How to find an apartment to rent in Croatia: Guide for 2021

Find apartment in Croatia
Image by Dream Croatia

LAST UPDATED: 20/5/2021

Finding the perfect apartment to rent in Croatia that meets your needs isn’t easy. The prices in popular cities such as Zagreb, Zaprešić, Velika Gorica, Split and other towns along the Adriatic coast are constantly rising and supply is decreasing.

On the other side, rental rates in Gorski kotar, Lika, Banija, Kordun, and eastern Croatia have been decreasing. These regions usually aren’t as popular and people are leaving them for places with better living standards and more available jobs, both inside and outside of Croatia.

However, this trend has started to change. After the earthquakes that occurred in Croatia in 2020 and the earthquakes that continue to occur once in a while, smaller cities and villages are once again becoming popular places to live.

In this post, we’ll cover:

Let’s find a perfect place to live…

Monthly rental prices for apartments in Croatia

The average rental prices have drastically risen during the last few years. From 2017 to 2019, monthly rent for an average apartment has increased by 8.4% in Zagreb, 7.7% in Rijeka, and 3.4% in Split.

The main reason for this increase in prices is due to vacation rentals. Landlords believe they can earn more money from short-term tourists than from long-term tenants. Hopefully this will change due to the impact on tourism from COVID-19.

In 2021, there was a decrease of 9% in long-term rental prices in Zagreb due to the 2020 earthquakes. Residents are now looking for apartments outside of the city center and on the outskirts of cities.

Average apartment rental prices for 30 to 45 m2 in Croatia

These are approximate prices, but ultimately the cost to rent an apartment can vary depending on the exact location, size and if it was recently renovated.

If you’re coming from abroad, it’s important that you research prices before settling on a place to live. Apartment owners are taking advantage of uninformed foreigners by charging extremely high prices. They may seem affordable in comparison to where you are coming from, but they may not be affordable in Croatia.

When people agree to pay rents that are far above the average, it ends up raising the average rent for everybody. This is harmful to the community in Croatia since rent is already drastically out of proportion to salaries.

Use the below guide, speak to people in the expat groups and research on Njuškalo to get a good idea of what a reasonable cost should be for your needs.

Dubrovnik

  • City center – 400-500€ monthly
  • Outside the city center – 200-300€ monthly

Osijek

  • City center – 300-350€ monthly
  • Outside the city center – 200€ monthly

Rijeka

  • City center – 400-550€ monthly
  • Outside the city center – 250-350€ monthly

Split

  • City center – 350-500€ monthly
  • Outside the city center – 300-400€ monthly

Zagreb

  • City center – 400-550€ monthly
  • Outside the city center – 300-400€ monthly

If you are interested in buying a residential property, you can see latest prices in Croatia’s biggest cities here.

How to find an apartment to rent in Croatia

Now that you know which prices to expect for renting an apartment in Croatia, you can begin your search. There are a variety of ways you can find an apartment in Croatia. Let’s go through each one.

#1 Word of mouth

When looking for an apartment to rent in Croatia, your first step should be to ask friends and family if they have heard of any apartments going up for rent. This is by far the best way to find an apartment because:

  • You can avoid agency fees, which amount to one month’s rent
  • You can get access to an apartment before it is listed, reducing competition
  • You can get the best rate on rent, since you are being referred by someone the owner knows

#2 Facebook groups

In addition to asking friends and family, or if you are brand new to Croatia, you can also leverage Expat Facebook Groups for finding an apartment.

These groups are a great English-language place to publish that you are looking for an apartment or to find posts from those who are letting their apartments. Here is a full list of the Expat Facebook Groups in Croatia broken down by city.

There are also Croatian-language Facebook Groups where free apartments are posted. Here are a few:

#3 Njuškalo.hr

If you don’t have family here, haven’t yet made friends or haven’t had any luck in the Facebook groups, there are many websites that can be very helpful. The biggest and the most popular website to find an apartment in Croatia is Njuškalo.hr.

Njuškalo.hr is Croatia’s largest online advertisement website. It is a marketplace that connects hundreds of thousands of buyers and sellers on a daily basis. It has more than 1.4 million customers and more than 250.000 new items on sale monthly.

Njuškalo has a section for apartment and home rentals in Croatia. A large number of real estate properties are offered for rent including apartments, single rooms, houses, garages, office space, and land. Each ad will include property photos, descriptions, specs, and prices.

The complete real estate section on Njuškalo can be found here. Given that it is in Croatian and has multiple subsections, we’ve created a cheat sheet for you for all real estate sections on Njuškalo below. We also have a complete English guide to Njuškalo here.

Stanovi (Apartments)

Kuće (Houses)

Zemljišta (Land)

Luksuzne nekretnine (Luxury real estate)

Novogradnja (New build)

Nekretnine za odmor (Vacation properties)

  • Prodaja (Vacation Property Sales)

Montažni objekti (Transportable buildings)

Poslovni prostori (Office spaces)

Garaže (Garages)

Sobe (Rooms)

#4 Other sites for finding apartments to rent

There are also other web sites where you can dig for an apartment in addition to Njuškalo.

Here is the list of the most popular ones:

  1. Burza
  2. Crozilla.com
  3. GoHome
  4. Index oglasi
  5. Najam.hr
  6. Nekretnine 365
  7. Oglasnik.hr
  8. Oglas.hr
  9. Podstanar.hr
  10. Real Estate Croatia

#5 Go for a walk

This may seem like an old fashioned way of looking for an apartment, but it can be effective in Croatia. Take a walk around neighborhoods where you want to live. Landlords sometimes put “for rent” signs in front of their houses or in the window of the free apartment.

Look for “IZNAJMLJUJE SE”, which means “for rent”.

During your stroll, you can also check out the notice boards in buildings or find rental signs posted around the neighborhood.

#6 Newspapers

Believe or not, newspapers can be a good source in finding apartments. Plavi oglasnik is the most popular and it contains only advertisements. Other daily and weekly newspapers such as Večernji list, Jutarnji list, and 24 Sata usually contain an ad section in their print issues. Take a pauza, grab a paper and sip some kava while you peruse the listings.

We wish you a successful apartment search! Keep in mind that finding the perfect place to live is always stressful, so take your time, take it easy, and you will succeed.

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13 thoughts on “How to find an apartment to rent in Croatia: Guide for 2021

  1. John Sackville
    December 11, 2019 @ 1:26 am

    I would like to rent a furnished studio in Zagreb but nothing is written in English to make contact.

    {reply}

    • Expat in Croatia
      December 13, 2019 @ 4:43 pm

      Hi John,

      That is not uncommon. You’ll need to use Google Translate or something like it to translate the ads. When you make contact, if they don’t speak English, see if you can find a friend to communicate on your behalf.

      Regards,

      Sara

      {reply}

    • Amine
      October 31, 2020 @ 12:07 am

      Go to the University near you and find a student who speak Croatian. In unis, you will find internal students from every country. Discuss a deal and ask the student to make the calls for you.

      {reply}

  2. Robert Hagan
    August 27, 2020 @ 3:43 pm

    Are there any English speaking agencies that are available?

    Î

    {reply}

    • Expat in Croatia
      August 31, 2020 @ 4:43 pm

      Hi Robert,

      Many agencies speak English, they just don’t advertise it. You’ll find them all over njuskalo.hr.

      Regards,

      Sara

      {reply}

  3. Megan McIntire
    September 25, 2020 @ 10:39 pm

    Hi Sara,
    I’m a US citizen planning to apply for the one year temporary visa. Do you know if I should have an apartment rental secured as I’m applying or should I wait until I am approved for the visa? It looks like having a pre-paid lease is a requirement to get the visa, but I would be hesitant to do that unless I was positive the visa application got approved.

    Thanks for any info!
    Megan

    {reply}

    • Expat in Croatia
      September 29, 2020 @ 9:20 am

      Hi Megan,

      You need to have a rental contract when you apply for the residence permit. It cannot be done after. The police want to see that you are living in Croatia with a secured rental contract.

      Regards,

      Sara

      {reply}

  4. Francisco Gonzalez
    December 31, 2020 @ 9:18 pm

    Hello, Marija!
    I am Francisco from Panama.
    I think that I’m going to move there the next year (crossing fingers)
    So, I would like to know if you know any website where I can find apartment
    to rent it in Koprivnica.
    Sorry for my bad English.

    Greettings! 😀

    {reply}

    • Expat in Croatia
      January 3, 2021 @ 12:37 pm

      Hi Francisco,

      This post where you commented includes sites were you can find apartments to rent throughout the country.

      Regards,

      Sara

      {reply}

  5. Tea
    January 3, 2021 @ 10:52 pm

    Dear all me and my familiy are renting our house on the hill. It is a little bit out of town but it is a beautiful peacefull place. If someone is interested don’t hasitate to contact me to give you some more info, pics, etc.

    +385918812302
    Tea

    {reply}

  6. Russell Leroy Cheok
    January 4, 2021 @ 5:59 am

    Thanks for this. It is very helpful. I do hope the prices decreases because of the Covid situation too.

    {reply}

    • Expat in Croatia
      January 4, 2021 @ 11:23 am

      Hi Russell,

      Happy to help! I also hope the prices go down as well, we’ll just have to see how it goes.

      Regards,

      Sara

      {reply}

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