Tour OperatorsCroatia welcomes the new year by joining Eurozone and Schengen area.

The kuna is dead; long live the euro

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On the first day of 2023, Croatia switched from kuna to the shared European currency.
On the first day of 2023, Croatia switched from kuna to the shared European currency. Photo Credit: Adobe Stock/Yaroslav

The barriers have come tumbling down, the currency has changed from the kuna to the euro and the citizens of Croatia – most of them, at least - are celebrating strengthened ties with Europe.

On the first day of 2023, Croatia switched to the shared European currency, and removed dozens of border checkpoints to join the Schengen region, Europe's visa-free travel area.

For tourists, the benefits of the move will be significant. Border checks and currency exchanges will no longer be necessary for euro zone travellers.

Dubrovnik, loved by cruise ships, is the most popular destination in Croatia while other attractions include the lively city of Split, Zadar and Pula, famous for its Roman ruins and its amphitheatre.

The small Balkan state of four million people is joining the check-free Schengen zone of almost 420 million people, who can happily hop borders without passports for work or leisure.

Among Croatians, the move to the euro has been largely welcomed, although some fear that it will lead to higher prices for food and other items.

European Commission president Ursula von der Leyen said the benefits of joining the Schengen zone were substantial.

"The next generation of Croatians will grow up in Schengen. People will be able to travel freely, business will be unhindered by checks. Seamless travel will bring tangible results for people living along the border, working across the border, or having family on both sides of the border,” the EC president said.

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