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Cost of living in Croatia

April 28, 2022
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Croatia has been a country that has for centuries attracted visitors from all over the world, especially because of its deep blue Adriatic Sea, widespread beaches, and sunshine. This is how most people recognize it, however, Croatia has much more to offer. 

If you are looking into moving to Croatia, or you are simply curious about how the people live in this Mediterranean country, keep reading. 

About living in Croatia

Croatians definitely enjoy the more relaxed pace of life, preferring the mindset of “work-to-live”, as opposed to the “live-to-work” mindset of Western countries. Its living standard has significantly grown since the country’s entrance to the European Union back in 2013. 

This is a country that offers relatively low living costs, but a high-quality life, which is why it's been recognized by digital nomads as a great base to explore the rest of Europe. If this sounds interesting, real estate for digital nomads in Croatia offers many options for your possible future residence. 

The average salary in Croatia is about 7,000 HRK (Croatian currency is kuna), although that might be overstretched for some families. Of course, location matters. Croatia is a small country, but there is a difference in living costs between the north and the south of the country. 

Buying a house or a property in Croatia

Croatians are very dedicated to spending their hard-earned money on building or buying homes. This might not be such a crazy idea, considering the ability to buy a house with cryptocurrency in today’s world. Prices of buying a house or a property in Croatia vary based on the location. 

Sea-side homes in those big cities tend to be expensive, considering the potential of earning from them by renting to tourists is huge. However, houses in the countryside are a more affordable option. It is important to choose smaller towns that are still close to big cities since they will have better transportation access and connections to airports. 

Rent expenses

In recent years, rent prices have gone up thanks to the country’s economic growth and tourism boom. 

If you are thinking long-term, it might pay off more to buy an apartment in Croatia rather than relying on monthly rent which is still increasing. The prices also vary depending on the season. In summer, rent is crazy expensive, compared to winter when the prices are reasonable. 

A large apartment in the centre of Zagreb costs between 5,000 HRK and 10,000 HRK per month. If you don’t mind enjoying the downtown area, you could find something for around 4,000 HRK monthly. The prices are similar in cities such as Split, Rijeka, and Dubrovnik, but smaller cities, especially up north, will get you a one-bedroom apartment for as low as 3,000 HRK. 

Utility costs

Prices of utility costs greatly vary depending on your individual usage, and how many people are living in your household. If we consider paying for gas, electricity, water, and garbage fees, the price for two people will be around 800 HRK per month. This price will also depend on your heating system, how much you use air conditioning, etc. 

Groceries in supermarkets

The cost of groceries depends on everyone’s eating preferences. In most cases, all of the cities will have a special farmers' market where you can get higher quality products, and the prices are not significantly higher than those in stores. 

Fruits and veggies that are in season are always more affordable. If we were to generalize it, the cost of food for two people per month would be around 2000 HRK. Now, this can change depending on if you prefer eating out, buying oat milk instead of regular milk, and so on. 

cost of living

Restaurant costs

The costs of eating out are pretty admirable in Croatia. The cost of a meal in a fast-food restaurant will cost around 50 HRK, while you can spend around 120 HRK in an average restaurant for a simple meal. 

A dinner for two will cost around 500 HRK, counting an appetizer, entrees, and drinks. 

Transportation

Croatia’s cities are not huge, like Paris, New York, or Barcelona. They are walkable and easy to get around with bikes. Public transport is useful in bigger cities, so you might not even need a car. 

A 30-minute tram ticket in Zagreb costs around 4 HRK. 

City-to-city transport is best done by buses, and a one-way ticket from Zagreb to Zadar costs only about 100 HRK! 

Gas prices have gone up tremendously now, as in the rest of Europe. In normal times, you could expect around 11 HRK per litre of gas. 

Clothing and shopping

Croatia does not offer many options for outlet shops or discount stores, but the prices stay the same as in the rest of Europe. A pair of Levi jeans will cost around 600 HRK, a summer dress can be bought for 200 HRK, and sports shoes cost around 900 HRK. 

There are many cheap-option stores with lower-quality items that are great if you need short-term things - such as a wedding guest outfit, or baby clothes.  

Nightlife - clubs and bars

Croatia’s nightlife especially blooms in summer, when there are many festivals, the clubs have great DJs, and bars are filled with people. Tourist destinations tend to increase their prices, but you can always find those reasonably priced options. 

Typically, a cup of coffee costs around 10 HRK, a glass of wine starts at 30 HRK and a bottle of beer (0,5 L) costs 25 HRK. Cocktails come at around 60 HRK, depending on the type. 

Healthcare in Croatia

Perhaps one of the best perks of living in Croatia is free healthcare! As well as free education, foreigners and locals enjoy free public healthcare. However, for most people, even private doctor visits will not cost you a lot! 

A private doctor visit will cost around 200 HRK at the most, and medication varies between 50 and 100 HRK. 

So, what can we gather from all of this? The average cost of living in Croatia varies depending on your location, lifestyle, size of household, members living in it, and season. This is the case in all other countries as well. Spending habits and personal experiences also have a say in this. 

We could round up the monthly living prices for 2 people at about 8 000 HRK. This includes rent, and if you are really struggling, you could make it with as low as 5 000 HRK per month. Now that we got that covered, how will you enjoy the rest of your expenses in Croatia?