Liberland is a self-proclaimed micronation at the eastern end of the Croatian region of Slavonia. It is not recognized by any other country, aside from some sort of informal recognition from unrecognized Somaliland.
The Free Republic of Liberland (Czech: Svobodná republika Liberland), claims a parcel of land on the western bank of the Danube river between Croatia and Serbia, sharing a land border with the former.
The land on which Liberland is situated (locally known as Gornja Siga or Siga) is claimed by neither Croatia nor Serbia. Due to a border dispute involving the Danube River changing course, some large areas of land, administered by Serbia, are claimed by both countries, whereas smaller areas administered by Croatia are claimed by neither country, making them terra nullius ("no one's land"). Czech politician Vít Jedlička seized the opportunity to claim one chunk of unclaimed land (Gornja Siga) as "Liberland". At 7 km² (2.7 sq mi), Gornja Siga is larger than the two smallest nations on earth, Vatican City and Monaco (in fact, Siga is only a little smaller than three times the size of those two combined).
In terms of diplomatic relations, Liberland, like most micronations, is recognized by some other micronations but not by any United Nations member state. Beyond that, it has received statements of support from the government of Somaliland, a de facto independent country which nonetheless also lacks recognition from other countries or international organizations.
Border crossing into Liberland is often prevented by Croatian border guards, although you can still try getting in as the border isn't clearly marked. There are reports of people attempting to enter the area being arrested by Croatian authorities.
Getting in from Serbia by boat is reported to be more convenient, though the Serbian government considers it illegal and travellers attempting to use this route have reportedly been detained as well.
There is no airport in Liberland. In Osijek, Croatia, there is an airport with direct flights from London twice a week, from Zagreb every weekday, from Dubrovnik every Thursday and from Split every Friday. Once you are in Osijek you can take the bus towards Zmajevac (see By bus) or go by car straight into Liberland.
There are no railways in Liberland.
Liberland is connected to Croatia by road. The roads are in bad condition, so it may not be possible to reach Liberland by car — in which case, you have to continue by foot.
There is no regular bus connection to Liberland; however, you can take a bus from Osijek to Zmajevac and then continue by foot or by bike. Bus connections between Osijek and Zmajevac are very infrequent, though — only twice a week.
It is possible to reach Liberland by boat from Serbia by crossing Danube river. This is also believed to be the safest method, but you still risk being detained by Croatian or Serbian authorities.
The Liberland Settlement Association (LSA) may help you cross the border. To do so, you must follow the following obligations:
- Contact LSA; e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org, phone numbers: +385 99 841 6836, +381 64 4276428, +45 29714935
- Visit LSA base camp in Serbia; from this Serbian village, Bezdan can be reached by taking a road towards the Croatian village Batina. The camp is located right before the Croatian border. It's about 3 km from Bezdan.
- After arrival to LSA base camp you will be required to join LSA. This means that you will have to volunteer during your stay.
LSA does not provide assistance to physically and mentally disabled persons. Persons without a valid passport and medical insurance also won't be given assistance.
The most convenient way to get around is by car or by foot.
There is not much to see in Liberland as the majority of the land is covered by forest. There are reported to be some abandoned chalets and small houses.
- Floating Man Music Festival
- Nation building - Many who arrive by LSA assistance will most likely do some maintenance and building; otherwise, you can ask if any help is needed.
The Liberland Settlement Association sells chili sauces and rakija (an alcoholic drink of the Balkans) made out of products grown in Liberland.
If arriving with LSA, food will be provided free of charge; otherwise, bring your own food.
If arriving with LSA, drinks will be provided free of charge, including alcohol. If you arrive on your own, bring your own drinks.
If you are going to sleep in Liberland, bring a sleeping bag or tent. For LSA volunteers accommodation is provided in hotels in Serbia from €10 per person per night. Citizens can use LSA's tents in Liberland.
LSA is looking for people with knowledge of Serbo-Croatian, holders of driving and boating license and those who can contribute infrastructure. Contact LSA for more information.
Some travellers attempting to enter the area are known to get detained and fined by the Croatian authorities, on charges of violating the Croatian border regime and unpermitted entry to the border zone.
If you arrive by LSA, free Wi-Fi is provided. LSA will also assist with swapping to Croatian or Serbian SIM cards if needed.