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Expat Exchange - Cost of Living in Istria 2024
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Cost of Living in Istria

By Betsy Burlingame

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Summary: If you're moving to Istria, understanding the the cost of living in Istria helps you know what to expect when it comes to apartment or house hunting, grocery shopping, transportation, dining out, utilities and more.

Category Cost
Apartment Rentals
  • 1-bedroom apartment in city center: $400 - $600 per month
  • 1-bedroom apartment outside city center: $300 - $500 per month
  • 3-bedroom apartment in city center: $700 - $1,200 per month
  • 3-bedroom apartment outside city center: $500 - $900 per month
Apartment Purchases
  • Price per square meter in city center: $1,500 - $2,500
  • Price per square meter outside city center: $1,000 - $1,800
Transportation
  • One-way local transport ticket: $1.50 - $2.00
  • Monthly local transport pass: $40 - $60
  • Taxi starting tariff: $2.50 - $3.50
  • Taxi per kilometer: $1.00 - $1.50
  • Gasoline (1 liter): $1.30 - $1.50
Groceries
  • Milk (1 liter): $0.80 - $1.20
  • Bread (500g): $0.50 - $1.00
  • Rice (1kg): $1.00 - $2.00
  • Eggs (12): $1.50 - $2.50
  • Cheese (1kg): $5.00 - $10.00
  • Chicken breast (1kg): $4.00 - $6.00
  • Beef (1kg): $6.00 - $10.00
  • Apples (1kg): $1.00 - $2.00
  • Bananas (1kg): $1.00 - $1.50
  • Oranges (1kg): $1.00 - $2.00
  • Tomatoes (1kg): $1.00 - $2.00
  • Potatoes (1kg): $0.50 - $1.00
  • Water (1.5-liter bottle): $0.50 - $1.00
  • Bottle of wine (mid-range): $5.00 - $10.00
  • Domestic beer (0.5-liter bottle): $1.00 - $2.00
  • Imported beer (0.33-liter bottle): $1.50 - $2.50
Restaurants
  • Meal at an inexpensive restaurant: $6.00 - $10.00
  • Three-course meal for two at a mid-range restaurant: $30.00 - $50.00
  • Combo meal at a fast-food restaurant: $5.00 - $7.00
  • Domestic beer (0.5-liter draught): $2.00 - $3.00
  • Imported beer (0.33-liter bottle): $2.50 - $4.00
  • Cappuccino: $1.50 - $2.50
  • Soft drink (0.33-liter bottle): $1.50 - $2.00
  • Water (0.33-liter bottle): $1.00 - $1.50
Utilities
  • Basic utilities (electricity, heating, cooling, water, garbage) for an 85m2 apartment: $100 - $200 per month
  • Internet (60 Mbps or more, unlimited data, cable/ADSL): $20 - $40 per month
Private School Tuition
  • Preschool: $300 - $600 per month
  • Elementary School: $400 - $800 per month
  • Middle School: $500 - $1,000 per month
  • High School: $600 - $1,200 per month
Please note that these costs are approximate and can vary depending on the specific location within Istria. It's always a good idea to research the area you plan to live in and compare prices to get a more accurate estimate of the cost of living.

Monthly Budget for Retirees in Istria

"The cost of living in Istria is considered to be relatively affordable compared to many other European destinations. Housing costs, including rent and utilities, are generally lower than in many Western European countries. The cost of groceries and dining out is also quite reasonable, with local markets offering fresh produce at lower prices. Public transportation is also affordable, but many residents choose to use personal vehicles due to the region's rural nature. Healthcare is generally inexpensive, especially for those who qualify for the national healthcare system. However, private healthcare can be more costly. Entertainment and leisure activities, such as visiting local attractions or participating in outdoor activities, are also reasonably priced. Overall, the cost of living in Istria is manageable for both locals and expats, with the potential for a comfortable lifestyle on a modest budget," said one expat living in Istria.

Can I live in Istria on $1,500 a month?

"I've been living in Istria for a while now, and I can tell you that it's possible to live comfortably on $1,500 a month, but you'll have to make some sacrifices. For example, you might not be able to dine out at fancy restaurants or go on expensive trips every weekend. However, if you're smart about your spending, you can still enjoy a good quality of life.When it comes to finding an affordable neighborhood, I'd recommend looking into places like Pula, Rovinj, or Pore?. These towns have a lower cost of living compared to some of the more touristy areas in Istria. You can find a decent apartment for around $500-$700 a month, which leaves you with enough money for other expenses.On the other hand, I'd avoid living in more expensive neighborhoods like Umag or Opatija, as the cost of living there can be significantly higher. Rent in these areas can easily go over $1,000 a month, which might not leave you with enough money for other necessities.In terms of transportation, owning a car can be quite expensive due to fuel costs and maintenance. I'd recommend using public transportation or even getting a bicycle to get around. This will not only save you money but also help you stay fit and explore the beautiful countryside.Groceries can be relatively affordable if you shop at local markets and buy seasonal produce. I'd also recommend cooking at home more often, as eating out can quickly add up. However, you can still enjoy the occasional meal at a local konoba (traditional Croatian restaurant) without breaking the bank.As for entertainment, there are plenty of free or low-cost activities to enjoy in Istria. You can visit the numerous historical sites, go for hikes in the beautiful nature parks, or spend a day at the beach. Just be mindful of your spending and try to find budget-friendly options.In conclusion, living in Istria on $1,500 a month is doable, but you'll have to be mindful of your spending and make some sacrifices. By choosing an affordable neighborhood, using public transportation, and being smart about your entertainment choices, you can still enjoy a comfortable life in this beautiful region of Croatia," commented an expat living in Istria.

Can I live in Istria on $3,500 a month?

"I've been living in Istria for a while now, and I can tell you that it's definitely possible to live comfortably on $3,000 a month, even if you're used to modern amenities. However, there might be some sacrifices you'll have to make to ensure you stay within your budget.Firstly, you'll want to choose an affordable neighborhood to live in. I'd recommend looking into towns like Pula, Rovinj, or Pore?. These towns have a good mix of locals and expats, and you can find reasonably priced apartments or houses to rent. In Pula, for example, you can find a nice two-bedroom apartment for around $600-$800 per month. Rovinj and Pore? might be slightly more expensive, but still within your budget.On the other hand, I'd avoid more expensive neighborhoods like Umag or Opatija. These towns are known for their luxury resorts and upscale real estate, so the cost of living there would be significantly higher.When it comes to transportation, owning a car can be quite expensive due to high gas prices and maintenance costs. I'd recommend using public transportation or even getting a bicycle to get around. This will not only save you money but also allow you to enjoy the beautiful scenery of Istria.Eating out can also be a significant expense, especially if you're used to dining at high-end restaurants. However, there are plenty of affordable local eateries where you can enjoy delicious Croatian cuisine without breaking the bank. Cooking at home is also a great way to save money and explore the local ingredients available at the markets.As for entertainment and leisure activities, there are plenty of affordable options in Istria. You can enjoy the beautiful beaches, go hiking or biking in the countryside, or explore the many historical sites and charming towns in the region. There are also numerous cultural events and festivals throughout the year that are either free or have a low entrance fee.In terms of sacrifices, you might have to give up some of the luxury items or services you're used to, like having a housekeeper or going to high-end spas. However, I've found that the quality of life in Istria is excellent, and the natural beauty and relaxed pace of life more than make up for any sacrifices you might have to make.Overall, living in Istria on $3,000 a month is definitely doable, and you can still enjoy a comfortable lifestyle with modern amenities. Just be mindful of your spending and choose affordable neighborhoods and activities to make the most of your budget," said one expat living in Istria.

Can I live in Istria on $5,000 a month?

"I've been living in Istria for a while now, and I can tell you that it's definitely possible to live comfortably on $5,000 a month, even if you're used to modern amenities. Of course, you might have to make some sacrifices, but overall, the quality of life here is great.First of all, housing is quite affordable in Istria, especially if you're willing to live a bit outside of the main tourist areas. I'd recommend looking for a place in towns like Pula, Rovinj, or Pore?, where you can find a nice apartment or even a small house for a reasonable price. If you're looking for something more upscale, you might want to check out the neighborhoods around Umag or Novigrad, but keep in mind that these areas can be more expensive.As for transportation, owning a car is definitely helpful, but not absolutely necessary. The public transportation system is decent, and you can get around by bus or train without too much hassle. However, if you want to explore the beautiful countryside and smaller villages, having a car will make your life much easier.When it comes to groceries and dining out, you'll find that prices are quite reasonable, especially compared to Western European countries. Local markets offer fresh produce at affordable prices, and you can find a wide variety of restaurants serving delicious local cuisine without breaking the bank. Of course, if you're looking for high-end dining experiences, you'll have to pay more, but overall, eating out in Istria is quite affordable.One sacrifice you might have to make is in terms of shopping for clothes and electronics, as these items can be more expensive in Croatia than in other countries. However, if you're willing to shop online or take a trip to a nearby city like Trieste in Italy, you can still find good deals on these items.In terms of entertainment and leisure activities, there's plenty to do in Istria without spending a fortune. The beautiful beaches, national parks, and historical sites offer endless opportunities for outdoor activities and sightseeing. Additionally, there are numerous cultural events and festivals throughout the year that are either free or reasonably priced.Overall, I'd say that living in Istria on $5,000 a month is definitely doable, and you can enjoy a comfortable lifestyle without making too many sacrifices. Just be prepared to adjust your expectations in certain areas, and you'll find that this beautiful region of Croatia has a lot to offer," commented an expat living in Istria.

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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