Friday, 19 February 2021

People also ask Google: What is Croatia Famous For?

February 19, 2021 – What is Croatia Famous For?

People outside of the country really want to know more about Croatia. They search for answers online.

Here, we'll try to answer the popular search terms “What is Croatia famous for?” and “What is Croatia known for?”

Most of the people looking for answers to these questions have never been to Croatia. They may have been prompted to ask because they're planning to visit Croatia, they want to come to Croatia, or because they heard about Croatia on the news or from a friend.

What Croatia is known for depends on your perspective. People who live in the country sometimes have a very different view of what Croatia is famous for than the rest of the world. And, after visiting Croatia, people very often leave with a very different opinion of what Croatia is known for than before they came. That's because Croatia is a wonderful country, full of surprises and secrets to discover. And, it's because internet searches don't reveal everything. Luckily, you have Total Croatia News to do that for you.

What is Croatia known for?

1) Holidays


Croatia is best known globally as a tourist destination. Catching sight of pictures of the country online is enough to make almost anyone want to come. If you've heard about it from a friend, seen the country used in a TV show like Game of Thrones or Succession, or watched a travel show, your mind will be made up. Following such prompts, it's common for Croatia to move to first place on your bucket list. If it's not already, it should be, There are lots of reasons why Croatia is best known for holidays (vacations).

a) Islands


What is Croatia famous for? Islands © Mljet National Park

Within Croatia's tourist offer, its most famous aspect is its islands. Croatia has over a thousand islands - 1246 when you include islets. 48 Croatian islands are inhabited year-round, but many more come to life over the warmer months. Sailing in Croatia is one of the best ways to see the islands, and if you're looking for a place for sailing in the Mediterranean, Croatia is the best choice because of its wealth of islands. These days, existing images of Croatia's islands have been joined by a lot more aerial photography and, when people see these, they instantly fall in love.

b) Beaches

What is Croatia famous for? Its holidays are famous for their beaches © Szabolcs Emich

Croatia has 5835 kilometres of coastline on the Adriatic Sea - 1,777.3 kilometres of coast on the mainland, and a further 4,058 kilometres of coast around its islands and islets. The Croatian coast is the most indented of the entire Mediterranean. This repeated advance and retreat into the Adriatic forms a landscape littered with exciting, spectacular peninsulas, quiet, hidden bays, and some of the best beaches in the world. There are so many beaches in Croatia, you can find a spot to suit everyone. On the island of Pag and in the Zadar region, you'll find beaches full of young people where the party never stops. Elsewhere, romantic and elegant seafood restaurants hug the shoreline. Beach bars can range from ultra-luxurious to basic and cheap. The beaches themselves can be popular and full of people, facilities, excitement and water sports, or they can be remote, idyllic, and near-deserted, accessible only by boat. Sand, pebble, and stone all line the perfectly crystal-clear seas which are the common feature shared by all.

c) Dubrovnik

What is Croatia famous for? Dubrovnik © Ivan Ivanković

As a backdrop to Game Of Thrones and movies from franchises like Star Wars and James Bond, Dubrovnik is known all over the world. Everybody wants to see it in person, and that's why it's an essential stop-off for so many huge cruise ships in warmer months. But, Dubrovnik's fame did not begin with the invention of film and television. The city was an autonomous city-state for long periods of time in history, and Dubrovnik was known all over Europe – the famous walls which surround the city of Dubrovnik are a testament to a desire to maintain its independent standing for centuries while living in the shadow of expanding, ambitious empires.

d) Heritage

What is Croatia famous for? Heritage. Pula amphitheatre is one of the best-preserved Roman amphitheatres in the world

The walled city of Dubrovnik is just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to Croatia's rich architectural and ancient heritage. Diocletian's Palace in Split is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and still the living, breathing centre of life in the city (that people still live within it and it is not preserved in aspic is one of its most charming features and no small reason for its excellent preservation).

Having existed on the line of European defence against the Ottoman empire, Croatia also has many incredible fortresses and castles. The fortresses of Sibenik are well worth seeing if you're visiting Sibenik-Knin County and its excellent coast. A small number of Croatia's best castles exist on the coast, Rijeka's Trsat and Nova Kraljevica Castle is nearby Bakar being two of them. Most of Croatia's best and prettiest castles are actually located in its continental regions which, compared to the coast, remain largely undiscovered by most international tourists.

Many spectacular castles in the country's continental regions are, for these parts, what is Croatia famous for

Pula amphitheatre (sometimes referred to as Pula Arena) is one of the largest and best-preserved Roman amphitheatres in the world. A spectacular sight year-round, like Diocletian's Palace, it remains a living part of the city's life, famously hosting an international film festival, concerts by orchestras, opera stars, and famous rock and pop musicians. Over recent years, it has also played a part in the city's music festivals.

e) Music Festivals

What is Croatia famous for? Music festivals © Khris Cowley

There is a very good reason why the city of Pula leapt massively up the list of most-researched online Croatian destinations over the last decade. It played host to two of the country's most famous international music festivals. Though the music at some of these can be quite niche, the global attention they have brought to the country is simply massive. Clever modern branding and marketing by the experienced international operators who host their festivals in Croatia mean that millions of young people all over the world have seen videos, photos and reviews of Croatia music festivals, each of them set within a spectacular backdrop of seaside Croatia.

f) Plitvice Lakes and natural heritage

What is Croatia Famous For? Plitvice Lakes, national parks and natural heritage

Known for its chain of 16 terraced lakes and gushing waterfalls, Plitvice Lakes is the oldest, biggest and most famous National Park in Croatia. Everybody wants to see it. And many do. But that's not the be-all and end-all of Croatia's stunning natural beauty. Within the country's diverse topography, you'll find 7 further National Parks and 12 Nature Parks which can be mountain terrain, an archipelago of islands, or vibrant wetlands.

2) Football

What is Croatia famous for? Football. Seen here, Luka Modric at the 2018 World Cup © Светлана Бекетова

The glittering international careers of Croatian footballers Luka Modrić, Ivan Rakitić, Ivan Perišić, Mario Mandžukić, and others have in recent years advertised Croatia as a factory of top-flight footballing talent. They helped put Croatia football on the map with fans of European football. Football fans in Croatia have a very different perception of just how famous Croatian football is to everyone else in the world. If you talk to a Croatian fan about football, it's almost guaranteed that they will remind you of a time (perhaps before either of you were born) when their local or national team beat your local or national team in football. 99% of people will have no idea what they are talking about. The past occasions which prompt this parochial pride pale into insignificance against the Croatian National Football Team's achievement in reaching the World Cup Final of 2018. This monumental occasion brought the eyes of the world on Croatia, extending way beyond the vision of regular football fans. Subsequently, the internet exploded with people asking “Where is Croatia?”

Sports in general are what is Croatia known for


Croatians are enthusiastic about sports and engage in a wide number of them. The difference in perception between how Croats view the fame this gets them and the reality within the rest of the world is simply huge. Rowing, basketball, wrestling, mixed martial arts, tennis, handball, boxing, waterpolo, ice hockey, skiing and volleyball are just some of the sports in which Croatia has enthusiastically supported individuals and local and national teams. Some of these are regarded as minority sports even in other countries that also pursue them. Croatians don't understand this part. If you say to a Croatian “What is handball? I never heard of that,” they will look at you like you are crazy or of below-average intelligence.

3) Zagreb

What is Croatia famous for? Its capital city Zagreb is becoming increasingly better known

Over relatively recent years, the Croatian capital has skyrocketed in terms of fame and visitor numbers. Tens of thousands of people from all over the world now come to visit Zagreb each year. Its massive new success can be partly attributed to the rising popularity of international tourism in some areas of Asia (and Zagreb being used as a setting for some television programmes made in some Asian countries) and the massive success of Zagreb's Advent which, after consecutively attaining the title of Best European Christmas Market three times in a row, has become famous throughout the continent and further still. Zagreb's fame is not however restricted to tourism. Zagreb is known for its incredible Austro-Hungarian architecture, its Upper Town (Gornji Grad) and the buildings there, an array of museums and city centre parks and as home to world-famous education and scientific institutions, like to Ruder Boskovic Institute and the Faculty of Economics, University of Zagreb.

4) Olive oil

What is Croatia famous for? Olive oil

Croatian olive oil is the best in the world. Don't just take out word for it! Even the experts say so. In 2020, leading guide Flos Olei voted Istria in northwest Croatia as the world's best olive oil growing region for a sixth consecutive year. Olive oil production is an ancient endeavour in Croatia, and over hundreds of years, the trees have matured, and the growers learned everything there is to know. Olive oil is made throughout a much wider area of Croatia than just Istria, and local differences in climate, variety, and soil all impact the flavour of the oils produced. Croatian has no less than five different olive oils protected at a European level under the designation of their place of origin. These and many other Croatian olive oils are distinct and are among the best you're ever likely to try.

5) There was a war here

What is Croatia famous for? A relatively recent war left its mark on the country © Modzzak

Under rights granted to the republics of the former Yugoslavia and with a strong mandate from the Croatian people, gained across two national referendums, Croatia declared its independence from Yugoslavia in 1991. Yugoslavia was a multi-ethnic country, with each republic containing a mixture of different ethnicities and indeed many families which themselves were the product of mixed ethnicities. Ethnic tensions and the rise of strong nationalist political voices in each of the former republics and within certain regions of these countries lead to a situation where war became inevitable. The worst of the fighting was suffered within Croatia, Bosnia, and Herzegovina and the part of southern Serbia which is now Kosovo. The Croatian War of Independence (known locally as the Homeland War) lasted from 1991 – 1995. The Yugoslav wars of which it was a major part is regarded as the deadliest conflict in Europe since World War II. In many cases, this war pitted neighbouring houses or neighbouring villages against each other and sometimes members of the same family could be found on opposing sides. The war left huge damage on the country and its infrastructure, some of which is still visible. Worse still, it had a much greater physical and psychological impact on the population. Some people in Croatia today would rather not talk about the war and would prefer to instead talk about the country's present and future. For other people in Croatia, the war remains something of an obsession. If you are curious about the Croatian War of Independence, it is not advisable to bring it up in conversation when you visit the country unless you know the person you are speaking with extremely well. It is a sensitive subject for many and can unnecessarily provoke strong emotions and painful memories. There are many resources online where you can instead read all about the war, there are good documentary series about it on Youtube and there are several museums in Croatia where you can go and learn more, in Vukovar, Karlovac and in Zagreb.

6) Wine

What is Croatia famous for? Its wine is some of the best you'll ever try © Plenković

Croatia is not really that famous for wine. Well, not as famous as it should be because Croatia makes some of the greatest wine on the planet. Croatian wine is only really famous to those who have tried it after visiting – you'll never forget it! A growing cabal of Croatian wine enthusiasts are trying their best internationally to spread the word about Croatian wine. However, there isn't really that much space in Croatia to make all the wine it needs to supply its homegrown demands and a greatly increased export market. Therefore, export prices of Croatian wine are quite high and even when it does reach foreign shores, these prices ensure its appreciation only by a select few. There's a popular saying locally that goes something like this “We have enough for ourselves and our guests”. Nevertheless, Croatian wine is frequently awarded at the most prestigious international competitions and expos. White wine, red wine, sparkling wine, cuvee (mixed) and rose wine are all made here and Croatia truly excels at making each. You can find different kinds of grape grown and wine produced in the different regions of Croatia. The best way to learn about Croatian wine is to ask someone who really knows about wine or simply come to Croatia to try it. Or, perhaps better still, don't do that and then there will be more for those of us who live here. Cheers!

7) Croatian produce

Drniš prsut
is protected at a European level, one of 32 products currently protected in this way and therefore what is Croatia famous for © Tourist Board of Drniš

To date, 32 agricultural and food products from Croatia have attained protection at a European level. These range from different prosciuttos, olive oils and Dalmatian bacon, to pastries and pastas, honey, cheese, turkeys, lamb, cabbages, mandarins, salt, sausages, potatoes and something called Meso 'z tiblice (which took a friend from the region where it's made three days to fully research so he could explain it to me at the levels necessary to write an informed article about it – so, you can research that one online). While some prosciutto, bacon, sausages, olive oil and wine do make it out of Croatia, much of these are snaffled up by a discerning few of those-in-the-know. The rest, you will only really be able to try if you visit. And, there are many other items of Croatian produce which are known which you can also try while here


What is Croatia known for? Truffles © Donatella Paukovic

By weight, one of the most expensive delicacies in the world, truffles are a famous part of the cuisine within some regions of Croatia. They feature heavily in the menu of Istria, which is well known as a region in which both white and black truffles are found and then added to food, oils or other products. Truth be told, this isn't a black and white issue - there are a great number of different types of truffle and they can be found over many different regions in Croatia, including around Zagreb and in Zagreb County. But, you'll need to see a man about a dog if you want to find them yourself.


What is Croatia known for? Vegeta

Having celebrated its 60th birthday in 2019, the cooking condiment Vegeta is exported and known in many other countries, particularly Croatia's close neighbours. It is popularly put into soups and stews to give them more flavour. Among its ingredients are small pieces of dehydrated vegetables like carrot, parsnip, onion, celery, plus spices, salt and herbs like parsley.


What is Croatia known for? Chocolate is a big export© Alexander Stein

Though making chocolate is only around a century old in Croatia, Croatian chocolate has grown to become one of its leading manufactured food exports. Some of the most popular bars may be a little heavy on sugar and low on cocoa for more discerning tastes. But, lots of others really like it.


What is Croatia famous for? Its beer is becoming more famous internationally © The Garden Brewery

The exploding growth of the Croatian craft ale scene over the last 10 years is something that is likely to have passed you by, unless you're a regular visitor to the country, a beer buff or both. Most of the producers are quite small and production not great enough to make a big splash on international markets. However, even within a craft-flooded current market, Croatian beer is becoming more widely known – in one poll, the Zagreb-based Garden Brewery was in 2020 voted Europe's Best Brewery for the second consecutive year

8) Innovation

What is Croatia famous for? Pioneers, inventors and innovation. Nikola Tesla was born here

From the parachute, fingerprinting, the retractable pen and the tungsten filament electric light-bulb to the torpedo, modern seismology, the World Health Oganisation and the cravat (a necktie, and the precursor to the tie worn by many today), Croatia has gifted many innovations to the world. The list of pioneers - scientists, artists, researchers and inventors - who were born here throughout history is long. And, although innovation is not currently regarded as experiencing a golden period in Croatia, there are still some Croatian innovators whose impact is felt globally, such as electric hypercar maker Mate Rimac.

9) Being poor

What is Croatia famous for? Being poor. Yikes!

The minimum wage in Croatia is among the lowest in Europe. Croatian language media is constantly filled with stories about corruption. There is a huge state apparatus in which key (if not most) positions are regarded to be politically or personally-motivated appointments. This leads to a lack of opportunity for Croatia's highly educated young people. Many emigrate for better pay and better opportunities. This leads to a brain drain and affects the country's demographics considerably (if it usually the best educated, the ablest and the youngest Croatian adults who emigrate). Many of those who stay are influenced by the stories of widespread corruption and lack of opportunity and are therefore lethargic in their work, leading to a lack of productivity. A considerable part of the Croatian economy is based on tourism which remains largely seasonal.

10) People want to live in Croatia

What is Croatia famous for? People want to come and live here. No, really.

Yes, despite many younger Croatians leaving or dreaming of leaving and despite the low wages, many people who are not from Croatia dream about living here. Of course, it's an all too familiar scenario that you go on holiday somewhere and while sitting at a seafood restaurant in sight of a glorious sunset, having had a few too many glasses of the local wine, you fall in love with Miguel or however the waiter is called who served it and Miguel's homeland. But, with Croatia, this is actually no passing fancy, no idle holiday dream. People do decide to move here. And not just for the sunset and Miguel (nobody in Croatia is called Miguel - Ed).

Croatia may be known for being poor, but it also has one of the best lifestyles in Europe. That it's cafe terraces are usually full to capacity tells you something about the work to living ratio. Croatians are not just spectators of sport, many enjoy a healthy lifestyle. This informs everything from their pastimes to their diet. There are great facilities for exercise and sport, wonderful nature close by whichever part of the country you're in. You can escape into somewhere wonderful and unknown at a moment's notice. The country is well connected internally by brilliant roads and motorways, reliable intercity buses and an international train network. The tourism industry ensures that multiple airports across Croatia can connect you to almost anywhere you want to go, and major international airports in Belgrade and Budapest, just a couple of hours away, fly to some extremely exotic locations. There are a wealth of fascinating neighbour countries on your doorstep to explore on a day trip or weekend and superfast broadband is being rolled out over the entire country. This is perhaps one of the reasons Croatia has been heralded as one of the world's best options for Digital Nomads. In a few years, when we ask what is Croatia famous far, they could be one of the answers.

What is Croatia famous for, but only after you've visited

Some things you experience when you visit Croatia come as a complete surprise. Most would simply never be aware of them until they visit. They are usually top of the list of things you want to do when you come back to Croatia.


fritaja_sparoge_1-maja-danica-pecanic_1600x900ntbbbbb.jpgGastronomy is only one of the things what is Croatia known for only after you've visited © Maja Danica Pecanic / Croatian National Tourist Board

Despite a few famous TV chefs having visited and filmed in Croatia over the years, Croatian gastronomy remains largely unknown to almost everyone who's never been to Croatia. That's a shame because you can find some fine food here. Croatia has increased its Michelin-starred and Michelin-recommended restaurants tenfold over recent years. But, perhaps the bigger story is the traditional cuisine which varies greatly within the countries different regions. From the gut-busting barbecue grills and the classic Mediterranean fare of Dalmatia to the pasta, asparagus and truffles of Istria to the sausages and paprika-rich stews of Slavonia and the best smoked and preserved meats of the region, there's an untold amount of secret Croatian gastronomy to discover.


restaurant-3815076_1280.jpgWhat is Croatia known for? Well, to locals, it's famous for coffee - not just a drink, it's a ritual

Croatians are passionate about coffee and about going for coffee. It's a beloved ritual here. Going for coffee in Croatia is often about much more than having coffee. It's an integral part of socialising, catching up and sometimes being seen. It doesn't always involve coffee either. Sometimes, you'll be invited for coffee, only to end up ordering beer. It's not about the coffee. Although, the standard of coffee in Croatia, and the places where you drink it, is usually really good.

The misapprehension: What is Croatia known for (if you are a Croatian living in Croatia)

Handball, music

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Friday, 12 February 2021

CNN Features Croatia's Digital Nomad Opportunity

February 12, 2021 - The story is slowly spreading around the globe, as CNN features Croatia and its digital nomad opportunity.

Sometimes, just sometimes, things can go smoothly in Croatia, where forces align and things actually change - and change for the better. 

It is less than a year since I had a chat with Dutch entrepreneur Jan de Jong to talk about some interesting topics about Croatian tourism for a panel he was sitting on, among them the potential of digital nomad tourism. What happened next is known by anyone following the topic, as de Jong's persistence following his open letter to Prime Minister Andrej Plenkovic, asking for a digital nomad visa for Croatia, paid off. Just 44 days later, Plenkovic tweeted a photo of him and de Jong, announcing that he would introduce changes to legislation which would allow the visa to come into effect, which would have made Croatia only the second country in Europe (after Estonia) and the fifth in the world at the time, to introduce the visa. 


Observers of the wheels of change in Croatian bureaucracy looked on with interest. Someone had clearly oiled the wheels, for not only were changes to the tax code and Aliens Act in place for January 1, 2021, but just 199 days after the PM's announcement, Croatian bureaucracy officially welcomed its first digital nomad. You can read all about her and how she did it in this TCN interview - Meet Melissa Paul, Owner of Croatia's First Digital Nomad Visa

Soonafter, the Ministry of the Interior published guidelines for those wishing to apply for the 12-month stay. A shiny new website and online application procedure is promised from next month. 


The first digital nomad conference in Croatia was held in Dubrovnik in October. Organised by Tanja Polegubic of Saltwater Nomads, in partnership with the City of Dubrovnik, the Dubrovnik Tourist Board and TCN, it reached a worldwide audience, and even got a mention in The Washington Post. A followup project in Dubrovnik is scheduled to be announced shortly. 

And the international column inches continue, with CNN the latest to feature Croatia and the digital nomad lifestyle. In addition to the first successful visa applicant, Melissa Paul, the feature also talked to a nomad from Singapore in Zagreb, as well as a Mexican couple in Split. There are currently numerous applications being processed by Croatian immigration, from New Zealand, South Korea, USA and UK, to name but four countries. 

You can read the CNN article in full here

For the latest information about digital nomads in Croatia, follow the dedicated TCN section



Thursday, 11 February 2021

Expats in Croatia/Pandemic Edition: Michael Freer, from UK in Split (VIDEO)

February 10, 2021 - The global pandemic rages on and we’re still locked down with restrictions and social isolation. Some people are surviving and others are thriving. What’s their story? Episode #3 with… Michael Freer from the UK.

It’s almost one year since the World Health Organization declared covid-19 a global pandemic on March 11, 2020. Nobody expected what came next and certainly nobody expected things to last this long. But here we are, wondering when it will be over and hoping the vaccine will restore some sense of normalcy.

In the meantime, how are people filling their days? When it’s all said and done, how do they want to remember this time looking back? In this new series we’ll hear from all sorts of people in Croatia about their pandemic experience and their predictions for the future.

Episode #3 with… Michael Freer from the UK.

Since arriving in Croatia nearly 6 years ago, Michael Freer has become somewhat of a local celebrity on the Split scene. For a guy who’s lived in multiple countries around the world—Spain, Argentina, and India for six months or more, and Cambodia for two years—he’s a “regular” around here. A little background… in Cambodia he worked for a school on curriculum development and he managed volunteers. He also had a factory gig implementing social accountability standards. Here in Split he runs his own company supporting early stage social enterprises and dedicates one day a week to working for a nonprofit, supporting foreign entrepreneurs for an EU project. Outside of all this, or perhaps because of it, he’s constantly networking, meeting new people, and getting his hands into all sorts of innovative projects. Commendable stuff, but what made the biggest impression on this girl? It was this, “oh yeah, I swim all year long, I go in the water every week.” Anyone who can jump in the Adriatic in these winter temperatures is celebrity-worthy in my book. And one more “plus” on my checklist, he learned how to make goat cheese during lockdown. Yum!

Story and photographs ©2021, Cyndie Burkhardt.

For more of Cyndie's experiences, check out her Croatia Through the Eyes of a Digital Nomad column.  

Are you an expat in Croatia who would like to share your experiences during the pandemic in Cyndie's video series? If yes, please contact her on This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

We are also keen to interview any digital nomads who have successfully applied for the new visa, after the first success in Istria - Meet Melissa Paul, Owner of Croatia's First Digital Nomad Visa. Please contact us on This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. Subject Nomad Visa.


Tuesday, 9 February 2021

Digital Nomad Life in Croatia: Megumi Hosogai, from Hawaii to Opatija

February 9, 2021 - As the number of digital nomads rises globally, some are choosing to spend some of their time in Croatia. Continuing our TCN series meeting international digital nomads calling Croatia their temporary home. Meet Megumi Hosogai, from Hawaii to Opatija.

Tell us about you and your work.


I was born in Japan and I grew up as a Japanese Expat kid in Hawaii. I went back and forth twice and had to learn Japanese and English twice. My parents realized my personality wasn’t fit for life in Japan and decided to stay in Hawaii. I went to college in Los Angeles and New Orleans and settled in Los Angeles until 2017. I’ve worked as an actress, then a commercial real estate agent until I founded my sunglasses brand MEGUMI-O. MEGUMI-O drop ships from California. In February 2016, I flew to Milan to attend Mido, an optical expo and I fell in love with Milan. I moved to Milan in April 2017 and traveled all over Europe.  

How did you choose Croatia and specifically Opatija?


In summer 2019, I did my bus tour of Croatia starting from Dubrovnik finishing up north in Pula. As soon as I saw Opatija, I fell in love with it and decided to spend the month of January 2020 in Opatija to see if I would still like it during the coldest month. Having a dog that’s too big to fly in the cabin, Opatija is convenient since I can take a train from Milan to Trieste and have a driver pick me up there. I loved Opatija last January so I booked a month from July to August. The Covid situation is far worse in Milan and I was having such a great time with my new friends I ended up staying. I bought an apartment from an Albanian man who I communicate with in Italian. Being one of two Asians and one of two Americans in Opatija, I’ve become a bit of a local celebrity. I was discovered by FoodyTV a streaming service in the US on Instagram and I started filming my travel series “According To Megumi.”


Pros and cons of working remotely? 

Pro, I can shoot “According To Megumi,”  invest in real estate, and promote MEGUMI-O from anywhere in the world. Pro, the cost of living in Croatia is cheap.  Another reason beyond Covid that keeps me from rushing back to Milan, is the US Dollar is low now and the Kuna is much cheaper than Euro. Con, Opatija and Europe outside of Spain and France are not exactly entertainment industry countries so I can’t just call a friend to shoot and edit me. A camera person or editor who doesn’t speak English as a first language doesn’t understand my humor and timing. Pro, I could dropbox my videos to my friends in the future to make the edits tighter. 


What’s important for a destination to offer to be compatible with a digital nomad lifestyle, apart from good WiFi? 

A community of English speaking people and Amazon. Without Amazon, I have had to live without many things. is NOT Amazon. If you’re ethnic like me, it would be best to be in a city where you can find decent ethnic cuisine. While I will always summer in Opatija, I Google sunnier winter locations constantly to see if they have an Asian population. As soon as I’m vaccinated, I will fly to Budapest to eat Escargot at the French Institute and Pho. Brussels also has great Vietnamese food and a Michelin star sushi place.  


What’s your view on the future of remote work?  

Covid has made the world super friendly for remote work. A classmate who saw According To Megumi is trying to move to Opatija. He’s now based in London with a Japanese corporation and he’s trying to get them to agree to let him leave London since he’s just been working from home for the last year. If you can make money in a high currency and live in a country with a low currency, you can live very well without grinding so much.

Do you have any advice for people looking to make the transition to digital nomad life? 

Save money before making the move. Be flexible and learn at least a second language. I communicate with a lot of people in Italian in Opatija. The owner of a fast-food restaurant I frequent is a Spanish man married to a Croatian woman and he speaks Spanish, Italian, Portuguese and German. Off-season, you can find yourself in situations where the workers of a certain restaurant or store are no longer the young ones off from school who spoke English. Before making the move, search Google in the country where you’re considering the move, to see if you can buy things you MUST have. Even if a country has Amazon, Amazon and eBay don’t offer the same things throughout the world. 

You can follow Megumi Hosogai's adventures on her official website.  

Are you a digital nomad in Croatia who would like to be featured in this series? Please contact us on This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. Subject Nomad

Read more: Meet Melissa Paul, Owner of Croatia's First Digital Nomad Visa.


Monday, 8 February 2021

Croatian Digital Nomad Visa: Government Publishes Official Guidelines

February 8, 2021 - Guidelines for the application process for the Croatian digital nomad visa have been published by the Ministry of the Interior.

As we await the online application process and dedicated website, the Ministry of the Interior has published guidelines and costs for the application process for the new Croatian digital nomad visa. So far, 11 successful applications have been accepted and in processing - from the UK, USA, South Korea and New Zealand. 

The guidelines in full:

Temporary stay of digital nomads

A DIGITAL NOMAD IS a third-country national who is employed or performs work through communication technology for a company or his own company that is not registered in the Republic of Croatia and does not perform work or provide services to employers in the Republic of Croatia.
Temporary stay is granted for up to a year (possibly even less) and it cannot be extended. A new application for regulating a stay of digital nomads can be submitted 6 months after the expiry of the previously granted temporary stay of digital nomads.
Close family members of a digital nomad who has been granted temporary stay in the Republic of Croatia may join him in the Republic of Croatia (see temporary stay for the purpose of family reunification here).


The application is submitted to the competent authority depending on whether a third-country national is or isn’t required to hold a visa to enter the Republic of Croatia. Information on the visa system can be found here.


you can submit your application abroad at a diplomatic mission/consular post of the Republic of Croatia (list of diplomatic missions/consular posts can be found on the website of the Ministry of Foreign and European Affairs 


you can submit your application at a diplomatic mission/consular post of the Republic of Croatia or at the competent police administration/police station according to your temporary residence address (you can find the list of police administrations/police stations here or you can contact the competent police administration/police station for further information on submitting your application in compliance with the epidemiological measures in force due to the COVID-19 epidemic). 


Copies of documents should be submitted in the Croatian or English language.
1. Fill in Form 1a (bilingual form available here) and enclose the following:
2. copy of a valid travel document (period of validity of a travel document must be three months longer than the period of validity of intended stay)
3. proof of health insurance (travel or private health insurance must cover the territory of the Republic of Croatia)
4. proof of purpose (contract of employment or other document proving that the person performs work through communication technology for a foreign employer or his own company which is not registered in the Republic of Croatia), that is

  • statement from the employer or third-country national (as proof that the person performs work through communication technology), and          
  • contract of employment or service contract with a foreign employer, or
  • copy of the registration of his own company and proof that he performs the said tasks through his own company          


5. proof of means of subsistence during his stay in the Republic of Croatia,Until the adoption of a new Regulation on the manner of calculating and the amount of means of subsistence for third-country nationals in the Republic of Croatia, you can submit a bank statement or proof of regular income to your account in which you must have available a minimum of HRK 28,800 for a period of 12 months.

6. proof that he/she has not been convicted of criminal offences from his/her home country or a country in which he/she resided for more than one year immediately before arriving in the Republic of Croatia. Information on the legalization of documents can be found here

7. provide address in the Republic of Croatia

When submitting your application and filling in your form, you will be required to provide your address of stay or of intended stay in the Republic of Croatia. This is important for determining the police administration/police station which is locally competent for processing your application. If this is the first time you are applying and you do not have an address in the Republic of Croatia, you can provide a temporary address as the address of your intended stay (hostel/hotel if you have a reservation/confirmed reservation of accommodation).


Once you are informed that your temporary stay was granted, you have to contact the diplomatic mission/consular post once again to obtain a biometric residence permit (please inquire beforehand about this possibility at the diplomatic mission/consular post) or a visa to enter the Republic of Croatia.
You can also submit your visa application online here


You are not required to take the steps described above and you can enter the Republic of Croatia in line with the provisions of the Aliens Act.  

NOTE: Third-country nationals are obligated to register their temporary residence address at a police administration/police station within 30 days from being granted temporary stay or obtaining the visa, or otherwise their temporary stay will be revoked.


Third-country nationals are obligated to register their temporary residence address within 3 days from their entry in the Republic of Croatia at the competent police administration/police station according to the location of their stay.
You can do this by filling in Form 8a (available here) and enclosing a lease contract, a statement from the landlord, or a title deed.

Both third-country nationals who are not required to hold a visa to enter the Republic of Croatia and those who are required to hold a visa have to obtain a residence permit - biometric card (mustprovide photos and biometric data) in person at a police administration/police station.

More information available here,

Chapter 6.


If the application is submitted at a diplomatic mission/consular post - the costs are paid when applying

  • HRK 420.00 for granting temporary stay, and
  • HRK 460.00 for the visa, or
  • HRK 310.00 for the biometric residence card (check with the diplomatic mission/consular post about the possibility of obtaining the card). 

If the application is submitted at a police administration/police station - the costs are paid after the stay is granted

  • HRK 350.00 for granting temporary stay, and
  • HRK 70.00 for administrative fees for the issuance of the biometric residence permit and HRK 240.00 for the biometric residence card. 



Payment of administrative fees for the issuance of temporary residence through Internet banking (350 HRK) will be made in favor of the State Budget.
IBAN of the State Budget is: HR1210010051863000160, model: HR64, reference number: 5002-713-OIB (enter OIB of the person for whom the administrative fee is being paid, if OIB has been assigned).

For persons who do not have an assigned OIB, the reference number is: 5002-713-number of a valid travel document. (IMPORTANT: a maximum of 10 numbers, and if the number code initially contains zeros (0), they are not entered. NO letter marks, slashes, periods, commas, etc. are being entered).

For example, the number of the travel document / identity card of a foreign citizen is AZ004586, then the reference number is: 5002-713-4586 (without letters and zeros, the maximum is ten numbers).

a) The payment of a fee in the amount of 240 HRK for biometric residence permits via Internet banking will be made in favor of the State Budget.IBAN of the State Budget is: HR1210010051863000160, model: HR65, reference number: 7005-485-OIB (enter OIB of the person for whom the payment is being made).
For those who have not been assigned an OIB, the reference number is: 7005-485-RKP-case number.

b) The payment of an administrative fee in the amount of 70 HRK for the biometric residence permit through Internet banking will be made in favor of the State Budget.IBAN of the State Budget:  HR1210010051863000160, model: HR64, call number: 5002-713-OIB.

For those who do not have an OIB, the reference number is: 5002-713-number of a valid travel document. (IMPORTANT: a maximum of 10 numbers, and if the number code initially contains zeros (0), they are not entered. NO letter marks, slashes, periods, commas, etc. are being entered).

For more information on the Croatian digital nomad visa and lifestyle, follow the dedicated TCN section

Meet Melissa Paul, the first foreigner to obtain the Croatian digital nomad visa. Find out how she did it

Monday, 8 February 2021

National Television Features Digital Nomad Opportunity in Croatia

February 8, 2021 - As the final touches are being applied to the online application process, HRT features the digital nomad opportunity. 

Although the official website and online application process has still not been launched (although I understand it should be next month), there are several people who are a little too impatient to wait to take advantage of the digital nomad opportunity being offered in Croatia with the introduction of the new 12-month digital nomad visa. 

That the system works (and the paperwork required) has been proven by the first foreigner to be granted the 12-month stay. You can read how American Melissa Paul did it, and what she submitted as part of her application in our TCN interview - Meet Melissa Paul, Owner of Croatia's First Digital Nomad Visa.

There has so far been applications from the UK, USA, Mexico and South Korea, with the majority of applications in the Central Dalmatia area, which is already establishing itself as an emerging hub for nomads in and around Split. Some American friends of mine visited the local police station last week to find out if they could apply for the visa. They are loving live here, are fully integrated into the community, work in IT, and are very keen to continue their stay and contribute their dollars to the Croatian economy. The police told them that they can apply and gave them a list of documents to submit, which will happen this week. Once approved, we will do a feature story on the process to bring a bit more clarity for those wanting more information on this option. 

The digital nomad opportunity is starting to get a little more traction in the Croatian media, and it was the subject of a news feature on HRT this weekend (mostly in English, with Croatian subtitles). The report features the initiator of the visa, Dutch entrepreneur Jan de Jong from Split, whose open letter to Prime Minister Andrej Plenkovic on July 11 started the process. You can watch the report above, which was originally filmed in November. 

For more about digital nomad life in Croatia, follow the dedicated TCN section


Saturday, 6 February 2021

€4m Wespa Spaces Coworking Hub Opens in Zagreb

ZAGREB, 6 February (Hina) - Wespa Spaces, a new business centre in the form of a coworking hub has opened in Zagreb providing 3,000 square metres of office space and 320 workstations, with its founders investing €4 million in the project, Wespa Spaces says.

The centre is a private investment by five founders, Nikola Perković, Amir Babović, Lovro Petrač, Filip Duvnjak and Damir Ismailović who, based on their own experiences, designed the centre as a campus.

Coworking hubs are not new to Croatia. There are several already operating on the model of leasing out office space with the necessary accessories and equipment (Internet, printing, work stations, cleaning service, use of common areas like tea kitchens, meeting rooms, parking lots and so on).

Wespa Space is the largest and has the most work stations and supporting equipment in this part of Europe covering companies' business needs with regard to an innovative and digitalised approach to sharing resources and content.

"We currently have a 30 percent occupancy with about 15 companies that are working in the premises or have booked office space and intend to move in in the next few weeks. Companies that become hub members do not have any specific obligations except to pay their lease while utility costs are included," Wespa Spaces said.

The plan is to hold conventions as well, but that will have to wait because of current coronavirus restrictions.

Wespa Spaces is located in Zagreb's Zavrtnica district and has been designed as a modern office space fit for the digital era while providing other features necessary for productive work, including a relax zone, restaurant, cafe and even a media room, cinema and other facilities, Wespa said, adding that the hub's name is short for "work-eat-socialise-play-anytime."

"We are the first centre of this kind in this part of Europe offering our members and guests a maximum experience through a very simple and digitised approach. We hope that apart from being an ideal working environment we will become a place where respectable companies, young founders and innovators, artists and other creative people can work,"  Wespa said.

Follow the latest remote working news in the dedicated TCN digital nomad section.

Monday, 1 February 2021

Digital Nomad Life in Croatia: Ian & Amy Anderson, from Florida to Split

February 1, 2021 - As the number of digital nomads rises globally, some are choosing to spend some of their time in Croatia. Continuing our TCN series meeting international digital nomads calling Croatia their temporary home. Meet Ian and Amy Anderson, from Florida to Split. 


Searching for a coastal European town with all the amenities of modern-day living, this digital nomad couple from Tampa, Florida found the perfect place to work. This AirBNB had everything that they were looking for and best of all, it was located in an ancient Croatian palace. Take a peek into their digital nomad lifestyle and learn some tips on how you can become one too. Say hello to Ian & Amy Anderson.


Tell us a bit about you and your work.

We both grew up in Massachusetts (USA) about one hour south of Boston in a city called New Bedford. Like most people, our twenties were filled with jobs we hated. But one good thing was that we both happened to be working at one of those awful jobs at the same time. We started dating in 2001 and by 2009 we had gotten married.

At that point in time we couldn’t take working jobs that we hated anymore and we finally got the courage to venture out into the world of self-employment and started our own web design company. It was one of the scariest things we had ever done, but it turned out to be one of the best decisions that we ever made.

Eleven years later, we’ve created a thriving web design company that creates websites for small to medium-sized businesses in the USA. The best part is that we get to do it together, from anywhere in the world. We are really lucky because we don't just love each other, we actually like each other too.


Pros and cons of working remotely?

One of the biggest pros of working remotely is the freedom and flexibility that this lifestyle offers. Like any other job, some days can be stressful and make you want to pull your hair out, but the good days far outnumber the bad. At the end of the day, our clients don’t care how we get the project done, they only care that we complete the project on time and deliver a high-quality end result. This means we don’t have to work a set “9-5” schedule.

Because (for the most part) we are able to choose our own schedule, we don’t have to wake up to an alarm clock. Working remotely also means that we don’t have to drive to an office every day, which saves both time and money. We don’t have to sit in a cubicle for eight hours a day and we have zero office drama. 

Working remotely not only allows you to work from the comfort of your own home but also from anywhere in the world... such as Croatia! Once you experience this lifestyle, your days will stop being black and white copies of the day before and they will come alive with bursts of color. Your life will finally have some flavor. If you choose to add the traveling aspect to working remotely, you’ll get to see gorgeous places, have conversations with people from other cultures and eat interesting food in faraway places. You’ll become the exotic “International Traveler” in your family!


Now onto the not-so-good things.

Remember being a kid on Christmas morning? You would jump out of bed, run to the brightly colored tree in the living room, grab the biggest present you can find and yell out “Mom, can I open my presents now? Pleeeeeeeese?”

But it wasn’t time to open presents just yet and you were told to wait.

Devastated, you rolled your eyes and let out a “uuugggggghhhhhh!” as you sulked your way into the kitchen to get some cereal. 

As digital nomads we feel like this on most days.


We know that there is an amazing city just outside these AirBNB walls but we also know that we can only go out and explore it once we get all our work done. We can’t let our business suffer because we want to go outside and play. It’s like being a kid who is told to wait to open their presents, except now the presents are new cities waiting to be unwrapped. And our work is like a strict mother telling us that we have to wait to open it.

Another downside is that we also miss our family and friends. When you are a “digital nomad” you miss out on things like family dinners, holiday gatherings and birthday parties. Sure, you can make FaceTime appearances for a few minutes at each event but it’s not the same as actually being there.

Like anything else in your life, you have to make sacrifices in order to get the things you really want.

You can’t fly a plane while keeping one foot on the ground. 

How did you choose Croatia and specifically Split?


From August to November 2020 we were “digital nomading” in the Caribbean, enjoying the endless sunshine and sandy beaches of Aruba. But you can only stay in Aruba for 90 days as a tourist and that window was soon closing for us. We needed a new country to visit but as US Citizens traveling during a global pandemic, our options were limited. 

While researching which countries US Citizens could travel to, we found an article in Forbes magazine that featured Croatia. It sounded like an interesting country, so we looked more into the top travel destinations within Croatia.

One of the locations that immediately caught our attention was Split. 

It seemed to have an old-world charm perfectly blended with modern-day amenities. We watched YouTube videos that explored the labyrinth-like alleys of Diocletian's Palace, the smooth cobblestone streets filled with lots of artisanal shops and the many cafes and restaurants located along the waterfront. It seemed to have just about anything that we would want or need (all within walking distance) plus gorgeous palm trees right along the Adriatic Sea.


Once we arrived in Split and saw the majestic views, it was love at first sight.

It was even better than what we saw in the YouTube videos! We were also pleasantly surprised that overall Split was reasonably priced and best of all very safe!

Another great thing about Split is Marjan Park. Just to the west of the palace walls there is a large elevated area of trees. If you walk up the southern side pathway and you turn around, you’ll see something you’ll never forget.


In one breathtaking glance, you’ll see all of the ancient architecture with the cream colored walls and orange roofs, the perfect blue sea and sailboats, the inspiring green trees and the faded mountains far off in the distance.

It’s one of the most spectacular views we have ever seen.

What’s important for a destination to offer to be compatible with a digital nomad lifestyle, apart from good WiFi?

While everyone has a different opinion of what is important for a destination to offer, everyone can agree that safety is very important. When traveling to a new place somewhere in your home country or a new country abroad, it’s comforting to know that you can walk around (even after the sun sets) and have peace of mind that you are safe. And that’s one of the many things that we love about Split. It is very safe at all times. We would often venture out for a late-night stroll down the Promenade or through Diocletian's Palace and we always felt safe.


After safety, the location of where you’re staying is the next most important thing to consider. For us that means close proximity to things like beaches, restaurants and historical landmarks, as well as essential services like grocery stores and pharmacies. The closer we are to those things, the less likely it is that we’ll need to rent a car, which saves us from an unnecessary expense. Another great thing about Split is that even when we wanted to venture out farther than we could walk, Uber is available in the area and there are also bikes and scooters available to rent. 

While it’s not a deal-breaker for us if a destination doesn’t offer food and grocery delivery, if they do it’s definitely a bonus. After all, us digital nomads still have a business to run which sometimes means long workdays and not having time to run out to the grocery store. So a grocery delivery service can come in handy… and yes, there are companies in Split that offer this service, which made things very convenient on days we weren’t able to venture out.

What’s your view on the future of remote work? 

When COVID-19 first disrupted our species, businesses around the world were forced to make their employees work from home. At first this was a chaotic change but after a few months companies realized that their employees were still able to get the work done remotely. They also noticed employees seemed happier as a result of not having to commute every day and no rush hour traffic!


COVID-19 has caused many companies to re-examine their business model. They are starting to see remote work as a way to not only have happier employees but also lower their overhead costs, creating a win-win for business owners. Happier employees tend to be more productive with their work and are also more likely to continue to work for a company. And the more employees that a company is able to have work remotely, the more likely it is that they can downsize their office space and in some cases completely eliminate it, which will greatly reduce their expenses.

So we think that as time goes on the ability for people to work remotely is only going to grow, making it an ideal time for anyone who is looking to travel to become a digital nomad.

Do you have any advice for people looking to make the transition to digital nomad life? 

Lower Your Expenses


Before you start your journey as a digital nomad see if you can lower your expenses. Would you believe that we’re actually saving money while travelling the world (without giving up the lifestyle that we’re accustomed to)? The reality is that this lifestyle is allowing us to travel the world while saving money that we can then use for fun adventures. Before becoming digital nomads, we typically would go on one or two week-long vacations each year because that’s all we could afford. We realized that there is a lot more to see in the world and at that rate it was going to take us many years to see it all. And honestly, how much can you even learn about a place when you’re only there for a week? So how did we actually lower our expenses? We hired a property manager and he got our house in Tampa rented. We were able to rent it for more than our mortgage (which actually puts some extra money in our pocket each month). With our house rented that means we no longer have any utility expenses (water, electric and internet; it’s all paid for by our tenant)... which saves us hundreds of dollars each month.


Since we knew we were going to be travelling long term, we sold our car which means no more car payment or car insurance, saving us even more money. 

These are just some of the ways that we were able to cut down our expenses. Obviously everyone’s personal financial situation is different, but the reality is there are lots of ways to cut down on your expenses, all while getting to explore new places around the world. Change Your Schedule

Create a work schedule that revolves around meeting a deadline. This allows for more flexible days. For example, instead of having to be at your laptop at a certain time every day to complete your work, change your arrangement to get the work completed by a certain date. This is how our business operates. When we get a project, we tell the client what day we will have it completed. Not only does this type of business model give you flexibility to create your own schedule, but it is very helpful when you are in a vastly different timezone than the people you are working with. Most of our clients are located in the East Coast of the United States and Split is six hours ahead of that time zone, so if we had to be available to work at the normal business hours of our clients, the time zone difference would make it very challenging. If you’re an employee of a company that requires you to do your work / be available on a specific schedule, working remotely from a different time zone can be challenging, but not impossible. If that’s the case, we recommend that you be mindful of the timezone when you’re selecting a destination and find a place that compliments your work schedule. 

Try To Make Yourself Smile


If you’re even a little bit interested in this type of lifestyle, do it! Give it a try on a short term basis and see if it works for you, there is no rule that says you have to do it forever. 

Even if it isn’t feasible for you to work remotely with your current job, remember there has never been a greater opportunity or demand for remote work then there is right now. You may be surprised at the remote work opportunities that are available.


Here is some final advice on making this decision (actually any decision): do the thing that will make your 90-year-old self look back and smile. Most people tend to look back in life and regret the things that they did not do, rather than the things that they did do.


Follow these digital nomads on Instagram:

Amy Anderson

Ian Anderson

Are you a digital nomad in Croatia who would like to be featured in this series? Please contact us on This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. Subject Nomad

Read more: Meet Melissa Paul, Owner of Croatia's First Digital Nomad Visa.


Tuesday, 26 January 2021

Jan de Jong: US Citizen Gets First Croatian Digital Nomad Visa

January 26, 2021 - Just over six months after an open letter to the Prime Minister on LinkedIn, a US citizen gets the first digital nomad visa in Croatia.

Foreigner of the Moment Jan de Jong took to LinkedIn once more this morning, exactly 199 days after writing an open letter to Croatian Prime Minister Andrej Plenkovic on July 11 last year, asking for a digital nomad visa for Croatia. 

What happened next was remarkable for seasoned observers of Croatian bureaucracy - things actually started to happen. 

Just 44 days later, Plenkovic tweeted a photo with de Jong, announcing that his government would push for the introduction of the visa, which would make Croatia only the second country in the world to offer it, after those very progressive Estonians.

Changes to the tax code and Aliens Act followed, and the legal framework was in place for a  digital nomad visa for 12 months, as long as certain criteria were met. 

While the visa was technically available from January 1, the final details and online application procedure were still a work in progress, with final delivery expected sometime in the first quarter of 2021. 

And then this from de Jong earlier today:


A glorious moment for Croatia ?? as the first #digitalnomad has been approved for his 12- month staying permit in #Croatia.

I know that the Ministry of Interior and Ministarstvo turizma i sporta / Ministry of Tourism and Sport are working on final details to start accepting online applications from digital nomads - and I am expecting this to go live in a matter of weeks from now 

But as you can see - as of 01.01.2021. its possible to apply for the "digital nomad visa" (staying permit) at the local police stations all across the country.

Help share this positive event and may many more digital nomads find their temporary home in Croatia.

Thank you all so much for your support! 


Jan de Jong

Follow me on #LinkedIn for new updates.


I called Jan for a little more detail. It seems that the first successful applicant was an American citizen, who simply went to his local police station and applied and was successful in his application. 

My understanding from Jan is that currently, proof of income is under the old rules, but that is expected to change in the coming week, with a proof of income of 16,000 kuna net a month the figure likely to pass. 

More details as we get them of course, and while some may prefer to wait for the fuller picture and the online process, I know of several nomads wanting to apply immediately, with at least one planning on a visit to the local police station later this week. Given how new this procedure is, and the different level of responses in police stations around the country, I would expect there to be a little hit and miss in this process. But it doesn't hurt to try.

If any digital nomad is trying this approach and wants to share their experiences, please contact me on This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. Subject Nomad Visa.  

It all sounds like progress. Well done to Jan and all the others involved. For the latest updates, follow the dedicated TCN digital nomad section

Monday, 25 January 2021

Zagreb Tourism Adjusting to the Digital Nomad Opportunity

January 25, 2021 – After a challenging 2020, the digital nomad future is looking bright for Zagreb tourism.

It is almost exactly a year since I wrote an article called Why Zagreb is Increasingly Attractive to a Growing Number of Digital Nomads. A year, but seemingly a lifetime, ago. But while 2020 was a terrible year for most of us, it was a very good one for the digital nomad movement, with Zagreb making more advances to position itself as one of the most interesting destinations for remote workers in Europe once things return to a semblance of normality.

In the pre-pandemic article a year ago, I explored 10 reasons why Zagreb was growing in popularity for digital nomads. A year later, all ten are still valid, with several more to add to the list. Affordability, accessibility, safety, English spoken, excellent food & wine, a great tourist destination, a thriving tech scene, quality medical tourism, proximity to the Schengen zone, and that unbeatable relaxed Croatian lifestyle were the ten hooks for digital nomads a year ago.

And then the pandemic hit, shifting the focus of many lives during lockdown to a more virtual world. It was estimated before the pandemic that there would be one billion remote workers by 2035. That estimate now looks very conservative, as many people got used to working from home and away from the office. Many of those jobs will never return to the office – even more digital nomads for tourism in the future.

While the tourism potential of the concept of providing services for digital nomads gradually took hold globally with the prospect of the new normal, things moved forward much faster in Croatia. An open letter to the Croatian Prime Minister from a Dutch entrepreneur asking for a digital nomad visa resulted in Parliament passing legislation for Croatia to become only the second country in Europe to offer a digital nomad visa.

The final bureaucratic touches are being applied to the new permit, which will allow digital nomads of a certain income level to spend 12 months in Zagreb and elsewhere in Croatia, with no local tax burdens. Legislation has already been passed by Parliament, and the visa is scheduled to be available by the end of March latest.

News of the proposed visa went global, leading to intense interest in Croatian destinations, but it also had another positive impact for Zagreb tourism – by generating interest and attention from the city's tourism businesses, keen to learn how to take advantage of the opportunity.

Initial understanding of the needs of digital nomads has moved on from a year ago when the general perception was that an apartment with clean sheets and decent Internet was 'digital nomad friendly.' More Zagreb tourism businesses are understanding that lifestyle and quality of life are also essential elements of the offer, rather than just a bed and WiFi. Some Zagreb hostels, for example, are adapting to the new reality by offering special digital nomad monthly rental packages, including meals, for a fixed fee, with their outreach services available through their hostel services.

The formation of the Digital Nomad Association is another step in the right direction. The Zagreb-based assocation will be fully functional in the coming weeks, offering a bridge of support between nomads, their hosts and issues with the Croatian authorities and bureacracy. There are plans to educate local tourism providers on the needs of these mobile guests, as well as a platform for services such as accommodation which are 'nomad-friendly' which are certified by the association.

Zagreb tourism promotion has changed in the last year as well, offering even more to the visitor. Arguably one of the best initiatives last year was the launch of Around Zagreb, a new platform combining the treasures and activities in Zagreb the city and the surrounding county. The site has been a revelation since going online, offering countless new options to city visitors which had previously been ignored. From hiking and cycling on Sljeme, to wine tasting in Plesivca, truffle hunting in Turopolje, or a round of golf in Zapresic, the lifestyle options for longer-term remote workers are only increasing in Zagreb.

Tourism is changing, and there are many reasons to be positive. The 10 reasons why Zagreb is increasingly attractive to digital nomads are still as true one year on, with several quality additions to the list after the challenges of 2020.

To follow the digital nomad story in Croatia, follow the dedicated TCN section.  

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