I want to come and live near Pula, in Istria

I hope to be able to emigrate permanently to live in Istria.I will be bringing my two horses with me. I really like the people that I have met where we will live, it is a very friendly place and everyone accepted me completely.I am having great difficulty learning Hrvatski language, even though I am being helped by my girlfriend who is Croatian and teaches English there.Many people speak English, but how long should it take before I can understand non English speaking people to a reasonable standard. The local dialect is spoken so quickly that by the time I have (mentally) translated one word, they have finished the sentence !

Welcome on MalcolmS ;)

Loads of people appear to have read my initial posting, but no-one has responded.
My girlfriend lives in Slavonski Brod and will be here in England again with me at Easter. But when I have been able to sell my house here, we plan to live there ,together near  Pula, in Istria , maybe late this year, latest summer next year. She is Croatian, I am English. She speaks superb English, but my Hrvatski is terrible. I am completely accepted by her friends and family and get on well with them.
Are there any English people currently living in Croatia who can give me the benefit of their experiences of moving out and living there. That is more or less what I was asking.
I have considerable experiences of different cultures around the world and get on well with what I have seen of the way of life in Istria. I love the attitude of the people there, even the officials that I have met . I will be taking my dva konji ( two horses) with me, so it is going to be a major lifechange for me.
Somebody offer me some guidance please. Tell me some of the things I have not thought of. How are Brits really accepted in Croatia, when, as shortly we will be, one is married to a local ?
Thank you, I await constructive comments...........

There is an American couple that moved to croatia (Dubrovnik), they have a blog with a lot of helpful information.  Just google american couple living in croatia or dubrovnik, i can't remember right now the name of their blog.  I'm not too familiar with the Pula area, I myself plan on relocating to the Split area this summer.  I also tried taking croatian classes and it's very difficult.  There are some croatian classes for expat in Zagreb not sure about Pula again.  I know of an another Croatian girl that met a British guy, and he eventually moved to croatia, and he has no problem being accepted.  But one thing, if you go out to the market or try to rent an apartment, expect to pay double or even triple because there is a tendency for locals to take advantage of foreigners. 

I my self have not moved yet, but in the process.  So my advise is from living there a few months out the year for 4 years.  I think the only problem you will have is finding employment.  It's difficult to get a job in croatia if you are not croatian, unless you plan to open your own business. 

I suggest you search the net for blog on people living in croatia, there are plenty.  And you can ask them directly , since i have not moved there yet.  I have noticed a trend in croatia, that foreigners tend to find love in croatia and end up moving there. 

Hello Expat 23 and thanks for your response
I am all too well aware that Croatian is a terribly difficult language to learn, but my girl friend is one of the top teachers of English in all of Croatia, so, apart from being hard for me, with her help I will have no problems at all. She has actually won international awards for the standard and quality of her teaching and produces an English language newspaper for schools that is distributed to schools worldwide . She teaches in a local school and also runs English language courses all over Europe . She also does translation from English into Croation for, amongst others, the EEC . She is my eyes and ears when we are out there. She has a flat in Slavonski Brod and a small villa near Pula, so accomodation is no problem, we will live in her villa. Similarly work is not a problem as I will be , with her help ,self employed. I know employment is hard as her son had to leave Slavonski Brod last night on a 12 hour coach journey to travel all the way to the island of  Mjet to start his new job. Opportunities that I am looking at include a little bit of property development including possibly property rental, importing used cars into Croatia and maybe even language teaching, if she should decide she wants to do it .
I do have an open attitude and a willingness to adapt and learn and thank you again for your comments .  By coincidence , another of her sons lives in Toronto, and he is married to a Canadian girl.
Hope to hear from you again, and indeed anybody else who might be able to give me further advice.

Hello Zhekkie , and thank you for the constructive comments that you make. I have become aware that regional identities are strong, but had not understood that It was even moreso in Istria . I had indeed had it mentioned by my Hrvatski cura ( Croatian girlfriend) that when I start to become fluent in Croatian I should perhaps consider learning some Italian as in Istria apparently Italian is almost the second language since that country is so close at hand . I was also aw
are that there is indeed a local dialect, something that just makes it all the more difficult for me in learning what is their national language. I have found people in Croatia very welcoming and all my girlfriends co-workers and friends are keen to embrace  me into their circle. I am pleased that you can be so positive with respect to Istria and that simply reinforces the terrific opinions that I have formed about all the parts of Croatia that I have so far experienced . Thank you for your kind offer on specific questions which I will surely take you up on after my next visit. Thanks again. Malcolm

Iam planning a move to Istria from Mexico. I am hoping to stay for at least a year. I would like to find a long term rental in a small town outside Pula or porec. Can any one tell me the best way to try to secure accomodation. I understand that expats sometimes pay more than necessary for goods and services.
Also,How worthwhile would it be for me to learn Italian rather than the very difficult Croatian language. I think the transition from Spanish to Italian would be a lot easier for me. Any tips on renting would be greatly appreciated.

Hi and welcome on the forum karinamex :)

You can try the accommodation section of Croatia classifieds. It might help ;)


Hello karinamex
What you say is indeed correct about foreigners sometimes having to pay too much for goods and services , so until you are known and recognised, care is essential. BUT , while I have only been to the Pula area on a few occasions , as my girlfriend has a villa near there, I am completely accepted and trust has grown very quickly. I will be there again in about a month and if you are still looking for accomodation I would try to guide you, but have a weekly publication called ' BUTIGA ' where people advertise many things. It is printed in Hrvatski ( Croatian ) which I am learning, but it is a TERRIBLY difficult language to learn  !!!!! HOWEVER I can confirm that almost everyone in the Istrian ( ISTRA is the local name that they call it there ) area around Pula and perhaps a 100 , maybe 200 km radius , speaks as their second language.
I still live in England, but am so happy with the wonderful country and nice people that I have met in Istria that , hopefully inside about a year will be emigrating to live there permanently . If you feel I may be able to help any more, please feel free to make contact again.

Hi everybody
As a posting that I made earlier says, my girlfriend is from near Pula, in Istria, Crotia . Though , she currently lives and works in Slavanski Brod which is maybe 400km east from there , but called me on Skype yesterday to say that she is going to be in Istria in just over 10 days time . She is a teacjher and is bringing a group of her students to Istria for a few days , so I am popping out there ( it is only just over a 2 hour flight from the UK ) to spend 5 days with her . I have been attempting to learn the terribly difficult Hrvatski jezik ( Croatial language ) which she seems to think I am not doing too badly with , and am so looking forward to being with her again there. I also practise moj Hrvatski regularly with her friends when Skyping to them and am looking forward to trying it out face to face with real people, though I will also still have my phrasebook in my pocket ! LOL . She came over here and stayed with me for  deset dani ( 10 days ) over Uskrs ( Easter ). I will be going back there 3 or 4 times during the course of the ljeto ( summer ) and she will be coming here at least twice, maybe 3 more times this godina ( year ) . I am so looking forward to it again and know that I will feel just as home as I have done on all my previous trips .
Malcolm.  :o:)   :D

Hi Folks,

I am new here..
I have read quite a few posts and I have decided to register and write here.
I would like to ask if there is anyone EXPAT in Pula or in Istria..
could give me some more information .. how to settle .. how to find a job..
I have visited many places in croatia... and I think Istria and in Istria - Pula is one of the interesting place for me.
I would like to move there and start a new life. I know it's not Emirates and the land of gold. but  the local people are still human and very friendly.

So if there is anyone who could suggest some options or solutions I would really appreciate that.

Thanks a lot

Hi ptothphoto,

Welcome to Expat-Blog :)

In which sector are you looking for a job please ?

Thank you

Expat-blog Team

Hello Maximilien,

At the moment I work for an Irish company here in slovakia as a Production Engineer.
We manufacture cables for medical machines like CT or MRI.

Originally I have studied as a Gardener. But I used to work in Printing industry as well. So I am quite open for anything.
Travelled a lot al over the world. My special hobby or I think it's more is the photography.

I would really like to find a job in Istria.. especially in Pula.

Thanks for your quick response.


Hello Peter.

You should try to browse this page -> Jobs in Croatia or even post your resume/CV there.

Thanks and best of luck.

Karen :)

Malcom, I just read this, and was wondering how you got on? I do hope you've made Croatia your home and you are loving it.

I am looking to feature other expats on my blog, and your story sounds fascinating.

Just wondering if you ever made your dream come truth.

I don`t know why, but I am always amazed when people want to move to Croatia. OK, we have lots of advantages, but working here and making money is awfully hard...

well  all i kan say stay in england jobs inposible to get if you are a foriner like from england and the pepole are not that frendly if you cum on holiday it  is ok but live hire you have to be crazy  i have lived hire for five years and never have i had such a hard time i work in pula all week and have never seen such crap from empolyers in my life

Istria is wonderful! I am in Bosnia, its close to Istria. 5h of driving I can be in Istria, so every year minimum 2 times I am going on vacation with my family in Istrai. You can find some great articles] about Istria in English [/url] I hope this will help you.

Sorry for my bad English :)

Hi there,
I was just wondering if there had been progress since the original posting. I've been living in Rovinj for 2 years, and am moving the 35km south to Pula to live with my boyfriend. I have a teaching job in Rovinj during the regular school year, but will be looking for work in the summer. Has anyone heard of possible jobs for a native English speaker with a basic level of Croatian and Italian? Please let me know if anything comes up. :)

Dear Ssindicich (username with a posting to which we would like to reply…)
I saw yr posting that you had a teaching job in Rovinj, during the year,
we're moving to Istria in Aug-Sept,
and are looking for teaching jobs, either English (have Cambridge, CELTA degree),
or other subjects in English language,

if you have any advice… we would be very grateful,

kind regards,

Hi Ana,

the post of ssindicich is from 2014, maybe you won't be having any update.

I suggest you drop a "looking for" advert in the Jobs in Croatia section of the website and create a new thread on the Croatia forum to benefit from members' advices.

All the best,

Hi Malcolm, I'm originally from Pula. Living last18 years in USA. It is nice to hear people like Pula and area. But be sure you have place to stay before you decide to move there. Places like Pula and whole region are focused to rent to tourist but long term renting is not common also not very regulated. Jobs are also hard to get do to very high unemployment in general. Also if are not Croatian citizen I'm not sure if is easy to get work permit. I hope is easy now when Croatia is part of EU. For years I was thinking of going back, but Everytime when I visit I change my mind do to reality. Sorry to be messenger with not nice news. If you are able to have income from abroad( today a lot of people do writing or similar jobs from distance) that will be great. Please contact me if you need more info. I still have many friends there and family members. If I can be help  I will be happy. Also I will be there in November

Hi Tlosonc,

I'm still in the US but thinking about making the move to Pula.  Would you be willing to connect via email or skype so I might ask you a few questions?

Thanks in advance either way.


Hi Joshua,
If you need more info, please send me email and we can go from there. My email: xxx

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Sorry have not been on this site for a long time.Have you moved here now?We moved here to istra about 2 and a half years ago and still loving every minute here.Yes the lanquage is hard but we are getting there.Our croatian friend teaches us.Pula is an ideal place to shop for large items and of course for the airport.

Hi!  Sorry to say I am still in Trump's America :-(    Thanks for responding to my post.  Where are you from originally?  How's life in Kršan ? I see it's about an hour from Pula.   I'm more of a city guy, hence my interest in Pula..

I never really used this site before but I happened to come across this thread.  I am from New York and have been living and working in Pula for the past 5 years with my wife (from Pula) and kids.  I have been struggling with the language since day one. I can understand a lot more than i can speak but only if spoken slowly.  I am looking to take a formal course now. Always interesting to hear the stories of others moving here.

Hi Dave.  A pleasure to meet you.  I'm a little pressed for time right at the moment. it i have some questions for you.  I'll be in touch soon!


Hi Joshua,

Ask away.  I'll see what I can do to help with your questions.  Are you still looking to move?

I just put up my mini blog (that I rarely keep up with) "Istrian Dave" as well as my office info under the business directory on this site - "Oris Vitae Kiropraktika & Wellness". Feel free to take a look.


Hi IstrianDave,

Heart of Croatia Gifts offers online language courses with Marija Volf Pu (she's in Rijeka and a delight). I *still* struggle with this language and have been married to a Bosnian for over 20 years ;-) Nothing like immersion, though.

Thanks.  I actually meet with someone for one-on-one classes today here in Pula.  Starting with 50 lessons and going from there.  Hopefully this will kickstart things.

this may be a dumb question but don't most people also speak Italian there?  Could one not get by with Italian ?

Most people do speak Italian.  You will find a lot of people speak at least one other language. Italian, German and English are the most prevalent. You can get by with Italian & English but never completely.

understood.. i guess, at best, being fluent in English and Italian buys you time while you're learning Croatian ;-)

Hi MalcolmS,

I wish you all the luck in learning Hrvatski jezik. I live in England, but born in Croatia in town called Sisak. I'm married to an Englishman and have been living here for the last 22 years. We have just returned from our visit to Croatia, where we went to Kasteli near Split airport and visiting my family in Sisak. My husband has fallen in love in Croatia, her people, their friendliness and would love to move there but as we don't own a property here, it would be an expensive venture. And I'm worried about finding a job in Croatia, as I've always had a job in the UK. But you never know!!
Croatian language is tricky to learn but not impossible, so keep going, you will get there. Wishing you all the luck in your Croatian venture.


how's the Croatian coming Dave?

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