Croatia joins Schengen and gets the Euro

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2023 will be a very important year for Croatia, as it will join the Schengen area on 1 January, which means the end of internal border controls with the EU. As of the new year, Croatia will adopt the euro as the new currency of payment. Only until the 14 January it will still be possible to pay in Croatian kuna.

End of police checks at the border between Slovenia and Croatia

The EU Council is expected to give the final green light for Croatia to join Schengen on Thursday, 8 December 2022.

This means that from 1 January 2023, there will be no more checks at the border crossings between Slovenia and Croatia, as well as at the borders with Hungary and Italy - maritime crossings. As a result, border controls will be stricter at the new external Schengen borders with Bosnia and Herzegovina, Serbia and Montenegro.

The abolition of checks applies to all road and sea border crossing points as of 1 January, while at Croatian airports, e.g. Zagreb Airport, the abolition of border checks for intra-EU flights will take effect on 26 March 2023. The delay in dates is due to technical issues, as airports have to change their exits without border checks.

The abolition of border controls means that there will be no more police officers at border crossings, but it does not mean that passengers will be able to travel without valid identity documents. They will still be needed as it is possible that passengers will be subject to checks inside Croatia, in which case a valid identity document such as an identity card or passport is required.

The Croatian Kuna is saying goodbye, we'll pay in Euros in Croatia

Croatia will introduce the Eeuro as a means of payment on 1 January 2023, but it will still be possible to pay with kuna up to and including 14 January.

Until 14th of January shops, restaurants, campsites and hotels will still have to take your cash in kuna, and you will be given back the rest in euros. Payments by bank card will automatically remain in euros only. ATMs in Croatia will dispense euros immediately after midnight on 1 January 2023 when cash is withdrawn.

The fixed exchange rate is €1 to 7.5345 kuna, or €13.27 per 100 kuna.

You will be able to exchange Croatian kuna into euro at all banks and post offices in Croatia for a whole year without any additional fee, but from 1 January 2024 onwards, you will only be able to exchange it at the Croatian National Bank.

For tourists visiting Croatia over the New Year, we recommend that you pay with bank cards and, if you need cash, carry a few extra euros with you, as we expect fewer ATMs in operation between 15 December and 15 January, which will have to be adapted to the new currency. A map of the ATMs in operation after 15.12. >

The biggest change for tourists will be the new cash withdrawals by bank card at Croatian ATMs, where the fees were quite high for countries where the euro is not a currency, e.g. 1% of the amount or a minimum of €2.50. With the introduction of the euro in Croatia, we can expect this cost to be lower. Most Slovenian banks have a fixed fee of €0.70 - €0.85 for withdrawing euros from a foreign ATM. Please note that this fee is only valid for ATM withdrawals with a bank card. For ATM withdrawals with a credit card, the fees will still be much higher, e.g. a minimum of €15 or 5-6% of the amount.