Top Choice on the Med
Croatia is our top pick for Continental living. The country boasts a long and colorful history (the Istrian peninsula, for example, was part of nine different soversign nations in the last 100 years alone), oodles of Old World charm, plus centuries-old white-stone villages up and down the mountainsides overlooking deep valleys of olive trees and grape vines.
Plus, get this: Croatia has more than 6,000 kilometers of coast and enjoys more than 2,600 hours of sunshine every year.
Prices, especially along the long coastlines, have risen steaily for the past decade. Still, you can get a better Mediterrean buy for your money here than in Italy or France…and Istria (our favorite part of the country) offers the best of Tuscany without the tourist hoards.
Critically, unlike Spain, for example, whose Costa del Sol is one of the most unappealing stretches of coastline anywhere in the world, Croatia has put in place strict standards for the development of its coast.
Walled Dubrovnik is one of the most romantic, beautiful, and historic cities on earth.
Boaters, take note: Croatia can be the best mooring option in Europe. The country charges neither import duty nor VAT for registered boats.
Croatia at a Glance
|Population||4.5 million (July 2007)|
|Gross Domestic Product (GDP)||$69.44 billion (2007)|
|GDP Per Capita||$15,500 (2007)|
|Inflation Rate||2.2% (2007)|
|Exchange Rate Versus U.S. Dollar||5.37 kunas = 1 U.S. dollar (March 2008)|
|Population of Capital City||800,000 (2007)|
|Time Zone||GMT plus 1|
|Seasons||Continental: warm summers, cold winters
Mediterranean: hot, dry summers and cool, wet winters
|International Dialing Code||385|
|Electricity||230V / 60 Hz; Plug Type: C, F|
|Name and Party Affiliation
of Current Leader
|Stjepan Mesic, Croatian People’s Party|
|Income Tax Rate for Residents||15% to 45%|
|Capital Gains Tax||0% to 25%|
|Inheritance Tax||0% for first line of succession; 5%|
|Rental Income Tax||15% (for non-residents)|
|Restrictions on Foreign
Ownership of Property
|Foreigners from a country with a reciprocity agreement with Croatia can hold property in their own name; otherwise, use a Croatian corporation|
|Local Chamber of Commerce||www2.hgk.hr/en/
Rooseveltov trg 2
|American Chamber of Commerce||www.amcham.hr
|Primary Exports||Transport equipment, textiles, chemicals, foodstuffs, fuels|
|Residency and Visa Requirements||Tourist Visa: automatic 90 days upon entry
Residency: employment and business visas; permanent residency established after 5 years of Temporary Residence Permit holding
Citizenship: with renouncement of foreign citizenship, Croatia as your registered place of permanent residence for a continual 5 years, and proficiency of Croatian language and Latin script
|Special Benefits for Foreign Residents or Retirees||Tax-free incomes on: overseas pension; interest payments on loans, investments, securities, deposits; capital gains from security trading and real estate|
|National Airline||Croatia Airlines