The local currency in Croatia is the Croatian kuna (CZK).
This guide covers all you need to know about the local currency in Croatia. We’ll also introduce a smart way to spend and withdraw cash at ATMs like a local while you travel - the TransferWise multi-currency account with debit Mastercard.
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Its stunning coastline and rich history means Croatia has long been a hot holiday destination. With so many foreign tourists passing through each year, you’ll find that many hotels, restaurants and shops in popular tourist areas may display prices in euros, alongside kuna. However, the currency of Croatia is Croatian kuna (CZK), not the Euro - so you’ll need to make sure you carry the local currency whilst you’re there.
In more popular areas some places may accept euros - but that doesn’t necessarily mean that using them is a smart idea. You’ll want to check the exchange rates on offer to make sure you’re getting a fair deal, as merchants can set their own rates and may include a hefty markup on the mid-market rate. If you plan on using euros be sure to use an online currency converter to check the mid-market exchange rate for your currency before you pay up.
|Names & Nicknames||Kuna|
|Symbols & Abbreviations||HRK, kn|
|1 HRK||One kuna is subdivided into 100 lipa (lp)|
|HRK coins||HRK coins are available in denominations of 5, 10, 20, and 50 lipa, and 1, 2, and 5 HRK. The 1 and 2 lipa and the 25 HRK coins are rarely used. Coins depict the names of Croatian wildlife in either Croatian or Latin.|
|HRK banknotes||Kuna banknotes are printed in denominations from 5, 10, 20, 50, 100, 200, 500, and 1,000 HRK. The 5 and 1,000 HRK notes are in circulation, but rarely used. Their design features significant Croatian figures on the obverse, and architectural landmarks on the reverse.|
If you’re planning on getting kuna to spend while in Croatia you have a few options. Get kuna before you travel, buy the currency at an exchange office once you arrive, or use your ATM card to withdraw money as and when you need to.
ATMs are plentiful, so there’s really no need to get hold of Croatian currency before you leave the UK if you don’t want to. You’ll usually find the exchange rate offered when using an ATM is fair, too.
If you choose to convert cash before you leave home, check the exchange rate available against the mid-market rate, and bear in mind that you might well get a better rate if you wait until you arrive in Croatia.
It lets you spend anywhere in the world at the real exchange rate - and with low conversion rates and zero transaction fees, you could save money compared to using your UK bank.
|Save when you spend in any currency with TransferWise|
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When it comes to exchanging your foreign money into kuna, you have several options. These options include exchange bureau, banks, airport kiosks, hotels and ATMs. The best way to access your money in Croatia is by withdrawing cash from an ATM as you will receive the fairest deal with this option..
In-person exchange bureaus, post offices and banks are your next-best options. Whilst some exchange kiosks don't charge a fee, most tend to charge a commission of close to 3 percent. They may also add on additional ‘service charges’ and fees. In-person bureaus have set office hours that are short and sometimes unpredictable.
As a general rule, exchange money at airports and hotels as a last resort only. Due to their convenient location, these venues can charge extremely high commissions, and their exchange rates are lower than the mid-market exchange rate. You’re almost guaranteed to get ripped off if you choose one of these options.
When changing money or spending abroad, you need to always pay close attention to the exchange rate offered. The only rate that matters is the mid-market rate - the rate you’ll see on Google, but this is not the rate you’ll get.
Usually there is an upfront fee that providers charge for their service, and then the markup they add to the exchange rate that is used to convert your money. As this markup is rarely stated, it may be that the rate offered to you contains a hidden fee.
Some providers, like TransferWise, don’t do this! TransferWise** uses the real exchange rate with no hidden fees**, so you can see the exact cost of spending in another currency.
To make sure that you don’t lose out on the exchange rate - it’s best to check the exchange rate offered against the one you’ll see on Google, and use an online comparison tool.
Cirrus/MasterCard,Visa/Plus, Maestro, and Diners Club are the most commonly-accepted cards in Croatia. American Express may be accepted, although not as frequently as the others. To eliminate unpleasant surprises, carry a small amount of cash on you at all times. Smaller merchants may not always have the option to process cards electronically.
Always choose to be charged in the local currency of the country you’re in - don’t let the ATM or the card terminal do the conversion for you. But, why is this so important?
Foreign ATMs and card machines often offer conversion to your home currency - but this is actually a scam that goes by the name of Dynamic Currency Conversion (DCC).
DCC means you effectively ask a foreign ATM provider or bank to decide upon an exchange rate for you. This isn't a kind-hearted service. It's something banks use to take more of your money without you knowing.
So, if you are spending or withdrawing money in Croatia, and you’re asked in which currency you would like to be charged - you’ll need to choose the local currency of Croatian kuna.
Before leaving, tell your card issuer that you’re going abroad. That way, they’ll be aware that the foreign charges you're incurring aren't fraudulent.
ATMs, or ‘bankomats’, are readily accessible in most parts of Croatia, especially tourist centres. Most ATMs have the option to transact in English and will accept international cards. For extra safety, bring two functioning cards with you, in case one isn't accepted. ATMs can be found in supermarkets, airports, posts offices, train stations and banks. Note that you need a four-digit pin to operate an ATM in Croatia.
Depending on your home bank, you might find a partner bank’s ATMs in Croatia. For example, American Express partners with Privredna Banka ATMs. American Express customers can withdraw cash from any Privredna Banka ATM without paying a withdrawal fee. Check with your local bank before you go, to find out if your bank partners with any Croatian ATM networks.
Below you can check the list of Croatia’s principal retail banks, both foreign and domestic:
- Zagrebacka Banka
- Hrvatska postanska banka
- Primorska Banka
- Addiko Bank
- Jadradska Banka
Many foreign banks have branches in Croatia. The largest and most common of these branches are:
- Privredna Banka
- Erste & Steiermärkische Bank
- Imex Banka
- Societe Generale Splitska Banka
- OTP Banka
For simple access to the money you need while you’re abroad - and even better rates - use TransferWise. You’ll always get the real mid-market exchange rate. It's a convenient way to get your cash, with no hidden fees.
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