5 reasons why Croatia should be digital nomads’ next hot destination

5 reasons why Croatia should be digital nomads’ next hot destination

The trend of digital nomadic travel was on the rise before the pandemic, but Covid-19 has triggered a dramatic shift towards remote working and the rise of digital nomads around the world, a trend that is expected to grow even further in the future. Due to the restricted ‘new normal’ mobility, employees in various industries were encouraged to replace their desks with homes, and new flexible working conditions combined with a comfortable lifestyle opened up a new sphere of workplaces. distant in various exotic places. Croatia recently joined a list of countries, including Dubai, Estonia, Germany, the island and Norway, which attract digital nomads by encouraging engaging experiences and providing special residence permits for workers at distance, known as digital nomadic visas.

Dynamic lifestyle and hospitality

Croatia is a small country with diverse life experiences depending on the city or region chosen. The capital Zagreb is the best option for lively city gatherings all year round and an ideal central location for exploring the whole country. Those looking for a mild Mediterranean climate, a relaxing seaside lifestyle, and excellent seafood and wine should consider Dalmatian towns such as Split, Zadar, Dubrovnik or the Islands.

Dubrovnik, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, Game of Thrones established King’s Landing, and Croatia’s most famous city gained additional interest in the digital nomad community with the Digital Nomad Conference held in October 2020 and a recent global competition offering free stay and destination experiences. to ten lucky winners in Dubrovnik. Several hotels have already adapted to new trends and created special offers to meet the needs of digital nomads and teleworkers.

A great option in eastern Croatia is the small town of Osijek, located in the center of the Slavonija and Baranja regions. Besides the low cost of living, you will meet the friendliest people, with many possibilities for recreation and delicious food. Zagreb is ranked # 46 in the world by Nomadlist, with Split # 131, Osijek # 216, Zadar # 233 and Dubrovnik # 257.

Whichever city you choose, communication shouldn’t be a problem as most Croats are multilingual. English is the most dominant foreign language, but almost everyone understands (and speaks) at least some basic English. Croats are known to be friendly, social, generous and eager to help others. While making friends with the locals can be difficult on a short tour, it shouldn’t be difficult on a longer stay. The key is to observe the local culture and participate in daily rituals, whether it’s drinking coffee at a (local) bar, bonding around food and wine, or participating in experiences. social.

Natural beauty and rich cultural heritage

When it comes to natural beauty, history and culture, Croatia has a lot to offer, leaving all tourists and locals to be spoiled for choice.

Croatia is fortunate to have unspoiled water sources, diverse flora and fauna, an exciting landscape, with around 10% of the country’s area being protected, either as a national park or as a park natural. There are eight national parks, including the famous Plitvice Lakes, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, twelve natural parks, over 30 rivers, 27 lakes, hills and (some) mountains, and one of the most popular waters. cleanest in the world – the Adriatic Sea. Croatia’s sparkling 4,058 km (2,522 mi) coastline is one of the most rugged and beautiful in the world with 1,244 islands, islets, cliffs and reefs. The largest islands are Cres, Krk, Brač, Hvar, Pag, Korčula, Dugo otok, Mljet, Vis and Rab. In addition, it is home to some of the best beaches in Europe, praised by Conde Nast, Lonely Planet, National Geographic, and other global media.

Culture and history are abundant in every corner of Croatia, with numerous UNESCO intangible heritage encounters and ten sites inscribed on the UNESCO World Heritage List, as well as over 15 sites on the UNESCO indicative list. The list includes Dubrovnik Old Town (1979), Plitvice Lakes National Park (1979), Split Historical Complex with Diocletian’s Palace (1979), St. James Cathedral in Šibenik (2000), Fortress St. Nicholas of Šibenik (2017), Historic Town of Trogir (1997), Episcopal Complex of the Euphrasian Basilica in the Historic Center of Poreč (1997), Stećci Medieval Tombstone Graveyards (2016), Stari Grad Plain (2008) and Paklenica and Northern Velebit National Parks.

Excellent connectivity

Internet and Wi-Fi are widely available in Croatia, with good coverage in the majority of urban areas. According to Statista, the average mobile Internet access speed is around 65.79 Mbps, while the average fixed Internet connection speed is around 46.76 Mbps. Most cities have free Wi-Fi hotspots in various parts of the city, such as downtown areas, parks, and public transportation.

The majority of tourism businesses also provide free Wi-Fi, usually through secure networks that require a password to access. Wi-Fi codes are normally available on menus, receipts and hotel / apartment directories, but if they are not, you can always ask a server or host. The three main network providers with fast broadband speed and good signal are T-Mobile, A1 (ex VIP) and Telemach (ex Tele2). Nationals of other EU countries cannot benefit from any roaming charges, while other nationals should get a Croatian SIM card to keep costs down.

High level of security

Croatia is one of the safest countries in Europe, with lower crime rates and less pick-pocketing than most other European countries. However, responsible behavior of general “common sense” is often recommended when traveling or staying in Croatia. In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Croatian ministry and tourism organizations have launched a national safety mark – Stay Healthy in Croatia – to help travelers identify companies that adhere to global health and safety standards. ‘hygiene.

Digital nomad visa

Croatia introduced a long-term temporary permit, popularly known as the ‘digital nomad visa’, from January 1, 2021, allowing all digital nomads, including third country nationals, to stay, work and live in Croatia for up to one year, with the possibility of extension. A digital nomad is defined as a person who is not employed or who works for a company registered in Croatia and who does not provide business services in Croatia.

To qualify, remote work must apply online, pay administrative fees and submit an application, proof of intention, copy of travel document, health insurance, proof of sufficient funds, Croatian address, background check issued by the government of a country of origin and for married nomads, a marriage certificate. Sufficient funds for digital nomads are around EUR 2.152 per month and EUR 86 for each additional family member. While Croatia has had its fair share of digital nomads in the past, the first official digital nomad visa / permit was given in January to Melissa Paul, an American marketing consultant who moved her American address to Istria, Croatia. . Several other applications are also envisaged.

Croatia has been recognized as a Perfect Digital Nomad Destination by CNN and Lonely Planet, with several cities going beyond and beyond to present themselves as ‘Digital Nomad Friendly’, such as Dubrovnik, which launched the first digital nomad contest. . Relatively affordable housing, great internet access and attractive lifestyles make Croatia one of the best options for remote workers in 2021 (and beyond).

Christian Larss Kreković is Managing Director of Sun Gardens Dubrovnik. Sun Gardens Dubrovnik is a luxury resort on Croatia’s Adriatic coast offering tailor-made experiences to its guests.

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