I’ve been living in Croatia for over a year now on the Croatia Digital Nomad visa and can honestly say that the country really is one of the best destinations for digital nomads in Europe.
Europe is of course not the cheapest area of the world to live in and if you’re looking for somewhere more budget friendly then Asia or Central and South America might be higher on your list. But as European prices go, Croatia isn’t too bad if you’re coming from a country like the UK, US or Australia (to name a few!)
Having lived in Australia for a year, I can confidently say I’ve spent significantly less living here in Croatia for a year.
But cost isn’t the only draw that makes me recommend Croatia. In this article, I’m sharing 10 reasons why Croatia is the ideal destination for digital nomads in Europe and why you should consider spending some time here as a remote worker.
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Why Croatia is great for digital nomads
1. Good wifi
Although you’ll find wifi can still be patchy in rural areas of Croatia, if you base yourself in one of the major towns and cities, you’ll easily find great wifi and a range of network providers to choose from.
A1, Hrvatski Telekom and Telemach are just a few of the providers you can check out. Plus some of the mobile networks such as T-Mobile also sell pocket wifi devices if you prefer to keep moving with your data.
Plus there’s many cafes, bars, restaurants and coworking spaces available with great wifi and remote work setup available.
2. Strong infrastructure
Reliable (and cheap!) public transport with regular buses and trains make it easy to get around in Croatia. Well maintained highways also make driving an easy option too if you prefer.
Facilities are generally well-maintained in cities, we’ve never had any problems with power supply, food supply or other general household supplies and living processes.
While our experience was that bureaucracy was slow (when processing our visa), people were always lovely and willing to help.
3. Lower cost of living
An important caveat on this is that during our year in Croatia, the country joined the Euro (January 2023) and with the current global economy, prices are going up in Croatia.
However here’s an idea of our living costs in Split, Croatia in euros:
Rent = 800 euros for a modern, 1 bed apartment, all bills included, 3 mins from the beach with private parking
Food shop = 80 euros for 2 people that lasts 7-10 days
Eating out = 28 euros at our favourite pizza place for 2 large pizzas and x2 0.5L beers
If you’re visiting in the tourist season (June-August), these prices do go up, however you can easily find these prices in less touristy areas of the country all year round.
4. Low crime rate and very safe
Croatia has one of the lowest crime rates in Europe. As a woman, I can honestly say I’ve never lived anywhere where I’ve felt so safe - not even in my home country.
You will frequently see people hand in expensive lost items, front doors left unlocked, very young children walking themselves to school and there’s a huge amount of trust within the population that keeps crime low.
Obviously always practise caution wherever you are, but I’ve had no run ins with crime or safety concerns so I would say Croatia is one of the safest places for digital nomads, but also one of the safest places for female digital nomads.
5. Great weather most of the year on the coast
The weather in Croatia massively varies during the winter where you have snow in the interior of the country but milder and sunny weather on the coast for the majority of the year.
Living in Split, Croatia for over a year, I’ve only seen it drop below 0C on one day in January. It rarely snows although it does get rain and high winds December - March.
The Adriatic Coast is generally very mild though and even during the winter, there are many cool but still sunny, blue sky days which I love and are perfect for exploring the city during Croatia’s quieter, low season months.
6. Amazing lifestyle
If you choose to live on the coast of Croatia as a digital nomad, I can’t recommend it enough!
I’ve lived 3 minutes from the beach for over a year, I either swim or walk along the beach every day, I have sunlight almost every day, the city is on my doorstep with plenty to do and the mountains are right behind the city, perfect for hiking and exploring.
There are so many beautiful islands to explore, the lower costs and great infrastructure mean life is easy to live and comfortable.
Not all cities and towns stay lively throughout the winter season (Croatia is a very seasonal tourist destination) but Split, Zadar, Rijeka and Dubrovnik are all great options. I also love Zagreb if you prefer inland although it’s much colder in winter!
I have not lived anywhere where I’ve had such a positive work-life balance.
7. Good links to Europe
Croatia has been part of the EU since 2013 and officially joined the Schengen free movement area in January 2023. The links with Europe are now stronger than ever.
You can get flights, trains and buses to major cities all over the continent from multiple places within Croatia. Even the coastal airports which have reduced seasonal flights in winter still have flights to major hubs like Frankfurt, Amsterdam or Paris.
You’re never too far from another country in Europe and living in Croatia as a digital nomad makes it especially easy to travel and explore more of Europe.
During our time living here, we’ve taken trips to Montenegro, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Slovenia and Italy as well as driving across the continent.
8. Welcoming to digital nomads
Croatia is extremely welcoming and open to digital nomads living in the country. After all, we bring money into the economy but without taking jobs from locals!
Plus the Croatia Digital Nomad Visa ensures that there is provision, infrastructure, and a welcoming feeling for digital nomads who want to stay longer in Croatia.
To find out more about the visa, I suggest using the resources from Expat in Croatia.
9. Strong expat and digital nomad community
Because of all the reasons above, there is of course a thriving community of digital nomads and expats in Croatia, particularly in the hubs such as Split, Zagreb, Zadar, Dubrovnik, Sibenik, Rijeka and more!
I’ve met some incredible people, made amazing connections and had incredible opportunities come up because of the network and community here.
We met someone one day and took a ferry to an island with them the following day to explore. We’ve got on big group road trips with people we’ve met at digital nomad meetups, we’ve hosted Thanksgiving and Christmas parties and birthday events with the community we’ve made here.
Check out DNA Croatia and Saltwater Nomads for resources and meet ups.
Join the Facebook groups below to make connections, ask questions, meet like minded digital nomads and find resources to help with your extended stay in Croatia as a nomad.
10. Opportunities to extend your stay
If you’re like us and you fall in love with Croatia (for all the reasons above and more!) you might be wondering how you can stay longer.
Although you can’t do two Croatia digital nomad visas back-to-back (you would have to leave for 90 days and return to re-apply), there are a number of other temporary stay visas that you can apply for to stay longer without having to leave the country:
The Digital Nomad Visa
Prepayment of rent for 1 year
Purchasing real estate
Opening a Croatian business
Summary: why Croatia is perfect for Digital Nomads
I’m biased because I’ve lived here for over a year, but having lived in several countries and travelled to over 60 countries, I can honestly say that life in Croatia is something special.
The infrastructure to live and work here is great and only going to improve, as well as the connections with the rest of Europe.
Plus it is the most beautiful country with stunning coastline, beaches, islands, national parks, cities and more for you to enjoy.
If you’ve ever fancied spending a few months, a year or more by the coast in Europe, Croatia is the ideal choice.