Can I Use My Phone in Croatia? (Calls/SMS & Internet)

A cover for a guide to using phone in Croatia

To enjoy Croatia and not to miss its beauties you’ll want to stay offline for a while, yet having an option to quickly reconnect to the internet or make a call is necessary.

Whether you’ll need to make a phone call to friends and family or share an Instagram story about the awesome time you are experiencing in Croatia, you’ll need data on the phone.

To secure you stay connected to the world while in Croatia, I decided to do research and create this article.

I’ll present you with the best deals you can find for internet data, phone calls, and SMS texts.

There are multiple choices from e-SIM and local SIM cards with pros and cons and different price tags, but I’ll make the right deal evident for you.

Moreover, I’ll answer essential questions such as signal coverage, WIFI tips, roaming issues, and more, so once you are finished with this article you won’t need another!

First, check if your phone is compatible

Does your phone support GSM?

Croatia uses GSM technology for mobile communications which means that CDMA phones will not work in Croatia.

GSM (Global System for Mobiles) means 4G and 5G, and CDMA (Code Division Multiple Access) means 2G and 3G.

While most phones today do support GSM technology, some older phones don’t and it’s worth checking whether your phone does or not before making further steps.

Is your phone locked or doesn’t have dual SIM?

Important: If your phone is locked you won’t be able to remove your SIM card and insert the local SIM!

Moreover, it’s important that your phone is a dual SIM because if you take out your primary SIM card you might experience problems with apps such as Skype, Whatsup, Viber, and so on.

These apps are registered to your phone number and removing a SIM will make them malfunction and you won’t be able to use wireless or any data to call your friends you have in the list via these apps.

Understanding roaming fees in Croatia

Since 2013 Croatia is part of the European Union and thus it accepted the EU roaming practices.

Roaming charges within the EU were abolished for “roam like at home” services, meaning that when you travel within the EU, you should generally be charged the same rates as you would pay in your home country located in the EU for calls, texts, and mobile data.

However, there might be some specific conditions and limitations. For instance, operators could impose a “fair usage” policy to prevent abuse of roaming services. This policy usually sets a limit on the amount of data, calls, or texts you can use while roaming without additional charges.

Moreover, it’s possible that you accidentally enter the roaming zone by traveling near the Bosnian border.

This happened to my mother a couple of times when she was traveling past Plitvice lakes and back in the day near Slovenia when Croatia wasn’t in Europe.

What does this mean for you?

If you live in another European country, simply check with your local mobile service provider to get more information on how they deal with roaming policies.

If you know that you’ll need plenty of data it’s very likely that you’ll be best with a local SIM card or an e-SIM.

If you live in a non-European country and travel to Croatia you should expect to be affected by high roaming fees.

Also don’t forget that you might enter the roaming zone when traveling across other states that aren’t part of the EU before reaching Croatia.

Local SIM card providers

Local SIM cards are the best cost/value choice if you need to make calls/send SMS texts and have plenty of internet data.

You’ll need to buy a physical SIM card in Croatia and insert it into your phone.

I’ll present you with the best local providers who’s got some awesome offers tailored specifically for tourists.

I regularly update this article, but in case the prices change in the future and I don’t notice I recommend that you check out the deals yourself.


Telemach has two offers, NET2GO and SIM2GO for tourists, and both cost 9,95 EUR.

UNLIMITED GB50 GB, and 200 minutes of local calls with 1,33 EUR on account
10 Days of validity30 days of validity

Their SIM2GO option is best for when you need to make calls and need extra internet, but their NET2GO offers unlimited internet for 10 days which is useful for digital nomads who work.

However, bear in mind what is not included in their SIM2GO offer.

Call connection fees towards networks in Croatia are an additional 0,04 EUR
SMS towards Croatian networks are 0,05 EUR per SMS
SMS towards networks abroad is 0,13 EUR per SMS

So, if you run out of funds on the account you won’t be able to set up calls before buying another voucher.

Moreover, the fact that SMS is not included in the offer is another downside.

You can buy NET2GO and SIM2GO at:

  • Telemach shops
  • At newsstands
  • Post offices
  • In grocery stores
  • Gas stations throughout Croatia


A1 has a legit offer that I might consider the very best local SIM service provider for those who need unlimited internet, fast 5G speed, and minutes for calls/SMS messages within Croatia.

This A1 prepaid tourist SIM costs 10,00 EUR, and you get:

A1 Prepaid Tourist SIM
10 days of unlimited surfing
100 minutes/SMS messages within Croatia (no call setup fee)
Fair prices on international minutes and SMS messages back to your country
5G speed
TRIO SIM (standard, micro and nano)

You can find A1 SIM at:

  • online (order at the address in Croatia where you’ll stay and it will wait for you)
  • newsstands
  • petrol stations
  • supermarkets
  • Hrvatska Pošta
  • A1 store


T-mobile offers Prepaid data SIM – a 3-in-1 Multi SIM card for tourists.

These offers might be useful if you are looking for internet only.

The special work and travel deal comes with extra benefits, so it might be a good option for digital nomads as long as they don’t need unlimited mobile data.

Unlimited Mobile Data (5G/LTE speed up to 2000 Mbit/s)70 GB Mobile Data (5G/LTE speed up to 2000 Mbit/s)Special Work and Travel Deal
For 10 daysFor 30 daysPortable Internet SIM card, postpaid plan
4G speed up to 600 Mbit/s download
80 GB mobile data for 30 days
11,49 EUR11,95 EUR9,90 EUR

You can find the T-mobile SIM at:

  • T-Centar
  • Tisak
  • INA
  • iNovine
  • Hrvatska pošta

e-SIM options

While local SIM cards are a great deal, you need to first buy and install the physical SIM card into your phone before you can use them.

e-SIM cards are a more convenient way for your needs as you don’t need a physical SIM card that can only be bought once you arrive in Croatia.

If you don’t want to go to the local shops to look for a local SIM, you can simply download an app to the phone, pay with a card or PayPal and get ready even prior to arriving in Croatia.

This is reasonable as during the summer season it’s nice to avoid big crowds and any additional traveling off the planned route can be exhausting.

Moreover, the e-SIM option allows you to get regional and global packets which allows you to use the service outside Croatia as well.

The local SIM can only be used in Croatia and nowhere else, so if you plan to travel to other countries prior to or after Croatia this is another good reason to get an e-SIM.

Best e-SIM providers

The next two offers I found are powered by Airalo, the eSIM store that provides services all over the globe and has numerous satisfied users.

These e-SIM cards aren’t physical and it doesn’t matter whether your phone is locked or isn’t dual SIM.

Airalo has good e-SIM offers with great coverage and ease of use, I am just disappointed that the data wasn’t higher for the price you are paying.

If you don’t need much data, then this e-SIM is likely the best choice out there.

Moreover, if you will be traveling to other states besides Croatia you might be interested in regional European offers as they work on the same principle.

As you can see you can install your e-SIM within minutes without a need for a physical card, their coverage is excellent and you can find deals for almost every country in the world.

The only downside is a bit higher price than what you’d pay for a local SIM card (when you compare the price and data you receive), so if you care to save those few extra dollars or euros, the local, physical SIM will be the best choice.

For those of you who need a reliable, convenient way for extra data and don’t need calls and SMS but will rather use apps such as WhatsApp, Viber, Skype or Messenger Airalo offers are a great option.

And needless to say, if your phone can’t fit local SIM cards you won’t have other options then to get an e-SIM.

How good is the mobile coverage in Croatia?

Mobile coverage in Croatia is excellent and you won’t have problems with receiving signals at the majority of places you’ll visit.

However, mobile coverage might be limited in remote areas such as popular hiking destinations like Velebit, Dinara, and other mountains. Moreover, you might experience similar problems in areas rich with vegetation such as in Gorski Kotar.

How available are the internet and Wi-Fi?

Every facility such as hotels, motels, restaurants, most apartments for rent, and resorts including small coffee bars somewhere in suburbia are equipped with Wi-Fi for the guests.

Additionally, you can find Wi-Fi in town centers of bigger cities, and sometimes on buses. Smaller cities and villages have worse Wi-Fi availability.

Furthermore, public internet in town can often be unstable and a majority of the outside areas don’t offer Wi-Fi so if you want to take a walk through the streets don’t count on finding Wi-Fi.

Final take

Reliable internet is a must when in a foreign country whether you want to check out the news or need to contact people.

Being desperately left in the town without internet or the ability to make a call or send an SMS text will come very inconvenient.

Whether you need to call a taxi, check the open hours of a restaurant, find important information about your destination, or check the bus schedule you’ll need some type of SIM.

My advice is that you should get at least some minimal data just to survive when you can’t find Wi-Fi, while calls and SMS text packages are a bit more expensive, but also worth it.


Dino is a local who has spent 27 years of his life in Croatia. He's here to provide you with useful information and some local guidance.

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