Going island hopping in Croatia is a bucket list kind of trip. While you’re there, you’ll find that it’s common and easy to use credit and debit cards at most of the main tourist spots, like Split and Hvar. But if you plan to head for smaller, more remote islands, you’ll need some kuna on hand. The easiest way by far to get kuna is to withdraw it from a local ATM. Read on to learn more.
ATMs are extremely common in every part of Croatia, except the smallest, most remote islands. You can find them in banks, at transportation hubs, at restaurants and near grocery stores. Almost wherever you are, an ATM should be a stone’s throw away. But if you’re having trouble, try one of these tools to track one down:
- Zagrebacka Banka ATM locator
- Hrvatska Poštanska Banka ATM locator
- Primorska Banka ATM locator
- Jadranska Banka ATM locator
You can also find some foreign banks operating in Croatia:
Croatia has ATMs connected to most major global networks, so cards from the US, the UK and Australia should work there without any problems. If your card doesn’t work at a certain ATM, don’t panic — try another one. If you need to find an ATM connected to your card’s network, try these tools:
- Maestro ATM locator
- Mastercard and Cirrus ATM locator
- Visa, Plus, and Plus Alliance ATM locator
- Discover ATM locator
- American Express ATM locator
You’ll need a four-digit PIN code to withdraw money in Croatia. Credit and debit cards in Croatia are almost exclusively chip and pin, so if you’re from somewhere that hasn’t adopted that technology yet, like the US, you may run into some issues using your magnetic swipe card. Just another good reason to always have a little cash on hand!
The maximum withdrawal allowed will vary between ATMs, but for the most part, you can expect to be able to get around 2,000 kunas out at a time. If you need more than that, you may need to make multiple withdrawals at different ATMs.
Always let your bank know before you travel anywhere, but especially to a foreign country. Otherwise, your bank might think card activity in Croatia is fraudulent and shut your card down, leaving you with no way to access your money until you get that sorted out. You can also check with your bank to see if you have daily maximum withdrawal limits, and have those temporarily extended for the duration of your trip if you need to.
Using ATMs, especially in a foreign place, often comes with fees. But you can avoid and reduce them. Here’s how.
When you withdraw cash from a Croatian ATM, it may offer you a seemingly helpful service: to view the transaction in your home currency rather than in kuna. This may seem like it will save you from having to do some math, but in reality, it just allows the ATM to use its own exchange rate, rather than the mid-market rate, or the one you’d find on Google. That means you might end up paying hidden fees in the form of exchange rate markups. You should always choose to complete ATM transactions in the local currency if you’re given the choice.
It’s common for Croatian ATMs to charge a flat fee for use by non-customers of the bank that owns the ATM. Your home bank may also charge a flat fee or percentage as a withdrawal fee, as well as foreign transaction fees when you use your card abroad. You can call your bank ahead of your trip to find out what kinds of fees it charges. You should also pay careful attention at the ATM to see if your being charged any withdrawal fees there.
You could luck out and find a fee-free ATM, but that’s unlikely. You should avoid ATMs in airports and hotels, as they tend to have high fees to target tourists. You can also get a card that doesn’t charge foreign transaction fees and reimburses you for ATM fees. Try to make less frequent, larger withdrawals to cut down on the number of one-time fees you get charged. And always complete your transactions in the local currency to avoid DCC fees.
If you have access to a bank account in Croatia, you can transfer money there ahead of time with TransferWise, avoiding markups and hidden fees entirely. TransferWise uses the mid-market rate and only requires a small, fair transfer fee that’s spelled out upfront. TransferWise also offers borderless multi-currency accounts, which allow users to send, receive and hold money in dozens of global currencies, including Croatian Kuna.
Whether you’re just making a short visit or staying in Croatia for a while, good luck and safe travels!