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Expat Exchange - 7 Tips for Living in Makarska Riviera 2024
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7 Tips for Living in Makarska Riviera

By Betsy Burlingame

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

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

Living as an expat or digital nomad in the Makarska Riviera, can be an exciting adventure. This beautiful coastal region is known for its stunning beaches, vibrant nightlife, and rich cultural heritage. However, to make the most of your time here, it's important to understand the local customs, lifestyle, and practicalities. Here are seven key tips to help you navigate life in the Makarska Riviera.

1. Learn the Local Language

While many Croatians speak English, especially in tourist areas, learning some Croatian can greatly enhance your experience. It shows respect for the local culture and can help you form deeper connections with locals. Plus, it can be handy when reading menus, signs, or when you venture into less touristy areas. There are many online resources and language schools where you can learn Croatian.

2. Embrace the Local Cuisine

Croatian cuisine is a delightful blend of Mediterranean and Central European flavors. In Makarska Riviera, seafood is a staple, with dishes like grilled fish, black risotto, and octopus salad being local favorites. Be sure to visit local restaurants like "Ivo" for their renowned seafood platter, or "Kalalarga" for their traditional Dalmatian dishes. Trying local food is not just about eating; it's a way to immerse yourself in the local culture.

3. Understand the Cost of Living

While Croatia is generally more affordable than many Western European countries, the cost of living can vary greatly depending on your lifestyle. Rent, groceries, dining out, and entertainment can add up, especially in tourist hotspots. It's important to budget accordingly and keep track of your expenses. Consider shopping at local markets like "Makarska City Market" for fresh produce at lower prices.

4. Explore the Region

Makarska Riviera is more than just beautiful beaches. It's home to stunning natural parks like Biokovo Nature Park, charming villages like Tucepi and Brela, and historical sites like St. Mark's Cathedral. Take the time to explore these places and go beyond the typical tourist trails. Renting a bike or a car can be a great way to explore the region at your own pace.

5. Respect the Local Customs

Croatians are generally warm and welcoming, but they also value their traditions and customs. For instance, it's common to greet people with a firm handshake and to say "Dobar dan" (Good day). Also, Croatians take their coffee culture seriously. Coffee is often enjoyed slowly, over conversation, rather than on the go. When invited to someone's home, it's customary to bring a small gift such as flowers or wine.

6. Stay Connected

As a digital nomad, reliable internet is crucial. While most accommodations, cafes, and restaurants offer free Wi-Fi, it's a good idea to have a backup. Consider getting a local SIM card with a data plan. T-Hrvatski Telekom and A1 Hrvatska are two popular providers. Also, co-working spaces are becoming more common in Croatia, offering a great environment to work and meet other digital nomads.

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 be through sports clubs, language exchange groups, or volunteering. While we won't list specific organizations here, a quick online search can help you find groups that align with your interests. Getting involved not only helps you make friends, but also deepens your understanding of the local culture.

In conclusion, living in the Makarska Riviera, Croatia, can be a rewarding and enriching experience. By embracing the local culture, understanding the cost of living, exploring the region, respecting local customs, staying connected, and getting involved in the community, you can make the most of your time in this beautiful part of the world.

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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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