Croatia travel cost (with budget friendly tips)


croatia trip cost budget

Budget planning is a critical aspect of planning any trip. Your overall budget and duration of stay will play an important role in deciding your Croatia trip itinerary.

The average cost a week for two people in Croatia is about 1000eur, and a 2 weeks trip can cost about 1800eur for two people. If you plan to visit Croatia on a relatively tight budget then its best to visit during the shoulder season(May-Jun or Sept).

The cost of your trip will vary depending on your choice of destinations, accommodation type, and the experiences you are looking to book. If you are traveling with family or with a group then the cost will be lesser per person.

Total Cost of visiting Croatia

Croatia is not as expensive as compared to other European countries but the budget of visiting Croatia varies a great deal with the season and destinations. Dubrovnik is the most expensive city in Croatia followed by Split since these cities receive a lot of tourists around the year. Similarly, the cost of entry for most tourist attractions, tours, and experiences is highest during the peak season (Jul-Aug).

We visited Croatia during the shoulder season in the month of Jun essentially to avoid massive crowds but it certainly made a massive difference to our overall budget. We preferred staying in Airbnb rentals and traveled by a private rental car. 

Here is a look at the estimated cost across different categories that you need to plan for.

Category Approx. Cost  Note 
Accommodation 20-25eur per night (Airbnb or hostel)

40-60eur per night (Mid-size hotel)

Explore economical and local stay options on Airbnb, Glamping sites, Mobile homes
Transportation 8-10eur per journey – Local transport

25-30eur per day – Rented Car

The cost of public transport is relatively cheaper in Croatia. Rented car costs include daily parking charges.
Meals 10-15eur per meal per person The cost of food varies with destinations. Explore fixed meal menus and konobas for economical options
Tours and Experiences 25-40eur per person Full day organized tours and entry fees vary according to season.

Let us go into the detailed cost of each of these expense categories. We have listed some budget-friendly tips from our experience of visiting Croatia for two weeks which can help you plan your trip as per your budget and travel preferences.

Cost of Accommodation

On average, expect to spend about 50-60eur per night in three-star accommodation in Croatia. The cost of accommodation varies by season and is the highest during the months of July and August, and in main Croatian cities like Dubrovnik, Split, and Rovinj.

Accommodation Type Cost per night (Low Season) Cost  per night (Peak Season)
Private accommodation 20-25eur 30-40eur
Three-star hotels 25-60eur 50-100eur
Four-star hotels 40-80eur 80-150eur
Five-star/ Luxury hotels 80-100eur 120-250eur

There are plenty of accommodation options available depending on your budget, destinations you would like to explore, and if you are traveling as a group or a family. Here are some budget-friendly tips to consider while planning your accommodation.

  1. Plan your stay at destinations near the main cities. If you plan on visiting Split then you could explore staying in Makarska which is a beautiful destination for families. Similarly, you can avoid the peak prices of Dubrovnik by either staying a bit further from the old town and basing yourself in Cavat, a beachside town with great accommodation options.
  2. Explore hostels.  Croatia has a thriving hostel scene. Many of these hostels are located in or near the old town and cost about 15-20eur per night. Some hostels also provide family rooms and group bookings.
  3. Go for Airbnb rentals and sobe stays (family-run accommodation). We preferred Airbnb rentals through most of our Croatia trip and found these to be super economical and comfortable. A lot of local families offer these home rentals and sobe accommodation which are conveniently located near the old town or city center.
  4. Check mobile homes and glamping. Situated away from main cities, mobile homes and glamping are great options for families and group travelers. Well designed and modern, mobile homes and glamping are available at great camping sites across Croatia and costs anywhere between 40-60eur per night. Explore these options  on Camping.hr and Camping.adriatic.com

Cost of Travel

Expect to spend about 8-10eur per journey for intercity travel in Croatia using public transport. Ferry rides to the main islands usually cost about 3-4eur per person per journey. If you are using private car rental, then will cost you about 25-30eur per day including rental cost, parking, and tolls.  

Croatia does not have an extensive network of trains as available in other European countries. Public transport between main cities is mostly through buses and is preferred as the cost of taxi rides is significantly higher. The bus service is quite dependable and good between main Croatian cities like Split, Dubrovnik but connections between smaller cities and towns vary depending on the season.

Rental cars are a great option if you are looking to stay and visit destinations outside of the main cities. This turns out to be an economical option as the cost of fuel and tolls is not very high. For instance, the total cost of tolls from Zagreb to Split is about 20eur.

Ferries are the most efficient way to get to the islands around Split and Dubrovnik. Split to Hvar ferry ride will cost you about 3-4eur per person but if you are looking to ferry a car along then this will be around 16-20eur additional.

These are the few things we recommend based on our experience while traveling in Croatia.

  1. If you plan on spending most of your time in and around the main Croatian cities, then using public transport (bus and ferries) is the most efficient option. 
  2. It is better to travel using a rented or private car if you are visiting Istria and cities like Rovinj, Pula since the bus connections are not very frequent in this part of the country.
  3. Parking fees especially full day and overnight parking can be quite high during peak season in the main cities like Dubrovnik, Split, and Rovinj. So it’s advisable to plan your stay accordingly. Explore if the hotel that you are staying in offers parking space. If you are staying with a local family its best to check if they have parking space available. If you are heading to Rovinj, read our post on free parking guide in Rovinj – yes you read it right, free parking in Rovinj 🙂

Cost of Meals

The average cost of meals in Croatia is about 10-15eur per meal per person. Dining out in Croatia is not as expensive as compared to other European countries but you will find a lot of price variation across seasons and cities. 

Here are some typical food prices to give you an estimate of how much are you likely to spend on food.

  1. Cappuccino – starts from 1 Euro
  2. A scoop of ice cream – 1.4 euros
  3. Pizza/ Pasta – 4-6 Euro (+20-40% in main cities during peak season) 
  4. Simple meat dishes –  10-12eur (+20-40% in main cities during peak season) 
  5. Seafood platter – 15-20eur (+20-40% in main cities during peak season) 
  6. Truffle based dish – 10-15eur (+20-40% in main cities during peak season) 

These are average food prices and can vary significantly if you visit fine dining or restaurants near touristy areas. These are some tips we tried to bring down our overall food cost:

  1. Stay at a place that provides breakfast included in the nightly rates. 
  2. Avoid restaurants in tourist spots and in the old town. You will see that prices reduced significantly even if you move a bit away from crowded places.
  3. If you are staying at an Airbnb or home rental, try to fix a few meals yourself and have the rest outside. Every city in Croatia has a regular farmer’s market where you get wonderful local produce like fresh seafood, exotic mushrooms, and truffles and we highly recommend giving it a try. Read out the lovely farmer’s market in Rovinj which was one of our favorite places to explore the local farm produce.
  4. Look up family run local kitchens that served planned meals. We found these local kitchens great to explore local cuisines and flavors.

Cost of Drinks and Leisure

Half a liter of domestic beer or a glass of local wine in Croatia costs between 2-3 euros. Cocktail drinks such as a gin and tonic at a bar will cost you about 5-7eur. 

 The cost of booze and liquor is not that high in Croatia but again varies a great deal with the season and the city you are visiting.  You will find the same glass of wine at Rovinj waterfront to cost you about 15-20% higher than any other restaurant.

Our suggestion is to go local for your choice or beer and wine. For beer, try local brands like Ožujsko, Karlovačko (our favorite), and Pan. Similarly, when it comes to wine try the local wine varieties such as Malvazija, Teran, Dingač, Babić. Read our detailed post on must-try Croatian wines to know more about local wine varieties.

Cost of Tours and Experiences

Plan to spend about 25-40eur per person for organized tours and wine tasting experiences. Visit to national parks like Plitvice and Krka can cost slightly more. 

This is the category that can add most to your discretionary expenses during your trip so its best to plan in advance. We have listed approx costs of the activities we observed during our visit in Jun but these could be higher during peak season in Jul-Aug.

  • Museum entry: 5eur 
  • Full day organized tour (Blue cave, 5island tours): 40-60 per person
  • Plitvice Lakes entrance: 30-40eur per person 
  • Wine tasting experience or olive oil farm tours: 15-20eur per person
  • Kayaking (4hour tour): 20-30eur per person
  • Boat Rentals: 140eur per day

Useful tips to manage the cost of activities and experiences:

  1. Look for completely free activities in the main cities. There are a number of free walking tours and activities organized by locals in a lot of Croatian cities which are a great way to explore the city. 
  2. If you are staying in a hostel, ask for suggestions on the deals and tours. these are usually less priced as compared to the ones you will find in the main city.
  3. Pre-book your experiences online and avail seasonal discounts. Prices of most experiences are significantly lesser during shoulder season and a lot of end of season discounts are offered online.
  4. Avoid booking organized tours to wineries and farms. You can easily plan these on your own especially if you are traveling on your own. And the prices offered by the wineries are way lesser as compared to those offered by organized tours.

Now that you probably have a good idea on how to best budget your next Croatia trip, read more on some of the must-visit wineries in Istria, explore the best organic olive oil production farm – Chiavlaon, and a must-do Kayaking experience in Dubrovnik to make your trip even more memorable.

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