Official Croatian currency is Euro from 01.01.2023, despite Croatia being part of European Union since 2013. This is also one of the reasons why so many tourists want to know if you can pay with euro in Croatia!?
Luckily for everyone, shops, supermarkets, hotels, hostels, apartments, gas stations, restaurants and all other establishments accept euro from 01.01.2023! This makes visiting, enjoying and exploring Croatia much easier then before, especially for residents of EU that have euro as official currency.
No more visits to exchange offices or thinking what to pay with card and what with cash(kuna).
That being said, British pounds and US dollars can be used for payment in some places and certain situations. If you can, ask in advance if you can pay in USD or GBP, if that makes it easier for you.
Although you don't need kuna, nor is it used anymore after 14.01.2023, it's good to know how to get the best exchange rate when visiting Croatia. Whether you're paying with credit / debit cards, withdrawing money from ATM or visiting an exchange office to change from US dollars or GBP to euro.
Exchange Rate: Find the Right Exchange Office
Exchange offices at key transportations hubs such as airports, train stations and bus terminals usually have the worst exchange rate. If you plan to exchange your currency into Euro, we recommend you plan ahead.
Whether that means paying with credit/debit cards, exchanging GBP, USD or another currency to Euro before crossing the EU border or ordering a service that you can pay with USD or GBP.
After getting to your accommodation, check with your host as well as online for current exchange rates and for best exchange offices in your vicinity, if needed. Exchange offices in main metropolitan areas offer better exchange rates, due to higher competition and increased influx of tourists.
Also, it is well known that most exchange offices give you better exchange rate when converting larger sum of money. Keep that in mind.
Croatian Currency: ATMs
There are plenty ATMs available in resorts, towns, malls, supermarkets, banks and main Adriatic islands. Almost all ATMs in Croatia have choice of languages, so you won't need to navigate through Croatian-language menus.
That being said, ATMs usually give the worst exchange rate if you don't have euro account.
On top of this, they charge an operating fee. This isn't a problem if you are withdrawing smaller sum of money from ATM. However, if this isn't the case, there is a solution to this problem.
Paying with Credit / Debit cards
Credit and debit cards provide another valuable option for avoiding ATM fees. Also, since you are paying with your own credit card from your own bank, you will usually get better exchange rate.
However, you will still be limited when paying with credit/debit card in Croatia since not everyone offers this possibility. Cash is still preferred way of payment in Croatia.
Transferwise & Revolut - Reduce your Expenses
There is a way to minimize all these expenses, both ATM fees and unfair exchange rates. Transferwise and Revolut offer smart way to pay, withdraw and exchange money when traveling abroad, including Croatia.
These two are online money transfer services which are completely free. You only pay a tiny fee when converting from one currency to another, such as from USD or GBP to Euro. You also get real mid-market exchange rate which updates daily.
Not only that you can save significant amount of money but you can travel so much easier from one country to another with the help of their borderless accounts. You just need smartphone and their credit/debit card with a sufficient amount of funds for your trip.
Schengen & Eurozone: Croatia's Future
Although we waited 10 long years after joining EU, Croatia finally became a part of Schengen Area and Eurozone from 01.01.2023. Not only that euro is official Croatian currency but traveling to Croatia for residents of Schengen Area is the same as going from Paris to Marseille for the French.
That being said, other visitors will also benefit from it. When flying from USA, Mexico, Canada, Asia, South America or Australia into Spain, Italy, France or Germany, visiting other countries inside Schengen Area after check-in, Croatia included, will be so much easier now.
There won't be unnecessary stops or waiting at the border, especially if doing a car tour inside Schengen Area. What it makes it even better, with euro as official Croatian currency now.
Open borders, euro and more than thousand islands in Croatia. Summer awaits you.