Croatian Beach Etiquette (Know the Rules)

Beach etiquette in Croatia

Croatia is home to the most pristine beaches and intact, clear sea in Europe.

Everyone is welcomed to Croatian beaches, almost every single beach is free, and beaches are very clean even after big crowds.

All this is possible because people care about beach etiquette, and local workers and cleaners do their best to keep the beaches wonderful for others to come.

So, I am sharing with you the most important beach etiquette you should follow for a happy, lovely, and considerate stay on Croatian beaches.

1. Don’t Disturb Sea Life

Plemenita Periska (Noble Pen Shell), Prstaci (Date Mussel), Igličasti ježinac (Sea urchin), and Morski krastavac (Sea cucumbers) are just some of the endangered species which shouldn’t be disturbed.

Bear In mind that collecting shells, sea urchins and sea cucumbers is a serious interference with nature, and there have been cases when people got seriously fined for such behavior.

So, it’s alright to do most activities in water, just try not to touch everything and especially don’t bring animals out of the sea.

2. Don’t Cook on beaches

Having a beachside barbecue can be an enjoyable experience, but locals and authorities are not keen on this practice.

Due to an increasing trend of wildfires that lead to the destruction of local flora and fauna, authorities don’t allow grilling and cooking on beaches or anywhere in nature without permission.

Almost every beach has a nearby restaurant or a bar where you can enjoy a coffee or a great meal.

3. Are Croatia beaches clothing optional?

While Croatia is known for its relaxed atmosphere, it’s essential to remember that public nudity is not permitted on all beaches. Officially, nude or topless bathing is acceptable on certain designated beaches which can easily be found by a simple search.

However, topless bathing is still a practice on common Croatian beaches, but women usually reserve an excluded beach spot where they can have some privacy instead of topless bathing in the middle of the crowded beach.

4. Don’t Play loud music

The first rule of beach etiquette is to be mindful of the noise level. While music can add to the fun, blasting loud music on the beach can disturb other visitors seeking a tranquil experience.

If you want to enjoy your favorite tunes, use headphones or keep the volume at a considerate level so that others can also relish the sounds of nature.

5. Don’t leave cigarette butts and trash

Respecting the environment is paramount on any beach. It’s crucial to remember that littering not only spoils the beauty of the coastline but also harms marine life.

Thus, always dispose of your trash properly by using designated bins that can be found in the surroundings.

Be especially cautious with cigarette butts, as they are harmful to the marine ecosystem.

6. Don’t Use the sea for a toilet

Using the sea as a toilet is not only unsightly but also a health and environmental hazard. Instead, always use the beach facilities or public restrooms provided nearby.

Let’s preserve the purity of the Adriatic waters for everyone’s enjoyment.

Croatian sea is overall very clean, the sea is huge, and strong ocean currents help in the filtration of dirt, yet in case someone uses the sea for a toilet, such action can temporarily pollute the sea for nearby swimmers and divers.

7. Don’t do Sea jumping near old people and children

Having fun and jumping into the sea can be exhilarating, but it’s essential to be cautious.

Firstly, avoid sea jumping near older individuals or children, as it can be dangerous for them.

Secondly, even if it’s not dangerous, older people usually find it rude, and children might cry if they get splashed.

There are designated areas on the beaches, or entire designated beaches ideal for sea jumping where there are no children and old people, so look for those if sea jumping is your thing.

Always assess the depth and safety of the water before taking the leap!

8. Don’t illegally fish

Fishing on crowded beaches with swimmers and divers is obviously illegal and very dangerous so don’t attempt such practice.

However, it’s also not legal to fish anywhere without a license, whether it’s recreational or sport fishing.

It’s easy to acquire a fishing license and you can quickly get them from the website.

9. Leave space for others

During peak tourist seasons, Croatia’s beaches can get crowded, and it can be a good idea to come early to secure a spot.

Securing a spot early can be especially important during the peak sun hours as people will compete for the nearby shades.

Moreover, it’s important to be considerate and leave enough space between your group and others.

Avoid setting up your beach equipment too close to someone else whenever it’s possible.

Final take

Following the mentioned beach etiquette will ensure you and the people after you have a happy stay and enjoy the intact nature.

Moreover, the little shells, crabs, urchins, and more of their sea friends will be thankful for being treated so nicely and considerately.

While some laws such as requiring permission before attempting to grill or fish can be disappointing, the laws are necessary as otherwise the chaos would start to reign.

Have a happy and considerate stay on beautiful Croatian beaches until the next time!


Dino is a local who has spent 27 years of his life in Croatia. He's here to provide you with useful information and some local guidance.

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