Official Croatian currency is kuna not Euro, despite Croatia being part of European Union since 2013. This is also one of the reasons why so many tourists want to know if you can pay with euros in Croatia!?
Unfortunately, shops, supermarkets, hotels, gas stations and most establishments will accept kuna, only!
Not because they don't want to take euros or dollars but because they can't accept payments in other currencies. The ones that can accept euro, prefer not to, due to complicated legal regulations in Croatia.
That being said, British pounds, US dollars and especially Euro can be used for payment in some places and certain situations. If you can, ask in advance if you can pay in euros, USD or GBP.
Since you will need kuna when traveling to Croatia, it's good to know how to get the best exchange rate. Whether you're paying with credit / debit cards, withdrawing money from ATM or visiting an exchange office.
Exchange offices at key transportations hubs such as airports, train stations and bus terminals usually have the worst exchange rate.
If you plan to exchange your currency into Croatian currency, we recommend you plan ahead. Whether that means paying with credit/debit cards, exchanging euro to kuna before crossing the border or ordering a service that you can pay with dollars or euros.
After getting to your accommodation, check with your host as well as online for current exchange rates and for best exchange offices in your vicinity. Exchange offices in main metropolitan areas offer better exchange rates, due to higher competition and increased influx of tourists.
Also, it is well known that most exchange offices give you better exchange rate when converting larger sum of money. Keep that in mind.
There are plenty ATMs available in resorts, towns, malls, supermarkets, banks and elsewhere in Croatia. It is one of the easiest ways of obtaining kuna.
Also, almost all ATMs in Croatia have choice of languages, so you won't need to navigate through Croatian-language menus.
That being said, ATMs usually give the worst exchange rate and charge an operating fee on top of this. This isn't a problem if you are withdrawing smaller sum of money from ATM. However, if this isn't the case, there is a solution to this problem.
Credit and debit cards provide another valuable option for avoiding ATM fees. Also, since you are paying with your own credit card from your own bank, you will usually get better exchange rate.
Although the bill will be in kuna, there won't be that much difference as opposed to when withdrawing money from ATM.
However, you will still be limited when paying with credit/debit card in Croatia since not everyone offers this possibility. Cash is preferred way of payment in Croatia.
There is a way to minimize all these expenses, both ATM fees and unfair exchange rates. Transferwise and Revolut offer smart way to pay, withdraw and exchange money when traveling abroad, including Croatia.
These two are online money transfer services which are completely free. You only pay a tiny fee when converting from one currency to another, such as from euro, USD or GBP to kuna. You also get real mid-market exchange rate which updates daily.
With the help of Revolut and Transferwise, you can pay in Croatian currency and withdraw kuna from ATM, without banks charging you more on their unfair exchange rate.
Not only that you can save significant amount of money but you can travel so much easier from one country to another with the help of their borderless accounts. You just need smartphone and their credit/debit card with a sufficient amount of funds for your trip.
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