We’ll breakdown each of the main costs when visiting Croatia, assessing whether Croatia is a cheap place to visit
Croatia is one of Europe's most popular tourist destinations. It has stunning landscapes, beautiful coastlines and lots of diversity in terms of the history and gastronomy. The country attracts visitors from all around the world, so someone’s perception of cheap maybe different from others. We’ll breakdown each of the main costs when visiting Croatia, including flights, accommodation, attractions, eating out, as well as getting around. We’ll also provide tips on best ways to save money on your Croatia holidays.
Flights very significantly in cost from the UK from £20 return to over £500. The defining factor is when you go. In midweek in April and October you can expect the prices to be at their lowest. Of course, the downside to going in the low season is the weather. Comparatively to UK weather though, it’s still very pleasantly warm then. As you go into the “shoulder months” of May and early June, flights do in general increase in price but are still very reasonable, especially again departing on a week-day. If you are only able to depart in the summer holidays because maybe you work in a school or you have children, then try and avoid going on a weekend as this is when the flights are at their highest. Also generally, if you are able to depart from a London airport such as Gatwick, these flights tend to be cheaper than the regional options such as from Manchester. Savings can be in the hundreds of pounds.
There are some direct flights from the US to Croatia however an indirect flight via European cities such as Frankfurt as generally cheaper. The indirect flights to Croatia opens a lot more opportunities as well, from both the US side and Croatia. For example you’ll be able to fly into any of the main five airports in Croatia indirectly (Dubrovnik, Split, Zagreb, Pula and Zadar). As you’d expect, flights in July and August are generally more expensive compared to April, May, June, September and October.
The answer in short to whether hotels are expensive in Croatia is yes and no. If you are able to travel from April to mid June or mid/late September to mid October then you’ll find very reasonable rates at many of the hotels, including some 5 star options. In some very popular destinations such as Hvar or Split, hotels are more expensive than lesser known destinations such as Baska Voda. In the height of summer including July and August, small to mid sized hotels will generally sell out quite far in advance so make sure you book early. Early booking discounts are common in most hotels so the cheapest time to book is in autumn or winter before you travel.
If you’re looking for accommodation other than a hotel then apartments are a great option. The convenience of having being able to cook your own meals, is another plus of staying in apartments. All destinations in Croatia offer a wide range of apartment options and in general, are cheaper than hotel stays, especially if you’re going as a family or in a group where multiple bedrooms are a key benefit. Similarly to flights, the rule of seasonality plays heavily in the cost of apartments, as does the destination you stay at. Campsites are an even cheaper source of accommodation in Croatia with most sites offering great facilities in superb locations.
Croatia is home to a wide variety of famous attractions, including historical sites, national parks and cultural wonders. We can’t of course name every one but here are a list of some of the most popular things to do, so you can gauge whether you feel this is expensive.
Not everything costs money though and there are wide range of things to do that’s completely free including the old historical towns of Dubrovnik, Split, Korcula, Hvar, Rovinj, Porec and Zagreb (but to name a few). There are also some must-see attractions that are also completely free such as the Sea Organ and Sea Salutation in Zadar, Marjan Park in Split and Zagreb Cathedral.
One of the best ways to explore more of Croatia is to hop on a local ferry or bus and visit nearby islands and towns. Transport in Croatia is relatively cheap, so this is great for people wanting a day out to somewhere new. You can read more about transport costs in Croatia below,
This is a common question that customers ask us before they travel in Croatia. Restaurants in Croatia vary wildly in cost, depending on the quality of establishment as well as the destination itself. Popular spots such as Dubrovnik, Split and Hvar are destinations that are generally on the above average side of eating out. However that’s not to say eating out there has to be expensive. Each of the locations are home to dozens of different restaurants so there are plenty of choices for budget conscious diners. Smaller towns such as Tisno, Baska Voda and Sutivan, as well as the capital Zagreb is where you can get real value for money eating out. Try to find restaurants where locals are eating or where they recommend.
Public transport is relatively cheap, especially in comparison to UK standards. It’s also one of the best ways of getting around with various ferries and buses available. There is a small train network in Croatia however they are infrequent and slow. There are two main types of ferries in Croatia; car ferries and passenger only ferries.
The main operator is Jadrolinija which offer a wide variety of connections between islands. There are also other operators such as Krilo Kapetan Luka. Here are the average 2022 prices for some popular passenger only ferries:
The main operator for car ferries is Jadrolinija and are an essential lifeline for many local islanders in Croatia such as on Brac and Hvar. You pay for the vehicle plus however many passengers are onboard. Here are a sample of prices for a medium car and 2 adult passengers in the summer season (June to September):
Due to the lack of a decent train network in Croatia, buses are one of the only ways of getting between certain cities using public transport. That said however, they usually modern, frequent, great value and usually very punctual. In terms of duration, some have no stops en route and some stop at lots of villages, hence why some take a lot longer than others. You can easily look at timetables and book your buses on GetByBus. We recommend you purchase your tickets in advance as some services do sell out in the summer. Here’s a selection of popular routes:
Croatia on the whole is a relatively cheap place to go on holiday. Yes certain destinations in Croatia are more expensive than others, but if budget conscious travellers are looking to get really good value for money, they can follow the points we’ve discussed.
For more complex itineraries and if you can't find the right holiday for you, feel free to contact us and one of our travel consultants will be in touch. For more information about what exactly a multi-centre holiday is, click here.
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