drivers must observe adjustment of speed based on the road condition and weather.
A common reason for vehicle accidents in Croatia is overspeeding or driving faster than what is allowed. It often leads to severe cases of injuries and fatalities. Based on the analysis, most drivers who cause accidents are young drivers aging from 24 years old. The majority of them are driving personal cars and motorcycles.
Once you experience halting in a sudden, there’s more likely another over speeding accident. Most of the driving results at high speed are crashing into objects on the road, colliding with other vehicles, and crossing at the other side of the highway, causing a series of accidents. If you are involved, call for immediate help and assistance right away.
The most famous car that is also known as Croatia's best-selling model car is the Škoda Octavia. It is a redefined luxury family car that stunningly displays elegance. For rental cars, the standard model vehicle is a sedan exclusive for smaller groups. For larger groups, rent out an SUV or van. Most foreign drivers recommend a smaller car as it can pass narrow roads around Croatia.
For colder months, using winter tires is mandatory. Ensure that when you rent a car, check if the tires are equipped with appropriate tires to avoid getting fines along the road. Of course, if you have the budget to make your trip extravagant, especially if you are going to gorgeous spots in Croatia, a drive-in an Audi or Mercedes is a must.
Suffering stress in a traffic jam is a horrible experience to have outside your home state. You don’t know where to go as you are not familiar with the routes around. But if you got yourself a complete guide, you will get to know where to head to arrive at your destination earlier than expected. The toll system in You will most likely encounter toll roads at E59 and E70. Be sure to prepare the exact fee for a faster transaction.
There are two main highways you can choose to reach Dubrovnik if you are coming from Split. The first option to see is taking the D8 road via Omis, Makarska to Ploce. It is a coastal road from Split, a practical route for you won’t pass a toll hub, which may cost you around €30. The second road is via E65 highway and D8 coastal highway. In this route, you will pay a toll of about €41, but it is faster than the first though the distance is longer.
A vehicle must use snow chains or snow tires in winter when heading on an icy road. Croatia requires its drivers to bring winter equipment, especially those who are passing on significant highways. When planning to drive through Zagreb from Dubrovnik, you need to secure that you are using winter tires regardless of weather conditions. You will pay €93 if you get caught not using the special tires.
Violent crimes are rare in the country, so you can be somehow relieved that you are already safe on the highway. Road Traffic Accidents are normal so when you encounter one, just keep on the safe driving in Croatia and simply slowly pass by on the allotted space for vehicles.
Local drivers of Croatia are safe drivers. However, you must watch out for sudden overtaking on minor roads. As you drive, beware of the untrustworthy taxi drivers as they often get aggressive. But in summary, most of the Croatians are good drivers, so you don’t need to panic.
You also need to observe which side of the road is for driving in Croatia that you must follow. Take note that drivers are always on the right, and for overtaking purposes, you have to switch to the left. Wondering how safe driving in Croatia is, you should only be a responsible follower of the law.
Since its declaration of independence from Yugoslavia, there have been scattered landmines in certain areas. If you feel that you are passing one, be sure to take precautionary measures and call for help right away. So, when you ask, how safe is driving in Croatia? The answer is merely following the rules, and you are safe.
Are They Using Kph or Mph?
Croatians generally use “Kph” to implement speed limits on their main roads. Properly observing the allotted speed on every road area is one thing to know when driving in Croatia. If you are from a country that typically uses “Mph” as a standard speed unit, you may download a converting app that will help you to understand the allowed speed.
Things to Do in Croatia
As you discover the dazzling beauty of Croatia, you may want to obtain residency or even find employment opportunities. In Croatia, the government can issue a special permit covering a temporary residence and allowing an individual to work in the country. Before you can even apply for a work permit, you need to secure a job first.
E.U nationals can already proceed working in Croatia without a visa. Non-E.U nationals are required to apply through their local consular office of Croatia. Work Permits are good for one year. However, the country allows most applicants to extend for another 60 days before their permit’s expiration date. It is due to the reason that they need to continue providing service to their company.
Drive as a Tourist
Driving as a tourist in Croatia is allowed. You just need to be a licensed driver to qualify. If you are going to ask, “is the International Driving Permit required in Croatia?” The quick answer to it is yes. Acquiring an IDP for tourists who are coming from an E.U or their country is a member of EGP, they do not need to secure an IDP. But for nationals who are not, they are obliged to get one. However, it is still advised for every tourist to ensure one for more confidence in the road.
Once you successfully earned an IDP, you may now enjoy driving along the best roads in Croatia. Always remember to be respectful and lend your complete focus on the highway.
Work as a Driver
There are qualifications needed to know if you are planning to apply as a driver in Croatia. You have to be one of those so you can easily qualify and apply for a Croatian license. Below are some of the criteria you need to know before applying.
- New holder of driver’s license
- Expired foreign driver’s license issued in a EGP-country
- Holder of valid or expired foreign driver’s license from a non-EGP country and been in Croatia for one year.
If you are a newbie, you need to enroll in a Croatia driving school to acquire one. You have to finish the introductory courses in driving so you will qualify for application. It is one of the fundamental driving requirements in Croatia. When you take a job as a driver in Croatia, it may be quite advantageous, especially during summer, for it is the peak season for tourists.
Work as a Travel Guide
Planning to apply for employment in Croatia depends on the quota system for work and residence permits. Foreign workers can only use it if the job role they are seeking is below the quota. But an applicant can be granted a work permit. Additional documents are needed to submit to prove why the position cannot be filled by a local.
For applicants who wish to push through with working as a travel guide, here are the basic requirements:
- Passport (original and copy)
- Passport size photo
- Copy of financial means (proof of ability to support in Croatia)
- Copy of Health Insurance
- Employment Contract
- Proof of Academic qualifications and skills
- Copy of Company’s registration
- E.U Blue Card (only applicable for nationals outside E.U)
Apply for Residency
Being a Croatian resident for employment purposes is possible. You just need to secure a job offer or work in a Croatian company first to qualify. It should with a work permit and valid contract employment upon application. Here are the basic requirements for residency application in Croatia:
- Purpose of Temporary Residence
- Passport (valid for at least three months after the expiry of residence permit applied for)
- Two Passport-Size Photos
- Certificate of No Criminal/Administrative Case issued by the applicant’s country (should not be older than six months of issuance)
- Proof of Health Insurance
- Proof of Lodging/Accommodation in Croatia
- Proof of Financial Means
- Birth Certificate (Married certificate for married women)
- Payment for Administration Fee
Other Things to Do
Once you choose to live like a local in Croatia, taking advantage of the various perks and benefits is an exciting pathway to venture. To get more of the fabulous treats to enjoy when having an extended stay in the country, exchanging of domestic driver’s license is only among the enthralling things to check out. To know the proper procedures on how to acquire one, read further below.
How to exchange your domestic driver’s license for a Croatian driving license?
There are two categories to study when you plan to surrender your native driver’s card for a local Croatian driver’s license. Before that, you must be a permanent resident of the country to qualify for the conversion. Be sure to do the legal process at any accredited administrative police offices within the state. Now, speaking of the two classifications in exchanging your domestic permit, one is if the applicant holds a driving card from an EGP or EEA nation. The second is from the non-members.
Take also a note of the vital documents to prepare beforehand. Ensure that you possess the complete requirements before heading to any police stations.
For an EGP (Europski gospodarski proctor) or EEA (European Economic Area) states:
Converting your local driver’s permit issued from an EGP nation is not mandatory. You can go ahead and extend its validity at any police stations across the capital. However, if you still want to possess a Croatian one, kindly provide these documents below beforehand.
- Identification Card
- Residence Permit
- Foreign Driver’s License (EGP/EEA issued)
- Passport Photograph
- Tax Stamp
- Proof of Payment (150 kn)
For non-member states:
For non-holders of an EGP issued license, you may still use your native ones, but it’s only for one year after arriving in Croatia. Once it expires, you cannot extend it or exchange it right away. You must enroll at any driving school in Croatia and undergo series of driving tests. To know what you must have upon acquiring a Croatian driver’s license, kindly refer to the list below.
- Identification Card
- Residence Permit
- Domestic Driver’s License (non-EGP/EEA issued)
- International Driver’s Permit (IDP)
- Medical Certificate
- Payment of 150 kn
Are there other work opportunities in Croatia?
In securing a permanent work role in Croatia, you must have mastery skills in the Croatian language. The majority of local companies prefer employees to possess an excellent native dialect communication capability. It is a vital requirement to have if you choose to render services in the country, whether as a driver or a tourist guide. If you think that tourism is not a match for you, checking out other field jobs online is a wise alternative. You may check out manufacturing sectors, trade markets, and even agricultural roles.
Top Destinations in Croatia
Croatia is well known for its majestic coastlines and most iconic landmarks recognized by the UNESCO World Heritage Site. It is also a top spot destination for beach lovers, as it has countless pristine and crystal clear waters that are perfect for chilling under the summer heat.
Ultimate beachgoers will have a great time dipping themselves over the most astonishing waters in Croatia. Aside from swimming, this gorgeous country also has captivating tourist hubs to venture. From historical places, natural treasures, and fancy restaurants around Zagreb, Dubrovnik, and Split, you will be witnessing the best driving roads in Croatia.
Plitvice Lakes National Park
A UNESCO World Heritage paradise of 1979, the Plitvice Lakes National Park is Croatia’s exceptional pride. It gorgeously rest around the dynamic capital of Zagreb ad Zadar. The legendary highlight of the site is its majestic sixteen lakes. Each of them has an exclusive connection to the series of marvelous waterfalls. Its stunning 300 square kilometers territorial space makes it a perfect heaven to discover in a lifetime.
Summer is indeed the ideal season to visit. However, the dry period is not the only best time to check out Plitvice Lakes. Explorers can head over at any time of the year. To witness its alluring greenery tone, running over spring and summer should be the target periods. For a fall foliage shade, going by autumn season will let travelers capture its captivating visuals. For fantasy world fans, winter is their shining, shimmering moment. Magnificent snow and ice will hug them the whole time.
- From Franjo Tudman Airport Zagreb, head to the south leading to Odlasci/Departures.
- Follow the Ul Rudolfa Fizira by exiting the roundabout section that leads to it.
- Make use of any two left lanes to turn left and drive ahead towards the E65/E70/E71 ramp.
- Upon crossing the ramp, stay on the left and proceed to the merging road zone of E65/E70/E71.
- When approaching the interchange 4-Lucko, shift to the right lane and follow the road marks indicating E65/A1 going to Split/Rijeka.
- Take the third exit at D. Resa/Karlovac before going straight ahead to prilaz Veceslava Holjevca/D1/D3.
- While traversing prilaz Veceslava Holjevca/D1/D3, shift slightly to the right until D1/D6.
- In Mostanje ul., turn left to reach the Jelasi ul/Zagrebacka ul./D1.
- Pass through Ul. Brace Radic until Plitvicka ul.
- Continue following Rakovicka/D1 to Grabovac/D1 before spotting a parking area in Plitvice Lakes.
Things To Do
Nature excursion is the prominent game to do in Plitvice Lakes. To maximize the paradise’s enticing wonder, taking note of these joyous engagements will fulfill your dream of a soothing exploration with the environment.
1. Walkthrough Plitvice Trails
For a peaceful wanderlust proceeding to Entrance 1, the lower lakes will welcome you to a gravel pathway to access the only trail way going to the Veliki Slap. As you continue traversing the way, you will get to witness the stellar panoramic views underneath the slap.
2. Ride an electric boat
To see the park’s other side, entering the Entrance 2 or the upper lakes will make you hop on an electric boat to cross over the extensive lake water. You may also opt to take the panoramic train to bring you up to the site’s highest peaks. The entire tour will take three hours, where you will mostly end up at the Kozjak before you head back to Entrance 2.
3. Camp at the park
In having an eco-retreat journey, it will be fun if you try to camp at Camp Korana. It’s pretty near Entrance 2, so right after an exhausting adventure, you may want to consider taking a rest at the campsite. It has over 500 camping bungalows to pick. Be sure to bring what is essential and aim to have a lighter bag to carry on.
4. Picnic at Plitvice
Breathing fresh air is excellent as it relaxes your mind. Make your trip around the park memorable by having a fun picnic at the grounds of the park. It is relatively better to bring ready-to-eat food on a road trip, so you are just bound to have fun with your family or friends.
5. Hike at the Lakes
Hiking is perfect when visiting Plitvice Lakes. There are exclusive trails intended for all levels of hikers. When planning to go to this park, be sure you bring your gear and essential equipment. Once you start off mounting up, you will have the chance to see the stunning wonder of the park.
Museum of Broken Relationships
The Museum of Broken Relationships in Zagreb is a spectacular museum to visit from exhibiting iconic and unique collections from old couples and partners worldwide. The artifacts that are in the museum are in all-white rooms. The exciting thing about each object is that you will read about the donor’s failed relationship story.
- Start at Ilica toward Črnomerec.
- Turn left at Zagrebačka cesta.
- Continue to prilaz baruna Filipovića and Ul. Grada Mainza.
- Switch lanes and stay right onto Slovenska ul.
- Proceed to Fonova ul.
- Head to Trg Francuske republike.
- Follow the Hanuseva ul./Ul. Josipa Hanusa.
- Slightly turn left to Ul. Republike Austrije.
- Straight to Masarykova ul.
- Turn left at Gunduliceva ul.
- Head over to Vranyzanyeva ul.
- Left turn at Cirilometodska ul.
Things To Do
Unveil the enthralling atmosphere surrounding the Museum of Broken Relationships by doing any of these enticing activities.
1. Explore the nearby shopping street
After touring the epic museum, you may want to go on shopping at the adjacent shop selling one-of-a-kind gifts. There is also a café with sidewalk seating to relax.
2. Visit the Upper Town
Sightseeing voyage is the best right in the stellar cobblestone streets of Zagreb’s Upper Town. The Gornji Grad houses many of the town’s most popular attractions like the cathedral, parliament building, museums, and churches.
3. Tour at St. Mark’s Church
It is probably the exquisite feature of the Upper Town. It can be easily recognized for its tremendous and colorful tile roof exhibiting the incredible coats of Croatia, Dalmatia, Slavonia, and the capital city. Don’t miss out on heading inside, as its interior is phenomenal.
4. Eat at Tkalciceva
Once you feel like recharging yourself with food, stroll the Tkalciceva Street. It has several impressive cafés, delicious restaurants, and fancy boutiques for souvenir shopping.
5. Climb at Lotrscak Tower
The Lotrscak Tower is one of the most legendary landmarks in Zagreb. Its creation is to guard the southern gate of the Gradec town wall. Based on its history, it has once had a bell that rang out every night to warn the residents outside the wall to come back. Travelers can climb up the tower to witness the splendid views of the city.
Krka National Park
A national park that proudly boasts a sizeable natural pool by fabulous waterfalls. The Krka National Park has 17 majestic waterfalls, and its tallest one soars for almost 50 meters. Admiring the dazzling environment is a perfect way to rejuvenate. Be sure to have a fun swim over the lagoons around the park.
In scheduling an appropriate date of visit in Krka, July and August are the advisable months to explore the park. Explorers can enjoy discounted entrance fees if they arrive after 4 PM. They can also grab the opportunity to ride a boat from Skradin to Skradinski Buk. The winter period may not be a suitable season for boat rides as higher possibilities of floods may occur.
- If coming from Split Airport, drive towards the northeast region to turn right on Cesta Dr. Franje Tudmana.
- When approaching a roundabout, take the first exit towards kneza Trpimira.
- Go straight ahead on Cesta Plano before turning left towards Cesta Doktora Franje Tudmana.
- Upon following the route’s signs, stay on the left at fork until you reach the Zagreb/Sibenik. Merge on E65/E71 after passing through the said road section.
- Proceed to the exit 22-Sibenik heading to Sibenik/Knin/Drnis/Primosten until D33
Things To Do
Impressive flora and fauna will mostly greet the tourists upon entering the Krka National Park. Because of its remarkable plant life, there’s no doubt why the site is among Croatia’s precious jewels. To get your excitement to grow bigger, here are the special sightseeing activities you can check out when visiting the site.
1. Explore the Krka River
Besides its tempting waters, the Krka River is a natural habitat of several amphibian and reptile species. You can also birdwatch on the site as there are over 200 bird creatures joyously flying around the park. If you are lucky enough, you may catch strange and phenomenal bat creatures roaming around the place.
2. Visovac Island
It was a former monastery build in 1445. Franciscan monks resided on the island for years before abolishing it the same year. However, Visovac Island gave rebirth back in the 18th century. Inside the iconic island, you will get to see the mesmerizing artifacts and an ancient library.
3. Swim at Roski Slap
Roski Slap is a waterfall spot in Krka National Park. It proudly boasts its collection of 12 waterfalls within its 450 meters space. Tourists should not forget to bring proper swimwear when taking a dip on this glorious fall.