Visas for Croatia

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Visas for Croatia

Entry Requirements

EU, EEA, Swiss, Andorran, Bosnian and Herzegovinian, Monégasque, San Marinese and Vatican City citizens can enter Croatia visa-free for up to 90 days with either a passport or a national identity card.

Foreign nationals of the following countries / territories can enter Croatia visa-free for up to 90 days with a passport: Albania, Antigua and Barbuda, Argentina, Australia, Bahamas, Barbados, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Brazil, Brunei, Canada, Chile, Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Israel, Japan, Macedonia, Malaysia, Mauritius, Mexico, Montenegro, New Zealand, Nicaragua, Panama, Paraguay, Saint Kitts and Nevis, Serbia, Seychelles, Singapore, South Korea, Taiwan (Republic of China), Turkey, United States, Uruguay, Venezuela, additionally persons holding British National (Overseas), Hong Kong SAR or Macau SAR passports.

Holders of valid travel documents for refugees or stateless persons issued by an EU member state, Andorra, Canada, Iceland, Japan, Liechtenstein, Monaco, Norway, San Marino, Switzerland, the United States or the Vatican City can enter Croatia visa-free for up to 90 days.

Until 31 December 2012, any person who holds a short stay visa, long stay visa or residence permit issued by a Schengen country can also enter Croatia visa-free as long as the visa/residence permit is still valid on the date of departure from Croatia.

In addition, until 31 October 2012, citizens of Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan, Russia and Ukraine can enter Croatia visa-free.

Any person not covered by one of the visa exemptions listed above will need to apply for a visa at a Croatian embassy or consulate in advance. The application fee for a short stay Croatian visa is 35€.

More information about visa exemptions and the visa application procedure is available at the website of the Croatian Ministry of Foreign and European Affairs.

Getting to Croatia

By Plane

Currently, the only non-European flights to Croatia are to Qatar and Tel Aviv. There are occasional charter flights from Tokyo and Seoul. If coming from North America, you will have to transfer at a hub such as London or Frankfurt. From Asia, Africa or Australasia, transferring in Doha or Istanbul will be quicker than back-tracking through the main European hubs.

  • Croatia Airlines, the national carrier and a member of Star Alliance, flies to Amsterdam, Berlin, Brussels, Düsseldorf, Frankfurt, Istanbul, London, Madrid, Milan, Moscow, Munich, Paris, Prague, Tel Aviv, Rome, Sarajevo, Skopje, Vienna, Zurich and - during the tourist season - Manchester.
  • Adria Airways - Slovenian national carrier flies from Ljubljana to Split and Dubrovnik (note: there are no flights from Ljubljana to Zagreb as the two are located close together and are around 2 hours by car/train/bus)
  • Aer Lingus Dublin - Dubrovnik
  • Austrian Airlines flies from Vienna to Zagreb, Split and Dubrovnik
  • Alitalia flies from Milan Malpensa to Zagreb and Split.
  • British Airways flies from London Heathrow to Zagreb, and London Gatwick to Dubronik
  • CSA Czech Airlines - SkyTeam member; flies from Prague to Zagreb all the year, and to Split during summer.
  • Darwin Airline flies between Geneva and Dubrovnik (Thursdays and Sundays) as well as Zurich and Dubrovnik (Saturdays).
  • EasyJet has flights to the following destinations in Croatia:
    • London Gatwick - Split
  • Estonian Air is flying every Wednesday and Saturday from Tallinn to Dubrovnik.
  • FlyBe operates routes between Dubrovnik and two UK destinations Exeter and Birmingham.
  • GermanWings - cheap connection from Berlin, Cologne, Stuttgart and Hamburg, to Zagreb, Split, Zadar and Dubrovnik
  • HLX (Hapag-Lloyd Express) - flies to Rijeka and Dubrovnik from Germany, has good overview of cheaper flights
  • Intersky flies from Friedrichshafen to Zadar
  • Jat Airways flies from Belgrade to Dubrovnik and Pula
  • KLM connects Amsterdam with Zagreb
  • Norwegian connects Oslo with Rijeka, Split and Dubrovnik
  • Qatar Airways flies daily from Zagreb via Budapest to Doha, and onwards through their network to the Middle East, Asia, Australaisa and Africa.
  • Ryanair flies from Dublin and Karlsruhe-Baden to Zadar.
  • Scandjet is a Scandinavian low fare airline that connects Sweden, Norway and Denmark with Croatia. It flies from:
    • Oslo to Split
    • Stockholm to Pula, Split and Dubrovnik
    • Gothenburg to Zagreb, Pula, Zadar and Split
    • Copenhagen to Pula, Split.
  • TAP Portugal is flying from Zagreb to Lisbon via Bologna three times a week (Wednesdays, Fridays, Sundays).
  • Turkish Airline flies daily from Zagreb to Istanbul.
  • Vueling, a Spanish low-cost carrier flies between Dubrovnik and Barcelona.
  • Wizz Air flies between Zagreb and London (Luton Airport)
  • Additionally you can use airports in neighboring countries which are within few hours of reach from Zagreb and Rijeka (apart from some of the listed options in Italy):
    • Ljubljana (for EasyJet flights to London Stansted or other Adria Airways flights)
    • Graz and Klagenfurt (for Ryanair flights from London Stansted)
    • Trieste (for Ryanair flights from London Stansted). You can also use Venice Marco Polo (for British Airways flights from the UK) or Venice Treviso (Ryanair from Stanstead). Ancona is also an option (Ryanair from Stanstead) for those who want to take ferry or hydrofoil to Zadar and Split. Ryanair also flies to Pescara which is a short drive away from Ancona.
    • Some may decide to use Tivat Airport (in Montenegro) which is within easy reach from Dubrovnik.

By Train

The rail network connects all major Croatian cities, except Dubrovnik (you can take a train to Split then take one of the frequent buses or the more scenic ferry to Dubrovnik, the train station is at the pier). There are direct lines from Austria, Czech Republic, Switzerland, Germany, Hungary, Slovenia, Italy, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Serbia, and Greece. There are indirect lines from almost all other European countries.

Tourists coming from or going to neighboring countries should note the following EuroCity and InterCity railway lines:

  • EC "Mimara": Berlin - Leipzig - Munich - Salzburg - Ljubljana - Zagreb
  • IC "Croatia": Vienna - Maribor - Zagreb
  • IC "Kvarner": Budapest - Zagreb - Rijeka

NB: While Croatia (paired with Slovenia) is covered on some Eurail passes, staff at domestic ticket windows will tend to have no idea about validating the pass on the first day of use. There are recorded instances of staff saying that the conductor would validate the pass, and the conductor simply treating it as a regular ticket. Fortunately, the international ticket staff (particularly in Zagreb) are aware of how to validate the pass, and have been known to validate it retroactively where necessary. They even ask for the details of the domestic ticket seller who gave the wrong information.

The traveller is therefore recommended to have already validated their Eurail pass on arrival in Croatia, or to have it validated at an international window even if the first trip on it will be domestic.

By Car

To enter Croatia, a driver's license, an automobile registration card and vehicle insurance documents are required. If you need road assistance, you should dial 987. The following speeds are permitted:

  • 50 km/h - within built-up areas
  • 90 km/h - outside built-up areas
  • 110 km/h - on major motor routes
  • 130 km/h - on motorways
  • 80 km/h - for motor vehicles with a caravan trailer
  • 80 km/h - for buses and buses with a light trailer

When driving in the rain, you should adjust speed to conditions on wet roads. Driving with headlights is not obligatory during the day (during Daylight Savings Time; it is obligatory during winter months). Use of mobile phones while driving is not permitted. Maximum permitted amount of alcohol in blood is currently 0.05% (matching neighobring Slovenia and Bosnia Herzegovina) although this has varied recently and was down to 0% until that was found to not be tenable in the country. Use of seat belts is obligatory.

Hrvatski Auto Klub is the Croatian Automobile Club dedicated to assisting drivers and promoting greater traffic security. Its site offers minute-by-minute updates, status of national traffic, weather, numerous maps and webcams located all over Croatia. Content is available in Croatian, English, German and Italian.

By Bus

Very good network of buses once in the country - cheap and regular.

If you are coming from Italy there are two buses daily from Venice leaving at 11AM and 1:45PM going to Istria, with a final stop in Pula. These are operated by two different bus companies, but you can buy tickets for both buses at the A.T.V.O bus office at the Venice bus station. The office is in the bus station, but located outside on the ground level across from where all the buses park. Both buses pick up at spot b15. It is roughly a 5 hour bus ride, with stops in Trieste and Rovinj. You can also pick up the bus at the bus station in Mestre, fifteen minutes after the scheduled bus leaves Venice. Coming in from Trieste, Italy is popular among Europeans, for Trieste is a Ryanair destination. You cross the Italian-Slovenian border first, followed by the Slovenian-Croatian border, but they are very close to one another.

Dubrovnik and Split are the main destinations of international buses from Bosnia and Hercegovina or Montenegro, with daily buses traveling to cities such as Sarajevo, Mostar and Kotor (some lines such as Split-Mostar operate every few hours). Seasonal lines also extend through to Skopje from Dubrovnik. Border formalities on the buses are extremely efficient, and do not involve leaving the bus (previous services from Dubrovnik to Kotor involved changing buses at the Croatian border).

Osijek is a very big bus hub for international travel to Hungary, Serbia and Bosnia in addition to its local buses, and the station is located conveniently next to the railway station. Many buses heading from Zagreb north into Hungary or Austria will pass through Varaždin.

  • From Germany with Čazmatrans.

By Boat

Ferries are cheap and go regularly between various places by the coast. Although not the fastest, they are probably the best way to see the beautiful Croatian islands of the Adriatic Sea.

Jadrolinija is the main Croatian passenger shipping line that maintains the largest number of regular international and domestic ferry and shipping lines. The following international lines are serviced by car ferries:

  • Rijeka - Zadar - Split - Hvar - Korčula -Dubrovnik - Bari
  • Split - Ancona - Split
  • Korčula - Hvar - Split - Ancona
  • Zadar - Ancona - Zadar
  • Zadar - Dugi otok - Ancona
  • Dubrovnik - Bari - Dubrovnik

Blue Line International also covers the international line:

  • Split - Ancona - Split

Venezia Lines has regular catamaran lines between Venice and the Croatian cities of Poreč, Pula, Rovinj and Rabac.

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