Stay safe in Dubrovnik
Written by Denis & last updated on 31 January 2017
Dubrovnik is a very safe city to visit, very tolerant and open minded to visitor. As in every other European destination, you are encouraged to take security precautions to avoid any possible problems.
Pickpocketing and theft
With the start of the summer season and a large number of tourists visiting the city, the crime rate increases a bit. The worst thing that can happen to you is to be a victim of pickpocketing. Experiences from the past have shown that pick pocketers tend to be foreigners visiting the city.
- Don't "flash" (publicly show) large amounts of money or other valuables
- Bring along only the amount of money you mean to spend
- Keep your documents apart of your money, especially your passport (don't take it with you if you don't need it)
- ATMs are available all over the city. There were cases of "skimmers", so if the ATM looks "fishy", go to the nearest bank. Always cover the numpad when entering the PIN.
City areas and time of day
Dubrovnik is considered to be a safe city for everyone, so it is perfectly safe to walk the streets of all city areas during the day or night. To protect your belongings we strongly recommend that you consider purchasing a travel insurance.
Dubrovnik is quite covered with police patrols, so if necessary, the policeman is going to be easy to find. Most of the policeman speak English and during the summer season, you could find a policemen from your own country, thanks to the police exchange.
You could also use the common emergency telephone number 112 that will get you to reach emergency services (Ambulances, Fire & Rescue Service and the Police)
Police Department of Dubrovnik - Neretva County
Dr. Ante Starčevića 13, 20 000 Dubrovnik
tel.: +385 20 443 333
Locations and contacts for other police departments are shown on map below.
During the summer, whole Dalmatia region is prone to fires, so please be careful.
Fire prevention tips:
- Don't throw cigarette stubs out of the vehicle when travelling.
- If barbecuing, do so on designate BBQ space
- Don't light fire near dry grass
- Don't light fire in forests
Hiking and mountaineering is not a topic to be taken lightly in Croatia, especially in Dalmatia. Never mind if you are or you are not experienced hiker, hills and mountains in Dubrovnik region are not to be conquered in flip-flops and swimming shorts.
Useful hiking tips:
- Choose a path appropriate to your finesse and timeframe
- Never go alone
- Notify your family members where you are going and when you are planning to come back - stick to it!
- Don't wander off the path
- Don't overestima tour abilities
- Get back before dark
- Check the weather forecast and be prepared for sudden weather changes
- Cover you eyes, head and shoulders from the sun, wear sunscreen
Basic gear and wear:
- Hiking shoes
- Long sleeve trousers
- Spare socks and t-shirt
- Wind-stopper jacker
- Torchlight (lamp)
- Basic med-kit
- Some food
- Fully charged cell phone (keep it in an easy reachable pocket, never in inner pocket)
In Dubrovnik region, you could encounter wild or domestic animals on your hiking trip. Don't bother them and leave them alone. If you find yourself in potentially dangerous situation, beat your instincts, stay calm and slowly back away, avoiding eye contact.
Most dangerous animal that you could encounter is a horned viper (Vipera ammodytes) - probably the most poisonous European snake. If encountered, you will easily recognise it by flat, pointy head with two horns on its stout. Horned viper is not aggressive and biting is its last resort of defence. Don't put yourself in situation to be bitten.
It could happen that you step on it unwillingly, therefor wearing long sleeve trousers is a must when hiking.
Other from horned viper, you could encounter a wolf, jackal, wild boar or mouflon.
Dubrovnik region experienced a lot of war activities during the Homeland war, so there are remains of minefields in areas bordering Bosnia and Montenegro. Those areas are considered impassable and are marked with warning signs. If you see a minefield warning sign, do not approach it, go back following the path.
Croatian Mountain Rescue Service
Croatian Mountain Rescue Service is a volunteer, non-profit organisation, specialised in rescuing in mountains, caves and other unapproachable places. Its members do not charge their rescue missions - rescue missions are free.
The phone number for Dubrovnik territorial unit is +385 91 112 9200
Culture and religion
Croatia belongs to Western European culture group (simmilar group: North American) with Christianity as main religion. Dubrovnik is very tolerable to other cultures and religions and you will not encounter any problems regarding your race, culture or religion. Outside of urban areas, the biggest problem you could encounter would be weird looks from individuals.
Similar to previous chapter, Dubrovnik has high tolerance to LGBT oriented people and sometimes is very welcoming (LGBT cruises). Of course, stay alert and trust your instincts, there are always marginal groups of people looking for trouble.
Sex and drugs
Cases of sexual harassment are usually low. Dubrovnik region residents have Mediterranean mentality, which includes a lot of touching during conversation, which is not to be mixed with sexual harassment, but a show of affection or even friendship. Occasional wooing may happen on beaches by domestic single males (all ages!) popularly nicknamed "seagulls" (auth. galeb) - if you don't pay attention, they will go away and leave you alone. This form of wooing is considered to be a part of culture and completely harmless.
With the large number of tourists coming to town, it is impossible to generalise if you are going to encounter spiked drinks or not. Usually there are no police reports of this kind of activity.
Avoid spiked drinks:
- Stay with the service if someone orders you a drink
- Prefer unopened bottles or cans over glass drinks
- Hold your hand or finger on the top
- Accept drinks only from people you know and trust
- Avoid sharing drinks
- If it tastes funny - stop drinking it
Dubrovnik region is one of the major entry points for large quantities of drugs smuggled to European Union, so it is to expect occasional drug dealing in Dubrovnik. Be warned that the use and possession of any kind of drugs is a criminal felony in Croatia and penalties are severe. Prison sentences and/or large fines are a common measure.