Never Ending Footsteps

The Cost of Travel in Croatia: My 2024 Budget Breakdown

After 12 years of travel and over 90 countries, I’ve come to the conclusion that Croatia is one of the most underrated travel destinations on the planet.

I’m slightly biased, of course.

When I first decided to set off on my round-the-world adventure, I decided Croatia would be the very first country on my itinerary.

It was an unusual choice, I know. Most travellers set off for Bangkok, London, Sydney, or Beijing to kickstart their gap years, but something about Eastern Europe fascinated me. I wanted to explore some of the lesser-visited parts of the continent in which I was born, and Croatia sounded like the perfect place to start.

It’s since held a special place in my heart as the destination that helped me gain my travel footing, and I immediately fell deeply in love with it.

travel croatia cheap

What’s not to love? 

You’ve got gorgeous architecture to snap photos of, hundreds of islands to explore, the spectacular Plitvice National Park to wander around, underrated Zagreb for a city break, and some of the best beaches in the world. There are opportunities to sail the coastline, surprisingly fantastic cheese to eat, lovely locals, and so many beautiful landscapes that it’s hard to believe one country can offer up so much.

I originally planned to spend two weeks travelling around Croatia for my first visit, but after falling in love with the country, I quickly extended my stay to a full month. I hit up Dubrovnik, Split, Brac, Zadar, Pag, Zagreb, Plitvice, and Crikvenica over that time, and easily could have spent longer if I didn’t already have a flight to the other side of the world to catch.

I’ve since returned twice more to Croatia, and every time I do, I realise just how underrated a country it is.

I’ve been recording every single cent I spend in the countries I visit from day one of my travels because I want to prove that seeing the world is inexpensive and achievable. I want to be able to give a realistic and accurate look at how much you can expect to spend in each country you visit.

Today, it’s Croatia’s turn. I visited Croatia first of all as a solo backpacker, and then secondly and thirdly, as part of a couple on a mid-range budget. My costs have gone up during that time, both because my travel style changed and due to rising prices in general. Even so, as long as you’re not visiting in the height of peak season, Croatia still isn’t a crazy-expensive destination.

(As of the start of last year, Croatia adopted the Euro — not the Kuna — as its currency).

Here’s how much you can expect to spend on a trip to Croatia in 2024.

How to Save Money on Flights to/From Croatia

brac croatia clear waters

My European readers won’t have to worry too much about the cost of flights to Croatia, as the wide range of budget airlines means finding something affordable is never too much of a problem. As always, I recommend heading to Skyscanner  to snag yourself a bargain.

If you’re flexible with dates and itinerary, you’ll find the best deals by searching to flights to “Croatia” rather than an individual city, as you may find it’s far cheaper to fly into Zagreb over Dubrovnik, for example. It’s also worth setting your flight departure date to be across an entire month, which you can do with Skyscanner . This will show you the cheapest dates to fly and ensure you have the very best deal possible.

In general, you’ll find that it’s cheapest to fly to Croatia outside of high season, which coincides with typical European summer vacation dates (late June to late August). May and September are the shoulder season months, and October to March is the official low season, where you’ll find the lowest prices.

If you do have the freedom to visit during shoulder season, I highly recommend it, as it’ll mean spending less on flights and accommodation while having to deal with fewer tourists. Shoulder season is my favourite time of year to travel, and it’s worth making the effort to do so in Croatia.

What if you’re not European?

Well, unfortunately, there are only a handful of direct flights between North America and Croatia — you can fly from Newark to Dubrovnik — but that doesn’t mean you’ll have to spend an enormous amount of cash in order to get there.

Fortunately, getting to Europe from North America is surprisingly cheap these days, and I wouldn’t expect you’d need to pay more than around $400 for a return ticket. Allow me to introduce you to one of my favourite websites in the world: Secret Flying ! I’d estimate that 80% of the flights I book these days are due to a deal I’ve found on Secret Flying.

Once you’ve booked your flight to Europe, you’ll need to figure out how to get to Croatia for cheap, but that’s when Skyscanner comes back in! Europe is full of cheap airlines and getting from country to country is nearly always easy and inexpensive.

How to Save Money on Accommodation in Croatia

travel croatia cheap

As always with travel, it’s possible to cut your accommodation costs down to zero if you have the time and patience to seek out an offer.

Free Accommodation

Couchsurfing exists in Croatia, and allows you to stay with a local for free, sleeping on their sofa and gaining their insight into life in their country. It’s not the most comfortable of living situations, but if your budget is tight, it’s worth sending out a few requests to hosts to see if anything comes of it. You can search for potential hosts on the site .

Housesitting is another option. This is where you’ll take care of somebody’s house for free while they’re away, and usually look after their pets, too. It’s best for long-term travellers or retirees as you can’t pick and choose dates and destinations, so you need to have a lot of flexibility as to where you go and at what time of year. If you do have that freedom, it’s a wonderful way to cut down your travel expenses, soak up some home comforts, and live like a local for a while — I’ve even have friends who have landed housesitting gigs in a castle! Trusted Housesitters is my favorite site for finding housesits — it’s definitely worth taking a look to see if any listings match with your dates.

And finally, if you’re travelling long-term and don’t mind getting your fingers dirty, you could look at WWOOFing  or WorkAway as a way to cut down your costs while working on a farm in exchange for accommodation and food. It’s not the most glamorous of travel, but getting to live for free in a foreign country is an incredible experience, so if you’re backpacking around Europe, this may be the way forward for you.

Affordable Accommodation

I’m suspecting, though, that for most of you, you’re not interested in the free accommodation and just want somewhere clean, safe, and affordable to rest your head each night. If that’s the case, there are several options available for you.

The first of these are hostels . In Croatia, you’ll come across hostels all over the country, finding them on tiny islands, in large cities, and even in the national parks. They’re one of your best options for saving money.

Hostels in Croatia are slightly cheaper than equivalents in Western Europe, with the big exception being Dubrovnik over the summer, which is eye-wateringly expensive. You can expect to spend around €20-25 for a dorm bed in most spots in Croatia, with the price increasing to €30-40 a night on the popular islands, national parks, and more tourist-filled areas.

When it comes to private rooms in hostels, you can expect to spend around €60 a night for a clean, basic room in a good location, so if you’re travelling with friends or with your partner, you may find there’s not much in it if you’d prefer a little privacy over settling for two beds in a dorm room.

If you’re an older traveller and put off by the thought of nights spent in hostels, you shouldn’t be! Private rooms are usually very quiet and clean, and most hostels are modern, safe, and centrally located. They tend to have a little more personality than generic hotels, and the staff are fantastic at offering kickass travel advice. As long as you check the reviews of any hostel before booking it to make sure nobody refers to it as a party hostel, you’re all good to make a booking there.

I use HostelWorld to find the cheapest hostels, as they tend to have the greatest number of listings at the lowest prices.

And, of course, there are always hotels and apartments, which will usually cost around €70-€100 a night for a decent, clean, mid-range property in a central location in shoulder season. I always use Booking , as they have the most accommodation options for the cheapest prices.

The Best Hostels and Guesthouses in Croatia

travel croatia cheap

As I mentioned above, I’ve visited Croatia during various stages of my travel career, both as a solo backpacker who was travelling on a shoestring budget and as part of a couple that was looking for all things private and mid-range. I’ve learned a lot about how to travel affordably through this country in the process.

I always like to share which accommodation I stayed in on my travels, as well as recommend alternatives when mine sucked. Everywhere I recommend below has excellent reviews and offers great value for money. On my most recent two-week trip around Croatia, I followed this itinerary:

Dubrovnik: 3 nights Split: 3 nights Zadar: 3 nights Plitvice: 2 nights Zagreb: 3 nights

Here’s my list of my favourite accommodation options in Croatia, listed in Euros:

Dubrovnik —  Apartments Sv.Jakov (€145 a night) : There’s two things you need to know about accommodation in Dubrovnik. The first is that it’s expensive, and the second is that staying inside the old town is extremely expensive. The good news is that Apartments Sv.Jakov solves both of those problems by being both affordable and accessible to the centre of town (a 15 minute walk from your room). But not only that, it also has one of the best views in the entire city and some of the best reviews of any property. Throw one of the friendliest owners in the country in the mix and you can see why I’m gushing its praises. This is an excellent option for Dubrovnik.

Split —   Apartment Citadela (€110 a night) : Split is full of expensive hotels. In fact, you’ll struggle to find a stay in one for under €200 a night. I recommend Apartment Citadel because it’s half the price of the hotels, receives incredible reviews, and right in the heart of town — it’s a truly fantastic location! And you’ll have access to a kitchen, too, to help you save money on meals.

Zadar —  Harvey’s Luxury Rooms (€55 a night) : This is a no-brainer when it comes to accommodation in Zadar! It’s inexpensive, in the centre of the old town, close to tons of excellent restaurants (I recommend Kantuna), and a super-accommodating owner. With some seriously nice furniture providing decoration in the rooms as an added bonus, you really can’t go wrong.

Plitvice Lakes National Park —  Lake House   (€55 a night) : I loved both of my stays at Lake House in Plitvice Lakes National Park and have sent so many of my readers there since visiting! I chose this place because it’s easily the best-rated accommodation that’s close to the park, and it’s pretty affordable too. It didn’t disappoint. You’ll likely spend most of your time walking in the park, but when you’re at the house, you’ll be greeted by lovely staff, presented with a filling breakfast, and marvel at the fresh air. That’s one of my lasting memories of the area Lake House is in: how peaceful the surroundings were, and how healing the clean air felt.

Zagreb — Embassy Row B&B (€160 a night) : It’s rare to check out the reviews of accommodation and find yourself greeted with a wall of 10 out of 10s, but that’s exactly what drew me to Embassy Row B&B. If there’s a better spot in Zagreb, I’d be seriously surprised. What I love about this place is the lavish, fresh breakfast, the great location, and the wonderful owner. Nadia is kind, friendly, welcoming, and only too eager to give recommendations on how to make the most of your time in the city. I wouldn’t consider staying anywhere else.

How to Save Money on Transportation in Croatia

travel croatia cheap

Transportation is fairly inexpensive in Croatia, so you won’t need to worry about it upping your travel budget by too much. The best, easiest, and cheapest way to travel around the country is by bus or ferry.

Domestic buses will take you pretty to much anywhere you need them to, and are fast, comfortable, and modern. You can expect your ride to come with power sockets and Wi-Fi, air conditioning, and large, spacious seats, making it a no-brainer to go for the bus over anything else.

If you book your bus tickets in advance through Arriva , you can save 5% on the price of your ticket by using the app, and not have to worry about the bus being full.

If you’re anything like me, though, you can’t imagine visiting Croatia and not  spending time on some of its gorgeous islands (my personal favourites are Brac and Pag). In this case, you’re going to want to hop on a ferry to get from the mainland to paradise. You can find a map of the ferry routes on CroatiaFerries  — and most ferries run at least once a day in peak season.

Keep in mind that if you’re going to be renting a car in Croatia, you’ll pay quite a bit extra to take it on the ferries, so it may work out cheaper for you to find somewhere to park for free before heading to the islands on foot. On average, you can expect to pay €15-20 a day to hire a small car in Croatia depending on the time of year and where you collect it from.

When it comes to hiring a car to drive around Croatia, you shouldn’t feel intimidated. Even my parents managed a two-week road trip around the country without any hassle, and said it was a far more peaceful experience than driving in nearby Italy! I always hire a car through Discover Cars : a comparison search engine that brings up the best deals from all the popular providers; I always seem to score the cheapest deals through their site!

As always, you’ll have far more independence if you decide to drive through Croatia, as you’ll be able to stop off whenever you feel like it, take detours to tiny villages, and stop at spectacular viewpoints to take photos whenever you want. This is a country that rewards those who venture off the beaten track, and hiring a car is the easiest way to do so.

Parking is going to be your main issue when it comes to driving in Croatia. Many of the popular tourist destinations are pedestrianised, so you may find yourself driving around for half an hour in search of a parking space. If you’re happy to park up at your accommodation and then take public transport or walk, you’ll have a much easier time of it.

You can also hire scooters in Croatia, so if you’re competent on two wheels, you may want to opt for this instead! You’ll pay less to hire them and won’t find parking as difficult either.

Flying is typically expensive and time-consuming, so you’ll want to skip out on that if at all possible. You’ll save money and see a lot more of the country by travelling overland.

Here are some of the typical transportation costs you can expect to run into while in Croatia:

  • Bus from Dubrovnik to Split: €22,10
  • Bus from Zagreb to Zadar: €11,90
  • Bus from Zagreb to Plitvice Lakes: €14,90
  • Bus from Zagreb to Pula: €26,20
  • Ferry from Dubrovnik to Hvar: €45 
  • Ferry from Dubrovnik to Brac: €45
  • Ferry from Split to Brac: €20

How to Save Money on Food in Croatia

travel croatia cheap

Food can be expensive in Croatia, but there are plenty of ways to cut costs while you travel around this beautiful country.

Cooking is always going to be more affordable than eating out, so if you’re willing to sacrifice some restaurant meals on your vacation, this is a great way to keep on track with your budget. Hostels will usually give you access to a shared kitchen, and if you’re opting for an apartment, check that it has a kitchen and at least basic cooking facilities. If that’s the case, you can head to a local market (a great cultural experience) and stock up on fish, vegetables, and fruits, to spend far less on your meals than you would at a restaurant.

Many hotels offer free or discounted breakfasts, so if that’s the case, I always recommend eating later in the morning and eating a lot of food, as you may find you’re too full to have lunch. If that’s not the case, then I recommend going for a larger lunch and a smaller dinner.

Most restaurants charge less for their lunch menus, even though they’re serving the exact same meal for lunch and dinner. If you can eat a bigger meal for lunch, you can then get by with a much smaller one for dinner and save money through doing so.

In general, you should expect to spend the following on each meal:

Breakfast:   €6.50  each for bacon and eggs;  €9-11  each for something in a hipster cafe.

What can you expect from breakfasts in Croatia? If you’re looking for something cheap and simple, you can’t go wrong with pašteta (pate) on bread. Bread and spreads are commonplace in the country, whether it’s margarine, the aforementioned pate, cheese, jam or Nutella. Often, these will be accompanied by cold cuts of meat, such as ham, prosciutto, and salami.

In cafes, you’ll regularly be able to pick up some burek, a savoury pastry containing meat, cheese, or vegetables. Pair it with a serving of yoghurt and you’ve got yourself a traditional Croatian breakfast!

Beyond that, you’ll be able to find those standard omelettes, oatmeal, full English breakfasts, and croissants that you can get across the continent, either served up in your accommodation or up for grabs in a cafe in town.

Lunch: €7  each for a sandwich/slice of pizza from a deli with a soft drink

Lunches in Croatia can be delicious and large. Croatians prefer to have a larger meal for lunch and a smaller portion of food for dinner, so loosen up those waistbands and prepare yourself for a true feast! You’ll typically kick things off with some soup to start, then follow that up with some slow-roasted meat, which is practically guaranteed to be so tender that it’s falling off the bone, accompanied by potatoes and vegetables.

Dinner: €15  each if you’re on a budget,  €25  each for a mid-range restaurant,  €50+  each for something higher-end.

One thing to keep in mind is that you’ll often be given freshly-baked bread, olive oil, and balsamic vinegar with lunches and dinner in Croatia, so you should aim to take full advantage of this. Seriously — this was one of my culinary highlights from Croatia. Most of the time it was free with the meal and so ridiculously tasty.

What about tipping? In most restaurants you’ll frequent, tipping will be welcome but not in any way expected. So don’t panic — it isn’t seen as offensive if you don’t tip! And likewise, it won’t be viewed as offensive if you do. Expect to pay 10-15% in any fancy restaurants you head to, but anything laidback and local won’t require you to pay extra.

I don’t often have much success with this suggestion, but I do recommend keeping an eye on your drink consumption while travelling in Croatia. Alcohol is obviously a big budget buster on the road (and Croatian wines can be quite pricey in restaurants), so if you’re happy to substitute the sodas, juices, and booze for tap water, you’ll save a ton of money. And yes, the tap water is free and safe to drink in Croatia, so you really don’t need to worry about buying bottled water.

If you’re determined to jump headfirst into the Croatian food scene and don’t want to spend your vacation cooking, you should look to eat at the konobas and pizzerias as opposed to the fancier restaurants.

Konobas are small family-run restaurants that offer big dishes and low prices, and sometimes even family-made wine. If in doubt, avoid anywhere with white tablecloths and a big English menu outside, because that means it’s set up for tourists and charging more. Delis are great options for lunches, as they offer sandwiches for low prices.

You can always ask the locals for food recommendations, too! Ask at your accommodation for recommendations on the best budget eats, or simply walk around and see which restaurants are full of locals. In the case of the more tourist-filled cities, like Dubrovnik, you’ll find that just walking a couple of blocks outside of the Old Town is all you need to do to find cheaper prices in restaurants.

Here are some typical prices of food and drink in Croatia to help you budget better:

  • Pint of draught beer:  €3-5
  • A bottle of house wine in a restaurant:  €23-50
  • A slice of pizza: €2.50-5
  • Sandwich from a deli for lunch: €3-5
  • A 30 cm pizza for dinner: €8-15
  • Seafood dish in a fancy restaurant:  €30-50
  • Cappuccino in an expat area of town:  €2-3
  • Litre of milk:  €1-1.50
  • A loaf of bread:  €1.50-2.50
  • 10 eggs:  €2.50-3.50
  • 1 kilogram of tomatoes:  €2-3.50
  • 1 kilogram of potatoes:  €0.80-1.40
  • A 1.5l bottle of water:  €0.90
  • A risotto for lunch:  €12-20
  • A steak dinner: €20-30
  • Famous Croatian lamb from the spit: €15-30
  • A gyros for lunch:  €5-8
  • A local meal from a konobos for dinner with wine: €20-35 each
  • A three course meal and wine in a high-end restaurant in Dubrovnik:  €70-100+

How to Save Money on Activities in Croatia

travel croatia cheap

We’ve covered accommodation, transportation, and food, but let’s face it: you’re not going to have the trip of a lifetime if you skip out on entrance fees and activities! Here’s a detailed breakdown of some of the costs you’re likely to encounter while travelling around Croatia. Note that prices for many attractions go up a lot during peak season: I’ve given a range where that’s the case.

  • Walking the city walls in Dubrovnik: € 15-35
  • Entrance to Plitvice Lakes National Park: € 10-40
  • Entrance to Krka Waterfalls National Park: € 7-40
  • A Game of Thrones-themed walking tour in Dubrovnik: € 25
  • Entrance to Pula’s amphitheatre : € 10
  • Sea kayak tour at sunset with snack and wine in Dubrovnik: € 45
  • A day trip to Montenegro from Dubrovnik: € 60
  • Skip-the-line entrance to the Museum of Broken Relationships in Zagreb: € 7

If you’re in Split for a few days, be sure to grab a free SplitCard from a tourist information centre. Visitors staying five or more nights in summer, or two or more nights in winter, are entitled to the card for free, and get discounts on everything from museums and galleries to excursions and restaurants.

If some of the above prices are just too much, there are plenty of free activities in Croatia as well. I know that I had a fantastic time simply wandering through the old towns, exploring local markets, sunbathing on beaches, and making the most of the museums that don’t charge for entrance.

While, for example, you’ll get a great view of Dubrovnik by walking the city walls, you could be just as satisfied by walking the streets of the old town, as it’s as beautiful from the ground as it is from above. If you love beaches, you’ll save money on activities by lounging out on the sand/pebbles rather than jumping on a banana boat or hiring some snorkelling gear.

Markets are always a great way to get a taste of the local culture without spending any money, and simply heading out for a stroll through some of the more local neighbourhoods will introduce you to lesser-visited parts of the country. Yes, if you’re looking to save money on activities, my biggest recommendation is to walk everywhere — Croatia is so beautiful that there’s always something wonderful to see.

If, like me, you love taking tours to get to know a country better, I recommend heading to Get Your Guide for inspiration — it’s where I book all of the tours I take. They have a whole range of activities and tours available, like  day trips to Bosnia  ( € 82 ) or Slovenia  ( € 120 ) to boost your country count, a Game of Thrones tour in Split  ( € 35 ), and an island-hopping trip to five Croatian islands ( € 105 ).

Miscellaneous Items to Buy for a Trip to Croatia

travel croatia cheap

A Croatia guidebook : A guidebook will give you an in-depth look into Croatia’s culture, suggest the perfect itineraries for the amount of time you have, and offer recommendations for where to eat and what’s worth doing. I like Lonely Planet guidebooks, and have a wide selection sitting in my bookcase as I write this!

A dry bag :  Croatia is all about the water, so I highly recommend packing  a dry bag  to take with you. A dry bag has saved me while travelling on so many occasions:

  • On a kayaking trip from Koh Yao Noi to Koh Nok, a freak wave splashed over me, as well as my camera and phone. Had I not had them in a dry bag, the water damage would have likely destroyed them.
  • On a ferry ride in Thailand, the boat sprung a leak and began to sink. I was able to put my laptop, camera, hard drive, passport, and money in my dry bag, seal it up, and know that they’d stay safe and dry if the worst were to happen.
  • I chartered a yacht in Greece and relied heavily on my dry bag while I was there. When mooring in tiny bays, I was able to fill my dry bag with my camera, towel, and sunscreen, jump in the sea, and swim to the nearest empty beach without worrying about keeping my belongings dry.
  • I also think dry bags are fantastic for solo travellers on beach days. It’s tough going to the beach when you’re travelling alone because you’ll need to bring nothing with you, risk getting robbed while you’re in the ocean, or stay on the sand at all times. If you have a dry bag, you can fill it up with your valuables and take it for a swim with you, rather than leaving them on your towel and hoping nobody will grab them.

I love all things Sea to Summit, and after trying several of their dry bags out, my champion is the  Ultra-Sil 8L  — it’s durable, thin, lightweight, and has never let me down.

Travel insurance: If you’ve read any other posts on Never Ending Footsteps, you’ll know that I’m a great believer in travelling with travel insurance. I’ve seen far too many Go Fund Me campaigns from destitute backpackers that are unexpectedly stranded in a foreign country after a scooter accident/being attacked/breaking a leg with no way of getting home or paying for their healthcare. These costs can quickly land you with a six-figure bill to pay at the end of it.

In short, if you can’t afford travel insurance, you can’t afford to travel.

Travel insurance  will cover you if your flight is cancelled and you need to book a new one, if your luggage gets lost and you need to replace your belongings, if you suddenly get struck down by appendicitis and have to be hospitalised, or discover a family member has died and you need to get home immediately. If you fall seriously ill, your insurance will cover the costs to fly you home to receive medical treatment.

I use  SafetyWing  as my travel insurance provider, and recommend them for trips to Croatia. Firstly, they’re one of the few companies out there who will actually cover you if you contract COVID-19. On top of that, they provide worldwide coverage, don’t require you to have a return ticket, and even allow you to buy coverage after you’ve left home. If you’re on a long-term trip, you can pay monthly instead of up-front, and can cancel at any time. Finally, they’re way cheaper than the competition, and have a clear, easy-to-understand pricing structure, which is always appreciated.

With SafetyWing, you’ll pay  €1.50 a day  for travel insurance.

SIM cards and eSIMs : Assuming that you’re like me and want to have a working phone as soon as you arrive (did you even go to Dubrovnik if you can’t send photos of it to everyone you know?), you’ll want to buy an eSIM before leaving home.

I use aloSIM these days: prices are good and I’ve found their speeds to be faster than the other companies I’ve used. It costs $15 (€14) for 5GB of data that lasts a month, or $24 (€22) for 10GB, and you get a 5% discount by using the code FOOTSTEPS.

If your phone can’t use eSIMs, a tourist SIM card with unlimited data from T-HT costs €10 for ten days. If you’re staying longer, a card with 70GB of data that lasts for a month is €11.95 . You’ll need to find a phone store in whichever city you arrive in to buy them, though: they’re not available at the airports.

Don’t forget that if you live in another EU country, you should be able to roam for free with your normal phone company.

How Much it Costs to Travel in Croatia

pag moon mountains sea

I always like to share my own personal expenses when travelling in a country, as I think it helps you figure out what you should be expecting to pay each day while you’re there. A list of expenses is great and helpful, of course, but putting them all together in order to come up with a reasonable estimate can be trickier.

Because prices have risen recently in Croatia, I’m only using the costs from my most recent trip. Here’s what I spent!

Accommodation: €109 per day  (shared between two = €54.50 each) Transportation: €9 per day Food: €34 per day Activities: €36 per day

My average daily cost of travel in Croatia is therefore: €133.50 per day .

Related Articles on Croatia 🧳 How to Pack for a Trip to Croatia ☀️ 30 Incredible Things to Do in Dubrovnik, Croatia 🇭🇷 20 Best Things to Do in Zagreb, Croatia

Lauren Juliff

Lauren Juliff is a published author and travel expert who founded Never Ending Footsteps in 2011. She has spent over 12 years travelling the world, sharing in-depth advice from more than 100 countries across six continents. Lauren's travel advice has been featured in publications like the BBC, Wall Street Journal, USA Today, and Cosmopolitan, and her work is read by 200,000 readers each month. Her travel memoir can be found in bookstores across the planet.

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Dude, this guide is fantastic!

If I were there, I would have a really hard time leaving! I understand why you extended your initial trip by a few weeks.

Right?! The longer I spent in Croatia, the more I wanted to see. You could spend months just travelling up and down the coastline.

Hello! I do not think that this is nice: ‘I usually recommend not staying in an entire Airbnb apartment’. You should know, that most of the people on the coast and on the Islands, live from renting apartments, from 30 euro and up and also, when you stay in apartment you can save a lot of money for food (not 23 euro a day for shore). So you help local people and you save money at the same time. 😊

Wish you a nice day. Valentina

Airbnb is destroying cities and towns around the world, and having seen this destruction first hand, I am not comfortable recommending my readers to stay in Airbnb apartments. You help the locals who own properties, sure, but you fuck over everybody else who now can’t afford to pay rent because everything in their town is now an expensive Airbnb apartment. It raises the prices of accommodation for locals.

So sorry, I believe staying in Airbnb apartments is an unethical practice and I don’t support it. Do you own an Airbnb apartment?

Thanks Kris! :)

I wasn’t sure about visiting Croatia later this year, but the photos in this post now have me convinced! It looks like a very beautiful country. One small suggestion I have is that it would be useful if you could share some of the costs of food and drink so that we can create a travel budget with more ease. Appreciate all of your tips in this very useful post.

That’s a great suggestion, Kimme! My posts are always a work in progress, so I love receiving feedback on how they can be improved. I’ll get working on that today :-)

Great advice! My question to you is where would you recommend going in Croatia if you had just two weeks in August and a small budget? Thank you

Hmmm. If it was me, I’d do the following:

3 nights in Zagreb 2 nights in Plitvice 3 nights in Zadar 3 nights in Split 3 nights in Brac

And then back to Split to fly out. I’d avoid both Dubrovnik and Hvar as they’re going to be very expensive over summer.

Wow! Holy Moly. It’s my dream to see a landscape like the ones you’ve shared in this post. I haven’t been to Europe before (I live in the USA) so I have other countries at the top of my bucket list before Croatia but this is making me think I need to visit Croatia too. There’s too many places in this world to see!

I definitely understand that, Sheryll. But while Western Europe often receives all of the glory, there are parts of Eastern Europe that are just as beautiful. I hope you make it to both sometime soon :-)

Well I was so pleased with my Italian Lake photos until I saw these!!! Awesome

Thanks, Dad! :-)

Hi! I will be there in Croatia in the middle of August. Appreciated this guide as it helped me understand how much I will spend when there. Should I not go to Dubrovnik in August because it will be busy/costly?

Kind regards

Hmmm. Well, I really liked Dubrovnik, but it was packed in the summer months! It’s a beautiful spot and there’s a reason why it’s so popular with cruise ships and tourists, but you have to weigh up whether that beauty is worth spending a lot of money and dealing with a ton of crowds. If you can afford it, go for it. If you’re worried about the costs, choose to go somewhere like Split instead.

Wow, easily the best guide to Croatia I’ve seen today. Thank you for putting all of this information together, very useful. I plan to visit Croatia in April so I’m releaved to see it won’t be too expensive at that time of year.

Thank you so much, Ofelia! That means a lot. I hope you have a wonderful trip :-)

Really appreciated that you included everything in this post, Lauren. I’ve just bought the dry bag you recommended, as it sounds like a lifesaver!! Any thoughts on yacht week in Croatia? Costs, etc?

Thanks Jordan :-) I actually have a couple of friends who did yacht week in Croatia and they said that if you’re not really into partying it’s not a great option. They’re definitely pretty chill and found they didn’t really vibe with the people on their boat who were all about drinking and hooking up.

In terms of costs, well, I haven’t actually done it myself, but from a quick look online, it looks like it’ll cost around $4,000 for the yacht for a week, although you’ll be splitting that with a bunch of people, so it might not work out to be that expensive.

Hope you have a great trip if you do decide to go. You’ll have to let me know what Yacht Week is like!

Wonderful post, Lauren, coming from a Croatian. I wonder though have you visited islands like Hvar or Brač and checked their beautiful sunsets. Btw, I’m impressed with your knowledge about places you visit and some details that even I wasn’t aware of. You’ve done your homework, girl!

Thanks Mimo!

I spent a few days in Brac, and also visited Pag too. Didn’t get a chance to see many sunsets there though!

WE LOVE CROATIA! Great post Lauren. Covers everything I could say and more about the cost of travel in Croatia. Cracking read. Great. We celebrated our 10 year wedding anniversary in Split and have been returning every two years ever since. Love it. If anyone’s reading this and debating whether to go or not, I say do it! One of my favorite countries.

Wow, what a recommendation! Split sounds would be a pretty perfect place to celebrate an anniversary.

YES! I love Croatia and I love this post, Lauren. I agree that it’s more expensive than other countries in the Balkans, but it’s still a lot cheaper than countries in Western Europe. One thing I couldn’t believe was how expensive it was to walk the city walls in Dubrovnik. Not worth the money imo.

Yeah, seriously. Dubrovnik as a whole can be pretty over-the-top expensive — it was a bit of a shock to the system when I landed on my first day of my big trip and was like whoa, my money is not going to last as long as I thought . Fortunately, everywhere else in Croatia was much more affordable, and let’s face it: Dubrovnik is pretty special, so it’s worth the expense to a lot of people.

OMG I really can’t wait to get to Croatia etc one day – so awesome hun =)

You’d love it here!

This has me looking at flights to Croatia based on those stunning photos alone! I’m a mega GoTs fan so the fact that you mentioned all of those tours is so exciting. I’d love to see all of the filming locations, and then the beautiful beaches will just top it all off nicely.

You know I haven’t ever watched Game of Thrones before? A big oversight of mine! But I know that my friends who love the show have had so much fun geeking out over all the filming locations in Dubrovnik and Split. I hope you decide to book a flight to Croatia!

So many great tips in this article. You’ve made planning this trip so much easier. I now feel like I can visit Croatia on the cheap while retaining some comfort levels. Looking forward to trying to food after you have sold it so well. Thanks.

Hey, thanks so much! Enjoy all of that fresh and tasty seafood for me :-)

I really didn’t know much about Croatia until I stumbled across this post. Fantastic! You’re really selling it to your readers and now I’m trying to work out if I can squeeze in a visit before the end of summer.

Ooh, I hope you can! September would be a really good time to visit, as there aren’t many crowds and the prices are starting to drop.

I’ve been to Croatia numerous times from AUSTRALIA as I’m addicted to the country, easily one of the most beautiful places in the world. It’s the sort of place that you don’t need landmarks and sites because the atmosphere, nature, beauty, medieval feel , smells, sounds just make this place heaven on earth for me. One of my most amazing sights was driving to our base on the beautiful island of Murter from a late night clubbing. It was 5.30-6am approx in the morning and the sun was coming up as we were crossing from the mainland to the island via bridge and at that moment the colours an beauty of the place overwhelmed me. I have seen many beautiful sunsets in Croatia, what makes them amazing is the deep red and orange colours. I’ve never seen them so vivid anywhere and I’ve been half way around the world.

I totally agree with you about the sunsets! Some of the best I’ve ever seen were while travelling in Zadar. Incredible colours!

Thank you so much for putting this together. I have been trying to work out where to go with my boyfriend on holiday next week and I think I’ve just settled on Croatia. Your post made it really easy to decide with all of the photos and information on how to travel there on a budget. I love your style of writing as well.

Thanks so much, Charlotte! You’re going to have an amazing trip :-)

If you could travel to Croatia during any month, which would you choose? Taking into account the weather, the crowds, and the prices. I’m thinking May or September is probably best? Do you have strong feelings either way?

I’d probably go for September, just because there’s a school holiday in May that might clash with your travel dates and could push the prices up. For weather, as well, the average temperatures in September are around 25, compared to 22 for May. So not a huge difference, but 25 is a little nicer in my eyes.

I don’t really think you’d regret going for either month, but I’d probably choose September.

Amazing blog Lauren. What do you recommend for a solo traveler to Croatia btw? Should I stay in hostels and is it safe? Did you get lonely on your own or is it easy to meet people? I know I need to just get there and experience it for myself but its always intimidating to go to a new place by yourself.

Croatia is super safe! You really don’t have to worry, Emma. I never once felt in danger over my six weeks in the country, and found it easy to meet people in hostels. I’d recommend staying in them as a solo traveller if you’re looking to meet people — you could always stay in a private room if you’re not down for sleeping in a dorm.

Thank you so, so much for this detailed breakdown Lauren. Can I ask which islands you’d most recommend visiting if you have two weeks in Croatia? Are you missing out if you don’t spend much time on the mainland?

Fun question! One thing you could do is to fly into Dubrovnik, and then take the ferry up to Hvar and Brac, then fly out of Split, so that way you’d get to see some of the mainland as well as the islands. Korcula is another great option for an island that’s close to Hvar and Brac if you want less time on the mainland.

I personally really like the mainland spots in Croatia, and think they have just as much to offer as the islands, but it really depends on what you’re into. If you love beaches, they tend to be better on the islands. If you’re into mountains and villages, I think the mainland has better options.

Thanks for the wonderful tips! I’m thinking of going to Croatia from the US, possibly this coming April or May. What do you think about traveling there in April, mainly due to the weather and accessibility to shops, museums, attractions, etc.? Also, are you familiar with any tours offered that you could recommend as I may be traveling alone (I’m in my early 60s). Thanks!

Hi Lauren. It’s such an awesome article you built. I appreciate. I am looking for a suitable market for pets and precious stones in Croatia. Please if you have an idea how I can go about this let me know. Thanks

Ah, sorry, I’m afraid I really don’t know!

Thanks Lauren! This was really helpful in planning a daily budget for our delayed honeymoon/1 year anniversary trip there in September. We are flying into Naples and staying on the Amalfi Coast before driving across to fly from Bari to Dubrovnik. Then I planned Dubrovnik to Hvar, to Brac, to Markarska, to Split then fly to Venice then home:( . Does this seem like a good itinerary? I would’ve loved to make it up north more but maybe another trip. I cannot wait!!! Any advice is greatly appreciated.

This information is great. Is it possible to see Croatia in a week?

For a week, I’d suggest picking either the north or the south. So for the south, you could check out Dubrovnik, Split, and Hvar/Zadar. And for the north, you could go with Zagreb, Plitvice, and Pula/Rijeka/Zadar. Or just choose two places for each, if you want more of a relaxed holiday.

Both itineraries would give you a good feel for the country, and I’d be happy doing either :-)

Hi Lauren Your experience and information is amazing…thank you so much.

We are traveling to Dubrovnik on our way to Rome but only have 2 days. Is there a self guided walking tour map of some of the movie sites in Dubrovnik? We are renting a car and would love to see the non tourist beach you picture in your blog. Is there a name or information on how to get there?

Thank you so much and I hope you get to feeling better

The beach in that photo is Podrace Beach, in Brela. It’s unfortunately probably going to be too far for you to drive out to from Dubrovnik. For the filming locations, your best bet is just to google around. For example, this post is super detailed for Game of Thrones, with a map included: — there should be be similar guides for movies that have been filmed there, like Star Wars.

Hope you have a wonderful time in Dubrovnik! :-)

Thanks for all the info!! My bf and I will be heading to Croatia in late-June and we’ve planned to do a lot of grocery shopping on our own. How did you find the grocery stores and where would you recommend?? We’ll be in Dubrovnik, Split, Zadar and Zagreb overnight, but many other places for day trips. Thanks!

In your opinion, is it safe to travel to Croatia? You’ve spent a lot of time there, so I’d love to know your thoughts.

Yes! Very safe. I didn’t have any safety issues in Croatia and feel comfortable recommending it as a safe travel destination. I feel safer there than I do in my home country and the U.S.!

Hey Lauren, We plan to visit Croatia this September. Can you recommend a day or less bike tours that takes us to some cool places that is not too strenuous? Either by a guide or by renting bikes and exploring on our own. Your information has been so helpful to us and appreciate you taking all the time and effort in posting this.

Another great post, I can’t thank you enough for these budget travel guides. I’m planning on spending two weeks in Croatia in June, traveling to Dubrovnik, Split, Plitvice, and Zagreb, and I’m hoping to keep my budget under $60 a day. Do you think this is possible?

Hey Lauren, Lovely article :-)

I am planning to go Croatia this Sept with my 1.5 year old Infant. Will it be feasible to visit the places along with a kid, Also I am planning to hire a car along with driver or you would recommend to take daily trips from Zagreb to all across Croatia?

Many Thanks, Shraddha

What a great post! Very informative – just what I needed. Thank you.

No problem! Hope you have a wonderful time in Croatia :-)

if you only had 5 days to see some of croatia, what would you do to make it worth it on the cheap?

A very comprehensive article. Thanks for taking the time to put it together – much appreciated. I’m still in the very early stages of planning my world trip but this info has sown the seed of curiosity about visiting Croatia thank you.

Yay! I’m so happy to hear that, Chris :-)

Great post Lauren and very informative. Thanks very much for this. Best regards, Nicholas

Thanks for reading!

It might help to know that American Airlines has recently introduced a direct line connecting Philadelphia and Dubrovnik during the season months (June through September). If my memory serves me well, they will operate 3 flights per week.

Kind regards Ivan

Thank you so much! Will add it to the post :-)

Thank you for the awesome guidelines :)

Thanks for reading! :-)

This has been so helpful! I noticed the typical pricing has the euro symbol next to it, have you given the pricing in euro to make things easier to compare to or is the price actually in Kuna as I read you should take Kuna. I’m going in 3 weeks and just trying to work out a budget

Hi Lauren, This may be a hard question to answer, but I thought I’d put it out there:) I have dual citizenship (U.S. / Ireland) and was entertaining the idea of retiring in a European country. I was considering both Croatia and Portugal, based on my Internet research. I know that you spent some time in Lisbon and wondered how it would compare to, say, settling in Zagreb. I know Spanish so it would be easier to learn Portuguese. But I like where Croatia is situated (closer to more countries for visiting), and it also seems a little more affordable. It’s hard to get a sense of the cultures just by doing research online, but it sounds like the people are lovely in both places. I plan to visit soon and try it out, but I just wondered if you had any thoughts on this. Thanks, Rose

Hi Rose! Ah, those are two wonderful options :-)

You’re correct in that Croatia is more affordable, but the language would be tricker to learn. And that locals in both countries are lovely and so friendly! English is spoken widely in both countries, so there wouldn’t be too high of a language barrier either way. There’d be a much larger community of expats/retirees in Portugal, as it is such a popular retirement destination, so it would probably be a lot easier to build a community there. Lisbon, to me, feels more like an *international city*, in that there are tons of different restaurants and cuisines and immigrants from countries all over — Zagreb doesn’t have that as much.

I don’t know if that helps at all, but I think both options sound pretty good!

Your reply does help – thank you, Lauren! By the way, I’m sorry about the Brexit situation. I have an English cousin in Spain, and she was disappointed about the decision to leave. But on a positive note, it’s wonderful you live in a country that is so geographically close to so many interesting countries/cultures. I’m in Northern California, just outside of San Francisco (which sounds exciting), but you have to travel far (and by plane) to get to culturally distinct locations. I’m trying to keep my carbon footprint small, and I like the idea of visiting a variety of places by train. You’re fortunate that you have that option and at the same time be close to family. Thank you for your help and for a terrific website! Rose

Hi We are going to Croatia in April 2024. Can you give us any idea about what to expect the weather to be like. Also it is our first time in Croatia for 10 days we would like to see as much as possible as well as some down time. Thanks

Lauren, thank you!! I am visiting Croatia and of course, I need to plan my expenses in advance. Your article really helped me with this issue I have been trying to figure out the past week.

Thanks for your blog and keep posing,

We also document every cent of our travels, partially to show how affordable travel can be, but mainly to ensure we stick to a budget. We only have limited funds (as do most people) and try to be frugal in some areas while still having the ability to learn about the culture, cuisine, people and history of a country.

And in the end, our costs were very similar to yours. Always good to have several data points to compare.

Sweet! Glad to hear your costs matched up with mine :-)

Hello Lauren! Great article, lovely read. I am looking to visit Croatia for a month or more if I love the country and I can see that you do not favor Airbnbs for reasons, which I understand. I do not wish to contribute to gentrification or high prices, so what are my options. I will bring my entire life with me (as I am living out of a suitcase at the moment) as well as my cat. I am sure that makes hostels out of the question. I’d like an entire place to myself. Is there a more ethical version to Airbnb? Thanks in advance!

is it possible to rent a car in Zagreb drive and cover all the major cities, I did this in Italy and covered – Rome, Venice, Florence and all the way to Sorrento & Amalfi coast, the highways were excellent

Amazing post, I almost convinced my wife that we will greece in October in between someone said why not greece and then I explored I found your post..I strongly believe that anyone reading your post is 100’% convinced with your recommendation. Thanks so much keep writing… we are planning to travel this October. Any advise that you can recommend ?

Amazing photos. This was a really helpful post for my upcoming trip and I’ll be sure to stay at some of the guesthouses you recommend too.

No problem! Glad you found it useful :-) Have an amazing trip!

This is so helpful, I am trying to plan a trip there in September. My question is, with the places you suggested to go, where do you fly in and out of? We would leave out of Dallas. TX. I feel like multi-city flight would drive up the cost. Thanks for any input!

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Nomadic Matt: Travel Cheaper, Longer, Better

Croatia Travel Guide

Last Updated: April 29, 2024

The rugged coast of Croatia enveloped by historic buildings and architecture

Croatia is one of the most popular destinations in Europe . It’s the go-to spot for stunning beaches, rugged islands, historic architecture, and all the sailing you could ask for.

I think the country is vastly underappreciated.

The tourism focus in the country is usually Hvar, Split, Dubrovnik, Istria, or the famed Plitvice Lakes. Too much of the rest of the country is largely ignored. I saw so few tourists in Karlovac, Rastoke, or Slunj. Zagreb didn’t have a lot either, despite it being the capital city. Slavonia? Barely a soul goes there.

Once you get off the main stretch of the coast, it feels like you have the country to yourself. Croatia is a country with over a thousand islands, a long coastline dotted with sun-bleached medieval towns, a cosmopolitan capital city, an underappreciated wine region, and an untrammeled inland landscape that sees a fraction of the tourists that the Dalmatian Coast brings in.

Spend longer than you plan and get off the beaten path to really see the magic of the country.

This travel guide to Croatia can give you the tips and tricks you need so you can plan the ultimate adventure there.

Table of Contents

  • Things to See and Do
  • Typical Costs
  • Suggested Budget
  • Money-Saving Tips
  • Where to Stay
  • How to Get Around
  • How to Stay Safe
  • Best Places to Book Your Trip
  • Related Blogs on Croatia

Click Here for City Guides

Top 5 things to see and do in croatia.

The charming Old Town of Dubrovnik, Croatia as seen from the sea

1. Visit Dubrovnik

Dubrovnik is a stunning city best known for its historic Old Town (which was a Game of Thrones filming location). Wander around its limestone streets, admire the baroque buildings, and take in the views of the Adriatic Sea. Don’t miss St. Blaise Church and Sponza Palace either. The city also makes for a great base for day trips, including jaunts into nearby Bosnia and Herzegovina and Montenegro . There are lots of wineries nearby too.

2. See Split

Split has some of the best beaches in the country. It’s also home to Roman Emperor Diocletian’s 4th-century palace. Split also has a lively nightlife, several nearby hikes, historic ruins, cobblestone streets, and incredible seafood. It’s a more upscale (and party-focused) Dubrovnik. Be sure to spend a day in nearby Trogir, the most beautiful town you’ve probably never heard of.

3. Admire Plitvice Lakes National Park

Tucked between Zagreb and the Dalmatian Coast, Plitvice Lakes National Park is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. It’s composed of 16 interconnected lakes and over 90 waterfalls. It’s beautiful but super popular so arrive early (it gets packed in the summer). Admission is 80-300 HRK depending on the month (prices rise in the summer).

4. Visit Rijeka

Rijeka is home to the medieval 13-century Trsat Castle as well as City Tower, a medieval defensive tower. There’s also some amazing diving nearby with lots of underwater cliffs to explore. Don’t miss the nearby historic town of Kastav. It’s an Insta-worthy walled town surrounded by parks.

5. Explore Lokrum

The island of Lokrum is a nature reserve just off the coast of Dubrovnik. It makes a nice day trip (you’re not allowed to sleep here overnight). There are no cars here and, in addition to the beach, there is a former Benedictine monastery to explore. Ferries cost 150 HRK and include admission to the island.

Other Things to See and Do in Croatia

1. visit pula.

Pula is a seaside city and home to an impressive 1st-century Roman amphitheater that overlooks the harbor that is used to hold concerts, film festivals, and even a summer festival dedicated to all things Roman. The festival, Spectacular Antiqva, is held at least once per week during the summer. Admission is 80 HRK. While you’re in Pula, be sure to visit the Archeology Museum and spend some time exploring Brijuni National Park (which is made up of a group of scenic islands). There’s also a 14th-century monastery here you can visit as well.

2. Go Island Hopping

With over 1,000 islands, it would be silly to travel to Croatia and not go island hopping. Plan to stay at least a couple of days on one of the islands to step back in time and get the full Croatian experience. The most popular islands to visit are Brac, Hvar, Krk, Cres, and Lošinj. However, don’t be afraid to get off the beaten path and explore some of the lesser-known islands such as Silba, Vis, and Lastovo. Some of the islands have ferries that start at 30 HRK each way. There are many ferry companies operating in Croatia leaving from the main ports of Pula, Porec, Rovinj, Split, Dubrovnik, Zadar, Mali Losinj, Umag, and Novalja.

3. See St. James’ Cathedral

Located in Sibenik (which is on the coast between Zadar and Split), St. James is believed to be the world’s largest church built entirely of stone (there are no wooden or brick supports). It’s an architectural masterpiece that was started in 1431 and wasn’t completed until 1536. It’s massive and spacious with a rather dark and grim stone interior that feels very medieval. Some of the cathedral’s highlights are its frieze of 71 heads on the exterior walls, the tomb of Bishop Sizigori, and a 15th-century Gothic crucifix. Admission is 15 HRK.

4. Visit Krka Monastery

This Serbian Orthodox monastery is dedicated to the Archangel Michael and is one of the most important religious sites in Croatia. Founded in 1345, it’s located beside a small and peaceful lake forty-five minutes from Sibenik. Built in the Romanesque style, it boasts a unique mix of Byzantine and Mediterranean architecture. Underneath the building is a natural cave system (known locally as the ‘secret church’) where they have found Christian symbols dating back to the 1st century. The library also has books dating back to the 16th century. Admission is free.

5. Go diving

Thanks to Croatia’s seafaring history, the whole of the coastline is littered with shipwrecks. Two of the most popular are Baron Gautsch (off the coast of Rovinj), and Taranto (off the coast of Dubrovnik). Expect to pay 289 HRK for a single-tank dive in the area but the shipwrecks start at around 400 HRK. Open water certification costs around 3,100 HRK. The best diving conditions are between May and November (September and October will be warm and less busy).

6. Visit the Museum of Broken Relationships

Located in Zagreb, this museum is full of mementos from failed relationships between family members, friends, and lovers. Items on display include clothing, jewelry, handwritten letters, photos, and more quirky items like belly button lint and old chocolate bars. Each item has a story attached to it, some funny, some gut-wrenching. The museum offers an honest, unpretentious look at humanity through its failed relationships. Admission is 40 HRK.

7. Explore the Vucedol Culture Museum

This riverside location is home to an archeological dig site where remains from over 8,000 years ago were found. The museum, built on top of the site, is a state-of-the-art representation of the original settlement complete with replica houses. It showcases the culture that was here, which was one of the first in Europe to create calendars and brew beer. It’s super informative. Guided tours cost 150 HRK and are available in English. Admission is 40 HRK.

8. Go hiking

From coastal walks to mountain climbing to hiking the inland canyons, hills, and forests, Croatia has a lot to offer. The most popular coastal hiking spot is Mljet National Park, on the island of Mljet. Inland, the most popular hiking spot is Medvednica Mountain near Zagreb or in Risnjak National Park. Other spots worth visiting are Brijuni National Park (which is home to 14 different islands), Krka National Park (which has beautiful waterfalls), and Paklenica (which has some rugged canyon trails).

9. Visit the Blue Cave of Bisevo

The Blue Cave (or Blue Grotto) is a natural sea cave accessible only by boat via a narrow passageway. Inside, the water almost glows and has a bright otherworldly color to it. Access to the cave is restricted to one boat at a time. The cave itself is located at Balun Cove on the eastern side of Komiza. The best time to visit is between 11am-12pm as this is when the light is at its most beautiful. Prices in the off-season are 75 HRK and while it’s 100 HRK in the high season. Expect to pay around 800-900 HRK for a full-day tour (and expect crowds).

10. Listen to the Sea Organ

The Sea Organ is tucked away beneath a set of steps that lead down to the water in the seaside town of Zadar. The organ consists of 35 tubes played by the wind and the sea. Designed by architect Nikola Basic, the music sounds similar to whale calls. Come here at sunset to soak in the picturesque views and listen to the captivating sounds of the sea.

11. Go sailing

Croatia is one of the world’s best sailing destinations. With calm winds, short distances, and a coastline dotted by islands and historical sites, it really does make for a great place to explore by sea. During the high season, prices rise dramatically, but if you time your visit right and visit during the shoulder season you can find some great deals. If you don’t want to join a tour you can charter a boat. Charters can get pricey though, as a 7-day trip starts at 13,000-15,000 HRK. If you’re in the mood for partying, Busabout has hop-on-hop-off boat tours. I did one a few years ago ( you can read about it here ). For a 7- or 8-day trip, expect to pay 8,700 HRK.

12. Tour Zagreb

Zagreb has a charming Old Town reminiscent of cities like Prague and Budapest. There is lots of green space, a couple of nearby lakes, and tons of historic architecture. Be sure to visit the massive Neo-Gothic cathedral and the medieval Old Town Gate where you can find an 18th-century painting of the Virgin Mary thought to be miraculous as it survived the city’s Great Fire of 1731. There are also tons of museums (don’t miss the Mimara Museum) as well as the Medvedgrad fortress that overlooks the city. To see the highlights on a budget, take a free walking tour with Free Tour Zagreb . Their tours last two hours and cover all the main sites so you can learn more about this underrated city.

13. Experience The Yacht Week

If you want to splash out and spend a week partying on a yacht, check out The Yacht Week . They host week-long parties and festivals with DJs and events throughout the summer. You can book a full boat to share with friends or just a cabin on one if you’re traveling solo. They have destinations all around the world, including routes in Croatia. “Yacht Weeks” occur from May-August. Prices start at 4,350 HRK per person. It’s one of the biggest things of the summer and it’s a wild, wild, WILD party.

14. Visit Hvar

Hvar is a picturesque island off the coast of Split that’s known for its lively nightlife. It’s popular with younger travelers looking to dance and drink the night away. However, there are also lots of scenic coves, lavender fields, vineyards, and secluded beaches you can enjoy if you visit during the day. While a lot of people come here as part of their sailing trips (or as a day trip from Split), I recommend spending a couple of nights here. It’s one of the best places in the country. It’s also the sunniest, with over 274 days of sunshine each year.

15. Explore Slavonia

Few tourists make it to Slavonia, a rural region in eastern Croatia famous for its wine production. Head to the wine-country town of Zmajevac (pronounced “zma-ye-vatz”), which is just a few miles from the border with Hungary and Serbia. Be sure to sample the local wines and try fish paprikash, a paprika-laden fish stew slow-cooked over an open flame for hours that’s a specialty of the region. Additionally, don’t miss Osijek, the main town of Slavonia. It has a large historic center filled with Gothic buildings and cobblestone streets.

16. Eat oysters in Mali Ston

If you love oysters like I do, head an hour’s drive up the coast from Dubrovnik to Mali Ston. Founded in the 14th century, the region was originally home to a defensive fortification. Today, it’s famous for the oysters that are farmed in Mali Ston Bay. Visit nearby farms to learn about the oyster industry and try some samples. Expect to pay at least 225 HRK per person for a guided oyster tour (with samples).

17. Relax in karlovac

Home to around 55,000 people, Karlovac is an off-the-radar city just one hour from Zagreb. It was originally built by the Austrians in the 16th century, though not much remains from that period. The city’s “castle” is really just a small fort that’s been rebuilt — but it’s worth a quick look as you meander around town. The main draw here is the brewery, Karlovacko. It makes one of the most popular beers in Croatia. Spend a night here and take in the local pace of life. There’s also some hiking and nearby waterfalls if you want to get out and stretch your legs.

18. Road trip around Istria

Istria is a peninsula home to delicious wines and sumptuous white truffles. It’s a foodie paradise that sees few tourists, perfect for road-tripping travelers. Rovinj is the best-preserved and most popular city on the peninsula. It has a stunning Old Town, plentiful beaches, and numerous ruins. Visit the Heritage Museum to learn about the region’s history and then enjoy the exquisite beaches (Monte, Lone Bay, and Amarin) that are perfect for swimming and lounging. Pula, mentioned above, can also be found here.

19. Go truffle hunting

Istria is a major truffle producer and you can go on a truffle tour while you’re here. Prodan Tartufi, a family-run truffle-hunting business near the medieval hill town of Buzet, runs a popular (but pricey) excursion. Tarandek Truffle Hunting organizes more affordable, small-group truffle experiences for around 375 HRK per person (they get less expensive the more people are in the group).

  For information on specific cities in Croatia, check out these city guides:

  • Dubrovnik Travel Guide
  • Split Travel Guide
  • Zagreb Travel Guide

Croatia Travel Costs

The skyline of Zagreb, Croatia on a bright and sunny summer day

Accommodation – Hostels start at 70 HKR per night for a 6-8-bed dorm. For a private room, prices start at 190-450 HKR. Free Wi-Fi is standard and most hostels have self-catering facilities. Only a few hostels include free breakfast.

Budget two-star hotels start around 300 HRK per night. Most include breakfast and have standard amenities like TV, AC, and a coffee/tea maker. In the more popular destinations, expect them to start around 400 HRK per night.

Airbnb is available around the country with private rooms starting at 250-350 HRK per night. For an entire home or apartment, expect to pay at least 375 HRK per night though prices can double (or triple) in the summer.

For anyone traveling with a tent, there are lots of campsites in Croatia (most of which are scattered down the coast). For a complete list of campsites in Croatia check out Camping Hr . Prices vary depending on how close to the sea you are as well as what season it is. During peak season, expect to pay 220-450 HRK for a two-person plot with electricity and water. During the low season, prices drop to 140 HRK.

If you’re coming during the summer or are sticking to the Dalmatian coast, expect prices to be about 30% higher.

Food – Croatian cuisine has influences from Central Europe, the Mediterranean, and the Balkans. Seafood is a prominent staple along the coast. Sausage and schnitzel can be found at most traditional restaurants as well, as can a variety of pasta dishes and stews, especially goulash. In Istria, you’ll find a heavy Italian influence.

Food is relatively inexpensive except on the Dalmatian coast. Everything there costs double. For example, take-out sandwiches from the bakery chain Milner in Dubrovnik cost 30-35 HRK while they are just 15 HRK once you leave the Dalmatian Coast. Same sandwich, same place, vastly different price.

An inexpensive meal of traditional cuisine or a burger costs around 70 HRK (75-110 HRK in Dubrovnik). Fast food (think McDonald’s) is closer to 45 HRK while Thai or Chinese food costs around 85 HRK. Pizza is available pretty much everywhere with a medium pizza costing around 47 HRK.

If you want to splash out, a higher-end lunch (like a fresh fish fillet) with wine costs around 125-150 HRK. And if you really want to splurge, you can get a delicious sushi dinner with drinks and appetizers for 500-600 HRK.

Expect to pay 20 HRK for a beer and 13 HRK for a latte/cappuccino. Bottled water is 10 HRK while wine is 20-40 HRK per glass.

If you are planning to cook your own food, a week’s worth of groceries costs around 210-300 HRK for staples like milk, cheese, rice, seasonal vegetables, and some chicken.

Some of my favorite places to eat were Pupitres Wine & Coffe Bar, Heritage, Curry Bowl, and La Štruk in Zagreb; Cevabdžinica Behar in Karlovac; Tunaholic Fish Bar in Rovinj; and Oyster & Sushi Bar Bota in Dubrovnik.

Backpacking Croatia Suggested Budgets

If you are backpacking Croatia, my suggested budget is 275 HRK per day. This assumes you’re staying in a hostel dorm, cooking all of your meals, limiting your drinking, doing free activities like hiking and free walking tours, and using local transportation to get around. You’ll need to budget more if you’re visiting in the summer or if you plan on drinking.

On a mid-range budget of 800 HRK per day, you can stay in a private Airbnb or private hostel room, eat out for all your meals, have a few drinks, take some guided tours, take the occasional taxi to get around, and visit more museums and attractions

On a “luxury” budget of 1,600 HRK per day, you can stay in a hotel, rent a car to get around, do private guided tours, eat and drink as much as you’d like, and visit as many museums and attractions as you want. This is just the ground floor for luxury though. The sky is the limit!

You can use the chart below to get an idea of how much you need to budget daily. Keep in mind these are daily averages — some days you’ll spend more, some days less (you might spend less every day). We just want to give you a general idea of how to make your budget. Prices are in HRK.

Croatia Travel Guide: Money-Saving Tips

Expenses in Croatia can add up quickly, especially if you take a lot of tours, boat trips, or just be on the Dalmatian coast where everything is about 30-50% more expensive than other parts of the country. Here are my tips on saving money when you visit Croatia:

  • Visit during the shoulder season (or low season) – Prices in Croatia can double during July and August. If you want to make sure your money goes further here, visit during the low or shoulder seasons.
  • Take a free walking tour – Both Dubrovnik and Split have free walking tours. They’re a great way to get familiar with the cities and their culture. Just be sure to tip your guide! Check out Dubrovnik Secrets for more information.
  • Travel with Flixbus – Flixbus is a budget-friendly way to get around the country (and region). They have Wi-Fi, electrical outlets, and decent enough seats for long-haul journeys.
  • Cook your own meals – Many hostels here have kitchens. While buying your own groceries may not be as glamorous as going out to eat, it will definitely save you money!
  • Stay with a local – Staying with a local via Couchsurfing is a great way to save money and meet a knowledgeable local who can help you better understand the country and its people.
  • Get the Croatia Pass – If you’re visiting between June-September and plan on seeing a lot of attractions, consider the CroatiaPass. It offers discounts on tons of attractions and will save you some money if you’re doing a lot of sightseeing. There are passes for several cities/regions including Zagreb, Split, and Dubrovnik (as well as passes that cover multiple regions). Prices vary per region (and for how many attractions you want to be included) but most will save you at least 250 HRK.
  • Bring a reusable water bottle – The tap water here is safe to drink so bring a reusable water bottle to save money and reduce your reliance on single-use plastic. LifeStraw makes a portable filter that will keep your water clean and safe.
  • Use points – Accommodation is expensive along the Dalmatian Coast, so use your points and miles on hotels to save money. It’s the best way to stay in nicer accommodation without breaking the bank.
  • Get sandwiches at Milnar – For cheap eats, pick up sandwiches from Milnar, a chain bakery with stores around the country. You can find sandwiches for just 15 HRK (double that price in Dubrovnik, however).
  • Get a city tourism card – The Zagreb Card offers free public transportation as well as admission to four museums and the zoo (as well as discounts at restaurants). If you plan on museum hopping, this card can save you over 200 HRK (it costs 98 HRK). The Dubrovnik Card has similar discounts as well as free entry to 9 attractions and free public transportation. It’s 250 HKR for the 24-hour pass. (Split has a free tourism card that offers 10% off of several activities, restaurants, and attractions).

Where to Stay in Croatia

During the high season, hostels book up fast so be sure to book in advance, especially on the coast so be sure to book in advance if you’re coming during peak season. Here are some of my favorite places to stay in Croatia:

  • Hostel Dubrovnik Marine (Dubrovnik)
  • Hvar Centre Dorms (Hvar)
  • Falling Lakes Hostel (Plitvice Lakes)
  • Crazy House Hostel Pula (Pula)
  • Kamena Lodge (Split)
  • Boutique Hostel Forum (Zadar)
  • The Dot’s Hostel (Zagreb)

How to Get Around Croatia

A small sailboat floating on the sea near Split, Croatia

Public transportation – Public transportation is fairly inexpensive in Croatia, with most tickets costing between 6-20 HRK, depending on the distance you go. Both Dubrovnik and Split have day passes that cost around 30 HRK for a 24-hour pass and 75 HRK for a 72-hour pass. Buses and trams are the main ways to get around Croatia’s cities.

Bus – To get around the country, Flixbus or Arriva is the most budget-friendly option. Croatia has invested heavily in improving its roads in recent years and traveling by bus is fast, cheap, and comfortable. Most buses have free Wi-Fi, reclining seats, sockets, and AC. You can use Get By Bus for routes and pricing information.

The cross-country 4.5-hour trip from Dubrovnik to Split starts at 98 HRK on Flixbus in the low season and 165 HRK on Arriva. The 2.5-hour trip from Split to Zadar starts at 75 HRK in the low season. Split to Zagreb takes around 5 hours and costs 135-160 HRK. Rovinj to Pula takes just under an hour and costs 55 HRK, while Pula to Zagreb costs around 188 HRK and takes 4.5-5 hours.

Note that buses have a 10 HRK fee for checked bags.

To find bus routes and prices, use BusBud .

Train – The train lines in Croatia have been neglected in favor of improving the roads. Therefore, trains are slow and infrequent. They also don’t run along the Dalmatian coast, making them more or less useless for most travelers. I wouldn’t recommend the train here.

Ferry – Ferries in Croatia are efficient and affordable. Most ferries in Croatia are owned by the national carrier Jadrolinija and are large car ferries (so you can bring a vehicle). There is also a network of catamarans that link many of the smaller islands. Most smaller ferries start at 40 HRK during the low season and 100 HRK during the high season. Use Croatia Ferries for routes and prices.

For the 4.5-hour ferry between Dubrovnik and Split, expect to pay at least 230-280 HRK.

Flying – Croatia Airlines is the domestic carrier and offers flights between Zagreb and other airports within the country, including Dubrovnik, Split, Pula, and Zadar. Prices are relatively comparable between all the destinations, with one-way tickets starting at around 1,000 HRK.

Car rental – Car rentals can be found for around 90-200 HRK per day. An International Driving Permit (IDP) is required before you can rent a car (it’s usually not enforced, but it’s better to be safe than sorry). For the best rental car prices, use Discover Cars .

When to Go to Croatia

The best time to visit Croatia is during the shoulder season between May-June or September-October. During these months, you can expect great weather and fewer crowds. This is also the perfect time for outdoor activities like hiking, boating, and kayaking. Expect temperatures around 22°C (71°F).

During the low season (November-April), the country is a lot cheaper, making it an affordable place to visit for anyone on a tight budget. However, many places (including hotels and restaurants) close for the winter due to the lack of tourists so your options are much more limited during this time.

During the peak season (July and August), expect to pay double what you would in the low season. Dubrovnik is especially busy (and expensive) during this time. The coastal resorts are packed with families and cruisers. Temperatures hover around 30°C (86°F) though so the weather is at its best.

How to Stay Safe in Croatia

Croatia is a safe country to visit. Violent crime against tourists is rare. Pickpocketing and theft can occur in busy areas in Zagreb and Dubrovnik so be sure to keep an eye on your belongings (especially while on crowded public transportation or at a bus station).

Croatia’s bars and nightclubs are known for overcharging so be vigilant and check your bill before paying. It is also important to watch your drink and never leave it unattended. Drink spiking has been known to happen at nightclubs in Zagreb, Zadar, Split, and Dubrovnik. It’s rare, but it never hurts to be extra careful.

Solo female travelers should generally feel safe in Croatia. However, the standard precautions apply (never walk home alone at night intoxicated, don’t accept drinks from strangers, etc.), especially in the party towns. For more tips, check out one of the many solo female travel blogs about the country. They can provide specific tips.

While out hiking take care not to wander far off the beaten path as there are still some regions in Croatia with unexploded landmines. If in doubt, ask locals for advice or hire an experienced guide.

Scams here are rare butt you can read about common travel scams to avoid here.

If you experience an emergency and require assistance, dial 112.

Always trust your gut instinct. Make copies of your personal documents, including your passport and ID.

The most important piece of advice I can offer is to purchase good travel insurance. Travel insurance will protect you against illness, injury, theft, and cancellations. It’s comprehensive protection in case anything goes wrong. I never go on a trip without it as I’ve had to use it many times in the past. You can use the widget below to find the policy right for you:

Croatia Travel Guide: The Best Booking Resources

These are my favorite companies to use when I travel. They consistently have the best deals, offer world-class customer service and great value, and overall, are better than their competitors. They are the companies I use the most and are always the starting point in my search for travel deals.

  • Skyscanner – Skyscanner is my favorite flight search engine. They search small websites and budget airlines that larger search sites tend to miss. They are hands down the number one place to start.
  • Hostelworld – This is the best hostel accommodation site out there with the largest inventory, best search interface, and widest availability.
  • – The best all around booking site that constantly provides the cheapest and lowest rates. They have the widest selection of budget accommodation. In all my tests, they’ve always had the cheapest rates out of all the booking websites.
  • HostelPass – This new card gives you up to 20% off hostels throughout Europe. It’s a great way to save money. They’re constantly adding new hostels too. I’ve always wanted something like this and glad it finallt exists.
  • Get Your Guide – Get Your Guide is a huge online marketplace for tours and excursions. They have tons of tour options available in cities all around the world, including everything from cooking classes, walking tours, street art lessons, and more!
  • The Man in Seat 61 – This website is the ultimate guide to train travel anywhere in the world. They have the most comprehensive information on routes, times, prices, and train conditions. If you are planning a long train journey or some epic train trip, consult this site.
  • Rome2Rio – This website allows you to see how to get from point A to point B the best and cheapest way possible. It will give you all the bus, train, plane, or boat routes that can get you there as well as how much they cost.
  • FlixBus – Flixbus has routes between 20 European countries with prices starting as low 5 EUR! Their buses include WiFi, electrical outlets, a free checked bag.
  • SafetyWing – Safety Wing offers convenient and affordable plans tailored to digital nomads and long-term travelers. They have cheap monthly plans, great customer service, and an easy-to-use claims process that makes it perfect for those on the road.
  • LifeStraw – My go-to company for reusable water bottles with built-in filters so you can ensure your drinking water is always clean and safe.
  • Unbound Merino – They make lightweight, durable, easy-to-clean travel clothing.
  • Top Travel Credit Cards – Points are the best way to cut down travel expenses. Here’s my favorite point earning credit cards so you can get free travel!
  • BlaBlaCar – BlaBlaCar is a ridesharing website that lets you share rides with vetted local drivers by pitching in for gas. You simply request a seat, they approve, and off you go! It’s a cheaper and more interesting way to travel than by bus or train!

Croatia Travel Guide: Related Articles

Want more info? Check out all the articles I’ve written on backpacking/traveling Europe and continue planning your trip:

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The 7 Best Hotels in London

10 Scotland Road Trip Tips You Need to Know Before You Go

10 Scotland Road Trip Tips You Need to Know Before You Go

The Perfect 7-Day Croatia Itinerary

The Perfect 7-Day Croatia Itinerary

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The 7 Best Hotels in Madrid

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Home > 32 Ways To Travel Croatia On A Budget & Save Money

32 Ways To Travel Croatia On A Budget & Save Money

Post author SJ

Written by our local expert SJ

Sarah-Jane has lived in Croatia for 10+ years. SJ, as she is known, has been traveling the Balkans & beyond since 2000. She now shares her passion for traveling with her husband & kids.

Traveling to Croatia doesn’t have to break the bank – and you don’t have to be a budget traveler to need to make your money go further. As someone who’s lived in this stunning country for 11 years, journeying from the northernmost points to the southern tips, I’ve witnessed firsthand the evolution of Croatia as a travel destination.

Over the last 18-24 months, food and accommodation prices have surged by 30-50%, making budget-conscious travel more critical than ever. But don’t worry, I can help you save money.

In this guide, I’ll share insider tips and strategies to help you save money while still enjoying the best of Croatia – from its fantastic weather and friendly people to its breathtaking natural beauty.

With an increase in budget flights from across Europe, Croatia remains an accessible and attractive option for savvy travelers. Let’s dive into how you can experience popular tourist destinations in Croatia without overworking that credit card!

Skip Ahead To My Advice Here!

Cost Of Items In Croatia (As Of Feb 2024)

  • Coffee (at a café): €2 – €4
  • Beer (local, at a bar): €3 – €5
  • Pizza (in a restaurant): €7 – €14
  • Sandwich (from a bakery or café): €4 – €6
  • Ice Cream (per scoop): €2 – €2
  • Seafood dish (at a restaurant): €11 – €30
  • Gelato (per scoop in a tourist area): €2 – €3
  • Pasta dish (in a restaurant): €8 – €17
  • Bottled Water (0.5 liter): €2 – €3
  • Soft Drink (in a café or restaurant): €2 – €4
  • Local Wine (per glass in a restaurant): €4 – €7
  • Cocktail (at a bar or nightclub): €6 – €12
  • Petrol: €1.50 per liter

Transport Travel Budget Saving Tips

Croatia Bus Information

So, you need to get from point A to point B. So, how do you do that traveling to Croatia on a budget, as transportation costs add up fast?

1. Use The Extensive Buses Network In Croatia – The Cheapest Way To Travel

Croatia’s extensive bus network is a traveler’s dream, especially if you’re on a budget. With countless bus lines weaving through the country and even beyond its borders, getting around on local transportation has never been easier or more affordable. Forget the old image of crowded, uncomfortable buses. Today’s Croatian bus service is all about modern comforts and convenience.

These coaches come equipped with amenities that make road travel a breeze. Free WiFi? Check. Electric plug-ins? You got it. This means you can stay connected, charge your devices, and share those travel moments in real-time. The buses are designed with passenger comfort in mind – think headrests for a quick nap, more legroom (which, trust me, is a blessing), and ample space for your travel bags. Air conditioning keeps the summer heat at bay, and on-board toilets mean fewer pit stops.

Plus, most bus drivers speak English, so you’ll have no trouble getting tips or directions. Whether you’re hopping between major cities or venturing into lesser-known regions, Croatia’s bus network is a reliable, comfortable, and cost-effective way to travel.

So, grab a seat on the bus, enjoy the views, and let the road take you to your next Croatian adventure!

We recommend you book your bus tickets here.

The best part for me is that taking the bus allows you to relax and soak in all the beauty Croatia has to offer, and it’s the best option for budget travel in Croatia .

2. Find Budget Car Rental In Croatia

Of course, buses are not for everyone. Car rental can be inexpensive if you know two things.

  • Are you looking to rent a car in Croatia without overspending? It’s definitely doable, and here’s how. First up, timing is critical – book your rental car early. Just like snagging the best seats at a concert, early booking often means better deals and more options to choose from. The early bird really does get the worm in the car rental game
  • Now, about the car itself: think small. Smaller vehicles are not only more affordable in terms of rental costs, but they’re also more economical when it comes to fuel consumption – a win-win for your wallet. However, don’t forget to consider luggage space. Those charmingly compact cars are great until you realize your suitcase won’t fit. So, do a quick check to ensure there’s enough trunk space for your bags. This way, you balance cost-efficiency with practicality.

By following these simple tips, you can enjoy the freedom and convenience of having a car in Croatia without the high prices. Drive through the country’s beautiful landscapes and explore hidden gems at your own pace, all while keeping your budget in check.

  • Car Rental & Driving Tips In Croatia

3. Use The Ferry Network

Exploring Croatia’s stunning coastline and islands doesn’t have to mean splurging on a sailing cruise or renting a yacht – which, let’s be honest, can really stretch your budget.

A wallet-friendly alternative?

Hop on a ferry!

Not only are ferries significantly more affordable, but they also offer a relaxed and scenic way to travel between islands. While a private yacht might give you luxury and exclusivity, ferry rides offer their own charm with the chance to mingle with locals and fellow travelers. Plus, you can’t beat the feeling of the sea breeze on your face as you travel from one beautiful destination to another.

Ferries in Croatia are efficient and well-connected and offer a range of routes covering the most popular islands as well as some hidden gems.

The experience is straightforward – buy your ticket, hop on, and enjoy the journey. You’ll get to see the Croatian coastline from a different perspective, and who knows, you might even stumble upon a quaint coastal town you hadn’t planned on visiting.

This way, you get the essence of the Croatian maritime experience without the hefty price tag of a private charter. 

So, grab a ferry schedule, plan your island-hopping adventure, and get ready to explore Croatia’s islands in a way that’s both budget-friendly and full of local flavor!

We recommend you book your foot and car ferries with Ferryhopper in advance here.

  • Guide To Ferries In Croatia

4. Go The Scenic Route On Your Road Trip

Embarking on a road trip through Croatia ? Here’s a savvy tip: skip the motorways and their tolls, and instead, embrace the scenic local roads.

Sure, they might add a bit more time to your journey, but trust me, the views are worth it. Plus, they’re 100% free, which is great news for your budget.

Croatia’s local roads snake through picturesque landscapes, quaint villages, and along stunning coastlines, offering a more authentic and immersive travel experience.

So, why rush on the motorway when you can take the road less traveled? It’s an opportunity to see Croatia through a different lens at your own pace. Plus, saving money on tolls means you can splurge a little more on experiences and treats along the way.

Grab a map, plot a course (for example, the old road from Zadar to Split ), and get ready for a road trip filled with memorable sights and experiences – the Croatian way!

5. Take A Private Transfer

Taking a private transfer in Croatia might sound like a luxury option, but it can actually be a savvy, money-saving move, especially if you’re traveling in a group.

Think about it – splitting the cost of a private transfer with friends or family can often work out to be as affordable, if not cheaper, than buying individual tickets for public transport. And let’s not forget the added benefits that come with it.

First off, private transfers offer a level of comfort and convenience that public buses can’t match.

The convenience factor is a major plus. Say goodbye to the hassle of dragging your luggage to bus stations and puzzling over bus schedules. And then, there’s the often-overlooked detail of getting from the bus stop to your hotel.

In many cases, this means hailing a taxi (and getting ripped off!), which adds extra cost and time to your journey. With a private transfer, these worries vanish. You get a direct, comfortable ride from your pickup point straight to your hotel door.

Private transfers offer a relaxed, air-conditioned journey, minus the overcrowded buses. They’re tailored to your schedule, providing the flexibility that public transport can’t match.

So, for a group exploring Croatia, opting for a private transfer can mean more time enjoying your trip and less time (and money) spent on navigating the logistics of travel. It’s a smart, stress-free way to move around and make the most of your Croatian adventure.

Get a quote on your private transfers here.

Brands we use and trust, croatia accommodation budget travel tips.


Finding the perfect place to stay in Croatia doesn’t have to drain your wallet. After years of exploring this beautiful country, I’ve learned that while hotels are great, there’s a whole world of budget-friendly accommodation options out there that help your tight budget.

From cozy local apartments to unique homes on Airbnb, these alternatives not only save you money but also offer a more authentic Croatian experience.

It’s true that Croatia isn’t overrun with international hotel chains, but that’s part of its charm. The ones that do exist tend to be on the pricier side. So, if you’re traveling on a budget, it pays to be savvy about where you stay. Hunting for deals on specialized booking sites early on can lead to some serious savings.

But there’s more to budget accommodation than just snagging a good deal. Here are some essential tips to help you find a great place to stay in Croatia without breaking the bank. Whether you’re a seasoned traveler or planning your first Croatian adventure, these insights will guide you to comfortable, affordable stays that enhance your travel experience.

6. Opt For Local Apartments Or Homes

While hotels have their charm, consider the more budget-friendly option of local apartments or homes available on platforms like Airbnb. If you are with a group, a two-bedroom apartment will cost way less than two hotel rooms.

These accommodations often provide a more authentic and cost-effective experience, allowing you to live like a local and save money. They come in all shapes and sizes, catering to different needs and budgets, and often include amenities that hotels charge extra for.

7. Search For Deals On Specialized Booking Sites

Croatia may not boast a plethora of international hotel chains, but the ones present can be pricey. To snag a deal, turn to specialized booking sites and keep an eye out for sales. These sites frequently offer discounts and special rates that aren’t available elsewhere.

8. Use Incognito Mode For Hotel Searches

A little-known trick: browse for hotels in incognito mode. This prevents dynamic pricing tactics from hiking up prices based on your search history, potentially leading to better deals.

9. Book Hotels Early

Many hotels offer early booking discounts, so get in there as soon as your travel dates are set. While these discounts are often available until the end of March, you might also stumble upon last-minute sales throughout the year.

10. Book Directly With Hotels

Don’t overlook the benefits of booking directly with a hotel. Contact them via their website or phone and inquire about discounts or all-inclusive options. Direct bookings sometimes unlock special rates not advertised elsewhere.

11. Stay Outside The City Center

Consider accommodations slightly outside the central part of the city. These areas often offer more affordable options and can give you a glimpse into everyday local life. Plus, a short walk or public transport ride easily connects you to the city’s main attractions.

12. Embrace Camping

For the more adventurous, camping is a wallet-friendly alternative to hotels. Croatia’s natural beauty makes it an ideal place to camp, offering a unique experience close to nature.

  • Where To Go Camping In Croatia
  • Where To Go Glamping In Croatia

13. Stay In Hostels

Hostels aren’t just for backpackers; they’re a great way to save a lot of money and meet fellow travelers. Croatia’s hostels range from basic to boutique, catering to different comfort levels and budgets.

  • Cool Hostels In Croatia

14. Try Housesitting

For a longer stay, consider housesitting. It’s a cost-free way to enjoy accommodation, often in exchange for looking after the property or pets. This option lets you live like a local and truly immerse yourself in Croatian culture.

Skip The High Season & Save Money In Croatia


Planning a budget-friendly trip to Croatia? Timing is everything. Take a moment to step back and consider when you’re visiting because the season can make a massive difference to your wallet.

Tourism in Croatia has a distinctly seasonal rhythm. Peak season, running from July through August, sees prices skyrocketing. Everything from accommodation to activities can cost significantly more during these months. Even we locals tend to avoid traveling within our own country during this time due to the steep prices.

15. Come In The Shoulder Seasons

However, there’s a sweet spot for budget-conscious travelers: the shoulder seasons. Spring (April, May, and June) and autumn (particularly September) are ideal times to visit. Why? Firstly, you’ll sidestep the inflated costs of peak season. Accommodation rates drop, and you’ll often find great deals on activities and dining, too.

But the benefits go beyond just financial savings. Spring in Croatia brings warmer weather and fewer tourists, offering a more relaxed atmosphere. You can explore the country’s stunning landscapes and historical sites without the crowds, experiencing Croatia as the locals do.

September continues to charm with its pleasant weather, perfect for beach lounging and swimming. The sea is still warm from the summer sun, making it ideal for water activities. Plus, with fewer tourists around, you’ll get a more authentic feel of Croatian life.

So, if you’re looking to experience the best of Croatia without straining your budget, consider visiting in the shoulder seasons. You’ll enjoy moderate weather, fewer crowds, and, most importantly, a more affordable and authentic Croatian adventure.

  • When Is The Best Time To Visit Croatia

Choosing The Right Location To Save Money In Croatia

Cable Car in Dubrovnik

16. Opt For Less Touristy Towns Over Hotspots Like Dubrovnik

Dubrovnik, with its stunning Old Town and Game of Thrones fame, is a magnet for tourists, leading to higher prices. To keep your expenses in check, consider staying in areas outside the Old Town, such as Cavtat or Ston. These places offer the same captivating beauty but at a fraction of the cost.

  • What To Do In Ston

17. Explore Affordable Alternatives To Split

Split is another popular destination , but nearby towns like Trogir or Omiš offer a more budget-friendly base.

These charming locations are less crowded and more affordable, yet close enough to Split for convenient day trips. Alternatively, Zadar, a lesser-known gem, provides a budget-friendly alternative with easy access to famous spots like Plitvice Lakes National Park . Use my Croatia travel guide to explore ideas for smaller towns around your desired destinations – these often hold the key to significant savings.

18. Stay Longer In Fewer Places

To keep your budget in check while traveling in Croatia, consider reducing the number of destinations on your itinerary. Constantly moving from town to town not only adds to travel stress but can also inflate your expenses.

19. Take Advantage Of Long-Stay Discounts

Many accommodations, ranging from hotels to private apartments, offer discounts for longer stays. By spending more time in one place, you can tap into these savings. This approach is particularly beneficial for budget-conscious travelers looking to reduce their accommodation costs.

20. Choose Strategic Bases For Exploration

Cities like Zadar , Zagreb, or Split make excellent bases for exploring smaller cities. These strategic locations allow you to cover a lot of ground with day trips. You can experience the diversity of Croatian landscapes and culture without the need to pack and move constantly.

  • Where To Stay In Zadar
  • Where To Stay In Zagreb
  • Where To Stay In Split

21. Experience More By Traveling Less

Staying in one place for longer not only saves money but also lets you delve deeper into the local culture and lifestyle. You’ll have the time to discover hidden gems, form connections with locals, and truly immerse yourself in the Croatian way of life.

22. Be Efficient At Travel Planning

Plan your travel routes efficiently. By choosing nearby attractions and destinations for your day trips, you can minimize travel time and costs. This focused approach allows you to see more without the added expense of long-distance travel.

By embracing the ‘less is more’ philosophy in your travel plans, you can enjoy a richer, more relaxed Croatian experience while keeping your budget in line. This approach emphasizes quality over quantity, ensuring you get the most out of your Croatian adventure without overspending on transportation and accommodation.

Island Hopping In Croatia On A Budget

Heart shaped island of Galesnjak in Zadar archipelago

Are you dreaming of island hopping in Croatia’s Dalmatia or Kvarner Region? It’s more achievable than you might think. Contrary to popular belief, island hopping here can be done on a budget. The trick is to plan your itinerary smartly. Start by picking islands that match your interests and budget. The off-the-beaten-path islands often provide a more authentic experience at lower costs.

23. Set Your Own Itinerary

Flexibility is your friend when it comes to island hopping. Decide which islands you want to visit and for how long. This way, you can avoid the tourist traps and find hidden, more affordable spots.

24. Travel Necessities

Before you embark on your island-hopping adventure, ensure you have all the travel essentials. This means doing a bit of research and planning ahead to avoid last-minute purchases or rentals that can add unexpected costs to your trip.

  • Croatia Packing List

25. Use Ferries Wisely

Ferries are a cost-effective way to hop between islands. Look for passenger tickets only, which are usually cheaper than bringing a car. 

26. Consider Off The Beaten Track Islands

While everyone flocks to Hvar and Korčula, islands like Solta, Vis, and Mljet offer a tranquil escape at a lower cost. These lesser-known islands can provide a more intimate experience of Croatian island life.

By choosing your location wisely and planning your island hopping with a budget in mind, you can enjoy the wonders of Croatia without spending a fortune. Whether it’s finding a quaint town near a major city or charting a course through Croatia’s beautiful islands, there are plenty of ways to save while soaking in the country’s stunning landscapes and rich culture.

Money Saving Tips For Food

Croatian food - what to eat in Croatia

27. Eat Like A Local

One of the best ways to save on food in Croatia is to eat where the locals eat. Avoid tourist-packed restaurants and, instead, find those hidden gems – we call them “konobas,” where traditional Croatian cuisine is served at reasonable prices. These places offer an authentic taste of the country’s culinary delights .

  • Guide To Ordering Food In Croatia

28. Embrace Marenda

Many local restaurants offer ‘marenda’ or ‘gablec’ – a fixed-price meal typically including a main course, salad, a side, and sometimes dessert. These hearty meals are designed to keep you satisfied throughout the day and are a great way to enjoy delicious Croatian dishes without overspending.

29. Cook Your Own Meals

Utilize local markets in each town, which are overflowing with fresh vegetables, fruits, and other ingredients. If you’re staying in an apartment or a hotel with kitchen facilities, cooking some of your meals can be a huge money-saver. It’s also a fun way to immerse yourself in Croatian culture by trying out Croatian recipes like mine.

30. Smart Supermarket Shopping

Your budget can stretch further by shopping at supermarkets. Consider eating breakfast at your hotel or preparing it yourself, and pack picnic lunches for your day trips. This strategy allows you to save money for a more indulgent dinner, where you can savor the diverse flavors of Croatian cuisine.

31. Street Food and Bakeries

Don’t overlook street food and local bakeries for quick, tasty, and inexpensive meals. Items like ‘ burek ‘ or sandwiches are perfect for on-the-go eating and offer a cheap yet satisfying option.

32. Drink Croatia’s Tap Water

One often overlooked but significant way to save money in Croatia is by drinking tap water. It’s not just a cost-effective choice; it’s also a safe and healthy one. Croatia boasts exceptionally high standards of water quality. In fact, the quality of tap water in Croatia meets or exceeds all international safety standards , making it perfectly safe to drink.

Drinking tap water in Croatia means you can avoid the extra expense and environmental impact of bottled water. Almost everywhere you go, from Zagreb to Dubrovnik , the tap water is not only drinkable but also tastes great. This is especially handy during the hot summer months when staying hydrated is crucial.

So, remember to pack a reusable water bottle on your Croatian adventure. You can refill it throughout the day at any tap or public water fountain. This simple act not only saves you money but also contributes to reducing plastic waste, helping preserve Croatia’s natural beauty for future visitors.

Embracing tap water in Croatia is a smart, sustainable choice that’s good for both your wallet and the environment. Cheers to staying hydrated in a cost-effective and eco-friendly way!

6 Free Things To Do In Croatia 

While some major attractions in Croatia require you to pay a fee, there are still several amazing things to do for free.

Here are some suggestions for budget-friendly activities in Croatia:

Explore Croatia’s Best Beaches

A breathtaking aerial view of a beach with glistening sand and crystal-clear water, showcasing the serenity and beauty of things to do in Nin.

  • Best Beaches In Croatia

Hike Through Breathtaking National Parks

Beautiful Skradinski Buk Waterfall In Krka National Park, Dalmatia

Croatia’s national parks are a haven for nature lovers and hikers. While some parks may charge a nominal entrance fee, it’s a small price for the immense natural beauty you’ll experience. Trails wind through lush forests alongside cascading waterfalls and offer stunning views – perfect for those seeking adventure and tranquility alike.

  • Guide To Croatia’s National Parks

Wander Historic Towns

Old Istrian town in Rovinj, Croatia.

Every Croatian town has a story to tell, and exploring these historic gems is absolutely free. Meander through the winding streets of ancient towns, soak in the architectural marvels and indulge in people-watching at bustling town squares. Each town offers a unique glimpse into Croatia’s rich history and culture.

Discover Local Markets

People on the food market in Dubrovnik, Croatia.

Local markets are not only great for picking up fresh produce but also for experiencing the vibrant local culture. Browse through stalls, sample traditional delicacies, and soak in the lively atmosphere – all without spending much.

Taking Free Walking Tours In Croatia

Balkan Trip: One Month In The Balkans Itinerary - Marjan Hill overlooking Split Riva

A fantastic and budget-friendly way to explore Croatia’s rich history and culture is through free walking tours. Offered in many Croatian cities, these tours are led by knowledgeable local guides who are passionate about their hometowns. While the tours themselves are free, it’s customary to tip the guide at the end, making this a great way to save money while still enjoying a high-quality tour experience.

Enjoy Free Cultural Events

A group of people with swords at Korcula sword dance festival in Croatia.

Keep an eye out for free cultural events, especially during the summer months. From open-air concerts to street festivals, there’s often something happening that showcases Croatia’s rich cultural heritage.

  • Events & Festivals In Croatia

Relax In Public Parks And Gardens

Croatia’s cities boast beautiful public parks and gardens, ideal for a leisurely stroll or a picnic. These green spaces provide a serene escape from the hustle and bustle of city life.

By focusing on these budget-friendly or free activities, you can enjoy the essence of Croatia without putting a strain on your finances. From its natural wonders to its historical and cultural richness, Croatia offers a plethora of experiences that don’t require a big budget.

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Wrapping Up: Smart Budget Travel In Croatia

Traveling to Croatia on a budget is not only possible, but it can also be an incredibly rewarding experience. The key is in the planning. By thinking ahead and being strategic about your choices, you can enjoy the best of Croatia without stretching your wallet too thin. Remember, it’s the smart choices, like when to travel, where to stay, and how to get around, that makes all the difference.

As you wrap up your plans for a Croatian adventure, keep in mind a few additional tips:

Embrace Public Transport

Croatia’s public transportation system is efficient and cost-effective. Buses and trains can take you across most of the country at a fraction of the cost of car rentals or flights.

Seek Out Local Advice

Don’t hesitate to ask locals for advice on where to eat, what to see, and how to get around. They often know the best deals and hidden gems that aren’t in guidebooks.

Travel Light

A lighter suitcase not only makes your journey easier but can also save you money on luggage fees for domestic flights or buses.

Be Flexible

Sometimes, being flexible with your travel dates and plans can lead to unexpected savings. Last-minute deals on accommodations or activities can offer great value.

Prioritize Your Experiences

Decide what’s most important to you. If you’re a foodie, save on accommodation so you can splurge on meals. If history is your thing, choose cheaper dining options to afford those museum entries.

Traveling on a budget doesn’t mean missing out. It’s about making informed choices that enhance your experience. Croatia, with its rich history, stunning landscapes, and friendly locals, offers a wealth of opportunities for budget-savvy travelers.

So go ahead, plan wisely, and get ready to explore this beautiful country without breaking the bank.

  • Is Croatia Expensive?
  • Croatian Currency Guide
  • How To Tip In Croatia
  • How To Travel Turkey On A Budget
  • How To Travel Greece On A Budget
  • Budget Backpacking Guide To Albania
  • Is Croatia Safe To Travel? Helpful Safety Tips

Comments (14)

Very informative and useful post! Thanks for sharing!

Great tips about nearby cities to Split!

Very informative article. Travelling on budget is a very hard. After reading this article one can easily travel on budget. thank you very much for writing this article. It will help medium status people to travel and enjoy best places in world. :)

Awesome tips! Specially for the transport, you gave great options. I didn’t know about the discount when buying tickets online!

Looking at the sailing itinerary via ferry that you posted and a few days in Zagreb to go to the park. Is it better to stay on the islands for a couple of nights at each island or go back to Split and just do day trips?

I would always recommend staying on the islands, it’s that way you get to know the island, and the people, food etc. And, of course spend less time in transit, and more time relaxing.

Do you have any locations in mind to recommend for my vacation?

Loads, look here:

Your link to a 35 Euro discount for air b n b doesn’t work. It takes you to Justpack which is useless!

Oh no, what a mess. Sorry, try this one

Hello, Thankyou for this brilliant article. As we ended up having an expensive summer holiday last year we were unsure that we’d get to take our boys out of the UK this summer holiday but your inspirational article has given me some hope! Do you have any recommendations for a destination that would keep two teenage boys happy (10 & 13)? Somewhere out of main expensive cities and somewhere for an adventure? 😁

Glad you found it useful. If you want to explore Croatia out of the main cities, then you should head to continental Croatia. There is very cheap, and they have horse riding, lakes, biking, hiking, waterfalls, nature/national parks. Try this search on the blog to get an idea

is it true that prices have gone up in croatia?

YES! Croatia, like many countries, has experienced periods of inflation and rising prices and with the change over to euro it is now very different than a few years ago.

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The World Was Here First

Is Croatia Expensive? Croatia Trip Cost Guide in 2024

Last Updated on December 11, 2023

by Maggie Turansky

Disclaimer: This article contains affiliate links. That means if you click a link and make a purchase, we may make a small commission. As an Amazon Associate we earn from qualifying purchases. For more information, see our privacy policy.

travel croatia cheap

Croatia has become one of the most sought-after destinations in all of Europe, receiving countless tourists each year. But is Croatia expensive to visit? What would an average Croatia trip cost be?

Drawn by photos of picturesque seaside towns with crystal clear Adriatic waters, stunning natural scenery including lakes and waterfalls, or the desire to see the real-life King’s Landing, these are common questions many would-be visitors find themselves asking.

On average, you can expect your trip to Croatia to cost €55-275 per day (about $59-296 USD per day) if visiting the country on a budget but are still wanting to enjoy the occasional splurge.

However, this travel budget can vary significantly depending on your spending habits. Keep reading to understand how this average cost breaks down across accommodation, transport, food, entertainment and activities.

So is it expensive to travel to Croatia? If you’re comparing it to the cost of other Balkan countries , then yes. However, it is still possible to travel in Croatia while maintaining a tight budget.

Table of Contents

Croatia Trip Cost Guide

If you’re planning on visiting Croatia on a small budget, it is best to keep in mind that a vast majority of the coastal cities see quite a lot of tourists and it is time to shed the misconception that it will be a cheap, off-the-beaten-path destination.

However, if you are smart about where and how you spend your money, travel outside of the peak months of July and August, and try to head to smaller cities and towns rather than the popular tourist destinations in Croatia such as Dubrovnik and Split , then you don’t have to spend a lot to greatly enjoy your time in this beautiful country.

As of 1 January 2023, the currency in Croatia is the Euro, in which all prices here are listed. To see the current exchange rates to your home currency, look at

Accommodation Prices

The first aspect of your budget that needs to be considered are accommodation costs as this is likely to take up the largest percentage of your overall Croatia trip cost.

Because the country is so popular among tourists, there are numerous accommodation options in virtually every Croatian town and city. These range from high-end resorts to quaint country B&Bs to a dorm bed in a backpacker hostel and all come with a different price tag.

Generally, we recommend against staying in all-inclusive resorts as, while they might seem like a good value for money, they offer very little exposure to the culture, cuisine, and people of the country you are visiting and Croatia is no different.

Town of Orebic in Croatia

Therefore, if it is a hotel you are after, we recommend finding a small, locally run hotel to rest your head instead.

Not only will they invariably be cheaper and allow more room in your Croatia travel budget for other activities, but you also get the added benefit of supporting a small local business and have a better chance of experiencing a different culture.

A room in a budget to mid-range hotel will probably set you back an average of €60 – 90 per night, depending on the city you are visiting.

If you’re looking for a luxury option during your time in Croatia, then plan to pay €150-300 per night depending on the season and where the hotel is located.

Another fantastic option if you want to save money while travelling in Croatia without forgoing privacy is to get a private room through Airbnb. Again, Croatia prices vary depending on which city you are visiting, however, you can expect to pay roughly €40-50 per night, which can save you a lot of money, particularly if you’re splitting the costs between two people.

A one-bedroom apartment on Airbnb or will land closer to €60-100 per night, again, depending on the season and location of the property. In general, expect prices to increase in the high season, especially during the months of July and August.

If you’re on a tight budget and want to pinch pennies wherever you can, then you will be happy to know that there is a large array of hostels to choose from. There is usually at least one hostel in every major city with numerous options in tourist hotspots like Dubrovnik or Split and the bustling and edgy capital of Zagreb .

Again, depending on the city you are visiting ( Dubrovnik tends to be significantly more expensive than other cities in the country and can skew price averages), a dorm bed at a Croatian hostel will cost about €20-30 depending on how many beds are in the room and where it is located.

Old Town in croatia

Transportation Prices

The second biggest aspect of your total Croatia travel budget you need to consider is the cost of transportation. It is unlikely that you will only visit one destination while in Croatia (though Zagreb makes a fantastic city break destination!) and, unless you plan on hitchhiking everywhere, you’re going to have to pay to get there.

Luckily, public transport prices in Croatia still remain relatively affordable. It is worth knowing that there isn’t a large train network in Croatia and therefore the most efficient inter-city transport (and often the only) that exists is the bus. Buses in Croatia are generally nice and comfortable and if they do not have toilets in them, they do make stops on longer journeys.

The cost of travelling between cities can vary depending upon the length of the journey, but it is safe to assume to spend about €15 – 20 per journey. If you have luggage that needs to go in the hold, be aware that there is usually a charge to do this — normally €1 – 2 paid directly to the driver.

It can sometimes be cheaper to book your bus tickets online in advance, but this varies depending on the city and region. If you’re curious, a quick Google search can answer most questions.

If you’re visiting any of the islands, then ferry tickets are also something to keep in mind in regards to costs in Croatia. Prices can vary drastically depending on the distance you are travelling, the type of boat you are taking and whether or not you’re including a car.

Ferries departing from Split

Another popular option for getting around Croatia is to rent a car. While this isn’t entirely necessary, having your own vehicle can give you the flexibility to visit more off-the-beaten-path areas of the country that might have fewer bus connections.

It also is a bit easier to have a car if you’re interested in taking some day trips without having to be at the mercy of erratic bus timetables and aren’t keen to join an organised tour.

As with virtually everywhere in Europe, it is significantly cheaper to hire a manual transmission rather than an automatic. Car hire prices can differ depending on the company you’re renting from (we recommend checking out to compare prices!), but you can expect them to start at about €25 – 30 per day and increase from there.

If there are some areas you want to visit that would be easier to get to with a car but you still want to save some money, it is worth considering just renting a car for a day or two. That will help you cut down on your total Croatia tourism cost.

Split Harbour

Food Prices

Croatian food doesn’t get the international recognition it so badly deserves but you’re definitely going to want to sample some of it while visiting this beautiful country. But what is the cost of eating out in Croatia?

In general, the cost of food and drink is one area that increased the most since the Croatia currency changed to the Euro at the beginning of 2023, however, it doesn’t have to be overly expensive.

While it is totally possible to eat on the cheap in Croatia, it is also equally possible to splash out the cash on a high-end dining experience. With both ends of the dining spectrum available for tourists in Croatia, it can be difficult to figure out how much to budget for food while visiting.

If you want to save money but still want a good, authentic restaurant meal from time to time, eating out can be affordable in Croatia. The biggest thing you can do for your budget (and your taste buds, honestly) when dining out in Croatia is to avoid tourist-centric restaurants like the plague.

This means avoiding eating in the old towns of the cities where you are staying or walking at least a kilometre away from the main attractions in order to find a decent place to eat. You will be surprised at how much prices can change when the menu isn’t catered toward tourists.

If you follow this advice, it is likely that the cost of a main meal in Croatia won’t be more than €15-20 per person. If you want to cut costs even more, try to stay at a place that has access to a kitchen and cook yourself your own meals and only occasionally go out to eat.

If you like eating dinner out most nights, you can also save yourself some money by making breakfast and lunch for yourself — or choose to stay at a place that provides breakfast in the nightly rate!

Squid lunch in Split, Croatia

Activity Prices

Now that we’ve covered the costs for the three main aspects of your Croatia that you are definitely going to need to spend money one, let’s cover the cost of the activities you are actually going to do there.

You don’t have to spend a lot of money on day-to-day activities in Croatia — for instance, exploring an Old Town or spending the day swimming at the beach are all completely free activities.

However, if you want to go on a boat trip or visit a museum or historical site here and there, you’re going to have to fork over some of your hard-earned cash.

Hvar Town Promenade

Museum entry varies from place to place, but you can expect to pay about €5 to enter most museums. If you are a student, senior, or under the age of 26, make sure to see if there is a discount available because, more often than not, there is and it can save you a lot of money.

If you want to go on a day tour or boat trip somewhere, as is popular in Croatia, these aren’t always cheap experiences. If you’re keen to go on a full- or half-day cruise for some swimming and snorkelling , expect to pay roughly €50-100 per person for this depending on what is offered. Often the full-day cruises do include lunch which is an added bonus.

Day tours to places like Krka National Park from Split may cost a little less, while if you’re going further to places like Plitvice Lakes National Park expect to pay more.

If you plan to do one or two of these tours while on your trip, your daily activity cost need not be more than about €20 per person per day, but your costs will obviously add up when you plan to do more tours such as these.

If you want to visit places such as wineries or olive oil manufacturers, it will be significantly cheaper for you to do this independently rather than going on an organised tour. Oftentimes, wineries will even give you a free tasting provided you buy some wine from them and the same goes for olive oil.

Sun shining through the Pula Arena

Entertainment Prices

The last thing you need to consider when calculating your total trip cost is the price of entertainment. There are certain places in Croatia (Split, Zagreb, and Hvar spring to mind) that are famous for their nightlife and it would be a shame not to go and experience it for yourself, wouldn’t it?

Even if going out and clubbing isn’t really your cup of tea and you would prefer to sit at a seaside bar while sipping a delicious Istrian wine, these things are still going to cost you. The good news, however, is that it doesn’t have to be much.

Zagreb has a great craft beer scene!

Booze prices in Croatia aren’t actually that expensive and you are more likely paying more for the location you are drinking in rather than for the drink itself.

For instance, the same glass of wine at a bar directly on the water in Rovinj will cost you almost 15-20% than it would even a few hundred metres away from the sea. If you are on a tight budget but still want to enjoy the occasional pre-dinner cocktail, then this is something to keep in mind.

It is also always cheaper to drink local rather than imported. A glass of Croatian wine (which is fantastic, by the way) will set you back an average of about €2.50-5 whereas an imported wine can be more than double that. The same pricing scale applies for local vs imported beer.

If you are after a cocktail, that is going to get a little bit more expensive and some places you will pay prices akin to what you might pay in Northern Europe. On average, a basic cocktail such as an Aperol spritz at a bar will set you about €7-10 depending on where you’re drinking.

Table overlooking the water in Croatia

Is Croatia Expensive? Average Croatia Travel Cost

Croatia is definitely more expensive than some of its neighbouring countries, however, it doesn’t have to be a place that will make you file for bankruptcy just for visiting.

If you’re smart about where you spend your money, avoid tourist traps, and only travel between cities every 3-4 days or so, you can easily manage to visit Croatia on a budget.

To help you better plan, here is an average of what you should expect to spend in Croatia per person per day, assuming costs like accommodation are split between two people.

Accommodation:  €20-150 / day

Transportation:  €5-30 / day

Food:  €20-50 / day

Activities:  €5-25 / day

Entertainment:  €5-20 / day

All in all, you can easily visit Croatia with a budget of about €55-275 per day if you find some ways to cut costs on some days.

Make sure you also factor in the cost of a travel insurance policy. SafetyWing is a popular option if you’re travelling in Croatia on a budget. They offer affordable and flexible travel medical insurance policies.

Trogir, Croatia

Croatia isn’t the super budget destination it once was, however, that doesn’t mean a trip to this beautiful country has to be overly expensive. Your total Croatia trip cost really depends on where and how you choose to spend your money, but it is a destination that is still accessible for both budget and luxury travellers alike.

Are you planning to travel to Croatia? Have any questions about the prices? Let us know in the comments!

travel croatia cheap

Related Posts:

Iconic View of Plitvice Lakes from above

How to Do A Plitvice Lakes Day Trip from Split or Zagreb

Mostar Old Town is quieter in the evening

How To Plan a Split to Mostar Day Trip

travel croatia cheap

7-Day Istria Itinerary: Explore Pula, Umag and Rovinj

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About Maggie Turansky

Maggie is a co-founder and writer for The World Was Here First. Originally from the US, she has lived in five different countries and has travelled to dozens more, both solo and with her partner, Michael. She particularly loves exploring Spain and spending time in the Caucasus and the Baltics. Read more about Maggie

Maggie I’m trying to surprise my wife and plan a trip to Croatia and want to do on budget. I love outdoors and want to visit national parks, seashore and small villages. several questions: 1. should I rent car for travel, 2 do national parks have accommodations to rent. 3. any suggestions on small quaint villages. 4. are hostels good option. 5. can you get around well using bus system. 6. what about camping?

I’m coming for 10-14 days. any suggestions would be greatly appreciated.

Hi Matt – you may find our Croatia itinerary helpful when planning your trip:

Super helpful article, thank you. I’m trying to work out costs for a party of three adults (two parents and an 18-y-old son), and am working on your daily cost range. That wouldn’t necessarily triple for three people, would it? For example, with accommodation, do you pay per head or per room?

Happy you found the article helpful. The prices listed above are assuming costs are split between two people, so if calculating a per-person cost and you have 3 people, they will likely be lower (especially when factoring in accommodation or transportation). Hotels are typically charged per room but it’s always a good idea to verify that with the specific place you’re booking 🙂

What is the best currency to take to Croatia

Hi Sue – Croatia uses the Croatian Kuna as of right now, but it is set to adopt the Euro in 2023. ATMs are also prevalent so it is probably best to plan to withdraw local currency while there rather than relying on exchange offices and travelling with lots of cash.

Just returned from Cavtat. Great fresh seafood, clean air, and water, healing environment Highly recommended,

I agree the local white wines were incredible. We even visited the winery north of Split where Anthony Bourdain over sampled and fell off his chair! Only glitch was on arrival at Split harbor the bus driver pointed us to the car ferry and we had to sprint almost a mile to the passenger catamaran to the islands- even owned by the same company it took awhile to find te correct departure.

Sounds like you had a great trip, Greg! Thanks for your comment 🙂

What a fabulous article, thank you! I’m feeling much more prepared for our vacation now. Can you please let us know what type of shops we go to, to purchase bottles/boxes of wine and bottles of scotch? We live in Canada, and can only purchase from government regulated liquor shops. Thank you so much!

Hi Elizabeth, if you want to get the best prices on something like scotch in Croatia, I would honestly recommend browsing the duty free shops at the airport before you fly back to Canada. That’s where you will get the best deals.

Aside this – Unlike in Canada or Northern Europe every supermarket (Plodine, Konzum, Spar…) has a big alcohol selection here.

Hello Maggie. I will be traveling on april to europe and i want to go to croatia. But i just gonna have like 4 days or 3 to go. It´s worth it? Because i want to go to some other place like budapest. What do you recommend to me?

Hi Nayoli, if you just choose one city in Croatia and then explore a bit from there, I think that only 3 or 4 days should be fine so long as you don’t try to pack too much in!

Great pre travel information. I am planning to visit Croatia and am feeling more comfortable with the information provided.

Glad we could help, Dushyant! Hope you have a great trip to Croatia 🙂

Are you able to draw a plan for our first visit in Croatia.

Hi Sarah, we’ve written a detailed Croatia itinerary with a number of different routes to choose from here:

I just came from Croatia. I spent most of my time in the coastal region. This article is pretty accurate on pricing. But what a gorgeous place. Well worth to travel there. Capital Zagreb is amazing. Too many things to see.

Thanks for your comment, Brian! Glad you had a great time in Croatia 🙂

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Home » Europe » Travel Expensive

Is Croatia Expensive? (Budget Tips • 2024)

If your preconceived notion of Croatia is that it’s a cold, rainy Eastern European country, forget everything you think you know about it.

Nearly 15 million tourists flock to the sandy beaches and beautiful national parks every year. There are also lots of monuments and buildings worth discovering – like the Museum of Broken Relationships (no breakup needed).

The idyllic nature of the smaller villages draws in people from all over the world, as well as the chance to experience a stay in a traditional Croatian stone cottage. Croatia’s reputation as a prime holiday spot makes the answer to the question “ Is Croatia expensive ” seem like a solid yes, especially during peak times. This is because prices for accommodation shoot up and sometimes even double in high season.

But, fear not. You don’t necessarily have to end up with empty pockets after your trip, especially once you’re armed with a few of our tips and tricks.

So without further ado, let’s dive into everything you need to know about saving money when you visit Croatia!

Croatia Trip Cost Guide

Cost of flights to croatia, price of accommodation in croatia, cost of transport in croatia, cost of food in croatia, price of alcohol in croatia, cost of attractions in croatia, additional costs of travel in croatia, some final tips for saving money in croatia, so, is croatia expensive.

How expensive is travel in Croatia ? Let’s break it down. We’ll look at all the major cost factors of a typical trip to this amazing country, which include:

  • Accommodation options
  • Food and drink
  • Transport around the country
  • Other costs you may want to take into account

how much does a trip to croatia cost

The Broke Backpacker is supported by you . Clicking through our links may earn us a small affiliate commission, and that's what allows us to keep producing free content 🙂 Learn more .

In 2023, Croatia dropped the Kuna and has since then been using the Euro . Find out how much your money is worth today by using the up-to-date converter below.

For this article, we’ll estimate all the costs mentioned in US dollars (USD).

Is Croatia Expensive? 2 Weeks in Croatia Travel Costs

See what you can expect to be your total Croatia trip cost :


Let’s talk about flights. Traveling to Croatia is probably the biggest single expense and the most difficult to accurately estimate, mainly because flights fluctuate in price throughout the year.

Croatia has nine international airports you can possibly fly into. The main airport in terms of arrivals is Zagreb. In fact, only Zagreb, Split and Dubrovnik will receive international flights all year round.

Is Croatia cheap to get to, though? Many cities tend to have a “cheap time” to fly.

We’ve compiled a list of round-trip tickets to Croatia from some major cities:

  • New York to Zagreb: 700 – 1000 USD
  • London to Zagreb: 300- 600 GBP
  • Sydney to Zagreb: 2000 – 3000 AUD
  • Vancouver to Zagreb: 1200 – 1300 CAD

Remember that these fares are subject to change with time. You can sometimes score additional discounts by looking for special deals or error fares. Make sure to check flight to the different airports in Croatia to find the lowest cost possible.

ESTIMATED EXPENSE: $10-$350 USD per day

As we mentioned, Croatia travel is becoming very popular amongst travelers. As a result, prices are rising slightly every year. Fortunately, it’s still quite affordable, compared to popular destinations in Western Europe.

There are many different kinds of accommodations in Croatia. As the hotels become more crowded over tourist season, prices inevitably rise. Airbnbs and Hostels are also a great option, especially for travelers on a budget and backpackers.

Make sure you know where you want to stay in Croatia before you look deeper into possible accommodations. Once that’s clear, check out the best ones below, so you can find the right one for you.

Hostels in Croatia

Staying in hostels is the best way to lower your accommodation costs low. Choosing a dorm instead of a private room will save you even more money.

They are also good social spaces for those who don’t mind meeting other travelers and being surrounded by like-minded bunkbed buddies. And trust us, there are numerous amazing hostels in Croatia ! Another advantage of staying in a hostel is the great advice you can get from staff and other guests.

cheap hostel to stay in croatia

The prices of hostels vary quite a lot in Croatia – anywhere from $10 USD to $55 USD per night. But a fair price to look at for a standard hostel option is between $15-$25 USD per night.

You’ll want to be close to whatever you plan on seeing. So in a major city, it may be close to the city center. On the islands, it’ll probably be near the beach. Here are a few of the best ones we found:

  • Chillout Hostel , Zagreb – An expertly-designed hostel with incredible common rooms, a 24-hour bar, a rooftop lounge, all in downtown Zagreb!
  • Hostel Elena, Zadar – 20 Yards from the boardwalk, with access to the island ferries, and the party atmosphere of the beachfront nightlife.
  • Split Guesthouse & Hostel, Split – They’ll make you feel like you’ve arrived at a friend’s house, complete with a free cup of coffee on arrival. Rated best hostel in Split for several years running, it’s definitely worth the stay.

Airbnbs in Croatia

There’s a quite big range of options on Airbnb when it comes to prices in Croatia. The cost mostly depends on where you’re looking to stay, and especially what part of the year. Island accommodation also tends to be slightly more expensive, so keep that in mind during your planning.

While you might be able to score an impressive $28 USD per night (lucky you), expect to pay a more typical $35 – $55 USD a night for a decent apartment.

croatia accommodation prices

On the upside, you’ll have the apartment to yourself, with the option to self-cater in a kitchen of your own. You can’t beat the feeling of having a home away from home. If you value privacy and independence, staying in an Airbnb is the right choice for you.

Here are a few gems we found that you may consider:

  • Waterfront with an extraordinary view – In the old town of Dubrovnik, a studio with a truly extraordinary view of the bay.
  • Cozy & Romantic Apartment with a Stunning View – Right by the seaside, and close to the romantic part of Sukošan old town.
  • The best position in Hvar!   – Sitting on top of a hill, overlooking the town and sea, this is a view that’s absolutely breathtaking.

Hotels in Croatia

While hotel accommodation is definitely the most expensive of all the options, it comes with certain advantages and luxuries. Hotels probably offer the best on-call services, like room service, attached restaurants, laundry, gym, concierge, and even more.

cheap hotels in croatia

The price range is incredibly big for hotels. You can find places for up to $350 USD per night, but you can also do some hunting and find great value rooms at around $80 USD. Hotels should only be considered if your travel budget allows it and if you don’t want your trip to end after a couple of days.

Here are some of the best hotel options in Croatia:

  • Hotel Mlini – A picturesque view from a balcony can offer a great start to a day in Dubrovnik.
  • Hotel Esplanade – Just twenty yards from the beach in Crikvenica, and often features live music on its terrace for some entertainment.
  • Falkensteiner Hotel & Spa Iadera – Superb value at this Petrcane coast gem. Enjoy the bars the huge wellness area, and of course, the beach.


travel croatia cheap

In Croatia, the main form of public transport used in most cities is the bus. Zagreb and Osijek also have tram systems. The train system in Croatia is a little less reliable than other systems, due to by regular stoppages and delays.

Within the cities, a bus single ride costs $1.50-$2 USD on average (you can purchase a one-hour pass for this). For the most part, buses tend to run fairly regularly and efficiently and are the best way to save on transport costs.

If you’re bouncing around the islands, you’ll have to use boat services. Car Ferries or Catamarans (these ones are only for passengers) are the most popular and cost-effective ways to get to the islands.

You have the option of renting a car if you plan to travel around the country. The roads in Croatia are really good, but you may want to use the public transport options available when you’re in a city itself.

You can also choose to walk around – this is especially pleasant during the summer months.

Train Travel in Croatia

Trains only travel between certain cities in Croatia, and it must be noted that the network is limited and doesn’t go to every single town. You can get between a few main cities like Zagreb and Split, for example. To get to smaller towns or even villages, you have to switch it up to either busses or, in the worst case, taxis.

Bus Travel in Croatia

The bus system in Croatia is very extensive. You’ll be able to choose from many services and operators, depending on where you are in the country. There is no single national operator that works all routes. In most cities, the numerous central bus stations are very easy to find and get to.

how to get around croatia cheap

Croatian bus prices aren’t the cheapest in Europe, but it remains the cheapest option, in general, to get around within a city, and between cities.

Within cities, various bus services run a number of routes, usually based on a single ticket system. For example, in Dubrovnik, you can get a ticket for about $2 USD, which is valid for 60 minutes of unlimited travel. You can also buy 24-hour ticket passes for just under $5 USD.

Choosing the bus as your transport option will definitely work out the cheapest. With its quite affordable tickets and reliability, it’s perfect for backpackers and travelers on a budget that want to see as much of Croatia as possible.

Getting Around in the Cities

Many of the cities in Croatia, especially the main ones, are completely walkable. And you’ll love getting around on foot wherever you are because it allows you to take in every detail of the charming city without rushing. That being said, there are few alternatives.

is transport in croatia expensive

  • Metros and trams – There are a few trams in Zagreb and Osijek – a 90-minute ticket costs about $1.50. They do not run 24 hours, but do a fair job of moving around the city every day between 4 am and midnight.
  • Bus – Many locals and travelers prefer to use the bus to get from A to B, even if it does take slightly longer. A single ticket, valid for one hour, will cost around $2 USD. Day passes ($5 USD) are also an option. Bus tickets are separate to train, tram and metro tickets.
  • Bicycles – You can find bikes rentals fairly easily in the major cities. You can also try a service like BimBim Bikes, which is a sort of aggregator for a number of service providers. Usually, around $14-16 USD per day is a fair price for standard bicycle rental.
  • Taxi – Taxis will be an expensive option in Croatia. As an example, a taxi between the airport and Old Town Dubrovnik costs around $30 USD. If you plan to use a taxi to travel around, you’ll be making a serious dent in your budget, as a standard taxi rate is around $1 USD per km.

Renting a Car in Croatia

If you prefer the freedom of exploring the country at your own pace, you could also rent a car. This is only an option if you’re over 22 years old. The coastal roads in Croatia are exceptionally beautiful, great for photos.

renting a car in croatia

To get the best rental car prices in Croatia, make sure to book your car well ahead .

Due to high demand, there’s a good chance you’ll find yourself stranded without a car if you just show up at the rental. And even if you do manage to get your hands on one, you’re going to pay a pretty big rate.

The best services for rentals are Sixt and They both offer the option to pick up in one place and drop off in another, but this is usually more expensive. Expect to pay around $60-120 USD for a four-day rental, excluding gas and insurances.

When taking the rental car on the ferry, you’ll need to pay extra insurance for this – about $20 USD. Be sure to let your rental company know whether you will be going to the islands with your car.

Want to save some cash and explore Croatia by rental car? Use to find the best deal possible. There are some great prices on the site and they aren’t difficult to find.

ESTIMATED EXPENSE: $20-$100 USD per day

how much does food cost in Croatia

Food isn’t particularly expensive in Croatia, especially when compared to its neighbors. But like pretty much everywhere in the world, eat and drink in restaurants and hotel bars every night, and you’ll end up spending lots. Fortunately, there are ways to keep money in your pockets.

The easiest way to save money on food is to cook for yourself. Staying at an Airbnb or a hotel, you normally have a little kitchen with basic equipment, which allows you to prepare meals at home.

Take a look at these average Croatia prices for typical everyday food items compared to restaurant eating.

  • 1 liter milk: $1 USD
  • 12 eggs: $2.75- $3 US
  • 2 lbs apples: $1.50 USD
  • 2 lbs potatoes: $1 USD

Restaurants and bars :

  • McDonald’s Medium meal: $6 USD
  • Beer (17 fl.oz): $2.50-2.80 USD
  • Standard cola (can):  $2.10 USD
  • Mid range restaurant meal: $20 per person

If you have to eat out, time it for happy hour specials, or keep your eyes open for discounts or 2-for-1 days. This will work out a lot cheaper than regularly getting normal meals.

ESTIMATED EXPENSE : $10-$80 per day

Alt text - how much does alcohol cost in Croatia

As with most places catering to the tourist market, the alcohol prices in Croatia can vary from bar to bar, depending on where in Croatia you’re stepping out. How much you should expect to spend on drinks is completely dependent on your consumption and preference.

Beer is by far the cheapest option, and local beer tends to be cheaper than imported brands. You can usually find a pint of beer for around $2 USD at a local bar. Expect to pay slightly more for a brand name import.

A bottle of standard house wine at a restaurant or bar can cost around $10 USD, and a shot of vodka around $2 USD as well. Of course, you can buy the same alcohol for as little as half of these prices at a local store or market.

Our advice is to pick up a fair supply from a market and enjoy a few early drinks at home. If you’re still up to hit the town after that, check out the happy hours in the area.


cost of travel to Croatia

Croatia is full of the most wonderful attractions including the most incredible national parks . Many can be visited as part of a tour or on your own. Hotspots are ranging in pricing from absolutely free to quite expensive. Popular tourist destinations like Plitvice Lakes National Park are a bit pricy in summer–the park (famous for its incredible waterfalls) will set you back $45 USD per person from June-September.

Some of the cheapest include parks like Paklenica National Park for about $3. Other excursions, like boat rides to the blue caves, can cost as much as $130-150 USD or more.

Using the city of Dubrovnik as an example: a tour of the city walls will cost around $10 USD admission. The museum of the Rector’s Palace is a little less at $6 USD.

As we already mentioned, you don’t have to pay to get in everywhere. Beaches, town squares, many churches, and parks are free to visit.

Here are a few pointers on how to save money on attractions:

  • It may sound odd but pay in kuna when given the choice. Paying in Euros means giving a sneaky little extra, which can be avoided by just sticking to the local currency.
  • Do some research on everything that’s free in your area. Stick to the free attractions and keep the money in your bank account.
  • Look at official websites for a discount or free days. Some museums, for example, have free days on certain days of the month.

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Unexpected expenses can come up at any time, unfortunately, so being prepared is important when setting up your travel budget. Nobody likes to think abo0ut an emergency, but it’s better to be safe than sorry.

is croatia expensive to visit

Set aside a portion of your budget to plan for “surprises”. A worst-case scenario would be a medical emergency – paying for a trip to the hospital shouldn’t cause a panic over how to afford dinner later, or even worse, how to get back home.

There’s also the unexpected must-have gift that you really need to bring back to your aunt. Doesn’t matter what comes up, better to have some funds in reserve – just in case.

Tipping in Croatia

As a rule of thumb, a decent restaurant service deserves a 10% tip. It’s pretty much the standard across Croatia. You can push that up to 15% if you’re really impressed with the service. Rounding up to the bill won’t hurt your wallet, but it’ll surely put a smile on someones face.

A $1-$2 USD tip is appreciated by a porter at your hotel. Carrying your bags can be a bit of work. Other than that, you can round up to tell a street vendor to “keep the change”, if you like, though it’s not expected.

As far as taxis go, no more than a rounded-up amount is expected, unless you’ve taken a long intercity ride. Then it’s ok to leave a normal tip.

Get Travel Insurance for Croatia

ALWAYS sort out your backpacker insurance before your trip. There’s plenty to choose from in that department, but a good place to start is Safety Wing .

They offer month-to-month payments, no lock-in contracts, and require absolutely no itineraries: that’s the exact kind of insurance long-term travellers and digital nomads need.

travel croatia cheap

SafetyWing is cheap, easy, and admin-free: just sign up lickety-split so you can get back to it!

Click the button below to learn more about SafetyWing’s setup or read our insider review for the full tasty scoop.

Still not quite sure how to backpack through Croatia on a budget? Here are a couple of things to try:

  • Walk when you can : Chances are you’ll be in a city or town that is wonderful to walk around. Go on and get some fresh air!
  • Book ahead : Sometimes you can save a pretty penny by booking ahead. Tickets to theaters, museums, and other attractions do offer rewards for booking in advance.
  • Happy hours and 2-for-1 : Almost every bar or restaurant has a time of the day or week for a particular special. Ask your local desk or consult the local web guide for advice.
  • Carry a water bottle : Don’t waste money on plastic, or bottled waters carry your own and refill it in the fountains and the tap. If you’re worried about potable water, get a filtered bottle, like the GRAYL , which filters out 99% of viruses and bacteria.
  • Earn money while you travel : Teaching English while traveling is a great way to make ends meet! If you find a sweet gig, you may even end up living in Croatia.
  • Become a volunteer with Worldpackers : Give back to the local community and, in exchange, you’re room and board will often be covered. It’s not always free, but it’s still a cheap way to travel in Croatia.

Here’s a general observation: In Croatia, the cost of travel tends to be more expensive in the high tourist season (summer) than in the off-seasons. Depending on where you’re flying from, flight costs may differ quite a lot.

If you’re able to visit in the low season, you’ll find Croatia travel costs affordable in terms of accommodation, food, and entertainment. Balance your budget with smart decisions like shopping for food at a market, or eating street food rather than at an expensive restaurant on the main street.

Use the bus – it’s a lot cheaper than taxis or car rentals. And enjoy the walkable towns and cities on foot whenever you can.

It may be overly optimistic to call Croatia a cheap vacation, but it’s not the most expensive, either. With that in mind, you should be able to visit with a reasonably-sized wallet and see quite a bit of the country. Croatia on a budget is totally possible.

What we think an average Croatia travel budget should be: $50-$100 USD per day .

cost of a trip to croatia

Updated February 2023

travel croatia cheap

Agness and Cez

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Being in Croatia right now, I can tell you, that the prices you mentioned are pretty different now. A coke at a restaurant is 3,5 euros (about 4 USD). A pizza is about 12 USD. Car rental is about 45 USD a day + insurance and gas. Meat, cold cuts and vegetables at the supermarket is cheap though, and you can get a good homemade meal for a fraction of the cost at a restaurant. Meat is about 5 usd a pound. Vegetables are about 1 usd a pound. Cold cuts vary, but a cheese, sausages and dried ham is between 6-12 usd a pound. A big bottle of coke (2 liters) is 3 usd. And a 2 liter (cheap beer) is 5 usd. Buying at the supermarket is by far the cheapest solution. Marketplaces will rip you of. If you’re not planning to do your own cooking, expect to use as much as you would in the world’s most expensive countries… And I know what I’m talking about, as I’m danish. Prices are literally the same as in Denmark, if you don’t cook yourself.

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  • Travel Planning Guide

Croatia Travel Budget - Visit Croatia on a Budget or Travel in Style

  • Croatia Costs


  • Is Croatia Expensive?
  • How much does a trip to Croatia cost?
  • Plitvice Lakes National Park
  • Croatia Hotel Prices
  • Croatia Cities: Hotel Prices by City
  • Best Party Hotels in Croatia
  • Best Hotels for One Week in Croatia
  • Best Adults Only Hotels in Croatia
  • Best Family-Friendly Hotels in Croatia
  • Best Business Hotels in Croatia
  • Best Hotels for a Weekend Getaway in Croatia
  • Best Romantic Hotels for Couples in Croatia
  • Best Hotels for First Time Visitors in Croatia
  • Best Hotels for One Night in Croatia
  • Best Pet-Friendly Hotels in Croatia
  • Best Hotels for Scuba Diving in Croatia
  • Best Hotels for Skiing in Croatia
  • Best Beach Hotels in Croatia
  • Best Cheap Hotels in Croatia
  • Best Luxury Hotels in Croatia
  • Hostel Prices & Reviews
  • Croatia Tour Prices
  • The Best Family-Friendly Tours to Croatia
  • The Best Hiking & Trekking Tours in Croatia
  • The Best Historical Tours in Croatia
  • The Best 10-Day Tours in Croatia
  • The Best One Week (7-Day) Tours in Croatia
  • The Best 2-Week Tours in Croatia
  • The Best Bicycle Tours in Croatia
  • Tours for Outdoor and Nature Lovers in Croatia
  • The Best Christmas & New Years Tours in Croatia
  • The Best Coach Bus Tours in Croatia
  • The Best Adventure Tours to Croatia
  • The Best Eco Tours in Croatia
  • The Best Cruise Tours and Packages in Croatia
  • The Best Sightseeing Tours in Croatia
  • The Best Cultural Tours in Croatia
  • The Best Romantic Tours for Couples in Croatia
  • The Best Self Drive Tours in Croatia
  • The Best Walking Tours in Croatia
  • The Best Honeymoon Tours in Croatia
  • The Best Tours Under $1000 in Croatia
  • The Best Luxury Tours to Croatia
  • The Best Budget Tours to Croatia
  • The Best Tours for Seniors to Croatia
  • The Best G Adventures Tours to Croatia
  • How much does it cost to travel to Croatia? (Average Daily Cost)
  • Croatia trip costs: one week, two weeks, one month

How much do package tours cost in Croatia?

Is croatia expensive to visit.

  • How much do I need for a trip to Croatia?
  • Accommodation, Food, Entertainment, and Transportation Costs
  • Travel Guide

How much does it cost to travel to Croatia?

You should plan to spend around $103 (kn721) per day on your vacation in Croatia. This is the average daily price based on the expenses of other visitors.

Past travelers have spent, on average for one day:

  • $31 (kn219) on meals
  • $13 (kn92) on local transportation
  • $105 (kn738) on hotels

A one week trip to Croatia for two people costs, on average, $1,439 (kn10,097) . This includes accommodation, food, local transportation, and sightseeing.

All of these average travel prices have been collected from other travelers to help you plan your own travel budget.

  • Travel Style: All Budget (Cheap) Mid-Range Luxury (High-End)
  • Average Daily Cost Per person, per day $ 103 kn 721
  • One Week Per person $ 719 kn 5,049
  • 2 Weeks Per person $ 1,439 kn 10,097
  • One Month Per person $ 3,083 kn 21,637
  • One Week For a couple $ 1,439 kn 10,097
  • 2 Weeks For a couple $ 2,877 kn 20,194
  • One Month For a couple $ 6,166 kn 43,273

How much does a one week, two week, or one month trip to Croatia cost?

A one week trip to Croatia usually costs around $719 (kn5,049) for one person and $1,439 (kn10,097) for two people. This includes accommodation, food, local transportation, and sightseeing.

A two week trip to Croatia on average costs around $1,439 (kn10,097) for one person and $2,877 (kn20,194) for two people. This cost includes accommodation, food, local transportation, and sightseeing.

Please note, prices can vary based on your travel style, speed, and other variables. If you're traveling as a family of three or four people, the price per person often goes down because kid's tickets are cheaper and hotel rooms can be shared. If you travel slower over a longer period of time then your daily budget will also go down. Two people traveling together for one month in Croatia will often have a lower daily budget per person than one person traveling alone for one week.

A one month trip to Croatia on average costs around $3,083 (kn21,637) for one person and $6,166 (kn43,273) for two people. The more places you visit, the higher the daily price will become due to increased transportation costs.

Organized tours are usually more expensive than independent travel, but offer convenience and peace of mind that your trip has been planned by a travel expert.

The average price for an organized tour package in Croatia is $231 per day. While every tour varies by total price, length, number of destinations, and quality, this is the daily average price based on our analysis of available guided tours.

  • Bike Split North Traditional Ensuite 8 Days - 14 Destinations $ 644
  • A Taste of Croatia with Coastal Cruise 14 Days - 13 Destinations $ 5,180

Independent Travel

Traveling Independently has many benefits including affordabilty, freedom, flexibility, and the opportunity to control your own experiences.

All of the travel costs below are based on the experiences of other independent travelers.

Croatia is a moderately priced destination to visit. It's about average with most other countries for travel costs. The prices for food, accommodation, and transportation are all fairly reasonable.

Within Europe, which is known to be an expensive region, Croatia is moderately priced compared to the other countries. The overall cost of travel here is comparable to Norway or Estonia.

For more details, see Is Croatia Expensive?

How much money do I need for a trip to Croatia?

The average Croatia trip cost is broken down by category here for independent travelers. All of these Croatia travel prices are calculated from the budgets of real travelers.

Accommodation Budget in Croatia

Average daily costs.

Calculated from travelers like you

The average price paid for one person for accommodation in Croatia is $53 (kn369). For two people sharing a typical double-occupancy hotel room, the average price paid for a hotel room in Croatia is $105 (kn738). This cost is from the reported spending of actual travelers.

  • Accommodation 1 Hotel or hostel for one person $ 53 kn 369
  • Accommodation 1 Typical double-occupancy room $ 105 kn 738

Hotel Prices in Croatia

Looking for a hotel in Croatia? Prices vary by location, date, season, and the level of luxury. See below for options.


Find the best hotel for your travel style.

Actual Hotel Prices The average hotel room price in Croatia based on data provided by Kayak for actual hotel rooms is $80. (Prices in U.S. Dollars, before taxes & fees.)

Kayak helps you find the best prices for hotels, flights, and rental cars for destinations around the world.

Recommended Properties

  • Eko house Lidija Budget Hotel - Kayak $ 132
  • Hotel Mozart Opatija Luxury Hotel - Kayak $ 100

Local Transportation Budget in Croatia

The cost of a taxi ride in Croatia is significantly more than public transportation. On average, past travelers have spent $13 (kn92) per person, per day, on local transportation in Croatia.

  • Local Transportation 1 Taxis, local buses, subway, etc. $ 13 kn 92

Recommended Services

  • Private Transfer from Split to Dubrovnik with Mostar Town Viator $ 95
  • Private Transfer Dubrovnik Airport to Accommodation in Dubrovnik Viator $ 65

What did other people spend on Local Transportation?

Typical prices for Local Transportation in Croatia are listed below. These actual costs are from real travelers and can give you an idea of the Local Transportation prices in Croatia, but your costs will vary based on your travel style and the place where the purchase was made.

  • Bus Around Town kn 11

Food Budget in Croatia

While meal prices in Croatia can vary, the average cost of food in Croatia is $31 (kn219) per day. Based on the spending habits of previous travelers, when dining out an average meal in Croatia should cost around $12 (kn88) per person. Breakfast prices are usually a little cheaper than lunch or dinner. The price of food in sit-down restaurants in Croatia is often higher than fast food prices or street food prices.

  • Food 2 Meals for one day $ 31 kn 219


  • Culinary Experience – Cooking Class & Walking Tour Split Viator $ 251
  • Walking Vegan Food Tour of Split Viator $ 120

What did other people spend on Food?

Typical prices for Food in Croatia are listed below. These actual costs are from real travelers and can give you an idea of the Food prices in Croatia, but your costs will vary based on your travel style and the place where the purchase was made.

  • Seafood Dinner (for 2) kn 218

Entertainment Budget in Croatia

Entertainment and activities in Croatia typically cost an average of $14 (kn98) per person, per day based on the spending of previous travelers. This includes fees paid for admission tickets to museums and attractions, day tours, and other sightseeing expenses.

  • Entertainment 1 Entrance tickets, shows, etc. $ 14 kn 98

Recommended Activities

  • Adrenaline Quad Safari Tour Viator $ 93
  • Private Walk & Storytelling Tour in Split Viator $ 153

What did other people spend on Entertainment?

Typical prices for Entertainment in Croatia are listed below. These actual costs are from real travelers and can give you an idea of the Entertainment prices in Croatia, but your costs will vary based on your travel style and the place where the purchase was made.

  • Dubrovnik Cable Car (for 2) kn 340
  • Dubrovnik City Wall Tour (for 2) kn 400
  • Boat to Lokrum Island (for 2) kn 100

Tips and Handouts Budget in Croatia

The average cost for Tips and Handouts in Croatia is $0.73 (kn5.14) per day. The usual amount for a tip in Croatia is 5% - 15% .

  • Tips and Handouts 1 For guides or service providers $ 0.73 kn 5.14

Alcohol Budget in Croatia

The average person spends about $12 (kn84) on alcoholic beverages in Croatia per day. The more you spend on alcohol, the more fun you might be having despite your higher budget.

  • Alcohol 2 Drinks for one day $ 12 kn 84
  • Korcula Bike & Wine Tour Viator $ 112
  • "The Eye Of The Earth" with wine tasting Viator $ 109

Water Budget in Croatia

On average, people spend $1.89 (kn13) on bottled water in Croatia per day. The public water in Croatia is considered safe to drink.

  • Water 2 Bottled water for one day $ 1.89 kn 13

Related Articles

Croatia on a budget.


At A Glance

  • If you're traveling to Croatia from elsewhere in Europe, you'll find some great discount flight options into cities like Dubrovnik. Check regional airlines to make sure you're getting the best deal. If you're traveling from a nearby country and are coming by land, then there's a great bus network that will take you to almost any city within the country. This is easily the cheapest way to travel and is generally smooth and reliable.
  • If you're hoping to do a little island hoping while you're in the area, then ferries are usually the cheapest and most convenient way to get around. They can move a little slow at times, but they offer excellent views of the coast line and can make for an enjoyable trip. Jadrolinija is the largest ferry company with the greatest number of connections, but there are also international routes that are available through Blue Line International.
  • Internet access is widely available throughout the country. In the larger cities there are plenty of internet cafes that offer cheap access to high speed internet. Many hotels also offer wireless internet access to their guests, sometimes for an additional fee. Inquire before you make a reservation or at the time of check in if this is something you're interested in.
  • Many people choose to spend all of their time in Croatia along the coast. It's easy to see why many people are drawn to these areas, but if you're hoping to experience more of the country then head inland to see some of the more diverse natural beauty that the country has to offer. Towns and cities that are not on the coast are often cheaper as well, so you'll find you can stretch your money a little farther if you decide to diversify.
  • Many people do a highlights tour of the country and visit little more than Dubrovnik and Split. If time allows, try to explore some of the less popular areas so you can get a true feel for what the country has to offer.

Top Tourist Attractions

Popular foods, more related articles.

We've been gathering travel costs from tens of thousands of actual travelers since 2010, and we use the data to calculate average daily travel costs for destinations around the world. We also systematically analyze the prices of hotels, hostels, and tours from travel providers such as Kayak, HostelWorld, TourRadar, Viator, and others. This combination of expenses from actual travelers, combined with pricing data from major travel companies, gives us a uniqe insight into the overall cost of travel for thousands of cities in countries around the world. You can see more here: How it Works .

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Is Croatia Expensive to Visit in 2024? (Local’s Guide)

Wondering is Croatia expensive to visit? You’ve just landed on the ultimate guide to Croatia travel costs.

I’ve been living in Croatia full time since 2014 , traveling up and down the country extensively and have gotten to know the prices in each region pretty well.

Plus, having welcomed friends and family from all corners of the globe, I’ve seen firsthand how different people perceive the cost of travel in Croatia . They bring a fresh perspective to my home country, showing me what might catch visitors off guard or put a smile on their faces when it comes to expenses.

In this guide, I’ll provide you with my honest and up-to-date opinion on whether or not Croatia is expensive for travelers . We’ll cover everything from the current prices of accommodation, transportation, dining, activities, and entertainment.

When I’m not exploring Croatia, I’m a world traveler at heart, always on the hunt for flight deals, comparing hotel rates, and evaluating the general costs of adventuring in different places.

So I’ll also share s ome of my best tips on how you can save money and stretch your Croatia travel budget even further. Now let’s get into the details of how much it costs to visit Croatia.

Woman walking down the stone steps of Korcula island in Croatia

Table of Contents 👇

Is Croatia Cheap or is it Expensive?

Asking how expensive is Croatia is kind of like asking how long is a piece of string ?

There are too many variables to be able to give an exact answer to this question. Everyone has their own travel style, travel budget, and personal preferences when it comes to the type of vacation they want.

To set the record straight , Croatia is no longer the under-the-radar travel destination it once was. The beautiful country’s stunning islands, crystal-clear waters, and medieval towns are becoming more and more popular with travelers from all over the world. As a result, prices have increased over the years.

Croatia is not a budget destination .

But prices in Croatia aren’t one-size-fits-all either. Prices vary widely depending on several factors, such as your location within the country, the time of year, and your transportation choices.

In popular tourist destinations like Hvar and Dubrovnik, you might find that costs are on par with other well-known Mediterranean destinations like Greece and Italy .

That said, the aim of this post is to offer a clear picture of what you can expect cost-wise when traveling in Croatia. I’ll share my personal insights to help you determine whether or not Croatia aligns with your budget.

Additionally, I’ll include some practical tips so that you can make the most of their trip without overspending.

A view of the town of Cavtat at dusk featuring buildings with orange tiled rooftops crowded onto the waterfront with imposing mountains in the background.

Money in Croatia

Before we get into the details of Croatia prices, you should know that Croatia joined the Euro on January 1, 2023. This means that the official currency of Croatia is the Euro .

Croatia has long been a cash based society, but since I moved here in 2014, the country has made great progress toward accepting cards at many locations. Most restaurants and stores will accept cards, while the majority of cafes, bakeries, ice cream shops and markets are cash-only.

I recommend having at least some cash (in smaller bills) on you at all times for situations where you can’t use your credit or debit card.

When traveling to Croatia, make sure you have a credit card with no foreign transaction fees . I have a favorite travel credit card that has been in my wallet for 4 years and has never let me down in any country. Plus, by using it, you get points back which you can later redeem for free travel like airfare and hotel stays.

You’ll also want to have a reliable travel debit card. I use Revolut , a prepaid  debit card that allows you to withdraw cash abroad without incurring excessive transaction fees. With Revolut, you can also manage and hold up to  29 different currencies .

When withdrawing cash in Croatia, only use ATM machines that are from legitimate banks. Erste, PBZ, Zagrebačka Banka, OTP, Raiffeisen, and Addiko Bank are all reliable and have offices in Croatia. Avoid using no-name ATMs or ones that say “Euronet” on them as they charge high fees.

Croatia Trip Cost Guide

Accommodation prices in croatia.

Figuring out your accommodation costs is a major part of your travel budget when visiting Croatia. Hotels in Croatia are slightly cheaper (if at all) than other major destinations in Western Europe.

Seasonality plays a big role in pricing. In general, accommodation prices tend to be higher along the coast during peak season from June to August and lower in the off-season months (November to March).

Split and Dubrovnik are the two most expensive coastal cities, while towns that are inland tend to be more affordable year-round. The most affordable major city in Croatia is Zagreb, with plenty of awesome places to stay .

There are numerous accommodation options in all areas of Croatia, ranging from budget-friendly hostels to quaint B&Bs to luxury boutique properties and even some larger hotel chains.

A view of Kempinski Hotel in Savudrija in northwestern Croatia. The photo was shot with the camera level with the outdoor swimming pool looking up at the hotel featuring tones of cream and blue.

Luxury Hotel Prices in Croatia If you’re looking to splurge, prices start around €150 per night and can go up substantially from there. Luxury hotels often come with a range of amenities like spas, gourmet dining, and spectacular views, making the higher price tag worth it for those looking to indulge. To get an idea of what these might cost you, check out these gorgeous beach hotels in Split or these amazing hotels in Dubrovnik with pools .

Budget to Mid-Range Hotel Prices in Croatia If you’re looking to stay at a budget to mid-range hotel, expect prices to be between €60 and €90 per night depending on the city you’re visiting. These hotels often provide a simple, yet comfortable, stay and are a solid choice for travelers who are looking for a good value.

Booking is the best site to use. It is the most popular accommodation booking platform in Croatia and has the most options.

Hostel Prices in Croatia Almost every major tourist destination in Croatia will have a selection of hostels. For instance, a bed in a 12-bed mixed dorm in Dubrovnik will set you back around €35 per night if you’re planning to visit in September. This can be a great way to save money and meet other travelers.

Many hostels also have private rooms available (some even with their own private bathrooms), so if the the thought of staying with many other travelers isn’t your style, you still have the option to rent a comfortable room without having to stay in an expensive hotel.

HostelWorld is the best place to look for hostels in Croatia as they tend to have the most listings and the lowest prices.

Airbnb Prices in Croatia Airbnbs are a good option to experience local life, and there are some really unique Airbnbs in Croatia . However, they tend to be around the same price as the majority of private apartments and hotels listed on Booking.

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Transportation Prices in Croatia

Bus prices in croatia.

If you’re planning to hop between multiple destinations on your Croatian journey—which, let’s be honest, you probably are—then a reliable mode of transportation is a must.

In major cities like Zagreb, Split, and Dubrovnik, public transportation is relatively affordable. For instance, the price for a 30-minute ride on a public bus or tram in Zagreb will only set you back €0.53.

When it comes to connecting different cities, the train network in Croatia is limited, so buses are often your best bet. Croatian coach buses are usually well-maintained, comfortable, and come equipped with air conditioning to keep you cool on those hot summer days.

Some companies like FlixBus even offer wifi on board.

If you’re embarking on longer journeys between cities, there’s an added convenience: by law, buses are required to stop every 2 to 2.5 hours. This gives you a welcome opportunity to stretch your legs, make use of restroom facilities, and grab some snacks.

I recommend purchasing tickets online, especially if you are traveling during peak season, as certain routes can sell out quickly. FlixBus is my go-to option as they have newer buses and their journeys tend to be the fastest.

Car Rental Prices in Croatia

If it’s in your budget, I’d wholeheartedly recommend renting a car while you’re in Croatia. Trust me, having your own set of wheels will take your experience to a whole new level. Not only does it give you the freedom to explore more off the beaten path locations in Croatia that public transport can’t easily reach, but it also makes planning day trips a breeze.

You’re not tied to bus schedules or an organized tour, which means you can come and go as you please, even making impromptu detours to charming villages or secluded beaches you just learned about. In short, renting a car makes travel through Croatia much more spontaneous and exciting! I recommend using Discover Cars for the best rental car prices as they check both local and international providers to ensure you get the best rate.

A view of a Croatian car ferry, Jadrolinija, cruising through the blue Adriatic Sea. The foreground of the photo is slightly blurred, but rocky terrain with some greenery can be made out.

Ferry Prices in Croatia

Plan to do some island hopping in Croatia? You’ll need to take a ferry (or two). Most major islands like Hvar , Korcula, and Brac can be reached by ferries departing from Split or Dubrovnik.

There are a number of different companies offering ferry services, and the price will vary depending on your route, destination, and time of year. Foot passenger ferries, also called catamarans, offer fast and affordable service to the islands starting from around €10 per person for a one way ticket.

If you plan to take a car to the islands, you will need to take a car ferry, which will add to the price of your ticket. The price of a car ferry from Split to Hvar starts at around €45 per journey for a vehicle up to 5 meters in length. Of course, the larger the vehicle and the longer the journey, the more expensive the ticket will be.

I like to use Ferryhopper to book my tickets in advance to ensure I have a spot on the ferry. Their site makes it easy to compare prices between different ferry routes and companies, so you know you’re getting the best deal.

Croatia Island Hopping Guidebook

Visiting Croatia’s islands? D ownload the Croatia Island Hopping Guidebook !

Food Prices in Croatia

Now that we’ve covered accommodation and transportation, the next thing you’re probably wondering is how much is food in Croatia?

When it comes to the average cost of eating out in Croatia , you’ll be happy to know that there is a good mix of dining options available, from simple fast-food spots to upscale restaurants.

If you’re into fine dining, you’ll find Michelin-starred restaurants in Zagreb , Dubrovnik, and Rovinj. These places are perfect for those special nights when you want to treat yourself.

So is Croatia expensive to eat out? Yes and no. While there are plenty of expensive restaurants, you can certainly eat well in Croatia without spending a lot (and you don’t have to compromise on quality or authenticity).

The golden rule here is to steer clear of tourist traps. That restaurant right on the water or next to the main square? They might offer pretty views, but often at a price that’s several times higher than it needs to be.

Venture just a little outside the immediate city center, away from the tourist hustle, and you’ll discover family-run restaurants offering tasty local dishes at budget-friendly prices. Follow this strategy, and you can comfortably keep your main meal budget between €15 and €20.

If you’re looking to stretch your Euros even further, you might want to consider renting an apartment with a kitchen.

Cooking your own meals can significantly cut down on expenses, and instead, you can use that extra money for activities and souvenirs. Alternatively, you can choose a place to stay that has breakfast included in the room rate. That way, you’ve got at least one meal covered for the day.

Two wood fired Croatian pizzas on a table

Activity Prices in Croatia

Croatia has a lot to offer when it comes to activities, and the good news is you don’t have to spend a fortune to have a good time.

You can easily enjoy free activities like swimming at the beach, wandering through the Old Town, or hiking. Some cities like Zagreb even offer free walking tours (do keep in mind that you are expected to leave a tip at the end of these tours though).

However, if you’re interested in tours or specific attractions, you’ll have to budget for those.

Museum tickets are usually pretty affordable, sometimes as low as €5.

But if you want to walk the walls of Dubrovnik , know that it’s a bit pricier at €35 per person. While it’s not cheap, the fee helps preserve the city walls, and honestly, the experience is worth every penny if you’re visiting Dubrovnik.

Boat trips from Split and other coastal destinations are another popular activity, especially if you want to explore Croatia’s islands and snorkeling spots. These excursions aren’t budget-friendly, though, starting at around €50 per person and can climb to €100 or more, depending on the specifics of the trip.

Croatia’s national parks are also major draws, but tickets for national parks like Krka or Plitvice Lakes can be pricey. For example, entry to Plitvice Lakes National Park during the high season will cost about €40 per person. If you’re thinking of taking a guided tour from Split to Plitvice, expect to shell out around €70.

Let’s not forget about Croatia’s wineries , many of which offer free tastings. You can take a tour to visit these, but if you have a rental car, it’s totally possible to do it on your own. Just remember, it’s generally expected that you’ll buy a bottle to thank them for their hospitality.

It’s worth noting that some attractions offer discounts for students or seniors, so if you fall into either of those categories, make sure to ask and present a valid ID to score those savings!

Woman in a black and orange patterned dress walking along a cobblestone alleyway within Dubrovnik Old Town, with high stone walls and a vintage street lamp adding to the historic charm of the setting.

Entertainment Prices in Croatia

When calculating the overall cost of your trip to Croatia, don’t forget to account for entertainment.

If your plans include drinking in Croatia and experiencing the world-famous nightlife scene in places like Hvar or Dubrovnik, be prepared to spend a bit. Many clubs have an entrance fee, and drinks are an additional cost once you’re inside.

If you want to go on a booze cruise in Split , for example, those tours typically include a free drink or two in the price of the ticket so you could save some money there.

But if clubbing isn’t really your thing, there are more laid-back options that won’t break the bank.

Enjoying a glass of wine or a cold beer at a cozy seaside bar can be pretty affordable. Alcohol prices in Croatia vary depending on your location. For instance, a specialty cocktail at a fancy bar in Hvar Town might set you back between €10 and €15, but a basic drink at a regular cafe bar is more like €5 to €7.

And if you’re a fan of local brews or wines, you’re in luck. A glass of Croatian house wine generally costs around €4 or €5 at a bar, while the price of a beer in Croatia is around €3 for a local brew like Ožujsko or Karlovačko.

Close-up of a hand holding a glass of white wine against a sunset backdrop, with the sun casting a warm glow through the glass, over a tranquil sea and landscape horizon.

Traveling Croatia on a Budget: How to Save Money

Just like anywhere else in the world, if you’re smart about your spending and do a bit of extra legwork, it is totally possible to travel to Croatia and have an amazing time without draining your bank account. Here are some of my best money-saving tips for traveling to Croatia.

How to Save Money on Flights to and From Croatia

Skyscanner is my go-to when it comes to finding the best flight deals because they show prices for both regular airlines and low-cost carriers (which may be an option for you depending on where you’re flying in from). You can also search the entire month to find the cheapest dates to fly.

How to Save Money on Accommodation in Croatia

Hostelworld : Like I mentioned earlier in this post, most major cities in Croatia have hostels that you can stay in. Hostelworld is the best platform to find budget-friendly dorm rooms and even private rooms. Plus, they’re a great place to meet other travelers and make friends while visiting Croatia.

Couchsurfing : For the truly adventurous traveler, Couchsurfing offers free stays with locals. Now, I have not personally used this, but my cousin swears by it and she’s Couchsurfed all over Europe! It’s worth looking into if you’re on a shoestring budget.

TrustedHousesitters : This is one I actually recently signed up for thanks to a recommendation from a friend, and I’m really excited to try it! Basically, this service allows you to stay in someone’s home while they’re away, in exchange for taking care of their pets. I think this will be a great option if you’re looking to stay in a place longer and really get a feel for what it’s like to live there.

How to Save Money on Transportation in Croatia

Blabla car : Blabla car is a ride-sharing platform that is actually quite popular among locals in Croatia. The way it works is you just download the app, put in your location and the destination you’re going to, and if someone is driving that route, they pick you up and you travel together (sharing the cost of the journey).

Travel by bus : If you don’t want to share a ride, FlixBus is the next best way to travel cheaply in Croatia. They have an excellent selection of routes and frequent departures so you can easily get anywhere you want to go at an affordable price.

How to Save Money on Roaming Fees

Airalo : This is a must if you want to stay connected without racking up a huge roaming bill while traveling. Airalo offers eSIM cards that you can use to access affordable mobile data in Croatia (plus over 200 other countries).

I’ve used it in Croatia, Turkey, Thailand, Malaysia, Vietnam, Singapore, and the USA, and I can vouch for its reliability when making international calls and affordability. I recommend downloading it and setting up your plan while still in your home country so that you can have data as soon as you touch down in Croatia.

A view of Dubrovnik's orange rooftops from an old stone window in the city walls.

How Much Money to Take to Croatia

How much money to take to Croatia for 7 days?

It really depends on your travel preferences and spending habits. Generally speaking, a moderate budget could be around €1000 to €1500 for a week . This would include accommodation, meals, some activities, and a bit of entertainment.

If you’re looking to save, you could potentially manage to get by on €500 for the week, but you would need to stay in hostels, eat cheaply, forgo any day trips, and be very mindful of your budget.

A Real-World Example For some perspective, I recently visited Mljet Island in August of 2023 and spent €700 for a 4-day trip for two people.

This included our transportation costs, staying at a mid-range Airbnb (you can check out where we stayed here ), dining at moderate restaurants (we also cooked a few meals at our accommodation), and entrance fees for the national park.

This is a very realistic average budget if you’re looking to enjoy Croatia without going to extremes, either by pinching pennies or by overspending.

Croatia Vacation Budget Calculator

Why is croatia so expensive.

Croatia has gained popularity as a tourist destination thanks to the filming of movies and shows (like Game of Thrones). This has contributed to the increase in prices, especially in hotspots like Dubrovnik and Hvar.

Is Croatia cheaper than Italy?

Generally, yes. Meals, accommodations, and attractions tend to be more affordable in Croatia than in Italy, although the gap is closing. See more comparisons between the two in this post about Italy vs Croatia .

Is Croatia cheaper than Greece?

It’s a bit of a toss-up. In popular areas like Dubrovnik and Hvar, prices can rival those in Greece. But overall, you might find Croatia slightly cheaper, depending on where you go and what you do. See more comparisons between the two in this post about Greece vs Croatia .

Is Croatia affordable to travel to?

Affordability can be subjective, but generally speaking, Croatia can be affordable if you plan wisely. Budget options exist alongside more luxurious ones.

How much does a meal cost in Croatia?

A meal at a mid-range restaurant in Croatia can cost between 15 and 20 euros. If you’re trying to save money, stay away from touristy spots and do some extra research to find more affordable options.

Is Croatia expensive to eat and drink?

It can be if you dine in touristy areas. However, affordable options exist, especially if you venture away from the hotspots. A quick search on Google or short walk away from the center of town will likely lead you to a spot that serves tasty Croatian food at reasonable prices.

How much money do you need in Croatia for a week?

It depends on your travel style and spending habits, but a moderate budget could range from €1000 to €1500 for a week for accommodation, meals, entertainment, and some activities. If you’re on a backpacker budget, it’s possible to visit the country for about €500 a week.

Is 500 enough for a week in Croatia?

It’s possible, but tight. You would have to stay in hostels, eat cheaply, and limit paid activities in order to travel Croatia on €500 a week.

How much will I need per day in Croatia?

A moderate, realistic budget for two people in Croatia is around €175 to €200 per day. This includes good, mid-range accommodation, meals, transportation, and a few activities or sightseeing tickets.

The Verdict: Is Croatia Expensive to Visit?

So, after all is said and done, how does the cost of a trip to Croatia measure up? The answer really is subjective.

Like in many travel scenarios, your Croatia trip cost will depend on what time of year you decide to visit, what locations you base yourself in, what type of accommodation you choose to stay in, where you eat, and how much you want to indulge in activities and entertainment.

It’s true that prices in Croatia after Euro have gone up, and costs can fluctuate in more popular destinations during the high season. Yet, with a bit of planning, you even cross destinations like Dubrovnik and the Pakleni Islands off your bucket list without breaking the bank.

With that said, I hope that this post, along with my real-life examples, were able to give you a general idea of what you might spend in various categories when visiting Croatia. Remember though, these estimates don’t include any extra costs like international flights, travel insurance, or souvenirs.

Whether you’re looking to backpack across the country, splurge on a luxury yacht trip, or find a happy medium, you can absolutely make Croatia work for your budget.

Before you go , make sure you pack all of the right things for your Croatia trip !

You Might Also Like

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  • Is Dubrovnik Expensive? (Complete Guide to Prices in Dubrovnik)
  • 31 Croatia Hidden Gems + Secret Spots (Local’s Guide)
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Do They Speak English in Croatia?

  • How to Say Hello in Croatian
  • Is Zagreb Worth Visiting?
  • Best Airport to Fly Into Croatia
  • The Best 10 Day Croatia Itinerary By a Local
  • Is Dubrovnik Worth Visiting? 15 Reasons You Need to Go

Croatia Travel Planning Guide

💸 What is the currency in Croatia? As of January 1st, 2023, the official currency of Croatia is the Euro and NOT the Kuna (which is also the name of the national animal of Croatia ). 🇭🇷 What language do they speak in Croatia? Croatian is the official language of Croatia . Learn some phrases in Croatian before your trip with the Ling app ! 🚑 Should I buy Croatia travel insurance? 10000% YES – Seriously, don’t leave home without it . You never know what can happen on the road. I like SafetyWing because they provide excellent coverage for as little as $1.50 a day. 📱 Will my phone work in Croatia? Maybe – check with your provider to see if you’ll have service while traveling Croatia. If you don’t have service (or it’s too expensive) I recommend getting an eSIM like Airalo . Airalo allows you to have data while traveling without the high costs of roaming. They have super affordable plans available for 190+ countries, including Croatia. Download the app and get your plan before you leave home so that you have data as soon as you touch down in Croatia! 🏨 What’s the best way to book my Croatia accommodations? For Croatia hotels, Booking is by far the best site. 🛫 What’s the best site to buy Croatia flights? I always use Skyscanner to find the cheapest flights. 🚗  Is it safe to rent a Car in Croatia? Yes! – In fact, renting a car in Croatia is one of the best ways to see the country! I recommend Discover Cars because they check both local and international rental companies to ensure you get the best deal. (Get your Croatia road trip itinerary here ) 💦 Is it safe to drink the water in Croatia? Tap water in Croatia is completely safe to drink , so bring your reusable water bottle and fill up! 🪪 Do I need a visa for Croatia? Depending on where you are coming from you may or may not need a visa to enter Croatia. Check the official Republic of Croatia Ministry of Foreign Affairs website for more information on who should apply for a visa.

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Fueled by her passion for travel and her Croatian heritage, Olivia left the USA in 2014 to study abroad in Croatia where she has been living ever since. She founded Inspired by Croatia to share travel tips, destination guides, and exclusive local insights about the country she now calls home.

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Cost of a Trip to Croatia & the Cheapest Time to Visit Croatia

The average price of a 7-day trip to Croatia is $1,602 for a solo traveler, $2,737 for a couple, and $1,564 for a family of 4 . Croatia hotels range from $44 to $199 per night with an average of $78, while most vacation rentals will cost $160 to $390 per night for the entire home. Average worldwide flight costs to Croatia (from all airports) are between $972 and $1,414 per person for economy flights and $3,052 to $4,440 for first class. Depending on activities, we recommend budgeting $35 to $71 per person per day for transportation and enjoying local restaurants.

See below for average , budget , and luxury trip costs. You can also look up flight costs from your airport for more tailored flight pricing.

The Cheapest Times to Visit Croatia

On average, these will be the cheapest dates to fly to Croatia and stay in a Croatia hotel:

  • January 1st to April 1st
  • May 7th to May 20th
  • October 1st to December 9th

The absolute cheapest time to take a vacation in Croatia is usually late March .

Average Croatia Trip Costs

Average solo traveler.

The average cost for one person to visit Croatia for a week is $1,073-$2,278 ($153-$325 per day)

Food, Travel, and Sightseeing : $35 to $71 per day for one person’s daily expenses

Flights : $498 to $1,277 for economy

Lodging : $55 to $72 per night for one 2 or 3-star hotel room

or $69 to $84 per night for a 1-bed vacation rental

Average Couple’s Trip

The average cost for a couple to visit Croatia for a week is $1,816-$4,044 ($259-$578 per day)

Food, Travel, and Sightseeing : $70 to $141 per day for two people’s daily expenses

Flights : $996 to $2,553 for economy

Average Family Vacation

The average cost for 4 people to visit Croatia for a week is $3,589-$7,938 ($513-$1,134 per day)

Food, Travel, and Sightseeing : $139 to $282 per day for four people’s daily expenses

Flights : $1,992 to $5,106 for economy

Lodging : $111 to $143 per night for two 2 or 3-star hotel rooms

or $104 to $126 per night for a 2-bed vacation rental

Traveling Cheap to Croatia

How cheap can you make a vacation to Croatia? The cheapest trip to Croatia is about $121 per person per day for travelers willing to take standby flights, deal with inconvenience, and otherwise limit travel expenses. About 1% of rentals are available in the $0 to $100 range for an entire place, and vacation rentals can be booked for as low as $16 per night. These inexpensive rentals must be booked as early as possible and may not be in the most desirable areas. 1-star hotels are more likely to be available, with rooms starting at around $38.

Even cheaper trips are possible depending on where you live and whether you can drive. Check the cheapest times to fly for more saving ideas.

Budget Solo Traveler

The lowest cost for one person to visit Croatia for a week is $845-$1,924 ($121-$275 per day)

Food, Travel, and Sightseeing : $17 to $35 per day for one person’s daily expenses

Lodging : $38 to $44 per night for one 1-star hotel room

or $38 to $67 per night for a 1-bed vacation rental

Budget Couple’s Trip

The lowest cost for a couple to visit Croatia for a week is $1,469-$3,438 ($210-$491 per day)

Food, Travel, and Sightseeing : $35 to $69 per day for two people’s daily expenses

Budget Family Vacation

The lowest cost for 4 people to visit Croatia for a week is $2,817-$6,678 ($402-$954 per day)

Food, Travel, and Sightseeing : $69 to $138 per day for four people’s daily expenses

Lodging : $75 to $89 per night for two 1-star hotel rooms

or $57 to $101 per night for a 2-bed vacation rental

Overall it is very possible to travel to Croatia cheaply.

The Cost of a Luxury Croatia Trip

There is no true ceiling on the cost of a luxury trip, so our estimates are based on what most people do in Croatia.

Luxury Solo Traveler

The high-end price for one person to visit Croatia for a week is $2,321-$8,801 ($332-$1,257 per day)

Food, Travel, and Sightseeing : $69 to $141 per day for one person’s daily expenses

Flights : $1,244 to $3,188 for first class

Lodging : $99 to $199 per night for one 4 or 5-star hotel room

or $389 to $771 per night for a preferred vacation rental

Luxury Couple’s Trip

The high-end price for a couple to visit Croatia for a week is $4,049-$12,976 ($578-$1,854 per day)

Food, Travel, and Sightseeing : $138 to $282 per day for two people’s daily expenses

Flights : $2,489 to $6,376 for first class

Luxury Family Vacation

The high-end price for 4 people to visit Croatia for a week is $8,096-$23,642 ($1,157-$3,377 per day)

Food, Travel, and Sightseeing : $275 to $564 per day for four people’s daily expenses

Flights : $4,977 to $12,752 for first class

Lodging : $199 to $399 per night for two 4 or 5-star hotel rooms

or $584 to $1,157 per night for a preferred vacation rental

Croatia Hotel Prices

The cost of staying in Croatia is slightly lower than the average city. On average hotels are less expensive than vacation rentals. Luxury vacation rentals are more expensive in Croatia due to very high property costs. The graphs below show how much cost can vary depending on the type of experience you’re looking for.

Croatia Lodging Cost by Star Status

The average price for the class of hotel is on the (y) axis. The hotel class (out of 5 stars) is on the (x) axis.

Prices are based on Croatia hotel averages and may not reflect current prices. In some cases, we extrapolate prices to estimate costs, and hotels with your desired star rating may not be available.

Vacation Rental Prices

The percent of vacation rentals in the price range is on the left (y) axis. Price range is on the bottom (x) axis.

There are a healthy amount of vacation rentals serving all budgets in Croatia.

Flight Costs to Croatia

Averaging flights around the world, prices go from a high of $1,414 average in mid December to a low of $972 in late March. Median flight price is $1,135. These prices are based on millions of flights. For Croatia our data includes thousands of originating airports, and hundreds of airlines. The area has average variance in price compared with other locations.

Average Flight Cost by Season

Average flight cost by day of week.

The cheapest day to fly in is typically Tuesday, and the cheapest day to fly back is usually Tuesday. Click here to see data for the cost of flights from your airport. In Croatia, the difference between the cheapest and the most expensive week is about $442, so you can easily save about 45% simply by using our free flight guides and booking in advance.

Daily Expenses Budget

Daily vacation expenses vary more based on what you’re interested in doing. A fine dining restaurant with drinks around Croatia can easily cost $260 per person or more, while a standard nice meal might be about $17 per person. Private tours can cost $519 per day, but self-guided tours to see the outdoor sights can be free. Costs vary wildly, so recommendations are made based on the cost of living and averages we see for this type of vacation.

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Croatia Is the Affordable European Destination You Need to Visit

travel croatia cheap

Tourism is on the rise in Croatia and there’s no wonder why.

This beautiful Central European country along the Adriatic Sea was Travel + Leisure’s Reader’s Choice Destination of the Year in 2016 due to its gorgeous beaches, historical points of interest, picturesque national parks, and delicious food.

And frankly, there’s no sign of the country’s popularity waning amongst international travelers after only a few short years.

One of the crowning jewels of Croatia still has to be its Dalmatian Islands, one of the country’s four historical regions known for its pristine beaches, limestone cliffs, crystal clear waters, and beautiful vineyards and olive groves. Chances are if you’re planning a Croatian trip, whether it’s by air or by cruise ship , you’re probably going to stop in this idyllic location.

But Croatia is so much more than just pretty beaches. Plitvice National Park, one of the best national parks in Europe, is also a bucket-list destination for the nature lover or adventure seeker. Throughout the country, foodies, wine connoisseurs, and coffee lovers can find fine food, delectable wine, and strong java to enjoy. And if you’re a history buff or TV addict, many of Croatia’s ancient sites have served as filming locations for the HBO show " Game of Thrones ."

You might think all this beauty, history, and Hollywood appeal might come with a hefty price tag, but arguably the best part about traveling to Croatia is how budget-friendly it is. Because it was part of Yugoslavia until 1991, the country has stayed off the beaten path for many travelers, making it an often over-looked vacation option.

Frankly, if you’re looking for a destination that literally has it all while still saving your wallet, you can’t do better than this sunny Mediterranean spot. But if you’re still not convinced, here are some very good reasons to make Croatia your next holiday.

The Idyllic Beaches

The number one reason to go to Croatia has to be the beaches . If you’ve ever wanted to soak in the sun on the Amalfi Coast but never quite had the budget, beaches along the Dalmatian Islands , the Golden Cape, and coastal cities like Dubrovnik are the perfect alternative.

Plitvice Lakes National Park

Located only two hours from the city of Zagreb, this national park is arguably one of the most beautiful in the world. It’s chock full of lush moss, turquoise lakes, gorgeous canyons, and spectacular waterfalls. It’s also an incredibly walkable park since many of the paths are well-marked and even constructed with wood for easy accessibility.

Aromatic Coffee in Zagreb

Coffee lovers, take note: Zagreb should be on the top of your bucket list when it comes to delicious brews. The capital city is overflowing with craft coffee cafes – and you probably won’t find an overcrowded Starbucks here. Coffee (or in Croatian, “kava”) culture here is all about sitting, sipping, and enjoying rather than getting a quick cup of joe on your way to work.

The Exchange Rate

Did we mention this place was affordable? Many people save up for an expensive Mediterranean vacation, but perhaps budget-conscious travelers should consider what’s on the other side of Italy’s boot – on the Adriatic Sea. While flights to the country can be as expensive as any other in Europe, travel, accommodation, food, and activities within the country are surprisingly cheap thanks to the favorable exchange rate.

There's Delicious Food

Croatian food is both unique and familiar at the same time, making it a foodie paradise. Some of the best dishes are fresh, handmade pasta called fuzi covered in white truffles and butter in Istria, black seafood risotto along the coast, and many other Mediterranean-style foods. Basically, if you’re a fan of Italian cuisine, you’ll also love Croatian food.

One Word: Wine

Speaking of food, no Croatian meal is complete without good wine. Istria is particularly known for its wines, and would-be sommeliers should definitely take advantage of wine trails in Pelješac, Dingač, Plavac Mali, Korčula Island, and throughout the country — many of which are offered through organized tours. According to Essence of Croatia , the country has 64 distinct grape types and more than 800 wineries in the country so you’re guaranteed to find a vino you’ll love.

You Can Pretend to Be in "Game of Thrones"

If you’re a fan of the HBO show "Game of Thrones," visiting Dubrovnik and Split have to be on your bucket list. Most of King’s Landing was shot in these two cities , and you can see many of the areas where iconic scenes took place. You can either put together your own list of sights to see or even take local tours to do some in-depth exploring.

There's Plenty of Adventure

Croatia sounds like a fun and relaxing place, of course, but it’s also the ultimate destination for thrill-seekers. Along with its beautiful beaches and fabulous food, it’s also home to some exciting adventure areas where you can soar on a zip line , or go hiking, biking, climbing, or kayaking in its many national parks.

Centuries of History

According to the UNESCO World Heritage Convention , Croatia is home to eight cultural and two natural UNESCO sites. The country’s ancient heritage rivals that of any other country in the region, so if you’re a history buff you can find many sights to see, tours to take, and intriguing architecture that’s been preserved for hundreds of years, including a first-century Roman amphitheater in the city of Pula in Istria.

Diocletian’s Palace

Perhaps one of Croatia’s most historic and popular sites, this ancient Roman ruin is the ultimate destination for history lovers and "Game of Thrones" superfans. Located in Split, this ancient site was a filming location for the HBO show, but its appeal goes way back. It’s a beautiful send up to Roman architecture with its well-preserved columns and arches, and modern tourists can enjoy some of the city’s nightlife at nearby restaurants and bars when they visit.

The Ston City Wall

The Ston City Wall (located in Ston, of course) is the second-longest city wall in Europe , measuring at 7,000 meters (just under 23,000 feet). The longest wall in Europe is actually Hadrian’s Wall in England. These stone walls protected the city-state of Dubrovnik’s independence for centuries.

People You'll Never Forget

One of the best parts of any destination is meeting new people, and Croatia is known to have some pretty friendly locals. Croatian culture is a melting pot of other different cultures and histories, including Hungarian, Austrian, Venetian, and Mediterranean to name a few. People there are warm, social, and are all about soccer, style, family, and food.

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  • There are loads of types of vacations in Croatia and the cost will depend on what type of trip you’re taking and for how long you’d like to stay. Here are the latest prices for a 3 night trip for 2 travelers: Top vacation $500; Family vacation $458; Romantic vacation $480; Luxury vacation $527; Budget vacation $487.

Why should you book a vacation package to Croatia?

When you add everything up, Croatia can be expensive, but there's a ready made solution. With Croatia vacation packages, you can purchase accommodation, vehicle hire and flights in one transaction, saving money and liberating a few cents here and there to make your trip unforgettable.

When should you book a vacation package to Croatia?

Beach vacations to Croatia are most appealing from May to June and in September and early October. During both periods, the weather will be warm and the crowds won't be as bustling as they can be during high season. Hotel prices should dip dramatically as well.

Where should you stay in Croatia during your vacation?

For any vacation type in croatia:.

Situated in Split, Dalmatia's largest city, the Le Meridien Lav mixes access to a lively city with closeness to some stunning beaches. Blessed with 800 meters of private beach, a tennis academy and water sports center, it has something for everyone. It's also only around 15 miles from Split Airport.

Dubrovnik's Hotel Uvala is suited to families, business travelers and couples, with a central location in one of Europe's most beautiful cities and an enticing aromatherapy and beauty spa on the grounds. Taxis from Dubrovnik Airport take 25 mins.

For family vacations in Croatia:

Split's Hotel Globo is made for families. Close to the ruins of Diocletian's Palace, it occupies a semi-rural spot where outdoor activities abound, so taking the kids out cycling is definitely an option. Airport taxis take 25-30 mins, while the 37 bus takes around an hour.

The Residence in Podstrana is set up to cater for families and larger groups. Located in pine woods on the outskirts of a historic port town, this Dalmatian gem offers family-friendly add-ons like free baby cots and laundry. It's around 30 mins from Split Airport.

For romantic vacations in Croatia:

If you're seeking a boutique hotel for a romantic break in Croatia, the Hotel Adriatic in Rovinj is unbeatable. The setting is gorgeous, while the hotel offers spa treatments and free bike rentals, too. Expect taxis from Pula Airport to take 40 mins or so.

The Valamar Lacroma Dubrovnik is a romantic refuge in a magical city. You can be close to the city's ancient and medieval sights, head to idyllic beaches, and chill out at the on-site spa and restaurants in the evening. And it's only 25 mins from Dubrovnik Airport.

For luxury vacations in Croatia:

Specializing in wellness treatments and all-round pampering, the Hotel Lone in Rovinj should keep luxury travelers happy and totally relaxed. The refined exterior is matched by gorgeous interior design, adding up to a first-rate premium hotel some 35 mins from Pula Airport.

The Hotel Fanat is a fine spot for a luxury beach break in Dalmatia. Located around 25 mins from Split Airport, its rooms feature huge balconies as standard, and the restaurant and spa offer a package of luxury services that elevate it above other Dalmatian options.

For budget vacations in Croatia:

See Dubrovnik for less by booking a room at the Hotel Komodor. Not far from the Old Town, the Komodor has lovingly furnished rooms, reliable internet for all guests to enjoy, an outdoor pool and an excellent restaurant. Taxis from the airport take 25 mins.

Budget travelers will adore the Hotel As in Split. Focusing on getting the all-important basics right, this dependable hotel has a good location, plenty of parking, and a high-quality restaurant. It's also only around 20 mins by car from Split Airport.

Where to stay in Croatia

Croatia vacation information, popular package vacation destinations in croatia.

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Budget Tours & Trips to Croatia

54 cheap croatia tour packages with 353 reviews.

Croatia Sailing Adventure Tour

Sailing Beach Explorer

Croatia Sailing Adventure

"Everything that you would want for your travel ninja. I would travel with Gema 100x more!" Yashomi, traveled in September 2023

PRIVATE - Classic Croatia Tour

In-depth Cultural Family Explorer Sightseeing Historical Christmas & New Year +4

PRIVATE - Classic Croatia

Croatia Sailing Adventure - 8 days Tour

Sailing Active Explorer

Croatia Sailing Adventure - 8 days

"Amazing trip! Beautiful places and great crew." Anna, traveled in August 2022

Classic Croatia: 6 Days Capital to Coast Tour

In-depth Cultural Family Explorer Coach / Bus Sightseeing Historical Christmas & New Year +5

Classic Croatia: 6 Days Capital to Coast

"My wife and I had a fantastic tour of Croatia. The local guides were excellent also." Paul, traveled in June 2023

Croatia Tour

In-depth Cultural Beach Explorer +1

"The destinations were beautiful, and the weekend was really fun." Nina, traveled in May 2018

Walks and Coastal Towns of Croatia Tour

Hiking & Trekking Active Walking Adventure Coastal Walks +2

Walks and Coastal Towns of Croatia

"The waterfalls in Plivice National Park were all chock full and lovely." Patty, traveled in May 2023
  • 10% deposit on some dates

Croatia Sailing Adventure 8D/7N (Dubrovnik to Split) Tour

Sailing Family Explorer

Croatia Sailing Adventure 8D/7N (Dubrovnik to Split)

Sailing Split - 8 days Tour

Sailing Split - 8 days

"Ideal combination of relaxation and fabulous sightseeing." Valerie, traveled in May 2023

Sail Dubrovnik to Split / Premier Boat Tour

Sailing Explorer

Sail Dubrovnik to Split / Premier Boat

"The destinations were varied and I had a thoroughly good time." Jonathan, traveled in August 2018
  • €150 deposit on some dates

Sail Split to Dubrovnik / Premier Boat Tour

Sail Split to Dubrovnik / Premier Boat

"The boat was cool and the captain and other crew were fantastic. Is a boat owner and a sailor myself cover I know that boats in alcohol are a very dangerous combination."

Budget Tours & Trips to Croatia Reviews

Amazing trip, tour guide Dom was sensational, did a very good job at showing us all the landmarks and being an all round good host.
Amazing trip! Beautiful places and great crew
My wife and i had a fantastic tour of Croatia and as it happened it was a private tour, our guide Josip was extremely helpful and knowledgeable of the history of every location from Zagreb to Plitvice Lakes and all the coastal towns down to Split. The local guides were excellent also, we highly recommend this tour and Travel Jaz was a fantastic agent to work with, easy to communicate with, thanks again guys for an awesome experience.

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Croatia Travel Guide: Things To Know Before Traveling To Croatia

Welcome to our Croatia Travel Guide where you will find all the information you need for planning a trip to Croatia.

When I think of Croatia, I associate it with small, safe, sublime, pebbles, islands, sea, and countryside. The country has over a thousand islands , 8 national parks , 11 nature parks, over 6.000 km of coastline, and ten World Heritage sites .

Croatia Travel Guide | 34 Things To Know Before Traveling To Croatia, Illustration

From Paklenica climbing sites , beautiful beaches of central Dalmatia , the great food of Istria , Croatia’s fabulous wines, partying on the islands, and sailing the Adriatic , Croatia has much to offer its visitors.

We’ve dedicated this entire website to this wonderful country. Vera was born and raised in Croatia, and I moved here in 2005. We’ve been traveling around Croatia extensively. And here at our blog, we share the best of Croatia just as we discover it.

Visitors to Croatia can find useful travel tips , in-depth destination guides, things to do , places to stay , and lots of information on Croatian food and restaurants. I also sometimes share my musings on ex-pat life in Croatia .

Table of Contents

Where is Croatia located?

Before moving forward, let’s get the basic facts sorted out. Croatia is located in Europe! It is a Central European and Mediterranean country, bordered by the Adriatic Sea to the west. Croatia shares borders with Italy, Slovenia, Hungary, Serbia, Bosnia & Herzegovina, and Montenegro. It shares The longest land border with Bosnia and the longest sea border with Italy.

Below you will find the location of Croatia on the map.

Where is Croatia located

Do you need a visa?

Most foreign visitors don’t need a visa to enter Croatia, including, but not limited to, EU countries, the UK, the USA, Australia, Canada, and New Zealand.

Foreign citizens of those countries can enter Croatia and stay here for 90 days within 180 days.

Citizens of EU countries can enter Croatia using only their ID cards; all others need to travel with a valid passport to enter Croatia.

If you require a visa to enter Croatia but hold a valid Schengen visa, as well as visas for Cyprus, Romania, and Bulgaria, you don’t need a separate visa for Croatia. You are free to travel to Croatia under the condition of your current visa from the above-mentioned countries.

If you require a visa for Croatia, you can print and fill out the application forms here and submit them along with the requested documents to the Croatian Embassy, Consulate, or an accredited tourist agency.

To apply for a Croatian visa, you’ll need a valid passport issued less than 10 years ago with an expiry date at least three months after the intended departure date from Croatia.

All questions regarding visa you can send via [email protected].

Weather in Croatia

Pag Island, Bridge, Adriatic sea

Croatia has three distinct climates: the continental climate in its interior, the Mediterranean along the coast, and the mountain above 1200 m.

Along the coast, you can expect dry, hot, and sunny summers and mild, although sometimes wet, winters. Weather along the south Adriatic region of Dalmatia is generally drier and sunnier than in the northern Adriatic region of Istria. Daily temperatures can differ up to 5°C (40°F).

Although the average summer temperatures are around 22°C (72°F), in July and August, you can expect over 40 days with daily temperatures of over 30°C (86°F).  Average winter temperatures are around 10°C, with January being the coldest month with daily average temperatures of less than 10°C (50°F).  The average sea temperature varies from 12°C (54°F) in winter to 25°C (77°F) in summer.

Croatia’s interior has a moderate continental climate. Winters are cold and wet, with lots of fog, while summers get hot and dry.  Average winter temperatures are around 4°C (40°F), while the average summer temperature is around 22°C (72°F).

Money in Croatia

Croatian currency.

The Croatian currency is Euro, a common European currency, as of January 1, 2023. At the time of writing this article, for 1 $, you get almost 1 € (0,94  to be exact), for 1 £ you get 1,13 €, for 1 CAD, you get 0,70 €, and 1 AUD will get you 0,64 €.

Exchanging the money in Croatia

The majority of the exchange offices advertise a “no commission policy”. While it is true that they don’t charge the typical commission, they do set their own exchange rates. These rates can vary significantly. Beware of these discrepancies, and shop around for the best rate.

ATM machines in Croatia

When withdrawing money from an ATM, try to use official banks’ ATM machines (they should have a sign of one of the Croatian banks like Zagrebacka, Privredna OTP, Erste, or Adikko Bank). These ATM machines are usually near the bank’s branch offices.

In resorts and hotels, you’ll often find Euronet (blue and yellow), Auro Domus ATM machines (yellow and black), or any other non-bank ATM machine. While they are often located at more prominent spots in towns, hotels, and resorts and are thus more convenient to use, they are also more expensive. However, if convenience is more important to you than a few euros here and there, go ahead and use these machines as well. I personally never use them.

Credit cards in Croatia

Although credit cards are widely accepted in Croatia, they aren’t accepted everywhere. One of the first things you will notice in Croatia is the abundance of ATM machines wherever you go. Smaller businesses, as well as some restaurants and bars, prefer cash. A general rule of thumb is that if you see a credit card sticker at the door or near the cashier, you should be able to pay by credit card. But the only safe way to know is to actually ask.

Another thing regarding money that you need to be aware of is the so-called dynamic currency conversion . This basically means that the amount of your credit card transaction is converted to your home currency at the point of sale (rather than by the card issuer).

In hotels or restaurants, or just about anywhere you intend to pay by credit card, the staff will ask you if you prefer the charge in local currency (Euro) or your own currency. While theoretically, you might sometimes profit from being charged in your own currency by a merchant on the spot, it rarely happens in reality. You will just end up paying more than you otherwise would. So, always choose to pay in local currency . Or ask for the exchange rate and compare it with the one you find that day on the internet.

When is the high season in Croatia?

The high season in Croatia is from mid-June to mid-September. The peak travel time includes the last week of July and the first two weeks of August.

However, the busiest time is not always the best time to visit Croatia.

Best time to visit Croatia

The best time of the year to visit Croatia is in June and September . There are far fewer people around (definitely no queues, traffic jams, or crowded beaches), the weather is still warm and sunny, prices are more affordable, and the sea is warm enough to swim in. Another tip: The Sea is usually warmer in September than in June.

Also, remember that Croatia is extremely popular among Germans and Austrians, especially the northern Adriatic regions of Istria and Kvarner. So, crowds (and accommodation prices) tend to increase around German school holidays (like Corpus Christi – it’s either in mid-May to early June or late May to mid-June; it changes from year to year). Ha, but this also means that in the year when German school holidays are in May, hotels often offer special discounts for June. And vice versa.

What to bring to Croatia

We all have our own rules and tricks when it comes to packing. However, we’ll give you a few ideas on what to bring and what to wear in Croatia.

Croatia has four seasons and three distinctive climates: a Mediterranean climate along the coast, a mountain climate on its rugged mountains, and a continental climate inland.

This means that if you are visiting Croatia during the summer, most of your clothes should be light. Nevertheless, a windbreaker jacket, a pair of long pants, and leggings always come in handy. For the rest, take a couple of shorts and tops that you can mix and match or a few casual summer dresses. Don’t forget your beachwear, including swimsuits and cover-ups, water shoes, sunglasses, and a microfiber towel. A pair of sandals and a pair of walking shoes are also a must, as well as a travel money belt .

Also, with luggage restrictions and weight limits, it’s worth investing in lightweight luggage  to travel to Croatia.

As for the rest, don’t forget your photo equipment (with plenty of extra batteries), waterproof phone bag, adapters, converters, and other small things you will find indispensable in Croatia. Croatia uses 220V, 50 Hz frequency, and type C & F plugs. Both are similar plugs with two round prongs with 19 mm between them.

Here is our full post on what to bring and what to wear in Croatia. 

Getting to Croatia

Traveling to Croatia from anywhere in Europe is quite easy. From April through September, many airlines have direct flights from all over Europe to all major Croatian towns. Besides, Split and Zagreb are connected by plane with the rest of Europe throughout the year. For detailed information on flights scheduled to Croatia, consult the CheapOair website.

We’ve also recently found out about Scott’s cheap flights program . They basically search for airline mistakes or intentionally great deals and email them to you. We haven’t used it, but it seems worth a try (they have a free plan too).

Croatia Travel Guide, Illustration for pinterest

You can also travel to Croatia from other European towns by bus . Bus schedules are a bit harder to search for as many bus companies run the service. However, if you want to travel by bus, we highly recommend using the GetByBus website to check and book intercity buses in Croatia and beyond.

You can also check with a local bus station once you are at your destination and can physically walk there. Getting information over the phone or email can be impractical and expensive (yes, they still use automated phone machines that make you wait forever and charge you a fortune for waiting!).

Find out more here:

  • Zagreb Bus Station
  • Split Bus Station
  • Zadar Bus Station

Train connections to and around Croatia are quite limited, and we generally don’t recommend traveling by train to Croatia. However, if you really have to, you can find more information on the Croatian Railways website .

International ferries connect Croatia and Italy. Directferries’ website is the best place to check ferries schedules and book tickets online. Jadrolinija operates Bari to Dubrovnik, Split to Ancona, Split to Bari, and Zadar to Ancona car ferry lines, while Venezialines passenger ferry connects Porec, Rovinj, and Pula with Venice.

Our favorite way to travel around Europe, and to Croatia as well, is by car . Whether it’s your own car or a rental car , it’s the most convenient way to move around Europe.

Getting around Croatia

The best way to travel around Croatia is by car . Croatia is a small country with great roads and nice little villages , totally worth a detour. The only way to really discover the country is to travel by car. We’ve written a full post about driving in Croatia and car rental in Croatia .

Another excellent way to travel around Croatia is by bus . Buses are modern, fast, affordable, and frequent. The islands and Istria are the only places we wouldn’t recommend bus traveling . For the rest, if you can’t travel by car for whatever reason, hop on the bus and enjoy the ride. Use BookAway to check lines and schedules and to book your bus ticket online.

Ferries are still the most popular and sometimes the only way to get to the islands. The main ferry ports include Rijeka, Zadar, and Split, but ferries also depart from smaller coastal towns like Brsecine, Makarska, Drvenik, Orebic, Ploce, and Prapratno. Jadrolinija is the largest ferry operator in Croatia, and its ferries cover most of the routes. You can also book your ferry tickets for some routes online through the Bookaway website .

Public transportation in bigger towns is reliable and efficient. Split, Rijeka, Zadar, Pula, and Dubrovnik use city buses, while Zagreb has an extensive network of electric trams and city buses. Public transport costs around 2€ per ride.

Taxis are generally pricey (except in Zagreb and Rijeka), but since Uber entered the market in 2015, cab rides have become more affordable. UberX is available in most popular tourist towns like Zagreb, Split, Rovinj, Dubrovnik, Zadar, etc… Uber and Cammeo Taxi are the cheapest taxi options in Croatia. However, both companies also adjust their rates to demand dynamically, and rates generally increase during the main tourist season.

Croatia holiday destinations

One of the most common questions is  where to go in Croatia . Many visitors who travel to Croatia for the first time tend to visit the main tourist towns and attractions, like Zagreb, Split, Plitvice, Hvar, and Dubrovnik. However, Croatia has many hidden gems , charming villages , wonderful natural sites , and  beautiful beaches .

Where to go depends heavily on the type of traveler you are, the things you want to do , the time you plan to spend in Croatia, and your budget .

We have written extensive travel guides on the following holiday destinations in Croatia:

  • Split Travel Guide
  • Dubrovnik Travel Guide
  • Zagreb Travel Guide
  • Plitvice Lakes Travel Guide
  • Hvar Island Travel Guide
  • Rovinj Travel Guide
  • Porec Travel Guide
  • Rabac Travel Guide
  • Pula Travel Guide
  • Brac Island Travel Guide
  • Peljesac Peninsula Travel Guide
  • Dalmatia Region Travel Guide
  • Dubrovnik Region Travel Guide
  • Istria Travel Guide

National parks

Croatia is a small country with a surface of just over 56.000 m2. However, due to its geographical location, geomorphological and ecological conditions, and climate, in terms of biodiversity, Croatia is one of the richest countries in Europe.

The nature here is divine: from the Adriatic sea and high-rising mountains to the plains of Slavonia and the rolling hills of Istria and Zagorje.

The country has eight national parks, ten nature parks, and two strict reserves. Almost 10% of the country’s territory is protected. The national parks of Kornati, Brijuni, and Mljet are located on the islands and are characterized by rich marine life. The Risnjak, Northern Velebit, and Paklenica national parks cover mountainous areas. They all feature interesting limestone rocks, meadows, and vast forests.

Plitvice Lakes, Croatia’s most visited national park, and Krka national park are famed for their lakes, streams, rapids, and waterfalls.

Unesco World Heritage Sites

Croatia doesn’t lack cultural and historical sites. Even ten of them made it to the Unesco World Heritage Sites list.

These sites include The Euphrasian Basilica in Porec, St. James Cathedral in Sibenik, the old town of Trogir, Diocletian Palace in Split, Dubrovnik old town , Stari grad planes on the island of Hvar, Plitvice Lakes, the Venetian Works of Defence from the 16th and 17th centuries in Zadar and Sibenik, Stećci Medieval Tombstone Graveyards in Cista Provo and Konavle, and Ancient and Primeval Beech Forests in national parks Paklenica and Northern Velebit.

With the exception of the Plitvice Lakes, all other sights are located along the coast. Here is our list of 10 Unesco World Heritage Sites in Croatia not to be missed.


Croatia accommodation: Tips on finding a perfect accommodation in Croatia, Illustration

We often get asked about the best type of accommodation in Croatia. For this reason, we’ve written a full post on different types of accommodation in Croatia , with their pros and cons.

Croatia offers a variety of accommodations to choose from: hotels, hostels, apartments, villa rentals, and campsites. Which is right for you depends heavily on your travel style and budget.

Croatia is mostly seen as a  4-star family destination . However, some destinations are fancier than others. This is particularly true for Dubrovnik, Hvar Town, and partially Rovinj.

We’ve written extensive guides on accommodation in the following destinations in Croatia:

  • Where to stay in Split
  • Where to stay in Dubrovnik
  • Accommodation in Zagreb
  • Where to stay in Rovinj
  • The Best Hotels in Rovinj
  • Where to stay in Porec
  • Plitvice Lakes Accommodation
  • Where to stay in Pula
  • The 12 Best Makarska Hotels

Hotels in Croatia

A good choice of 5-star hotels you’ll find in Zagreb, Dubrovnik, Rovinj, and Losinj Island. Although some hotels offer an all-inclusive formula, all-inclusive resorts aren’t popular in Croatia. All-inclusive Croatia mostly refers to a full board meal plan with unlimited selected drinks at mealtimes. Many hotels in Croatia offer a half-board meal plan , and dinner often comes cheap when purchased as a part of a room rate. is by far the most popular website for browsing and booking hotels in Croatia. They offer the most flexible booking policy and offer the most choice of properties. You can also check the hotel’s official website. Sometimes hotels offer special deals available only through their website.

Apartments in Croatia

Many Croatians rent apartments to tourists. Apartments are a good alternative to hotels. They are cheaper, offer more space, and come with a fully-equipped kitchen.

Apartment rentals, just like hotels, need to be licensed and get an official star rating. The most popular websites for apartment rentals in Croatia are and Airbnb.

Villas in Croatia

Another popular and emerging type of accommodation is villa rentals . Mostly located off the big tourist resorts, these villas offer peace and quiet, and lots of privacy. Besides, villas come with a pool where you can chill all day long.

Croatia is also a very popular camping destination . There are lots of campsites all along the coast, and just a few of them are in continental Croatia.

Popular campsites in Croatia include Lanterna in Porec , Valkanela in Vrsar, Polari in Rovinj, Park Umag, and Zaton near Zadar. The best place to make yourself familiar with Croatian campsites is the website, an official website of the Croatian Camping Association.

Many of our readers reach out to us with a question about driving in Croatia, road condition, and safety on Croatian roads. Croatian roads are in very good condition. A fairly new multi-lane motorway connects Zagreb to the north and Rijeka to the northwest with Ploce in the south.

Tolls apply on all multi-lane motorways named with the letter A, as well as on some tunnels (eg. Ucka tunnel between Rijeka & Istria), etc. A one-way fee from Zagreb to Split (approx. 400 km) costs 24 € (25 $)*.

Besides motorways, you can also travel on toll-free state roads. These roads are also in good condition, but a single carriageway road, with a single lane for each direction, and some of them, particularly a coastal road D1, are winding.

*prices checked in January 2023

Renting a car

Car Rental in Croatia: All you need to know about renting a car in Croatia, Illustration

The best way to explore Croatia is by car. And if you don’t travel in your own car, don’t shy away from renting a car in Croatia. You’ll be able to take in the sights; travel off the beaten path; see more in less time, and have the freedom to stop wherever and whenever you feel.

Car rental in Croatia is very  seasonal . This simply means that you’ll need to secure your car rental well in advance if you plan on visiting Croatia in July and August. This also means that  rental prices  increase dramatically in these two summer months. We recommend using for your car rental in Croatia.

Tourist registration

All tourists staying in Croatia need to be registered at a local tourist office. And non-EU citizens will also be automatically registered with the police.

This is the reason why during the check-in process at any hotel, private accommodation, or campsite, you’ll be requested to show (and often leave until the next morning) your passport or an ID card.

Our Guide to the 52 must-try Croatian food, Illustration

We love food in Croatia. It’s varied, fresh, local, and tasty. In continental Croatia, people eat lots of meat, while a diet in coastal regions is heavily based on fish, other seafood, and green veggies.

As a traveler, you might also make some false assumptions based on food offered in touristy restaurants along the coast. These restaurants often offer what tourists ask for, and not necessarily typical Croatian dishes.

One of the most popular posts on our blog is our post on must-try Croatian dishes . Make sure to read it so you don’t miss some of the local specialties.

We also give a couple of tips on where to find local, delicious, and cheap eats in Croatia .

And don’t miss our ultimate list of the best places to eat in Croatia . Istrian restaurants rank the highest on this list.

Tap water is safe to drink in Croatia. However, if you still prefer to drink bottled water, bear in mind that bottled water is extremely expensive here. For instance, a 1.5 L bottle of natural water costs around 0.9 € in a supermarket, three times more expensive than in Italy. You can find cheaper bottled water in Lidl, and Eurospin supermarkets.

The legal drinking age in Croatia is 18. Among alcoholic drinks, wines, beer, and spirits are very popular in Croatia.

Drinking usually takes place at cafe bars, serving any kind of drinks, from coffee, and tea, to wine, beer, and any alcoholic drinks. Cafes work all day, opening as early as 6 am, and closing usually around midnight. Nightclubs, pubs, and some bars work until 4 am.

Local wines are good. In the last two decades, many small, family-run wineries have set high standards in the production of quality wines made of indigenous grape varieties, like Malvazija, a dry white wine produced in Istria , or Plavac Mali, a red variety dominating vineyards of the southern Dalmatia .

Croatians also drink lots of beer , but you’ll hardly find an exciting choice of beers here in Croatia (not the case any longer, the craft beer scene in Croatia is now super exciting! ). The most popular mass-produced local beers are Karlovacko and Ozujsko, both light-lager types. In recent years many microbreweries started putting on the market a more appealing craft beer, like San Servolo , LAB, or Zmajska Pivovara .

Spirits are very popular in Croatia, and they come in a variety of flavors. Here they are called rakija . The basic one is most often produced from grapes (called Loza), but then they are flavored with different ingredients. The most popular are travarica (herb brandy), medica (honey brandy), orahovaca (walnut brandy), visnja (cherry brandy), mirta (myrtle brandy), and rogac (carob brandy).

Travel Insurance

Travel insurance covers all kinds of situations if things go wrong: from luggage loss, to trip cancellation, to medical assistance.

If you are an EU citizen then your European Medical Insurance Card covers your basic medical needs and emergency medical care. However, it doesn’t cover emergency transport to your home country.

Non-EU citizens are advised to check with their embassies for what level of medical care they are covered in Croatia, as it heavily depends on the bilateral and reciprocal agreement between the countries.

For other damages like document and baggage loss, loss of belongings, and trip cancellation, you’ll definitely need to purchase travel insurance. There are many travel insurance companies offering different insurance options and packages. You can compare all your options using a website like Travel Insurance Review .

We recommend buying travel insurance from Safety Wing . Available to people from the majority of countries (only sanctioned countries are exempt) it’s designed for all kinds of travelers. And it covers overseas medical, evacuation, baggage, and a range of travel misadventures and delays. And, one child up to 10 years of age is included in an adult’s policy free of charge. You can buy it and claim it online , even after you’ve left home.

Tours and activities

Sailing boats in Croatia

Croatia offers a lot of activities to do for all ages and all year round. The country is rich in history, natural beauty, ancient towns, wonderful architecture, pristine beaches, and rugged mountains.

Foodies will enjoy exploring restaurants in Croatia, especially in Istria, Zagreb, Dubrovnik , and Split . Croatia produces some of the world’s best extra virgin olive oils (if you wonder why you should care, read Tom Mueller’s book Extra Virginity: the sublime and scandalous world of olive oil ). There are lots of places where you can go for an  olive oil tasting , and learn how to distinguish the real stuff from the crap. A visit to a winery  is a must in Croatia, particularly in Istria.

Tisno on the island of Murter, Novalja on the island of Pag, and the town of Hvar offer 24 h partying for the young and restless.

Outdoor enthusiasts will love Omis, Paklenica, and Cicarija. They all offer an endless choice of adventures  to enjoy.

We’ve written a full post on  things to do in Croatia . You can also check the Get Your Guide website for a full list of tours and activities in Croatia.


We are often asked to suggest or revise a proposed itinerary for Croatia. So here are a few things to bear in mind when planning your Croatian itinerary.

Although the country is relatively small, it’s long (from Umag in the northwest to Dubrovnik in the south there is over 700 km), and it’s not that quick to travel from north or west to the south.

If you plan to visit Croatia for less than a week , we highly recommend you pick up one destination and stick to it. Do day trips from there , but don’t pretend to visit the entire country in less than a week. Also, in July and August, you need to take into account possible traffic jams, and congestion on the roads, as well as queues for ferries.

If you stay a week or ten days , you can include a few highlights in your itinerary, like Zagreb, Plitvice, Split, and Dubrovnik.

Suggested week itineraries

a | Zagreb – Plitvice Lakes – Split – Hvar – Dubrovnik

b | Dubrovnik – Peljesac Peninsula – Korcula – Split – Zagreb

c | Zagreb – Plitvice Lakes – Istria

Suggested two-week itineraries

a | Zagreb – Opatija – Istria – Plitvice Lakes – Zadar – Krka Waterfalls – Split – Brac Island – Korcula – Peljesac – Dubrovnik

If you prefer to join a group tour, we highly recommend checking tours proposed via Tour Radar. They have a classical coach and boat tours, but they also have a great choice of adventure, cycling, and various themed tours.

Here are a few suggested group tours found on Tour Radar:

Croatia & Adriatic Cruise

This 11-day tour gives you the best of continental Croatia and the Adriatic. The tour starts in Zagreb, and ends in Split, with a visit to 10 other destinations in between. We like that this tour takes you to the Peljesac Peninsula, one of our favorite regions in Croatia. You also get to see Korcula, Hvar, Elafiti Islands and Mljet islands. The small cruise ship can fit 30 passengers in air-conditioned cabins.

Check availability and prices!

Best of Croatia and Slovenia

This 11-day discovery coach tour starts in Zagreb and ends in Dubrovnik. However, it’s packed full of exciting destinations in Croatia, and neighboring Slovenia including Ljubljana, Bled, Rovinj, Opatija, Plitvice, Trogir, Split, and Peljesac peninsula. You will get to see many great destinations in a short period of time, while still having ample time on your own. The tour also includes one special “Be my guest” dinner where you get a chance to experience a traditional meal with a local family.

Croatia Island Hopper from Split

This 8-day island hopping tour operated by G Adventures is one of the most popular tours in Croatia on Tour Radar. The boat tour starts and ends in Dubrovnik with stops in Hvar, Mljet, Korcula, Brac, and Solta.

Cycling the Dalmatian Coast

A small group tour takes you from Split to Dubrovnik in 8 days on your bicycle. The tour provides accommodation, meals, and transportation. You’ll get a chance to test your cycling abilities in Hvar and Korcula Island, along the Peljesac peninsula and Dubrovnik. The tour is intended for all levels of cyclists. The scenery along the route is lovely.

Chiavalon gift box with 4 different olive oils

When you think of shopping, Croatia doesn’t necessarily come to mind. However, there are a couple of awesome things to buy in Croatia.

Croatian artisan olive oils are some of the best in the world. Croatian design and concept stores are also making momentum; check the Take Me Home store in Zagreb or Prostoria in Rovinj for some original souvenirs, accessories, unique clothes, bags, and jewelry.

We’ve written a full post on the subject: Croatian souvenirs: fun, cool, and authentic . Don’t forget a high-end tie store – Kravata Croata .

Open markets , where you can buy fresh produce, are popular in Croatia. The largest national supermarket chain is Konzum. Other popular supermarkets in Croatia include Lidl, Kaufland, Plodine, and Spar.

Supermarkets are open throughout the day, Monday to Saturday. On Sunday some shops are open all day, particularly in shopping centers, while downtown shops often close at 1 pm or 3 pm. In summer, along the coast, shops are open seven days a week, and often as late as midnight.

Is Croatia a safe place?

Croatia is a very safe country with very little street crime and almost no violence. However, as everywhere, take care of your belongings, especially when using public transport.

Land mines are still present but in remote areas where tourists rarely visit anyway.

Croatia travel guide: Internet

The Internet in Croatia is widely available. WiFi coverage is pretty good, with many towns offering free wifi hot spots at prominent places in a town. Most of the private accommodations, as well as hotels, and even campsites, offer a free WiFi internet connection.

However, the broadband internet in Croatia isn’t as fast as you are perhaps used to. At least it’s not as fast everywhere in Croatia. In bigger towns, the internet is fast, easily available, and reliable. According to , Croatia has the 22nd fastest download speed for mobile internet in the whole world. But, the fixed broadband is pretty slow (Croatia takes 89th place on the global scale).

The average internet download speed in Croatia in March 2023 was 71,16 Mbps for mobile, and 45,61 Mbps for fixed broadband.

Roaming charges

Since the summer of 2017, roaming surcharges within EU countries don’t exist longer. This means that, if you are with any EU mobile provider, you will pay the same prices for data, calls, and SMS as you would pay back home.

How free is free? You need to check with your provider what’s the amount of roaming data within the EU. For example, we have a flat rate for internet data in our mobile phone rate package. But, when we spent two months in Spain in the winter of 2022, we realized that we have only 10 GB of data free of charge in other EU countries.

So while the roaming data is free in the EU, the free data isn’t unlimited. Anyways, 10 GB is pretty enough, unless you are binge-watching Netflix shows for hours at times. I hope you don’t do that on vacation!

However, roaming charges for other countries are still pretty high. You can purchase some of the mobile operators’ packages either in your home country or in Croatia.

In Croatia, Telemach sells 10-days unlimited surfing for less than 11 € while T-com sells 7-days unlimited surfing for 11€ . It includes nano, micro, or SMS card. You can buy these packages at gas stations, newsstands, T-com or Telemach centers, and Croatian post offices.

The Airalo eSim packages are a good alternative to local SIM providers. We always use Airalo when traveling abroad.

Is Croatia part of the EU & Schengen visa regiment

As of January 1, 2023, Croatia is a member of Schengen, and thus it is a part of the Schengen visa regiment. This means that there aren’t border or customs controls between Croatia and other Schengen member countries for people crossing the borders by road, rail, or water. However, border and customs controls at the airports will stay in place until March 2023.

If you have a valid Schengen visa, you don’t need a separate visa to visit Croatia and vice versa. This also means that visiting Croatia and the days spent here will count toward 90 days maximum stay within 180 days for your Schengen visa.

When crossing into and out of the non-EU, and non-Schengen countries, you’ll still need to show your documents at the border, and vice versa. These include Bosnia and Herzegovina, Serbia, and Montenegro.

Best Beaches in Croatia | Croatian Beaches Guide, Illustration

The sea and sun are still two main reasons for so many people to visit Croatia. Croatia has over 6.000 km of coastline and over 1.000 islands. The two most popular coastal regions are Istria to the north and Dalmatia to the south.

The Croatian coast is mostly rocky with pebble beaches mostly formed in coves and bays. Makarska Riviera, located in central Dalmatia, offers  the most beautiful beaches in all of Croatia . Perfectly round and small pebbles that feel almost like sand but that don’t stick on you forever.

The sea is limpid and clear, you can often see the seabed from far away. My in-laws have a seafront property in Komarna , in southern Dalmatia, and I can see the fish swim in the sea from the third floor of their house.

So, if you search for that perfect sandy beach, you might get disappointed with the beaches in Croatia. Although there are some sandy beaches here too, they are simply not a Croatian thing.

In Istria, the coast is a bit rougher than in Dalmatia, and pebbles are rare to find. However, the beaches here feel less crowded, due to the well-preserved coastline.

Parking in Croatia

If you travel to and around Croatia by car, you might wonder about the parking situation in Croatia. Generally speaking the majority of hotels and private accommodations offer a parking spot free of charge.

However, bear in mind that city centers are usually car-free zones or have limited car traffic. If your accommodation is within the city center enquire about parking before booking.

There are three types of parking: garage parking, open-air parking lots, and street parking. Expect to pay around 1.1 € to 1.6 € per hour in town centers. However, some parking is more expensive, like parking at Riva in Split which cost 4 € an hour; then, in Dubrovnik, where you will pay for an hour of parking in Zone 0 as much as 10 €.

We talk more in-depth about parking in our destination guides . Don’t forget to check them once you decide on your destination .

Do people speak English in Croatia?

You don’t speak Croatian? No worries, most Croatians speak at least some English, and many speak at least another foreign language. Besides English, German and Italian are the most widely spoken languages in Croatia.

Is Croatia expensive to travel to?

Croatia isn’t a cheap place to visit. It’s more expensive than the neighboring countries, like Bosnia & Herzegovina, Serbia, or Hungary.

Generally speaking, continental Croatia and Zagreb, in particular, keep prices moderate to, I would dare to say, even cheap.  However, the coast is mostly expensive, and the prices tend to increase year after year.

That said, if you travel on a tight budget, you can still keep it under control. Stay away from top destinations (visit them but sleep somewhere else), come in the off-season, explore places off-the-beaten-path, forget hotels, choose instead an apartment with a fully-equipped kitchen and prepare your own meals, ask locals for good value restaurants, etc.

Check our budget tips for traveling in Croatia , and also a post on the total Croatia trip cost .

Tipping in Croatia

People often ask us what’s tipping etiquette in Croatia. In short, tipping isn’t necessary but it is widely appreciated and accepted.

The majority of Croatians, in bars and restaurants, simply round up the bill. We on the other hand, out of habit, always leave around 10%, and only if we are satisfied with the service.

If you are taking a group bus tour, someone will usually collect the tips for the driver and the guide at the end of the tour. Here, usually, people chip in on what they feel is appropriate.

What time zone Croatia is in?

Croatia belongs to the Central European Time Zone, meaning it is one hour ahead of GMT (Greenwich Mean Time), and two hours ahead of GMT when daylight saving time is observed.

Daylight saving time makes us move our watches one hour ahead. It takes place from the last Sunday in March until the last Sunday in October.

Find here the time differences between some major towns when compared to Croatia:

  • Barcelona: 0
  • London: – 1 hour
  • Montreal: – 6 hours
  • New York City: -6 hours
  • L.A.: -9 hours
  • Chicago: -7 hours
  • Tokyo: +7 hours
  • Sydney: +8 hours

If you are traveling from overseas, you will certainly experience jet lag when visiting Croatia. You can check this no-jet lag homeopathic remedy to ease your symptoms.

How much is VAT in Croatia and is it refundable?

At the moment, VAT in Croatia is 25% for the majority of products. If you are a foreigner without permanent or temporary residence in Croatia, you can ask for a tax refund for all purchases above 100 €.

Ask the salesperson for the tax-free form at the moment of purchase. Fill it up, get it stamped right there, and then again at the airport, or at the border by a customs officer. You have six months from the purchase date to claim your VAT return by mailing it back to the shop where you originally bought the item.

Another way to achieve a VAT tax refund is to look for shops that are part of the Global Blue Tax-Free service . They all have a sign displayed in the window along with the working hours, and credit cards that they accept. The procedure is similar (fill up the tax-free form and get it stamped at the shop, and at the airport), but the refund is quicker and can be obtained already at the airport, in Global Blue’s office.

Croatia plugs, adapters, and converters

Croatia uses 220V, 50 Hz frequency, and standard European type C & F plugs. Both are similar plugs with two round prongs with 19 mm between the two.

If the plugs of your devices are different,  you will certainly need an adapter in order to charge them. You can find one here.

While adapters will help you use your plugs in Croatia, converters will help transform voltages from higher to smaller or vice versa. If you need a converter you can easily buy one on Amazon .

Recommended travel guides

  • Fodor’s Croatia Travel Guide (we are co-authors!).
  • Lonely Planet Croatia Travel Guide  
  • Rick Steves Croatia & Slovenia

Further reading from our Croatia travel guide

  • Croatia Travel Guide: Things To Do In Croatia
  • Ultimate Guide To Accommodation In Croatia
  • Packing List For Vacation In Croatia
  • How To Choose Your Destination In Croatia
  • Where to go in Croatia: best places to visit in Croatia
  • Car Rental In Croatia
  • Driving In Croatia
  • Cost of Travel To Croatia
  • Croatia On Budget: Money-saving Tips 
  • Outdoor Activities in Croatia
  • 49 Awesome Beaches In Croatia
  • Snorkeling In Croatia
  • White Water Rafting In Croatia
  • 20 Must-Try Foods In Croatia

We hope you’ve found our Croatia Travel Guide useful. Is there anything else you’d like to know? Let us know in the comments below. is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to and affiliated sites. This post might also contain affiliate links to other sites, like accommodation or activities. And if you purchase anything using these links, we earn a little commission with no extra costs for you. Thank you for supporting our blog! Read full disclaimer here.

Home / Croatia Travel Tips / Croatia Travel Guide: Things To Know Before Traveling To Croatia

48 thoughts on “Croatia Travel Guide: Things To Know Before Traveling To Croatia”

Love your blog. A lot of useful info.

We’re thinking of coming in mid-October to November 4. Will tourist sites still be open in that first week of November?

Thanks for your input.

I am Croatian and I must say, epic post!

Hi we plan to travel to Croatia in July 2020. I am trying to convince my husband to rent a car but he is worried about driving in a foreign country. Can you give any opinion on this topic? I am more worried about the inconsistency of travelling by train and having to wait and plan with the transportation schedules, as well as carrying luggage everywhere.

Hi Marcia, this is the exact reason why we suggest that you take your charges in Kuna. Because your credit card doesn’t charge you a transaction fee. If you take it in your home country, then Croatian bank will charge the transaction fee, or rather they will use the less favorable exchange rate, so they make money. Just keep it in the local currency, even more so if your credit card doesn’t charge these fees. Hope this helps.

You stated that it is probably best to request credit charges be made in kuna, rather than US currency. If my credit card does not charge a foreign transaction fee, would that still be true?

Firstly, congratulations on your brilliant web site, so helpful to first time visitors to Croatia. We are staying on Korcula at the end of September, would you recommend booking the ferry, and if so which is the best web site to use?

It all depends. Zagreb is ok for a day or two, Split for two or three, the same goes for Dubrovnik, or Rovinj.

Thanks for all the info. We are coming from Canada for a 10 day stay beginning of July. We fly in & out of Zagreb but want to see Split & go up north for a bit too to see some family birthplaces. How much time do you recommend for each city stay & absolute must sees while we are there?

Epic post Frank! I’ve spent the last couple of summers sailing around Croatia and think it’s incredible. Favorite island is most probably Kos. Have some great memories of playing cricket with some of the locals. Cant wait to get back!

What is the best option to travel from Zagreb to Venice

This was amazing and super helpful! For first timers going to Croatia (about a week) where do you recommend going? Was planning for a July trip, but your post sort of scared me to be mentally prepared ha!

Do you ever work with readers to come up with an itinerary?

This was super helpful! Thanks!

Great info…thank you very much. My Bride and I will be in Croatia from Sep 11 to Sep 20. We will arriving in Dubrovnik and leaving from Zagreb. We are planing to stay 3 days in Dubrovnik, 3 in Split and 2 in Zagreb. Would you recommend any changes to this and what places around those three cities are a must? We will have a car. We love waterfronts, small (Mom & Pop) licensed restaurants, some beach time and sightseeing. Any suggestions would be appreciated. Mário & Fatima Sousa…….Mississauga, Canada

Hi Frank! Thank you for all of the info. I am a bit overwhelmed. My husband, 2 adult daughters and I are planning our trip to Croatia in late May/early June 2019 for a week to 10 days. We love adventures! What itinerary would you suggest?

Great info, thank you. We are planning our trip for Sept/Oct 2019, touring around Croatia and neighboring countries for 2 weeks. Planning on staying just outside of Zagreb, Split and Dubrovnik. We are travelling from Canada, renting a car and booking Apartments and BnB’s. Wondering if there would be any significant differences between September and October for weather, costs, tourism, crowds, etc. Thanks in advance.

Your blog is really helpful.

We are from India and we are planning to visit croatia in the last week of february, 2019. And we are majorly looking to cover North (Alps, Gorski Kotar) and South (the beaches and other popular places).

Since we are not fully aware of the weather conditions in Feb, I wanted to ask whether it is decent enough to travel in feb? without any complications brought in by weather?

I am planning a week-long trip to Croatia in September with 8 young adult family members. Is it best to go from city to city staying in a hotel, rent a villa one place and do day trips or rent a boat and go down the coast? Amy

In Septemeber everything should still be open. No worries.

I always go with 10% when in restaurants. As for the rest, you give what you feel. Normally, you collect from the entire group and you give it at the end of trip if you were happy with the service. I am not aware that there is a tipping rule for drivers and guides as for how much should you tip. You basically tip what you feel they deserve.

There is plenty things for kids to do. If I knew where exactly you go, I could have provided more info

Porec, Rovinj, Bol, Brela

thanks for sharing, Lynn! Great clip, it shows well what to expect. However, most of the video is made in the northern part of the road, between Rijeka and Zadar.

Thanks for reading, May! Hope you had a great time in Croatia.

Haven’t been there, Kass. Sorry!

great! let us know if we can help with anything

Have fun, and drop us a line if you have a question

You can stay in Zagreb for a day, Plitvice either for a day or in transit from Zagreb to Split, Hvar for 2-3 days if you want to visit the entire island; otherwise book an island tour from Split. So if you only want to stay in two or three of these towns, make it Zagreb, SPlit and Dubrovnik, because they are best located to do day trips elsewhere.

Thanks for all the great advice. For a two week holiday, can you suggest which towns to stay in? I’d love to visit Zagreb, Plitvice, KrKra, Split, Hvar and Dubrovnik. I’d like to stay in two or three places and do the rest from there.

Great blog. Thanks for the info. We – fellow Canadians – plan to spend Jan to Mar 2019 in Croatia, basically in the Trogir area. We’d appreciate any further thoughts you’d wish to pass on.

I would like to know about tipping in Croatia for bus drivers and tour guides. Our travel club is bring a group to Croatia in May 2019.

Hi..We are planning to visit next year..Have children who will be agedelivered 11 and 13..are there things for them to do?

Hi there. Thanks for all the information. So useful! Question re timing. I would head over in the September holidays to beat the crowds but want to check most of the bars etc are still open all year round. Sometimes in countries like Japan where we lived for 8 years they are very strict on seasons and so going outside (even slightly) means u go to a great beach bar only to find it closed. Thanks

Thank you for your blog and the very valuable information you provide. My family (a total of 16 of us) are visiting Croatia at the end of this month. 3 of us are from BC Canada so it has been even more exciting to hear what you have to share.

Hello Just found your blog and its just what i,m after, so much information. I am visiting Croatia next month with my son, we are staying near Trogir. I was going to take kuna but you say most places take Euros? I have rented a car and plan to travel around a bit. Thanks Karl

I am watching the World Cup finaland cheering for the team! I decided to visit the beautiful country in 2019 with my family. Look forward to it!

We’re going in September to visit Lokve, where my husband’s people are from. Have you been there? Can you tell us anything about it? Thanks!

We are currently in Croatia and it is just beautiful. The water shades from turquoise to deep blue and the rocky hills provide a beautiful contrast in the landscape.

We stayed rather in the south and we took the E65 coastal road. If you have time to spare and you are not in a hurry, I recommend this road compared to the highway. I wish I could describe it but I will never be able to narrate the full picture, so I made a short clip on our journey that I wish to share.

It is on YouTube —

Hello, very nice blog of yours! I was wondering what area you would suggest a family of four to stay in. A place that is child friendly and filled with entertainment is something I had in mind, but would like to know what places wold exactly fit my needs. Thank you!

Hi there, me and my husband have been trawling the internet looking for ideas of where to visit with our two children (2 & 9 years) and we’ve stumbled upon your AMAZING site. It’s literally a godsend!! Please could i pick your brains and ask where you would best recommend? We love the beach, history and lovely food!! Any advice would be so gratefully recived!

Hi, loving the information on your website. We are coming to Croatia for 2 weeks from the 6th of September, and are wondering if you think we need to pre-book accommodation or should we be able to book a few days in advance? Cheers, Karen

Hi Frank, just found your website and love it. My husband and I will be vacationing from US to Croatia from Sept. 5 to 19. First time. Don’t plan on seeing the entire country on this visit but would like a few highlights. We will land in Split and leave from Dubrovnik. Are there any and can you recommend a private tour guide company?

Hi – so glad I stumbled upon your wonderful post ! We are thinking of travelling to valamar island in July . I am concerned it will be very busy and hugely commercial ? X

Hi Colleen, if you would like to receive our newsletter, please sign up for it through the website. Let us know if we can help with anything regarding your upcoming trip to Croatia.

Frank, Please add me to your list. I plan to visit this wonderful country in 2019. Colleen

Hi. Will be in Croatia July 17-31. We’d love to book a 3-5 day sailing or yacht trip around the islands. Possibly start and end in Split. Do you have any recommendations?

I have been to Croatia with my mum last year and this charming country won our hearts, Frank! I still haven’t crossed Dubrovnik off my bucket list, but your post was truly inspiring. I guess now I have plenty of more reasons to explore magnificent Croatia!

Really enjoy your detailed travel guide! My gf and I (early/mid 20’s) are traveling to Dubrovnik, Croatia next week and we plan to rent a car for about 10-11 days. Our plan is do explore the coast of Croatia, spend some time in several cities and eventually make our way to Slovenia where we’ll return the car.

Do you have any advice with regard to having the “luggage” of the car, and doing trips to islands and etc.? We want the car to have the flexibility, but we may not use it EVERY day. We also don’t want to try and pack too much into the week and a half we are in Croatia. There is the potential we stay longer, but we thought it may be neat to make our way up to Slovenia, spend a few days there then make our way to Austria for a week.

Any thoughts would be greatly appreciated.

Hi guys, we love your blog and passion for Croatia. We are a family run business, that runs 3 adventure bases in Croatia. We only employ local staff and follow green responsible policies. We would love to talk about working with you. Whats your best mobile number?

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Top Cities to Visit in Croatia

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About Flying to Croatia

Pack your bags, book your Croatia flights, and get ready for an adventure. Whether you're looking for an action-packed getaway or a peaceful sojourn, you'll find countless ways to customize your trip exactly to your liking. Experience every aspect of the local culture, from dining at nearby restaurants to dancing the night away in Croatia.During your trip, visit the must-see landmarks and revel in the views of the most scenic areas.

At Expedia, we pledge to help you find cheap flights to Croatia that won't bust your budget. We know you want to put more of your hard-earned cash toward exploring the sites and less on the price of your airfare. And That's the reason we offer you a sprawling selection of economical plane tickets, including both roundtrip and single-way reservations, to guarantee your Croatia travel plans stay under budget. Take advantage of our best rates on flights and have leftover money to spare on seeing the sights.

When it comes to finding trips to Croatia that perfectly match your price range and itinerary expectations, there's no need to look further than our options We offer a wealth of airlines, airports, and arrival times, making it easy for you to book your trip. Whether you're on the lookout for a redeye flight or a trip to a specific terminal, you'll find precisely what you need. We also offer a hassle-free downloadable app, which lets you book whenever and wherever is easiest for you. Book your trip to Croatia today and get ready to embark on an unforgettable getaway tomorrow.

Here at Expedia, we’re committed to helping you find cheap flights to Croatia that won’t break the bank. We know you want to put more of your hard-earned cash toward exploring the sites and less on the price of your airfare. That’s why we provide you with a vast selection of affordable plane tickets, including roundtrip and one-way reservations, to ensure your Europe travel plans remain within your budget. Take advantage of our lowest rates on airfare and have leftover money to spare on your travel adventures.

When it comes to finding flights to Croatia that match your price range and itinerary, look no further than our options right here. We offer a variety of airlines, airports, and flight times making it easier for you to book your airfare. Whether you’re looking for a redeye ticket or a flight to a specific terminal, you’ll find exactly what you need. We also provide a hassle-free mobile booking app, which lets you reserve wherever and whenever is most convenient for you. Book your airfare to Croatia today and get ready to embark on an unforgettable getaway tomorrow.

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Croatia Trips & Tour Packages

Dramatic sunset, with purple and orange clouds, over boats in the harbour, Dubrovnik, Croatia

Be it on land or sea, walking or adventure cruising – Croatia will have you in the palm of its hand.

Croatia's glittering Adriatic coast, charming cobblestone towns and thriving food and wine scene are certain to reward curiosities. Join one of our small group tours and wander through the ancient streets of Split to find the perfect gelato, dance up a storm in Dubrovnik’s castle nightclubs, and shout a hearty ‘zivjeli!’ while sipping sundowners on Hvar’s mountaintop fortress. You might even island hop in the Adriatic Sea , bathe in the turquoise waters of Zlatni Rat, or take a dip in the emerald-green lakes of Mljet. Trust us when we say uncovering the treasures of this Balkan beauty will be the adventure of a lifetime. 

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Croatia departures by month

We also travel to, croatia at a glance, capital city.

Zagreb (population 930,000)

4.4 million

(GMT+01:00) Sarajevo, Skopje, Warsaw, Zagreb



Type C (European 2-pin) Type F (German 2-pin, side clip earth)

Learn more about Croatia

Best time to visit croatia.

Croatia's peak season runs between July and August, with temperatures in the high 60s or mid 80s on the coast. But in this region, you can expect plenty of sunshine from May to October, which are the best times to visit if you want to take advantage of Croatia's beautiful beaches and islands. The inland areas are also hot in the summer but can get cold in the winter with low temperatures and snowfall. Winter on the coast is milder and frequent rain can be expected.

Read more about the best time to visit Croatia

Culture and customs

Generally, Croatians are very proud of their country and cultural heritage. While this may not be obvious in everyday life, the Slavic heritage of Croatian people becomes more evident during festivals and national holidays, where cities and villages come to life with traditional costume, folk music and feasts. While most of Croatia's population are Roman Catholic, there are also groups of people who identify as Serbian Orthodox, Muslim, Protestant and Jewish. Having endured war, hardship and frequent earthquakes, the people of Croatia have a great amount of national pride and connection to their country and family. It's quite common for extended families to live together and children to remain close to their parents well into adulthood. Time for leisure and family is highly valued, particularly along the coast, where many offices end their day at 3pm.

Eating and drinking

Croatian cuisine   is heavily influenced by its surrounding countries. Separated from Italy by the Adriatic Sea, cuisine along the coast tends to have more of a Mediterranean flair. Fish and seafood are integral to many coastal dishes, such as brodet (fish stew) and crni rizot (black risotto made with squid). Homemade pasta and olive oil are also dietary staples. Further inland, you’ll find heartier dishes with Austrian, Hungarian, and Turkish influences such as cobanac (a goulash-like stew) and kulen (paprika-seasoned sausage).

Foodies will definitely want to visit Istria – home to award-winning olive oil, wild asparagus, rare white truffles and excellent wines – which has gained an international reputation as a foodie destination.

Croatians enjoy their beer (Karlovacko and Ozujsko are two of the most popular local brews), but they love their kava (coffee). Take a cue from the locals and spend a morning people-watching at a cafe over a kava – it’s a Saturday morning tradition in Zagreb. Rakija (brandy) is the spirit of choice, with many restaurants offering a small glass before a meal. Another favorite is Pelinkovac, a must-try bitter liqueur.

Things to try in Croatia

1. Pasticada

A slow-cooked beef dish usually served with gnocchi. This Dalmatian staple can be found in many restaurants in this region.

2. Manestra

There are many variations to Istria’s hearty take on minestrone soup, but it usually includes beans, corn and meat.

3. Paski sir

This popular hard cheese is produced exclusively from the milk of sheep on the Island of Pag. It gets its unique pungent taste from the sheep’s aromatic herb diet.

These grilled skinless sausages are common throughout Croatia and are usually served with onions and ajvar (a red bell pepper relish) on a flatbread

Geography and environment

Sharing borders with  Bosnia and Herzegovina ,  Slovenia ,  Hungary ,  Serbia  and  Montenegro , Croatia benefits from more than 5,000 km of coastline that spans along the Adriatic Sea. In addition to the mainland, Croatia also has many islands, some inhabited, some not. Croatia's terrain is very diverse and varies from flat plains to low mountains and highlands, limestone karst cliffs, wetlands, lakes and forests of cypress. Nature reserves and wetland areas are home to large populations of migratory birds, deer, bats and bears. Visitors will also see much of the land is used for agriculture with vineyards, lavender fields, olive groves and orchards being prevalent in rural areas. Croatia's cities, while developed, have managed to maintain a high level of charm with cobblestone streets, ancient housing, historic squares and heritage buildings being preserved and still used by the current population.

History and government

Early history.

Archaeological evidence suggests that the land now known as Croatia has been occupied by humans since the Stone Age. Croatia's geographical position in  Europe  allowed a great amount of influence from neighboring regions, with tribes and people from different cultures and groups making their mark. The first Kingdom of Croatia was formed in 925 but by the 12th century Croatia had formed a union with Hungary, with a Hungarian King instated as leader of both territories. During the 15th century, Croatia lost territory to the Ottoman Empire and, in later centuries, once again came under Hungarian rule. Evidence of these many cultural influences can be seen in the architecture, cuisine and archaeological ruins of contemporary Croatia.

Recent history

Croatia, Slovenia and Serbia formed a union in 1918 to create the Kingdom of Yugoslavia, but the occupation of Axis forces during World War II lead to the creation of the Independent State of Croatia, which only lasted a couple of years during the war. By the end of the war in 1945, Croatia had become a Socialist Republic (within the Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia, together with Bosnia, Serbia, Slovenia, Macedonia and Montenegro), with the constitution of 1963 attempting to alleviate tensions surrounding the balance of power between Serbians and Croats. By 1980, after the death of President Tito (founder of modern Yugoslavia), economic and political difficulties resulted in a near collapse of government. What followed was years of conflict, polarity and political turmoil. The referendum of 1991 resulted in an overwhelming vote for independence, with Croatia and Slovenia declaring independence from Yugoslavia in June of the same year. Much armed conflict followed and lasted until 1995, leading to great loss of civilian life and displacement, creating large populations of refugees. However, the last two decades have been a time of peace and reconciliation for the people of Croatia and the country even joined the European Union in 2013.

Top 10 historic buildings of Croatia

1. cathedral of the assumption of the virgin mary.

One of Zagreb’s most visited historic sites, this grand neo-Gothic cathedral has been renovated and reconstructed many times since it was originally built in the 13th century. With massive twin spires, a marble interior and 800-year-old treasury, this is a monumental masterpiece.

2. Church of St Donatus

Considered one of the most impressive examples of early Byzantine architecture, this church in Zadar was built way back in the 9th century. With much historical value, its simplistic, circular design is quite unlike other buildings in Croatia, making it a standout, must-see church in a country with so many churches and cathedrals to see.

3. Croatian National Theatre

Built in 1895, this national treasure located in Zagreb is an elegant example of neo-Baroque style architecture. Visitors lucky enough to catch an opera, ballet or classical music concert here will be able to revel in all the fine details, from the luxe furnishings to the excellent acoustics.

4. Diocletian’s Palace

One of Split’s main attractions, this UNESCO World Heritage monument is considered one of the best-preserved Roman palaces in the world. The sprawling complex is home to many fine examples of Romanesque, Gothic, Renaissance and Baroque architecture, so visitors will be able to admire open-air courtyards, marble arches, columns, gates and walls from a variety of different periods.

5. Cathedral of St Lovro

This cathedral located 30 minutes from Split is well known for its distinct Romanesque portal crafted by one of Croatia's most celebrated sculptors, Radovan. Mythological creatures and biblical figures all feature heavily, with saints, lions, sirens and centaurs all gracing the spectacular doorways.

6. Rector’s Palace

Also known as Dubrovnik Museum, Rector’s Palace is an impressive building in itself. With soaring arches, period furniture and a dramatic staircase, this structure steals the show from the museum exhibits it holds within.

7. Dubrovnik Synagogue

Reported to be the second oldest synagogue in Europe and the world’s oldest Sefardic synagogue still in use, Dubrovnik’s synagogue is still a place for the local Jewish community to worship on holy days. Sustaining damage from earthquakes and wars, this small but well-cared-for structure stills stands today due to its historical value and unique design.

8. Marco Polo Tower

While not the most elaborate or opulent building in Croatia, the Marco Polo Tower of Korcula has much historical significance. It is believed that Marco Polo was born in this medieval, walled city and this tower named in his honor rises above the town as a reminder of his legacy. Climb to the top for phenomenal views and panoramic photo opportunities.

9. Franciscan Monastery

Featuring 14th-century cloisters, intricately carved columns and a striking, sculptured facade this Dubrovnik wonder is also home to the third oldest pharmacy in Europe, so you can get a prescription filled while seeing the sights.

10. Trakoscan Castle

This lovely castle located in northern Croatia was inhabited from the 13th century right up until the 1940s. Featuring all good things a castle should have - including a dungeon, hunting room and tower - visiting here is like stepping back to a time when castles weren’t just historical monuments, but actual places to live.

Top places to visit in Croatia

1. islands of kornati.

There are plenty of enchanting islands along the coast of Croatia but perhaps none more so than the secluded Kornati, a collection of 89 spectacular islands full of islets and reef systems just waiting to be explored. Known as the largest and densest archipelago in the Adriatic region, the Kornatis present the perfect way to spend a couple of days with beautiful bays to swim in and fascinating nature parks to adventure through.

2. Dubrovnik

Steeped in both beauty and history, Dubrovnik’s UNESCO-listed Old Town is, quite simply, the undisputed jewel of the Dalmatian Coast. With its beautiful white stone-covered buildings, tiled-roof houses, and limestone streets all encompassed within sea-facing city walls, this city is full of charm and splendour. Whether you want to wander the bustling streets on foot or view the town from the sparkling water of the Adriatic Sea, Dubrovnik is one character-filled city you can’t miss. Wander the cobblestoned streets of Dubrovnik on our 15 day Dubrovnik to Athens tour or on our 15 day Dubrovnik to Bled tour.

If you want to escape the hustle and bustle of Dubrovnik then setting sail for the small island of Lokrum is the best way to achieve it. Covered in lush vegetation and surrounded by sparkling blue waters you’re never going to want to leave, this sleepy island presents the perfect opportunity to relax under the warm Croatian sun. Whether you want to soak up the rays on rocks by the sea or wander through the Botanical Garden, you’re guaranteed to find peace within Lokrum’s stunning surroundings. Sail to the small island of Lokrum on our 10 day Dubrovnik to Venice tour or on our 8 day Explore Croatia adventure.

Another day, another magnificent city in Croatia to adventure through; this time, it’s Zadar. Once the capital city of Dalmatia, Zadar boasts a rich heritage that’s easily visible when you start wandering its ancient buildings such as the Roman Forum and St Donatus’ Church. From walking through cultural exhibitions at the Museum of Church Art and exploring the spirited fish markets at the port to admiring the ‘Greeting to the Sun’, a modern monument dedicated to the sun, this energetic destination will surely capture your heart (and your camera’s remaining storage). Explore historic Zadar on our 8 day Croatia & Slovenia tour.

Packed with a rich history you’re going to want to explore, Korcula Island is a hidden gem with as many beautiful sights and ancient buildings as some of the bigger islands, such as Hvar, but without the crowds. Offering a lot of sun to soak up, plenty of golden sandy beaches to lie on, and an abundance of sparkling blue waters to swim in, this seaside destination is truly one-of-a-kind. And you can't forget about the food. From traditional beef stews to the sweet delicacy of travarica, you'll never go hungry in Korcula. Marvel at the sights of Korcula on our 8 day Croatian Coastal Cruising or on our 7 day Cycle Croatia tour.

Split may be Croatia’s second largest city (after Zagreb) but it’s first when it comes to personality and soul with historic streets, a World-Heritage listed palace, and a vibrant mix of shops, cafes, and restaurants scattered throughout its picturesque Old Town. From sipping on frothy kava at a table on the Riva waterfront promenade to listening to street musicians filling ancient courtyards with their sweet sounds, Split promises to take your Croatian tour to another level. Eat your way through Split on our 11 day Slovenia & Croatia Real Food Adventure.

7. Plitvice Lakes National Park

If you thought Croatia couldn’t get any more beautiful, only one visit to Plitvice Lakes National Park is enough to make you change your mind. Gaining World Heritage listed status 20 years ago, this spectacular park covers 19 hectares of wooded hills and 16 turquoise-covered lakes all connected by a series of waterfalls that won’t hesitate to take your breath away. Whether you want to spot some wild animals (think wolves, deer, and birds), wander through the park’s forest vegetation, or simply marvel at the captivating landscape that surrounds you, this dazzling park will be etched in your mind forever. Walk through Plitvice Lakes National Park on our 26 day Budapest to Rome adventure or on our 17 day Dubrovnik to Rome tour.

If culture’s what you’re after, then visiting the spirited city of Zagreb should be high on your Croatia bucket list. Bursting with museums such as the quirky Museum of Broken Relationships or the more traditional Croatian Museum of Naïve Art, and historic locations such as the Mirogoj Cemetery and Lotrščak Tower, you’ll never run out of things to do in Zagreb. Perfect for exploring on foot, this lively destination blends the best of crafts, cuisine, and culture for an adventure you’ll want to relive over and over again. Absorb the Croatian culture on our 19 day Budapest to Venice tour or on our 10 day Dubrovnik to Venice tour.

On the surface, Osijek may seem like just another breathtaking Croatian town but as soon as you start wandering its streets full of grand buildings and popular landmarks, you’ll see why it deserves to be explored. With a laidback atmosphere and bubbling personality, this town will easily have you entranced from its many cafes and restaurants lining the Drava River to its captivating medieval structures. Spend your time walking through the Museum of Slavonia or strolling down the European Avenue for an in-depth look at this remarkable region. Stroll the streets of Osijek on our 29 day Vienna to Dubrovnik tour or on our 15 day Balkan Adventure.

If Dubrovnik is known as the ‘Jewel of the Dalmatian Coast’ then Hvar is the ‘Queen of the Dalmatian Islands’ thanks to its picture-perfect town full of wonderfully preserved Renaissance facades. Boasting plenty to do including admiring the views of the town and the Adriatic Sea from the Spanjola Fortress, wandering the streets full of unusual boutiques and interesting galleries, and sipping on cocktails at a bar by the water, this spectacular island town is like something straight out of a fairytale. 

Croatia has an interesting mix of quaint outdoor markets, modern malls and hip clothing boutiques. There's plenty of options that make better souvenirs than the usual lurid magnets or tourist t-shirts.

It's a good idea to check with your local customs officials to ensure that you are able to bring certain items back into your home country. The   United States   and   Canada  generally have strict customs laws.

Things to buy in Croatia

1. Local produce

If you're able to take food products back to your home country, then Croatia's markets are filled with delicious gourmet produce. Honey, olives, cheese, wine and lavender products are good choices that help to support local farmers and the rural economy.

2. Traditional handicrafts

Embroidered tablecloths, handmade dolls and lace from the island of Pag make authentic gifts for friends back home.

3. Natural cosmetics

Croatia has many brands of natural soap, body butter and shower gel derived from ingredients like olive oil, goat's milk, lavender, almond oil and seaweed.

Festivals and events

Dance week festival.

This celebration of dance and movement hits Zagreb each year. Featuring a diverse range of contemporary and traditional dance from local and international dancers and choreographers, the eclectic program highlights the artistic vision of many coming together to celebrate their love of dance.

Dubrovnik Summer Festival

Classical music, theatre, dance and opera combine to create an enriching program of events performed in open air venues around Dubrovnik. Held every year since 1949, Croatia's temperate summer climate ensures the perfect conditions for outdoor performances.

International Folklore Festival

This important festival held in Zagreb each year helps to preserve cultural diversity by promoting traditional dance, costume, music and handicrafts from all over the world. Visitors can see everything from African drumming performances to traditional Croatian dancing and Bulgarian bands.

Read more about festivals in Croatia

Public holidays that may impact travel include:

Anti-Fascist Resistance Day

Statehood Day

Homeland Thanksgiving Day

Independence Day

Please note that the dates of  Croatia's public holidays  may vary.

Similar destinations

We have a variety of similar destinations, trips and routes that you could consider! Tie another trip into your holiday, or, see how we can help you get from A to B.

We have tours departing from a range of locations in Croatia. The options below may be of interest:

  • Tours from Dubrovnik
  • Tours to Dubrovnik
  • Tours to Split

Further reading

Croatia travel faqs, do i need a covid-19 vaccine to join an intrepid trip.

Trips from 1 January 2023 onwards

From 1 January 2023, Intrepid will no longer require travelers to provide proof of vaccination against COVID-19 (excluding all Polar trips and select adventure cruises).

However, we continue to strongly recommend that all Intrepid travelers and leaders get vaccinated to protect themselves and others.

Specific proof of testing or vaccination may still be required by your destination or airline. Please ensure you check travel and entry requirements carefully.

Do you need a visa to visit Croatia?

Visas are the responsibility of the individual traveler. Entry requirements can change at any time, so it's important that you check for the latest information. Please visit the relevant consular website of the country or countries you’re visiting for detailed and up-to-date visa information specific to your nationality. Check the Essential Trip Information section of the itinerary for more information.

Is tipping customary in Croatia?

Tipping isn't mandatory in Croatia, although feel free to round up the bill or leave spare change for wait staff. Tip more if the service has been particularly good. Some restaurants and cafes will already include a 10-15% margin in the bill, to account for taxes and tips. In this case, generally no further tip is required.

What is the internet access like in Croatia?

Travelers will be able to access the internet at internet cafes and hotels in Croatia's large cities and tourist-orientated towns. Expect less internet accessibility in rural areas.

Will my cell phone work in Croatia?

Cell phone coverage is generally very good in Croatia's large cities and urban areas. Islands and remote areas may have less reliable service.

Ensure global roaming is activated with your service provider before arrival.

What are the toilets like in Croatia?

Western-style, flushable toilets are the norm in Croatia's cities and urban centres.

Can I drink the water in Croatia?

Tap water is considered safe to drink in Croatia; however, due to the different mineral content, some people may get stomach upsets from the drinking water if they aren't used to it. A better option is finding filtered water rather than relying on bottled water.

Are credit cards accepted widely in Croatia?

Large hotels, restaurants and tourist sites will most likely accept credit cards. Always carry enough cash for smaller purchases and when shopping at vendors like market stalls and smaller cafes and hotels, which may not have credit card facilities.

What is ATM access like in Croatia?

ATMs are readily available throughout Croatia. Cities and large towns will have more ATM access than small villages or rural areas, so prepare accordingly if traveling out of urban areas.

What is the weather like in Croatia?

Croatia's climate is split into two different regions - along the coast and in the mainland.

Depending on which region you're travelling to, the weather may vary slightly with temperatures higher in the mainland area due to a lack of sea breeze.

Winter temperatures are also lower in the mainland with snowfall expected and enjoyed, whereas on the coast, snowfall is quite uncommon.

Is Croatia a safe destination for LGBTQIA+ travelers?

Discretion is advised for LGBTQIA+ travelers in Croatia. Homosexuality has been legal in Croatia since 1977 and is tolerated but not widely accepted. Public displays of affection between same-sex couples may be met with hostility in lesser populated cities. Gay venues are virtually non-existent outside Zagreb but this is improving every year. 

For more detailed and up-to-date advice, we recommend visiting   Equaldex   or   ILGA   before you travel.

What's the transport like in Croatia?

Intrepid believes half the fun of experiencing a new country is getting there, and getting around once there! Where possible, Intrepid uses local transport options and traditional modes of transport - which usually carry less of an environmental impact, support small local operators and are heaps more fun.

Depending on which trip you're on while in Croatia, you may find yourself traveling by:

No tourist coaches here! Travel through Croatia the way the locals do, aboard a local bus. It's a cheap, reliable and authentic way to get around.

Trip: Explore Croatia

Amazing views and quick access to the islands - what better way to see Croatia's splendid coast than aboard a ferry?

Trip: Cycle Croatia

Trip: Dubrovnik to Bled

Do I need to purchase travel insurance before traveling?

Absolutely. All passengers traveling with Intrepid are required to purchase travel insurance before the start of their trip. Your travel insurance details will be recorded by your leader on the first day of the trip. Due to the varying nature, availability and cost of health care around the world, travel insurance is very much an essential and necessary part of every journey.

For more information on insurance, please go to: Travel Insurance

How do I stay safe and healthy while traveling?

From Australia?

Go to: Smart Traveller

From Canada?

Go to:  Canada Travel Information

From the UK?

Go to:  UK Foreign Travel Advice

From New Zealand?

Go to:  Safe Travel

From the US?

Go to:  US Department of State

The World Health Organisation also provides useful health information.

What is it like traveling on a small group tour?

Whether you’re a seasoned traveler or you’re about to embark on your first trip, traveling can be as intimidating as it is exciting. That's the beauty of a small group tour. From handling the logistics and organizing amazing cultural activities to local leaders who know each destination like the back of their hand (like which street has the best markets and where to get the most authentic food), traveling on a small group tour with Intrepid will give you unforgettable travel experiences without the hassle that comes with exploring a new place. Plus, you'll have ready-made friends to share the journey with. All you have to do is turn up with a healthy sense of adventure and we’ll take care of the rest.

Does my trip to Croatia support The Intrepid Foundation?

Yes, all Intrepid trips support the Intrepid Foundation. In fact, we make a donation on behalf of every traveler. Trips to Croatia directly support our foundation partner, Humana Zagreb.

Humana Zagreb

Humana Zagreb provides job opportunities and education programs in sustainable fashion and textile industries for people with disabilities. Donations fund educational programs run by Humana employees with disabilities. These programs teach school children about the issues of fast fashion, the importance of reusing and recycling clothes, and the barriers that people with disabilities face when searching for employment.

Intrepid will double the impact by dollar-matching all post-trip donations made to The Intrepid Foundation.

Does my Intrepid trip include airfare?

While our Intrepid trips include many modes of transport, from tuk-tuks to overland vehicles, bullet trains and feluccas, airfare to and from your home country is not included in your tour package.

14 of the best beaches in Croatia

Isabel Putinja

Dec 10, 2023 • 7 min read

travel croatia cheap

Lounge by the crystal clear waters of the Adriatic on Croatia's best beaches © Antonio Batinic / Shutterstock

First-time visitors to Croatia are often startled by the striking turquoise hue of its sea and see-straight-to-the-bottom waters.

This Mediterranean sun destination certainly has no shortage of beaches – thanks to its 1,777-km-long (1,104 miles) Adriatic coastline and close to 1,200 islands, there’s a beach for everyone. The question is, do you prefer sandy or pebbly?

The pros and cons of each are a topic of debate – some swear by the crystal-clear waters of a pebble beach not clouded by sand, while others need to feel the soft powder between their toes. In Croatia, you’ll mostly find pebble beaches nestled in the coves of rocky shorelines, but there are also many sandy exceptions.

And did you know that all beaches in Croatia are public? It’s the law! You can lay down your towel where you please – there’s no such thing as a private beach here.

Whether you’re looking for pebbly or sandy, family-friendly or sporty, we have the beach for you with our handy guide to the best beaches in Croatia.

1. Zlatni Rat, Brač Island

Croatia’s most photographed beach, Zlatni Rat , does not disappoint. Follow the pine-scented promenade from seaside Bol to this gorgeous expanse of fine, soft pebbles lapped by inky blue waters. Its astonishing V-shape changes and shifts with the tide and currents of the Adriatic Sea. The beach’s windy eastern side is a top spot for windsurfers, while the cool kids hang out at beachside Auro .

Planning tip: It’s a 30-minute stroll from Bol. An alternative is to park at Parking Zlatni Rat, a 10-minute walk away.

A small beach at the foot of a large hill backed by turquoise ocean

2. Dubovica, Hvar Island

Hvar Town revelers recover from their boozy nights at Dubovica , a tiny cove swathed with a beach of dazzling white pebbles 10km (6 miles) east of town. At its eastern end, look out for the small cave hidden in the rocky shoreline. When you’ve had enough sun, lounge under the pines at Duba Beach Bar , where cold drinks come with a chilled soundtrack. 

Planning tip: After a 15-minute drive east from Hvar Town, it’s a 10-minute trek downhill along a stony zig-zagging path from the main road. Or just catch a taxi boat.

3. Sveti Jakov, Dubrovnik

It’s a 30-minute walk from the Old Town and a hike down – and back up – 160 stone steps, but Sveti Jakov gives you some breathing space from the busyness of Dubrovnik ’s main beach. And you get sublime views of the walled Old Town, which are even more spectacular as the sun goes down. Secluded it might be, but you can still rent sunbeds and umbrellas and grab a bite at the beachside bar.

Planning tip: From Pile Gate, take bus no. 8 to Sveti Jakov church. Behind the church, you’ll see steps down to the beach. Or take a taxi boat from the Old Town port.

4. Stiniva, Vis Island

Off the southern coast of Vis Island lies striking Stiniva Bay , surrounded by a near-circle of rocky cliffs with only a narrow opening to the sea. Part of its appeal is its inaccessibility – you can try to brave the steep downhill footpath from Žužeca, but most visitors arrive by boat and swim through the passage to the white pebble beach.

Planning tip: Set out early to avoid the worst of the boat traffic.

Partying at Hideout Festival on Zrće Beach

5. Zrće Beach, Pag Island

Zrće Beach is large, easy to access, amped up and offers little shade. If you’re ready to party, this is absolutely the place to be. In recent years, Zrće’s open-air beachfront Papaya Club has taken up residency on DJ Mag ’s prestigious annual Top 100 Clubs list. From June to September, the “Ibiza of Croatia” fires up with festivals, themed party weekends and guest slots from superstar DJs.

Planning tip: Zrće Beach is 3.5km (2 miles) from the port town of Novalja on Pag Island , which is linked to the mainland via a bridge.

6. Šunj, Lopud Island

One of Croatia’s loveliest sandy beaches is a dreamy day trip from Dubrovnik by boat to chilled-out Lopud Island in the Elaphiti archipelago. Walk from the main port through the pine woods to the wide sandy beach at Šunj, where you can set yourself up for the day on the soft sands or on a shaded sunbed. The shallow waters here make this a favorite of families with small kids, while the eastern end of the beach is reserved for naturists. There’s a simple restaurant, too, and if you don't want to walk 25 minutes from the harbor, hire one of the golf cart taxis to take you there.

Planning tip: The ferry trip from Dubrovnik's Gruž port takes just under an hour and stops at Sipan island on the way.

7. Stračinska, Šolta Island

Šolta is so close to Split , but it seems to slip under people’s radar in the headlong rush to reach Hvar and Brač . But this wonderfully laid-back island has a deeply indented coastline sheltering tiny beaches, including the pebbly cove at Stračinska Bay. It’s a tiny, secluded spot lined with fragrant pine trees and rocky shores – and that’s about it. No bar, just sparkling blue-green waters perfect for lazy swims and snorkeling.

A cyclist pauses on a cliff path to take a look out to sea

8. Cape Kamenjak, Istria

The shoreline of this rugged and rocky peninsula on Istria 's southernmost tip is traced by quiet bays and coves. Its western coast is ideal for swimming and snorkeling, while its breezy eastern side is where the windsurfers congregate. When it's time to seek out some shade and refreshments, head to the quirky Safari Beach Bar , a local favorite.

9. Plaža Ušće (Delta Beach), Neretva Delta

Kitesurfers and windsurfers – you’ve found one of the best beaches in Croatia to fly across the sands and waves of Plaža Ušće. Delta Beach, as it’s known in English, is the wide sandy expanse that hugs the delta of the Neretva River as it empties into the Adriatic. Gaze at the beautiful mountains of the Pelješac peninsula in front of you as you flop on the sands and order a cold drink in the simple little beach bar.

10. Lopar peninsula, Rab Island

The Lopar peninsula is where you can find some of Croatia’s best sandy beaches. Just over a mile long, half-moon-shaped Paradise Beach is the biggest and most family-friendly, thanks to its shallow waters. For something more secluded and untamed, head to the beaches on the northern edge of the peninsula. Here, rocky outcrops stretch like long fingers into the sea with sheltered coves and swathes of golden sand nestled in between.

Planning tip: Ciganka and Sahara beaches are “clothing optional” – ideal for those who like to take it all off before diving in. Stolac beach is exclusively nudist.

Families enjoy the dappled sunshine on a stony beach

11. Punta Rata, Brela

The rocky coastline around the town of Brela , on the stretch of the Dalmatian mainland known as the Makarska Riviera, is made up of a succession of pretty, pebbly beaches. This 300m (1,000ft) pebble beach with see-right-to-the-bottom waters is popular with local families. Its Aleppo pines provide some welcome shade from the scorching summer sun. Take your mask and snorkel to the waters around the tree-covered Brela Stone at the beach’s western end to explore the underwater world.

Planning tip: This is a good spot for some water sports, with stand-up paddleboards, kayaks, pedal boats and jet skis available to rent. There are also outfits offering parasailing experiences.

12. Lubenice, Cres Island

From Lubenice , a scenic hamlet perched on the edge of a 378m-high (1,240ft) cliff, Cres Island 's most idyllic beach seems tantalizingly close but can only be reached via a steep and demanding one-hour descent along a rocky path. The intrepid are awarded by pristine white pebbles and turquoise waters, but so are those arriving by boat – a much better idea. Half a mile southwards in nearby Žanje Bay is the magical Blue Cave with a small pebble beach tucked inside.

Planning tip: There are no beach bars or food stalls – bring food and sufficient water.

13. Sunčana Uvala, Lošinj Island

On Lošinj Island ’s western coast lies Sunčana Uvala (Sunny Cove), skirted with white pebble beaches and impossibly turquoise waters. Shadowed by a large hotel, lovely Veli Žal beach can get busy with families. In this case, follow the promenade southwards along a rocky coastline to the smaller but just as pristine Borik beach, a favorite with local beachgoers. Afterward, kick back with a cocktail as you ogle the sunset from Borik Mediterranean Bar .

14. Veruda Island beach, Istria

Hop on a boat from Pula for the short ride to tiny Veruda Island – known by locals as Fratarski Otok (Friar's Island). This is home to Croatia’s only “eco-beach” thanks to its undeveloped and unblemished landscape, as well as local efforts to protect its plant, sea and animal life. It’s also delightfully car-free.

Planning tip: Bunk down for the night at the tourist camp and wake up to the sound of water lapping the shore.

This article was first published Aug 15, 2017 and updated Dec 10, 2023.

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20 Best Cities to Visit in Europe on the Cheap

E urope can cost a lot of money as a travel destination. Cities like Stockholm, Paris and London are so expensive, even Europeans complain about them. 

But that doesn’t mean cheap travel isn’t possible on the continent. There are plenty of places that offer beauty, history and good food without breaking the bank.

These are the best cities in Europe for surprisingly cheap travel.

Note: We may earn money from affiliate partners if you buy through links on our site.

20. Ljubljana, Slovenia

Best budget stay:  ibis Styles Ljubljana Centre

Best cheap attraction: The Dragon Bridge is a free attraction that provides some of the coolest photo ops in the city.

Note: This list comes from U.S. News and World Report's 2023-24 report .

Visiting Ljubljana on a Budget

The Slovenian capital remains an underrated and overlooked gem. With terracotta rooftops, stone bridges that cross the Ljubljanica River and a castle on a hill, this is storybook Europe at its finest. 

Ljubljana’s relative lack of fame works for budget travelers, as prices are much cheaper here than in other places that compare in beauty. A great way to see everything without spending a lot of money is to buy the Ljubljana Card , which provides entrances to several attractions, public transport, bike rental and even a river cruise.

19. Galway, Ireland

Best budget stay: Salthill Hotel  

Best cheap attraction: If you can find transportation to it, there is no entrance to the wild and beautiful Connemara National Park.

How to Visit Galway on a Budget

Ireland’s second city may be relatively small, but it packs a punch and doesn’t ask you to pay much for it. The Galway City Museum, the Galway Cathedral and St. Nicholas’s Collegiate Church are free to enter. This means you’ll have more money to spend at the pub at night.

If you have a car or know someone who does, don’t skip taking a drive along the Wild Atlantic Way, which will give you unprecedented views of the Emerald Isle’s coastline.

18. Split, Croatia

Best budget stay:  Central Square Heritage Hotel  

Best cheap attraction: The Fortress of Starigard can be reached by hiking uphill for about an hour. At the top, there are incredible panoramic views, and the experience will only set you back about $4.

Visiting Split on a Budget

Split is one of Croatia’s most popular cities, yet it remains fairly affordable. The best thing to do is visit the Old Town, where cobblestone streets meet the ruins of Diocletian’s Palace. What makes the center so unique is that what’s left of the Roman palace has become a central part of city life, rather than being cordoned off. It’s also free for you to explore and enjoy as much as you want.

Other free and amazing activities include hiking the Marjan Hill and watching the sunset over the Adriatic Sea.

17. Zagreb, Croatia

Best budget stay: Canopy by Hilton Zagreb City Centre

Best cheap attraction: Go on the hunt for amazing street art, which is so noteworthy that the city has started a Street Art Museum project.

How to Visit Zagreb on a Budget

Even though Dubrovnik gets more attention, Zagreb is the perfect place for those looking to beat the crowds. Free attractions include the Dolac Market, a local favorite and a great place to find souvenirs, and the Zagreb Botanical Garden. At the garden, you’ll find numerous native and non-native species as well as a stunning arboretum. 

Luckily, accommodations in the center are far from costly. This also means you won’t have to spend much money on transportation to get to sites like the Stone Gate and the Zagreb Cathedral.

16. Berlin, Germany

Best budget stay: Capri by Fraser Berlin

Best cheap attraction: Every Wednesday at 1 p.m. between September and June, the world-famous Berlin Philharmonic performs free shows that are open to the public.

Visiting Berlin on a Budget

If you needed another reason to think that Berlin is the coolest place in Europe, here it is. The capital city isn’t content to have world-class museums, countless historical attractions, more parks than you could visit, interesting architecture and possibly the continent’s best nightlife. It also has to offer all of this at a great price. 

Several main attractions are free. This includes the iconic Brandenburg Gate and the somber Memorial to the Murdered Jews of Europe. The Topography of Terror, a museum housed in former Nazi headquarters, is also free. Another popular place to enjoy without having to pay is the East Side Gallery, where street artists have found a perfect canvas on what’s left of the inner Berlin Wall.

15. Vienna, Austria

Best budget stay: Hotel Schani Wien

Best cheap attraction: For about $6, you can go up the South Tower of St. Stephen’s Cathedral and get amazing views of Vienna.

Visiting Vienna on a Budget

Another European capital to make it to the list, Vienna is like Berlin’s less loud, more refined older sister. You won’t get to go to the city’s famed Opera House for cheap, but there are plenty of other activities that travelers with limited budgets can enjoy.

St. Stephen’s Cathedral is the most popular free attraction. Cultural institutions like the House of Music and the Museum of Applied Arts also have discounted prices for specific dates and times. For food, look for restaurants with a set menu, or mittagsmenu, which typically costs about $12. Those with a sweet tooth will be happy to know that enjoying a famous sachertorte and coffee is an inexpensive local pastime.

14. Reykjavik, Iceland

Best budget stay:  Eyja Guldsmeden Hotel

Best cheap attraction: Take a free walking tour to get the lay of the land with a local guide.

Visiting Reykjavik on a Budget

We're not going to lie to you — Iceland isn't the cheapest destination on this list by a long shot, but there are ways to visit Reykjavik without completely blowing your travel budget. First and foremost, visit during the offseason months of September, October, February and March for cheaper accommodations while still being able to see the northern lights.

We also recommend a hike up Mount Esja for some of the best views in the area or a walk or bike ride along the city's coastline.

13. Granada, Spain

Best budget stay: Hotel Anacapri  

Best cheap attraction: The 19th-century Carmen de los Martires offers free admission. It has six large gardens, all done in different styles, including one imitating Alhambra’s famous Nasrid Gardens.  

Visiting Granada on a Budget

The main reason people visit beautiful Granada is to see the Alhambra. Sadly, the palace is not what we’d call cheap. But at around $36, it’s also not impossible, especially since this is simply the most beautiful Islamic palace in Spain. 

For budget travelers, the good news is that pretty much everything else in the city is cheap. Enjoy drinks and tapas for under $5, walk around the pretty Andalusian city, and visit parks and gardens to see other examples of Moorish architecture.

Best budget stay: Solana Hotel & Spa

Best cheap attraction:  If you're visiting in the summer, hit the beaches and go swimming.

Visiting Malta on a Budget

Like most European destinations, a visit to the island's ornate churches is always worth your time because they're free.

But most museums are also quite inexpensive, and if you plan on visiting a bunch in one trip, you can get the Malta Pass , which offers heavily discounted rates.

11. Corfu, Greece

Best budget stay: Cavalieri Hotel  

Best cheap attraction: Indulge in olives and olive oil. Corfu has around 2 million olive trees, which means that this healthy and nutritious food is abundant and cheap throughout the island.

Visiting Corfu on a Budget

Corfu is located on the Ionian Sea. As such, it is closer to Italy and Albania than it is to the Aegean Greek Isles. With two Venetian fortresses, a grand palace, imposing mountains and a long shoreline, there are plenty of (cheap and free) things to do on the island. 

Most of your time will be spent walking around and sunbathing, so you’ll save money while enjoying the island. There are also several churches and monasteries to visit, most of which are free of charge. Food in all of Greece is deliciously affordable, so you’ll get to relish in the Mediterranean diet while having money left over for all the souvenirs you could want.

10. Tallinn, Estonia

Best budget stay: Palace Hotel Tallinn

Best cheap attraction: The famed Dome Church is free and open to the public whenever services aren't taking place; however, a donation is highly recommended.

Visiting Tallinn on a Budget

Most people would never believe it possible to find a Baltic capital on a ranking of cheap European destinations. But Tallinn likes to surprise. It’s kind of its thing. 

Woefully underrated and under-visited, those in the know can take advantage of the city’s relatively inexpensive prices. Enjoy the Medieval Old Town, visit the Alexander Nevsky Cathedral and spend time at the Kadriorg Park, which dates back about 300 years. 

9. Seville, Spain

Best budget stay: Hotel Baco  

Best cheap attraction: Plaza de España is Seville’s most important attraction. You can tour the semi-circular building and the square for no cost at all.

How to Visit Seville on a Budget

There is no town in Andalusia that isn’t breathtaking. So when people say Seville is the crown jewel of the Spanish region, you know it’s something special. 

The best part about the city is it's accessible to all kinds of travelers, including those who have to mind their budgets. Most of the best things in the city are free, including the Plaza de España, which virtually defines the city. Other free attractions include the Inquisition Museum and the Palacio de los Marqueses de Algaba. At the latter, you’ll see fine examples of Mudejar architecture, the Christian-Islamic mix that defines the region. 

8. Lisbon, Portugal

Best budget stay: Hotel Real Palacio  

Best cheap attraction: Lisbon has more than 30 miradours , or viewpoints that offer beautiful vistas over the city. Most of them are completely free to visit and are a popular spot for locals.

How to Visit Lisbon on a Budget

Hills and coastline define the topography of Lisbon, the cheapest Western European capital. This is a city that really checks all the right boxes. It has amazing food, friendly people, beautiful architecture, unique music, great weather and many parks. And it offers them all at bargain prices. 

The cheapest way to see the city is by foot, but you can get a Lisbon Card if you’re planning on using public transportation a lot. Many of the things to do in the city are free, since attractions mainly involve walking up and down the hills, taking in views and appreciating the Portuguese azulejos that transform the facade of buildings into works of art.

7. Dubrovnik, Croatia

Best budget stay: City Hotel Dubrovnik

Best cheap attraction:  Walk through the Pile Gate to explore Dubrovnik's famous, walled Old Town.

How to Visit Dubrovnik on a Budget

While the architecture within Old Town can't be missed, it's important to get outside and walk along the coastline or to the top of Mount Srd for breathtaking views of the water from above.

Of course, "Game of Thrones" fans will be tempted to spend the typical $50 on a GoT Tour, but there are several self-guided tours available online that won't cost you a thing.

6. Istanbul, Turkey

Best budget stay: Turk Art Hotel  

Best cheap attraction: The Archaeology Museums is a cluster of museums that contains one of the largest collections of classical sculptures and art. The group is made up of the Archaeological Museum, the Museum of the Ancient Orient and the Museum of Islamic Art. The entrance fee to each museum is about $3.50.

Visiting Istanbul on a Budget

A city famously straddling between Europe and Asia, Istanbul is a living museum. Walking around the city will allow you to see incredible landmarks like the Roman Hippodrome and the Egyptian obelisks for completely free. Even better, the emblematic Hagia Sophia Mosque and the Blue Mosque are also free. 

Food is very cheap and very good, so most of your money will probably go towards buying beautiful decorations, clothes and items at the city’s many markets.

5. Athens, Greece

Best budget stay: St George Lycabettus Hotel  

Best cheap attraction: Aristotle’s Lyceum, where the Greek philosopher once held his Peripatetic School, is free and open to the public.

How to Visit Athens on a Budget

Once a center for an empire that continues to define Western culture, Athens is surprisingly inexpensive. The city invites all to rejoice in its numerous ruins, with many metro stations displaying archaeological findings for commuters and travelers. 

Food and accommodations are also affordable, so you don’t have to feel guilty about splurging on Greek food. This also gives you more leeway to visit the Acropolis, whose entrance costs about $25. 

Take advantage of the city’s many hills to wander through neighborhoods, get a glimpse at how locals live and get a bird’s eye view of the city. We recommend Strefi Hill, where you’ll also find one of the best outdoor basketball courts in the world.

4. Budapest, Hungary

Best budget stay: Roombach Hotel Budapest Center  

Best cheap attraction: Walk up the whimsical Fisherman’s Bastions for free and get a panoramic view of the city center, including the astonishing Parliament building.

How to Visit Budapest on a Budget

Budapest’s beauty is free for anyone to gawk at. This is particularly true along the Danube River, where anyone can simply walk about and take in the sight of the Buda Castle and the Parliament Building. It is also a perfect place to catch a sunset. Another cheap but worthy attraction is the Memento Statue Park, where for about $6 you can see all the communist statues that have been taken down and gathered in one place for those interested in seeing them.

The Hungarian capital also has reasonably priced food and drink, so you can try Hungarian wine and goulash without even thinking about the cost. 

3. Valencia, Spain

Best budget stay: Hotel Valencia Center  

Best cheap attraction: Any of the city’s beautiful sandy beaches are worth a visit.

Visiting Valencia on a Budget

Valencia is a thrilling mix of modern and Medieval architecture. While it is certainly a famous destination, it’s not as famous as we think it should be. Not only will you get all the best of Spain, including the delicious jamones, cheap wines and Moorish architecture, but you will also find extensive public beaches.

If you’re on a tight budget, you can spend time at the Central Market, or visit Valencia Cathedral and the Plaza del Ayuntamiento.

2. Prague, Czech Republic

Best budget stay: Mosaic House Design Hotel

Best cheap attraction: At the turn of every hour every day, the Astronomical Clock at the Old Town Hall provides a free animated show to anyone in the Old Town Square.

Visiting Prague on a Budget

With storybook beauty, Prague is a city you visit simply to see it with your own eyes. The top things to do include walking on Charles Bridge, going up Petrin Hill and spending time at the Old Town Square. And none of these attractions charge anything. 

Accommodations, drinks and food are also very cheap, so budget travelers can experience the picturesque city just as much as more affluent travelers. We recommend spending most of your time just walking about town, drinking Pilsner Urquell and understanding for yourself why Prague is considered one of the best places to visit in Europe .

1. Porto, Portugal

Best budget stay: HF Ipanema Porto

Best cheap attraction: Porto residents and travelers head to the public Crystal Palace Gardens to get magnificent views of the Douro River and Porto.

Visiting Porto on a Budget

If Porto beats every other city in Europe — even Lisbon — as the best budget destination, it’s because it's beautiful almost to the point of absurdity. Like the rest of Portugal, it’s also very cheap. 

Most of the tourist area centers around the Douro River, where you can stroll about, catching street performers or capoeira groups doing their thing as large crowds gather around to watch. Thank Europe for its open container laws, buy a $3 bottle of wine — we promise it’ll be one of the best you’ve ever tasted — and sit by the edge of the river to take it all in. 

You can also walk about looking for photo ops with azulejos, the country’s famed blue tiles. Or take advantage of the free entrance to the city’s main attractions, like the Porto Cathedral and the Dom Luis I Bridge.

Honorable Mention: Glasgow, Scotland

Best budget stay: Ambassador Hotel

Best cheap attraction: The Gallery of Modern Art is one of Scotland's most popular museums and is free of charge.

Visiting Glasgow on a Budget

While this Scottish city didn't make the list of top 20 cheap travel destinations, we had to include it because it's one of the most affordable in the entire United Kingdom.

Glasgow also provides free admission to some of its most important places of interest, including the Kelvingrove Art Gallery and Museum and the Gallery of Modern Art.

Honorable Mention: Bucharest, Romania

Best budget stay: Hilton Garden Inn Bucharest Old Town

Best cheap attraction: Herastrau Park, Bucharest’s largest park, is a popular spot with locals for picnicking, reading, people-watching, or simply lying on the grass and enjoying the sun.

Visiting Bucharest on a Budget

Another European city that we had to include, Bucharest is beautiful, cheap and free of crowds. You won’t have to pay much to see the confluence of history and modernity that make the city pulse with an exciting energy.

For around $2, you can visit the Curtea Veche Palace, whose former resident, Vlad the Impaler gave rise to the myth of Dracula. The Soviet-era Palace of Parliament, the second-largest administrative building in the world, will only set you back $10. Food, beer and accommodations are also extremely cheap.

Honorable Mention: Belgrade, Serbia

Best budget stay: Hotel City Savoy  

Best cheap attraction: The Belgrade Fortress is the city’s most iconic landmark. The entrance fee is less than $5.

Visiting Belgrade on a Budget

The Serbian capital was once the heart of Yugoslavia and an important city for the Roman, Byzantine, Ottoman and Austrian empires. Like many former Soviet nations, Serbia is relatively cheap compared to Western European countries, yet packs a heavy load of history. 

You’ll find that accommodations, food and transportation are very affordable. U.S. News and World Report points out the Church of Saint Sava as a perfect budget travel attraction. You can see one of the largest Orthodox churches in the world for free.

20 Best Cities to Visit in Europe on the Cheap

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31 June Travel Deals to Kick Off Summer

By Kyler Alvord and Paris Wilson

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Summer is finally here. As we gear up for fun in the sun, there are some great travel deals to round off the month of June that you'll want to keep on your radar. Before the scramble for last-minute Fourth of July plans, snap up one of these deals for a quick weekend getaway or a big European vacation. From $89 hotel stays on the Las Vegas strip to 25 percent off Play flights to Europe, there's a lot of ground to cover in the next few weeks.

This month, hotels are beefing up their discounts to entice travelers to book early, especially for reward points members—Marriott is treating Bonvoy members to 20 percent off hotel and resort stays. Find discounted cruise trips with Oceania's deal offering two cruise fares for the price of one with an abundance of add-ons: free unlimited Wi-Fi, champagne, and shore excursions. Plus, Amtrak is continuing its ongoing sale, making regional travel a breeze for a quick weekend getaway. Jump on these deals before they rise like the temperatures.

Flight deals

Train deals, hotel deals, cruise deals.

  • More travel deals

All listings featured in this story are independently selected by our editors. However, when you book something through our retail links, we may earn an affiliate commission. This article has been updated with new information since its original publish date. Additional reporting by Jamie Spain.

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Play Airlines is offering competitive flight deals to Europe.

Jet Blue is celebrating 20 years of flights to the Dominican Republic

Jet Blue is happy to celebrate twenty years of flights to the DR with travelers, and this monumental milestone calls for major savings. Now until June 24, travelers can score fares as low as $99 on one-way flights to the Dominican Republic from September through November.

Play Airlines is offering 25 percent off flights to Europe in celebration of Pride

To celebrate Pride month this year, Play Airlines is offering two advantageous deals. First, travelers cans take 25 percent off flights to Iceland, Amsterdam, Berlin, Copenhagen, Dublin, Düsseldorf, Hamburg, London, and Paris. Travelers will find daily departures out of Boston Logan Airport (BOS), New York Stewart Airport (SWF), Dulles Airport (IAD), and Baltimore International Airport (BWI). The deal applies to flights between August 2024 and March 2025. The second deal is a giveaway for one lucky traveler who will win free Play flights for two to attend Iceland's Pride in August. Travelers can submit to enter the giveaway  here  from June 18 through June 23, 2024.

College students save big on Lufthansa flights and baggage fees

Verify your student status with Lufthansa and immediately reap the rewards, unlocking a host of discounted economy flights between the United States and Europe, India, Africa, or the Middle East. Students also earn one free piece of checked baggage and the option to get a refund without fees. The program only applies to students in college who are over the age of 16.

Cut costs big time with Frontier Airlines’ shockingly cheap one-way flight sales

Spring sales are in full swing at Frontier Airlines , where travelers can currently snag one-way flights as cheap as $14 between select locations on select dates. This option works best if you’re flexible with dates and destinations—you won’t have a lot of wiggle room with these deals. If you’re feeling restless, on a budget, or are eager to get out of town, consider Frontier for an affordable start to your getaway.

Save up to 30 percent on vacation packages with Spirit Airlines

The budget airline is making it a cinch to save big not just on airfare, but hotels and more with its vacation packages , which are currently up to 30 percent off when travelers book a combination of flights, hotels, or rental cars together. Several of the top deals offer trips to Las Vegas and Cancun from cities like Chicago , Houston , and Atlanta , starting at surprisingly low prices that include flights and a hotel.

Save up to 40 percent on hotel stays with Etihad Airways’ Stopover Package

Stopover packages are a great way to add another destination to your journey without spending too much extra cash. Travelers who want to experience Abu Dhabi can take advantage of Etihad Airways’ discounted Stopover Packages , which currently include up to two free nights in select three- or four-star hotels, or 40 percent off two- or four-night hotel stays at premium properties. The offer also comes with discounts on restaurants and other experiences, as well as amenities like 24-hour check-in and complimentary Wi-Fi. Travelers must make bookings at least three days in advance before arriving in Abu Dhabi.

Rocky Mountaineer train

Rocky Mountaineer is famous for its incredible views of the North American West

Ride out Amtrak’s range of ongoing sales

Amtrak is always offering some good longer-lasting deals. Students aged 17–24 can enjoy up to 15 percent in savings on train rides booked at least a day in advance, trimming costs on a variety of routes that range from coast to coast with no change fees. Plus, on most journeys, seniors save 10 percent on ticket costs—that means travelers 65 and over for qualifying domestic trips and ages 60 and up on cross-border expeditions. And, Amtrak has sweetened the savings on its children’s discount , so little ones between two and 12 years old may travel for 50 percent off with an accompanying adult.

Save 10 percent on Grand Canyon Railway getaway packages

The Grand Canyon Railway & Hotel, home to one of the most scenic train routes in the US , will cover all the bases with its two- and three-night getaway packages that include lodging, meals, and—of course—a train ride through the Southwest’s most-visited national park. The bundles are currently 10 percent off the usual price for an undetermined amount of time, meaning if there was ever a moment to jump on the full canyon experience, it’s now.

Plan a large group outing and earn the seventh spot free

Looking to take your next family reunion to a new level? Get the ol’ college friends back together? Go on a quadruple date? Whatever the occasion, EF Go Ahead Tours’ Group Travel Program caters to large groups, allowing you to handcraft your next experience and save some money along the way. For every six people who sign up, you’ll get a seventh tour spot for free. You can view this as buy six tickets, get one free; or buy 12, get two free; or buy 18, get three free—you get the point. There’s no cap to the number of free spots you can earn. Why not go all out?

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Nobu Restaurant in Caesars Palace.

Secure hotels for as low as $89 on the Las Vegas strip

For those flocking to Las Vegas this summer, you can book popular hotels such as Caesars Palace , Flamingos, Paris Las Vegas, and Nobu Hotel Las Vegas for rates as low as $89 a night during the Vegas Vacation sale. Now through July 1, travelers will get the lowest rates possible with the promo code BAR24. If you aren't able to make it in the next few months, reservations can be made for stays between now and March 2025.

Marriott Bonvoy members get 20 percent off resort and hotel stays

It pays to be a part of the Marriott Bonvoy rewards club. From June 10 through July 7, Marriott Bonvoy members are able to save 20 percent off hotel bookings for weekend getaways and 20 percent off of resorts stays throughout the week. While members get the most savings, non-members can still get 15 percent off.

Get up to 20 percent off at Ace Hotels when you pay early

Ace Hotel’s Greetings From the Future deal rewards guests who book—and pay—at least two weeks in advance by trimming up to 20 percent off the reservation price. The discount, cleverly branded as “paying it forward for future you,” applies at multiple Ace locations and can be secured by booking through the deal webpage.

Book a suite with Loews Hotels and get extra on-site perks

Loews Hotels is sweetening its suite experience by giving travelers up to $125 daily for food and drink—the credit amount varies by location—plus free Premium Plus Wi-Fi. Currently, the hotels offering the largest dining credits are Loews Miami Beach and Loews Regency New York , but other properties still put up a good fight. Check out the offer page to find out what you can expect at your dream Loews destination.

Get a sweet, suite deal at Mondrian Los Angeles

Level up your LA vacay with discounted suites at Mondrian Los Angeles—they’re currently 20 percent off and also come with a $25 daily in-room dining credit and guaranteed late check out of 1 p.m. (early check-in is based upon availability; the deal also is subject to availability, and blackout dates may apply). The suites offer travelers a spiffy home base right in the heart of West Hollywood, and the property’s dreamy rooftop pool is a perfect way to wind down after a day of sightseeing and celeb spotting.

Hop on a free catamaran cruise in Jamaica with Beaches Resort

If you’re looking for a dreamy island getaway, look no further. Those who book a Jamaican trip with Beaches to either Beaches Negril or Beaches Ocho Rios can expect a free catamaran cruise on bookings of five nights or more. Stay seven nights or more to also get $250 in resort credit. Use the code JJAM2024 to secure the deal.

Save 15 percent or more on spontaneous bookings with loves a getaway deal , which comes in handy if you’re still not sure where you’re staying for that last-second trip you’re trying to pull together. The site promises at least—not “up to”—15 percent off qualifying hotels of all price ranges, which are sorted by destination on the site to help guide you to a decision.

Ace Hotel Brooklyn Guest Room

Save on select Ace Hotel properties, including its Brooklyn location

Unlock up to two free nights at thousands of Wyndham properties worldwide

From now until August 31, Wyndham rewards members have the chance to earn up to 15,000 bonus points (worth two free nights). Stay two consecutive nights at a Wyndham property to earn 7,500 bonus points, three consecutive nights to earn 12,500 bonus points, and four or more consecutive nights to earn 15,000 bonus points. Rewards members can also expect savings of up to 20 percent off or more when they book a stay for three or more consecutive nights between May 22 and July 15, 2024. Stays must be redeemed by September 30. You can join Wyndham’s rewards program for free here .

Save 20 percent at Omni Hotels on three-night stays

Omni’s Spring Savings offer is crystal clear: At the chain’s participating hotels and resorts, guests can now save 20 percent on bookings of three nights or longer. Book directly through the offer page and the deal is done, no additional effort required.

Take up to 15 percent off properties at Extra Holidays

Whether you’re looking for a sunny summer destination like Daytona Beach or the US Virgin Islands , or want to experience city life in Atlanta or Las Vegas , Extra Holidays has tons of great hotels to choose from. Guests will see savings of up to 15 percent off at properties from Club Wyndham, WorldMark by Wyndham, Margaritaville Vacation Club, and more, as long as they book between now and July 8.

Hurtigruten Expeditions cruises

Hurtigruten Expeditions cruises

Score two cruise fares for the price of one on an Oceania cruise

During Oceania's “ simply MORE” sale event, travelers can secure two cruise fares for the price of one, get bundled roundtrip airfare, and receive free airport transfers, shore excursions, champagne, and unlimited Wi-Fi. The available 2024 and 2025 sailings are covering much of Europe: Lisbon, Hamburg, Amsterdam, and Barcelona ; as well as Singapore, Montreal , Aukland, Buenos Aires , and New Zealand.

Take 40 percent off Holland America Line cruise fares

Holland America Line has started its Summer Savings event and ends June 28. The highlight of the deal is snagging up to 40 percent off fares for cruises between May 2024 and April 2025, but you can also get up to $100 in onboard credit, a 50 percent reduced deposit, and—on select cruises—you can bring third and fourth guests for free.

See up to 15 percent in savings and up to $2,200 in ship credit on select Seabourn voyages

Take to the waters with Seaborn to “sea” some really great savings on select 2024 and 2025 trips. Guests can save up to 15 percent on select voyages when they book between now and June 25, 2024, like an 18-day trip through Chile and Antarctica , or a cruise through the Panama Canal . Guests can also take advantage of the “More Moments on Us” promotion which offers up to $2,200 in ship credit per suite that can be applied to a variety of activities include shore excursions, spa services, and Wi-Fi packages. (The promotions must be used separately.)

Enjoy all-inclusive amenities on a yacht-style Windstar cruise for $89 per day

Windstar Cruises’ all-inclusive fares allow guests to upgrade to a luxury ocean experience for only $89 more per day per guest, if booked by June 30 and more than five days before departure. This means you’ll get Wi-Fi access plus unlimited alcoholic beverages with gratuities included. Windstar’s yacht-style cruises tour a variety of areas , from the Mediterranean and northern Europe to Tahiti and Central America.

Sail the seas with nearly half off Hurtigruten Expeditions cruises

It’s still wave season and you can expect deals on all of your favorite cruises to destinations around the world. For those that book their next Hurtigruten Expeditions trip between now and June 30, savings of up to 45 percent are in your future. You can expect to see these huge discounts on 2024 and 2025 expeditions to Antarctica , Alaska , Greenland , the Galapagos Islands , and plenty more.

If you miss the cutoff for the 45 percent offer, there’s hope for you yet. With some extra planning, travelers can still slash 40 percent off 2025-2026 cruises , and for a limited time, solo travelers can join select cruise itineraries without paying the single supplement fee .

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A Cruise Croatia ship sailing the gorgeous Dalmatian Coast

Cruise Croatia is offering bar credit on luxury yacht sailings booked early

If you’ve seen the photos of Dubrovnik and Split, you know that a visit to the Dalmatian Coast deserves to be on everyone’s bucket list. With Cruise Croatia ’s current deal, travelers save when booking early for cruises departing in May 2025—expect to receive $80 of bar credit per cabin as well as a complimentary traditional village dinner on the Island of Korcula. You can also see savings of up to 40 percent off on last minute voyages .

See Greece in a new light with big savings on trips from Celestyal Cruises

For wave season this year, Celestyal Cruises is taking you on the trip of a lifetime to Greece. A seven-night Greece and Greek Island cruise is going for as low as $679 per person right now, and you’ll find other Greek cruise fares for as low as $279 per person. Your wallet will certainly thank you for taking advantage of Celestyal’s promotions.

Solo travelers get a room to themselves for cheap with Uniworld Boutique River Cruises

Traveling alone is a freeing experience, but can come at a steep price if you wind up paying double to secure a room to yourself. Fortunately, solo travelers can now book two-person rooms on select Uniworld river cruises for the price of just one guest, aiming to break down the financial barriers that often deter independent explorers from planning their dream getaway. Current itineraries eligible for the discounted rate last anywhere from 8 to 16 days and span all over Europe— Paris , Amsterdam , Venice , Lisbon —they’re all yours to see.

Holland America Line cruise

Holland America Line cruise

Take your family on a Disney cruise with a 25-percent-off special

Family-friendly Disney Cruise Line is offering between 20 and 25 percent savings on select cruises from ports like Civitavecchia, Italy; Barcelona, Spain ; Galveston, Texas; and Port Canaveral, Florida. The cruises on offer include routes all across the globe, on a variety of ships.

Even more travel deals

Get 20 percent off all-inclusive resorts at priceline when you bundle hotels and flights.

Summer is in full swing for Priceline. See savings of 20 percent off or more for guests who bundle hotels and flights when booking top all-inclusive resorts. You can also save 20 percent off or more on trending city hotels, 40 percent off of Florida hotels with express deals, and up to 40 percent off theme park destinations when you bundle hotels and flights.

Get up to 25 percent off a car rental—and a free upgrade—when you pay ahead

Avis and Budget’s spring sales mean drivers can get rewarded for paying up front when they book a car rental. The deal applies at the sister brands’ participating locations between now and the end of the year; travelers will get 25 percent off the time and mileage charges on their bill, and a free upgrade. To redeem, mention the coupon codes on the deals page and watch the perks pour in.

travel croatia cheap

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  1. The Cost of Travel in Croatia: My 2024 Budget Breakdown

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