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Zagreb



What is your housing like? What are typical housing sizes, locations, and commute times for expatriates?

Embassy housing is really spread out all over the city. There is some housing available a mile from the Embassy, which I have actually never seen (and I have been here 2 years!). It is townhomes and stand alone houses in a development. Couples and families are placed there, and seem happy to be a 5-minute drive to work, although kids have a very long hour commute to school via bus. The majority of embassy families live "in the hills," north of downtown, in large, single-family houses. Most other diplomatic and expat families also live in the hills. Commute from the hills to the embassy is 30-45 minutes. Houses are large, all with some sort of outdoor space, although size of yard varies. All have some sort of garage, but many garages are too small to fit an American size car such as an SUV or minivan. Neighborhood parking is very limited, even in the hills, and roads can be narrow and windy. Couples, singles and a few families with older children are placed in apartments closer to downtown, and most of them seem very happy to be so near to the center of things. The current GSO seems to be making a concerted effort to group housing, as well as upgrade housing, although there is still a vast disparity in age and quality of homes. Our home is a 45-minute drive from the Embassy, but only 10 minutes from the school. It is one of the oldest in the housing pool and has had a number of electrical, internet, plumbing and water issues, things we didn't expect to find in an EUR post. The potential move of the school to the Bundek area will greatly affect where the Embassy places families to live, although the school movement is still quite up in the air. There are very few facilities staff in the Embassy, so we have found that we have to wait a relatively long time to get repairs done. Housing square footage is large, but there is often unusable space in hallways or bathrooms. Most people have wardrobes in hallways or guest rooms to use as closets. If you want to be near other embassy families, request that in your survey. Many of us in the hills are still 25 minute drives apart, and often not on public transportation routes. A car is necessary when living in the hills, although taxis and Uber are available if you don't mind the wait. - Apr 8, 2016
There are three basic housing locations: 1) Downtown apartments. Smaller units but walking distance to restaurants, stores, and just about everything else downtown. Most singles and couples with no children prefer to live downtown. Commute is about 20-30 minutes. 2) The Hills. Larger single family homes, townhouses, and duplexes with small yards. Most embassy staff live in the hills, particularly those with kids. Never did it myself but I understand the commute was 45-60 minutes depending on where people lived. 3) Velika Polja. Smaller townhouse-style residences near the airport and about a five minute drive from the Embassy. - Aug 5, 2014
There are basically 2 types, houses to the north and houses to the south, as they are doing away with downtown apartments. We live in a large house to the north of the city, closer to the International school and we have fruit trees and vineyards in our backyard. It is about 15 minutes to city center by car (very convenient) and about 30-40 to the Embassy depending on the traffic. The school is around 15 minutes away by car and 90 minutes by public transportation. From here, there is no public transportation to the Embassy as it is way south in the middle of a cornfield near the city landfill! The other type of housing is close to the Embassy (5-minute drive) but not near anything else and in a pretty ugly part of the city. I have not been inside the housing - which are stand alone houses or town houses, only outside, and would say that I would not like to live there. It is a group of houses rented by the Embassy that are only a few feet away from each other with little yard and NO privacy at all. Usually, families with small children are housed there. In the north areas I think the housing is fantastic even if a bit far from the Embassy. You are really living in the country with great access to the city. - Jun 16, 2014
There are 3 major housing locations. The Hills (at the foothills of the mountain): These houses are pretty large and offer great living spaces and fantastic views. The roads and the commute to the Embassy can be a bit hairy. It usually takes most people in the hill 30 minutes (on a good day) and up to and hour on difficult days to get to the Embassy. Most people choose to live in these houses because they are closer to the American International School of Zagreb (AIZ), and the houses are the nicest. Most offer parks in a walking distance. They are also pretty far apart from other the American families. Downtown: These are generally apartments and are also pretty large. There layouts can be a bit confusing to the Western mind, but nothing you can't get use to after a few months. They are usually within walking distance to cafes and bars, the limited (good) food options in the city, and the local open air market (dolac). They come with the normal prices you pay to live in the city; noisy mornings, smaller living areas, flights of stairs (or rickety elevadors), and distant parking. You can expect a 25 to 40-minute commute in this location. There are a many parks near the downtown area if you need to see some green. Near the embassy (in the cornfield): These houses/townhouses are a bit smaller than the ones offered in the hills. They are grouped together and offer more of a sense of American community (which you will either hate or love). The major advantage these houses have is the 5-minute commute to work. You can also easily run or bike which is about 3 miles. The bus will come and pick up your kids for school, but that just means that they are the ones with the 40-minute commute while you have 5 minutes to work. - Feb 18, 2014
Housing for U.S. Embassy personnel is nice. Houses up in the hills are spacious and have yards, but living in one entails a slightly longer commute to the embassy than for those in apartments in the city. The apartments are great. We didn't see a USG apartment or house that we wouldn't want to live in. - Jan 25, 2012
Housing is ok, we lived in the center, about 2 blocks away from the main square. - Dec 16, 2011
All of the embassy housing is great! Most is in the "Sestine" area and is barely a 5 minute commute to the center. However, the location of the embassy is extremely inconvenient. From Sestine, it would take about 30 minutes to get to the embassy. - Oct 16, 2010
For U.S. Embassy staff, housing is either north of the city in large and modern houses (for the most part), or south of the city just minutes from the Embassy in brand-new duplexes. All have small yards. There are also a few apartments downtown but I think those are getting sparse. Homes are nice--I'd say 90% I've seen in the Embassy pool are very recently renovated and very clean. - Mar 23, 2009
Most families live North of the city on the hills. The distance to downtown varies between a few minutes to about 20. The school is in this area. The Embassy is South of town, and commute can be long (45 minutes). There are plans to move the international school towards the Embassy, but it will still be a few years. - Mar 2, 2009