Until recently, the official currency in Croatia in Croatia was the Kuna, but things are going to change soon, because Croatia is officially switching to Euros. The switch to Euros will take place on January 1st, 2023.
Today, we’re going to focus on the currency situation in Croatia, what to expect from the country switching over to using Euros and whether or not you’ll still be able to use your old Kunas in case you still have some left from prior vacations here.
I am getting more in depth below for those living in Croatia longer term, but for travelers planning to visit the country starting January 2023, probably just the information below is relevant.
Can you pay with Euros in Croatia?
Yes, starting January 2023, you can pay with Euros in Croatia. Actually, this will be the only currency you will be able to use for general payments in supermarkets, restaurants and such, starting mid-January 2023.
So if you used to visit the country in the past and worried about having to exchange your money into Kunas, you no longer have to worry about this. It’s easier to plan your all-inclusive vacation in Croatia and enjoy all the delicious food in the country.
Can you pay with British Pounds or US Dollars in Croatia?
While some places might allow you to pay with other currencies such as US Dollars or British Pounds, I wouldn’t expect to use any other type of currency except for the Euro in most places.
Plus, those that will accept foreign currencies will probably have a much worse exchange rate than banks, exchange offices or ATMs.
So I strongly recommend exchanging your national currency into Euros when visiting Croatia.
And also make sure to check out my article where I am detailing the prices in Croatia for those on vacation here.
Kunas and Euros: the two phases for making the switch
Even though the official currency in Croatia will become the Euro starting with 2023, this doesn’t mean that the Croatian Kunas will become worthless from that date.
There are actually two stages in which the country will make a soft switch to using Euros exclusively:
- Preparation period (from July 2022 – December 31, 2022)
- Dual circulation period (Sep 5, 2022 – December 31, 2023)
So, right now, Croatia is basically in the Dual Circulation Period. This means that prices will be shown in both Euros, as well as Kunas.
This makes it easier for people living here to adapt to the change, and also to keep prices under control.
However, this doesn’t mean that you will still be able to pay in Kunas until the end of 2023. The dual circulation prices are there just to help the locals get used with the new currency.
Can you still pay with Kunas in Croatia?
You will only be able to use Kunas for payments for 14 days after the official introduction of the Euro. This means that you can still pay in Kunas until January 14, 2023.
During this time, you will also be able to pay with Euros, but starting January 15, the only accepted method of payment will be the Euro.
However, you will still be able to exchange any Kunas you still hold into Euros. The exchange will be made at any bank in the country, at a fixed rate set by the European Union.
The fixed exchange rate for Kunas into Euros is 1 Euro = 7.55 Kunas.
You will only be able to exchange your Kunas into Euros at banks and post offices until December 31, 2023. Any amount up to 100 Kunas will be free of charge, but you will pay a fee (decided by each bank) for exchanging higher amounts.
Starting 2024, only the National Central Bank will make exchanges of Kunas into Euros: for coins, until December 31, 2025, while banknotes have no expiry date.
So you will always be able to exchange Kuna banknotes at the National Central Bank, at the rate of 7.55 Kunas per Euro.
For all people visiting Croatia – even for expats considering to move here (or already in the country), the switch to Euros from Kunas is definitely good news. Even the locals I have spoken with are generally satisfied with the change.
Even though Croatia is the newest member of the European Union, having only joined back in 2013, it managed to meet the requirements to switch to Euros sooner than other older members.
Countries like Hungary, Romania or Bulgaria still use their national currencies as they don’t meet the requirements to switch to Euros yet. However, other countries like Denmark and Sweden have willingly decided against switching over to Euros.
But overall, for Croatians and for the people visiting the country, the change is definitely beneficial as it will simplify everything quite a bit. Let’s hope that it won’t have any impact over the cost of living, which will still stay relatively low.
What do you think though? Are you happy to know that Croatia is switching over to Euros or you would’ve liked it better if Kunas were still used?