Kuna and lipa: the Croatian currency

Kuna &  lipa: Croatian currency

Although most of the countries in the European Union now use the Euro as their currency, Croatia – who joined the EU as recently as 2013 – still uses the Croatian kuna.

The kuna was first introduced on May 30, 1994.

Useful facts about the Croatian Kuna

  • In Croatian a is an indigenous weasel-like animal (English: marten), whose pelt Croats used as payment in medieval times.
  • The word means linden tree.
  • One kuna is divided into 100 lipas.
  • Wherever prices are listed in Croatia the word Kuna is abbreviated simply to kn.

What does Croatian money look like?

Croatian moneySmaller kuna denominations (1kn, 2kn and 5kn) are silver coins with pictures of animals

On the 5 kuna coin there's a picture of a bear, and you’ll sometimes hear a Croatian ask for a 5 kuna coin by saying (Do you have a bear?).

Higher kuna denominations (e.g. 10kn, 20kn, 50kn, 100kn) are banknotes which feature portraits of famous Croatians.

The design of the banknotes resembles closely the final generation of Deutschmarks.

Lipa denominations (e.g. less than 1kn) are copper coins with pictures of indigenous Croatian plants and flowers.

Croatian and EU flagsCroatia and the Euro

A poll in April 2015 revealed that just over half of Croatians are in favour of a move to the central EU currency. There is currently no fixed timetable for introducing the Euro in Croatia.

In the mean time ... in certain cases it's already possible to pay by Euro with smaller, privately run businesses (e.g. family-run restaurants, souvenir shops, private accommodation).

But for all other official transactions (e.g. transport, hotels, car rentals), you’ll have to pay in kuna!

Do you know the following useful words and phrases?

– money

– Bureaux de Change

– coin

– banknote

– receipt

– change (money)

– Can I pay in Euros?

– Where’s the Bureaux de Change?

– Can I change some money?

– How much does ... cost?

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