Work in Croatia | Everything you need to know
Croatian Kuna (kn)
Croatia for a few years has been a very famous holiday destination for Europeans. What attracts people the most are landscapes of mountains and coastline, hospitable nationals and of course delicious food. But have you ever wondered how it would be to live there on a daily basis? Why living and working in Croatia might be a good choice for you?
In case you would be interested in finding out more about perks offered by such a charming country as Croatia, read the article, it should solve most of your doubts.
Croatia is a scenic Balkan country which capital city is Zagreb. Its population of about 4.1 million lives in an area of 56 542km². Currency is Croatian kuna and you can write its symbol as HRK or kn. Official language used in the Republic of Croatia is Croatian. They have over 1 000 small islands along the extensive coastline which attracts thousands of tourists every year and many of them are uninhabited. Croatia has a temperate continental climate in the north, but the farther to the southern part you move, the stronger Mediterranean climate starts to take a lead. Summers are hot and springs and autumn tend to be mild.
5 Curiosities about Croatia
- Monumental Dubroving was a location of shooting productions like Game of Thrones or Star Wars
- In Zadar you can find huge pipe organs playing by the sea. Sit and listen while admiring the beautiful sunset view
- Many people know Nikola Tesla, not so many know that he was born in Croatia in a small village in mountainous region
- Iris is a national flower of Croatia
- Hvar island is the place with the most sunny hours per year in Europe. It’s almost 2 800!
Culture in Croatia
Croatian history might be called impressive and that may be the reason why almost every city and town has an historical center, however the prime example of coastal architecture is undoubtedly Dubrovnik. Except for breathtaking architecture, nature is also admired by locals, they are in real love with mountains and coastline of their motherland.
Even though Croatia in its current form was formed in 1991, it doesn’t change the fact that nationals are very proud of their history, folklore and traditions. They care a lot about their cultural heritage. Croatians have a collectivistic nature, they are loyal and hardworking people and even though they can be quite reserved at the beginning, after some time they will open up, especially if they hear you trying to speak their national language, which isn’t the easiest one. They will consider it as a sign of respect.
Never refer to Croatia as Yugoslavia, they hate it, same with comparing them to other former Yugoslavian countries, it’s better to avoid this topic in general. Another thing you should avoid is speaking about their relations with Serbia, these two aspects are very sensitive for nationals. If you have any critique about Croatia, better say it as a suggestion. Since Croatians are extremely proud of their country and customs, they might get mad if you express your negative opinion too much.
In a business environment, they appreciate being punctual and even though they like jokes on a daily basis, they are limiting them significantly during business meetings. First step of professional cooperation is always formal, only afterwards, after some time, they like to get to know their partners better.
Cuisine in Croatia
Croatian cuisine is quite diverse, with excellent ingredients owed to the location on the map. It’s not spicy and one of the most common known spices are peber, salt, paprika and vegeta. Croatians love oil and many even produce their own. Locals often produce wine and rakija as well, alcohol drinks you have to try being in Croatia. The coastal region is rich in truffles, admittedly, they are not as popular as Italian ones, however some say they have stronger aroma.
Croatia has mouthwatering seafood, various kinds of meat and ham, olives and delicious wines. There are the names of some of the traditional dishes served:
- Fuži and pljukanci
- Peka (or ispod čripnje)
- Brodetto (or brudet)
Work in Croatia
Croatia doesn’t differ so much from other european countries regards work policies, the working hours are 40 hours per week, 8 hours daily with 30min extra for lunch, each employee is entitled to 20 working days annual leave and sometimes the Saturdays count even if the company doesn’t work on saturday. The working culture in croatia is very professional, and the companies must follow the government regulations that tends to protect the employe regards discrimination, equity, wage levels and part-time employment and make sure each of them have all the benefits like health insurance or social security. Croatians are very welcoming, nice and warm people, and they speak english at a proficiency level. It’s not a surprise why so many expats choose Croatian as their destination to work abroad .
Work in Zagreb
Zagreb, the capital, is the center of the economy in Croatia, each conglomerate of companies in Croatia has its headquarters in this city. The leading sectors in the economy of Zagreb are electrical production, pharmaceutical and food and drink processing, however in the last year the technological sector is particularly growing along with many start-ups this is why it attracts so many expats.
Taxes in Croatia
Once in Croatia and you decide which city you’re going to live in, it’s important to register in the tax administration office (Porezna Uprava) in order to obtain your OIB number, this takes minutes depending on how busy the office is when you apply, you can check HERE the list of offices by city. After this you’re ready to start making contributions and your salary is registered to pay progresive taxes at the end of the fiscal year around 15% – 45% depending on your income.
Finding accommodation in Croatia
Since the tourism sector has started to develop efficiently, prices of properties have gone up. Fortunately, it is possible to rent an apartment or room in Croatia for a reasonable price, and for this solution most expats decide on Croatia while starting their life abroad.
A good idea is to look at websites with rental offers like njuskalo.hr. It’s a very popular Croatian platform with various advertisements, but there is a section about accommodation as well. Remember that looking for a place to stay usually is a struggle, especially when you have to do it remotely to a new country. That’s why it’s always good to start earlier, then you will have time to look at more offers and to make a wise choice. Join social media groups about accommodation in the place you are going to be. You can find there offers which maybe won’t be added to the websites, experiences and sometimes warnings from other expats. Both English and Croatian language groups are available.
Some people are looking for accommodation after arrival. Then you can read the local newspaper or go for a walk to see if there is something available, but you have to keep in mind that for the first few days or weeks you will have to take a hotel room or Airbnb, so don’t forget to include it into your budget then.
The most expensive is of course the capital city, however most expats decide to move there. Also more expensive locations are close to the centres of big cities.
Living cost in Croatia
Prices in Croatia are affordable for a typical expat. Costs of living won’t take all your salary and that’s good. Croatia is relatively cheaper than other European countries, but it’s still the 4th most expensive Eastern European country. Your biggest expense probably will be an accomodation.
Sometimes inconveniences can be public transport, even though it’s not expensive it’s also not as extensive as in other places in Europe. There are places where buses are driving irregularly, so you can always take a taxi, and then the entrance price is €2.66 and €0.66 for every kilometer.
See below what would cost you a beer in a pub or date in the cinema:
|Description||Cost in Euro|
|Public transport (single ticket)||1.33|
|Mobile rate (per one minute)||0.12|
|FItness club pass||34|
|Pint of local beer||2|
* Prices can vary depending on the neighbourhood, the number of people living in the apartment and facilities.
**Depends greatly on your diet and which shops you buy food and drinks from.
Expats in Croatia
Croatia is constantly growing and becoming more and more popular both for tourists and expats. Most internationals, deciding to start their journey with living and working abroad in Croatia chose the capital city – Zagreb, this is why you can see so many start ups and big businesses. In Croatia there’s a considerable community of expats and it’s very common to find groups on Facebook about them, coffee meetings are usual here and social gatherings even with locals, making it a very welcoming place for expats.
Where to Learn Croatian
English is commonly spoken in Croatia, especially by younger generations and in the business environment, but still, if you would like to bond your nearest future with this place, it’s good to know at least basics of language for everyday functioning.
There are few ways to learn Croatian, you can start before departure or when you will actually be there. Once a year the Central State Office for Croats Abroad offers free online language courses for internationals. It applies for A1 and A2 level and you can read more about it HERE. You can also look for courses online on your own, there are free as well as paid ones available. Or try to install an app for your phone, e.g. Duolingo, which will help you with everyday practice. It’s very convenient since you can learn wherever you want.
When you start your new life here, speak as much Croatian as you can! There are only benefits from it. Firstly, everybody knows practice makes perfect, secondly, nationals will appreciate your effort. It will help you make friends with Croatian people faster and will show your boss that you treat the place seriously.
For expats is important some key factors to decide moving to a new country, like languages, cost of living, the community and more, and we can say Croatia is a underrated country in that decision making, with candid warm people, a flourishing community of expats, relatively low cost of living and the english spoken level talked in the country, is just too nice to ignore. Don’t discard this beautiful country with beautiful mountains, coastal landscapes and vibrant architecture, and give it an opportunity to enjoy a new experience working abroad in Croatia.