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Expat Exchange - 7 Tips for Living in Dalmatia 2024
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7 Tips for Living in Dalmatia

By Betsy Burlingame

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Summary: Advice for people moving to Dalmatia or thinking about moving there.

This is a must read if you're moving to Dalmatia or thinking about moving there.

Living in Dalmatia as an expat or digital nomad can be an exciting adventure. This region, known for its stunning coastline, historic cities, and vibrant culture, offers a unique blend of Mediterranean charm and Eastern European hospitality. However, like any new place, it can take some time to adjust and find your footing. Here are seven key tips to help you make the most of your time in Dalmatia.

1. Learn the Local Language

While many Croatians speak English, especially in tourist areas, learning some Croatian can go a long way in helping you integrate into the local community. It shows respect for the culture and can open up opportunities for deeper connections with locals. Plus, it can be handy when navigating less touristy areas or dealing with bureaucratic matters.

2. Embrace the Local Cuisine

Dalmatian cuisine is a delightful mix of Mediterranean and Balkan influences. Seafood is a staple, with dishes like black risotto (made with squid ink) and buzara (a type of seafood stew) being local favorites. For meat lovers, peka (meat and vegetables cooked under a bell-like dome) is a must-try. Some popular local restaurants include Konoba Fetivi in Split and Restaurant Proto in Dubrovnik.

3. Understand the Cost of Living

While Croatia is generally more affordable than many Western European countries, the cost of living in Dalmatia can be higher due to its popularity with tourists. Cities like Dubrovnik and Split can be particularly pricey, especially during the summer months. Be sure to budget accordingly, factoring in costs for housing, food, transportation, and leisure activities.

4. Explore Different Neighborhoods

Dalmatia is home to a variety of neighborhoods, each with its own unique charm. In Split, the old town area is a UNESCO World Heritage site filled with Roman architecture, while the VaroŇ° neighborhood offers a more traditional, laid-back vibe. In Dubrovnik, the Old Town is a must-visit for its historic walls and stunning views, while Lapad offers beautiful beaches and a more residential feel.

5. Take Advantage of the Natural Beauty

Dalmatia is known for its stunning natural landscapes, from the azure waters of the Adriatic Sea to the rugged beauty of the Dinaric Alps. Take time to explore the region's many national parks, like Krka National Park with its beautiful waterfalls, or the islands of Hvar and Kor?ula. Whether you enjoy hiking, sailing, or simply relaxing on the beach, there's no shortage of outdoor activities to enjoy.

6. Navigate the Bureaucracy

Like many countries, Croatia has its share of bureaucracy. Whether you're dealing with visa issues, setting up utilities, or navigating the healthcare system, be prepared for some red tape. Patience and persistence are key. It can also be helpful to seek advice from other expats or locals who have gone through similar processes.

7. Get Involved in the Community

One of the best ways to feel at home in a new place is to get involved in the local community. This could mean joining a local club or organization, attending community events, or simply making an effort to get to know your neighbors. While it can be tempting to stick with other expats or digital nomads, branching out can enrich your experience and help you feel more connected to your new home.

In conclusion, living in Dalmatia, Croatia can be a rewarding and enriching experience. By embracing the local culture, understanding the cost of living, exploring different neighborhoods, taking advantage of the natural beauty, navigating the bureaucracy, and getting involved in the community, you can make the most of your time in this beautiful region.

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About the Author

Betsy Burlingame Betsy Burlingame is the Founder and President of Expat Exchange and is one of the Founders of Digital Nomad Exchange. She launched Expat Exchange in 1997 as her Master's thesis project at NYU. Prior to Expat Exchange, Betsy worked at AT&T in International and Mass Market Marketing. She graduated from Ohio Wesleyan University with a BA in International Business and German.

Some of Betsy's articles include 12 Best Places to Live in Portugal, 7 Best Places to Live in Panama and 12 Things to Know Before Moving to the Dominican Republic. Betsy loves to travel and spend time with her family. Connect with Betsy on LinkedIn.


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