If nothing else, 2020 has shed light on just how adaptable us humans can be. Not just us as a person, but as a society and as a daily existence. When we couldn’t go out to eat, delivery services like Bolt were streamlined to have us ordering all our favorites online. Can’t meet people at bars; online dating has evolved to include e-dating from your own lounge. And when we weren’t allowed in the office, suddenly working from home was easily manageable and is now the norm.
So if you are one of those people who can work remotely and are looking for that new challenge to kickstart the post-pandemic period, why not pack up and leave to somewhere new. Many countries now offer temporary residence to people who work online, from Estonia to Georgia to Bermuda. It’s to get people spending their overseas based income there to help boost their economy.
It’s known as a “Digital Nomad” and as of January 2021, the beautiful country of Croatia has added themselves to that list. It’s not about immigrating there for good, it’s about getting a one year visa to check out what the country has to offer and invest your coin in their economy. Here’s why you should do it and what exactly it entails.
Croatian Temporary Residence Permit
The same as a visa, this permit is open to all foreign nationals who work in the IT game. By that, they mean that you earn an income from a third country, but can do your job from theirs. These residence permits are being issued for 12 months and, at the discretion of Croatian immigration, may be applied for multiple times.
It’s not a steppingstone to permanent residence, nor can you gain employment in Croatia, but you also don’t have to pay taxes in Croatia. You will have to leave the country for at least 90 days after its expiration if you are looking to renew, and that makes you invalid for permanent status.
But if you can do your job from the confines of your apartment, beach or a café terrace, why not change that scenery to something a little more Games of Thrones-like. This is not unheard of. Places like Thailand and Vietnam are already well known in digital marketing and developer community as good places for remote work. Malta, an island nation in Mediterranean has been known to harbor gambling professionals, playing casino games like poker and shielding their online casino payouts from the taxmen of the Northern Europe.
Interested in how it exactly works? See here how to apply.
Nestled quietly in between Slovenia, Hungary, Serbia and Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatia has one of the most spectacular coastlines of any country on the planet. With hundreds of beautiful islands scattered all up the Adriatic Sea, incredibly picturesque villages are found around every bend. Stunning architecture, hundreds of years old, gives the whole country a medieval feel.
A Mediterranean climate means beautiful summer weather on the coast but with elevations extending to 3,000 feet, snowy, hilltop forests can be found in winter. You can swim on an idyllic sandy beach in the morning, yet be hiking through a gorgeous national park for a picnic lunch.
And with the average worker receiving around €900 per month, it’s incredibly affordable. And we haven’t even touched the night life and restaurants.
The Best Places For The Croatian Digital Nomad to Reside?
For a digital nomad, there are several things that are important for the whole thing to work. Internet connection is the obvious minimum. Vivid scenery and night life are also welcome. If possible, a town or a city might be easier to live in than some Dalmatian village and the infrastructure would be better. An expat community is also a plus. Here are several popular destinations to check.
Zagreb – Life and Going Out
Starting off with the capital, which also means the biggest urban area, Zagreb is only 750,000 people strong, which is still manageable. If your lifestyle is dictated by which bar or restaurant you’ll be frequenting next, this is the place for you. Off the coast, but still accessible on your days off, you’ll find a bustling city that still holds all its historic charm.
Bars and nightclubs are plentiful, as are some great casinos to get your game on, and although there’s more trouble than other Croatian cities, Zagreb is one of the safest capital cities you’ll find in Europe. From top notch restaurants to many cute pubs, bars and traditional taverns in old street of Tkalča, Zagreb has everything that is expected from a middle European capital at somewhat more affordable prices than competitors.
Dubrovnik – Clubs in City Walls
Probably the most expensive city in the country, it’s known as the Pearl of the Adriatic for a reason. This city is tucked away right at the bottom of the coastline, just an hour from Montenegro, and is absolutely beautiful. Literally, one of the most picturesque cities you’ll ever see. Perched on limestone cliffs over-looking the sea, 40,000 inhabitants make it a small town really.
Many great restaurants offering fresh sea food and incredible cuisine, with romantic sea-side bars to sip wine and relax the night away. Nowhere near the bustle of its larger counterparts, this is for the quiet amongst us, who don’t mind spending more to live in luxury. A UNESCO World Heritage site and the scene of Kings Landing in Game of Thrones, it’s truly Mediterranean.
Split – Bars and Pubs in Old City Core
A city of more than 150,000 in a regular summer, Split is more of a tourist town, with many Germans and Italians making up the numbers in the peak season. Located right on the sea, halfway down the coastline, it’s a city of split personalities (excuse the pun); busy and touristy in the summer, quiet and community minded in the winter.
Summer months will see many bars and clubs open to all hours, packed with tourists and expats. Great restaurants, classy casinos and plenty to keep a night owl occupied. Then in winter everyone sort of takes a breath, relaxes and recuperates for the next season. The cost of living here is low, even for Croatian standards, but it does not have the luxury feel of Dubrovnik.
Rijeka – Close to Istrian Wine and Dine
One of the northern-most cities, this town is perfect for those who love the quiet life. The third biggest city in Croatia, it’s more of a melting pot of cultures than others, owing to its long history as a thriving port town. The weather up here is what some may call bad, but only when compared to the rest of the country. It just gets a little rainy is all.
To say that the nightlife is lacking is a touch understated; there isn’t any. But it’s extremely affordable, beautiful and perfect for those who love a city designed for walking. Walking up the stairs we mean. But the quality of life here does make up for the weather.
Other good destinations are Zadar, Šibenik, Pula. These are mid-size towns that are still large enough not to be too boring. If you want that true Dalmatian lifestyle with the locals, check out places on Makarska riviera.
It’s really about working out what you prioritize in your life when thinking about where to settle. Do you need that constant nightlife and trips to the casino, or can you manage with cozy bars on the sea and some online gambling?
Whichever city takes your fancy, remember that with the relaxed, Mediterranean lifestyle comes a relaxed, Mediterranean culture. You’ll need to be able to adapt to a lack of rational thinking, attention to detail and organization. Instead, you must go with the flow and take things as they come, or you can easily find yourself in a world of frustration.