Read our guide to find out everything you need to know about travel money in Croatia.
If you are travelling to Croatia, you’ll want some kuna, the national currency. Cash machines are widely available all over the country, and you can pay use your Visa or Mastercard card in most shops, supermarkets, cafes, restaurants, bars, hotels, hostels and when buying transport tickets.
The exchange rate for the kuna is fixed to the euro. The fixed rate allows the government to make kuna more expensive during the summer tourist season, which it does every year.
INTERESTING POINTS ABOUT TRAVEL MONEY GUIDE: CROATIA
- How much money do I need to bring to Croatia?
- Should it be a travel card, a debit card or a credit card?
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Compare travel cards for Croatia
How much money do I need to bring to Croatia?
Croatia is no longer the super-cheap holiday getaway it once was, but you can still expect to find lower prices than western Europe. During the summer season, along the coastal stretch, prices are much higher than they are during the rest of the year.
This can’t really be avoided, but if you are on a shoestring budget, you can still scrape by saying in hostels and cheap pensions. On the other hand, if you have cash to splash, Croatia is an excellent place to let loose and live a glamorous life, even for just a week.
|Basic costs||Midrange||A royal experience|
Hotel – £70 p.p.
4 Star Hotel – Double £100
|Basic meal at a small restaurant
|Meal at a midrange restaurant
|Walk around the city
|A local city bike tour
|Private sailing trip
*Prices are approximate and subject to change.
Exchange rate history
Over the past 12 months, on average, £1 would have got you about HRK9. 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.
|Year||Average annual exchange: British pound (GBP) to Croatian kuna (HRK)|
as of August 2017
Should it be a travel card, a debit card or a credit card?
You should have little trouble with Visa and Mastercard acceptance in Croatia. American Express is accepted in fewer places than Diners Club. If you want to avoid extra bank fees in Croatia, make use of a variety of cards and use each one for a specific purpose. For example, choose a card that does not charge 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.
A quick summary of travel money options in Croatia
|Travel money option||Pros||Considerations|
|Debit cards for travel||
|Prepaid travel money cards||
|Credit cards for travel||
This table is a general summary of the travel money products in the market. Features and benefits can vary between cards.
How travel money products work in Croatia
The best way to take travel money to Croatia is to use a card with low or no currency conversion fees and foreign ATM transaction charges fees that allows you to withdraw, spend and use the local currency, kuna.
Using prepaid travel cards
There are few travel cards which allow you to load, withdraw or spend kuna – one of them being the Post Office Travel Card.
- Tip: When you’re making a purchase over the counter with your card, if you’re asked whether you want to pay in sterling or kuna, always pay in the local currency. You’ll lose out on the exchange rate otherwise.
Using credit cards
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. However, 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.
- Tip: Some credit cards offer complimentary international travel insurance when you charge the cost of your travel ticket to your card.
Using traveller’s cheques
Don’t concern yourself with traveller’s cheques – this travel money product is more hassle than it’s worth in Croatia. Card payments are the norm in Croatia and card providers offer money back guarantees if you’re the victim of fraud. These features have made traveller’s cheques redundant.
Using an ATM in Croatia
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.
Paying with cash in Croatia
Since July 2013, Croatia has been an official part of the european Union, but it’s yet neither a part of the schengen agreement, which allows border-free passage between signatory states, or part of the . 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, especially in touristy areas, using euro cash rather than kuna will almost certainly leave you short-changed. 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. 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.
- Exchanging currency on the Islands. If you are heading to one of Croatia’s many beautiful islands, it is best to exchange foreign currency into the kuna on the mainland (or just use an ATM — operator fees apply). Tourist agencies and exchange offices are plentiful on the islands, but the rate is often unfavourable.
- For road-trippers. If you are arriving to Croatia by car, one of the first things you see once you cross the border will be exchange booths. Just change enough to get you to the nearest town unless you are absolutely sure of the exchange rate. Roadside exchange booths at border crossings are notorious for poor exchange rates. Even if you are arriving from neighbouring countries that don’t use euro, make sure you have euro to change. It is by far the most accepted foreign currency for exchange. You will be surprised at the unwillingness of exchange booths to accept Serbian Dinar on the Croatian/ Serbian border or Hungarian Forint on the Hungarian/Croatian border, for example. In emergency situations or if you don’t have kuna, euro cash always speaks loudest.
- For jet-setters. True for almost everywhere in the world: do not get your money changed at the airport. If you need cash, and don’t have kuna, just change a small amount to get you into town.
Getting familiar with Croatian kuna banknotes
Buying currency in the UK
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.
Why you’ll need a combination of travel money options
Taking a prepaid card is a good, safe option for your holiday, but it’s also worth taking some cash for small transactions such as bus journeys or snacks, as they may not take cards.Back to top