Digital nomads are always on the hunt for amazing places to work while traveling, soaking up the local culture while also being able to be productive.
Nobody knows exactly how many digital nomads there are in the world but suffice to say the number over the last decade has gone from just a handful of people to upwards of millions—with many more new nomads joining the movement after COVID-19, as they can now work remote (or in other words, work from anywhere).
Governments are starting to take notice—like Croatia—and have created digital nomad visas and incentives for remote workers who travel while working.
The Republic of Croatia is an EU member and ideally located on the eastern edge of Europe. Its position across from Italy along the Adriatic Coast bestows Croatia with Meditteranean weather and more sunny days per year than Sydney, Australia. Easy access to Eastern and Western Europe make it a great home base for European exploration.
Croatia’s craggy coastline is referred to as the Dalmatian Coast. For outdoorsy folks and nature lovers, Croatia is a top destination. Over 10% of the country is dedicated to natural parks that feature waterfalls, lakes, and mountain backdrops.
Fans of the HBO television series, Game of Thrones, will recognize the alleyways of Croatia’s top seaside destinations, Dubrovnik and Split. The ancient walled cities were the set for the fictional King’s Landing.
Croatia has become a popular undersung European destination. It’s beautiful white sand, pinewood beaches beckon visitors looking to catch some sun. Adventure junkies flock to Plitvice National Park to glimpse the jewel-toned lakes and meandering waterfalls. Foodies and winos will find no shortage of Michelin starred restaurants to try. Croatia is an active wine-producing country and is famous for its white wines that pair perfectly with the seafood, freshly caught from the Adriatic Sea.
Croatia’s capital city is Zagreb and the largest in population with over 700,000 residents. Zagreb is located inland and is referred to as the cultural capital of the country. The city’s architecture is influenced by Croatia’s Austro-Hungarian neighbors, so expect to see ornate Gothic cathedrals and churches.
Croatia is best known for its rocky coast and clear blue Meditteranean waters. Tourism and hospitality thrive in the coastal hubs of Split and Dubrovnik. These two sunny cities make great jumping-off points for exploring Croatia’s 1,244 different islands and islets.
The country of Croatia is narrow and long, spanning the Adriatic coastline, opposite Italy. Much of Croatia is coastal and benefits from the economy that comes with tourism, port towns, and seafaring.
Croatia territory was once ruled by the Romans. This rich history is evident in Croatia’s walled old towns, ancient amphitheaters, and fortresses that still stand today. Traveling throughout Croatia is a step back in time.
No need to choose between beaches or mountains, Croatia has both. Try cliff-jumping, kayaking, or sport fishing along Croatia’s rugged coastline. Or head inland to the Paklenica National Park or Velebit Mountain Range. Activities like caving, hiking, rock climbing, mountain biking, kayaking, and even paragliding are popular amongst Croatia’s natural wonders.
Croatians are a proud and independent bunch. Post World War I, Croatia was lumped in with Slovenia, Serbia, and Bosnia in what was known as the Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia. As communism in Eastern Europe began to disintegrate after World War II, Croatia fought for independence and finally declared sovereignty in 1991. The red-and-white checkered pattern continues to represent fierce independence and is worn proudly worn at festivals and soccer games.
Croats are a family-oriented culture, with children often living with the immediate family into adulthood, up until marriage. You will never go hungry in a Croatian household where there is always something cooking or ready to eat. Communication with a Croatian may seem abrupt, theatrical, and even a little heated, but this confrontational style of interaction is a Croatian norm.
Croatians, like their Western European neighbors, love cafe culture. A common cultural pastime is to while away the afternoon over coffee and cigarettes outside a cafe. Cafes share similar menus featuring dishes like meat platters, tuna salad, grilled fish, and seafood risotto.
You can’t talk about Croatian culture without talking about Rakija (Rah-kee-ya). This alcoholic fruit spirit is common in the Balkan region. It is typically produced from plums, figs, or apricots, and flavored with herbs, honey, walnuts, or anise. A small helping of rakija is common before a big meal, or to help digestion afterward. Croatian rakija will warm up any night at 40% ABV.
Winding through Zagreb is a historical scavenger hunt, mixing old and new architecture side by side. Croatia’s Catholic roots and medieval history are evident in the cobbled streets and old town squares of Gradec and Kaptol. In Zagreb’s lower town, find large leafy parks and wide neo-classical streets filled with upscale shopping and fine art museums. Enjoy daily Zagreb life by shopping at the farmers market and flower market, featuring regional cheeses, vegetables, fruits, and artisanal goods. Zagreb is also home to the Croatian National Theater, housing ballet, opera, and theater performances.
Croatia’s Dalmatian coast offers all the pleasures of Mediterranean living. World-class seafood paired with Croatian wine makes the perfect match. Fans of water recreation will enjoy spending time sailing or fishing the jewel-toned coastline. Some of Croatia’s coastal towns date back well over 2000 years and are an immersive step back in time.
Croatia’s long and winding shape makes it an unbeatable combination of land and sea. Over 10% of Croatian land is protected, offering visitors and residents plenty of opportunities to be immersed in old-growth forests, ancient mountain ranges, and winding country land. Eight national parks and eleven nature parks provide endless opportunities to explore the untouched landscape.
The Dalmatian coast’s blue-green waters beckon visitors from all over the world looking to soak up the Mediterranean sun. Islands, islets, and craggy coves characterize Croatia’s coastline.
The Dinarides mountain range features Croatia’s highest peak, Mount Dinara, at 1831 meters high. The Velebit Mountain range is home to Mount Vaganski, a challenging hike for avid mountaineers, within the Paklenica National Park.
One of Croatia’s most recognizable natural features is the Plitvice Lakes, a UNESCO world heritage site. The 16 lakes are joined together by a series of cascading waterfalls, naturally tinted a brilliant shade of turquoise.
As a modern member of the EU, Croatia charges no roaming fees to Europeans. For non-Europeans, a pre-paid sim card is easy to come by.
Zagreb is home to more than one co-working space, and makes a great urban hub for remote work. The coastal cities of Split and Dubrovnik are trendy tourist destinations and are outfitted with public WiFi in some areas. Broadband service and 4G sim cards are common throughout the country. Bars, cafes, and restaurants often provide wifi for guests, but taking up a seat for a great length of time on a laptop is frowned upon.
Beyond these services, visitors can also buy or rent wifi hotspots to take throughout the country.
Croatia’s Digital Nomad visa has not yet officially launched, but once successfully voted through the parliament, could be in effect as early as the beginning of 2021.
Most long-term visas require local employment. This has been a problem for digital nomads, who have a remote job and simply want to live in a location like Georgia for a span of time.
The idea behind a digital nomad visa is the sound reasoning that it shouldn’t matter where you are, as long as you can support yourself. It’s a government recognizing what digital nomads have known for years.
In other words, the digital nomad visa legitimizes the lifestyle by saying you can live in a country legally for a period of time and you can work from your laptop there.
Working from Croatia offers the best of the Meditteranean lifestyle with some of the most affordable living costs in the EU. Digital nomads will enjoy a laid-back lifestyle characterized by good food, temperate climate, fast internet, widely spoken English, and affordable private healthcare.
Croatia’s Digital Nomad Visa has not yet gone into effect but is currently being considered among Croatia’s Ministries of Labor, Tourism, Finance, and Interior. In order for the digital nomad visa to be finalized, the Croatian government must amend its Aliens Act.
The visa is expected to run a full year, expanding Croatia’s tourism season beyond it’s Summer peak. The Croatian Prime Minister, Andrej Plenkovic, favors the visa and is urging it through approval processes.
There is still not enough information released on the parameters of Croatia’s digital nomad visa as it is still in development. However, the visa will certainly require remote workers to obtain their income from outside of Croatia, thereby keeping local jobs for resident Croatians.
This is still to-be-determined, but we will add application details when they become available.
Again, the cost of the digital nomad visa is still to-be-determined, but we will add details when they become available.