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Smoking

hi. The last q I saw on this topic for this area was 5 years ago, so I'm hoping things are different. How would you compare the smoking situation in Croatia to say Austria or CZech Republic? We just spent 3 weeks, successfully avoiding smoke (for the most part) in those countries. Next year we are thinking about trying Croatia and Slovenia and wondered how things are there. Guessing it's harder to find truly nonsmoking hotels and restaurants there than further north. Recent Experiences?

Posted by
4700 posts

Hard to avoid it. I lost track of how many times I had to inhale it in public places on my recent trip to Croatia and Bosnia (though I guess I was lucky with hotels and lodgings - none of them smelled terribly of smoke). I'm not sure how you avoided smoke in Austria and CZ. I hate cigarette smoke, but I have had to learn to accept it here and there if I want to visit Europe.

Posted by
8 posts

Andrew, I hit the jackpot on hotels- no problems in any of 3 hotels i stayed in. The rental car we had rented in Prague was very new and was perfect- no smoke smell, covered up or otherwise. I don't know if that's a fluke but it might be. (This was our first time in CZ and Austria.) Restaurants are a different matter, and sometimes we had the experience of the restaurant's smoking side filling up with smoke and it drifting to where we were sitting, so by the time we left we smelled like smoke too. And of course at outdoor cafes there is always the problem. But is it easy to find non-smoking hotels? that's my main concern. I feel like I can be picky if I have to about restaurants, etc. One of the problems we had in Prague was the sidewalk smoking- everywhere, including right outside our hotel, were people standing around smoking. Is it like that in Croatia, etc?

Posted by
4700 posts

Yes, you will find the same issues with smoking at restaurants and on the streets in Croatia. As I said, I just don't worry about it anymore when I go to Europe - I accept it and deal with it. It's only a short time to put up with it.

I always look for lodgings that are are completely non-smoking when I travel, if they are available. A few of them in Croatia claim to be. But in Croatia, you are more likely to stay in less conventional lodgings than regular "hotels" - at least I do. I tend to stay at guesthouses, B&Bs, "sobe" as they are called in Croatia whenever I can, but these places can't really enforce a real "non-smoking policy" the way real hotels might try to. If you are booking a place, make sure you put "non-smoking" in the preferences or even contact the property directly and ask if you have concerns about the smoke. Beyond that, I probably wouldn't worry too much about it - because there may not be a whole lot you can do about it anyway.

Posted by
408 posts

We're in Croatia (Dubrovnik) now and on yesterday's walk through the Old Town (and to/from there to our apt.) we saw quite a number of smokers -- walking smokers (mostly young) and smokers sitting outside in the Old Town restaurants. We stuck our heads into a couple of the "Irish pubs" in Old Town and they were nearly empty but smokey (we didn't linger long).

We're staying in a private apartment (VRBO) so don't have any worries on that front.

Posted by
567 posts

In my experience, I get large whiffs of smoke in more condensed and large cities like Paris, London, etc. Slovenia and Croatia are significantly less dense, population wise. I have only rented apartments in Slovenia and Croatia (and almost all of my other European destinations). I've never had an issue with these apartments smelling smokey because the listing specifies that no smoking is allowed. Only once in Vienna did I get a smokey smelling apartment, but after leaving the windows open for some time the smell went away. Depending on where you go in eat in Croatia, I found that most coastal restaurants were outdoors and, therefore, you probably wouldn't have to deal with the smell of smoke as much as if you were indoors. If you're going to Ljubljana I highly suggest you do some good research on restaurants there. Slovenia has truly exceptional food.

Posted by
334 posts

We didn't have any problems with our hotels and we stayed in everything from more expensive little boutique places to cheap sobes. Of course, your mileage will vary with the sobes. The most smoke we encountered were in restaurants. We noticed it more when we were inside and trapped with the smoke rather than outside -- just pay attention to which way the wind is blowing.

Posted by
16866 posts

This is the note from Rick's Croatia & Slovenia book, regarding indoor spaces in restaurants, movie theaters, trains, etc. Enforcement could be another issue.

Smoking Bans: Both Croatia and Slovenia have enacted smoking bans in most public places, though patrons at outdoor tables can still smoke. Bosnia-Herzegovina and Montenegro have no such bans, so be ready for lots of smoke, indoors and out, in those countries.

Posted by
408 posts

Hmmm -- we did go into the Old Town Irish pub yesterday after a long walk. And, in spite of the mentioned smoking ban, there were smokers inside, and the pub had something of a residual smoke odor. However, the tables just outside in the alleyway had even worse smoke -- many actively smoking -- so we opted to stay inside (& in the cool) and focused on the nice beers.

Posted by
12538 posts

This is the most rational and measured discussion of this issue that I have ever observed on any forum, anywhere. Well done.

Posted by
8 posts

Thanks for all comments! They are insightful and helpful, and confirmed what I already thought. I am mainly worried about hotels. I mean, with a restaurant or on the street. I can move, but it's harder to deal with a smoky room. I am very sensitive and finding a good room in a strict hotel is paramount. If anyone has stayed somewhere that was particularly free of smoke in the room, please let me know here!

And I'm glad this has been civil- I didn't expect otherwise but maybe it's a hot button topic.

Posted by
3154 posts

We were in Slovenia and Zagreb last month as well as 2 weeks in Croatia in 2012. The only situation where we found smoke to be a problem was outdoor eating areas. You know, you choose a table. Then some smokers sit down at one close by, and the breeze blows their exhilations right at you. Hotel rooms, indoor restaurant areas, and car were all smoke free. If you check hotel/b&b websites or booking.com, you can probably find out smoking policies for places you're considering and choose accordingly.