Croatia’s pretty little capital is growing in popularity. Beloved for its Christmas markets (voted best in Europe three years in a row) and its relatively easy access to the famously pretty coastline of the country, I like it for its reasonable cost of living, nearby mountain hikes, and pretty, easy-to-navigate core.
When my partner announced that he had to make a trip to Asia this winter and it wasn’t really practical for me to go along, Zagreb is where I chose to base until I was allowed back into the schengen zone.
As usual, I tracked my spending.
So, what is the cost of living in Zagreb? How much does a month in Croatia’s capital cost?
Here are my real budget numbers:
My Cost of Living in Zagreb
|Entertainment & activities
|Luna the traveling pooch (vet bills, supplies)
|Health & wellness
Keep in mind that the above expenses are my spending for a solo month. My partner was in Asia on business, so there are no shared expenses above.
Zagreb Accommodation Costs
For accommodation, I rented a room via Airbnb. I chose a location high up on the hill above Zagreb, about a 10-minute bus ride or hour walk from the center.
For me, that was perfect. I prefer to be near hiking trails over city amenities. Plus, the higher you get up on the hill, the better prices seem to get. I wanted to go as low as I could on rent, so I chose a room in a shared house instead of opting for my own apartment (the lowest listings I saw for solo space started at least $200 higher).
The international transportation line item above is my expensive taxi ride from the airport (public transit would have taken forever and I have too many bags to deal with it).
Zagreb from above.
Local transportation was bus tickets to get back into town. Individual tickets for short rides (up to 30 minutes) are 4 kuna each (about 61 cents in US currency at time of this writing).
It’s important to note that bus tickets purchased on the bus itself are more than three times as expensive, so buy tickets at one of the city’s many little kiosks before you board. I had trouble finding a definitive map of kiosks, so your best bet is to ask a local where the nearest ticket seller is when you need to get more tickets. Here’s a helpful article on Zagreb transportation.
Groceries and Restaurants
My eating out budget reflects a lot more eating out than usual. Without my partner here, I got a bit lazy about cooking and I’ve been craving Asian food, so I did Indian and Japanese cuisine often.
My grocery bill is also a bit higher than it could be. Normally I do more cooking and fresh market shopping, but here I did more pre-made stuff, which costs more.
Zagreb’s Dolac fresh market.
Supplies are things like toilet paper, soap, and lotion.
Luna the traveling pooch’s line item is food for the most part.
Health and wellness is just insurance (I didn’t need any doctor visits or pharmacy purchases this month).
And entertainment was the cost of visiting the 360-view tower in town. (It was okay, but not so exciting that I’d pay for it again.)
As a final note: the above budget is my day-to-day living and exploring costs and does not include my business expenses and certain personal expenses like books, movie rentals, and replacing water bottles and clothes. I figure those things are too personal and variable to be helpful if you’re using these budgets to figure out your own trip costs, so I generally pull them out.
Want to see more nomad budgets for Croatia and other parts of the world? Check out this extensive piece with links to all my published budgets from the last six+ years.