After living in Mexico and Costa Rica, I needed to live a place where there was a bit more civilization. Since it also happened to be during the summer, we thought that it would be the best time of the year to check out Europe and live there for a while. It was definitely a place where I wanted to live, so Chris and I both agreed it would be our next destination.
Deciding on Croatia wasn’t that hard. Of all the places in Europe, we wanted to go somewhere with a beach that wouldn’t be crazy expensive. There weren’t many choices other than Croatia. We could have gone to Italy, but with the 90 days in the Schengen Zone every 180 days problem, we decided to start in Croatia.
From there, we had to choose which city. I didn’t know much about the country, but after googling a few cities, I knew I wanted to either be close to Dubrovnik or Split. Both cities seemed a bit too crowded for Chris, who likes nature and outdoors, so we kept looking. Finally, we found this cute little apartment close to the sea in Šibenik and decided to book it.
We knew almost nothing about Šibenik before arriving here on the bus, but we loved it from the first seconds we layed eyes on it! If you even happen to be in Croatia, please visit Šibenik! It’s such a lovely place, you’ll fall in love with it too 🙂
Note that the currency exchange at the time was 7 kunas for $1US
When booking our flights, I made a mistake I only realized a long time after it was too late. I thought the closest airport to Šibenik was either Zagreb or Dubrovnik (which are both five hours away by bus), but I was wrong. Split has an airport too! We could have landed there, but we didn’t… Oh well! Now you know and we know too 🙂
Flights from Quebec City to Zagreb were over $1500 each… That was a lot more than I wanted to pay to get to Europe. So what did I do? I found the cheapest flight to Europe from Quebec City, which happened to be Quebec > Paris for $600 each. Once we’d be in Paris, it would be a lot cheaper to find flights to Croatia, I thought. I was correct! Paris > Zagreb was only a bit over $200, so we got tickets for well… half price! It pays to do a little bit of research and not mind checking your bags twice! The only thing to worry about is making sure that you book your flights correctly, from the same airport (in cities that have multiple airports) and that you leave yourself enough time to go through custom, check-in and security again.
For flights, we ended up paying around $800 each.
Getting to Šibenik
Once we landed in Zagreb, we had an Airbnb place rented for one night until we’d be able to take the bus that would take us to Šibenik. The bus from the airport to the city bus station cost 30 kuna ($4.37) per person. One night in a shared apartment cost us only $50. The last thing we had to pay for was the bus from Zagreb to Šibenik, which was 151 kuna ($22) per person.
There are other ways you could get to Šibenik, like flying to Split, then taking the bus or a shuttle from there. Of course, that option is a bit more expensive, like $100/$150 instead of $25 for the bus only (considering you’d have to stay overnight in both options).
For our one room apartment with a small kitchen, a nice double bed and a bathroom (which happens to have a washing machine), we pay $800 CAD a month ($615US). It was definitely right in our budget and is actually pretty cheap for Europe. We’re not directly in the old city center, but really close to it (like three minutes walking). We also have the daily market on one side and the public library on the other, which makes both Chris and me happy. We can get healthy and delicious food in the morning, then go work for a few hours at the public library.
We eat at home most of the time, but including our weekly trips to the restaurant, we spent an average of $500 on food for the two of us. We buy most of our fruits and vegetable at the market, making sure to get what’s in the season (otherwise you can get ripped off!). Otherwise, we go for pizza once a week, which happens to be around 100 to 150 kuna ($15-$20) for two pizzas and two drinks (alcohol or not, it’s often a similar price). Included in the $500, there’s also a $50 of alcohol every month, for wine, beers, and ciders. It’s actually fairly cheap if you buy local alcohol.
Water is totally drinkable in Croatia, so we didn’t have to buy much of that 🙂 We only both a few bottles so we could go hike/bike during the day!
We pretty much stayed in Šibenik for the whole two months, but we also happened to do a few trips. The first one we did was to Zadar. We went there for the day, visited a few things, ate two meals there and had a few ciders in the park. It ended up costing us around $100, including the bus tickets.
The second trip we had was to the Krka National Park. With the scooter rental, the entry fee to the park and the extra water bottles we bought on the way, we spent around $80.
Finally, the last thing we did was bike around the countryside to the fortress. The only cost to that was the bike rental, which ended up being around $10 for the day.
So every month, we spend on average $1 100US on food and rent for two people. I don’t count plane tickets, transportation or any kind of touristic activity in that price. Only what comes back every month.
- Water Bottle 1L: 5 kuna ($0.73)
- Cucumber: 2 kuna ($0.29)
- 3-4 Tomatoes: 5 kuna ($0.73)
- Lettuce: 5 kuna ($0.73)
- Fresh bread: 4 kuna ($0.58)
- Green Beans 500g: 5 kuna ($0.73)
- 3-4 Peaches: 5 kuna ($0.73)
- Mushroom 500g: 17 kuna ($2.48)
- Bananas 500g: 6 kuna ($0.87)
- Quarter of a watermelon: 25 kuna ($3.64)(off season) or 15 kuna ($2.19)(in season)
- Cooked chicken: 30 kuna ($4.37)
- 4 Cevapcici (sausages without skin): 9 kuna ($1.31)
- 4 Homemade sausages: 12 kuna ($1.75)
- 1% milk 2L: 12.50 kuna ($1.82)
- Grated cheese 200g: 17 kuna ($2.48)
- Ham for sandwiches 300g: 18 kuna ($2.62)
- Meat or Cheese Tortellini 250g: 8 kuna ($1.71)
- Pesto 190g: 30 kuna ($4.37)
- Tagliatelle pasta 500g: 13 kuna ($1.89)
- Barilla pasta sauce 400g: 19 kuna ($2.77)
- Mayonnaise 630g: 30 kuna ($4.37)
- Local beer: 6 kuna ($0.87)
- Somersby Cider 500mL: 11 kuna ($1.60)
- Local White Wine 1L: 35 kuna ($5.10)
- Pringles: 22 kuna ($3.21)
- Chocolate bar 250g: 24 kuna ($3.50)
- Sunscreen SPF 30: 60 kuna ($8.75)
- Chapstick: 19 kuna ($2.77)
- Shampoo 250ml: 22 kuna ($3.21)
- Dove soap 2 x 100g: 13 kuna ($1.89)
- Cheapest Surf & Call SIM card with Tele2: 50 kuna ($7.29)
I hope this helps you plan your trip! If you have any questions or would like the info about anything, send me an email and I’ll be happy to help you!