Split Croatia city centre

Split, Croatia Cost of Living – A Budget for Life in Croatia

This post was most recently updated on January 13th, 2021

Croatia is one of the most stunning gems on the Adriatic sea. Natural beauty, a wealth of culture and history, and a vibrant lifestyle make it a fantastic destination to visit for a vacation or an extended stay.

Split is the second-largest city in Croatia and is almost completely surrounded by the coast. The sea that laps against the city is azure blue and warm in the summer months. With much of the city having been built millennia ago, the view of the old architecture against this particular shade of blue, is something you’ll never forget.

Now, all there is to know is: what is the Croatia cost of living? Keep reading to find out, so that you can pack your bags and hit the road with peace of mind that you won’t run out of cash halfway through your adventure.

Split, Croatia Cost Of Living

Like anywhere else in the world, your living expenses will depend largely on how you spend your money, and your level of thrift. You can hold your purse strings tightly and live very cheaply in Split, or you can choose to spend a bit more in order to have a higher standard of living. The choice is yours.

Fortunately, whichever way you choose to spend, Croatia is a relatively well-priced country. And the Croatia cost of living vs the U.S. is a lot cheaper. Even going so far as being half the price of living in the United States, depending on your spending habits. It costs approximately the same as living in Mexico.

Croatia Cost of Living Breakdown for 2 People

  • Rent including utilities – $400 – $700
  • Groceries – $550
  • Restaurant Meals – $22
  • Bus Passes – $100 
  • Cell phone – $120
  • Entertainment – $150

These are not all of the costs involved in living in Split. But, it gives you a good idea of what you can expect to pay for everyday services and other basics. 

It is found that the average cost of living for one nomad is $2 750 a month, and $1 760 for an expat. And, if you’re splitting accommodation costs between two, the costs can go down considerably.

For a local, life costs only $650 a month. So, we can see that if you’re living basically, you can survive very cheaply, and there is no specific right or wrong way to live and spend. 

Cost of Food in Split, Croatia – Restaurants and Supermarkets

Croatia is uniquely situated in the Mediterranean, while also touching Eastern Europe. This means you can sample fresh seafood alongside rich traditional European dishes. Take advantage of the eating culture that savours wine, slow eating, and conversation. Or, simply hit up the local supermarket for some basics, and make it up as you like it.

The options are endless. Yet, what may help whittle it down a bit is, as per usual, your budget. If you want wonderfully memorable cuisine and the finest ingredients, you can expect to pay quite a hefty price. Fortunately, as in most countries, there are a variety of options.

How Expensive Is Croatian Food?

Cooking for yourself is often the best way to make your budget stretch as far as possible, giving you more money to spend in this incredible location. And, also affording you a greater entertainment budget.

If you have the space to cook, you’re set for a cheap stay. Bacon and eggs at breakfast will cost you around $4 for two people. At lunch, pop into your local deli and grab two big slices of pizza for $10 (they normally do it in large square slices, and it’s often more bread-like than traditional pizza). 

For dinner, you can get away with under $15 spent on ingredients, or $20 for two basic meals at a local joint. If you’d prefer something mid-range but good, expect about $35 together. And lastly, if you want to really embrace the best of Croatian cuisine, great restaurants in Split, Croatia will cost you about $70 together.

Popular Food in Split, Croatia

If you’re wondering what Croatian cuisine to look out for, there are a few popular favourites, and you’ve likely never heard of them before. Boškarin is a delicacy that tastes amazing with gnocchi. This Istrian oxen dish can be found at top restaurants and Croatian taverns.

Like most Mediterranean countries, Croatia is also well known for incredible seafood. Brodetta, or fisherman’s stew, is an incredible option. But, you also can’t go wrong with Buzara, which is a dish containing mussels with lots of wine and garlic.

Attractions and Entertainment in Split, Croatia Cost

There is so much to do and see in Croatia, you certainly shouldn’t resign yourself to a boring life in this incredible country, simply for the sake of a happy budget. After all, there’s no point in experiencing a country cheaply, if you didn’t actually experience the country.

That being said, being entertained in Split doesn’t require a vast amount of resources. Simply meandering through the old town, wandering through local markets, enjoying the aquamarine waters at the beach, and meeting friendly locals is completely free.

All you ultimately need is an open mind and a good pair of walking shoes. Anything above and beyond that is just a bonus. For a more extensive list, see our post on things to do in Split.

Top Attractions and Entertainment in Split

Croatia was built on and around the ruins of the impressive palace of the Roman emperor, Diocletian. As such, there is some incredible ancient architecture to be seen in the city.

Diocletian’s Palace should be no.1 on your list of things to see. It’s enormous, beautiful, and absolutely free. That’s if you choose to explore it at your own pace. But there is definitely something to be said about taking a guided tour of the area so you can learn all the history from an expert, while admiring the well-preserved ruins.

Besides this impressive pile of ruins, is the Riva boardwalk. That’s where you’ll find lively restaurants, bars, and a great atmosphere in general. You could also visit Marjan, which is an iconic peak with panoramic city views. Beach Bene is also a must-see. It’s a rocky beach below a forested hill, and a unique spot to lounge in the sun for the afternoon.

On days where you want to explore a little beyond the city, Krka National Park is an incredibly beautiful place to visit. Equally stunning is Plitvice Lakes National Park. Together, these parks make up Croatia’s most famed attractions.

Split Cost of Transportation

The easiest way to get around Split is by bus and on foot. The streets are so vibrant and interesting, you’ll likely find that your favourite part of many excursions is the walk there.

However, to reach some of the further attractions, a bus will do the job nicely. Croatian buses are modern, comfortable, and relatively well-priced. As previously mentioned, a monthly bus pass costs around $50 per person. This allows you to hop onto a bus whenever you need to, making it the easiest option, and a relatively cheap one at that.

If you’re only here for a short time, a hop-on-hop-off bus is a great option to make the most of your time.

Renting a car may also be a good choice if you’re staying long term. Driving your own car gives you the freedom to stop and explore wherever you want. However, fuel is quite a bit more expensive in Split than in the US, at approximately $1.6 per litre. 

Split, Croatia Climate

Croatia is on the Adriatic coast, and as such, enjoys gorgeous seasonal weather. The Mediterranean climate of hot, dry summers is set beautifully against cool, rainy winters, without the country ever really getting freezing cold.

The summer months, from June to August, regularly reach 30°C and don’t often go below 20°C.

During winter, from December to February, the highs average at 10°C and the lows at 6°C. So, the temperature stays relatively moderate.

Crime in Split

When moving to a new country, it’s always good to be aware of the crime rates. Although even a “dangerous” country can be well worth the visit, it’s important to know just how aware of your surroundings you need to be to stay and feel safe.

Fortunately, Croatia is a safe country. With very little violent crime and few robberies and break-ins. Making it a winner for those who are concerned about their well-being.

There is some graffiti around the city, and unemployment is an issue amongst the youth. But this does not translate to crime in Split. Non-violent crimes you may come across are drug dealing and corruption, which is similar to what you’d find if you retire in Puerto Vallarta.

Last Thoughts on Split, Croatia

Retiring or just simply visiting Split is sure to be an unforgettable experience, and an affordable one. Your Croatia cost of living is what you make it. You and your partner can have a great standard of living, without breaking the bank. Plus, Croatia is such a naturally beautiful country, that living here would allow you to fill your days with wonder.