If you are looking for a change of pace, culture, scenery, or simply an adventure in search of an exotic experience, Croatia should be on the top of the list. Whether it is to study, tour, work or retire, living in Croatia will not disappoint. Located on the South East of Europe, the nation is smaller than West Virginia at 21, 851 square miles. Over 4.2 million souls call it home, with a vast majority of them being Catholic Christians. A friendlier people are hard to find.
Why Live in Croatia?
There are numerous reasons why living in Croatia is more than just a good idea. They include:
At a time when most of the globe is consumed by political upheavals, Croatia stands out for being a peaceful progressive presidential and parliamentary democracy. Therefore, since its independence in 1992, the country has enjoyed an upward trajectory. Although they have a popularly elected president who serves a maximum of two five-year terms, a prime minister heads the government.
Climate, Nature, and Landscapes
Croatia has a beautiful mix of climate that ranges from the warm/hot Mediterranean climate at the coast to the continental snowy climate of the interior. For those given to the cold snowy weather and skiing, the interior alpine uplands of the North and Eastern Croatia with their snow from autumn to spring are ideal. The coastal cities with their hot summers and mild winters are the places to be for those seeking warm climes. Mother Nature endowed the nation with wonderful natural features such as alpine mountains, beaches, and colorful waters.
For those looking for somewhere to settle and raise a family, the education set up in Croatia is simply excellent. To begin with, Education is free. This applies to all levels, including the University.
University education, though free, is reserved for the nation’s brightest. Offered in the nation’s four Universities at Split, Rijeka, Osijek and the capital Zagreb, it emphasizes sciences and science related fields of engineering and medicine.
Health Care in Croatia
Croatia provides health care through a government insurance system. When applying for residence, one has to register and pay into the system. Membership entitles one to free health care through public doctors. However, there may be some out of pocket payments. These should not concern anyone seeking to emigrate from America, as most of these payments never amount to more than a thousand dollars a year.
Private Doctors are also available for those willing to pay through insurance or out of pocket. A testament to the health and wellbeing of Croatians is the 78 years life expectancy. English speaking doctors are also available. Generally, the healthy environment, diet, and lifestyle lend themselves to the excellent physical and mental conditioning of an average Croatian.
Central to any good experience is a nation’s food. Croatia simply tops the charts in this category. Delicious food is available across the entire nation. Farm produce, grown not on a large scale, is nutritious and organic. Seafood also makes up a significant portion of the nation’s diet. The variety, local interpretation, and affordability make the food experience truly amazing. This low cost of food contributes to what is a low cost of living in Croatia for expats.
Activities in Croatia
Living in Croatia as an expat is a wonderful adventure for the physically active and those interested in drinking deep from a cultural well. Kayaking, white water rafting, hikers, climbers, anglers and bird watchers can expend their energies in the numerous national parks and game reserves. Factoring in the winter sports facilities and the summer deep sea diving and sailing, activities in Croatia simply never run out.
For the cultural and historic types, the offerings are equally plentiful. As a testament to the long and varied influences from its histories, one will encounter monuments from the Greeks, the Romans, and the Byzantines. You can explore the Ottoman Empire, the Dalmatian cities of the medieval period, the Venetian Republic and the Habsburg.
Where to Live in Croatia
Zagreb is the capital city of Croatia. It houses both historical and modern museums as well as cathedrals such as the Zagreb cathedral. It remains the capital of Croatian art, culture, academics and sports. Split, the biggest city on the Adriatic Sea started as a retirement home for Emperor Diocletian. It offers Roman ruins, a 1,700-year-old museum, lovely markets and the famous Split’s Summer Festival that runs from July 14 to August 14, every year.
Dubrovnik, a city on the Dalmatian coast, is the pearl of the Adriatic. A rich history, sunshine, coastline and fresh food are some of the treasures Dubrovnik offers. For wine aficionados, the cities vineyards should offer an attractive and surprisingly affordable prospect. Early Christian Byzantine architecture provided a wonderful backdrop for the filming of Game of Throne TV series adding to its acclaim as a Unesco World heritage site. It remains the top tourist site in the Adriatic Sea.
Hvar, on the other hand, is the party town of Croatia. Friendly, picturesque and warm, it offers wonderful beaches and an hour’s ride by hydrofoil from Split. It is the party town of Croatia. These are some of the best places to live in Croatia.
Visitors from the USA intending to stay for periods shorter than 90 days require no visas. One simply has to notify the authorities within 48 hrs of their entry. For longer stays, a visa application and a temporary stay/residency permit are needed. A work permit or a business permit is required for anyone intending to work or operate a business in the country.
Given the relaxed lifestyle, excellent food, wonderful climate, nature, and landscapes, settling or visiting Croatia is very compelling. A great cultural history and warm welcoming people only spice up the appeal. With a wonderful blend of a rich history and a progressive modernity, life in Croatia is all-encompassing. Reliable government provided social services such as health, education and security also affords you a peace of mind to enjoy all of life many pleasures. Croatia truly is the place to live.