Take a Starling Bank card to Croatia
- Download and apply for a current account in 3 minutes
- Order your card and get started
- No more admin, no more delays, no more fees
- Protected by the FSCS
- Instant notifications and payments
Whether you’re into medieval ramparts, breathtaking coastline or island-hopping adventures, Croatia is one of the most fashionable holiday destinations right now, and for good reason.
But before you jet off on your travels, you’ll need some travel money to take with you.
Kuna is the local currency, the exchange rate for which is fixed to the euro. This allows the government to make kuna more expensive during the summer tourist season, which it does every year.
Cash machines are widely available all over the country and Visa or Mastercard cards can be used in most shops, supermarkets, cafés, restaurants, bars, hotels, hostels and when buying transport tickets too.
However, while the traditional way of getting travel money is all well and good, there’s a range of digital apps that can make the process even simpler. These include Starling, Revolut and N26. If these new age solutions float your boat, you can read our guide to learn more about them. For the best way to get travel money for a trip to Croatia, though, stay right here for all the info.
It’s true that a holiday in Croatia is no longer as affordable as it once was, but you’ll still find it noticeably cheaper than the rest of Western Europe. If you’re travelling during summer, especially along the coastal stretch, expect to fork out more money than you would for a holiday during the rest of the year.
But if this can’t be avoided, there are other ways. If you’ve got a more modest budget, say if you’re travelling with friends, you could save on accommodation fees by staying in hostels and cheap hotels.
But on the other hand, if you have cash to splash, there’s no better place than Croatia to let loose and live that glamorous life, even for just a week…
Over the past 12 months, on average, £1 would have got you about HRK8.50. While it’s extremely difficult to predict where forex rates will move in the future, over the past couple of years rates have fluctuated between 8HRK and 10HRK.
In Croatia, you should have little trouble with Visa and Mastercard acceptance. American Express is accepted in some places, but not others, so make sure to bring an alternative form of payment with you.
If you want to avoid extra bank fees, make use of a variety of cards and use each one for a specific purpose. For example, choose a card that won’t charge you for currency conversion for over-the-counter payments and a different card for ATM withdrawals — even better if you can find a card that suits both purposes.
Now that you know what currency you’ll be needing and how much of it to take, find out whether to use debit and credit cards, traveller’s cheques, cash or prepaid cards on your trip.
Digital banking apps
Traveller’s cheques and cash
The best way to take travel money to Croatia is to use a card with low or no currency conversion fees, as well as one that won’t charge you foreign ATM transaction charges, meaning you can withdraw, spend and use the local currency, kuna, with ease.
There are few travel cards which allow you to load, withdraw or spend kuna – one of them being WeSwap.
Visa and Mastercard credit cards — the majority of cards issued in the UK — are widely accepted in Croatia. The currency conversion fee (or lack thereof) is what to look for.
There are a handful of credit cards which let you spend in another currency without paying the extra 3%. Check with your credit card provider to see if this is a favourable option for you. But be sure to watch out for cash advance fees and charges if you make a withdrawal on credit, it’s one of the most expensive ways to get cash.
Avoid traveller’s cheques if you can – this travel money product is more hassle than it’s worth in Croatia. Card payments are the norm and provide a money back guarantee if you’re the victim of fraud. These features have made traveller’s cheques redundant over the last few years.
ATMs, called bankomats, are easily found all over Croatia. Croatian ATMs use the four-digit PIN and chip system so all UK debit and credit cards will be easily accepted. If you are withdrawing a large sum of money, you may get stuck with large bills.
The 500 kuna, and even rarer 1,000 kuna will be tricky to change, especially from smaller coffee shops, bakeries and boutiques. If you find yourself stuck with larger notes, try getting them changed at a post office, or in the bank of the ATM you used to make the withdrawal.
Since July 2013, Croatia has been an official part of the European Union, but it’s not yet a part of the Schengen Agreement, which allows border-free passage between signatory states. That means that travellers to Croatia will need to be prepared to spend the Croatian local currency, kuna, during their travels.
While visitors will find that prices are often quoted in euros, and euros are widely accepted, using euro cash rather than kuna will almost certainly leave you short-changed. Our advice is to use kuna rather than euros, either by exchanging foreign currency, withdrawing from an ATM or by using credit or debit cards to make purchases.
Exchanging cash is a simple affair in Croatia. Exchange booths (Mjenjacnica), banks and post offices will change euros, American dollars, Australian dollars, Pounds, Serbian dinar, Hungarian forint and Swiss francs.
Post offices and banks are usually the most dependable places to get your money changed.
It’s worth getting a good exchange rate, as this will leave you with a little more to spend on your trip. Compare your options and make sure you’re getting the best exchange rate possible.
Taking a prepaid card is a good, safe option for your holiday, as is a debit card with no transaction or withdrawal fees, but it’s also worth taking some cash for small payments such as bus journeys or snacks, as they may not take cards.
finder.com is an independent comparison platform and information service that aims to provide you with the tools you need to make better decisions. While we are independent, the offers that appear on this site are from companies from which finder.com receives compensation. We may receive compensation from our partners for placement of their products or services. We may also receive compensation if you click on certain links posted on our site. While compensation arrangements may affect the order, position or placement of product information, it doesn't influence our assessment of those products. Please don't interpret the order in which products appear on our Site as any endorsement or recommendation from us. finder.com compares a wide range of products, providers and services but we don't provide information on all available products, providers or services. Please appreciate that there may be other options available to you than the products, providers or services covered by our service.