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These Are The 4 Cheapest Cities In One Of Europe’s Top Digital Nomad Hotspots

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Croatia has been on every digital nomad's radar since it became the first European nation to launch a Digital Nomad Visa (DNV) as early as 2020 when a majority of countries were still openly opposing the category and were in fact adding additional barriers for aspiring migrants.

Ever since, remote workers have been flocking to the land of the Croats for its beaches, laid-back lifestyle, and Mediterranean culture.

Sadly, as customary with every off-path destination that suddenly sees a popularity boom, prices have started increasing dramatically.

Aerial View Of St Mark's Church, A Landmark Medieval Church In Zagreb, Croatia

Croatia is not only a nomad hotspot: it's become one of Europe's top sunny getaways, and the increased cost of living has started to reflect this new era in Croatian History, marked by the introduction of the Euro last year and its overall distancing from Eastern European standards.

Once dubbed the ‘budget-friendly alternative to Italy', it is now not only much cheaper than its neighbor lying on the opposite side of the Adriatic, but unlike in Italy, that doesn't mean nomads no longer have a place here: they simply have been looking for that home away from home in all the wrong places.

Digital Nomad Working on Laptop

Forget about jam-packed, shockingly pricey Dubrovnik or increasingly-boujee St. Tropez-y Hvar.

Leave those for vacationers willing to pay triple the average Airbnb rate. If you're a digital nomad, these are the top 4 best Croatian cities to live:

Rijeka

The third-largest city in Croatia, Rijeka (or Fiume) is a lively seaport distinguished for having a strong, noticeable Italian heritage, where ethnic Istrian cuisine and a unique combination of ancient charm and modernity awaits.

People Walking The Streets In Rijeka, Croatia, Southeastern Europe

Strolling around the Old Town, you will find a high concentration of historical structures, including Venetian-inspired buildings, a medieval cathedral, and an ancient hilltop Roman castle, while the marina is dominated by high-rises and luxury resorts.

For nomads specifically, Rijeka is full of work-friendly cafes, with the well-frequented Priroda i društvo being a local favorite among expats, and it's highly sought-after for its lively social scene, as it is a youthful, university town.

Most importantly, it offers cheaper prices than overtouristed Dalmatia.

High Street In Rijeka Old Town, Croatia, Southeastern Europe

According to Nomad List, it costs $1667 per month to live in Rijeka, with safety being a huge pro, as well as multiculturalism: most Istrians are receptive to foreigners and will speak multiple languages, most notably Italian and English, making it easier for newcomers who don't know Croatian to integrate.

Osijek

Visitors to Croatia will concentrate along the Adriatic oceanfront, paying the Central European hinterland dust, and this is where unheard-of Osijek comes into play as a strategic ‘workcation' hub for remote workers looking to beat the crowds.

The Neogothic Cathedral In Osijek, Capital Of Slavonia, A Region In Croatia, Central Europe

Located in the Slavonian provinces, close to the Serbian border, it is the cultural heart of its region, halfway between being a laid-back town and a major city, with under 100,000 residents and an impressive concentration of historical landmarks.

Osijek is perfect for the History-buff nomad, as it is characterized by a charming, Austria-Hungary-era Old Town; it houses Croatia's most monumental Neo-Gothic cathedral – the beautiful Church of St Peter and St Paul – and its Museum of Slavonia is world-class.

View Of A Historic Fortress In Osijek, Capital Of The Slavonian Province Of Croatia, Central Europe

Other than the overload of culture, the abundance of green areas and car-free zones will help you unwind after a long day of work, and the low prices, from accommodation down to food at restaurants, will encourage you to stay longer: you will need on average $1303 per month to call Osijek home.

Cavtat

Dubrovnik has made headlines in recent years as a real-life King's Landing, thanks to its association with Game of Thrones, and the perfect European summer destination, yet little is said about the surrounding, wider Dubrovnik-Neretva County, let alone the charming fishing village of Cavtat.

Quaint Marina In Cavtat, A Small Adriatic Village In The Dubrovnik-Neretva County Of Croatia, South Eastern Europe

The only Dalmatian settlement to make this list, Cavtat remains very much a ‘niche' destination for visitors to Croatia's far South, usually those who are staying longer, and more specifically even, taking day trips out of Dubrovnik, meaning it is not nearly as crowded.

Basing yourself in this sleepy, 2,000-people-strong town, you will have an inviting turquoise Adriatic as your morning view, limited crowding, despite being a short half-hour drive from Croatia's busiest destination, and the peace that comes in the evenings when daytrippers and cruisers are gone.

View Of A Line Of Boats Lined On A Marina In Cavtat, Dubrovnik-Neretva County, Seen From The Walls Of A Historic Monument, Croatia, South Eastern Europe

This Dalmatian gem is not as well-equipped to host long-term guests as the other larger cities mentioned here, but there are plenty of month-long Airbnb rentals in the market, usually at cheaper rates than in Dubrovnik: in total, you should budget $1964 to live and work remotely from Cavtat.

Zagreb

Finally, the capital of Croatia should not be so quickly dismissed by remote workers as a potential destination.

No, it does not offer access to the ocean, and it is worlds apart from the picturesque, Romanesque Dalmatia, but it is arguably Croatia's most vibrant city break.

Zagreb Cathedral And Zagreb Lower Town Seen From A Viewpoint On The Upper Town, Capital City Of Croatia In Central Europe

With its exciting nightlife, possibly the most riotous one in the Balkans after Belgrade, a rapidly developing, skyscraper-dotted cityscape, and a plethora of coworking spots to choose from, Zagreb provides nomads with the perfect base for exploring the country.

Despite being a sprawling capital, it can also be charming and quaint, particularly with its walkable Old Town, a cobbled district full of unique museums, including a heart-wrenching one chronicling ‘Broken Relationships', and famous for having a towering medieval cathedral.

Main Square In Zagreb At Sunset, Croatia, South Eastern Europe

The fact that Zagreb isn't coastal may be seen as a downside by most, but in fact, it acts in its favor as a nomad destination: it tends to attract those who are genuinely interested in Croatian culture and in socializing, not merely the sunny weather and postcard beaches.

Finally, it is less expensive than Dalmatian Croatia, with nomads spending on average $1,644 per month to live there.

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This article originally appeared on TravelOffPath.com

Opinions expressed here are the author’s alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, hotel, airline, or other entity. This content has not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of the entities included within the post.


Travelguy

Wednesday 17th of January 2024

Croatians thinks they are western Europe and they have prices that reflect that but they obviously aren't western Europe in any way...and you don't get the same quality as W.E.

Zz

Sunday 14th of January 2024

I just spent 3 months in the balkans. In Zagreb you will pay 4.5 euros for a tea, but go across Una river or Sava to Banja Luka in northern part of Bosnia its 1 euro. The beauty is that you can go to EU at any moment spend time there and return. Its true that you can you live there with $1600/month including monthy rent. I was eating a full course meal- dinner,salad for $4, beer $1. I went to Zagreb,Croatia and paid the same $20 and more $$$. Avoid turisty spots and stay in small towns along the coast. As you will be skinned alive by the locals.Food is out of this world, and nature is pretty. Imagine going river rafting for 5 hrs for $30. I met some young german couple who bought land in northern bosnia and live there. Cost of living is great and afordable but its still the balkans and they are slow to advance but they are making progess slowly.

Antonia

Thursday 18th of January 2024

@Zz, Ur comment :"still balkans"is very offensive.

Travelguy

Wednesday 17th of January 2024

@Zz, you can live on much less than 1600 in BL, anywhere else in Bosnia too, even belgrade in serbia though prices rapidly going up in Belgrade too...

Jk

Friday 12th of January 2024

@Vinicius Costa,

There is no ocean near Croatia. Locals will call you out on that every time. It's a sea. A magical sea at that. 😊

Ana

Friday 12th of January 2024

This article is money dragging out of people financed. Nomads should stay away from these countries deffo if prosperous deciding. Bosnia next door neighbour should be mentioned and Serbia instead or Poland,Montenegro next door to it has cleaner sea and its cheaper plus people are really nice and in Croatia they are plastic nice. Check Vietnam or everywhere else cuz its better to go Switzerland 10 percent more expensive than Croatia. Croatia is expensive and boring country, till yesterday they were robbing people disgracefully on money exchange and now they would like to rob nomads or at least learn how to I presume.

Antonia

Thursday 11th of January 2024

With all do respect. Croatia formerly know as Yugoslavia is located in the Balkan. Not in Eastern European standard? What is the Eastern European standard ? The Croatian language is called Serb -Croatian language that belong the Slavic language family. Everybody understand that language that live or lived in this region. Regardless the ethnicity. Thank You .

Travelguy

Wednesday 17th of January 2024

@Jk, lol, ok bruh

Antonia

Saturday 13th of January 2024

@Jk, Yes it does. What language people speaking in Serbia or Croatia its their right. This is not a political forum . But Thank You for Ur input.

Jk

Friday 12th of January 2024

@Antonia,

The term Serb-Croatian language is no longer used. People in Croatia speak Hvartski aka Croatian.