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  • Writer's pictureDorien Scheets

Is Croatia Safe for Female Solo Travelers?

Croatia is a beautiful country located in Southeast Europe. It is known for its stunning coastline, historic cities, and delicious food. But is it safe for female solo travelers? Both statistically speaking and from personal experience--heck yeah. As an American and first time solo female traveler, I felt safer during my time in Croatia (my first time in the country) than I've felt even walking around my own block back in the US or in my current neighbourhood in the UK.

Bottom Line: Yes!

According to a 2021 survey by Hostelworld, Croatia is the 10th safest country in the world for solo female travelers, considering factors such as crime rates, safety for women, and availability of healthcare.

So, why is Croatia such a safe destination for female solo travelers?

  • Low crime rates: Croatia has a low crime rate compared to other European countries. The most common crimes are petty theft and pickpocketing, which can be avoided by taking precautions such as being aware of your surroundings and not carrying valuables in your pockets.

  • Friendly locals: Croatians are known for being friendly and welcoming. They are generally respectful of women and are unlikely to catcall or harass female solo travelers. Practically everyone speaks English and everyone I met in my time in Croatia was happy to help if you asked.

  • Good healthcare: Croatia has a good healthcare system. If you need medical attention, you can go to a public hospital or a private clinic with no worries--but it's always good practice to have travel insurance just in case of emergencies like these.

  • Lots of tourist infrastructure: Croatia is a popular tourist destination, so there are plenty of hotels, restaurants, and shops that cater to solo travelers. As I'll mention down below, hostels are especially great for solo female travelers and I highly recommend booking with them. This makes it easy to find your way around and get the help you need if you need it.

Of course, no place is completely safe, and it is always important to take precautions when traveling alone, no matter where you are. Keep a solid head on your shoulders and act practically.

Here are some tips for staying safe in Croatia:

  • Be aware of your surroundings: This means being mindful of where you are going and who is around you. Avoid walking alone at night, and if you do, take an Uber.***

*** Note here that I've recommended Uber over a taxi or public transport. This is really key for several reasons. Taxis may sometimes be unregulated and are often not tracked via GPS, so in case something goes wrong, there may be no way to know who is picking you up, where you go, or even that you've been in that car. Uber is much safer as it tracks all this information and is widely accessible throughout Croatia. Additionally, you're less likely to get price gouged using Uber than using a taxi, where they may try to ask you to pay an extortionate fee.

I also generally avoid public transport at night unless I'm with a group or am extremely familiar with the city, the transport line, and where I'm going. There can be some seedy characters that lurk on public transport in the dark no matter where you are, so as general good practice I just like to play it safe and avoid this after sundown.

  • Don't carry valuables: This includes things like jewelry, expensive cameras, and large amounts of cash. If you do need to carry valuables, keep them in a safe place, such as a hotel safe or a money belt, hidden out of sight and out of easily accessible places such as outward facing purses or in pockets.

  • Trust your gut: If you feel uncomfortable in a situation, don't be afraid to walk away. It's better to be safe than sorry.

Additional tips for female solo travelers:

  • Learn some basic Croatian phrases: This will show the locals that you are trying to make an effort to communicate with them, and it can also be helpful in getting around. Here are some useful words and phrases:

    • Good day! / Hello! – Dobar dan!

    • Thank you. – Hvala.

    • Please. – Molim Vas.

    • Yes – Da

    • No – Ne

    • Do you speak _____? – Pričaš li _____?

The above phrases are really good basics and should get you everything you need, but if you discover a newfound love for the Croatian language, then you can check out this site which has a much more comprehensive look at useful phrases, terminology, and more

  • Stay in hostels or guesthouses: These are a great way to meet other travelers and make friends. I stayed in hostels my entire time in Croatia and had a fabulous experience. I booked all of my hostels via Hostelworld and stayed in the Lazy Monkey Hostel in Zadar and the Gravitas Hostel in Split. I loved both and would highly recommend both! The amazing thing about booking with Hostelworld, too, is that when you book via their app, you're automatically added into group chats for each of the hostels you will be staying in and in group chats for everyone staying in any hostel during the time that you're in the city. For example, I was added into a city-wide group chat for all folks staying in hostels in Split in the weeks leading up to, during my stay, and just a day or two after. This is a great way to meet people, organize hang-outs, arrange dinner plans or excursions, and more.

  • Join a tour group: This is a good way to explore the country with a group of people and have someone to look out for you. I had the most fabulous and informative tour with Guru Walks Must Do Split Walking Tour . My guide was professional, funny, passionate, and kind, and offered lots of great restaurants to eat at, activities to try, and places to go.

  • Use public transportation: This is a safe and affordable way to get around. The buses in Croatia are relatively reliable. I booked mine via the bus stations in Split and Zadar and also via Flix Bus and the Zadar bus station website (heads up--it's all in Croatian).

  • Be aware of your alcohol intake: Don't drink too much, as this can make you more vulnerable to attack. I've also heard some people having really bad experiences on bar crawls in Split, so read reviews and be mindful.

Is Croatia safe for you?

Ultimately, whether or not Croatia is safe for you depends on your individual circumstances and risk tolerance. However, based on the factors mentioned above, it is a relatively safe destination for female solo travelers. I had a wonderful time as a first-time female solo traveler there, and would wholeheartedly recommend it to others.

Bonus! Here are some additional tips from your friendly neighborhood ethical travel enthusiast:

  • Use a VPN to protect your privacy and security online.

  • Keep your travel documents safe and secure.

  • Make copies of your important documents and keep them in a separate place.

  • Let someone know where you are going and when you expect to be back.

  • Stay up-to-date on the latest safety and security information for Croatia.

By following these tips, you can have a safe and enjoyable trip to Croatia.

P.S. If you are ever feeling unsafe, don't hesitate to ask for help from a local or a police officer.

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