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The food, the wine, the people – Croatia has it all! Although it is relatively unknown on a global scale – Croatia is a perfect place for expats and those planning to become one.
The diversity of places, climates, and nature of Croatian cities means you can choose the ideal one for you – and the best part is that Croatia is a relatively small country, and you can always relocate to some city that might suit you better.
In this article we are bringing you a list of the best places to go in Croatia for expats – here only knowing English and being a foreigner won’t be a problem.
The first on our list is Dubrovnik – the city known as King’s Landing from Game of Thrones.
Dubrovnik is one of the most popular touristic places in Croatia, with breathtaking scenery – usually also called the Pearl of the Adriatic. The old city of Dubrovnik is magical – and listed as UNESCO World Heritage Site. Besides the old town’s beauty and medieval architecture, there is a lot more to see and do in Dubrovnik.
If you wish to explore other countries Dubrovnik is a great place to start – it is close to Montenegro, Bosnia & Hercegovina, Serbia, etc.
Besides the attractions and rich history, Dubrovnik has a magnificent restaurant scene – that offers fresh seafood, amazing local wine, and some stunning views. Restaurant Nautica in Dubrovnik is one of the most romantic restaurants in the world while Restaurant 360 is great for an exquisite gastronomical experience.
Zagreb is the capital of Croatia and you won’t feel alone here – Zagreb hosts the country’s largest expat community. Zagreb is the administrative, cultural, educational, and sports center of the whole region. It is a very vibrant city with a great mix of old and new!
Zagreb is the largest city in Croatia and is divided into two areas – the Upper Town and Lower Town. Upper Town is older, considered to be the city center and Lower Town is more suburban and modern. Both of them are full of bars, cafes, nightclubs, and restaurants – from international to local.
Gastronomy and wine choices are something that you won’t lack in Zagreb – there is a variety of Michelin-star restaurants with unique gastronomic experiences but also local ones that offer traditionally prepared food.
Zagreb is a great option if you are planning to rent a coworking space – there are plenty of options and a huge digital nomad community.
Besides the benefits of working here, Zagreb is also boasting with a lot of cultural attractions, theatres, events, and numerous activities you can choose from.
The city of Pula is located in Istria – one of the most picturesque parts of Croatia. Istria is the largest peninsula on the Adriatic Sea, and it is an ideal combination of ancient ruins, long history of winemaking, traditional cuisine, and local hospitality.
At the tip of the peninsula lies Pula – a typical Mediterranean city rich with archaeological Roman sites and beautiful beaches. In Pula, you will feel like in Rome after you see its colosseum – the most complete one in the entire world.
Pula is the center of the Istria peninsula – to its size, population, and administration. It has an airport that has flights between Croatian cities but also internationally.
Pula is a great choice for any expats trying to have a unique, gourmet experience while also having a good starting point to explore the rest of Croatia and Europe. It is only an hour drive to Slovenia and a 2-hour drive to Italy.
One of the attractions you do not want to miss is the Brijuni national park – a string of islands that have been inhabited since the Roman period – today there is a safari park, a gold course, and a 1600-year-old olive tree.
Split is the second-largest city in Croatia – modern, vibrant, historic, and – on the seaside surrounded by the most beautiful Croatian islands.
The main attraction in Split is the Diocletian palace – the UNESCO-preserved palace that dates from the 4th century AD. The Diocletian palace is one of the best-preserved monuments of Roman architecture in the world. The Diocletian Palace is not just a site it also hosts other attractions worth visiting – the Temple of Jupiter, Cathedral of St. Dominus, 17th-century Milesi Palace, and many others. Take a stroll around the Diocletian Palace – you won’t regret it.
Split, besides the grand historical sites, is a very vibrant city, especially in the summertime. There is great nightlife, tons of restaurants & bars worth visiting (with traditional Dalmatian cuisine), and numerous beaches with crystal-clear water. From the famous Bačvice Beach to Žnjan beach – if you are looking for a party beach or a peaceful one – you can have both in Split and its surroundings.
As regards the transportation – Split has an international airport, train station, ferry port, and a large bus station so you don’t have to worry about finding a connection to other cities (in Croatia but also internationally!).
Last but not least – Split has a large expat community and coworking spaces are available throughout the city.
Situated between Pula and Split – Zadar is a real Adriatic gem. It has the charm of a true Dalmatian city but it is not so dependent on tourism.
The city is close to Split – only a 2-hour drive and 3.5 hours from Zagreb. The big ferry port in Zadar travels to the main Croatian island as well as Italian cities and the international airport has great connections to main European destinations.
When talking about attractions you won’t be bored in Zadar – from its Sea Organs to the installation Greetings to the Sun. There is also a wonderful museum that is worth visiting – the Museum of Ancient Glass.
Close to the world know attractions (Sea Organs and installation Greetings to the Sun) there is the Zadar Roman Forum which was designed somewhere between the 1st and 3rd century AD. On the same forum lies the St. Donatus Church and the forum is used even today, like it was in Roman times, for social gatherings, movies, and other important town festivities.
When thinking about gastronomy – Zadar won’t disappoint you. From restaurant Foša to Michelin star rated Boškinac (on the island of Pag, which is really close to Zadar) your desire for great Dalmatian food will be pleased.
In Zadar, there is the first Croatian digital nomad village where you can live & work with other nomads from all over the globe – how cool is that?
After reading this you still haven’t decided?
Well, we can promise you Croatia has all that you need to be a happy expat living here.
High quality of life while the costs of living are lower than in other European cities, divine food (you can choose from the seafood to the meat delicacies) & great climate. People here are friendly, speak English (usually also other languages, especially at the seaside) and you won’t have problems fitting in.
Besides that, Croatia offers a great range of schools, faculties as well as jobs– even international ones!
If you are looking for a new home – Croatia could be the right one for you. Beautiful country with many attractions – from national parks to seaside adventures, a high-quality healthcare system, and also offers a digital nomad visa.
Each of the cities we mentioned offers something different, but you will get to know the country’s culture to its core. Whether you prefer the coast or the capital – or want to live budget friendly or luxurious, in Croatia you will find the perfect place for you.