To be able to get to Croatia as our main destination from Germany, we had to cross the borders of Austria and Slovenia. As due to the coronavirus pandemic, we’d expected that the queue to borders would be hell, it turned out, we were quite right.
As far as I knew, in the last week of May, the border from Germany to Austria, Slovenia and Croatia had begun to open. This meant that we could cross the borders provided that we were not staying in these countries ( Austria and Slovenia) with no specific and valid reasons. What’s more, these two aforementioned countries didn’t accept tourists yet.
What do you need to prepare before crossing borders
A completed fill out form. According to Croatia Government website, As of May 21, 2020, all foreign citizens who intend to enter the Republic of Croatia, as well as Croatian citizens who do not reside or reside in the Republic of Croatia must fill out this form and present to the border control officers.
What you can expect at the border crossing
Germany – Austria
An extended queue. We arrived at 10:17 and were able to cross after more than 2 hours. Yet, were still lucky didn’t take us forever compare to the queues for big delivery trucks and cargos that were insane. They asked us where we were headed to and we said Croatia. We also presented valid ids such as my residence permit from Germany and my husband’s National ID. Then they let us proceed.
Austria – Slovenia
The roads and highways to Slovenia were flat as smooth and I’ve been tremendously surprised about that especially on those first days I set foot on several European countries. As always. I believed regardless of coronavirus pandemic or not, they’re consistently passable, no traffic at all.
However, just please note that there’s a toll fee in Austria amounting to 12.50 euro, one way. Also, don’t forget vignette. A mandatory toll sticker that you must stick on your car when crossing borders or passing through/ entering other countries such as Austria, Slovenia and many other.
Likewise to the Austria border, a valid Id was strictly necessary. For both passengers of course. There were not so heavy interrogations on where we were headed to. They let us go by the way.
Slovenia – Croatia
Although the two first borders were not as complicated as we’d anticipated, entering Croatia was to some extent a different one. At least for me, as an Asian.
Upon arriving, we already had the glimpsed on how it’s going to end up. Turned out, we were right. The queue was also extremely long and so we had to wait for our turn.
“Hi“, my husband approached as we finally moved to closer to the border control officer’s booth
“Hello, documents please.“. The officer responded
We handed our ID’s including my Philippine passport. My husband didn’t need one because he’s a German citizen so only his National ID. But in my case, both residence permit( ID) from Germany and my valid Philippine Passport were mandatory.
The lady officer scanned my passport carefully and searched for the Visa where she found my Spouse visa attached that was already expired.
“Where’s your visa?” She asked confusedly. This is already expired.
My husband being the one closer to the officer’s booth pointed at the residence permit ID.
The lady officer was somewhat perplexed based on her facial reaction and how she inspected my ID very meticulously.
A few moments later, she telephoned her superior. Another woman in uniform entered the booth and both scrutinized the residence ID.
Soon enough, they handed us back all IDs. We could breathe in relief.
After the border control officers of Slovenia, we moved to the Police officers of Croatia at the next booth. There, the examination and checking of our IDs were undemanding but the completed filled out form for tourists were necessary so be prepared.
To my surprised, I got a stamp in my passport. I was once heard before that when crossing borders in Europe, you would have only a tiny chance to get your passport stamped ( a treasure you keep in your passport and travel memories) because there weren’t multiple encounters of border control.
Please note that Croatia is part of the European Union but not in Schengen. Thus, when you’re holding only a Schengen Visa, you might not be a different type of valid visa to enter Croatia. As for me, my residence permit ID was valid because I live in Germany alongside with my Philippine Passport.