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Living in Split, Croatia as a Digital Nomad: The Good and the Bad

living in split croatia

Having stayed in Split for a week, I entertained the idea of moving there. It has everything I, who is used to tropical weather and beaches, need. It is coastal, has really nice beaches and neighboring islands, and a great selection of wine and cheese. It is not as expensive as Munich. But in the foreseeable future, the base is this southern German city. It doesn’t stop my curiosity on how it is to be a digital nomad in Split, so I reached out to the digital nomad community in Split, and Natalia (IG: natalia_ivanikova/ ) is nice enough to answer some of my questions on living in Split as a digital nomad. So consider this as a sort of guide if you’re considering Split as one of your possible destinations of your digital nomad life.

Split, Croatia

Can you tell us a little about yourself and your background as a digital nomad?

In March 2023 it would be 20 years of my professional experience, but I work remotely only 3 out of 20. 

For many years I’ve been in sales in B2B, ending up as an International Sales Director with severe burnout and almost physical office intolerance.  

It was the 1st of Feb 2019 when I decided I want a remote job and travel as much as I always wanted. A year before Covid, nobody did believe then, that sales can work remotely, so I made a career pivot and became a content writer. [Check out our guide to the best websites to look for freelancing and remote works

Now I work remotely with tremendous colleagues, live in Croatia, travel to other countries, and look forward to moving to Spain as soon as they would officially announce their Digital Nomad visa program on the 31st of March. 

living in split croatia as a digital nomad

How did you end up choosing Split, Croatia as your current base for your nomadic lifestyle?

Choosing Croatia as a digital nomad destination wasn’t actually obvious. I was checking the so far ultimate list of the countries with DN visas and wanted to go to Portugal, since I’ve been there before and love the country. On the contrary, I knew nothing about Croatia, but when I saw it’s possible to apply for DN visa online and wait for it inside the country, that changed everything. 

And then selecting Split was easy. It is on the coast, the second big city in Croatia, and has the DN community. That was all I needed. 

What kind of digital work do you do, and how do you find clients or jobs?

As I said before, I’m a content writer. For the first 2 years, I was freelancing and finding clients via word of mouth. But in Aug 2021 I was contacted by a company and the projects they offered were so interesting, that I joined it and now working my full-time. 

Half the company works remotely from different cities, countries and time zones, so we are all ok with that. 

living in split as an expat

Comparing to smaller cities, Split is alive in winter. Just a couple of places are closed, but most keep working. 


What are the biggest challenges you face as a digital nomad in Split and Croatia in general?

Traveling to other countries from Split is challenging. 

  • Although Split has an airport, there are almost no direct flights. I arrived in Split in August and up until today traveled to Moscow, Beirut, Prague, and Istanbul. And looking forward traveling to Vilnus and Barcelona. It’s always a pain to find tickets with affordable prices and connection time, and I usually buy bus tickets to Zagreb, and from Zagreb to a final destination. 
  • Croatian DN visa has restrictions on traveling abroad. One should stay outside the country no more than 30 days in a row, and no more than 90 days during the year, which makes traveling from Croatia tricky.
    Since joining Schengen, Croatia eliminated land and sea border control checkpoints on the 1st of Jan, and would eliminate air border control checkpoints at the end of March. Perhaps this allows traveling more around EU. 

How do you balance work and travel while living as a digital nomad in Split?

Working for the company, I have a very strict schedule. My working hours are from 9:00 to 18:00 GMT+3 time Monday to Friday, and it is not flexible. Our team works from different time zones, so we had to agree when we all must be online. 

I travel on weekends, vacations, and public holidays, and work on weekdays. So it is effortless to balance — I always know when I can go somewhere and when I can’t. 

How do you stay productive and motivated while working remotely?

We use Jira in the company and track our tasks there. I also use Todoist to track my personal tasks. 

Can you share your favorite co-working spaces or cafes to work from in Split?

I don’t use cafes, they are too loud for me and I can’t concentrate on the text I write. I neither use co-working. GMT+3 time means I start working at 7 am Croatian time in winter and 8 am in summer. So I wake up 30 mins before the working day and just don’t go out until the end of the working day. 

How do you manage to stay connected with other digital nomads and the local community in Split?

I use FB Group’s Digital Nomad Split Croatia.

Old Town, Split, Croatia

What do you like the most about living and working in Split as a digital nomad?

There are many things I like. 

  • Split DN community is very lively and friendly. There are tech meet-ups and a lot of non-working activities. 
  • Comparing to smaller cities, Split is alive in winter. Just a couple of places are closed, but most keep working. 
  • It is very convenient to explore Croatia from Split. There’s a network of local buses, FlixBus, and ferries. I travel quite often on 1-2 day trips, or more if I have vacations. 
  • The coastal location is such an advantage. In winter, almost every evening after work, I go out to walk along the beach to free my head. It helps to relax and stay mindful. I arrived in Split mid-August and till the end of September went swimming in the sea every day. It was almost like a vacation. 
  • I enjoy the surrounding mountains and when I can, I go out hiking as there are plenty of beautiful trails.
  • Everyone in Croatia speaks English. I never experienced a communication problem. 
  • Split in particular and Croatia in general is very safe. I live and travel here alone and never had even a slight feeling of being unsafe. 
  • Since Croatia joined Schengen, it became so easy to travel to other EU states with Croatian DN visa (read — residency) and being a non-EU citizen. But traveling from Split particularly is tricky, I said about it before. 

Everyone in Croatia speaks English. I never experienced a communication problem. 

living in split as a digital nomad

What advice would you give to someone who is considering becoming a digital nomad and moving to Split?

The major advice would be related to rentals. One needs to plan the dates of the stay in Split beforehand and think about the accommodation. 

  • The tourist season on the Croatian coast starts on the 1st of May and lasts till the end of September. Within this period, prices on literally any accommodation multiply by 4. There’s no possibility to find anything cheap in Split. Only in surrounding cities like Solin, Stobrec, Kastela. But living there is not the same as in Split. So I would recommend arriving outside the tourist season. 
  • To find long-term accommodation, for one year or so, I recommend website (open in Chrome browser and set up automatic translation from Croatian into English). There it is possible to pick apartments at affordable prices. Owners in FB groups lease their flats only outside the tourist season. 

Can you share some of your favorite things to do in Split during your free time?

As I said before, I like long walks along the coast; enjoy walking the Marjan park; travel from Split to neighboring cities on 1-2 days trips; hike around; swim the sea during the season; go to my fav SPA Spalato in Radisson Blu once a month; read a book with coffee and a sea view. Oh, yeah, and definitely discovering the delicious Croatian wines from different regions, which was a great discovery of this particular nomading, as I knew nothing about Croatian wines before. 

How do you deal with the challenges of being away from your family and friends for long periods of time?

We’re in touch via Instagram. I try to share as many pictures and stories as I can to show where I am and that I’m ok. My friends do that too, and we really spend time checking what we post and commenting, which helps to support the feeling that though online, we are still involved into each other’s lives.

We have a common chat in Telegram, but also we send each other a lot of personal voice messages. We realized how it is important to hear the voice back to quarantine times. Text wasn’t enough when we were separated from each other, so we got used to sending a lot of voices. Sometimes we send really stupid voices about the daily routine and stuff like that, but these messages occurred to be the most important. They help those who are remote to feel like they are somehow involved into other’s daily routines, and that creates a very strong feeling of presence and connection.   

And we do have lots of video calls and voice calls. 

How do you manage your finances as a digital nomad and what tips can you share for budgeting and saving money while traveling?

  • I use Wise (account and physical card), and it helps me in 3 ways. First, I have a major account in Euro and if I travel to countries with different currencies, Wise helps to save on currency exchange rates. Second, Wise has budget tracking and I can control how much I spend. Third, they have a cashback, just a lovely option, and a bonus.
  • To save money while traveling, I can recommend this:
    • Use public transport instead of taxis and renting cars. Also, usually public transport has an app, where tickets are cheaper. Download the Promet app to use buses in Split.
    • Buses are cheaper than planes. To travel from Split, check bus tickets on, Ferry tickets on [Added: Or compare bus, ferry, and train tickets on Omio and choose the best option.]
      To save on flights, take a bus from Split to Zagreb, and then from Zagreb to a final destination. 
    • Eat and work at home instead of going to cafes and co-workings. I go to Lidl once a week to buy groceries. In my experience, they have the best price-quality combination. 
    • Travel outside the tourist season and enjoy affordable accommodation. 
    • Usually, there’s no need to buy tourist city cards. In my experience, most of the time it’s a marketing trick, and you never visit all the places you paid for. For example, if you buy a Dubrovnik card, you’ll have to visit a lot in two days and either get tired or end up skipping a couple of places. Which means you’ll pay the same as without a card. It is different when a card includes transport, like an Istanbul card. There it is worth it.

Dubrovnik, Croatia. Photo by Natalia

What do you think the future holds for the digital nomad lifestyle and the role of technology in it?

There are definitely going to be more people traveling as more jobs becomes remote. At the same time, some jobs still cannot be remote at all. And some companies demand their staff to get back to offices or at least go hybrid. 

It will be interesting to watch this trend in the next couple of years. Now when that many people enjoy traveling while working, digital nomading will not shrink. However, I start seeing that locals aren’t very happy about nomads flooding. And I hear complaints in Croatia too. People are claiming the high prices and unaffordable leaving. In other countries, locals say that their previous quiet neighborhoods are now loud and unsafe, with just too many strangers coming that don’t care about culture and way of life, provoking conflicts. 

So, I guess, there’s still a lot that needs to be done to normalize this kind of lifestyle and sync it with the lives of the locals.

Finally, what are your future plans as a digital nomad and where do you see yourself traveling to next?

Since I received a Croatian DN visa at the end of Nov 2022, I worked in Lebanon for 3 weeks and heading now to Istanbul to work there for another month in March (and had some sort trips in between). I would stay some more time in Croatia and would be applying for the Spanish DN visa next. 

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Jona of Backpacking with a Book

Hi there, I’m Jona, originally from Cebu, Philippines, had live in Hanoi, Vietnam, and now currently based in Munich, Germany. This blog used to house thoughts on life and books, but eventually it morphed into a travel blog. For collaborations, projects, and other things, please email me at For essays, creative nonfiction, and others, find me elsewhere.

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