Navigating Expat Life: Understanding the Cost of Living in Croatia

updated on
May 21, 2023
Navigating Expat Life: Understanding the Cost of Living in Croatia

Living as an expat opens up a world of possibilities, broadening horizons through exposure to diverse cultures and new experiences. One country that has been increasingly attracting expats is Croatia, a place of stunning natural beauty, historic cities, and vibrant culture. This article dives deep into understanding the cost of living in Croatia as an expat, helping you plan your Croatian adventure more efficiently.

Understanding the Basics

The cost of living can differ dramatically based on where you choose to reside in Croatia. Major cities like Zagreb, Split, and Dubrovnik tend to have higher living costs, while smaller towns and rural areas are generally more affordable. However, even in its cities, Croatia's living costs remain lower than in most Western European countries, making it an attractive destination for many expats.


Accommodation forms a significant part of living costs. In Zagreb, you can rent a one-bedroom apartment in the city center for about 500-700 Euros a month, while a similar apartment in Split or Dubrovnik might cost around 600-800 Euros. However, renting outside the city center or in smaller towns could save you a substantial amount. Buying property can also be a viable option, with the average price per square meter in the city center being around 2000 Euros.

Food and Groceries

Croatia offers an impressive selection of local and international foods at affordable prices. A budget of 200-300 Euros per month can comfortably cover grocery expenses for a single person. Dining out is also reasonably priced with an average meal at an inexpensive restaurant costing around 10 Euros.


Public transportation is highly efficient and inexpensive in Croatia. A monthly transport pass in cities like Zagreb costs around 40 Euros. Alternatively, if you prefer driving, petrol costs approximately 1.30 Euros per liter.

Utilities and Internet

Average monthly utility costs, including electricity, heating, cooling, and water, for an 85m2 apartment are around 150 Euros. Internet and mobile services are also quite affordable, with unlimited internet plans averaging around 20 Euros per month and a minute of prepaid mobile tariff costing about 0.10 Euros.


Croatia boasts a high-quality healthcare system, and expats living in Croatia are required to have health insurance. Basic state health insurance can cost about 70-100 Euros per month. However, many expats choose private health insurance for more extensive coverage.

Leisure Activities

Croatia offers a myriad of leisure activities, from exploring national parks to visiting historic sites and enjoying cultural events. A monthly fitness club membership costs about 30-50 Euros, while a cinema ticket is around 5 Euros.

Conclusion: The Expat Experience in Croatia

Living in Croatia as an expat can be a fulfilling and enriching experience. While the cost of living is indeed an important factor to consider, it's also crucial to take into account the quality of life that Croatia offers. From its stunning landscapes and rich history to its warm, welcoming locals and relaxed pace of life, the benefits of living in Croatia often outweigh the costs. Ultimately, the cost of living in Croatia as an expat can vary greatly depending on your lifestyle and preferences, but many find the balance between cost and quality of life to be just right in this beautiful Balkan country.

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