Croatia is rich with vibrant historical cities, as well as miles of coastline and fresh, tasty cuisine. It’s a popular tourist destination, and one that's increasingly attracting expats.
If you’re considering moving to Croatia for business or pleasure, you’ll need to get an idea of the living costs. This guide will help kick start your research. We’ll also cover how TransferWise can help save you money. More on that later.
Before we outline some of the key costs you’ll need to consider, let us introduce TransferWise.
Whether you need to send money to Croatia or find a convenient way to spend whilst you’re there - TransferWise has you covered.
They also allow you to hold 40+ currencies in a multi-currency account - to which you can receive payments for free, just like a local. It even comes with a debit MasterCard to spend easily - no matter where you are.
|Create your free account and start saving today!|
Life in Croatia is relatively cheap compared to other European countries or North America. Expat website Expatistan.com ranks Croatia 55th from a list of 105 countries in terms of the cost of living overall.¹
The money in Croatia is called the kuna. It’s often written as Kn in shops and restaurants, and HRK in money exchange stores. Here’s an estimate to help you convert various world currencies into Croatian kuna - use a handy online currency converter to get the most up to date rates:
- £1000 = HRK8280.98
- €1000 = HRK7394.82
- US$1000 = HRK6715.25
- AU$1000 = HRK4615.39
*These calculations are only correct at the time of research, on 12 September 2019. Check the most up to date exchange rates using an online currency converter.
It might also help you build a picture of the costs of living in Croatia if you compare the prices of regular expenses in Croatia versus some other major cities. As an example, take a look at this overview of key living costs across 6 cities:
|Comparing basic cost of living||1 bedroom flat in city centre (monthly rent)||Meal for 2 (mid range restaurant)||Transportation (monthly pass)|
|New York City, USA||HRK20,811.44||HRK535.06||HRK849.41⁵|
Numbeo.com provides a cost of living index for many major cities around the world. According to their statistics, the most expensive city in Croatia is Zagreb. This is relatively closely followed by a few other of the country’s larger cities. The costs of living will likely increase in major cities and where there are many tourists and travellers - and fall in more rural areas. Here they are in order:
Knowing what you might be able to earn in Croatia is essential to working out if a move is feasible or desirable. Salaries in Croatia overall are on the low side, reflecting the relatively low cost of living in the country.
To help you compare the salaries on offer with those you might find elsewhere in the world, we have shown them in GBP. To check other roles, and continue your research online, head over to Teleport.org, where you’ll find lots of real time information about different expat destinations.
|Salary averages for Zagreb||Estimated salary in GBP (annual)|
|Financial analyst||12,004.22 GBP|
|Graphic designer||9,698.09 GBP|
|Mobile developer||13,927.20 GBP|
|Product manager||18,971.42 GBP|
|Software engineer||16,081.66 GBP|
|Web developer||13,181.31 GBP¹⁰|
No matter where in the world you live, housing is likely to be one of your major costs. Let’s take a look at what you can expect to pay for different types of apartments in 3 of Croatia’s major cities.
|Renting in Zagreb||Average monthly cost|
|1 bedroom apartment - in city centre||HRK3,455.79|
|1 bedroom apartment - outside city centre||HRK2,457.10|
|3 bedroom apartment - in city centre||HRK5,626.57|
|3 bedroom apartment - outside city centre||HRK3,866.01|
|Renting in Split||Average monthly cost|
|1 bedroom apartment - in city centre||HRK2,900.40|
|1 bedroom apartment - outside city centre||HRK2,371.58|
|3 bedroom apartment - in city centre||HRK5,389.56|
|3 bedroom apartment - outside city centre||HRK3,738.50|
|Renting in Rijeka||Average monthly cost|
|1 bedroom apartment - in city centre||HRK2,277.78|
|1 bedroom apartment - outside city centre||HRK1,888.89|
|3 bedroom apartment - in city centre||HRK3,397.98|
|3 bedroom apartment - outside city centre||HRK2,575.27|
If you’re planning on moving to Croatia, you can expect to pay into the state health system, and in return you’ll receive most treatment free when you need it. Health care contributions in Croatia are mandatory for all employed citizens and are paid for by their employers. If you have family members who are dependent on you, then they can obtain their health care coverage through these contributions. If you're self-employed in Croatia, you're also obliged to pay health care contributions.
There’s a small charge for some specialist treatments, and you can also choose to take private health insurance and opt for care at one of the private hospitals available in the major cities if you prefer. Life expectancy in Croatia is just over 78 years, similar to that in the US but slightly behind the UK figure of 80 years.¹²
The type of travel that suits you will depend on where you live and the lifestyle you choose to live. Here’s an idea of some of the typical costs you’ll face when getting around in Croatia.¹³
|Transportation and vehicle prices for Croatia||Average cost|
|Gasoline (1 litre / 0.25 gallon)||HRK9.99|
|Monthly bus/transport pass||HRK350|
|Bus ticket, single use||HRK10|
|Taxi tariff, 1km||HRK6|
|Toyota Corolla, new||HRK143,766.98|
|VW Golf, new||HRK140,000⁹|
If you live in one of the major cities in Croatia, you’ll have a choice of local and international schools, as well as several universities. University tuition fees vary depending on whether you’re considered an international student or not, and based on the course type you choose. The figures below give an outline, but there is a broad range of options, so you’ll need to do your own research to find the right one for you.
|School in Croatia||Average cost|
|Preschool / kindergarten||HRK950.35/month|
|Private school for lower grades||HRK29,016.13/year⁹|
|University tuition - humanities/arts courses||HRK6000 - HRK16,000/year|
|University tuition - technical/science courses||HRK20,000 - HRK27,000/year¹⁴|
If you’re looking to live on a low budget, or have a fixed income and need to maximise how far your money goes, Croatia may be a good choice. With an excellent standard of living, and relatively low costs - not to mention beautiful scenery and enviable weather - you can build a great life for less.
Make sure you’re getting all you can from your money, by using TransferWise and the multi-currency account to move your funds from the UK to Croatia for a low fee, using the mid-market exchange rate. There’s no exchange rate markup, and no hidden fees - leaving you less to worry about so you can get on with enjoying life in Croatia.
1.Cost of living ranking
2.Cost of Living : Zagreb
3.Cost of Living: Split
4.Cost of Living: London
5.Cost of Living: New York
6.Cost of Living: Berlin
7.Cost of Living: Sydney
8.Regional Rankings for cost of living: Croatia
9.Cost of Living: Croatia
10.Average Salaries in Zagreb
12.Life Expectancy in Zagreb
13.Croatia: Health and Healthcare
14.Tuition Fees: Croatia
Sources checked on 20-September 2019.
This publication is provided for general information purposes only and is not intended to cover every aspect of the topics with which it deals. It is not intended to amount to advice on which you should rely. You must obtain professional or specialist advice before taking, or refraining from, any action on the basis of the content in this publication. The information in this publication does not constitute legal, tax or other professional advice from TransferWise Limited or its affiliates. Prior results do not guarantee a similar outcome. We make no representations, warranties or guarantees, whether express or implied, that the content in the publication is accurate, complete or up to date.
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