Ultimate Guide to Hvar Town, Croatia
In this ultimate guide to Hvar Town, Croatia, you’ll discover where to stay, what to eat, and the best things to do in Hvar Town!
This Mediterranean gem is nestled on the southern side of Hvar Island in a picturesque cove. Its historic town embodies rustic stone streets, dreamy beaches, and elegant Venetian architecture.
It’s a town where travelers come to taste some of the best Mediterranean cuisine in the region, plunge into the most amazing blue water and marvel at outstanding sunsets each night.
If you need any more convincing to start planning your trip, keep reading for the complete guide to Hvar Town, Croatia.
Where to Stay in Hvar Town, Croatia
Hvar Town is plentiful when it comes to accommodation options. You really can’t go wrong, but I do recommend reading the reviews about the location before making a reservation.
Failure to do so and you might end up booking yourself a steep, daily uphill hike back to your room!
Here are a few of my own personal recommendations:
We spent our time in Hvar Town in an Airbnb located near the Franciscan Monastery, which was the perfect base for exploring the town. Our host, Morana, was wonderful and provided us with the very best insights into the island’s most outstanding beaches and restaurants.
We would definitely recommend her place to any friend!
Hvar does not fall short when it comes to hedonistic hotel options. The town is chock-full of mid-range to luxury hotels right in the heart of the city.
A few hotels worth mentioning are:
- AMFORA HVAR GRAND BEACH RESORT | Perhaps the most iconic hotel in all of Hvar Town, Amfora Hvar Grand Beach Resort is located just a short walk away from the old town in a secluded bay. If you’re after a more luxurious splurge, this is the place to be.
- VINTAGE HOUSE AL POZZO | Stay in the heart of the old town in a vintage condo-hotel. These exceptional boutique apartments are beautifully designed and have everything you need for a comfortable and relaxing stay.
- HOTEL TERANEA | Indulge in spacious rooms, great design, two pools, and sea views when you stay at Hotel Teranea. This stylish hotel is about a 15-minute walk to the center of the old town.
If these particular hotels don’t pique your interest, search for other options on Booking.com here.
Thanks to Hvar Town’s growth in popularity on the European backpacker trail, hostels have been popping up
- YOUTH HOSTEL VILLA MARIJA | A laid-back hostel, Villa Marija is located about a ten-minute walk away from the Franciscan Monastery and from the beach. Guests rave about their clean and spacious rooms and helpful staff.
- WHITE RABBIT | White Rabbit Hostel boasts an excellent location for sightseeing and getting around. Run by backpackers, for backpackers, the team at White Rabbit knows what it takes to make a great hostel stay.
- HOSTEL KAPA | This is the place to stay in Hvar Town if you want to feel at home. Hostel Kapa is close to Stipanska Beach and offers a BBQ area and garden as the perfect environment for getting to know the other guests.
Things to Do in Hvar Town, Croatia
Explore the Beaches
This guide to Hvar Town would not be complete without featuring the beaches!
Because, let’s be honest, the beaches are one of the top reasons people visit Hvar.
Some of the best beaches in Croatia can be found on Hvar Island, and a few of them are even walking distance away from Hvar Town.
Here are the best beaches closest to Hvar Town:
About a 25-minute walk from Hvar Town, Pokonji Dol is the best, and most easily accessible beach to reach by foot.
This wistful bay beckons you in with white pebbly beach (that is actually pretty comfortable to lie on) and gleaming turquoise water. The cove houses a number of nostalgic restaurants serving freshly caught fish and refreshing beverages.
Lounge the day away on a sun bed, available to rent for the day for around 70kn.
About a 25min walk from Pokonji Dol lies a gorgeous near-private beach known as Strand Mekicevica.
Getting to this secluded retreat requires an easy hike over rocky terrain, so be sure to wear comfortable shoes. The stony path will lead you to a beautiful bay framed by a pine tree forest. Mekicevica is a true hidden gem, especially for those longing to escape the busy streets of Hvar Town.
Walk a bit further from the beach and you’ll land at Restaurant Robinson, a cozy seaside eatery serving fresh fish and traditional Mediterranean cuisine.
Just a ten-minute walk along the waterfront is perhaps Hvar Town’s best-known bathing area – Bonj Beach.
Situated at the foot of the iconic Amfora Hotel, Bonj Beach has a
Near Amfora Hotel…beautiful walkway surrounded by a pine tree forest leads to the beach…don’t have to be a guest of the hotel to take a dip there
For more inspiration, check out this post for the best beaches on Hvar Island.
Cruise Around the Pakleni Islands
One of our favorite things to do in Hvar Town is spending an entire day hopping around the Pakleni (or Paklinski) Islands. This gorgeous chain of wooded islands sits right across from Hvar Town. Though often translated to “Hell’s Islands”, the name Pakleni is actually thought to have derived from paklina, a former pine resin that was harvested on the archipelago to waterproof boats.
Today, the Pakleni Islands are known for their crystal clear bays, striking lagoons, secret beaches, and elegant beach bars.
The closest island to Hvar Town is Jerolim where clothing is optional. Next up is Marinkovac, known for the famous Carpe Diem Beach. Across from Marinkovac lie the glittery lagoons of Mlina and Ždrilica where you can find the best barbecue restaurant in all of Hvar, Tri Grede.
The largest of the Pakleni Islands is St. Klement, home to the dazzling village of Palmižana adorned with innumerable Bougainvillea trees.
There are several options available for exploring the enticing archipelago. The first is to rent your own boat. If you’re up for an adventure, this is the option I would recommend above all. By renting your own boat, you’ll have the freedom to travel the islands on your own. This way, you can discover more beaches and coves, and stay as long as you please.
Many local companies offer small boats or barkas to rent for the day for around 400-500kn. These particular boats do not require a boating license, and getting to the islands is just a straight shot from Hvar Town.
The next best option is to take a taxi boat from the Hvar Town harbor to one of the islands. For about 40kn, you can get a roundtrip ticket to any of the Pakleni Islands. The taxi boats run about every 20 minutes (with a break between 1:00 PM and 4:00 PM) starting at 11:00 AM.
This is a great choice if you’re not comfortable manning your own boat.
Catch a Sunset from the Fortress
Looming high above the town, overlooking a sea of red roofs, sparkling blue bay and glistening Pakleni Islands in the distance sits the Fortica Fortress.
Constructed on the site of an ancient Illyrian settlement that dates all the way back to 500 BC, the town fortress represents the former main defense of Hvar Town.
It was recorded that during the construction of the Fortica, Spanish military engineers aided in the building works, which is perhaps why the fortress is sometimes referred to as Španjola (Spanish Fort).
Today, the Fortica houses a collection of ancient artifacts, and amphorae recovered from the sea. It also serves as the most magical sunset-watching spot on the entire island of Hvar.
Getting to the fortress is easy. Just follow the signs leading you from St. Stephen’s square through the narrow stone streets and up many staircases. When you emerge from the old town walls, you’ll follow a gentle winding path before arriving at the entrance.
Entrance tickets cost 40kn per person (this does not include the museum). If you want to catch the sunset, I suggest heading up around 7:00 PM so you can watch the sun fall below the Pakleni archipelago as it coats the sky in pastel pinks and reds.
Wander Through the Stone Streets
One of the best things to do in Hvar Town is to get lost in the stone streets.
To really get to know the city, and its people, let yourself wander without using Google maps.
By simply letting your feet lead you through the rustic cobblestone streets, you’ll get a real taste of what life is like in this island gem. Soon, you’ll realize that it’s much more than throngs of partygoers and high-brow yacht charters.
There’s an entire side to Hvar Town that many tourists never get to see, simply because they don’t venture any further than the main square.
Go a few steps further and you’ll be engulfed in a remarkable world of local life. Look up and you might catch a glimpse of locals chatting from their windows. You might pass by a local atelier only to see the artist working on their latest piece. And what I can almost guarantee, your nose will be greeted with a whiff of something delicious bubbling on someone’s stove.
This undiscovered area is a world away from the touristy center and is worth every second of your precious island time.
Have Coffee at Kava
If you love coffee, you have to stop by Kava.
This specialty coffee shop roasts and brews the most exceptional coffee in the most beautiful, handcrafted mugs you’ve ever sipped coffee out of.
I suggest going early in the morning to soak up the laid back vibes and freshly brewed java, as there are only a few tables.
Sitting outside up against the white-washed stone houses while watching the locals bring back fresh produce from the market is an experience in itself!
Grab a Drink at Ka’Lavanda
Perhaps the swankiest bar in all of Hvar Town, Ka’Lavanda is nestled among beautiful Oleander trees hidden in a little side alley.
This lovely bar has some of the best cocktails and craft beer in town. Sure, it’s a bit pricey, but it’s a nice place to lounge away from the party scene with a fantastic drink.
People watching is one of my favorite ways to get to know a new place. Sometimes it’s nice to just slow down, take a seat, and observe the locals.
The main square in Hvar Town is perfect for some people watching. This pretty plaza is surrounded by Renaissance architecture, including the beautiful cathedral of St. Stephen (definitely worth peaking into).
It’s a delightful setting for watching town life go by. And, as if the architects had anticipated people-watchers, there are low steps that sit at the start of the square from which you can watch the world go by.
Where to Eat in Hvar Town, Croatia
To wrap up this guide to Hvar Town, I’ve hand-selected the best places to eat in the city (with a little help from our Airbnb host). Here are the top three restaurants worth checking out in Hvar:
- KONOBA LUVIJI | If there is one restaurant you should visit while you’re in Hvar Town, it must be Luviji! Konoba Luviji is located on the ground floor with tables set up in a romantic courtyard. The family-run restaurant has a limited menu that changes with the availability of seasonal ingredients. They even offer homemade wine and goat cheese from their family’s farm!
- MACONDO | We had walked by Macondo several times while exploring the town at night and it was always full of both locals and tourists. Our AirBnb host recommended it to us, attesting to their fresh local ingredients and traditional cuisine. Be sure to try their seafood spaghetti with mussels.
- LOLA’S STREET FOOD | For a vibrant atmosphere and fusion street food, you’ll want to head to Lola’s! This bar has a very cool vibe, friendly staff, signature cocktails, and a DJ every night. It’s the perfect place to hit up one evening in lieu of a traditional sit-down restaurant.
Go Beyond Hvar Town
- Check out the best beaches on Hvar Island.
- Find out when is the best time to visit Dubrovnik.
- Discover the 10 must-see hidden gems in Croatia.
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