Why Novigrad is The Best Town for Becoming a Digital Nomad in Croatia

Words by: Word Nerd


Image source: Ivan Ćorić



Do you wish you had more time?


You know - time to yourself. To enjoy the little things. 


What about your job? Do you find yourself dreading that soul-sucking daily commute to work?


Think about it. How much precious time have you lost just getting to the office? A few months? Years even?


Maybe you dream of travelling the world and experiencing new cultures? That whole pandemic thing really put a spanner in the works, right?


Picture this.


What if we told you that you could start every morning with a swim before work? Or even straight after.


What if we said you could wake to the sound of crickets and birds outside your window every morning instead of that insistent alarm clock of yours?


Image source: Ivan Ćorić


That you could get up and take a short stroll along the seashore, watching local fishermen untangle their nets. Stopping at the markets, you can buy fresh groceries for breakfast.


Homegrown mouth-watering watermelon, cherries and peaches. The kind of peaches that fill your kitchen with the most irresistible, heavenly aroma. Have you ever truly smelt a peach before?


Image source: Unsplash


If this all sounds like an alternate universe afforded only by the most affluent amongst us - you’re wrong.


What we’ve just described is the life of a digital nomad in Novigrad.


Intrigued?


We’re not surprised. Do you need a fresh start?


Novigrad is your ideal digital nomad oasis, whether for just a few months or a whole year - we guarantee it.


But don’t just take our word for it. We’ve asked some digital nomads that have recently touched down in Croatia about their experience.


Learn all about it below - and then - get packing.


Bring your luggage, but leave your baggage behind because a life-changing adventure is just around the corner.


Are you ready?


What is a Digital Nomad?


So, what is a digital nomad exactly? It’s an independent professional that is unconfined to any office space or geographical location. There are almost 5 million digital nomads around the world.


However, with the worldwide COVID-19 pandemic, one-fifth of the world’s population has worked remotely at some stage.


Image source: Pexels


This has led to many people realising that there’s really no need for you to tie yourself to an office desk to get work done efficiently.


In fact, most professionals find that they’re much more productive in a home environment.


Digital Nomad Jobs - Who Can Become a Digital Nomad?


Basically, anyone that can get professional tasks completed using an internet connection can be a digital nomad. People often think that only the self-employed such as freelancers can do this, but it isn’t so.


Even those working for big-name companies can take part. Some of the most popular professions include:


  • Programmers
  • Website developers
  • Graphic designers
  • UX/UI designers
  • SEO specialists
  • Writers
  • Editors
  • Bloggers
  • Video creators
  • Project managers
  • Social media marketers
  • Affiliate marketers
  • Digital entrepreneurs
  • Customer support representatives
  • Language teachers
  • Sales representatives
  • Product designers
  • Product managers
  • Attorneys
  • Accountants
  • Recruiters
  • Business analysts
  • Medical billing and coding specialists


Don’t go getting all deflated if your profession isn’t on this list. It’s not exclusive. Remote employment doesn’t work like that.


If you’re currently employed and are seriously considering trying out the digital nomad lifestyle - just ask yourself the following question:


Could someone do my job from home?


Image source: Pexels



If so, you’re almost certainly onto something. Why not test out the waters by requesting to work from home a few days a week? You can only try, right?


7 Reasons Why Novigrad is Your Ideal Destination for Becoming a Digital Nomad in Croatia


So, you’ve made up your mind.


Well, you’re definitely thinking about taking the leap. And so you should - congratulations. Which means you’re probably contemplating the best place to settle.


Novigrad is one of the best places you can work remotely.


Image source: Adriatic Luxury Villas


Are we biased? Sure, without a doubt. But there are dozens of reasons why we say this. We’re going to tell you the top seven in no particular order so that you can make your mind up for yourself.


#1 Cost of Living


Let’s be honest for a moment; money makes the world go round.


If you haven’t thought about how much your digital nomad business adventure will set you back, you’re making a costly mistake.


In Croatia, your money goes a long way, especially compared to the rest of the popular destinations in Europe. In fact, depending on where you live, we bet that you can save more money by living and working in Novigrad than in your current location.


Let’s take the cost of living in London, for example.


According to Numbeo, a single person’s estimated monthly costs of living in the British capital are around 7,500 kn or £844.37 without rent.


Rent in London is, on average, 231.35% higher than in Novigrad. Yes, you read that right.


But wait – there’s more. In total, life in London will cost you over 35% more than your day-to-day in Novigrad.


Image source: Adriatic Luxury Villas


Just think about all the savings you can make in a year.


#2 Location, Location, Location


So you want to travel more? Explore Europe and see some of the mind-blowing sites the world has to offer?


Want to know a secret? You still can.


Look, we know that the COVID-19 pandemic hasn’t done you any favours when it comes to travel. There are restrictions left, right and centre - you’re right.


But, you know what else is true? Like everything else, the tide is constantly turning. With vaccines increasingly making their rounds and reaching more people, the situation is slowly getting under control.


What it all boils down to is this: you need a base that is remote enough so that you can live your life comfortably and without fearing the wrath of the pandemic.


On the other hand, you want your new living location to be central, allowing you to explore your immediate surroundings, towns, larger cities, and even countries.


With numerous picturesque national parks and magnificently breath-taking islands situated just hours away - it’s a no-brainer.


Why? Because Novigrad is that location.


With a population of just over 500 residents, Novigrad is perfectly situated, in a narrow bay, just a 30-minute drive from Zadar. Smack in the middle of the Dalmatian coast; you’re in an ideal position, whether you wish to travel north or south.


Image source: Unsplash


It sounds simple. And it is.


#3 Climate


When choosing your ideal digital nomad destination, climate should be a key factor. Sounds silly? It’s not.

Look, obviously, you cannot control the weather. In fact, you’d be crazy if you thought you could. But what you can control is choosing a destination that isn’t too hot and isn’t too cold either.


Novigrad is just that.


The Adriatic coast boasts a mild Mediterranean climate.


Warm to hot summers enjoy daily temperatures of around 26-30°C, while winter sees a cool drop with averages of 10-15°C.


That’s not even the best part.


Image source: Pexels


The Dalmatian coast has more than twice as many sunny days in the year than not. Many locations experience at least 2,000 – 2,500 hours of sunshine per year. Others even more.


Sounds like paradise, right? You can say that again.


By now, you’re probably wondering about those poor souls that love a good snow day. Don’t worry, because we’ve got you covered as well.


While Novigrad isn’t likely to see much snow in the winter months, you can make all the snow angels you want by jumping in the car and driving inland for just half an hour.


Are you s-mitten yet?


#4 Internet Connection


Even when the sun is shining, and the waves are slowly rolling in, let’s not forget that as a digital nomad, there is still work that needs to be done.


So, let’s get down to business. Your new remote work-living situation will be going nowhere fast without a high-speed internet connection – the faster, the better.


While other regions around the world like Asia and Latin America aren’t celebrated for their great connectivity, Europe certainly is – and Novigrad is no exception.


Whether you wish to work from your new home or make money from the comfort of a café, you can.


Image source: Unsplash


And another thing. You might be the type of person that enjoys working around others. If this resonates with you, there are a variety of co-working options in Zadar offering safely- distanced and reasonably priced co-working environments.  


#5 Convenience


Earning an income and simultaneously living out your big adventure should be a thing of convenience.


Think about it this way. You want to surround yourself with people that understand you, in case you need support, or just to elevate the general experience. As many as 80% of the Croatian population is multilingual, 81% of those are English speakers.


As people with typically Mediterranean characteristics, Croatians tend to talk with their hands – a lot.


And while that can get annoying after about five minutes, it does wonders in communication. So if you come across someone lacking in English-speaking skills, chances are that you will still be able to get your point across and vice versa.


Although you might dream of throwing caution into the wind and travelling this beautiful country and magnificent coastline, one of the key problems to solve when becoming a digital nomad in Croatia is your accommodation.


Well, you’re out of luck as far as the rest of Croatia is concerned. The simple truth is, Croatia as a country makes most of its money through tourism.


That means accommodation is restricted to the summer months. From luxurious villas to dreamy condos, you can find any type of accommodation to suit your budget.


Image source: Adriatic Luxury Villas


Long-term rentals, however, are few and far between. Take it from someone who knows; they’re fewer and farther than in between.


Think your remote digital nomad dream is over?


Wrong.


Novigrad is one of the rare places that offers year-long accommodation, which means you don’t have to worry about where you’ll be settling in the near future.


Now that’s convenient.


Speaking of convenience, in January of 2021, Croatian Prime Minister Andrej Plenković treated us to the Croatian digital nomad visa.


Usually, your Croatian dream would have been limited to a couple of months. That’s a thing of the past because you can use your profession to stay here for a maximum of twelve months as a digital nomad. But more about that later.


So, as you can see, convenience is a huge factor to consider when choosing your new home.


And Novigrad has it covered in spades.


#6 Safety


The one thing you don’t want to happen on your new nomadic adventure is to live your life looking over your shoulder.


Bottom line: in Novigrad, you don’t have to.


According to crime rates and statistics, in 2018, the crime rate in Croatia was 0.58, a 47.49% decline from 2017. This is generally seen as very low, with the safety levels of walking alone in daylight very high and high at night.


Image source: Ivan Ćorić


All in all, Croatia is thought to be one of the safest countries in Europe and the world.


#7 Food


The secret to an unforgettable nomadic adventure? Great food.


Allow us to explain.


You’re hardly going to be productive on an empty stomach, are you? And if the food around you is miserable, chances are you will be too.


From premium fresh seafood to delectable meat dishes, Novigrad has all the culinary delights you can expect from a Mediterranean location and more.


Other than being the birthplace of avid fishermen, Novigrad is also famous for its world-class quality mussels.


Image source: Unsplash


Top that all off with locally grown fresh groceries, and there is no stopping your creative flow.


Now, that’s some food for thought.


Your Croatian Digital Nomad Visa


To get your hands on a Croatian digital nomad visa, you will need the following:


  • A completed application form
  • A valid passport
  • 2x passport photos
  • Verification that you are, in fact, a digital nomad
  • Proof of income and financial stability
  • A valid Croatian address (accommodation rental contract)
  • Valid health insurance for the duration of your stay
  • A background check supplied by the government in your home country
  • A marriage certificate, if applicable
  • Application fee


Be sure to note that your digital nomad permit lasts up to twelve months. After that, you are required to leave the country for a minimum of 90 days.


If the application is approved, you can also apply separately for family reunification allowing you to bring your spouse, children and pets.


The Life of a Digital Nomad in Novigrad


So, now that you know how to get your Croatian digital nomad visa why not find out first-hand what it’s like from our very own Novigrad newbies?


Image source: Ivan Ćorić


Kevin and Lisa have made their way across the pond to start their one-year escapade in Novigrad, all the way from England.


This is their story.


In a few words, can you explain what you do professionally?


Kevin is a mortgage broker and Lisa is a managing consultant for a technology firm


What made you decide you wanted to be digital nomads?


We were talking about what we wanted to do when we retire and mentioned we would like to live by the sea, and then we thought, why do we need to wait until we retire. The type of work we do can be done anywhere, so we started to look at possible destinations. 


We initially considered Italy, but the bureaucracy put us off and then I spotted that Croatia was about to offer temporary residency via their Digital Nomad Scheme. As we had both been to Croatia before (Dubrovnik, Split and Hvar), we knew it was a beautiful country, and Croatian people are so friendly we started to make plans on moving here.


What is your favourite thing about this lifestyle?


For Lisa, it’s the chance to live by the sea. For me, it’s the chance to experience new culture and discover new places.


Image source: Ivan Ćorić



What made you choose Novigrad for your digital nomad experience?


We looked at Dubrovnik, Split, Trogir, Sibenik, Zadar and Hvar, before finding the house we liked on Airbnb. We wanted somewhere that was historic, close to the water, quiet and with easy access to the mountains and national parks, and Novigrad ticked all those boxes.


What’s the biggest challenge you have faced so far in terms of being a digital nomad?


Trying to find a house that someone would rent to us for a year! We have brought our dog Charlie and cat Lola with us, so we ideally wanted a house and not an apartment. We must have contacted over 50 different Croatia property owners, but hardly any of them would offer a year-round rental as they seemed focused on the summer rental market.


There is a great opportunity for property owners to make year-round income by promoting themselves to the digital nomad market. 


Finally, we found Dolores and Lovre’s place and fell in love with it.


Today is our first day out of quarantine after getting our 2nd negative PCR test, and Dolores and Lovre have been amazing and so hospitable doing our shopping for us and walking our dog. We now can’t wait to explore Croatia and becoming part of the Novigrad community.



Image source: Living in Croatia 2021


Your Digital Nomad Adventure Awaits in Novigrad


Deciding to pack your bags and locate to another country is a confronting step for many, but it’s easier than you think.


With so much chaos in the world right now, chances are that a move like this will do wonders for your mental health and provide you with a new perspective on life.


By now, you’ll have realised that the cost of living in Novigrad also means that you’re likely to save more than you would at home. All while being at a safe distance from this worldwide pandemic.



Image source: Ivan Ćorić


The bottom line is that you want to travel with minimised risk and maximum return, right? If this sounds like you, Novigrad is your dream digital nomad destination.


It seems easy enough. And it really is.


So, what’s stopping you? The unknown? Well, that’s part of the adventure.


Stop robbing yourself of unforgettable memories. Just trust in the process. You’ll be glad you did.


A word of caution, though, once you get here, you’ll quickly fall in love and never want to leave.


Promise.