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Is Dubrovnik safe to visit? Yes! And here’s why.
If you’re traveling to Dubrovnik for the first time, you may be wondering if it’s safe, if there’s any violent crime, or if there are any areas you should avoid.
I totally get it. Growing up in Cleveland, Ohio, I’ve been accustomed to taking safety precautions my entire life. Even though my family lived in a nice area, there is an entirely different mentality when it comes to safety in Croatia (Dubrovnik included).
As a female that has been living in Croatia since 2014, and that has visited Dubrovnik many times over the last decade, I’m here to tell you that Dubrovnik is very safe to visit.
Of course, it’s important to exercise common sense and follow safety guidelines when traveling anywhere in the world to ensure that you have a safe and enjoyable stay.
In this travel guide, I’ll share my detailed local insight about safety in Dubrovnik including crime in Dubrovnik, tips for solo female travelers, and how to spot and avoid tourist scams.
How Safe is Dubrovnik?
Dubrovnik is just as safe as Zagreb, Croatia’s capital city.
Dubrovnik is so safe that elementary school children ride public transportation without adult supervision. It’s so safe that teenagers can stay out until midnight with their friends. It’s so safe that as a female, I can walk around at any time of day feeling completely safe and at ease.
But don’t just take my word for it. Croatia, as a country, has been ranked the 14th safest country in the world by the Global Peace Index.
This impressive standing reflects the low crime rate and overall sense of security you’ll feel during your visit, which is one of the major reasons Dubrovnik is worth visiting.
Areas to Avoid in Dubrovnik
You’ll be happy to learn that there really are no particular areas in Dubrovnik that you should avoid. The Old Town itself is safe, and even the neighborhoods beyond the city walls are generally safe.
Of course, as with any city, it’s always wise to be aware of your surroundings and to stay vigilant for pickpockets and other potential scams. But in general, Dubrovnik is a very safe place and you should have no worries about exploring on your own.
Is Dubrovnik Safe at Night
Yes, Dubrovnik is safe at night. The city is well lit and there are usually lots of people around, especially during high season.
I’ve walked around Dubrovnik at night alone, with a partner, and with friends and have never had any issues.
But that doesn’t mean that you should not be vigilant.
Always trust your gut and take safety precautions when traveling anywhere, including Croatia. Even though Dubrovnik is generally safe, I would still avoid walking down dark alleyways or isolated areas at night, just to be on the safe side.
Is Dubrovnik Safe for Solo Female Travellers?
Absolutely! In fact, Dubrovnik is one of the safest places to visit in Europe as a solo female traveler. Croatia as a whole is a great starting point for traveling solo if you’re just getting your feet wet thanks to its high safety standards and welcoming atmosphere.
In my experience, the locals in Dubrovnik are friendly and helpful towards tourists. Plus, most Croatians speak English very well, so communication should not be a problem.
Because Dubrovnik is such a popular destination, there are plenty of opportunities to meet other solo travelers. You can easily make friends by staying in a hostel, joining social activities like group tours or pub crawls, or even connecting with other like-minded travelers in Facebook groups like Girls Love Travel.
Natural Disasters in Dubrovnik
When it comes to natural disasters, Dubrovnik primarily faces two types of hazards: earthquakes and forest fires.
Dubrovnik is located on a fault line that is one of the most seismically active in Europe. However, the risk of a seriously damaging earthquake is low.
During the summer months, forest fires do emerge as a concern. This is mostly due to high temperatures and human negligence like cigarettes that have not completely been put out or leaving empty glass bottles in the woods.
These fires are usually managed and contained pretty quickly by local authorities, so tourists are generally safe from these incidents.
Crime and Tourist Scams in Dubrovnik
Dubrovnik’s reputation as one of Europe’s safest cities is well-deserved, and while major crimes are a rarity here, like any popular tourist destination, it pays to be alert to minor issues like pickpocketing and petty theft.
A little caution and street smarts go a long way in keeping your belongings safe.
To be honest, you’re more likely to be the victim of tourist scams in Dubrovnik. These aren’t typically dangerous, but they can certainly put a damper on your vacation.
Here are the most common tourist scams you might encounter in Dubrovnik:
Overcharging is probably the most common scam all over Croatia. I know it can be hard to avoid as a tourist because you don’t speak the language, so naturally its easier for people to take advantage of you.
This mostly happens with taxis (see below) and restaurants. Prices do tend to spike each year in the summertime, Dubrovnik is the most expensive destination in Croatia, after all.
Just make sure that whatever you’re ordering, the price is clearly listed on the menu to avoid any unwanted surprises on your bill.
There have been reports of taxi drivers overcharging tourists, so it’s best to agree on the price before getting in the cab. This often happens when trying to get a taxi to and from the airport or at busy hours.
Croatia does have Uber, so my advice would be to check the price in the app first and then decide whether or not to take a taxi or just go with Uber.
This is when an individual approaches you offering a “free” trinket. Usually a bracelet, flowers, or sometimes even hand-drawn postcards (happened to me).
They will leave it on the table when you’re sitting at a cafe enjoying a coffee and you’ll probably think its free until they come back and demand you pay for it. If this does happen to you, just don’t touch the “gift” and continue on with your business-they’ll come take it back.
Last-minute cancelations started to become a thing post-Rona. Essentially what was happening was that private apartment owners would book out their property but then cancel your reservation at the last minute – we’re talking a week or even a few days before your arrival.
The reason for this was because they realized they could raise their prices and get more money than they did at the time of your reservation, leaving you with no choice to either pay up or find another place to stay.
I don’t think this is as common anymore, but something to be aware of. It’s unlikely to happen with a reputable hotel or accommodation with tons of raving reviews on Booking. So just be mindful when making reservations and read both the positive and negative reviews.
Although I have not personally encountered this issue, “ghost accommodations” do continue to make news every year. This is when you book a place to stay in advance and when you arrive to Croatia, you discover that your accommodation does not actually exist.
It’s pretty crazy to me to think that this can even happen, but it does. To make sure it doesn’t happen to you, avoid making reservations through Facebook or unknown platforms. Stick to reputable sites like Booking or Expedia and always make sure to read reviews.
General Dubrovnik Safety Tips
As you prepare for your trip to Dubrovnik, it’s smart to keep in mind some universal safety tips. These guidelines are not just specific to Dubrovnik, but are good practice when it comes to traveling anywhere else:
- Don’t travel with valuables
This includes your passport, large amounts of money, or expensive jewelry. I always keep a photocopy of my passport on me and leave my actual passport in a safe or other safe place. Let’s be honest, you really don’t need your passport on the beach. For identification, a photocopy should be enough coupled with another form of ID like a driver’s license.
- Smart cash management
Be extra careful when carrying large amounts of cash and never keep all your money in one place. This way, if something does get stolen, you won’t lose everything.
- Avoid sketchy looking ATMs
Never, ever use an ATM that is not affiliated with a legitimate bank. Anything with “Euronet” on it or no-name ATMS are a no-go. If you have to withdraw money, I’d recommend using an ATM that is attached to a physical bank. If that’s not an option, then at least use a reputable ATM like Erste, PBZ, Raiffeisen, or Addiko.
It’s always important to know how to reach help in case of emergencies. Here are some essential numbers to keep handy during your stay in Dubrovnik:
General emergency number: 112
The numbers above are the same for all of Croatia and Dubrovnik. I’d recommend having them saved in your phone or in your Notes app so that you’re prepared for any unexpected situations during your travels in Croatia.
How safe is Dubrovnik for tourists?
Dubrovnik is considered very safe for tourists. With low crime rates and a friendly atmosphere, you’ll feel secure while exploring the city.
How safe is Dubrovnik for American tourists?
Dubrovnik is very safe for American tourists, as it is for visitors from all over the world. The city’s strong focus on tourism ensures that visitor safety is a top priority.
Is Dubrovnik safe from fires?
While forest fires in Dubrovnik are more common during the dry summer months, they are usually well-managed and contained by local authorities. These incidents typically don’t impact tourists or tourist areas significantly.
Is Dubrovnik tap water safe to drink?
Yes, the tap water in Croatia, including Dubrovnik, is safe to drink. It meets all health and safety standards, so you can fill up your water bottle without any concerns.
Is it safe to walk around Dubrovnik at night?
Walking around Dubrovnik at night is generally safe. However, as with any city, it’s always a good idea to stay aware of your surroundings and take basic safety precautions.
Do they speak English in Dubrovnik?
Yes, English is widely spoken in Dubrovnik, especially in tourist areas. Most locals, particularly those working in the tourism and hospitality industry, speak English fairly well.
The Verdict: Is Dubrovnik Safe for Travelers?
Yes! Dubrovnik is a safe city to visit.
Whether you are a solo female traveler, a couple, or a family with children, you can feel secure in knowing that Dubrovnik is among the safest cities in Europe.
The city’s low crime rate, friendly locals, and well-maintained public spaces create an environment where safety concerns are minimal. So, pack your bags with confidence and get ready for a worry-free adventure in the Pearl of the Adriatic!
Before you go, make sure you pack all of the right things for your Dubrovnik vacation.
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Croatia Travel Planning Guide
💸 What is the currency in Croatia?
As of January 1st, 2023, the official currency of Croatia is the Euro and NOT the Kuna (which is also the name of the national animal of Croatia).
🇭🇷 What language do they speak in Croatia?
Croatian is the official language of Croatia. Learn some phrases in Croatian before your trip with the Ling app!
🚑 Should I buy Croatia travel insurance?
10000% YES – Seriously, don’t leave home without it. You never know what can happen on the road. I like SafetyWing because they provide excellent coverage for as little as $1.50 a day.
📱 Will my phone work in Croatia?
Maybe – check with your provider to see if you’ll have service while traveling Croatia. If you don’t have service (or it’s too expensive) I recommend getting an eSIM like Airalo. Airalo allows you to have data while traveling without the high costs of roaming. They have super affordable plans available for 190+ countries, including Croatia. Download the app and get your plan before you leave home so that you have data as soon as you touch down in Croatia!
🏨 What’s the best way to book my Croatia accommodations?
For Croatia hotels, Booking is by far the best site.
🛫 What’s the best site to buy Croatia flights?
I always use Skyscanner to find the cheapest flights.
🚗 Is it safe to rent a Car in Croatia?
Yes! – In fact, renting a car in Croatia is one of the best ways to see the country! I recommend Discover Cars because they check both local and international rental companies to ensure you get the best deal. (Get your Croatia road trip itinerary here)
💦 Is it safe to drink the water in Croatia?
Tap water in Croatia is completely safe to drink, so bring your reusable water bottle and fill up!
Do I need a visa for Croatia?
Depending on where you are coming from you may or may not need a visa to enter Croatia. Check the official Republic of Croatia Ministry of Foreign Affairs website for more information on who should apply for a visa.