Cover up or face paying a hefty fine. The new dress code law in Dubrovnik comes into effect in Dubrovnik this week, the so called “bikini ban.” Large signs will be placed on the three entrances into the historic Old City of Dubrovnik stating what, amongst other regulations, isn’t acceptable to wear in the public streets. Security guards will also be positioned on the entrances to check visitor’s attire, however so far there is no sign of the guards. Another sign will also be placed on the entrance into the Old City from the sea, one entrance that will probably see many a tourist break the law.
The law states that "It is prohibited to walk around in swimwear, without clothing or part of clothing.” Whilst it is obvious that bikinis and swimming trunks are now banned the term “part of clothing” seems rather ambiguous. The new signs also state that “It is prohibited to drive bicycles, motorcycles, mopeds.” As not one of these modes of transport is actually “driven” they are all “ridden” we can only presume that Google translate was to blame. “It is prohibited to throw cigarette stubs in public areas,” is also added. And “It is mandatory to keep your dog on a leash,” is another regulation. Whilst all these new regulations seem sensible it is the so called “bikini ban” that is raising the most interest. Many international news outlets have already published articles about the ban, the news even featured on Swedish television.
The Deputy Mayor of Dubrovnik, Željko Raguz, the initiator of this decision and the most ardent advocate of the prohibition bare skin, stated that the city administration commissioned these specially designed signs, in Croatian and English, and they would be installed soon. He also added that the media would be invited to attend the first “hunt” for offenders.
The penalty for walking in a swim suit will be 1,000 Kuna, or around 135 Euros, however if the fine is paid on the spot it will be reduced to 500 Kuna.