On January 1, 2023, controls at the land borders of popular vacation destinations to other Schengen states are to be stopped. This was agreed by the responsible ministers of the 26 Schengen states at a meeting in Brussels. There will be no more checks at airports from the spring. This should make it much easier for tourists to travel to Croatia.
During the summer season, travel to Croatia often involved long waits at border crossings. The land border controls will now stop as Croatia joins the Schengen area on January 1, 2023.
Moreover, at the beginning of 2023, Croatia is also introducing the euro as a means of payment. “There are no more borders on our way to Europe," tweeted Interior Minister Davor Božinović.
After January 1, 2023, controls at the land and sea borders with Slovenia, Hungary and Italy will cease. The external borders with Serbia, Bosnia and Herzegovina and Montenegro will then become Schengen external borders.
Croatian international airports will have a transition period of 3 months to adjust their border controls on entry. After the end of the transition period, i.e. until March 26, 2023, flights from the Schengen area arriving in Croatia will no longer require passport/border controls.
Travelers taking a flight between Schengen countries but coming from a third country outside the Schengen area must go through Schengen entry controls upon arrival in the Schengen area. This is because the flight leg starts outside the Schengen area and the authorities at the final destination have no way to distinguish between arriving passengers who boarded at the point of origin and those who boarded in the middle. In addition, passengers must pass through Schengen border controls when leaving the country.
Travel to Croatia should thus be much easier as the open Schengen border with Schengen neighbors will eliminate any congestion at the borders for tourists. Free movement within the Schengen area will undoubtedly improve tourist flows within the region.
In addition to eliminating border controls, the introduction of the euro from January 1, 2023, as a general means of payment naturally represents a significant relief for tourism.