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Many countries in the Balkans have the regulation that you must register your stay with the authorities after, let's say, 24 hours of crossing the border into that country. Registration is easy when you stay in a hotel or campsite, doable when staying with a friend, but what about wild camping and traveling overnight?

There are many scenarios in which you can stay in a country for a longer time without a permanent residence, for example:

  • hiking trip with wild camping.
  • hitchhiking and pitching the tent on the roadside.
  • driving along the coastline and sleeping in a car.
  • traveling overnight if wild camping is not permitted.

How to fulfill the registration requirement in such situations? And what should you do in practice to be on the safe side? Anyway, I know those rules are rarely enforced.

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  • This is really going to depend on what country you are in. And can answered by contacting the authorities of that country. Commented Mar 17, 2013 at 19:39
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    Why would you want to register in the first place? I've camped/travelled in several European countries for a few days and never thought of registering. Commented Mar 17, 2013 at 20:46
  • Because you are obliged to do so. If the law is enforced is another question, not considered here.
    – crenate
    Commented Mar 17, 2013 at 20:54
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    But whch country or countries do you have in mind when referring to the "Balkans"? Commented Mar 20, 2013 at 23:00
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    Wild camping or camping outside of registered camps is illegal in Croatia. Commented Apr 2, 2013 at 21:32

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All Balkan countries that require registration of visitors without permanent address (an example is Montenegro) have some procedure for people staying in non-tourist accommodation. As far as I know this is always registering at the nearest police station. If you are staying in tourist accommodation, they (= people from the accommodation) will make this registration for you. If you plan on wild camping the obligation to register at the nearest police station applies simply to you.

On the other hand, as far as I know, wild camping is illegal in every country with such an obligation. Which implies that you are legally obliged to tell the police that you will be doing something illegal. That doesn't sound like the smartest of plans to me. Until someone has an example of a country where wild camping is permitted and registering is mandatory (and I would be surprised to learn that there is such a country), this question basically asks "How do I tell the police that I will be breaking the law?". The practical answer is that you don't.

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I think best way to get this informations is ask the consuls this country in your country (it is good because he/she probably speak in your language and know this regulations).

A few years ago I was traveling in Balkans (Serbia, Montenegro, Macedonia) and I slept in such a places which owners for sure don't register me. When your are going by car just look the labels "rooms" in front of houses. Ones police stop us, and they even didn't check the registrations.

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All they want is to collect the tourist tax from you. So go to local Tourist office and register there. You will have to repeat that as you move (travel around).

Be aware that wild camping is not tolerated. Make a deal with a local farmer to stay on they land :), or do not get cough.

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    I wild camped all the way along the Adriatic and never had one problem.
    – imoatama
    Commented Oct 16, 2014 at 1:20
  • Wild camping is pretty much very tolerated everywhere, and especially along Balcans. Commented Jan 7, 2022 at 17:16

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