Updated: Feb 23
There’s a New Digital Nomad Visa For Croatia
Last Update: February 23, 2021
There was a time when we used to be astonished to see a foreigner in Split. Everyone knew the three tourists in the city by name. Even with COVID, we have more people visiting than back then. Then the tourist boom happened, and we loved it. Now, Croatia introduced a digital nomad visa, and more and more foreigners understand what we always knew — Split is a piece of heaven on earth. As the city’s digital nomad population is rapidly growing, so is the demand for information. Here’s all you need to know about living and working in Split:
The Term Digital Nomad
Every digital nomad dislikes the term digital nomad, but we haven’t found a better one, yet so I’m going to stick with it. A digital nomad is a person who makes their full-time income online and thus has the freedom to travel around the world. Many choose to stay in a selected country for up to a year. There are more and more digital nomads in recent years, especially after COVID-19, when the whole world moved their business online.
How To Start Your Life as a Digital Nomad in Split, Croatia
Split is accessible by plane, train (although the train needs an update), bus, car, boat, ferry, bike, whatever you like. Croatia’s geographical position is ideal for digital nomads because you are close to any part of Europe. Basically, any European country is, at most, a two-hour flight away. With budget companies, you can literally fly out to Spain for the weekend if you wish to do so.
Where to Stay in Split, Croatia
If you’re only here for a short visit, you’ll find tons of Airbnb’s in the city center. If you’re looking for a neighborhood close to the center but with a more local population, try Spinut, Manus, or Bol. These neighborhoods are all within five minutes of the center and quieter at night. The beauty of Split is that the city center is never more than a half an hour walk away, even if you’re staying in the suburbs. However, if you want to be in action 24/7, go with the center. There is something magical about waking up and stepping outside to Riva for a sunny day coffee. 90% of the time, it’s going to be a sunny day.
We are blessed with the weather here.
Weather in Split, Croatia
Winters here are mild, with January and February being the only two cold months. There is no snow (once in a blue moon, it snows, and it makes all the news), but there are strong winds that never last more than a couple of days. The “bura” wind is a cold little bitch that’ll slap you and spit on you while you’re down, and it finds a way through the thickest clothes. Luckily, the real cold strong bura doesn’t happen that often, and “bura” brings the sunny weather and good hair days (seriously).
“Jugo” is a warm wind that brings the rain, and you’ll hear locals sometimes refer to it as “juzina.” It causes headaches, cranky moods, and overall melancholy to the locals. But somehow, most foreigners are immune to it.
Some would argue that’s because they didn’t grow up with the placebo effect that “jugo” =headache and bad mood, but that won’t be me. After all, I also get cranky during jugo.
Spring and autumn (fall) are perfect, it’s always sunny, and the air is making love to you. Most of the time, you wonder how is it possible that such a perfect temperature exists?
Summer is incredible, but it can get really crowded and scorching. If you’re on the beach, you’re okay, but stay out of the sun from 11 am to 4 pm.
Visiting Split, Croatia
If you’re visiting Split and staying with a friend or a family member, you need to register at MUP (the central paperwork place you’ll see a lot of if you choose to stay) within 48 hours of your arrival. This is important because otherwise, you have to pay a fine. If you are in an Airbnb or hotel, your host will do it for you. As a tourist, you’re allowed to stay in Croatia for three months within six months.
Basically, what this means is if you were here for a month, within the next five months, you have the right to come back, but you have two months allowed in Croatia. If you were here for three months, without leaving the country, you have to leave for three months before you can come back.
Three months is enough to see all the tourist attractions and visit the must-see places, but most people want to stay more because there is one thing that keeps them glued to Croatia — the people.
Living In Split, Croatia — Digital Nomad Visa Requirements
So the weather, lifestyle and the people seduced you as we tend to do and you want to stay here longer. It’s better to make this decision before your three-month visa is up. You have a couple of options. The new digital nomad visa in Croatia is the latest. If you’re not a digital nomad but still wish to stay here, here’s the list of possible ways to stay from the Croatian Government website. Here is what we know about the digital nomad visa in Croatia as of right now:
You are eligible for the Digital Nomad visa if you’re a third-country national who works for or owns a company that is not registered in Croatia and has no Croatian employees.
You can only stay for one year and cannot extend.
Six months after the expiry of your temporary stay, you can re-apply
Close family members may join you and apply for a temporary stay for the purpose of family reunification.
How to Apply
Different rules apply whether you need a tourist visa to enter Croatia.
Citizens of countries that need the tourist visa to enter Croatia (you can find out if your country needs a tourist visa to enter Croatia here) submit an application in one of the Croatian diplomatic missions, and consular offices outside of Croatia. A list of available diplomatic missions and consular offices in your country can be found here.
Citizens of countries that don’t need a tourist visa to enter Croatia (citizens of the U.K., EU countries, the U.S., Canada, Australia, and New Zealand ) can submit their application at a diplomatic mission or consular posts in Croatia OR at the administration/police station near you. (In Split, that would be MUP)
Documents You’ll Need
All the copies need to be submitted in Croatian or English.
Copy of a valid travel document with the validity longer than three months after your visa expires
Proof of health insurance covering the Republic of Croatia (travel or private insurance apply, but you must show your health insurance covers the Republic of Croatia)
Contract of employment or copy of your own company’s registration proving your employment is not registered in the Republic of Croatia.
Proof of financial means — a bank statement showing regular income with the minimum of of 193,710.00 kuna (around 31,000 USD, 40,000 CAD, or 26,000 EUR) for 12 months. A third-country national regulating their temporary residence in Croatia as a digital nomad must have funds in the amount of at least 2.5 average monthly net salary amounts for the previous year.
Criminal record check from your country of birth or a country you resided in for more than one year before arriving in the Republic of Croatia authorized by a Croatian notary. You can read more about that here.
Your current address in the Republic of Croatia. Or an address of your intended stay (if you’re outside of Croatia).
After Your Approval
Citizens of countries that need the tourist visa to enter Croatia contact the diplomatic mission or consular post where you applied to obtain the residence permit to enter the Republic of Croatia or apply online, but it’s best to talk to the office beforehand on the best step for you.
Citizens of countries that don’t need a tourist visa to enter Croatia and are already in Croatia need to register their temporary residence address within 30 days of being granted the stay; otherwise, it will be revoked. If you are entering Croatia after being given a temporary stay, you have to register your address within 3 days. You can do so in your local administration/police station.
To register the address, you need the following:
Statement from the landlord or a title deed
Get your biometric residence permit (applies to both countries that need a tourist visa and those that don’t):
Provide photos and biometric data (such as fingerprints) in your local police station and pay the following fees:
For those applying outside of Croatia — fees are paid when applying:
HRK 420.00 (around 65 USD, 85 CAD, 55 EUR) for granting the temporary stay, and
HRK 460.00 (around 75 USD, 90 CAD, 60 EUR) for the visa, or
HRK 310.00 (around 50 USD, 65 CAD, 40 EUR) for the biometric residence card (check with the diplomatic mission/consular post about the possibility of obtaining the card).
For those applying in Croatia — fees are paid after the residence is granted:
HRK 350.00 (around 55 USD, 70 CAD, 45 EUR) for granting temporary stay, and
HRK 70.00 (around 11 USD, 14 CAD, 9 EUR) for administrative fees for the issuance of the biometric residence permit and
HRK 240.00 (around 40 USD, 50 CAD, 30 EUR) for the biometric residence card.
You will require a piece of paper called “uplatnica” for each of the fees where you’ll fill out the IBAN (an account number) of the Croatian government and pay the fees. The local police station people can explain this to you or a local Croatian friend.
Cost of Living in Split, Croatia
Accommodation prices vary depending on if you’re renting for the short term or long term, the neighborhood, and whether or not utilities are included. The average apartment can vary from 300 EUR for a one-bedroom city center apartment, and you can go all the way up to 1000 EUR, even more, if you’re looking to rent a huge house. You can find local listings on this website.
Most long term places don’t include utilities, and you’ll have to pay per usage. The average price of all utilities ranges in the 150–250 EUR/ month (you can live on less than that if you pay attention to your usage, for example, the electricity is cheaper after 9 pm).
The Internet is quite affordable, and there are many options for unlimited data for about 25 EUR/month. There is wi-fi everywhere you go.
Restaurant prices vary depending on the location, time of year, and type of restaurant, but the average meal in a mid-level restaurant is about 35–40 EUR with plenty of cheaper and more expensive options.
A grocery trip for a week for a single person is about 50–60 EUR. There are farmers markets, fish markets, and butchers where you can get your fresh season fruit, veggies, fish, and meat for a reasonable price.
For a detailed cost of living in Split, check out this website.
Things to do in Split, Croatia
Whether you’re staying for a day, a week, or even a year (yes, I wrote this with the Friends theme in my head), there are plenty of things to do. Plenty of people have done an itinerary, but here are the best to follow if you’re in Split:
One Day In Split Itinerary - your best guide for one day in Split
3 Day in Split - a little more extensive guide on places to see
Things to do in Split - what not to miss
Croatian Language Learning in Split, Croatia
Most Croatians speak English. However, it’s nice to know your way around in the local language if you choose to stay. You can get free lessons online or, if you’re really serious, you can apply for Croaticum — a school of language and culture. They offer free A1 and A2 courses online or more advanced paid ones in class.
Traveling Around Croatia
If you’re staying for a long time, explore the rest of Croatia. Some must-see places on your itinerary are:
Trogir — just 30 minutes away from Split, a small town with a massive history, the whole thing is a UNESCO protected territory.
Dubrovnik — the famous king's landing — in the high-season, the best way to go is with a catamaran straight to Dubrovnik (so you can skip the border with Bosnia). If you’re here in the offseason, take the catamaran to Korcula (also an excellent place to visit), hop on the small boat to Orebic. Take the bus to Dubrovnik from there. You’re welcome.
Sibenik and Zadar — two towns just north of Split definitely worth visiting. Zadar has the best sunsets in Croatia! Both are a few hours by bus.
National Parks — Plitvice and Krka just being the more famous ones, but there are more to see. Such as the mountain Velebit or Brijuni in Istria.
Islands — Croatia has over 1000 islands, and you won’t see them all, but you can definitely enjoy the best with one of the local sailing companies. Go all out with this fantastic charter company or have a more intimate experience and learn how to sail.
Some of the islands you have to see around Split are: — Brac (the one with the famous golden shoehorn beach), Hvar (the one with all the parties), Vis (the remote one with all the nature and history), Korcula (another long history and wine place)
Zagreb — Croatia’s capital, is a worthy stop on your itinerary and a great visit to experience life in a European capital.
Istria — the whole province of Istria is gorgeous. The wine, nature, and the beautiful coast are an excellent way to spend a week or two. See Pula (it has the second biggest colosseum globally, you know the first), Rovinj, Rijeka, and the small hill town Motovun.
Here are the best itineraries for the rest of the cities: Zagreb, Zadar, and Dubrovnik.
Best Places to Work in Split, Croatia
Every digital nomad needs an adequate coworking space. Here are a few excellent working spaces in Split:
Saltwater Nomads Coworking Space is located in the city center and a very popular digital nomad work space in Split.
Atmosfera Coworking Space is just outside of city center with an affordable monthly fee.
Cukarin is a cafe near the center that has been around for ages with great coffee, desserts and a lot of space.
Procaffe is the gorgeous cafe near Marjan hill with a fantastic view and magnificent decor.
Elipso is a small local bar with fantastic prices and fast wi-fi.
Meet The Digital Nomads in Split, Croatia
Split is a trending spot in the ever-changing lifestyles of digital nomads. If you are just getting to know the city connecting with other digital nomads in Split is beneficial in every way. You can join Facebook groups such as Expats in Split and Digital nomads in Croatia for more information.
Sign up to the email list at the bottom of the page and get all the latest updates, news, and latest digital nomads profiles in Split.
Other Cool Things To Know When You’re In Split, Croatia
Hajduk is everything — the local football/soccer club is a lifestyle Split residents have been following for over a hundred years. As soon as you arrive, you’ll notice the representation on every single wall available. There is nothing better to get you in with the local crowd than going to see a game, whether in a bar or, even better, live.
Coffee culture is a lifestyle — people of Split love to sit on the patios and drink coffee for hours. This is a time for philosophical conversations and a time to gossip. Since the bars are currently closed, and the weather is still good, everyone switched to the street, but the coffee culture never dies.
You will get stared at — it’s not because no one has seen foreigners. It’s because we’re looking at what you’re wearing or if we know you. You’ll get numb to it.
After a month here you’ll run into the same people all the time — it seems like a bigger city, but it’s a small town. Be careful not to get into too much personal drama — everyone knows everything about everyone here.
Locals are welcoming — if you’re not pretentious — I’ve talked to so many digital nomads and tourists over the past few years, and I’ve noticed a pattern. Friendly and polite people love the locals. People that come with an attitude like this is a “lesser” country in any way (or they come from a “better” country) say the locals are not very approachable. Locals here work on the “you get what you give” attitude. You’re nice to us — we are ten times nicer to you. You’re not… we’re just as polite as we need to be.
There are bike stations around the city — and you can ride the bikes for free every day for 30 minutes.
Everyone is dressed up all the time — forget your yoga pants. — First thing you’ll notice on a sunny day on Riva is how underdressed you are. This city is a fashion show.