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Is Zagreb Safe to Visit in 2024? (Local’s Guide)

Are you wondering is Zagreb safe to visit? You’ve just landed on the ultimate local guide that will answer all of your questions about safety and crime in Zagreb, Croatia.

I’ve been living in Zagreb since 2014, and my connection to the city runs deep–thanks to my dad being born here, I’ve been visiting Zagreb my entire life. That’s nearly 30 years of experience in the city!

I’ve seen first hand how Zagreb has transformed over the years, and as a woman, I feel like I can truly speak to the safety in the city. Growing up in Cleveland, Ohio, being street-smart was almost second nature. I always took extra safety precautions whenever I was alone, and was accustomed to hearing about crimes in the news.

But Zagreb is different, and in this post I’ll tell you why.

Is Zagreb safe for tourists? What is the crime rate in Croatia? Keep reading as I’ll be covering all this and more to give you a well-rounded view on safety in Zagreb.

Is Zagreb Safe to Visit?

The Art Pavilion in Zagreb framed by a pink magnolia tree.

So you’re wondering, “Is Zagreb safe to visit?”

The answer is: YES! It is very safe.

As someone who’s lived here for nearly a decade, and as a woman, I can confidently say I’ve never felt threatened or unsafe in the Croatian capital.

To put it into perspective, I grew up in Cleveland, Ohio, where being alert and cautious was vital when going downtown, and especially going out to bars or clubs at night.

Zagreb, on the other hand, feels like a world away in terms of safety. I’ve roamed around at all times of day in all areas of the city and suburbs, and have even walked home alone at 2:00 AM. Not once have I felt uncomfortable or encountered any issues.

When I tell my Croatian friends that my college in the USA had emergency phone towers installed at various locations throughout campus, they look at me in disbelief. That’s how different the atmosphere is here.

This is not to say that Zagreb is completely devoid of risks. Like anywhere else in the world, it’s important be aware of your surroundings and exercise common sense. But overall, Zagreb comes across as a very safe city. This sentiment is shared not just by me, but also by my friends and family who’ve either visited or are locals.

One of the main reasons I’ve chosen to make Zagreb my home is this very feeling of security. But don’t just take my word for it. Let’s have a closer look at some official statistics.

A view of Ban Jelacic Square, the main square in Zagreb, just as the sun is starting to set. The square is illuminated in a beautiful golden glow. The famous Ban Jelacic statue is visible as well as a blue tram on the left side of the square. There are people walking around all over the square.

How Safe is Zagreb Croatia?

According to the Global Peace Index, the world’s leading measure of global peacefulness, Croatia ranks at number 14 on the list of safest countries in the world out of 163 countries evaluated.

This comprehensive index determines safety by analyzing factors such as political stability, potential for terrorist activity, violent crime rates, violent demonstrations, relations with neighboring countries, homicides, level of militarization, and more.

Areas to Avoid in Zagreb

Unlike many other European cities, there are no specific areas in Zagreb that are outright dangerous or should be avoided at all costs. However, it’s a good idea to do some research to make sure you’re booking your stay in the best areas of Zagreb.

Crime in Zagreb

In 2022, the Zagreb police recorded 13,409 general criminal offenses in Zagreb County. The report confirms that the number of criminal offenses declined by 2.8% compared to the previous year, and instances of theft and break-ins have also been on a downward trend.

Overall, Zagreb Croatia has a low level of crime when compared to other nations.

Both the city center and Zagreb suburbs provide an environment where people can freely walk without fear. It is not uncommon to see children playing outdoors, confidently navigating the capital and even utilizing public transportation independently. The same goes for teenagers who can venture out at night without the need for parental supervision.

Zagreb Natural Disasters

Zagreb is situated in the southern foothills of Medvednica Mountain, a local hotspot for day trips from the city. The northern edge of this mountain sits on a geological fault, making the area somewhat seismically active. But don’t cancel your trip just yet!

The last major natural disaster in Zagreb was in 2020, when the city was struck by a 5.4 magnitude earthquake. I was just a couple of kilometers away from the epicenter, and it was a terrifying experience.

The earthquake caused a significant amount of damage to the city center, particularly older buildings in the Upper and Lower Towns. The aftermath of this quake is still visible, which is why you’ll still find buildings under repair or draped in scaffolding.

A close up of a red, broken heart made of yarn split in half from a crack in a yellow building that was damaged by the Zagreb earthquake
The famous broken heart of Zagreb that appeared on a damaged building in the Upper Town after the earthquake in 2020.

It’s worth mentioning that this was the strongest earthquake to hit Zagreb in 140 years. While you should always stay alert, earthquakes are statistically a low-risk factor in your Croatia travel plans.

Lastly, there are some areas prone to landslides near Medvednica’s foothills, but they’re not typically on a tourist’s itinerary. It’s always good to be aware, but you shouldn’t be overly concerned about natural disasters when visiting Zagreb.

Is Zagreb Safe for Solo Female Travellers?

If you’re a woman wondering is Zagreb safe for solo travel, the answer is yes. As a woman who has been living in Zagreb for nearly a decade, I can confidently say that Zagreb is safe for solo travelers.

I’ve (thankfully) never felt uneasy or unsafe wandering the city alone, and I know that my circle of female friends agrees.

That said, no place is completely free of risks. It’s always good to stay alert and be mindful of your surroundings. But on the whole, the odds are in your favor for a safe and enjoyable visit.

If you’re visiting Zagreb as a solo female traveler and are interested in meeting other like-minded women, you might want to consider joining Facebook groups like Girl Gone International. There are also other local Facebook groups that will help connect you to other travelers or digital nomads in Croatia.

Woman wearing a brown felt hat, black leather jacket and dress with tights and boots twirling away from the camera in the old upper town of Zagreb with a yellow building and hanging flower pots in the background.

Is Zagreb Safe at Night?

Yes, Zagreb is generally safe at night. In my 30 years of living in and visiting Zagreb, I’ve walked my dog at night, taken the public bus at midnight, gone out for drinks late in the evening – all while feeling secure.

Of course, the usual rules of thumb apply: stay alert and be aware of your surroundings just like you’d do in any city. But overall, Zagreb is a safe city after dark!

Is Zagreb English friendly?

It may come as a surprise, but Zagreb is actually very English friendly. When I first moved here, I was not completely fluent in the Croatian language, but I never had a problem navigating the city. Most signs are either translated into English or feature universally recognizable symbols.

When it comes to ordering food at restaurants or going out for drinks, most places have an English menu. If they don’t, pizza is the same in Croatian as it is everywhere else in the world. 😉

On top of that, Croatians are pretty fluent in English. In fact, 60% of the population is comfortable holding a conversation in the language. Most of the younger generation begins learning English as a second language in elementary school, making communication between locals and tourists much easier.

So don’t hesitate to strike up a chat with the locals! They’re often eager to share their culture with visitors, and you may even make some friends along the way.

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    Are People in Zagreb Friendly?

    For the most part, you’ll find that Zagreb locals are warm and friendly to visitors. However, if you’re arriving from a Western background, you might notice some cultural differences.

    Croatians have a more direct way of communicating that might come off as abrupt if you’re used to a different style of interaction. Don’t mistake this for rudeness; it’s just a cultural difference in how people express themselves.

    They do not always have the same level of politeness that you may be used to, so keep an open mind and try to remain respectful in all your conversations. Once you accept this and get to know the locals better, you might even find their straightforwardness refreshingly honest and endearing.

    Zagreb Safety Tips

    By now you already know that Zagreb is a safe city, but a little extra caution never hurt anyone, right?

    So here are my best safety tips for making your visit to Zagreb smooth and worry-free:

    • Be street smart: Places like the main square, Dolac Market, and Upper and Lower towns can be swarming with large amounts of people at times. Just like any other city, keep an eye on your belongings and be aware of pickpockets.
    • Nighttime caution: While Zagreb is safe at night, it’s always a good idea to stick to well-lit areas and avoid going down any dark alleyways alone.
    • Scams: They are rare, but exist. Always double-check the price of a taxi (or just take an Uber) and be wary of anyone who approaches you with an unsolicited “deal”.
    • Emergency numbers: Keep local emergency numbers saved in your phone, just in case. The general emergency number in Croatia is 112.
    • Hospitals & pharmacies: Know where the nearest hospital and 24/7 pharmacies are located (there is a 24-hour pharmacy on the main square, Trg Ban Josip Jelačić).
    • Travel insurance: Accidents (and emergencies) happen, which is why I never leave home without travel insurance. This doesn’t just apply to Zagreb, but you should have it when traveling anywhere in the world.

    FAQs

    Is Zagreb Croatia safe for female solo traveling?

    Yes! Zagreb is one of the safest capitals in Europe, making it safe for solo female travelers to visit.

    Is Zagreb safe for American tourists?

    Absolutely, American tourists usually find Zagreb to be a safe place to visit.

    Is Zagreb dangerous?

    No, Zagreb is not a dangerous city. In fact, the Global Peace Index considers Zagreb to be the 14th safest country in the world.

    Is Zagreb safe to walk around?

    Yes, walking around in Zagreb is safe, both in tourist and residential areas of the city.

    Is Zagreb safe to walk at night?

    For the most part, Zagreb is safe to walk at night, although it is still recommended to exercise common sense and stay aware of your surroundings.

    Are people in Zagreb friendly?

    Generally speaking, yes, people in Zagreb are friendly and welcoming to visitors.

    Is Zagreb English friendly?

    Yes, a good percentage of locals speak English very well, especially the younger generation. Most of the staff at restaurants and hotels are also fluent in English.

    Final Thoughts: Is Zagreb Croatia Safe

    If you’ve been trying to figure out whether Zagreb is a safe destination for your next trip, I hope this guide has been reassuring. From my years of experience living here, I can wholeheartedly say that Zagreb is a safe and welcoming city whether you’re traveling solo or in a group.

    So if you want to experience Zagreb for yourself, there’s really no reason to hold back based on safety concerns.

    Before you start planning your trip, find out is Zagreb worth visiting.

    You Might Also Like:

    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?
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    💦 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?
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