I’m a freelancer/digital nomad and I want to move to Split, Croatia

If you want a mild climate, to be close to the beach for those summer swims, near the mountains for hiking, with stunning islands an hour’s boat ride away, surrounded by friendly and passionate people, gorge on fresh seasonal fruit, veg, wine and meat that you can actually see being produced all around, then Split might just be your place.

Expect a bit of a culture shock at first, as you get used to a more direct approach in communication, the hustling and bustling despite there only being four people in the queue, and those long, long coffee breaks. 

But that soon becomes the norm, and as Split becomes your home, you get to know what Dalmatians are really like, you understand why locals walk and talk the way you do, and you begin to assimilate. 

Split is a great place to live for anyone – the young, the old, the active, the lazy, the fashionista, the foodie or the techie. Before you move here, we have a few tips.

Living

On the whole, Split offers lower living costs than in other European countries. Due to the current seasonal approach to work, it can be a challenge to find accommodation all year round with many landlords opting to offer contracts excluding summer. However, it’s not that hard since we’re all living and working here! A studio is around €300.

The trick is normally about persistence and being in Split to find something suitable. Again word of mouth is key, so make sure you share what you are looking for as well as looking to negotiate with apartment owners. While some people are e-literate, many are not, so pick up the phone and give them a call. If they don’t speak English, they’ll probably find a neighbour, child or grandchild who does! 

Here are our main websites for finding apartments:

Njuskalo – Croatia’s version of Craigslist or Gumtree. Lots of agencies post on here and they usually take one month’s rent as their commission, so if possible look for ads without agency details, although that’s hard.

AirBnb – Some of those who list on Airbnb are quite happy to offer a monthly rate, so get in touch with them and agree something suitable. Expect higher summer rates if they agree to this.

Facebook Groups – there are a few Facebook groups for renting apartments, here’s the one with most going on, you can post in English, or try to copy the Croatian that’s on there!

Expat Groups – this group is home to many foreigners living in Split, and as always some are quite transient, so if you’re lucky you might be able to find an apartment there too.

Co-working Spaces

Now you’ve found a place to live, you just need to find somewhere to work! Internet speed can sometimes be an issue at home, as well as the distraction of all that fresh food in the fridge and the ice cold beer at your local café. Head to one of these spaces instead, and if you’re here long-term tell them you might be able to score a special price.

Amosfera Coworking – this social enterprise space is based in the student zone of Split – Split 3. With up to 30 seats for coworkers, high speed internet, a small kitchen and printing services. They also have a conference room which can be booked for meetings or Skype. It’s run by a non-profit, CEDRA Split, and therefore spends its profit on encouraging entrepreneurship in the region.

CoCreative Coworking – a cool coworking space based in Spinut. They offer up to 24 seats for coworkers, high speed internet, a small kitchen and printing services. It’s run by an architect firm, which explains its clean, neat and professional feel inside. 

Saltwater Workspace – an easy-going space is based in the old town. Make sure you call or e-mail before you turn up, as a boutique space in the centre, seats get taken quickly during the summer months. They offer high speed internet, a donation-based bar (more gin) and regular community events. They have a meeting room that can be booked too.

WIP Coworking – hipster space on Žnjan. Run by Remote Year, a company that provides year long coworking and travelling experiences, the space boasts seating for up to 70 people, a bar area, a kitchen, 4 Skype booths and a meeting room. They also host community events and meetups on a regular basis.

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About author

Michael Freer

Michael moved to Split at the end of 2015, and after a year and a half of living here, he decided to open his own start-up Ensoco. Ensoco supports social entrepreneurs with starting their own businesses, and with this in mind he saw the perfect fit to volunteer at Startup.hr.