Of course, this still means travel plans will involve precautions such as testing. And for women, in particular, there is always the factor of safety to consider – especially for women who travel alone, or in a small group with other women. Given the statistics of women’s safety being taken advantage of on holidays abroad, this is enough reason for many women to be hesitant or fully set back off the idea of travelling. But they shouldn’t have to miss out on travel, especially not after these challenging past couple of years, from which we could all use an exciting holiday abroad as a celebration of near-normalcy.
However, for any solo female traveller planning to visit Croatia, you’ll be happy to know it is the perfect destination regarding both safety and attractions. Aside from its beautiful landscapes, rich history, and economic value for travel, Croatia consistently features high on global rankings for being one of the safest countries in the world. Last year, it was ranked the 2nd country in Europe for people feeling safe walking the streets at night alone. And having lived in Croatia for most of my life, I can say from personal experience that I’ve never felt as safe on a night out anywhere else as I have there. Especially as a young woman currently based in London, UK. With the rising issue of misogynistic crimes, particularly on the streets and on the nightlife scene happening here, there are definitely times when I miss how carefree I got to be in Zagreb or Hvar. And Croatia is home to beautiful scenery, historic and cultural monuments, including the set of Game of Thrones, and nightlife including music festivals such as Ultra and INMusic. The 2022 summer season should see many flying over to Croatia to experience these places and events, and it is important that everyone should not only enjoy themselves but not at the cost of their health or personal safety.
If you travel to Croatia, you’ll generally be in safe conditions, whether you choose to go to the Dalmatian coast or the capital Zagreb. I would advise any tourist to be wary of pickpockets or scammers, as these tend to be a common issue during tourist season. Otherwise, if you’re travelling on the coast, you can enjoy long hikes, trips to the beach, or a late-night roaming the streets without fear. In old towns like Split and Dubrovnik, however, be careful not to get lost in narrow streets and alleyways, which are not always well-lit. But in a country known for its low violent crime rates, you shouldn’t be too paranoid about having to walk a few dark streets.
A thing to know about Croatian culture is the value placed on helping others, especially in a vulnerable position (for instance, if the person has had a lot to drink). It’s a small country, so you get more of a sense of community you wouldn’t get in countries such as the UK or the US. And Croatian people are known for being friendly and hospitable and welcoming towards any tourist.
Uber drivers are reliable and not as likely to take advantage of passengers as in other countries, and public transport is safe. If visiting Zagreb, you’ll mainly be using the buses and trams to navigate the town, which are well-connected and not too expensive. Make the most of visiting the main square or upper town, one of the parks such as Jarun or Bundek, or the eclectic range of clubs and bars in Zagreb.
Especially the latter – Croatians enjoy a drink. Obviously, it should go without saying to drink responsibly. It’s always important to stay in control especially when in a foreign country. And of course, be careful not to fall victim to spiking. But in general, Zagreb nightlife isn’t met with many unsafe conditions. And, if your nights out tend to go into the early hours of the morning, the streets are usually quiet at that time, so you should have little to no worry about running into any danger. Speaking from many personal experiences, I have never experienced a night out in Zagreb in which neither my friends nor I felt truly threatened. We have always looked out for our safety, as a group of young people should when out and about, but were still able to enjoy ourselves and return home safe the next morning, whether it was by public transport, Uber, or walking home.
It’s totally fine to worry about safety wherever you travel, especially following a pandemic. As fun as it is to travel, it’s always important to have your wits about you and to be prepared for any situation. And speaking on behalf of women: shouldn’t we be entitled to enjoy ourselves on an exciting journey without having our personal safety at risk? Especially in Croatia, a must-visit destination with plenty to offer.
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