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Most visitors to Croatia think that, since Croatia is a European country, the Croatian currency is the Euro. Right?
Well, that’s actually wrong!
That can come as a shock to plenty of travellers when they cross the border and realise they have the wrong currency in their pockets. There’s no need to stress, though. Croatian currency is actually very easy to understand, and in this post I’ll share everything you need to know about it before your trip!
What Currency is Used in Croatia?
The name of the currency used in Croatia is the Croatian Kuna, which has been in use since 1994. Its abbreviation is HRK. One unit of currency is one Kuna, with each Kuna divided into 100 lipas.
You can get Croatian banknotes in denominations of 5, 10, 20, 50, 100, 200 and 500, but I don’t remember seeing any 500 Kuna notes during my time in Croatia. That said, I have done some research online and the general consensus seems to be that as long as you’re buying something over 200 Kuna, using a 500 Kuna note to pay will be no problem at all.
It seems the 500 Kuna note does not have the same issues as our UK equivalent of £50, which many shops and restaurants refuse to accept.
Croatian coins come in denominations of 1, 2, 5, 10, 20 and 50 lipa or 1, 2, 5 and 25 Kuna. It’s very rare to come across 1 or 2 lipa coins nowadays as their low value has prompted them to stop being made.
Can You Use Euros in Croatia?
Euros are not an official currency of Croatia. That said, since many businesses in Croatia rely on tourism, there are some examples where you can pay in Euros. You’ll often see the prices of group tours, for example a trip to the Krka Waterfalls, expressed in Euros, and the vendors will accept payment in Euros or the equivalent in Croatian Kuna.
Many accommodation providers will also accept payment in Euros, and not just the larger hotel chains. My tiny, independent hostel in Split accepted payment in Euros or Kuna, so it seems quite widespread.
Situations when you can’t pay in Euros are usually obvious – supermarkets, other retail stores, bars, etc.
Can I Get Croatian Currency in the US/UK/etc?
You can get Croatian currency in the UK, US and other countries, and it’s good to arrive in the country with a small amount just in case your card doesn’t work in the ATM Machines (it’s possible!).
It’s very easy to get Croatian Kuna in the UK since so many tourists visit the country every year. Most bureau de change counters, and Post Office branches, will have Croatian Kuna in stock, or you can order it online to go and collect it.
The Croatian Kuna is less common at currency counters in the US since it’s not a country a tonne of US visitors flock to. However, if you order it in advance any currency counter should be able to source it for you.
I recommend taking around 500 HRK with you to Croatia as an emergency fund, and then, provided you have a travel debit or credit card that doesn’t charge you for foreign withdrawals, withdraw the rest of your cash from an ATM on arrival. You’ll usually get a better exchange rate that way.
What is the Exchange Rate for Kuna to Euros/USD?
1 Euro is around 7.5 Croatian Kuna. 1 USD is around 6.5 Croatian Kuna.
I know, it’s not ideal, because these numbers really don’t make it easy to convert the currency in your head! For this reason, I recommend downloading the XE Currency app on your phone before you travel, which will give you up to date currency calculations.
How to Get Croatian Kuna
In Croatia it’s simple to get your hands on the local currency. The best way is to take a bank card that has no international withdrawal fees (I use Starling Bank, but I’ve heard equally good things about Monzo) and withdraw cash from any bank ATM. This usually gives you the best conversion rate.
There are also banks and currency counters across the country which will happily convert your cash notes of other currencies into Croatian Kuna, although you may lose out slightly as the exchange rate is not usually as good as at ATMs.
Can You Use Credit Cards In Croatia?
You can sometimes use credit cards in Croatia. For restaurants, bars and hotels in larger cities, ferry tickets, and chain supermarkets, you can usually pay by card. The further off the beaten path you go, though, or the more traditional the establishment you’re visiting is, the more likely it will be that you’ll have to pay with cash.
The COVID situation has started to change this, but in general in Croatia expect to make plenty of payments in cash.
How Much Should I Budget For a Trip to Croatia?
Obviously how much you should budget for a trip to Croatia totally depends on your itinerary and travel style, but it’s important to remember that Dubrovnik, Split, and some of the islands (I’m looking at you, Hvar) can be pretty expensive. Especially in summer, when prices are similar to those in Western Europe!
I recommend doing some research on prices in the various Croatian destinations you’re planning to visit and then calculating a budget based on that. If you’re visiting in summer, I’d probably add 25%+!
To get a better idea of how much you should budget for your trip to Croatia I recommend Budget Your Trip. This helpful website shows the average price of things like groceries, taxis and hotels in Croatia so you can work out how much to budget. I often find their prices slightly high, but I am quite a frugal traveller. Plus, it’s always better to go with too much money rather than not enough!
More Croatia posts:
- 13 Fabulous Things to Do in Trogir, Croatia
- 15 Best Day Trips From Split
- The Ultimate Croatia Packing List
- Is The Famous 5 Island Tour From Split Worth It?
I hope this blog post helped you to prepare for your trip and better understand what currency is used in Croatia. In summary – Croatian Kuna (HRK) is the currency of Croatia, but you may be able to pay for some hotel stays and more expensive group tours in Euros.