In using cash instead of credit card in Croatia, is the Euro widely accepted by merchants, restaurants, bus and rooms, or will payment in Kunas generally be required?
We had mostly Euros with us in Croatia and paid for a couple of things in Euros, figured the exchange rate we were getting in stores and promptly converted some money in Kunas. It was definitely less expensive that way - especially for the small purchases we were making in cafes and stores.
So, it sounds like most of your cash payments in Croatia had to be made in Kunas, is that correct? Thanks.
Unless you're only in the country for one day from a cruise ship, you should take kunas from the ATM. If you don't know how much to budget, you can start with a small amount. If you have a hotel booked, you know that budget point. Those merchants who take euros will apply whatever exchange rate they decide.
Save yourself from potential headaches by paying for everything in kunas. Euros are accepted in certain places, especially in the touristy areas, but always have kunas on hand. Better safe than sorry.
Some places in Croatia have signs saying they DO NOT accept Euros. I'm assuming they were were tired of people not paying in Kuna. It's an extra inconvenience and expense for them to accept a foreign currency, like it would be for Americans living near the Canadian border to accept Canadian dollars.
Get Kuna from the ATM as soon as you get to Croatia and you won't have to worry about it.
We were in Croatia May of 2014. Often we were quoted a price in euro but I would ask for the price in kuna. It was always less expensive to buy in kuna.
Keep in mind that just because a price is quoted in Euros doesn't mean that Euros are accepted as payment. Rather, Euros are quoted because the Euro is a widely used currency and people can understand what the real cost will be without doing a conversion to Kuna in their heads.
Sitting in a cafe in Croatia today I heard a group of Italians asking them why they wouldn't take Euros. Some cafes do, but are not by law allowed to do so, and likely make a lot of money off each irate tourist. The no Euro signs are very prominent, as noted above, and do reflect the fact that the Kuna is a valid currency, pegged to the Euro, and widely available at the nearest bank or hole in the wall exchange office ( which is sometimes a better deal). Getting enough Kunas from the nearest ATM has always worked best for me, and if you really want to use Euros, it should be for something expensive, like a house - all real estate is priced in Euros and paid in Euros, as a kind of hangover from fluctuating Dinar days when the Deutschmark served the same, safe purpose. Euros are not legal currency in Croatia otherwise, and will cost you money twice - buying Euros with Dollars, then buying Kuna with Euros. Why would you? You risk being ripped off for every purchase, from a veliki macchiato to a pair of Peko shoes. Enjoy life, use Kuna in Croatia. By the way, you are legally obliged to receive a paper bill, and keep it, for each transaction. If your waiter is just keeping mental notes and is not giving you your bill/receipt, then he is probably avoiding taxes. Keep Croatia solvent - PPPP: patronize places that provide paperwork.