Croatia has such a great quality of life. The slow pace, the amazing landscapes, the generous people….just to name a few. I would like to share this top 20 of some great advantages of living in Croatia.
1. Stunning natural beauty and very diverse landscapes:
You are never far away from really beautiful nature and crystal clear rivers. Maybe Slavonia is a bit more flat and boring. But try the wonderful nature park of Papuk. Croatia has such a high amount of National Parks, Nature Parks, and protected areas.
2. Great infrastructure:
Croats have a great love for asphalt. Even the smallest villages in the mountains can be reached by asphalt nowadays. Toilets in many shopping centres and gas stations are clean and available for free.
The highways….They are among the best and most beautiful ones in Europe. Everything is fenced, no wildlife on the road.
3. No real estate tax:
Owning your own house and land in Croatia is a great privilege. Up till now, there is still no real estate tax.
4. A very safe country:
Whether you take a late evening walk in Zagreb or you take a hike in the countryside. Croatia is very safe. The crime rate is low. Burglary is not a common practice in this country.
5. Easy to find an affordable place in fantastic locations:
There are plenty of houses for sale in Croatia. The great thing is that (apart from the coast), you can find your own hideaway in nature or in a little village and still have a lot of land and privacy around you.
6. Water is everywhere:
Croatia is most famous for its wonderful breathtaking coast. But I prefer rivers even better. Did you ever drive up to the source of the Kupa river? Experience the brutal power of nature and seeing the water coming out of the ground with such a force? There is water in abundance in Croatia. In summer the rivers warm up to a comfortable 24 degrees and you can swim, raft or row. Often times you have the place all to yourself. Why… there are just so many of these places.
7. Small supermarkets and bakeries on every corner:
I really love that you don’t have to go to a big mall first and park your car and then walk another five minutes. It is still profitable to run a small supermarket in Croatia. So you see them everywhere and they store a lot of stuff. Bakers are all over the place. Especially in the last five years the variety and quality of bread are improving. You can just stop on the main road and buy fresh bread, a pastry, or a famous burek. Enjoy!
8. Slow pace of life:
The summers are hot and the Croats are warm-hearted. They will always make time for a talk. The stress that I so often experience in Western Europe is something that I seldomly sense here in Croatia.
9. Lots of personal services:
Whether it is the repair of your lawnmower, the fixing of your vacuum cleaner or the need for a handmade wardrobe. There are still a lot of practical and creative craftsmen around in Croatia. Knowing them personally is a great advantage. They do not rip you off and offer value for money.
10. Affordable prices:
Going to get a haircut costs me just 3,50 euro. The lunch menu in the restaurant costs me just 5 euro. When I damage my car, I just go to a local craftsman and, he fixes it for less than 100 euro. A coffee in Varazdin will cost you just 80 cents. When you know your way around you can get things really cheap.
11. Other great places of interest within easy reach:
Venice, Vienna, Budapest, Mostar, Ljubljana, and beautiful Montenegro. Croatia’s great road network allows you to travel fast to other great European destinations in less than half a day.
12. Small agricultural companies:
I love to plant…So why not make a small business of it. We have almost one hectare of land around our house. So we planted a lot of trees, berries, and nuts. The government allows you to start a small agricultural business and also market your own homegrown goodies and share those healthy treats with other people and earn some money at the same time. This is something we really appreciate!
13. You can have your own piece of forest:
Besides having a big piece of land for low money you can also own your own piece of forest. We own one as well and every year we take just two or three trees out for our own personal use. We do not have huge bills for heating. We warm our house by means of our own natural resources.
14. There is a lot of jurisdiction but on the other hand a lot of freedom:
If you want to start a business or get permits that can be quite a time consuming and dreadful experience (unfortunately) in Croatia. But on the other hand, there is a lot of freedom. For instance, we have the wonderful Kupa river behind our house. We made concrete stairs to get into the water safely. We have a boat there. The river is not ours and the small strip of land that separates our land and the river is not ours. But still, we get all the freedom in the world to make such facilities for ourselves.
15. Everything grows:
The climate is just great, at our place literally, everything grows. Whether its kiwi’s, grapes, berries, apples, pears, kakis. We grow most of our own food and the warm summers and relatively mild and short winters are of great help.
16. The value of cultural traditions:
Croats on average do not like changes. That means the level of innovation in society is a little slower. They like to keep things the way they are, that can be positive and both negative. But I see it from the photographer’s point of view. There are so many old and ancient objects in the landscapes that add great interest to my pictures. When you compare that to Slovenia where most people just want nice, big modern houses I am glad we still have some blast of the past here.
17. No high population density:
My guests are often surprised if I take them to a beautiful swimming spot or someplace out in nature. The first thing they say is ‘there are not many people here’. That is true. There is no heavy population density. You notice it on the road, driving here on most roads is rather quite relaxed.
18. There are coffee places practically everywhere:
You will find them in the most amazing places. Even at the end of a dirt road near some lonely mountain hut, someone is making soup or coffee. This country will serve you well and most of the time the coffee won’t cost you much.
19. A streetlight in front of every house:
This might sound a bit insignificant. But I really got to appreciate it. When you compare Croatia with Germany a lot leaves to be desired. But our streets and road are much better illuminated! Wherever you own a house there is the obligation of the municipality to put a streetlight there.
20. Lots of business opportunities:
Competition is not as heavy as in Western Europe. As I already explained, permits are not easy to get, bureaucracy puts a heavyweight on your patience and endurance here. But on the other hand, let’s get real. Who dares wins. We tried a lot… We failed in some things and succeeded in other things. I would not have liked to miss this adventure in my first seven years in Croatia. Things have calmed down now and I look back on it with great satisfaction. All these bureaucrats purified my dreams and made them even better!
21. The bonus….We recycle all our pet plastic bottles and soda cans. And that means a lot!