Dreaming of working remote from Croatia or thinking about making the jump into the digital nomad life? This beautiful country in Europe is quickly becoming popular with travelers from around the globe! In this post, we share our experience with remote work and what it was like living in Croatia for 5 weeks. Hopefully, our time helps you understand what to expect traveling here or getting your Croatia Digital Nomad Visa.
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Why We Chose to Work Remote in Croatia
First off, we want to make it clear that we didn’t move to Croatia. Working remote allows us to travel to different countries and experience life on the road. We’ve listed a few of our biggest pros and cons about being a digital nomad here if you’re interested.
There is a new and exciting Croatia Digital Nomad Visa which was recently launched. In January, Croatia also officially joined Schengen Area of Europe. This means for us coming from the United States we are able to stay in Croatia for 90 days within 180 day period.
Traveling in the month of April, we wanted a to visit a country in Europe that was on the sea. We also needed a destination that would still have decent weather at this time of year. To us, Croatia fit that profile perfectly!
We had got a taste of living in Croatia a few years prior on an island hopping trip. During this time, we started in the north of the country and visited Mali Losinj, Hvar, Brac, and Korčula, before ending in Dubrovnik.
Picking a Croatia Digital Nomad Location
Once we were set on Croatia it was time to look for the perfect location. Now, if there isn’t a place you are already thinking of living in Croatia this can be an overwhelming task.
We actually narrowed it down first to where we wanted to be then looked for accommodations. When you think about the best places to work remote in Croatia, Dubrovnik, Split, and Zagreb definitely come to mind.
These cities offer lots of accommodation options in cafes, co-working spaces, and most importantly high speed wifi. Having just spent two months in the city of Da Nang Vietnam, we were looking for somewhere more laid back outside the busy city life.
So what was most important for us living in Croatia? We wanted a place that had a space to work with a view! Somewhat close to an airport, and a town that was just big enough where everything wouldn’t be closed for the swing season.
That’s one thing to consider as a Croatia digital nomad in off-season. Much of the country runs on the summer tourism industry meaning a lot of shops and restaurants close down until May. If you’re not feeling the quiet vibe then look towards working remote from Croatia in the city.
Our Cute Apartment in Trogir Croatia
After finding several apartments that we liked, we decided to pick the small UNESCO village of Trogir. It’s actually just 7 minutes from the Split Airport and 40 minutes from the city of Split. Yes, it’s weirdly closer to Split Airport than Split even is!
When searching for rentals abroad we always use a mix of different platforms. However, for the time of year and available options we booked it on Airbnb.
We have stayed in countless Airbnb’s around the world and it’s a great way to find affordable longterm rentals. Still, there are a few things before confirming your reservations.
First, be sure the wifi is suitable enough for your business! The last think you want is to arrive at your apartment and not be able to work remote in Croatia.
Second, look for accommodations that have hosted other long-term stays. These are now highlighted on Airbnb and have been a huge help for us. It’s always good to know that other travelers have stayed for a month or two and had a pleasant experience.
The apartment we picked was literally only open for our dates and already sold out for the entire summer. This is once again why we enjoy working remote from Croatia and other popular destinations in the shoulder season. For more tips on booking the perfect Airbnb check out our article below!
→ How to Find the Best Airbnb: 8 Tips We Always Use
Mainland vs the Croatian Islands
It’s almost impossible to think about traveling to Croatia without including the beautiful islands. In the past, there has been some issue with the wifi on certain islands being able to support working remote from Croatia.
However, over the last few years Croatia Digital Nomad life has changed! Are you specifically interested in working online and living in Croatia on the islands? The most popular to do so on would be Hvar, Brac, or Korčula.
Traveling to Croatia
Once we had our apartment booked it was time to sort out getting to Croatia. We were traveling from the United States so it was no short distance! The interesting thing about Croatia is many of the smaller airports like Zagreb, Split, and even Dubrovnik have dramatically less flights available than in high season.
The best deals were flights into the capital of Zagreb. Yet, then we would have had to rent a car or take a 5 hour bus ride to the coast. Instead, we found a route that worked through Düsseldorf Germany.
We would first take the new Norse Air route from NYC to London, switch London Airports using the National Express bus, and then take another flight to Germany. We had no complaints about the layover though! It allowed us to explore Düsseldorf Old Town and stop into one of the famous Altbier breweries.
We did have to book the flights separately, but doing so insured that we would have 1 night to enjoy the city. From there, we would catch a flight directly into Split on the budget airline Eurowings. After traveling for 2 days straight, we were excited when we found out it was only a 7 minute drive from the airport.
Typically, we don’t actually book rental cars for long-term stays but this one was different. This trip we wanted to maximize our free days to explore the surrounding coastline and National Park of Croatia.
Also, I had torn an ankle ligament in Vietnam and needed physical therapy which is a whole different story! While having freedom and flexibility when traveling is amazing, sometimes things are out of our control. Luckily, we found a physical therapist close to our apartment who could see me.
Getting Settled Living in Croatia
Once we made it to our place we were immediately greeted by our hosts. The couple gave us a hug, welcomed us with a bottle of wine, and traditional cookies from the bakery.
As soon as we walked onto our balcony we knew we had made the right choice living in Croatia! The view over the UNESCO village of Trogir looked completely out of a dream. Honestly, that same day we looked up more info on the Croatia Digital Nomad Visa. We were hooked!
We paid around $40 USD a night in April and this ended up being one of our favorite apartments ever. Depending on your budget you might find that cheap or expensive. Still, know that the price for this apartment is nearly triple in the peak summer months. How about this view??
Working Remote From Croatia
After a few days we quickly feel into our normal routine. This might be a little adjustment if you’ve never worked remote before, but all you can do is make a schedule that works best for you.
One of the best parts about working for ourselves is setting our own schedule. However, if you’re working for an international company you should definitely consider the time zones before moving. This is especially true if you’re looking into applying for a Croatia Digital Nomad Visa.
Most of our mornings start out with a coffee on the balcony and diving into emails and different projects. We tend to make a plan at the beginning of each month and add or adjust our work based on travel plans.
Now just because we had a month long rental living in Croatia doesn’t mean we always do! That’s why it’s so important for us to get a ton of work done when we do arrange this.
Then when we are traveling faster again we are able to adjust our plans on the move. Being a digital nomad is a completely unique and different experience for everyone, so only you know what will work for you.
Daily Life in Trogir Croatia
When our work day was over that is when we would head into to town. Some nights we would grab a glass of wine looking over the water, and others we would get dinner and stroll along the nearby beach.
Visiting in April we felt like we had the magical UNESCO town all to ourselves. We felt extra lucky to be here when all the locals would tell us how crowded it gets in the popular summer months.
On the weekend we would head to the small Trogir market. While it’s open every day, Saturday and Sunday mornings were always the most lively! Also, there is one stand that sell the most delicious pork shank for 5 Euros.
We became loyal to a small spot on the canal called Caffe Bar Nik. If we were walking by in the morning it was coffee time, and if it was later in the day then a local draft beer.
After a number of visits the owner asked us about living in Croatia because she was so surprised that we kept coming back! It is definitely a small town and I guarantee she knows everyone here. As you can see, we really learned to love working remote from Croatia.
Exploring the Dalmatian Coast
One thing that is certain… On the days that we didn’t have to work we got into a full day of adventure with our rental car! Being based in Trogir was great as there were countless day trips right at our fingertips.
With the ankle issues and physical therapy we didn’t do any intense hiking or biking. We would’ve have loved to get out into nature more, but we did have plenty of fun! Below are some of our favorite places we visited from Trogir.
- How to Visit Krka National Park in Croatia: Nature Lovers Paradise!
- Sibenik Croatia: Fun Guide to the Old Town & 3 Fortresses
- Biokovo Skywalk: 10 Tips for Croatia’s Epic View & Nature Park
Questions We Had About Living in Croatia
What’s the Best Time of Year to Visit?
Spring or Fall. If you plan to work remote in Croatia for a month or two then you will want to do so outside the busy summer months of July and August.
Do You Need a Car in Croatia?
If you are living in Croatia and working remote from one location you may not need a vehicle. Honestly, some places it might actually be more difficult if your accommodation doesn’t have parking!
With that said, we do recommend renting a car when you have a few days off to see some of the harder to reach places. There are so many beautiful beach towns and villages along the Dalmatian Coast.
One of our favorites was Makarska which sits elegantly under the Biokovo mountains and across from Brac Island. From here, you can also head up to the skywalk at Biokovo Nature Park for stunning views of the coastline.
→ Makarska Croatia: Why You Can’t Miss This Beautiful Riviera Town
What’s the Cost of Living in Croatia?
Obviously, how much you spend depends on your travel style and daily budget. As we mentioned before, everything cost drastically less in April than what we would have paid during the summer.
One of the benefits of getting the Croatia Digital Nomad Visa is you will likely be able to save money on a longer rental. The list below should give you an idea of our common expenses in USD while working remote from Croatia.
- Apartment: $40/night – 1 Bedroom which had wifi, laundry, and a parking spot.
- Rental Car: $14/day – We booked the car as soon as we knew our dates! This was an expense we typically wouldn’t have but it ended up being worth it.
- Coffee: $1.5-2 for a Cappuccino
- Weekly Grocery Store Run: $80-100 – We would typically do one larger trip during the week. Then buy local bread ($1-2) from the bakery or head to the butcher for fresh meat.
- Pork Shank @the Market: $5 – Honestly, it’s a shock that we didn’t get one everyday because it’s that good!
- Hair Cut: $9-12 – Jake went to the barbershop and it cost $9 while a trim at the salon for me was $12.
- Bakery: $2-3 – Bakery treats and bread are an almost every day item when living in Croatia!
- Local Bus Ticket: $2 – We used the bus a few times as they ran often and efficiently.
- Long Distance Bus – $20 – For our flight out of Croatia we made the trip to Zagreb first. This saved us money and ensured we had a direct flight to our next destination.
Final Thoughts on Working Remote from Croatia
We knew that we would love our time in the country but it was so much better than expected. Everywhere we visited was awesome, and at the end of our trip we were already planning to come back.
After our few weeks here we certainly are excited about the new Croatia Digital Nomad Visa! It’s something we would strongly consider in the future. If you have any tips or insight about it be sure to let us know in the comments below.
Brigitte & Jake
Where in the world are we? Follow our daily adventures on Instagram @nothingfamiliar!
Croatia Travel Planning
Rental Car: We use Discover Cars to rent vehicles on our travels. In Croatia, you can even take your car on the ferries so you have wheels for the different islands!
Tours: Check out Get Your Guide for hundreds of activities around the country. You can book a blue cave 5 islands tour from Split, go sea kayaking in Dubrovnik, or take a day trip to the famous Krka National Park.
Flights: We always find great flight deals using Skyscanner and Kayak. This way you can plan your trip around the cheapest and most direct routes.
Accommodation: Compare multiple sites to get to the best deal such as Booking.com and Agoda! Also, Hostelworld should be your go-to source if you’re traveling on a budget.
Travel Insurance: Never travel abroad without being covered! We’ve been using SafetyWing for the last few years on the road and they are there when we need them.
Packing Lists: Find all the inspiration you need with our Amazon packing lists. Including our electronics and camera gear, must-have medical items, and long flight essentials!
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