Currency in Croatia: Your Complete Guide - 2023
If you’ve planned a trip to Croatia, you may be confused about what currency you’ll need to have for spending once you get there.
Until January 2023, Croatia used the kuna as its official currency. However, Croatia is now part of the Eurozone, which means the only currency accepted there is the euro.
This guide covers all you need to know about the best ways to arrange your holiday spending in EUR so you can make the most of your money while you’re enjoying your break.
Before you head to Croatia, learn about:
Using a card in Croatia
Can you use GBP in Croatia?
How to buy euros before your trip
How to buy currency when you get to Croatia
What euro notes and coins look like
What currency is it used in Croatia?
On 1 January 2023, the official currency in Croatia became the euro. Prior to this, kuna was the accepted currency.
The currency symbol for euros, which you’ll see on currency exchange websites and in physical stores, is EUR. You’ll also commonly see the symbol € used on restaurant menus and in shops.
If you’re travelling to Croatia during 2023 or shortly after, it’s helpful to know that although euros will be the only officially accepted currency, you’re still likely to see prices market up in kuna, as part of the transition. This is to help people compare the price before the switch over, to the new EUR price, and to make sure merchants don’t sneakily put up prices.
Can you use GBP in Croatia?
You won’t find your pounds are accepted in Croatia. You’ll need to have euros in cash, or use a card which can convert your money instantly on payment.
The good news is that it's easy to exchange your pounds to euros. You can either sort your travel money out before you leave or once you arrive in Croatia. We’ll cover the most popular ways to convert pounds to euros in this guide - plus we’ll throw in some handy tips to make your money go further overseas.
Using a card in Croatia
Carrying lots of cash can be a worry - and spending with your normal bank debit or credit card can mean extra fees. There’s a better solution - a travel money card.
Travel money cards are usually issued by specialist providers, and can be convenient and cheap when spending in Croatia or a broad selection of other countries.
Order a card online before your holiday and add money to the linked digital account in pounds, from your bank or using a card. You can then either switch your funds over to euros before you travel or just let the card switch to EUR when you pay for things overseas.
The benefits of travel money cards include safety (you won’t need to carry lots of cash as you can make low cost ATM withdrawals when you need to) and cost - as they’re usually far cheaper than using a regular credit or debit card, thanks to better exchange rates and lower overall fees.
To give an idea of your options, here are a couple of popular travel debit cards you could take to Croatia, with a quick overview of their features:
Wise travel debit card
Hold 40+ currencies in your digital account and use the Wise card for spending and withdrawals in 150+ countries
All currency exchange uses the mid-market exchange rate, with low fees from 0.43%
Some fee free ATM withdrawals every month, with low fees after that
No fee to open your account, no ongoing charges and no minimum balance
Revolut travel debit card
Different account and card plans depending on how often you’ll use the card, so you can pick the one that suits you
Hold and exchange 25+ currencies, with some mid-market rate currency conversion every month
All account tiers have some fee free ATM withdrawals - how much you can withdraw for free depending on the account plan you select
Extra features and higher transaction limits for higher tier accounts which have monthly fees
Is it cheaper to convert currency in the UK or Croatia?
The exchange rate and fees you get when converting GBP to EUR will dictate the end costs of your exchange.
Each service, whether you’re in the UK or already in Croatia, sets its own rates and fees - some of which are very good value, and some which are not. Unfortunately, this means that the only way to know if you’ll get more euros in the end by converting at home or waiting until you travel is to shop around pretty extensively.
If you’ve not got the time and want a flexible and fair way to spend overseas, you may be best off with a travel card from a service like Wise or Revolut. You don’t need to buy euros in advance, and both services have low, transparent fees for convenient spending. You’ll always get the mid-market rate with Wise, and Revolut customers can also get mid-market currency exchange depending on the plan they hold, which tends to work out better value than using a provider which adds costs onto the rates used for conversion.
If you are changing cash from pounds to euros, remember that airports and hotels aren’t a great choice as you’ll run into pretty poor rates and high overall costs.
To find the best place to buy euros, you can read our guide here.
Buying euros before your trip
Let’s look in more detail at a few popular ways to get your EUR before you go on holiday.
Using a travel card
We’ve already highlighted travel money cards as a flexible, cheap and convenient option for spending in Croatia and elsewhere.
This is one option you will definitely need to arrange before you leave - order a card online or through an app, and your card is delivered to your home. You may also get a virtual card you can use instantly with a wallet like Apple Pay, depending on the provider you pick.
If you’d prefer to carry cash to Croatia you can usually get some of the best rates on the high street by ordering your travel money online. Some banks, the Post Office, and services like Travelex let you click and collect, or order your cash for home delivery. Popular currencies like euros could be collected in just a few hours, at a local branch of the prover you’ve picked.
Home or Office Delivery
To give a flavour of how this works, and how the click and collect service varies compared to the home delivery option, let’s look at the Travelex service as an example, so you can see if it might suit you:
Order for home or office delivery, or in store collection
Cash for collection can be ready in just a few hours
Home delivery can be next day if you order Monday - Thursday before 3pm
Delivery is free if you exchange more than 600 GBP; fees apply otherwise
You’ll need to be home to collect your cash, and may be asked for ID
Exchange rates are likely to include a markup - which is a fee
In UK towns and cities you’ll usually also have the option of walking into a physical money exchange store to buy euros in cash immediately. Bear in mind that in this case there’s usually a markup added to the exchange rate used to convert your pounds to euros. This may not be clearly marked, so you’ll need to compare the rates offered against the mid-market rate to spot it - but it can mean you pay more than you need to overall.
High street banks don’t always have the option of walking in and picking up foreign currency instantly, but with some you can still order euros online and collect in a branch (or have your money delivered to your home in some cases). Take a look at Barclays and Lloyds if you’re interested in this option - and as with any other provider, scrutinise the fees and rates carefully before you confirm.
If you’ve already arrived at the airport with no euros in your pocket, don’t panic. You’ll find currency exchange desks at all major airports, which offer spot exchanges to euros.
Although this is convenient, it’s also expensive. Unless you’re absolutely determined to have some euro cash before you leave the UK, you may be better off making an ATM withdrawal in Croatia on arrival instead. This will usually get you a good exchange rate, and can be free if you use a travel money card.
How to exchange currency in Croatia
You’ll find plenty of currency exchange services in Croatia in larger cities, tourist areas and ports. Here you’ll be able to convert your pounds to euros in cash, as long as you’re carrying clean and undamaged GBP notes. Compare the fees and the rates available before you commit, as this isn’t always the best value option.
More about the currency used in Croatia
Now that Croatia uses euros, visitors and locals alike need to get familiar with the coins and notes used here and throughout the Eurozone countries.
Denominations of euros
Euro notes denominations are as follows:
Each euro is split into 100 cents. The euro coins in circulation in Croatia are:
Don’t worry if the coin you have in your hand was minted in a different Eurozone country. It’ll still be OK to use in Croatia - in fact, all euro coins are accepted in all Eurozone countries, no matter where they were minted.
Travel money tips for Croatia
Here are a few extra tips so your money goes further when you’re in Croatia:
Travel money cards can be a cheap and convenient option - check out providers like Wise or Revolut for easy to use cards which support euros and a selection of other popular currencies
Don’t rely on a single payment option - if your payment method isn’t accepted with a particular merchant, you’ll find yourself stuck. Carry cards on a couple of networks, and some cash, at all times, to avoid this
Avoid airport or hotel currency exchange - as we’ve mentioned, they’re convenient, but you’ll pay for this in the form of bad rates and high overall fees
Always pay in EUR - if a merchant or ATM asks if you’d rather pay in GBP, say no. Paying in pounds when you’re abroad means the merchant sets the exchange rate, rather than your bank or card. That will lead to higher overall costs
Check your card fees - look out for international ATM fees, foreign transaction fees, and cash advance charges in particular
Don’t use a credit card at the ATM - cash advance fees, foreign transaction fees, and immediate interest make this a very expensive option
Don’t carry too much cash - pickpockets love distracted tourists, so keeping only a little cash on you at any one time is simple common sense
How much does a trip to Croatia cost?
Costs in Croatia shouldn’t go up as a result of the switch over to euros, but you’ll still need to draw up a budget to make sure you have enough to enjoy your break. How much your holiday in Croatia will cost can vary depending on what you plan on doing. Here are a few common costs to give an idea.
Visa cost: No visa usually required for trips for up to 90 days (Schengen rules apply)
Transport in Croatia: Local transport tickets are around 1.5 EUR each way
Taxi: Around 2.6 EUR to start, then about 1.3 EUR per mile
Car hire: Cheapest compact cars are likely to start from about 20 EUR per day
Room at a hotel: Very varied both by location and season - shopping around is essential
Dinner at a mid- range restaurant: 46 EUR for 2 people
Track GBP-EUR exchange rate
Now you know all about the currency in Croatia, it’s time to get a good deal on your travel money.
Use the Exiap rate tracker to keep an eye on the live mid-market exchange rate for euros so you can check you’re getting good value no matter how you decide to exchange your pounds to euros.