• published on 5/3/2024
  • 3min

Best Places in Croatia for Expats

Croatia has plenty to offer expats considering a move here, known for its stunning Dalmatian Coast, natural beauty and its clear blue waters.

Best Places in Croatia for Expats

Table of contents

1. Zagreb

2. Split

3. Hvar

4. Dubrovnik

5. Pula

Finding a location to settle in can be a challenge, with many great options to choose from. This ranges from the capital of Zagreb in the northwest, well-connected and the country’s most populous city, to Pula on the Istrian peninsula, which provides a relaxed atmosphere and stunning beaches.

In this blog, we look at some of the best spots in this Mediterranean county for expatriates to live.


The capital, Zagreb, is found in the northeast part of Croatia. It is the largest city in the country, with over 800,000 residents calling it home.

Zagreb has good transport links, making it a great option for expats who wish to stay well connected. For instance, the city benefits from an international airport, an extensive tram and bus network, and the country’s largest train station, Glavni Kolodvor.

The main work sectors you will find in Zagreb include pharmaceuticals, electrical production and the processing of food and drinks. If you’re looking for work in Croatia, use this as an opportunity to brush up on your CV and your interview skills when applying for roles, with notable

There are a host of places to visit in Zagreb for expats, with two of the main districts consisting Upper and Lower Town. The Upper Town is the older part of the city, set upon a hill overlooking Zagreb. Here you can venture around sites that include the Zagreb Cathedral or get fresh produce at Dolac Market. The Lower Town is broadly considered the city centre, a bustling hub with the city's main shopping district, Ilica, and an array of restaurants to dine in at your spare time.


Located on the Dalmatian Coast and with a population of approximately 160,000 residents. You can find parks, beaches and even mountains in Split, making it an in ideal location for those who enjoy being outdoors.

The historical centre of Split is a UNESCO World Heritage Centre, with a diverse range of architecture, including Romanesque, Baroque and Renaissance styles. For getting around the city, the central form of public transport is its extensive bus network, which has 19 routes. Split also has two train stations as well as a ferry terminal that provide other convenient forms of travel for expats.

There are plenty of suitable areas for expats to live here, catering to all types of lifestyle preferences and requirements. Options to think about incorporate Meje in the western part of the city, known for its picturesque sea views and verdant green spaces, or Bačvice, which is close to the beach and has a multitude of cafes and restaurants to dine at.


An island off the south coast of Croatia, Hvar has a population of just 4,000 people, and is perfect for expats who enjoy a quieter atmosphere and slower pace of life. In its tranquil surroundings are stunning beaches and crystal clear waters to enjoy year round.

The main public transport choices here are buses and ferries. Regular services will take you back to the mainland and other islands, while frequent buses offer another efficient mode of travel.

Neighbourhoods you could think about reside in Hvar include Stari Grad, which has a lovely waterfront and a number historical landmarks to discover, or Milna, a village that is great for families with stunning sandy beaches to visit.

There is much to think about prepare before you relocate overseas, from organising paperwork, packing up your belongings to booking flights. Take a look at our essential moving abroad checklist for some guidance on this.


Situated in southern Croatia on the Adriatic Sea, Dubrovnik is a small city with a population of 42,000 people. There are a range of transport options available to residents in Dubrovnik, including an international airport, regular buses, and a ferry terminal.

The city is a popular tourist destination and is characterised by a mixture of Baroque and Gothic architecture, with notable features including the ancient Walls of Dubrovnik and Fort Lovrijenac. Similar to Split, its Old Town is also a UNESCO World Heritage Site, an ideal place for history lovers, and also an area where cars are not permitted.

Areas that you could ponder living in here incorporate Ploče, which has wonderful views of the Adriatic Sea, a historic sea port, and a great proximity to the Old Town, or Gruž, which has a large ferry port and a busy farmers market.

Relocating overseas is a big transition in your life, sometimes leaving you with feelings of homesickness. Have a look at our guide for useful tips on how you can make friends in your new home.


Located on the Istrian peninsula, Pula is famous for its family-friendly reputation, collection of Roman buildings and wonderful cuisine.

Shipbuilding, tourism and manufacturing are core industries in Pula, useful to know if you’re relocating to Croatia for a job role. Don’t forget that you might need to acquire a visa to work in Croatia – check out Croatia’s Ministry of Foreign and European Affairs website to see if this applies to you.

The main way to get around Pula is by bus, which is serviced by the Pulapromet. Additionally, you can travel internationally with ease, with its airport and train station providing convenient transport options. It is also situated close to Slovenia and Italy by car, where you can take fun trips to visit what nearby countries have on offer.