Is Croatia Expensive? Croatia Trip Cost Guide in 2024

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by Maggie Turansky


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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.

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 xe.com

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
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 Booking.com 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
Beautiful Old Towns such as this are in excess 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
Ferry sitting in Split Harbour

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 Rentalcars.com 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
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
Delicious squid is common in 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
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
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!
Craft beer in Zagreb

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
Often you pay more to have a drink with a view like this!

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
The beautiful town of Trogir

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!

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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

Comments

  1. 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.

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

    Reply
  3. 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?

    Reply
    • 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!

      Reply
  4. 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!

    Reply
    • 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.

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

        Reply
  5. 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.

    Reply
    • 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.

      Reply
  6. 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?

    Reply
    • 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 🙂

      Reply
  7. 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.

    Reply

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