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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 some 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

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.
A gorgeous view of the Kempinski Hotel in Savurdija, Istria, one of my favorite luxury properties in Croatia.

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.

    Visiting Croatia’s islands? Download 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
    Pizzas in Croatia are a tasty and inexpensive meal.

    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.
    Walking the Dubrovnik City Walls is an absolute must!

    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.
    Your Croatia vacation cost doesn’t have to be expensive, even when visiting places like Dubrovnik.

    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

    Croatia Vacation Budget Calculator

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    FAQs

    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

    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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