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10 Best Cities in Croatia for Digital Nomads

10 Best Cities in Croatia for Digital Nomads

In January 2021, Croatia launched its digital nomad visa, opening the doors for remote workers to spend longer in this beautiful country. It’s no surprise that the digital nomad community rejoiced; I certainly did. You see, Croatia is stunning, and there are so many experiences to enjoy; it’s no wonder so many people are researching the best cities in Croatia for digital nomads.

As a remote worker in Croatia, you’ll be spoiled for choice every single day. Amazing food, friendly locals, stunning natural sights, and plenty of history. Oh, and the beaches – do not forget about the beaches. It’s also a pretty affordable location compared to many other European cities, with great coworking opportunities.

I spent several months living in Croatia, mainly Split, Dubrovnik, and Korčula, but I moved around a fair amount. From my amazing experiences, I’m pretty well-placed to advise you on the best spots to head to as a digital nomad. I can tell you now that there really isn’t a bad choice to be made here, it’s more about the area that calls out to you most.

Best Cities in Croatia for Digital Nomads

When you first look at a map of Croatia, you’re going to find yourself in a dilemma—there are so many places to choose from; but as I’ve mentioned, the good news is that none of them are a bad idea. Let’s explore ten of the best cities in Croatia where digital nomads have it made.

1. Split

Without a doubt, Split is one of the best cities in Croatia for digital nomads; you won’t struggle to meet other like-minded people here. The beaches are stunning, and the general vibe around the city is somehow chilled-out but vibrant at the same time. It’s not lacking in history and culture either: walking through Diocletian’s Palace every day is quite something.

I found the city to be pretty affordable but you do need to think about staying outside the central reaches. There are several great quality coworking spaces and plenty of cafes to spend your working days. I particularly enjoyed Smartspace as a spot for working and collaborating, with affordable passes and a comfortable environment.

Nightlife in Split is a combination of laid-back and vibrant, so no matter what kind of evening you’re after, you’ll be sure to find it. Internet in Split is also high quality (average download speed of 71.18 Mbps and upload speed of 19.62 Mbps according to Speedtest) so it’s easy to keep productivity high.

2. Dubrovnik

Dubrovnik croatia

Dubrovnik is definitely a contender for the best city in Croatia, but it can get extremely busy during the summer months. For that reason, the shoulder months of April to June and September to October are great times to visit. The winter months are calm and charming but you’ll find most of the city closes until the following summer.

It’s a good idea to avoid the Old Town when looking for accommodation and instead opt for the suburbs, such as Babin Kuk and Lapad. You can find a furnished apartment in one of these areas for around €530 ($570) per month with utilities on top. Public transport into the Old Town is easy and affordable.

As Dubrovnik is mostly a touristic town, you’ll find plenty to see and do, including the famous city walls. There aren’t currently any coworking spaces here, but there are more than enough cafes; Buzz Cafe & Bar was one of my favorites. I never had any issues with the internet in Dubrovnik either, making it the ideal place to work and sightsee during the summer.

3. Zagreb

Zagreb

Many digital nomads head to the capital, Zagreb, and it’s definitely one of the best cities in Croatia for sightseeing and day-to-day life. You’ll find a more authentic vibe here, away from the coastal beach towns. It’s also an affordable base to travel from and see the rest of the country during the summer months.

You can find a furnished apartment outside of the city center for around €450 ($480), and there are many coworking spaces to use; I visited Impact Hub several times and met a lot of other remote workers. The internet in Zagreb is also fast, with upload and download speeds of 44.99 and 110.94 Mbps respectively.

There are many amazing places to see around Zagreb, and Plitvice Lakes National Park is only two hours away. The city itself is vibrant, with great nightlife and shopping opportunities. You’ll find a traditional feel in many parts of the city, and there are some great restaurants serving traditional Croatian food, so you can really immerse yourself in the culture.

4. Zadar

crotia sea organ

Beautiful Zadar is one of the best cities in Croatia for digital nomads who want to enjoy time by the sea but with a city vibe. I really enjoyed Zadar, and it’s a great place to network and collaborate with other DNs. The traditional vibe blends well with chilled-out nightlife and amazing natural sights.

Zadar has some great coworking spaces, including Code Hub and COIN Coworking, which offer fast internet and affordable membership. The cost of living in Zadar is on par with Zagreb; I stayed in the Kolovare Beach area and found accommodation for around €450 ($470) per month. It’s also easy to shop for fresh produce and cook at home, which will definitely bring down your monthly bills.

Spending time enjoying the beach and checking out free attractions such as the Sea Organ make Zadar a cost-effective choice. Nightlife here is laid-back, but there are plenty of lively bars in the summer months. For me, Zadar is a great choice of middle-ground; you can go full touristic if you want to, or you can retreat to the more traditional side of things.

5. Hvar Town

split ferry croatia

The island of Hvar is a popular spot for tourists during the summer, but Hvar Town itself is becoming a digital nomad hotspot. This port town offers a relaxing island vibe but fantastic nightlife whenever you want it. I met many other remote workers in Hvar Town and it’s somewhere I intend to return to.

If you’re looking for the best coworking space in Croatia, you won’t find it in Hvar Town; they simply don’t exist currently. However, there are some fantastic cafes to work from—Kava37 was my go-to for fantastic coffee and a productive space. I didn’t have any major problems with the internet in Hvar Town, but I did notice it was a little slower than in Zadar and Split.

Outside of the summer months (May to October) you’ll notice that life in Hvar Town is a lot quieter and many places close. So long as you don’t mind a lack of others, you’ll get to experience a more authentic way of life. Despite the quieter period, regular ferries over to Split are available all year round. Most remote workers choose to stay during the shoulder and summer months only, so accommodation costs are lower during the winter.

6. Pula

Pula Arena croatia

The Istrian city of Pula is a great spot for a remote worker in Croatia. I spent a lot of time here, and I really enjoyed the natural setting and laid-back vibe. There’s a lot of history to explore, including Pula Arena, but my favorite activity was the farmers market, with amazing local produce on offer—this is a real foodie’s city.

The cost of living in Pula is comparable to the rest of the country, and there are plenty of markets to purchase fresh food. There aren’t any coworking spots in Pula to write about yet, but you’ll find plenty of suitable cafes, including Cafe Cinderella, which has super-fast internet and comfortable chairs. You’ll find many other remote workers using cafes around the city; they offer great opportunities to meet other people.

Pula is an ideal spot for nature and food lovers and it’s easy to work from too. Internet speeds are standard, at around 47.85 Mbps for downloads and uploads at 1924 Mbps – I never struggled with Wifi in Pula. I also found the more natural atmosphere quite inspiring, and it’s a relaxing spot to chill out.

7. Rijeka

Kostanj Bay croatia

Rijeka offers a wonderful mix of touristic fun and authentic Croatian life. It is a medium-sized city that sits on the shores of the Adriatic, and there are some beautiful beaches to enjoy and great natural spots—Postojna Cave is a must-visit. Trsat Castle is the crowning glory that gives a cultural and traditional feel to the city.

The digital nomad lifestyle in Rijeka is pretty laid-back, but you won’t struggle to find other remote workers to connect with. It’s possible to find an apartment away from the beach for around €420 ($450), and there are many great value city center Airbnbs to check out. Eating out in Rijeka can be a little pricey, so it’s a good idea to shop at the local markets and cook your meals at home.

There are a few coworking spaces in Rijeka, with RiHub being the most popular. Unlike Split which has many spaces to work from, Rijeka offers more of a cafe vibe, but the internet is strong and comparable to other Croatian cities. If you’re looking for an alternative spot to the larger cities, such as Zagreb and Split, Rijeka is a great choice.

8. Osijek

craft beer festival

Many digital nomads in Croatia are choosing to head to Osijek, a lesser-known city that offers culture and a more traditional way of life. I visited Osijek once during my time in Croatia, and I thought it was a charming city with affordable living opportunities for remote workers. There are also plenty of events that take place throughout the year, such as the Craft Beer Festival.

Osijek is pretty up-and-coming and there’s only one main coworking space to date, Bios Inkubator, but that means you’ll likely meet people of other like-minded people there. However, the internet in the city is good, with download and upload speeds of 66.19 and 29.04 Mbps respectively. You’ll also find plenty of great cafes to work from, such as San Francisco Coffee House.

Overall, if you’re looking for a place to stay that’s off the tourist route, Osijek is a great choice with a more traditional vibe. Because it’s less known than some of the other cities, it’s also more affordable and you’ll enjoy a more authentic experience.

9. Korčula

beach bar

I spent a lot of time on Korčula island, and it’s somewhere I’d love to return to. The laid-back vibe, the friendly people, and the island’s beauty are just off the scale. It’s also a place where many digital nomads head to, and it’s really easy to have productive days with opportunities to sightsee when you’re done.

The best cities in Croatia offer countless coworking opportunities and a faster pace of life, but I loved Korčula’s easygoing speed. I found the island to be affordable, although it is a tourist area so if you stay close to the beach, you’ll pay more. There are many Airbnbs around, and I stayed in Medvinjak, which is a short bus ride from the Old Town.

There are a few coworking spaces available, including Gradac Coworking, which I used a few times. As far as the social element is concerned, nightlife in Korčula is whatever you want it to be, which is something I appreciate. There are plenty of beachside bars and restaurants, clubs, and more laid-back cocktail spots to socialize with new friends.

10. Cavtat

Cavtat croatia

The most southern beach resort in Croatia is Cavtat, which is located around 20km away from bustling Dubrovnik. I loved the calm vibe in Cavtat, and if you want to be close to Dubrovnik but aren’t keen on paying high rental prices, or you want to avoid crowds, this is a great choice.

The beaches here are stunning, and Žal is one of my favorites. I found Cavtat to be a lot more cultural than some other resorts, with plenty of small museums and events held throughout the year; the Summer Festival in July is a must-do. Cavtat is also a lot more affordable than Dubrovnik, and you can find an apartment away from the beach for around €500 ($540).

There aren’t any coworking spaces in Cavtat currently, but there are tons of waterside cafes, such as Caffe Bar Delfin. I never struggled with the internet in Cavtat, and I found it a charming place to stay for a while, with a small yet thriving digital nomad scene.

Best Cities in Croatia for Digital Nomads: FAQs

Here are some answers to the most commonly asked questions about the best cities in Croatia for digital nomads:

What is Croatia known for?

Croatia is known for its stunning beaches, history, culture, and friendly locals. Dubrovnik is one of its most famous destinations, made even more so as a filming site for Game of Thrones.

When is the best time to visit Croatia?

The best time to visit Croatia is between April and October. This is the main tourist season when everything is open and the weather is glorious. However, the winter months offer a more traditional experience for those seeking culture and authenticity.

Is Croatia worth visiting?

Yes! Croatia is 100% worth visiting, and it’s become extremely popular over the last few years. You won’t struggle to pack your time with amazing things to see and do, and the beaches are breathtaking.

Can you be a digital nomad in Croatia?

Croatia launched its digital nomad visa in January 2021, allowing digital nomads to work in the country for up to one year. However, this cannot currently be extended once the year is finished.

Is Croatia safe?

Aside from the usual tourist pickpocketing scams in large cities, Croatia is a safe country to visit. Of course, you should always use your common sense no matter where you are, but in general, Croatia doesn’t have a high-risk label.

Does Croatia have a digital nomad visa?

Yes, Croatia has a digital nomad visa which allows remote workers to stay for up to one year. More information can be found here.

Where do most expats live in Croatia?

Most expats choose to live on the coast, with Dubrovnik, Split, Zadar, and Rijeka popular choices. However, Zagreb, the capital, is also where you will find a large expat community, especially during the winter months.

What’s the best coworking space in Croatia?

There are many top coworking spaces in Croatia, but Hub385 in Zagreb, Smartspace in Split, and COIN Coworking in Zadar are all top options. Aside from coworking spaces, there are some great cafes to spend a few productive hours with great coffee and snacks.

In Closing

No matter where you choose to go in Croatia, I’m sure you’ll have the best possible experience, just as I did. It’s a country that definitely has my heart and with the new digital nomad visa in place, it’s now easier than ever before to work and explore this beautiful part of the world and all it has to offer.

Now you know the best cities in Croatia for digital nomads, your planning can begin. Perhaps you’ll choose to move around and spend time in different places, but whatever you choose, you’ll find that Croatia is more than welcoming, extremely beautiful, and will provide you with memories like nowhere else.

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