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

By Joshua Wood, LPC

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

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

Living in Zadar as an expat or digital nomad can be an exciting adventure. This beautiful city on the Adriatic Sea offers a rich history, stunning architecture, and a vibrant local culture. However, like any new place, it can also present its own unique challenges. Here are seven key tips to help you navigate life in Zadar and make the most of your time in this Croatian gem.

1. Learn the Language

While many Croatians speak English, especially in the tourism industry, 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 helpful when navigating less touristy areas or dealing with administrative tasks. There are many language schools in Zadar, such as the Lingua School, where you can take classes.

2. Explore the Neighborhoods

Zadar is made up of several distinct neighborhoods, each with its own character. The Old Town, for example, is a UNESCO World Heritage site filled with Roman ruins and medieval churches. It's a great place to soak up history and enjoy local cafes. Meanwhile, Borik is known for its beautiful beaches and luxury resorts, and VoŇ°tarnica is a bustling commercial area with a popular daily market. Spend time exploring each neighborhood to find your favorite spots and get a feel for the city's diverse character.

3. Enjoy Local Cuisine

Croatian cuisine is a delicious blend of Mediterranean and Central European influences. In Zadar, you'll find plenty of opportunities to sample local dishes like peka (a meat and vegetable dish cooked under a bell-like dome) and fresh seafood. Some popular local restaurants include Restaurant Bruschetta, known for its fresh seafood and pasta, and Restaurant Groppo, famous for its traditional Croatian dishes. Don't forget to try Maraschino, a cherry liqueur that originated in Zadar.

4. Embrace the Outdoor Lifestyle

Zadar's beautiful coastal location offers plenty of opportunities for outdoor activities. You can enjoy swimming and sunbathing at Kolovare Beach, hiking in Paklenica National Park, or sailing around the Zadar archipelago. The city is also home to the Sea Organ, a unique installation that creates music from the movement of the sea, and the Greeting to the Sun, a solar-powered light display. Both are must-see attractions.

5. Understand the Cost of Living

While Croatia is generally more affordable than many Western European countries, it's important to understand the cost of living in Zadar. Rent, groceries, and dining out can be cheaper, but imported goods, electronics, and cars can be more expensive. It's also worth noting that prices can vary significantly between touristy areas and more local neighborhoods. Do your research and budget accordingly to avoid any financial surprises.

6. Get Involved in the Community

One of the best ways to feel at home in a new city is to get involved in the community. This could mean joining a local club, participating in community events, or volunteering. While we won't list specific organizations here, we encourage you to research groups that align with your interests. This can be a great way to meet locals, learn more about Croatian culture, and contribute positively to your new home.

7. Navigate the Healthcare System

Croatia has a universal healthcare system, but it's important for expats to understand how it works. If you're an EU citizen, you can use your European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) for necessary medical treatment. If you're from outside the EU, you'll need to ensure you have adequate health insurance. It's also worth noting that while healthcare standards are generally high, facilities may be more basic than what you're used to, especially outside of major cities.

Living in Zadar, Croatia can be a rewarding and enriching experience. By taking the time to understand the local culture, explore the city, and engage with the community, you can make the most of your time in this beautiful Adriatic city.

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Allianz Care's plans ensure that you have access to quality healthcare whenever you need it. Our flexible solutions allow you to tailor your cover to meet your needs and budget. You can submit your claims digitally and our helpline is available 24/7 to help you anytime.
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About the Author

Joshua Wood Joshua Wood, LPC joined Expat Exchange in 2000 and serves as one of its Co-Presidents. He is also one of the Founders of Digital Nomad Exchange. Prior to Expat Exchange, Joshua worked for NBC Cable (MSNBC and CNBC Primetime). Joshua has a BA from Syracuse and a Master's in Clinical and Counseling Psychology from Fairleigh Dickinson University. Mr. Wood is also a licensed counselor and psychotherapist.

Some of Joshua's articles include Pros and Cons of Living in Portugal, 10 Best Places to Live in Ireland and Pros and Cons of Living in Uruguay. Connect with Joshua on LinkedIn.


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Flexible solutions allow you to tailor your cover to meet your needs and budget. Use Promocode: LIFE10 and get 10% off your international health insurance for life!
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