Are you looking to visit a European country with an affordable cost of living? Put Croatia on the list of your list priorities. Croatia is one of the most beautiful countries in Southeastern Europe. It has a spectacular coastline with scintillating cities and towns. The City of Dubrovnik, a medieval city, is on the list of UNESCO’s world heritage sites.
Croatia is ranked 65 out of 197 countries on the cost of living index of the world. The cost of living in Croatia is safely one of the most affordable in central Europe. That is why tourists keep coming to this beautiful country around the year.
According to the ministry of Sports and Tourism of Croatia, 18.9 million people visited Croatia in 2022. The numbers are 37 percent higher than in 2021. If you are planning to relocate to Croatia for any purpose, just read this article. It will guide you on everything regarding the living cost in the country.
From 1st January 2023, the official money of Croatia, the Croatian Kuna, has been replaced with Euro. Therefore all the prices will be quoted in Euro (EUR).
What Is The Best Time To Visit Croatia?
Croatia is the place for you any time of the year. Yet, if you are looking for a more specific time then it is best to visit in May-June and September-October. The weather is sunny and mild, tourist spots are less crowded, and the hotels are heavily discounted. December is the rainiest and January is the coldest month.
What Are The kinds of Living Costs?
The kinds of costs remain the same in every country of the world. But it is the magnitude of costs that change. You can come across the following costs in Croatia.
The country’s healthcare is divided into public and private sectors. As an expatriate working in Croatia, you should be registered with HZZO, the national health insurance scheme. Getting insured with National health insurance is mandatory for everyone living in the country. HZZO covers some part of your medical expense. But if you chose Dopunsko insurance too, your treatment will be fully free.
Who Are Eligible for Registration In The National Healthcare?
- Citizen of Croatia
- Foreigners with permanent residentship
- All the people of the European Union, European Economic Area Countries, and Switzerland with approval of temporary stay, and on the bases of business or professional activity.
While registering with national health insurance for the first time, expect a hefty amount. If you are not from the EU, enrolling with HZZO for the first time cost you a one-time payment of 373 Euros (EUR).
An appointment with a doctor costs you 1.86 EUR. Primary healthcare is free. But if you have an illness that is not covered under HZZO then you have to make an additional payment. Getting dopunsko insurance can completely wash away your additional payments.
In case you don’t have dopunsko insurance then expect a cost between 3.73 EUR to 5.60 EUR for the outdoor patient department. For hospitalization, the cost is 12 EUR.
The fee for seeing a dentist is 1.86 EUR.
Cost Of Private Healthcare
Private healthcare is expensive but less, compared with other European countries.
- The cost of Replacement of the Hip is 7,105 EUR
- Knee replacement cost you 7,140 EUR
- Eye surgery is 1,019 EUR
- Face lift cost varies between 3,076 EUR to 7,133 EUR
Dental Cost is expensive but still competitive.
- The descaling cost is 36 EUR
- Filing of tooth costs you between 32 EUR to 46 EUR.
- Root Canal expenses are from 51 EUR to 84 EUR.
Every city in Croatia has its public transportation system that includes buses, trains, taxis, and ferry boats. Croatia has a well-developed transportation infrastructure.
Transportation is cheap and on average it costs you around 1.5 EUR to 2 EUR. It is advised to use a monthly transportation pass which can cost you 5 EUR to 28 EUR, depending on the city.
Taxi fares are regulated by the government of Croatia. Generally, a taxi charges you approximately 1 EUR to 3 EUR per kilometer. Fares can change depending on the distance covered. It is advised to bargain before hopping in.
The break-up of taxi costs is tabulated below
|Distance||Initial Fare||Per Km Fare|
|5 kilometers||1.3 EUR||1.1 EUR|
|10 kilometers||1.3 EUR||5.3 EUR|
|20 kilometers||1.3 EUR||10.6 EUR|
Bus fares are cheap compared to other transportation in the country and the coverage is wide. The standard of buses complies with the modern transportation system.
|Departure||Arrival||Distance In Km||Price|
Trains in the country are advanced and connect the major cities and tourist spots. A train may not be a popular mode of transportation in the country but still, you can easily go around with comfort.
A standard ticket will cost you around 14 EUR from Zagreb to Split. The first class ticket can cost you 20 EUR. Booking and taking indirect routes will save you some money if you are traveling on a budget.
Ferry travel in Croatia is a must for a traveler. It gives you the best view of the cities in the country. The best time to enjoy the ferry ride is summer when the sky is blue and the sun radiates.
A ferry from Split to Stari Grad on Hyar island can cost you 8 EUR, and taking a car on the ferry will be an extra 43 EUR. From Split to Hyar town, the fare is 9 EUR per person. Taking a ferry ride between the Split and the Island of Brac cost you 6 EUR per person and 23 EUR for taking a car on the ferry. Cost for travel between Korcula and Orebic cost 3.8 EUR per person and 12.9 EUR for taking a car on the ferry.
Croatia has a public and private school system. The international schools for children of expatriates offer education in different languages like German, French, Italian, Spanish, English, etc. While the public schools offer education in Croatian only.
The schools use curriculum that is based on technology, innovation, critical thinking, sports, and arts.
- American International School Zagreb
The school was founded in 1966. It has around 300 students from 35 different nationalities. The average classroom size is 18 students.
The school has a general medicine doctor and a trainer for sports. It has 2 libraries, a gym, a dance studio, and 3 playgrounds. The languages used in the school are English, Croatian, French, and German.
Study programs offered are
- Kindergarten and grade 1st to grade 5th
- Grade 6th to 8th
- Grade 9th to 12th
The cost of the study programs offered is
|Class||Cost In Euros per month|
|Grade 1st to 5th||18.76|
|Grade 6th to 8th||20.50|
|Grade 9th to 12th||23.87 to 30.43|
- British International School Of Zagreb
The school opened in 2013. It is the first international school in the country to offer British education in middle and high school. The focus of the school is on creativity. Different co-curricular activities like soccer, swimming, and table tennis are also offered. 3 meals are provided to the students.
The school offers a program for Pre-kindergartens to high school i.e 12th standard. Fees for different grades are tabulated below.
|Grade||Fee Per Month In Euro|
|Pre -Kindergarten and kindergarten||6.80|
|Grade 1st to 6th||13.40|
|Grade 7th to 9th||15.00|
|Grade 10th to 12th||18.45|
The school has a standard boarding facility. The boarding fee can cost you around 30 Euros.
- International Kindergarten Mala kuća
Mala Kuca means small house. It is an international kindergarten school in Croatia offering Kindergarten schooling to children aged between 2 to 7 years. The school has two programs i.e half day and full day. All the learning is activity based.
The school has all the modern facilities for Kindergarten. Activities include music, field trips, learning counting, and the alphabet, coloring, and art activities.
Cost Of Higher Education
Higher education offers a variety of programs for international students with different fee structures. Scholarships are also available for foreign students but not in a sizable number. The scholarships available are CEEPUS, Erasmus Mandas, and different EU scholarships.
The cost of education differs on the bases of the selection of your university and course. Overall, the cost of higher studies in Croatia is less than in other European countries.
For the undergraduate program, the range of fees is from 900 Euros to 2,500 Euros. Fees for graduate and undergraduate programs can vary significantly. However, expect a fee of over 3,000 Euros per year for graduate programs.
Cost Of Housekeeping In Croatia
The cost of housekeeping in Croatia is a bit high. Costs can vary depending on the area of your residence, the hours of work required, and the experience level of the maid.
Cost of housekeeping ranges between 6 EUR to 20 EUR per hour. Charges can be high in peak tourist seasons. Some housekeeping companies also charge additional for equipment and transportation services.
The housekeeping agencies have live-in maids and maids for hourly service. Live-in maids will cost you more as it is your responsibility to pay for their food and accommodation.
Cost Of Food
Food prices are affordable throughout the country. However, there is variation in cost depending on the place you choose to eat. Generally, you can expect the following prices for your food in Croatia.
|Food item||Cost In Euro|
|500 gr Boneless chicken||5.3|
|1-liter fat milk||1.1|
|1 kg tomatoes||2.1|
|50 gr local cheese||8.1|
|1 kg apple||1.2|
|1 kg potatoes||1.1|
|0.5 ml local beer||1.7|
Cost Of Accommodation
Renting an apartment in Croatia is not heavy on the pocket. Like any other place in the world, the rents can vary on the bases of the location you choose.
If you want to live in the center of the city of Zagreb, the expected rent can be around 400 EUR to 430 EUR for a 2-bedroom apartment. Outside the city, the same apartment costs 310 EUR to 330 EUR.
Rent for a 3-bedroom apartment in the city costs you around 750 EUR in the city. Outside the city, anticipate a price of 550 EUR.
The average rent cost is 305 EUR in the city of Dubrovnik. While it is 180 EUR outside the city. Expect 360 EUR in the city of Split and 520 EUR for apartments outside the city.
In Rijeka, the rent swings between 360 EUR to 770 EUR for the periphery and city center respectively.
Cost Of Utility
The main heads on your utility bill in Croatia are Electricity, gas, water, and waste management. The Croatian Energy Regulation Agency regulates electricity prices in the country. The cost of electricity in Croatia is high compared to other countries in Europe.
The country has an abundance of natural gas reserves which makes the prices less compared to other nations in Europe. The average natural gas price for a household is 0.091 EUR per kWh which is one of the lowest in Europe.
Water prices vary depending on where you live. If you live in the city center of Zagreb, Rijeka, or split- the prices can be high. Another factor counting towards water cost is the amount of water that you consume.
If you are a couple living in a 1-bedroom apartment, you can expect utility bills around 270 EUR to 290 EUR per month.
The Internet has nice speed and charges in Croatia. The per month cost of the internet with a downloading speed of 8 Mbps is 25 EUR.
For 1 kg of laundry, it’s going to cost around 12 EUR which includes washing and drying. If you want ironing too then it is going to cost extra.
What Is The Average Cost Of Living For A Single Person?
You are a single person planning to travel to Croatia on a budget? Just pack your bag and you will never regret your decision. The Adriatic gem has a variety of accommodations for you from hostels to 5-star hotels.
For a single person who lives like a local and doesn’t go on a spending spree, the average cost of living is expected to be between 800 EUR to 1300 EUR.
Croatia has a wide range of hostels. A night in the hostel can cost you between 7 EUR to 35 EUR. Some of the best-known hostels are HI Hostel Zagreb, Hostel Korzo, and HI Hostel Zadar, etc.
In the centers of the cities, a studio apartment cost you around 350 to 400 Euros per month. As you move away from the city center, the rent cost reduces. The rent roams between 200 EUR to 300 EUR.
Food is cheap in Croatia. Eating at a local food street or mid-range restaurant is not going to cost you more than 100 EUR monthly.
What Is the Cost Of Living For A Couple?
Living costs for a couple can assume any number based on the style of living and the location of living. On average a couple is expected to bear expenses between 1,130 EUR to 1,220 EUR per month. The expenses include rent, transportation, food, and utilities. The break-up of the expenses for a couple is;
- Rent for a studio apartment in cities center charges 450 EUR to 560 EUR.
- Utility charges are between 150 EUR to 200 EUR. It includes natural gas, electricity, and water charges.
- Food charges are between 330 EUR to 410 EUR a month. Groceries and eating out are included in the charges.
- Monthly transportation expense costs are between 70 EUR to 115 EUR. It also includes fuel costs for your car.
- Mobile phone and internet charges are around 50 EUR to 70 EUR a month.
What Is the Cost Of Living For A Family?
For a family of 4, your cost of living can change. The cost of living in Croatia can go up and down depending on your spending habits and way of living.
- Three bedroom apartment in the city center costs around 7000 EUR to 11,700 EUR per month. The cost for the same apartment in the periphery of the city is 3,365 EUR to 5,800 EUR.
- If you are looking to purchase a property for yourself, it can cost you 1,830 EUR per square meter on average.
- Utility cost is very much affordable unless you are careless about it. On average, a family of 4 is expected to pay around 200 EUR to 250 EUR monthly.
- A meal for 3 can cost 35 EUR to 45 EUR at a mid-range hotel.
- Expect a monthly cost of 430 on groceries, including food.
Comparing the Cost Of Living Between Croatia And Other Cities In The World
- The living Cost in Croatia is 62 percent cheaper than in New York City, USA.
- On average the cost of living in Croatia is 44 percent cheaper than in Berlin, Germany.
- The Cost Of Living in Croatia is 12 percent cheaper than in Athens, Greece.
- The living cost in Croatia is 23 percent cheaper than in Rome, Italy.
- The living cost in Croatia is 52 percent cheaper than in London, United Kingdom.
- The cost of living in Croatia and Beijing is almost the same.
- Living cost in Croatia is 6 percent more expensive than in Budapest, Hungary.
What Are The Working Hours And Days In Croatia?
Standard working hours a day in Croatia are from 8.30 AM to 5.00 PM. While the working days are from Monday to Friday.
How To Reduce The Cost Of Living In Croatia?
Although, Croatia is relatively a cheap country to live in. But, not paying heed to your cost of living can get you in trouble especially if you are living in the urban center of the cities. Here are certain tips that can reduce your living cost.
- Your prime expense in the country is rent. While opting to rent an apartment, try to rent a small apartment. And if you are a single person, choosing a hostel or sharing a room in the apartment can save you a lot of money. The topping on the cake is to get yourself an accommodation in the periphery of the cities.
- Try to use public transport as much as possible rather than using your car. Getting a monthly transportation pass for buses and trains is very beneficial.
- Dining outside and buying imported groceries will raise your living cost. As a rule of thumb, home-cooked food is economical and beneficial to health.
- To reduce Utility expenses monthly, it is advised to use Air-Conditioning and heating when you feel it necessary.
- Entertainment charges can get out of hand if not checked. Croatia has a wide range of less-costly activities like hiking, visiting castle cities, and attending local events.
- Visit Croatia between January – march and November – December. In these months the hotels are less expensive. With fewer visitors, it means fewer traffic jams and a low cost of transportation.
- Use tap water for drinking instead of paid mineral water bottles. The Tap water is usable.
What Are The Pros And Cons of Living In Croatia?
Croatia carries carry certain advantages and disadvantages of living in. Let’s explore the pros and cons of living in Croatia.
Croatia receives a lot of sun during the year. More than 250 sunny days a year makes Croatia an incredible destination for travelers. The temperature reaches 30 degrees in summer. Winter receives rainfall and snow but it is not extremely chilly as in other parts of Europe.
You can enjoy comfortable accommodation at a reasonable rate. The salaries in Croatia are not on the higher side, therefore the cost of living is also not very high. If you are coming from a comparatively wealthy country, you can have a blast in Croatia.
Croatian culture has absorbed many foreign cultures which makes the native culture rich and unique. The historic cities of the country show the glorious culture. Croatia has a unique folk dance, music, and food.
Close To Other Tourist Destinations
The country is located near other tourist-attracting countries. You can easily fly to Austria, Denmark, Slovakia, Hungary, etc.
The country has a negligible crime rate which makes Croatia one of the safest countries in Europe. It is the most suitable country for solo travelers. Women can easily go around on their own. Petty crimes can occur but you rarely hear of violent crimes.
Cons Of Living In Croatia
- Complex language
Croatia has one of the hardest languages to learn. At times you can feel trouble communicating with those who don’t understand English at all. About 51 percent of Croatian don’t speak English.
- Lengthy Bureaucratic Processes
Croatian bureaucratic processes move at a snail’s pace and can be lengthy. Different things like visa processes or any other involving paperwork can be cumbersome.
The unemployment rate in Croatia is high, compared to other European countries. Therefore, the wages are low and at times employees are underpaid.
- High And Complicated Taxes
The taxation system in Croatia is complicated and the rate of taxation is high. Different cities have different tax rates. In the capital Zagreb, the tax rate is 3 percent higher than in other cities.
Frequently Asked Questions
- Is food expensive?
No. Food is very affordable and tasty compared to other parts of Europe.
- Is tap water drinkable?
Yes. Tap water is good for drinking.
- Is it safe to travel to Croatia for women?
Yes, Croatia is a safe country.
- What currency is used in Croatia?
Croatia is part of the EU and the currency used in the country is Euro
- Are credit cards accepted all over the country?
Credit cards are accepted in big cities. While traveling to peripheries and towns, you are advised to carry cash.
- Shall I bring an electrical adapter?
230V 50Hz two-pronged adapter plugs are used in Croatia.