Traveling to Croatia soon and planning your trip? Don't get stuck with high roaming charges, get yourself a local prepaid sim card on arrival or an e-sim card for traveling in Croatia. Don't get fooled by slow overseas data roaming plans. This is a complete guide for finding the best way to stay connected when traveling to Croatia in 2023. Find out everything you need to know about buying a prepaid sim card in Croatia, the best e-sim cards for Croatia, up to date prices as per August 2023, the best 4G/5G network in Croatia, my recommendation, info about EU roaming, international sim cards and more.
The first thing I do when arriving to a new country is looking for the best ways to stay connected, especially since I am already a full time nomadic travel blogger since 2012. That often means buying a local prepaid sim card on arrival or depending on my trip I order an e-sim card online. As I am aiming to visit every country in the world I get to a lot of new countries constantly and therefore on Traveltomtom you can find already more than 200 prepaid sim card guide from all over the world: Europe, Istanbul, Turkey, Rome, Italy, London, UK, New York, USA, Saudi Arabia, Israel, Moscow, Hong Kong, Malaysia, Colombia, Cameroon, Brazil, Colombia and many more.
Starting your Croatia trip in Zagreb? Then check out my guide for buying a sim card at Zagreb Airport.
Why buying a sim card for Croatia?
First of all to save on high roaming charges. Why waste money when operators keep on charging this stupid amount of $10 a day for internet abroad. Secondly, did you know that your data speed is reduced! Getting an e-sim card for Croatia or buying a prepaid sim card in Croatia is easy, fast and cheap and will eventually save you a lot of money.
Yes, your hotel or Airbnb provides free WiFi and so do restaurants and bars in popular tourist destinations in Croatia. In fact the free public WiFi is pretty good in Croatia, but... as soon as you go off the beaten path for example when on a road trip, into the national parks, visiting waterfalls, on a ferry, sailing boat, out on the streets in Dubrovnik, etc. there is NO WiFi.
Being disconnected for a bit is awesome, but also highly inconvenient when traveling. What about ordering a taxi through an app, finding directions on Google Maps or searching for a restaurant nearby with good reviews, finding your friends in a city, etc. Just like in normal life, being connected with data on your phone when traveling to Croatia makes things so much easier and more convenient.
Traveltomtom recommends a T-Mobile sim card for traveling in Croatia. For $10 you get unlimited data high speed data for 10 days and the T-Mobile 4G/5G network is by far the best in Croatia.
Then on top of that there are e-sim cards for those travelers that want to arrive prepared for their Croatia holiday. You can order an international e-sim card for all of Europe with 20 GB data for $49.90 or just get 1 GB data for 7 days for $5 USD.
If you prefer to receive a prepaid sim card delivered to your home address before your trip than consider buying an international prepaid sim card for Croatia on the internet before your trip. You can already get 20 GB data for $49.90 USD. Check out my comparison of the best international sim cards for traveling in 2023 and choose the one that fits your trip to Europe.
Best e-sim cards for Croatia
The easiest way to stay connected when traveling to Croatia in 20232 is an e-sim card and it is also the cheapest. Prices already start from $5 USD. Forget about visiting a store and swapping physical prepaid sim cards, you can arrange it all online in just a couple clicks with an e-sim card. Order an e-sim card on the internet, get a QR code, scan it, follow the steps and you are all set within a couple minutes.
Check out the following Croatia e-sim card plans:
- 1 GB data for 7 days = $5 USD
- 3 GB data for 30 days = $10 USD
- 5 GB data for 30 days = $15 USD
Click here to directly order an e-sim card for Croatia online.
The above e-sim cards for Croatia from Cronet are data-only and calling and texting is not supported. The Cronet e-sim cards operate on the 4G/5G network of Telemach Croatia.
If you are looking for e-sim cards that support calls and sms AND support EU roaming then have a look at international e-sim cards for traveling to Croatia. The following esim cards are valid all over Europe and many more countries:
- 10 GB data + $2 calling credit for 30 days = $24.90 USD
- 8 GB data + unlimited calls & sms for 14 days = $29.90 USD
- 20 GB data + unlimited calls & sms for 14 days = $49.90 USD
Click here to order an international e-sim card for traveling to Croatia.
Before ordering an e-sim card for Croatia make sure your phone is unlocked and e-sim compatible otherwise an e-sim card won't work on your phone.
If your phone is not e-sim compatible but you still would like to order a sim card for Croatia online then a great alternative is a physical prepaid sim card for Croatia. These prepaid sim cards will be delivered to your home address before your trip. You can already get 10 GB data + unlimited calls/text in all of Europe for $29.90 USD. Click here to order this Croatia prepaid sim card or check out all the deals.
Croatia sim cards and free EU roaming
Although Croatia is part of the EU and also Schengen as per January 2023 there should be no roaming costs if you already have a sim card from Italy, Denmark, Sweden, UK, Germany or any other country in Europe.
The other way around when buying a prepaid sim card in Croatia and traveling onwards to other European countries you should be able to use your data at no extra costs as well. However, this does NOT count for the tourist sim cards you buy in Croatia!
But be aware that these Croatia tourist sim cards are only valid in Croatia. So if you are on a road trip in the Balkan be ready to get a prepaid or e-sim card separately for every country or get yourself and international prepaid sim card or an international e-sim card for traveling in the Balkan.
When buying a prepaid sim card in Croatia always ask about the free roaming limitations when traveling onwards to other European countries.
But whatever they will tell you, trust me, Croatia sim cards are NOT good for traveling in Europe! Check out my article about the best Europe sim card for tourists in 2023 and I tell you everything you need to know how to stay connected during your Europe trip.
Or check my guide for buying a local prepaid sim card in Europe on arrival with all my tips for when you are traveling to Europe and wondering which prepaid sim card to buy and much more information about free EU roaming.
Mobile internet operators in Croatia
There are three mobile internet operators in Croatia: T-Mobile Croatia, A1 Croatia and Telemach Croatia. All three providers offer Croatia prepaid sim cards for tourists.
Where to buy a sim card for Croatia
The best places to buy a prepaid sim card for Croatia are in the city centers of any big tourist destination and city. T-Mobile, A1 and Telemach all have shops in Zagreb, Zadar, Pula, Dubrovnik, Split, etc. The Croatia sim card deals you find at the international airports are more expensive, but more convenient.
When in the city use Google Maps to determine the nearest mobile internet shop by just typing in the by you preferred mobile internet provider in the search bar.
As of August 2023 they sell prepaid sim cards for tourists from Telemach, A1 and T-Mobile at the Tisak convenience store in the Arrival Hall. Click here to read my complete guide for buying a sim card at Zagreb Airport in 2023.
Split, Dubrovnik and Zadar Airport
I have done research online about buying a sim card at these airports in Croatia and found out that every airport sells the same prepaid sim cards in the Tisak convenience stores, like at Zagreb Airport.
Convenience stores / gas stations
In Croatia it is NOT necessary to bring your passport when buying a prepaid sim card. Prepaid sim cards are NOT registered on your name. This makes it possible to buy a prepaid sim card for Croatia in the bigger convenience stores. In Croatia they are called: Tisak, INA, iNovine and Hrvatska Posta. At bigger gas stations they also sell prepaid sim cards. The sim cards you buy here are self service and you will need to activate them yourself. It is not my first recommendation for tourists traveling to Croatia.
The easiest way to stay connected when traveling to Croatia is to order a sim card online. As soon as the plane lands you can enjoy a data connection on your phone. You can order international prepaid sim cards, international e-sim cards and e-sim cards for Croatia right now on the internet and get it done in just 2 minutes and there is no need to find a sim card shop once you arrive in Croatia.
Best 4G/5G mobile network in Croatia in 2023
Prices for prepaid sim card plans for tourists are not the only thing that determines the best sim card for traveling in Croatia. In fact the mobile data network coverage is actually even more important. Therefore let's compare the 4G/5G networks coverage maps for Croatia for 2023 and find the best 4G/5G network.
Is there 5G in Croatia?
Yes, there is 5G in Croatia and it is actually pretty ok. As per August 2023 you can find 5G in most of the popular tourists destination in Croatia. On my recent trip in Croatia I enjoyed a 5G signal most of the time in Zagreb, Zadar, Split and even in Plitvice National Park, but it depends which sim card you buy.
T-Mobile 4G/5G network coverage map
A1 4G/5G network coverage map
Telemach 4G/5G network coverage map
From the above coverage maps we can clearly see that T-Mobile has the best 4G/5G network in Croatia in 2023. Telemach also covers most tourist destinations in Croatia with a 5G signal, but for road trips in Croatia T-Mobile is definitely the recommend sim card for tourists in Croatia.
So for people that go on a sailing trip in Croatia the best prepaid sim card is T-Mobile. T-Mobile has the strongest network around the islands by far.
Prices Croatia prepaid sim card in 2023
All the below prices are up to date as per August 2023. Prices are in Euros and $1 USD = €0.92 EUR and €1 EUR = $1.09 USD.
T-mobile Croatia prepaid sim card
T-Mobile Croatia has a special prepaid sim card for tourists. It costs €11.49 EUR and comes with unlimited data for 10 days. This bundle is only valid in Croatia, there is NO free EU roaming included.
IF you stay longer than 10 days you can top up the same T-Mobile Croatia tourist sim card with another 10 days unlimited high speed data for €8 EUR. For more info check the T-Mobile Croatia website.
Telemach Croatia prepaid sim card
Tourist that are buying a Telemach Croatia prepaid sim card have 2 choice.
- 10 GB data + 200 minutes or sms + 10 KN credit valid 30 days = €9.95 EUR
Or a prepaid sim card for Croatia with unlimited data for 10 days = €9.95 EUR.
The above Telemach prepaid sim card plans are ONLY valid in Croatia, EU roaming is NOT included. For more info check the Telemach Croatia website.
A1 Croatia prepaid sim card
A1 Croatia also keeps it really simple and offers 1 prepaid sim card plan for tourists traveling to Croatia:
- Unlimited data + 100 minutes/sms valid for 10 days = €10 EUR
Also for an A1 tourist sim card counts that minutes and data are only valid in Croatia, EU roaming is NOT included. Check the A1 Croatia website for more info.
Best prepaid sim card for Croatia in 2023
After comparing all the Croatia sim cards for tourists Traveltomtom comes to the simple conclusion that all mobile internet providers are pretty much offering the same prepaid sim cards for tourists. Great thing about buying a prepaid sim card in Croatia is that the tourist sim cards include unlimited high speed data.
The biggest difference between the mobile internet operators in Croatia is the mobile network coverage. T-Mobile has by far the best 4G/5G network in Croatia and therefore T-Mobile is the best sim card for traveling in Croatia in 2023.
The mobile internet providers in Croatia do not offer e-sim cards. If you want to buy an e-sim card for Croatia then simply order online.
E-sim cards are the cheapest way to stay connected as 1 GB data starts already from $5 USD only. The best buy e-sim card for Croatia is an e-sim card from Orange that is valid in all of Europe with 20 GB data for $49.90 USD.
Especially for those who are going on a Europe trip check out my article with a comparison of the best sim cards for traveling in Europe in 2023.
Buy a sim card for Croatia online
If buying a prepaid sim card on arrival in Croatia feels like too much effort and a waste of time then look into ordering a sim card for Croatia on the internet. Arrange everything within a couple minutes right now and arrive prepared for your trip to Croatia. As soon as the plane lands you are online, it is plug and play.
Also especially for those who are traveling onwards in Europe I can recommend the following sim cards for Croatia:
- 10 GB data in all of Europe and UK
- Unlimited calls/sms in Europe and UK
- Valid 30 days
- 20 GB data in all of Europe and UK
- Unlimited calls/sms in Europe and UK
- 120 minutes worldwide
- 1,000 sms worldwide
- Valid 14 days
- 12 GB data in all of Europe and UK
- Valid for 1 year
- 12 GB data in all of Europe and UK
- Valid for 2 years
These pre-activated international prepaid sim cards will be shipped to your home address before your trip. Personally I recommend the Orange sim card for traveling in Europe with 20 GB data. I have used it a lot and always worked perfectly fine for me.
Also a last reminder that if your phone is e-sim compatible you can arrange everything online in just a couple clicks by ordering an e-sim card for Croatia. Click here to order a data-only e-sim card for Croatia or click here for an international e-sim card for Croatia including calls and sms.
I hope all the above tips for buying a sim card for Croatia were helpful for your upcoming trip. Let me know if you have any more questions and I am more than happy to help you out, also with Croatia travel tips as I have visited Croatia more than 10 times just in the last 5 years already.
Curious what it looks like trying to visit every country in the world? Go check out my Instagram account @traveltomtom and follow along. As of August 2023 I have visited more than 155 countries, so still a long way to go, but no rush.
Enjoy your trip to Croatia!
Some links in this article about the best Croatia sim cards are affiliate links. If you buy any of the products after using tan affiliate links I will earn a small commission. Don’t worry this is at absolutely no extra cost to you!