Croatia has been a member of the European Union since 1 July 2013. On 1 January 2023, Croatia joined the Schengen area. This means that entry formalities have been considerably simplified. In concrete terms, if you are coming from any country in the Schengen area, you no longer need to present an identity card or passport to enter and leave Croatia.
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Formalities for entering and staying in Croatia
Tourists from the Schengen area (i.e. Europe) do not need any identity papers or passports to enter Croatia. Any citizen of the Schengen area (i.e. Europeans citizens) can be a tourist for 90 days in another Member State (i.e. Croatia). Europeans citizens have the same rights as Croatian citizens when on holiday in Croatia.
For non-Schengen tourists wishing to visit Croatia for less than 3 months, only a valid passport or identity card is required. This formality also applies to Japanese and American citizens. In addition, there is a list of countries whose citizens can enter Croatia simply by showing their identity card.
Common sense: you should always have your identity papers (or at worst a copy) with you.
Visa issuing point
European Union nationals do not need to apply for a visa. Schengen visas can be used to travel to Croatia.
Entry visas for Croatia are issued by the embassies and consulates of the Republic of Croatia. For special cases (not covered by a Schengen residence permit or visa, etc.), you should allow at least 3 months before obtaining a visa. It will cost you around €60 if you contact the embassy directly. Visa applications require an original identity document (passport, etc.). You can deal directly with the embassy or use specialist service providers.
Travelling with children or pets to Croatia
Children must be registered in one of their parents’ passports or have their own passport or national identity card. The loss of a passport or other identity document must be reported immediately to the nearest police station. They will issue an official notification of the loss, so that you can obtain new travel documents. The family record book has no value in Croatia.
Pets are not subject to compulsory quarantine, but they must be vaccinated in advance and comply with the criteria laid down by Croatian regulations, and their owners must carry all the relevant documents with them.
Border crossing and customs rules for Croatia
With Croatia’s entry into the Schengen area, border controls are changing. They have been abolished with Slovenia, Italy and Hungary, significantly reducing delays at border crossing points. Montenegro, Bosnia-Herzegovina and Serbia become the new borders of Europe, and controls at these borders are maintained.
- For alcohol, 5 litres are permitted per passenger. 15 litres per person for beer.
- 1 carton of tobacco per passenger.
- It is forbidden to cross the border into Croatia with dairy or meat products of animal origin. There is a risk that your cheese and cold meats will not cross the border and you could be fined.
- If you are carrying medication for your own health, you will need a prescription.
- It is possible to cross the border with foreign currency, but a declaration is required for amounts in excess of €10,000.
- Croatian VAT can be zero-rated under certain conditions.
For detailed and up-to-date information, please check Customs regulations on entering Croatia.