Take your time, look around, and learn all there is to know about Health and Safety in Croatia. We hope you enjoy our site and take a moment to drop us a line if you have any questions.
As a new expat in Croatia, it's important to become familiar with the country’s healthcare system and health insurance.
Read more about it down below.
As a digital nomad, it's not easy to find an insurance provider that covers you lifestyle & that doesn’t cost a fortune. You still need to be insured while you wait for your Digital Nomad visa approval. Read more about it here.
The vaccine is free for all nationals and visitors!
If you're already vaccinated or going to, you can obtain the EU Digital COVID Certificate. Yo cal also get the COVID-19 passport if you present a negative test or if you have recently recovered from COVID-19.
The stats don't lie: Croatia is the 17th-safest country in the world! That means that Croatia is statistically safer than UK & US. You can read more about it here.
Whether you are moving with your family, digital nomad, or a company transferring employee, we are here to provide relocation assistance.
Croatia has a universal health care system, which provides health care to nationals and long-term visitors, which means all residents are assured access to health care. Health care contributions are mandatory for all employed citizens, i.e. their employers into what the country calls HZZO (eng. Croatian Health Insurance Fund - CHIF). With Croatian government assistance and affordable living, physicians can sufficiently offer a high standard of care. The quality of services provided at a lower rate has attracted many foreigners seeking medical treatment to travel to Croatia for those procedures. Competitively, reports have stated that renowned medical care costs 70% less than other leading countries. Under the International Association for Medical Assistance to Travelers (IAMAT), healthcare in Croatia meets international standards, reporting, sufficiently stocked medical hospitals throughout the country. Pharmacies, clinics, and even dental have emerged in every town, with rural areas having similar access.
You will be pleased to hear that the overall standard of healthcare in Croatia is actually pretty good. In fact, "The Lancet" ranked Croatia 30th out of 120 countries in its study of the best healthcare systems around the world. According to the European Commission, self-reported access to healthcare is of a good standard, with low unmet needs for medical care. There is, however, a substantial difference in satisfaction rates between low- and high-income groups. Unmet needs also tend to be high among older people and those in less built-up areas.
With Croatian government assistance and affordable living, physicians can offer a high standard of care. The quality of services provided at a lower rate has attracted many foreigners seeking medical treatment to travel to Croatia for those procedures. Competitively, reports have stated that renowned medical care costs 70% less than other leading countries.
Since Croatia is part of the EU, the European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) is valid in Croatia. Therefore, you to receive healthcare throughout the EU. EHIC is issued free of charge and allows anyone who is insured by or covered by a statutory social security scheme of the EU to receive medical treatment in another member state for free or at a reduced cost if that treatment becomes necessary during their visit. It will cover you for treatment that is needed to allow you to continue your stay until your planned return. It also covers you for treatment of pre-existing medical conditions and routine maternity care, as long as you're not going abroad to give birth.
All expats with temporary or permanent stay must have health insurance. Registration to the Croatian Institute for Health Insurance should be within 8 days from the approved temporary stay in Croatia.
If you're employed, your employer will register you to health insurance. The application process for employed expats in the Croatian Health Insurance Fund (as well as the Croatian Pension Insurance Institute) is the same as application procedures for employees who are Croatian nationals. If not, you need to register personally at the Croatian Health Insurance Fund (or buy an insurance policy at a private insurance company).
Necessary documents for the registration to the Croatian Health Insurance Fund are:
Croatian health insurance costs 576 HRK per month (approx. 75 EUR). It is possible you will need to pay it at once one year prior to their stay in Croatia (a total of approx. 6,500 HRK / 860 EUR).
Money order is received at the HZZO office while registering. Afterward, HZZO informs the Tax Administration of the Ministry of Finance which then issues and sends monthly payment orders (uplatnica) to your address for the next year of insurance during his/her stay in Croatia.
Mandatory health insurance at the HZZO is claimed on different grounds (for example, employment contract, conduct of economic activities, pension, family member of an insured person). You can claim healthcare covered by mandatory health insurance if you are registered for insurance at the HZZO. You prove your status of an HZZO insured person with your health card or certified copy of your health insurance registration. If you are insured under mandatory health insurance and older than 18 years of age, you can also be insured under supplementary health insurance.
You claim your mandatory health insurance rights by registering with the HZZO office in your place of residence or stay. As a rule, you must register within 30 days. Insurance gives you the right to:
Mandatory health insurance also covers accidents at work and occupational diseases!
As a rule, no prior insurance is required to be entitled to healthcare although this may be required for some orthopedic and dental aids. Children and disabled people are exempt from the prior insurance requirement.
Note; you must cover some of the costs of medical care. The minimum amount of co-participation is HRK 10.00 (EUR 1.00) and the maximum amount of co-participation cannot exceed HRK 2,000.00 (EUR 265.00) for a single bill. However, the HZZO will cover some forms of healthcare in full. For example, for children under the age of 18, full-time students, disabled people requiring permanent assistance and pregnant women.
You can find out about your legal rights at the links below. They are not European Commission websites and do not represent the views of the Commission:
Commission publications and websites:
EU social security coordination – Employment, Social Affairs & Inclusion – European Commission
Who do you need to contact?
Croatian Health Insurance Fund
Margaretska 3 HR-10000 Zagreb Croatia
Phone no. +385 8007979 (mandatory health insurance), +385 8007989 (supplementary health insurance)
Ministry of Health
Ksaver 200A HR-10000 Zagreb Croatia
Phone no. +385 14607557, +385 8007999
All expats with temporary or permanent stay must have health insurance. Even though basic health insurance plan is required by law and administered by the Croatian Health Insurance Fund (known as “HZZO”), when appyling for temporary stay, one of requirements is having a proof of health insurance (travel or private health insurance must cover the territory of the Republic of Croatia).
As a digital nomad or long-term traveler, it is not that easy to find an insurance provider that covers your unconventional lifestyle AND that doesn’t cost a fortune. But, just as anywhere in the world, you should always be covered when it comes to your health. You could get the flu and need medication, have an unexpected allergic reaction to something, hit your toe and get a bad infection, or have an accident and need emergency treatment at a hospital. There are many things that can happen to you on the road and we all know how expensive medical treatments can be. Most of us won’t be able to pay thousands and thousands of dollars from our pocket money. So make sure you have an insurance policy wherever you are.
What is SafetyWing?
Ok, now to the company. SafetyWing is an international travel medical insurance that is specifically made for digital nomads. This means if you are a remote worker or traveling freelancer and entrepreneurs or even if you are living abroad somewhere, this might be the perfect insurance for you.
It was founded by three Norwegian friends, all digital nomads themselves, who realized that there is no insurance out there, that covered the special needs of this target group. They decided that since the digital nomad lifestyle is constantly growing in popularity, it is about time to change that and so they founded SafetyWing.
What does SafetyWing cover?
Now to the most important facts: What is covered in your SafetyWing insurance policy? Here are only some of the things that are covered:
What does SafetyWing NOT cover?
I think it is also important that we talk about the things that SafetyWing doesn’t cover. As most travel and international health insurance provider, they don’t cover things like cancer treatment, routine check-ups, or pre-existing conditions. If you would want to cover that, it’s going to be super expensive and in most cases won’t be reasonable. The only two things that they don’t cover and that might be important to some of you are:
- Trip cancellation &
- Adventure sports.
What countries does SafetyWing cover?
With SafetyWing you can travel to more than 180 countries worldwide, which is pretty much everywhere ;) Bear in mind that, as with any digital nomad health insurance, the monthly rate increases if you are traveling to the USA because medical care is so expensive there.
Regarding the global coronavirus pandemic, Croatia has done a reasonably good job keeping COVID-19 under control. Since the start of the pandemic in Croatia, over 4.5 million tests have been conducted, and 5,666 in the last 24 hours. The data collected by the national COVID-19 crisis management team show that there have been a total of 1,053,568 cases of coronavirus in Croatia. So far, 65.48% of adult Croatian have fully been vaccinated (you can find all Croatia COVID-19 related information in English here).
Keep track of latest COVID-19 status in Croatia – the latest coronavirus case counts, rules & regulations
The vaccine is free for all nationals and visitors!
Simply apply online on the official website of the Ministry of Health, by calling the number 0800 0011, or by going to your closest vaccination center.
List of COVID-19 vaccination sites in Croatia
EU Digital COVID Certificate (COVID-19 passport)
The European Union has launched the EU Digital COVID Certificate, which will act as a COVID pass for European citizens and residents. The EU’s goal is to provide a common approach to mobility during the pandemic, as well as to generate efficient, interoperable systems such as the EU Digital COVID Certificate. The idea of having a COVID health passport has created great debate among some EU Member States. However, the European Union leaders have ensured that a reliable, secure, and common solution was delivered in order to restore mobility and freedom of movement as of June 1st, 2021. Many Member States began issuing the certificate ahead of schedule, seeing it as an opportunity to help their economies, especially in areas such as tourism and international travel.
If you're already vaccinated or going to, you can obtain the EU Digital COVID Certificate. You're also eligible for the certificate if you can present a negative SARS-CoV-2 test or if you have recently recovered from COVID-19.
Not only have I traveled Croatia extensively without incident, but I’ve also done a ton of research on Croatia travel safety. While there are certainly things you should be aware of, which we’ll cover below, Croatia is a peaceful country, even ranked 17th in the 2021 Global Peace Index, 111 places ahead of the United States (128th).
While many countries in the world are currently struggling with go violence, terrorism, and other acts of aggression, it's only natural to ask and research how safe it the country is before visiting. Croatia did go through a war in recent history (Croatian War of Independence) which ended in 1995. It's been a part of the European Union (EU) since 2013. The country is also a member of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO). This means they are protected by large multi-national support structures. In February of 2020, it was ranked at a “Level One” by the U.S. State Department—the safest category. Needless to say, Croatia is one of the safest countries in the world.
The answer is a resounding yes!
Violent crime in Croatia are rare and overall crime levels are quite low, making it extremely safe to live & travel to Croatia. The U.S. State Department has given Croatia its lowest travel advisory level, Level One, indicating that you should “exercise normal precautions” when traveling. Like in the rest of the world, the COVID-19 situation in Croatia is ongoing. With the current rules& regulations, there are several options for entry to Croatia. The most common one is presenting a negative test or a certificate of vaccination. Keep in mind that the rules & regulations are constantly changing across Europe, so we highlyhighly recommendrecommend staying up to date on the latest restrictions, entry requirements, and health situation by checking out the latest COVID-19 status in Croatia.
Still, there are a few Croatia travel warnings that you should be aware of before arriving. As most popular destinations in the world, pickpocketing and petty theft can occur so make sure to take the normal precautions, including keeping your wallet and phone in your front pocket and investing in a slash-resistant purse or backpack, keeping expensive items stowed away, and being aware of your general vicinity.
While the threat of being pickpocketed in Croatia isn’t as high as in Italy, France or Spain, we still advise to be be aware of pickpocketing in crowded tourist attractions such as Dubrovnik, Split, Zagreb, and while in a National Parks.
Public transport info & advice
Public transportation is very safe to use in Croatia. The bus is a popular form of transport in Croatia. Croatian bus routes cover big towns as well as the more remote small villages. Also, the drivers are kept busy: buses run regularly, and even run at night on certain routes! It is still the most affordable means of transport and the most widely used. As a result, buses are particularly crowded during the summer season, the many visitors adding to the number of regular transport users in Croatia. Keep in mind that the Zagreb bus terminal has been known to be a bit seedy after dark, so try to book transport during daylight hours. Alternatively, there are always taxis and shared rides!
Croatian trains are comfortable, inexpensive and convenient. Yet, it is also the slowest form of transport. Regular lines run between large cities such as Rijeka, Zagreb and Split. For other big towns and elsewhere, there is the bus. In Zagreb there are around fifteen tram routes. They run from 4am to midnight.
You can cross the sea by boat to visit the islands around Croatia. Several companies share the market and offer different types of crossings: rapid crossings (by caramaran) or by ferry. The first option is mostly used by foot passengers.
To sum up, there are all forms of public transport in Croatia, but some are more popular than others depending on price, availability and convenience.
Croatia is generally safe for female tourists. In Croatia, women are treated with respect, there are plenty of well-lit areas in the major cities, and violent crime is low. Many women who have traveled to Croatia say they felt perfectly safe and wouldn't hesitate to travel there alone again.
For the most part, usual travel safety precautions and common sense rules apply. Always take marked taxis, which are readily available at main squares, ferry ports and bus stations, and don't carry large amounts of money around with you. You will be able to lock valuables away at your accommodation.
In Croatia's coastal towns during summer, it's a big part of the culture to spend evenings outside watching the world go by with an ice-cream or two, so there will be plenty of people around late into the night, and the popular waterfront areas are well lit. However in the old cities like Split and Dubrovnik, it's easy to get lost in the maze of narrow streets and alleyways, which are not always well lit. Do your best to stick to the main streets after dark to avoid being alone in a dark alleyway – but overall Croatia is a safe place, so you shouldn't really be paranoid if you do have to walk a few dark streets.
Make the most of the vibrant nightlife and clubs in the major cities, but drink in moderation so you remain in control. Croatians enjoy a drink, but when you're in a foreign country you should always try to keep your wits about yourself.
Most rentals are run by friendly old Croatian women who will treat you like a long-lost daughter, but it's still perfectly acceptable to ask to see the room before you hand over your money and to decline if you feel uncomfortable. Always make sure that your room has a lock for privacy and safety.
Croatia is an excellent and safe country for solo travel, including solo female travel. There is a robust tourism infrastructure, as well as plenty of group tours, hostels, and other opportunities to meet people on the road.
Know the emergency numbers
Nobody plans on things going wrong abroad, but if you need help, being as prepared as possible could be game-changing. As mandated by law, all phones detectable by, or temporarily carried by, Croatian carriers provide unlimited access to state emergency numbers free of charge at all times. The Europe-wide 112 emergency number can be used to contact local fire and police departments and emergency medical and search and rescue services. We recommend stashing a small piece of paper with emergency numbers both in your wallet and your suitcase just in case or saving the emergency numbers in your phone. The emergency numbers in Croatia are:
Note: When you see phone numbers listed starting with a “0”, the nubmer is only to be used when calling from a Croatian number. In example, if you were to call Roadside assistance (HAK) from a Croatian number, you would dial 01 6611 999. If you were to call from a non Croatian number, you would dial +385 1 66 11 99 (+385 is the country code for Croatia).
The process of moving can be anything but simple so why take on the relocation alone? Our services help you avoid the potential pitfalls that come with becoming an expat.
To get to know you better, we created a form to provide you with accurate and up-to-date information.
With the filled-out form, a relocation specialist will be assigned to prepare a document with all the requirements to obtain a Digital Nomad Visa.
Once our relocation specialist follows up with you, you will have everything you need to start the visa application process!
Sign up for our newsletter to hear latest updates, events, and other freebies just for our community!
Moving to Croatia - Smart Coverage for your Visa
Copyright © 2022 MTC - All Rights Reserved
Powered by the International Community