Cash or Card in Croatia: The Ultimate Guide to Payments

updated on
July 27, 2023
Cash or Card in Croatia: The Ultimate Guide to Payments

When traveling to Croatia, one important aspect to consider is how to handle payments. Cash and card are both widely accepted, but understanding the best payment methods can enhance your convenience and ease of transactions. In this guide, we will explore the benefits of cash and card, offer insights into different regions, and answer common questions about payments in Croatia.

Cash Payments in Croatia

Using cash has its advantages, especially in certain situations:

  1. Convenience: Cash is readily accepted in most establishments, particularly in smaller towns, local markets, and small businesses.
  2. Negotiation: Cash provides an opportunity for bargaining in certain situations, such as at local markets or when purchasing goods or services from independent vendors.
  3. Budgeting: Paying with cash allows for better control over your spending and helps you stick to a pre-determined budget.

However, it's important to note that carrying large amounts of cash can have its own risks. It's advisable to keep your cash secure and be cautious of pickpockets or theft. Consider using a money belt or secure wallet to safeguard your cash while traveling.

While cash is widely accepted, it's also essential to have a backup payment method, such as a card, in case of emergencies or situations where cash may not be accepted. It's always wise to have a balance between cash and card to ensure flexibility and convenience throughout your trip.

Remember, the choice between cash and card ultimately depends on your personal preferences, the specific circumstances, and the level of convenience you desire. It's recommended to carry a mix of both payment options to adapt to various situations and ensure a smooth payment experience during your stay in Croatia.

Card Payments in Croatia

Card payments are widely accepted throughout Croatia, especially in larger cities and tourist areas:

  1. Convenience: Using a card offers a hassle-free payment experience, as it eliminates the need to carry large amounts of cash and provides a record of your transactions.
  2. Security: Card payments offer a higher level of security compared to carrying cash, reducing the risk of loss or theft.
  3. Wide Acceptance: Major credit and debit cards, such as Visa and Mastercard, are accepted in most hotels, restaurants, shops, and tourist attractions.

It's important to note that while card payments are widely accepted, some smaller establishments, local markets, or remote areas may prefer cash transactions. It's always a good idea to have some cash on hand, especially when visiting more rural or off-the-beaten-path destinations.

Before your trip, it's also recommended to inform your bank or credit card provider about your travel plans to ensure that your cards will work internationally and to inquire about any foreign transaction fees or currency exchange rates. This will help you avoid any surprises and ensure a smooth payment experience while using your cards in Croatia.

In conclusion, both cash and card payments are widely accepted in Croatia. The choice between the two depends on your personal preferences, the specific circumstances, and the level of convenience and security you seek. Having a combination of both payment options will ensure that you can adapt to various situations and have a seamless payment experience during your travels in Croatia.

Payment Considerations in Split, Croatia

Split, as a popular tourist destination, has a high level of card acceptance:

  1. Restaurants and Shops: Most restaurants and shops in Split accept card payments, including international cards. However, it's advisable to carry some cash for smaller establishments or markets that may prefer cash transactions.
  2. Transportation: Public transportation in Split, such as buses and taxis, typically accept cash payments. However, some taxi services may offer card payment options as well.
  3. ATMs: ATMs are widely available in Split, allowing you to withdraw cash if needed. Be mindful of any fees associated with using foreign cards.

Local Customs and Tips

Understanding local customs and tipping practices can enhance your payment experience in Croatia:

  1. Tipping: Tipping is not mandatory in Croatia, but it's appreciated for good service. If you are satisfied with the service, leaving a small tip of around 10% is customary.
  2. Restaurant Payments: When paying the bill in a restaurant, you can indicate the desired payment method to the waiter. Most establishments accept both cash and card payments.
  3. Splitting the Bill: Splitting the bill among a group of people is commonly done in Croatia. Inform the waiter in advance if you wish to split the payment, and they will accommodate your request.

Why is Croatia Cash Preferred in Some Cases?

While Croatia has a high level of card acceptance, there are instances where cash is preferred:

  1. Small Businesses: Some smaller establishments, particularly family-owned businesses or local vendors, may prefer cash due to lower transaction fees or their personal preference.
  2. Rural Areas: In more remote or rural areas, cash may be more commonly used due to limited access to card payment infrastructure.


Is it better to pay by cash or card in Croatia?

Both cash and card payments are widely accepted in Croatia. It ultimately depends on your personal preference and the specific situation.

Should I use cash in Croatia?

Cash is commonly used in Croatia, especially in smaller towns and local establishments. It can be convenient for transactions in markets or with independent vendors.

Is it better to use card or cash in Split, Croatia?

Split, being a popular tourist destination, generally accepts card payments in most establishments. However, it's advisable to carry some cash for smaller businesses or in case of any unforeseen circumstances.

Do you take card in Croatian?

Most businesses in Croatia accept card payments, particularly those catering to tourists. Major credit and debit cards like Visa and Mastercard are widely accepted.

Why is Croatia cash only?

While cash is widely accepted in Croatia, it's not necessarily cash-only. The preference for cash transactions may be influenced by factors such as tradition, the prevalence of smaller businesses, or the convenience it offers in certain situations. However, card payments are becoming increasingly common, especially in tourist areas.


When deciding between cash or card payments in Croatia, it's important to consider factors such as convenience, acceptance, and personal preferences. Both cash and card options have their benefits, and having a combination of both can ensure smooth transactions during your stay. Remember to respect local customs, consider the region you are visiting, and have a backup plan in case of any unforeseen circumstances. By being prepared, you can navigate the payment landscape in Croatia with ease and enjoy a hassle-free travel experience.

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