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Expat Exchange - 10 Things to Know Before Moving to Croatia
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Sibenik, Croatia

10 Things to Know Before Moving to Croatia

By Joshua Wood, LPC

SJB Global
SJB Global

Summary: If you're planning a move to Croatia, here are 10 things expats living there wish they had known before moving to Croatia.

Are you considering a move to the beautiful country of Croatia? Known for its stunning coastline, rich history, and warm, welcoming people, Croatia has become an increasingly popular destination for expats from around the world. However, before you pack your bags, there are a few things you should know about life in this Mediterranean paradise. Here are the top 10 things to know before moving to Croatia.

1. Understanding the Croatian Language

While English is widely spoken in tourist areas and by younger generations, it's beneficial to learn some Croatian. The language is known for being quite challenging due to its complex grammar and pronunciation. However, locals appreciate any effort made to speak their language, and it will certainly enhance your experience living in Croatia.

2. Embrace the Mediterranean Lifestyle

Croatians value a relaxed, laid-back lifestyle. This is particularly evident in the coastal regions, where the Mediterranean influence is strong. Don't be surprised if shops close for a few hours in the afternoon or if your dinner lasts for several hours. Embrace this slower pace of life and enjoy the emphasis on spending time with family and friends.

3. The Cost of Living is Reasonable

Compared to many Western European countries, the cost of living in Croatia is quite reasonable. Rent, groceries, and dining out are all relatively affordable. However, keep in mind that wages in Croatia are also lower, so if you're planning on working in the country, make sure to factor this into your budget.

4. Croatia's Bureaucracy Can Be Challenging

One of the biggest challenges expats face when moving to Croatia is dealing with the bureaucracy. Whether it's applying for a residence permit, setting up utilities, or dealing with the tax office, be prepared for a lot of paperwork and potentially slow processes. Patience and persistence are key.

5. The Beauty of the Croatian Outdoors

Croatia is a paradise for outdoor enthusiasts. From the stunning beaches of the Dalmatian Coast to the beautiful Plitvice Lakes National Park, there's no shortage of natural beauty to explore. Whether you enjoy hiking, sailing, or simply relaxing on the beach, you'll find plenty to keep you busy.

6. The Croatian Cuisine is Diverse and Delicious

From fresh seafood on the coast to hearty stews in the interior, Croatian cuisine is diverse and delicious. Don't miss the opportunity to try local specialties like 'peka', a slow-cooked dish of meat and vegetables, or 'pasticada', a marinated beef dish. And of course, no meal is complete without a glass of Croatian wine.

7. The Importance of Family in Croatian Culture

Family is incredibly important in Croatian culture. Many families live in close proximity to each other and it's common for multiple generations to live under one roof. As an expat, you'll likely find that your Croatian friends are eager to introduce you to their families and include you in family gatherings.

8. Croatia's Rich History and Culture

Croatia's rich history is evident everywhere you look, from the ancient city walls of Dubrovnik to the Roman ruins in Split. The country's culture is a unique blend of influences from its neighbors, including Italy, Hungary, and the Balkans. Take the time to learn about Croatia's history and immerse yourself in its culture.

9. The Croatian Healthcare System

Croatia has a universal healthcare system, which means that all residents have access to healthcare services. However, many expats choose to take out private health insurance to ensure they have access to the best possible care. It's important to research your options and make sure you're covered before you move.

10. The Warmth and Hospitality of the Croatian People

Perhaps the most important thing to know before moving to Croatia is just how warm and welcoming the people are. Croatians are known for their hospitality and are often eager to share their culture and traditions with newcomers. As an expat, you'll likely find yourself quickly feeling at home in your new surroundings.

Moving to a new country is always a big step, but with a bit of preparation and an open mind, you're sure to fall in love with Croatia. From its stunning natural beauty to its rich culture and friendly people, there's so much to discover in this Mediterranean gem.

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.

SJB Global
SJB Global

SJB Global
SJB Global

Sibenik, Croatia

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