Croatia, one of the darlings of European travel, this week officially kicked off its new era as a member of the Eurozone.
While the move comes with many changes, perhaps the biggest one, for both residents and visitors, is a move from the Kuna to the Euro as the country’s official currency.
While the Kuna, which has been the official currency of Croatia since May 1994, can be used until January 15, both residents and visitors will then have to make the switch to the Euro, which is currently used by 19 other countries in Europe including some significant tourist destinations like France, Greece, Ireland, Italy, and more.
Those holding Kuna will be able to exchange them for Euros at any Croatian post office through the end of June, and at any Croatian bank through the end of the year. The country’s central bank will also continue to exchange notes until further notice and coins until the end of December 2025.
The move to the Eurozone comes at the same time as Croatia’s move to the Schengen Area, something that was approved by other EU countries late last year.
What the Schengen move, Croatia is lifting its border measures with other Schengen countries, which means that people will not have to stop for border checks if they’re driving between Croatia and other Schengen countries.
The Schengen Area is considered the world’s largest “Free travel Area” with 26 countries, including 22 EU states plus Iceland, Norway, Switzerland, and Liechtenstein. It was created in 1985 and named for the town of Schengen, Luxembourg.
According to the Associated Press, almost 1.7 million people live in one Schengen country and work in another, while another 2.5 million people cross an internal border each day. Upon arrival, citizens of Schengen countries flying within the Schengen Area must go through security checks, not border checks.