There's no getting back anymore: digital nomad jobs are here to stay. The events unfolded by coronavirus this year have reinforced the lifestyle to many people, who are now experiencing the advantages of working away from an office cubicle to the comfort of their own homes - whichever place you want home to be at that moment.
In the particular case of Zagreb, some good news is on it's way that will put Croatia's vibrant capital on the hotspot for nomad's destination choices. A proposal for a digital nomad visa has been accepted by the Croatian Parliament, with the projection of coming into force by the beginning of 2021. This would upgrade Croatia from a crescent tourist spot to a year-round hub for digital professionals: people who adore Zagreb's lifestyle and wouldn't leave the city so soon, if it wasn't for bureaucratic Schengen reasons.
Of course, many topics have still to be addressed until formalization. But the prospects are good, and Croatia could soon be among the first countries to introduce a digital nomad visa. Until then, I want to tell you why Zagreb has to be on your destination list, and challenge you not to fall in love with it - and stay here for longer than you've planned.
What makes Zagreb a perfect place for digital nomads
I can point out countless reasons based on my own experience as a solo traveler staying and helping out in hostels, which will be the same advantages a digital nomad will enjoy. I've been travelling around Croatia for almost two months now, having come back to Zagreb with the feeling I hadn't explored all the incredible things this city has to offer.
Zagreb speaks English in a surprising highly proficiency
I didn't know much about Croatia before coming here, and one of the things that surprised me instantly was how well Croatians speak English. Not only in Zagreb (even in the remote island of Korčula everyone spoke it well) but especially Zagreb. I don't think I've ever had any problems communicating here, so if your knowledge of local language is limited by dobar dan and hvala, worry not!
Zagreb has great and fast internet connection
Fast, reliable and stable internet connection is a must-have in any digital nomad kit before they move somewhere. Here, another extra point for Zagreb. According to the site Nomad List, the average speed in the city is 21Mbps, which is considered very good. Most coffee shops offer reliable connection for caffeine driven nomads, and there are plenty of co-working spaces in the city centre to choose from. Additional bonus is free WiFi that is available in public transport and all over the city centre, which definitely puts Zagreb on the list of modern and digitized European capitals.
Zagreb is super safe - and as a female traveller, I love it
Everyone needs to feel safe, but this is even more important for a female solo traveller. I am someone who loves wandering about, walking any narrow street I see, losing myself in the city at any time of the day or night. Zagreb is known by being one of the safest capitals in Europe and that's exactly how I feel here. So join in sister, no fear involved.
Zagreb is vibrant and dynamic, full of life and things to see and do
Another one I wasn't expecting to be surprised by when I first arrived! Many cool bars with live bands and good music, awesome events throughout the year for all tastes, outdoorsy festivals at the several nice parks spread around the city, and one of the most celebrated Christmas Markets in Europe, to sparkle the winter. Have I mentioned Zagreb is one of the cities with the highest number of museums per capita on Earth?
Zagreb is located perfectly at the heart of Europe
Being a digital nomad means freedom of movement. Why settle in a well-known place when you can be based in a city that allows you to explore Europe easily? Within hours (by car or bus) you have Venice, Milan, Bratislava, Vienna, Budapest, Sarajevo, Munich… the bus lines out of here are diverse, and the new airport has been increasing it's connections, linking Zagreb to many of the world's capitals.
Weather, food, people, affordability
Not convinced yet? These four topics I've just mentioned I believe are amongst the most important when a digital nomad decides where to rest his backpack for a while. And in all of those, Zagreb is a winner. Weather year-round in Zagreb is a comfort for someone who, like me, came from the UK, for example. Sunny and warm days, with cool spring and autumn and a mild winter certainly make life happier. An abundance of beautiful city parks and hiking trails just a few steps away from the city centre are an unimaginable thing in most of the cities, but in Zagreb you will barely have time to see them all. World-class food and wine will keep your appetite interested for local Mediterranean or Continental-taste dishes, to be consumed with the many well-renowned Croatian wines. You'll go places and have fun with friendly Croatians who are very approachable to foreigners. I've made many connections with people from here and from all over the world! And last, Zagreb is an affordable place to live in Europe. From food essentials to public transportation, you'll find that compared to other capitals, Zagreb is cheaper and still offers everything you expect from an european city. To put this in perspective, independent researches have found that the cost of living in Zagreb is on average 40% lower than in Barcelona and 58% lower than in Berlin.
What are the accomodation options for digital nomads
Generally, digital nomads will go to Booking.com or Airbnb, the two most used resources for long-term accommodation in Zagreb. But with the new digital nomad visa about to be regulated, the city will see an exciting development on facilities that can be transformed to attend this specific public, i.e restructuring of empty properties, rent of spare rooms, hotels and hostels offering long-term letting. At Swanky Mint, we've been offering long-term accommodation options both for those with a smaller budget and those with a bigger one , and digital nomads are more than welcome. You can check out our offer on our website, under ‘’Swanky deals’’, and keep in mind that it’s always good to book directly for best prices!
The advantage is of course having all you need in just one place: accomodation with all the bills included, fast internet, a hassle-free place to work and the social environment every traveler needs to feel like part of a community and have fun at free times. Regular housekeeping service isn’t a bad deal either 😉
It’s the best of the whole experience in a nutshell! 🙂
We at Swanky Mint wish to see you very soon in Zagreb.
To read this article in Portuguese go HERE.
Author: Talita Lemes