Retire To Croatia: Cost of Living

White Boats on Body of Water

Do you love European island camping and beach living where they have excellent healthcare for retirement? Then Croatia may have a lot to offer you. In this article we will explain the costs of living and retiring to Croatia.

Here’s a breakdown of the costs of living for Croatia to retire:

Rent for a 3 Bedroom House$540 USD / 3,492 kn
Rent for a 1 Bedroom Flat$349 USD / 2,257 kn
Utilities (Electricity, Gas, Rates)$185 USD / 1,196 kn
Internet$31 USD / 200 kn
Maid Service (Per Hour)$8 USD / 52 kn
Groceries$100 USD / 667 kn
Dining Out (2 people) For 4 times$74 USD / 479 kn
Fitness or Social Club Membership$40 USD / 259 kn
TOTAL MONTHLY EXPENSES (1 bed)$779 USD/ 5200 kn
TOTAL MONTHLY EXPENSES (3 bed)$970 USD/ 6475 kn

NOTE: These are costs based on the city of Zagreb which is the capital, your expenses may be less expensive depending on where you choose to live. The lifestyle you adopt will also influence how much money you save or spend.

Now that we’ve looked at the general prices, let’s take a closer look at them and see how you can customize them to your particular lifestyle.

What Is Croatia Like?

Croatia is a Mediterranean country as well as a central European country that borders Slovenia and Hungary to the north, Serbia to the east, Bosnia and Herzegovina to the south and a small southern border with Montenegro. Croatia also shares an Adriatic Sea maritime border with Italy. This unusual shaped country has an entire border length of 2,237 km (1,390 mi).

Croatia has three distinct climate zones which are a moderate continental climate or mountainous climate in the interior and a pleasant Mediterranean climate on the ocean side. Temperatures in the interior range from -1 to 3°C in winter in January to 18 to 24°C in August in the summer.  So if you like the cooler temperatures than Zagreb or some of the other inland towns may be for you.

Temperatures in coastal locations range from 7 to 13°C in winter in January to 20 to 30°C in July in the summer. There are an abundance of sunny days along the coast, as well as warm and dry summers and moderate and humid winters.  If you like more sun and warmer summers and winters then the Croatian coast may be more what you are looking for.

Croatians make up 90% of the population in Croatia with 21 other ethnicities making up the other 10%.  Serbians are 4% of the remaining population with all other races less than 1% each and they include Slovenes, Hungarians, Bosnians, Italians and Czechs.

What is Croatian food known for?

Croatian food is a mix of many countries around that region. The differences in cooking styles among those that are inland and those on the shoreline are particularly noticeable. Hungarian, Viennese, and Turkish influences can be found inland in places like the capital Zagreb. While Greek, Roman, and Illyrian, Italian and French influences can be found on the coast of the country.

Slavonia is one of the regions that make up Croatia and has a spicy cuisine with several Hungarian influences and a wide variety of meat dishes. Famous sweets and dumplings are made in the Hrvatsko Zagorje and Međimurje regions of Croatia. Homemade cheeses, hearty grilled dishes and food with Ottoman influences are popular in Middle Croatia or Croatia’s heartland. 

Lighter cuisines with numerous herbs, truffle dishes and cooking with Italian influences are popular in the Istria region. The Dalmatia regional cuisine is mainly Mediterranean with several Italian influences and it’s a fantastic area for seafood lovers to go on a tour and enjoy the local dishes.

Croatia is a coffee-loving nation in terms of drinks like a lot of the countries in the region. Traditional coffee cafes that are similar to those seen in Vienna may be found all around Croatia. You will also find Turkish style coffee shops as well with strong coffee and sweet cakes.

In addition to several good home-brewed beers the country also has a large supply of imported international beers such as Guinness, Tuborg, Gösser, and Stella Artois. Croatia is also known for its superb wines which are the product of the region’s long-standing winemaking traditions. 

The Malvazija regions Pinot and Muskat are the most well-known white wines from Croatia. On the red side of things the Cabernet and Merlot are some of the most well-known red wines from the coastal regions. The Grauer regions Riesling and Burgundy are the most well-known wines in the Croatian inland areas.

What Is Healthcare Like In Croatia?

You will be expected to register and subscribe into the government health system when applying for your Croatian residency visa. The Croatian Health Insurance Fund is the name of the scheme. You will be able to see public doctors for free or at a very reduced cost as a result of this. There will be a minor fee for some elective treatments and specialists, but all normal medical care will be provided free of charge at the moment you register.

You must have paid for a year’s worth of services before you may use the national healthcare system. You will simply make back-payments when you’re in Croatia for less than a year before having to use the system. Public health care payments amount to around $800 USD per year, making Croatian health care much less expensive than that of the United States. The private healthcare Insurance is also open to foreigners. They are more expensive but will cover any out of pocket expenses as well as allow you the extras packages.

Croatia has a large number of well educated English speaking doctors which has helped  rank them as the world’s 42nd best system. According to the CEO World Health Magazines Health Care Index with the USA ranked as 30th.  So the level of care is only slightly behind that of the USA.

Private insurance in Croatia will start from $329 USD a month with a $1,015 USD deductible for any major surgeries for someone over the age of 65 that is in good physical health.  This like with any private insurance will decrease wait times especially for elective surgery.

You can check to the following websites of several pricing of International health insurance:

NOTE: We highly urge you to pick an international insurance based on the degree of coverage you need.

Can A Foreign Citizen Own A Property In Croatia?

Croatian real estate is available for purchase by citizens, residents as well as european union citizens in the same way. Other foriegn investors need to seek approval from the Ministry of Justice of the Republic during the purchase process. The country you come from must also have an agreement with Croatia for reciprocal real estate purchases in place as well.

The Republic of Croatia has a Reciprocity Agreement in place with other countries that governs the purchase of property by its nationals. You can purchase the property if the country in which you are registered, including the United States, has an arrangement with Croatia already.

The entire procedure for foreign purchases can take several months as the Ministry examines the regulations and ensures that there is reciprocity between your country and theirs.

Prices of property in Croatia are a lot less than in the USA with a 3 bedroom house in capital Zagreb will set you back at around 250k USD and a studio apartment in the same area will be around 53k USD. 

It might be a good idea to rent a place in the area of your choosing for a few months before buying the property in that area to see how’s the neighborhood feels like. You can use Airbnb to rent a house and apartment in croatia. 

Here are some real estate agents you can look at for property:

How Much Do Groceries Cost in Croatia?

Croatian restaurants are less expensive than those in Italy and Germany, and are comparable to those in Slovenia. Groceries are very cheap and the produce is fresh and readily available.

Here are the prices of some common staples you might use:

Milk1 Liter / 1 quart$1.3 USD
Bread1 Loaf$1.5 USD
Eggs1 Dozen$2.2 USD
Beef1 kg/ 2.2 pounds$6 USD
Chicken Breasts1 kg/ 2.2 pounds$8 USD
Beer6$4.5 USD
Vodka1 Liter / 1 quart$6 USD
Red Wine750ml / 0.8 quart$3.75 USD

Here are some common local supermarkets you can look at for current prices:

NOTE: these prices were only valid at the making of this article and check the grocery websites below for current pricing.

NOTE: some of these websites are in croatian. Enable your auto translation feature in your browsers to get these websites in english.


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