Even though Croatia joined the European Union in 2013, the country has yet to join the European Monetary System. It is expected that Kuna will be replaced by Euro in the next few years, but until that time majority of businesses in Croatia still rely on Kuna. Here’s what you need to know about Croatian currency.
The Kuna, subdivided into 100 Lipa, has been the Croatian currency since 1994. After Croatia gained independence from Yugoslavia, it was only natural to replace Croatian dinar with a new type of money. When listed as a price, Kuna is abbreviated to KN.
The word kuna is a Croatian word for marten, a type of weasel-like animal. It is based on the use of marten pelts as units of value in medieval trading. During Roman times in the provinces of today’s Hungary and Slavonia the taxes were collected in then highly valued marten skins. Lipa is the Croatian word for lime tree.
Kuna comes in dominations of 1, 2 and 5 as coins and 5, 10, 20, 50, 100, 200, 500 and 1000 as notes. In addition, there are 25 KN coins mostly issued commemorative and rarely used. Lipa, on the other hand, is issued in coins of 1, 2, 5, 10, 20 and 50. All notes feature prominent Croatians in the front and architectural monuments on the back.
The Kuna uses the Euro as its main reference and the Croatian National Bank has been able to keep the Kuna’s exchange rate with the Euro within a relatively stable range.
When travelling to Croatia, it is best to have your currency exchanged to Kuna. You can do that either in a bank in your home country or in Croatia, in a bank or in one of numerous Bureaux de Change offises that can be found in almost every town. In addition, you can use an ATM that can be found in most hotels, shops, restaurants and similar places. Bear in mind that there may be a small service charge hen withdrawing money from an ATM – it’s best to verify that with your bank before travelling.
You may notice that some places such as accommodation providers display prices in Euros. It is important to stress that those prices are purely informal and only serve as a reference point for visitors to have a rough idea of how much the price is compared to their currency. Croatian people use the Euro for most savings and many informal transactions.