SIM Card Croatia
| |

Buying a SIM Card or eSIM in Croatia

We may earn a commission from purchases you make after clicking links on this site. Learn more.

Dramatic coastal cliffs. Crooked cobblestone streets. Shimmering azure waters. Croatia is one of the most photogenic countries on Earth, and the rightful backdrop to Westeros’ majestic King’s Landing.

It doesn’t matter if you don’t know what that means (I’ll admit I didn’t until I arrived in Dubrovnik) – Croatia will win you and your camera over, even if you have no idea what Jon Snow looks like.

Feeling the need to send a million pictures already? Grab a local SIM card or travel eSIM, and flood the timelines of unsuspecting friends and family with those jealousy-inducing shots.

Companies

  • I recommend T-Hrvatski Telekom for most travelers who want a physical SIM
  • If you need voice minutes, go with A1 Croatia’s tourist package
  • An eSIM from aloSIM or Airalo is the easiest option if you only need data

The main cell carriers in Croatia are T-Hrvatski Telekom (T-HT), A1 Croatia, and Telemach. T-HT is the leading service provider, with almost half of the users in the country. It is also the one with the largest LTE network, covering anywhere you’re likely to be.

All three companies offer tourist packages, which are short-term, prepaid plans heavy on data. Telemach and A1’s plans includes some domestic voice minutes and/or texts, while T-HT charges extra for them.

I didn’t need calls or texts on this trip, so I went with T-HT due to its larger high-speed network.

Travel eSIM for Croatia

While the tourist SIMs in Croatia aren’t particularly expensive and provide large or unlimited amounts of data, there are some good travel eSIM options if your data needs are more modest.

Of the better providers out there, aloSIM and Airalo typically have the best prices for smaller data packs, while Nomad is cheaper after that. The smallest packs last for a week, but the rest run for 30 days.

Other than the convenience and time saving of being connected as soon as you arrive, you’ll also save money with one of the smaller packs if you don’t expect to use a lot of data during your stay. All of the pricing details are in the table below.

Like most travel eSIMs, they’re data-only: you don’t get a local number. I use apps for everything from communication to transport these days, so the lack of a local number very rarely matters to me, but you might have different needs.

One thing worth noting: if you’re planning to travel to several European countries within a few weeks, it might be worth looking at some of the regional eSIM packages on offer.

There are too many to list each one separately (and they change all the time), but as a starting point, these are the Europe eSIM options from companies I’d actually consider using:

If you’re new to eSIMs, they offer big benefits to travelers in terms of how quickly, easily, and (often) cheaply you can get connected when you arrive in a new country. Most recent phones support them, and you can read all about them here.

How to Buy a Prepaid SIM Card in Croatia

You can purchase packages at the carrier’s official stores, as well as in several convenience stores, souvenir shops, and electronic stores around the country.

Setup is easy enough. Simply put the SIM card in your device, and as soon as it recognizes the network, you’re good to go.

I bought mine from an official T-HT store in Zadar. As soon as I entered, I was asked to take a number from a machine by the door. The screen gave two options in Croatian, for personal or business customers.

The machine does offer English versions of the text, but if it happens to not work (as was the case for me) you should go with “privatni korisnici”, or private user.

As soon as my number came up, a representative who spoke flawless English took care of me. No passport or ID card was needed for the tourist contract, though it would be if you wanted to sign up for any of the non-tourist packages.

If you have any problems that turning your device on and off doesn’t fix, the stores can lend you a hand, even if, like me, the problem is self-inflicted and embarrassingly silly.

Hint: don’t try to open your iPhone’s SIM card slot with a wooden toothpick. It will not end well.

Prepaid SIM and eSIM Costs

T-HT

The T-HT “Visiting Croatia” tourist package costs 10€ (~$11), and provides unlimited data for ten days. If you’re planning to stay in the country for longer than that, there’s an alternative version with 70GB of data valid for a month that costs 11.95€.

Either package can be renewed: you’ll pay a cheaper rate of 7.96€ for the unlimited pack if it renews automatically (in other words, if you have enough credit on the account at the time). The 30-day pack costs the same each time.

A1

For A1 Croatia, the tourist plan is pretty similar. It also costs 10€ (~$11) for a ten-day unlimited data pack, but you also get the 100 domestic call/text units mentioned above.

Note, though, that speeds are cut to essentially useless after you use 100GB of data. Yes, it’s technically unlimited, but practically it’s a different story.

Telemach

Telemach’s tourist SIM offerings are kind of a mix of what the other two companies offer. Like T-HT, there are two plans, one with unlimited data for 10 days, and the other with a set amount of data for a month.

Like A1, the latter plan also comes with local calls (200 minutes, in this case). The data allowance on that plan isn’t as generous as the others, although 10GB is likely still enough to get most people through their stay.

Both plans cost 9.95€, and there’s no roaming elsewhere in the EU with either of them.

Travel eSIMs

When it comes to travel eSIMs, Airalo and aloSIM typically have the best pricing on smaller data packs under around 5GB, while Nomad is the way to go if you need more.

The cheaper packs cost less than a tourist SIM from either of the above companies, so if you’re only in Croatia for a few days and/or don’t need a lot of data, they’re the better option. Plus you don’t have to start your holiday by wandering around phone stores!

Prices and packs change regularly, of course: here’s how the best ones stack up price-wise in Croatia at the moment.

Validity Period

  • 7 days

  • 30 days

  • 30 days

  • 30 days

Data Amount

  • 1 GB

  • 3 GB

  • 5 GB

  • 10 GB

Price (USD)

  • $5

  • $10

  • $15

  • $24

Validity Period

  • 7 days

  • 15 days

  • 30 days

  • 30 days

  • 30 days

  • 30 days

Data Amount

  • 1 GB

  • 2 GB

  • 3 GB

  • 5 GB

  • 10 GB

  • 20 GB

Price (USD)

  • $4.50

  • $7

  • $9.50

  • $13

  • $21

  • $32

Validity Period

  • 7 days

  • 30 days

  • 30 days

  • 30 days

  • 30 days

  • 30 days

Data Amount

  • 1 GB

  • 3 GB

  • 5 GB

  • 10 GB

  • 15 GB

  • 20 GB

Price (USD)

  • $6

  • $12

  • $14

  • $19

  • $27

  • $33

Topping Up

You can recharge your account in the usual ways: online through the provider’s website or app, with a call or text message to the service provider, or with a voucher purchased at the same places you buy SIM cards from.

International cards are allowed for payment. When I recharged my account I went the online route, and my Spanish credit card worked without a glitch.

Get regular updates from the world of travel tech and remote work

News, reviews, recommendations and more, from here and around the web

Coverage and Data Speeds

Data was consistent and reliable throughout the country, with good to excellent speeds everywhere I tested. I made several calls with WhatsApp audio during my stay, and had no major interruptions in any of them.

I found the fastest data to be in the cities, particularly Split, but also got decent service on the island of Lokrum off the Dubrovnik coast.

Note that both Airalo and aloSIM use the Telemach network, which is strong in the cities and roams automatically on the T-HT network anywhere it doesn’t have coverage. Nomad uses both Tele2 and A1, so you’ll get even better service there.

EU Roaming

Croatia is part of the European Union, so EU roaming regulations apply. These “roam like at home” rules ended roaming charges across much of Europe in 2017, letting you use a SIM card from any EU country across all the others at no extra charge.

There are some exceptions and limits, however, especially with large or unlimited data packages. Double-check the exact details at time of purchase.

You can roam elsewhere in the EU with either of the T-HT tourist packs mentioned earlier, but there’s a fair use limit of just over 10GB before you need to start paying a surcharge for it.

EU roaming isn’t included with the A1 tourist SIM, so if that’s something you plan to do, you’re better off with the T-HT option.


Check out our guides to SIM cards and eSIMs in 65+ other countries here.

Similar Posts

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

3 Comments

  1. Avatar Andrew Rein says:

    Do you think a local sim is better than getting a usa T-mobile sim or a 3-UK sim, that both offer roaming in Croatia? One plus for these, you can get them ahead of time while in the USA (through ebay for 3-UK) and test them out. Also don’t have to take precious vacation time to go to a store in Croatia and buy a sim. The downside, probably offer way slower data.

    1. You’ve pretty much summarised the pros and cons in your comment. 🙂 You’ll likely pay a bit less with a local SIM as well, although that may depend on the length of your trip. Otherwise, it’s really up to you which aspects matter more than the others.

  2. Do they throttle the speed after a certain GB use?

Note that comments are manually approved, so there will be a delay before they appear on the site. Please keep them polite.