At the break of 2023, Croatia joined the Schengen Area and completely upped its attraction for tourists. European tourists will now be able to travel to the country with even more ease. British travelers and those outside of the Eurozone, may find increased difficulties. Internal land and sea borders are no more. Croatia now issues Schengen visas. In addition to becoming a Schengen Area, Croatia also joined the eurozone on January 1, 2023. March 26, 2023 is the next important date to keep in mind concerning travel to Croatia. Internal air borders will soon be lifted then.

The European Travel Information and Authorisation (ETIAS) will apply to all Schengen members and official candidate countries. Now that Croatia has joined the Schengen Area, ETIAS regulation will apply. This means that Schengen Area security systems will ensure travelers are eligible to travel through the region without a visa.

In November 2022, the European Parliament approved the lifting of internal border controls between the Schengen Area and Croatia. In a statement, Paulo Rangel MEP, EU rapporteur said “Croatia is ready to join the Schengen free-travel area. It has fulfilled all the necessary conditions. Croatia met 281 recommendations in 8 areas of the Schengen acquis and underwent the most comprehensive evaluation for Schengen membership of any country so far.”

Related: Turn Up The Heat In These Sexy Cities And Regions In Europe

What is the Schengen Area?

The Schengen Area is often described as one of the main achievements of the European project. It initially began with EU countries such as France, Germany, Belgium, the Netherlands, and Luxembourg. Since then, it has gradually expanded to include 27 European countries. It is now one of the most prevalent free travel areas in the world.

According to ETIAS, Croatia is the 27th member of the Schengen Area. The country joined the Schengen Area on January 1, 2023.

Being a part of the Schengen Area means there are no internal border controls. This means that between countries in the Schengen Area, there are no checks at internal borders and there are harmonized controls at the external borders.

According to Consilium Europa, the Schengen Area now covers 4 million square kilometers with a population of about 420 million people.

Here's why people travel to Croatia

Croatia has many destinations that pull travelers in each year. There are gorgeous Croatian islands and locations, including The Brijuni Islands, Crew (the second-largest island in the Adriatic, near Rijeka), Split, and Losinj. Traveling to Croatia also guarantees you will experience crystal clear waters and historic coastal towns.

Many people travel to Croatia for a different European experience in Europe. While Spain, Portugal, and Italy have long been top destinations for international travelers, Croatia appeals to those looking for something different. With over 1,000 islands, ample coastlines, and numerous ports, there is enough to keep travelers busy.

There are eight National Parks in Croatia, ideal for hiking or just taking in the gorgeous views. Those looking for activities and excursions are in for a treat, as the country is known for having great things to keep the adrenaline going. Expect really warm temperatures during most parts of the year.

The cities of Dubrovnik and Split were used as filming locations for the HBO hit series Game of Thrones. Dubrovnik was used extensively, serving as King’s Landing, the capital city of Westeros. Fans of the show visit from all over the world to see the city for themselves.

Croatia’s capital Zagreb is a popular tourist spot, too. There are endless things to see, including gorgeous cafes, restaurants, bars, and a thriving nightlife scene. The winter is an equally impressive time to visit; Advent Zagreb was awarded European Destinations’ Best Christmas Market for three years running.

Related: 10 Reasons To Visit Croatia