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The Croatian national currency Kuna - history and culture in your wallet

The Croatian national currency Kuna - history and culture in your wallet

A look into the Croatian wallet

This article was written before January 1st, 2023, when the Croatian currency, the kuna, gave way to the euro. You can since January 1st, 2023. pay with euros in Croatia, but the history of the Croatian kuna is no less interesting.

If you have booked your vacation in one of our villas with pool in Croatia and you try to find out more about the country and its people, then it would be good if you also know a little more about the local currency.

In Croatia people have been paying with the Croatian Kuna since May 30, 1994. You will see price tags here with “HRK” or “kn” after the amount. One Kuna (Croatian for marten) is equal to 100 Lipa (Croatian for linden).

In the Middle Ages, marten fur was used for trading and paying taxes in Istria, Kvarner and Slavonia. Hence the name Kuna. The introduction of the Euro in Croatia is expected in 2023 at the earliest. Until then you will have to pay with the Kuna. One Euro is about 7.5 Kuna.

The coins feature typical plants and animals and the notes important personalities and monuments. You will certainly recognise some of the buildings and monuments during your vacation.

Let us first dedicate ourselves to the notes, of which we would always like to have a few more in our wallet. ;-)


The 10 kuna banknote shows the amphitheater, the symbol of the city, which you cannot miss when visiting Pula. Below is Motovun, a beautiful medieval town in the heart of Istria. The front of the banknote shows Juraj Dobrila, who among other things, contributed to the introduction of the Slavic language in schools, as bishop of Porec-Pula from 1857 and financed the education of children.

On the 20 kuna banknote you can see the castle of the Counts of Eltz in Vukovar, where the city museum is located today, and on the other side the likeness of general Ban Josip Jelacic, who is considered a Croatian national hero.

The 50 kuna banknote adorns the city walls and fascinating old town of Dubrovnik. Ivan Gundulic, the most important writer of the Baroque era, was born in Dubrovnik in 1589.


With the 100 kuna banknote you are holding the St. Vitus Cathedral in Rijeka and Ivan Mazuranic in your hands. The church is dedicated to the patron saint and protector of the city. The writer and politician Ivan Mazuranic was one of the most important figures of the Croatian national movement in the 19th century.

If you pay with the banknote worth 200 kuna, you can admire the former command building in Osijek, which today houses the rectorate of the university, and meet Stjepan Radic, a politician and writer who founded the Croatian Peasant Party in 1904.

The 500 kuna banknote presents us the imposing Diocletian's Palace in Split, the monument of Roman architecture and the old age residence of the Roman emperor Diocletian. Marko Marulic, who was born in Split in 1450, was an important poet and humanist and can be seen on the other side.

The 1000 Kuna banknote shows the equestrian statue of King Tomislav, who is considered the first Croatian king and who mysteriously disappeared in 928, as well as the cathedral in Zagreb. The reverse is taken by Ante Starcevic, often referred to as the “father of the homeland”, who at that time already challenged the Yugoslav idea for the nation state of Croatia.

The Lipa coins of the Croatian national currency show corn on the cob (1 Lipa), a grapevine (2 Lipa), the tobacco plant (10 Lipa) and the olive branch (20 Lipa), which are particularly important in agriculture. The pedunculate oak (5 lipa) is particularly characteristic of the interior of Croatia. On the 50 Lipa coin we see the Degenia velebitica, the protected and rarest plant in Croatia, at the same time the symbol of the Velebit Mountains and Croatia.


The kuna coins show the nightingale (1kn), bluefin tuna (2kn) and the brown bear (5kn). These animal species are considered endangered in Croatia and are under species protection. The 25kn coin with the marten - from which the name of the currency comes - is no longer in circulation as a means of payment, but is highly valued by numismatists.

We hope that with this short detour we have brought you closer to Croatia's national currency. If you have booked a villa with pool in Croatia, the next time you go shopping or pay the bill in the restaurant, you may see the coins and bills in your hand with different eyes. In any case, you will know more about it

Daniela Vuleta

+385 1 222 70 50