Digital Nomads

Zagreb for Digital Nomads: A Destination on the Rise

By 17 October 2021

October 17, 2021 - Word is getting out - Zagreb for digital nomads. A look at the rising popularity of the Croatian capital, recently featured in the top 5 most-liked cities in a Nomad List survey

It is almost 2 years since I wrote my first article on the potential of digital nomad tourism in Zagreb. Rereading Why Zagreb is Increasingly Attractive to a Growing Number of Digital Nomads 21 months later, it is interesting to note how much has changed, and how much has not changed. 

The ten key reasons cited back then all remain compelling reasons why digital nomads will find Zagreb to be attractive - its proximity to the Schengen border, excellent Engish language, safety, accessibility, affordability, a thriving tech scene, a great tourist destination, great food and wine, world-class medical tourism for your budget, and a relaxed cafe lifestyle.

And yet so much has changed.

When I wrote this article in January 2020, few people were very familiar with the digital nomad concept in Croatia. For this was before a certain Dutchman elevated the discussion to a national level by successfully inviting the Croatian Prime Minister, Andrej Plenkovic, to introduce a digital nomad visa for Croatia. Along with a number of initiatives, the introduction of the new permit on January 1, 2021 helped focus global attention on Croatia as a new DN hot spot. And while the initial expectation may have been that all nomads would be flocking to the coast, the fact is that there have been a growing number heading to Zagreb instead. 

And they are liking what they are finding. 

At this point, I should point out the role of the Zagreb Tourist Board. Together with Dubrovnik, Zagreb has been incredibly receptive and supportive of initiatives to promote Croatia as a DN destination. When I first pitched the idea of Zagreb Digital Nomad Week (ZDNW) back in June last year in partnership with Saltwater Nomads, the concept was agreed immediately, and had it not been for the pandemic, it would have taken place as part of Advent in Zagreb last year. 

In the event, Zagreb Digital Nomad Week took place in June, 7 days with 7 themes, in multiple locations all over the city. Although it was a hybrid event, several keynote speakers jumped at the chance to come to Zagreb and attend their first conference or public event in over a year.  Among them was Nimrod Dean Kuchel, an Israeli world traveller with his own DN community of 25,000 people.

His presentation, which you can see above, was one of the highlights of the week. And for a man who has visited over 100 countries in the last 8 years, his was a persepctive that I was keen to hear. Just how was Zagreb doing as a DN destination, and what was it missing?

"Zagreb ticks all the boxes," commented Dean at the end of the week. "The only thing missing here is more digital nomads."

To prove his affection for Zagreb and its potential was genuine, Dean was back a couple of months later as the official Zagreb Digital Nomad Ambassador for September.  An extension of ZDNW, the ambassador project, in partnership with Doma Zagreb Aparthotel, has been bringing in an international digital nomad for a month from July until December. 

Each ambassador comes from a different background and engages in Zagreb in a different way. Dean was extremely active, organising events with the Digital Nomad Facebook group which now numbers an impressive 7,000 members. At the end of his stay, Dean caught up with TCN before heading off to speak at the Budva Cross Border Coworking Conference earlier this month. 

For a man who can't stop travelling, he clearly was not so keen to leave. His reflections on the month in Zagreb are interesting, and they mirror some of the same messages coming from previous ambassadors - the outstanding English, safety, excellent WiFi, great coworking spaces, a green and very walkable city with a fantastic food and wine story, full of friendly locals and just a short drive to the coast. 


Veronica Mulhall, the first official Zagreb Digital Nomad Ambassador in July, had similar feelings. She loved the walkability of the city, often taking meetings on the phone, and deemed Zagreb the perfect training ground for her planned climb of Kilimanjaro. 


Both she and partner Julian fell in love with a city that they did not know anything about before Veronica applied. And now they are considering buying property in Zagreb and making it a part-time home. Julian also gave a very interesting interview, including his experiences in the city as a black tourist in the interview above. 


August brought Rudi Witkowsky from South Africa, who put Zagreb's gyms and outside spaces through its paces with his fitness regime. 

All these ambassadors have helped to add to a story which is growing nicely, and the wider Zagreb population is beginning to grasp the DN opportunity. Tanja Polegubic, CEO of Saltwater Nomads and the architect of Zagreb Digital Nomad Week, has noticed the progress. 

"Zagreb has really made a mark in 2021 as a digital nomad destination. The regular feedback I hear from digital nomads there is the sense of constant discovery - which is getting rarer these days. There's something happening everywhere you go, and a real diverse offer of food and entertainment. The Croatian capital really does win over many a remote worker's heart." 

Zagreb is well on the way to establishing itself as a leading DN destination not only in Croatia and the wider region, but also in Europe (it was the only European city in the top 5 Nomad List survey, for example). Here are just a sample of things that have happened to the Zagreb digital nomad story since that first article 21 months ago:


There is a really good energy in Zagreb at the moment, one which I think will only improve as more nomads discover it and add to the community. Why not come and visit and check it out?

For more news and features on digital nomads in Croatia, follow the dedicated TCN section.