Expat guide to Croatia



The Croatian Coast is a favourite for tourists from the world over and the summer months see a season of colourful people from all over visit this vibrant country. There are some people who choose to stay and become a part of the Croatian culture, mainly because their jobs ask this. We have a fabulous guide for those of you who are getting established in Croatia. Don’t forget to visit our Croatia forum to ask any niggling questions that you might have. 


Croatia Istra

Expat Clubs

Dubrovnik Foreign Circle

The Dubrovnik Foreign Circle’s mission and vision is to actively serve the community by providing services that contribute to the health and vitality of the greater Dubrovnik Region. The organization’s goal is to provide friendship and understanding between its members and the Dubrovnik community at large by organizing cultural and social events. The Dubrovnik Foreign Circle engages in fundraising activities for the benefit of its community projects.

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/dubrovnik.circle

Website: www.dubrovnikforeigncircle.com

Expats Croatia

Expats Croatia is the On-line community of expatriates living in Croatia!Expats Croatia is a member of Expats Pages, a portal group dedicated to support expatriates all over the world.

Website: www.expatscroatia.com

International Women's Club Zagreb

The International Women's Club Zagreb was established in 1994 with the aim of creating a social network for international women living in the city. The Club is a non-profit organization and is officially registered with the Croatian government as such.

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/iwczagreb

Website: www.iwcz.hr

Zagreb Meetup

This group is for all English-speaking expats in Zagreb, be they American, Brits, Canadians, French, Spanish, Austrians, Germans, Dutch(ies), Aussies, Kiwies, or anywhere else! It is also for English-speaking Croatians (returning from abroad) or Croatians closely connected to expats.

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/groups/ZagrebExpat/

Website: www.meetup.com/Zagrebmeetup

International Schools 

The American International School of Zagreb

The American International School of Zagreb is a culturally diverse learning community that provides students with an intellectually stimulating program in a nurturing environment. We place students at the center of education, and encourage them to be creative individuals, critical thinkers, life-long learners, and socially responsible world citizens.

Curriculum: American

Address: Voćarska 106, 10000 Zagreb, Croatia

Tel: +385 (1) 4680-133

Email: [email protected]

Facebook: www.facebook.com/aisz.zagreb  

Website: www.aisz.hr

British International School of Zagreb

The British International School of Zagreb is committed to providing a creative and supportive learning environment in which independence, self-confidence and resilience is nurtured. Our English based curriculum aims to prepare our students for tomorrow and provide them with the necessary skills and knowledge to become internationally minded individuals.

Curriculum: English based

Address: Dedići 102 Zagreb, Croatia 10000

Tel: +385(0)91/2006-286

Facebook: www.facebook.com/pages/British-International-School-of-Zagreb/505773959464898?ref=hl

Website: www.britishschool.hr

Deutsche Internationale Schule in Zagreb

The German International School in Zagreb (DISZ) belongs to the network of 140 German schools abroad that are promoted on behalf of the Foreign Office of the Central Agency for Schools Abroad (ZfA). Sponsored by the Federal Republic of Germany and equipped with excellent teaching staff, the students of German schools abroad receive an excellent education and obtain German degrees.

Curriculum: German

Address: Fratrovac 36, 10000 Zagreb, Croatia

Tel: +385 12347655

Fax: +385 12347664

Email: [email protected]

Website: moodle.deutscheschule.hr

Ecole Francaise de Zagreb

The French School of Zagreb is a non-profit institution overseen by the AEFE (Agency for French Education outside France). On September 1st, 2005, the French School created the EuroCampus in co-operation with the German International School, engaging itself in a team-work which includes shared activities for the pupils of both schools.

Curriculum: French

Address: Fratrovac 36, Zagreb, Croatia

Tel: +385 1 234 7710

Email: [email protected]

Website: ecole.zagreb.free.fr

Matija Gubec International School

Since 2002 our school has been managed in accordance with the regulations from the regional office in Geneva, following the program of the International Baccalaureate (IB), which is the most extensive international program, accepted in more than hundred countries worldwide.

Curriculum: IB

Address: Davorina Bazjanca 2, Zagreb, Croatia

Tel: +385 1 383 6571

Email: [email protected]

Website: www.os-mgubec.hr

Local News in English

Croatian Times

All the news from around Croatia written in English.



News from Croatia and around the world compiled in the English language.


The Dubrovnik Times


Country Information 

Location: Europe

Capital City: Zagreb

Other Important Cities: Split, Dubrovnik

Currency: Kuna (HRK)

Language: Croatian

Calling Code: +385

Internet TLD: .hr

Emergency Numbers: 112

  • Ambulance: 94
  • Fire: 93
  • Police: 92
  • Roadside assistance: 987

Electricity is supplied by HEP Group (Hrvatska Elektroprivreda)

Address: Ulica grada Vukovara 37, 10000 Zagreb, Croatia

Tel: +385 1 63 22 111

Fax: +385 1 61 70 430

Website: www.hep.hr

Embassy Information


Residents Visa and Work Permit information

Work Permit

Aliens may work in the Republic of Croatia on the basis of a work or business permit (Article 114(1) of the Aliens Act). In cases stipulated by the Aliens Act, aliens may work without a work or business permit.

There is a quota system of work permits in the Republic of Croatia. The Government of the Republic of Croatia establishes the annual quota of work permits as regards the extension of the already issued work permits and new employments, and may also set the quota for the employment of seasonal workers.

The annual quota of work permits shall define activities and professions eligible for employment of aliens and the number of work permits to be issued for each of these activities.

In line with the provisions of the Aliens Act regulating the work of aliens in the Republic of Croatia, aliens shall be guaranteed identical rights as provided in the labour law regulations of the Republic of Croatia regarding the employment and work conditions, that is, in collective agreements and arbitration rulings. The guaranteed rights shall refer to the maximum stipulated working hours and minimum rest periods, the minimum paid annual leave, the minimum wage rate, including the overtime wage rate, health conditions and safety at work, protective measures for the employment of expecting mothers, women and minor workers and ban of discrimination.

The annual quota of work permits shall not refer to work permits issued:

  • to daily migrant alien workers employed in the Republic of Croatia under reciprocity conditions,
  • to the key personnel, workers and their family members, whose status has been regulated by the Stabilisation and Association Agreement between the European Communities and their Member States and the Republic of Croatia,
  • to aliens holding key positions in companies, branch offices and representative offices,
  • to aliens transferred as part of internal staff transfers within companies, as defined by the Protocol on the Accession of the Republic of Croatia to the Marrakesh Agreement Establishing the World Trade Organisation,
  • to teachers teaching at educational institutions the language and script of a national minority,
  • to professional athletes or sports workers, employed in the Republic of Croatia on the basis of a valid employment contract,
  • on the basis of international agreements, except for the agreement referred to in Article 141 of the Aliens Act (Article 119(1) of the Aliens Act),
  • to aliens employed in foreign associations, registered as foreign associations in the Republic of Croatia and at least three other countries and aliens who are members of representative bodies of foreign endowments and foundations registered in the Register of the representative offices of foreign endowments and foundations in the Republic of Croatia.

The Aliens Act explicitly defines who shall be deemed to be carrying key activities in companies, branch offices or representative offices of foreign companies (Article 120(1) of the Aliens Act).


The accommodation in Croatia might not be what you’re used to especially if you’re coming from the west. The types of housing available in Zagreb include apartments and houses, which can be single or double storey.

If you are looking at apartments the real estate pages you may see adverts for a one or two bedroom apartment, bedrooms are not defined in Croatia as they are in the west. A one bedroom apartment refers to an apartment with an entrance hall, kitchen, bathroom and room. A lounge is not counted separately, thus if you are looking for a one bedroom apartment by western standards, you should look for one advertised as a two bedroom apartment. Many generations of families in Croatia live in a single apartment, and sleep on fold out couches in bedrooms that are later converted into the lounge areas for guests. You may also come across an advert for a one and a half (jednoiposoban stan) bedroom apartment which refers to a larger kitchen, one where you can have a couch in, and an additional bedroom.

Houses can be found outside the city centre and are bigger than the apartments. You will usually find a large kitchen with a table where the family dines together and a separate lounge suite in a house. The bedrooms will be used only as bedrooms for the most part, however the older generations in the Balkans still prefer to sleep on fold out couches as opposed to beds. If you are getting a furnished house or apartment, be prepared for this.

Driving License

The following documents must be submitted when applying for a Croatian driver's license:

  • Original U.S. driver's license (Note: the U.S. driver's license is not returned to the applicant but is kept at the local police station; however, Croatian law says that "for legitimate reasons" the foreign driver's license can be returned to the applicant.)
  • Translation of the driver's license indicating the category of license (the Consular section can provide a statement in Croatian explaining the category, upon presentation of the U.S. driver's license).
  • Doctor's affidavit, not older than six months, stipulating the applicant's mental and physical ability to drive a motor vehicle.
  • Two photographs, 30x35 mm
  • Form No. 2 (also available on-line at http://policija.hr/mup.hr/UserDocsImages/voz.pdf (PDF 84 KB) (hrvatski))
  • Fee in the amount of 70,00 KN (revenue stamp) and 35,00 KN (fee)


The healthcare facilities in Croatia do not meet the international standard; however the medical staff is well trained and does the best with what they have. There are a few good private hospitals expats use. Most expats have an international medical insurance cover that covers treatment abroad. Doctors’ visits, blood tests and medication are relatively cheap and accessible, even in private hospitals, as is dentistry.

The University Hospital Centre Zagreb

The University Hospital Centre Zagreb (KBC Zagreb) is the biggest and most important hospital in Croatia as well as a unique institution regarding many medical procedures, diagnostic methods and therapeutic procedures including highly differentiated procedures of top quality.

Address: Šalata 2 Zagreb

Tel: +385 (0)1 2368 729

        +385 (0)1 2379 922

Fax: +385 (0)1 2368 718

        +385 (0)1 2379 906

Email: [email protected]

Website: www.kbc-zagreb.hr

The Children's Hospital Srebrnjak

Offering a complete range of specialized programs for children and adolescents suffering from respiratory diseases, the Children's Hospital Srebrnjak is a unique health care institution in the Republic of Croatia. Measured against European and international standards for delivery of specialized health care, it is a highly ranked institution particularly excelling in the following areas of biomedical research and practice: pulmonology, allergology, immunology and bronchology.

Address: Srebrnjak 100, CRO - 10000 ZAGREB

Tel: +385 1 6391 100

Email: [email protected]

Website: www.bolnica-srebrnjak.hr

AXIS Special Hospital

The mission of “Spine Surgery Croatia” is to help all fellow spine patients by educating them about their disease, connecting them to leading spinal surgeons and helping them in choosing appropriate treatments considering their diagnosis. We offer caring and honest patient consulting and/or advocacy services.

Address: Petrovaradinska 1, 10000 Zagreb, Croatia

Tel: +385-95-805-67-97

Email: [email protected]

Website: www.axis-hospital-croatia.com

Poliklinika Sinteza

The SINTEZA Clinic is a private medical institution which was established in 2008 by Jeannette Gjuric, MD and her husband Professor Mislav Gjuric, MD, PhD, after 20 years of work experience in Germany. Due to the highest level of medical services delivered, the SINTEZA clinic has grown into a center of excellence which, regarding personnel expertise and high-end equipment, is comparable to corresponding institutions offering specialized healthcare in Europe and abroad.

Address: Folnegovićeva 1/C, 10000 Zagreb, Croatia

Tel: +385 (0)1 5005970

Fax: +385 (0)1 5005979

Email: [email protected]

Website: www.poliklinika-sinteza.hr

General Hospital Dubrovnik

General Hospital Dubrovnik is located in the heart of Dubrovnik city at about ten minutes by car from Port of Dubrovnik and thirty minutes from Dubrovnik International Airport. Hospital has 323 beds with more than 700 employees dedicated to provide excellent medical care to local community and tourists.

Address: Dr. Roka Mišetića 2, 20000 Dubrovnik

Tel: +385 (0)20 431 - 777

Fax: +385 (0)20 426 - 149

Email: [email protected]

Website: www.bolnica-du.hr