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Zagreb, Croatia

Living Costs in Zagreb

Croatia is affordable. Don’t get me wrong, it’s not comparable to, say, India, but it certainly offers a cost of living that rivals most livable countries. “My daughter goes to the theater once a month for 20 to 30 kuna (US$3.60 to US$5.40),” says Karl Gillingham, who arrived there from London five years ago. School, too is less expensive in Zagreb. “A kindergartner in the UK might pay 800 pounds (US$1,212) a month for a good education compared to 400 kuna (US$72) at the international kindergarten in Zagreb—or as little as 50 kuna (US$9) at the local school—which offers a very good education as well.”

If you are an active family, the good climate and green spaces combined with low prices offer ample opportunities for healthy living. You can roller-blade, ice skate, sail, or ski all for much less than you would in neighboring countries. The chair lift ride, for example, is only 11 kuna (US$2) one way, 17 kuna (US$3) round trip.

Zagreb also has a terrific public transportation system, and you can purchase a Zagreb Card for up to 50% savings on transportation, museums, theaters, hotels, and restaurants. The three-day card is 90 kuna (US$16); the 24-hour card is 60 kuna (US$10.80). Trams run frequently within the city; buses travel inside and outside the city. The funicular runs to Zagreb’s higher points; a ticket is only 6.5 kuna (US$1.20) at a kiosk/a day pass is 18 kuna (US$3.25).

Zagreb shopping basket

Since 1994 the currency here has been the kuna, abbreviated kn or HRK. It is divided into 100 lipa. Many also use the euro, although you’ll have better luck getting exact change if you stick to kuna. Credit cards are often accepted, but always have cash on hand as well. Asked about shopping, an expat explains: “There are only a couple of multiplexes, which is underwhelming when you consider other cosmopolitan cities. Still, you can find anything you need here. Also, it’s not as cheap as people think…especially if you come here from the United States and the weak dollar. It’s certainly not as cheap as it once was.”

Information TypeCroatia Data
A local beer: from 12 to 20 kuna(US$2.16 to US$3.60)
Sodas (Fanta and Coke): around 12 kuna(US$2.16)
Tea or coffee in café: 5 to 15 kuna(US$0.90 to US$2.70)
Pizza or pasta dish: from 30 to 50 kuna(US$5.40 to US$9)
A business lunch in a fancy restaurant: 145 to 180 kuna (including drink)US$26.10 to US$32.40
Bottle of wine in store: 20 to 100 kuna(US$3.60 to US$18)
Double room at private inn: 290 kuna(US$52.22)
Double room at hotel: 435 to 2,175 kuna(US$78.30 to US$391.60)
Average restaurant meal for two with wine: about 100 kuna each(US$18)
One-and-half hour bus or tram ticket: 8 kuna(US$1.44)
72-hour Zagreb card for unlimited transportation: 90 kuna(US$16.20)
Hour at internet café: 15 to 40 kuna (US$2.70 to US$7.20)
Bread – from 6.50 to 18 kunaper loaf. (I must add that theBread here is fabulous—and rarely has preservatives or additives.)(US$1.16 to US$3.24)
One-hour bike rental: 20 kuna(US$3.60)
Milk: 20.77 kuna/gallon(US$3.73)
Beef : 21 to 37 kuna/pound(US$3.77 to US$6.65)
Oranges: 4.30 kuna/pound(US$0.77)
Chicken: 27 kuna per whole chicken(US$4.85)
International kindergarten: 400 kuna(US$72)
Local school: 50 kuna(US$9)
The American international school: 145,000 kuna/year(US$26,093/year)

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