Find out how to have a fun, adventure-filled holiday in Croatia without breaking the bank.
Ah, vacations! We look forward to them for months, sometimes even years, but they can also leave us recovering financially for quite some time. However, a good vacation doesn’t necessarily have to come with a hefty price tag, even in a paradise destination such as Croatia.
Is Croatia cheap?
If you’re thinking of visiting, you might be wondering how cheap Croatia is. And as with many good questions, the answer is: it depends.
In this case, it depends on where you come from, but also your vacation habits. If you’re eating out every day and staying at luxurious hotels, then yes, you will spend quite a bit of money. However, as a sort of general rule, Croatia is quite affordable for tourists from most highly developed countries, since the prices are relatively low compared to where they come from. For example, a seven-day stay at a 3-star hotel in Split might cost you around 3000 kunas or 400 euros.
That’s actually good bang for your buck considering Split is one of the most popular destinations on the Adriatic, and cheaper than, let’s say, the same accommodation in Athens. Of course, there are always more affordable options, and you can easily find accommodation in Croatia for around 200 euros per week.
As for everyday spending, these are the prices of common things bought on vacation:
- a scoop of ice cream – 1 to 1,5 €
- restaurant pizza – 6 to 9 €
- beer – 2 to 3 €; 4 € for craft beer
- a main course dish in a mid-scale restaurant – around 14 €
- a glass of wine – 3 to 5 €
- a toothbrush (the most commonly forgotten vacation item!) – 2 to 3 €.
If you’re from another European country, you’re probably asking the ever-important question: “Can you use euros in Croatia?” Well, sorry to disappoint you, but the currency in Dubrovnik, Split, Zagreb and other destinations on your vacay list is the Croatian money called kuna (1 euro = 7,5 kunas). There are plenty of exchange offices everywhere, but most restaurants and shops (except tiny souvenir stands) accept credit cards.
Ideas on how to save your wallet
- Now there are several low-cost airlines operating in the area, so definitely scan flight ticket websites and look out for cheap deals to Croatia. If you’re ready to travel longer, but save more, the budget-friendly bus operator Flixbus offers long-distance drives from most european countries. If you’re coming with a family and choose to travel by car, the highways are new and very safe, with prices of road tolls being around 0,5 euros per km.
- If you always stay at hotels or hostels, check out holiday apartments, as they are a cheaper option for a family stay. Another great idea is camping, whether in a camper, tent, bungalow or mobile home. Our coast has a number of great, low-cost camping sites with all amenities needed for your stay.
- Visit during off-season, when the prices of flight tickets and accommodation are lower. Don’t worry about the weather — Croatia has a moderate climate, which means that you can visit during springtime and still enjoy some sun. You may experience a bit of rain, but you’ll also get to see popular sights with far fewer crowds! As for colder weather, well, there are actually spots that are perfect for visiting during winter.
- Invest in good souvenirs. This actually means not saving, but rather spending your money on quality, not quantity. Instead of buying a bunch of plastic trinkets for 3 euros each, why don’t you buy a bottle of high-quality olive oil, Pag cheese or a local artisanal artefact?
- Cheap holidays in Croatia don’t include depriving your taste buds. You should try the local cuisine, just be wary of restaurants that sell overpriced food by the beach or near historical sights. When going out for dinner, always check for reviews online and look for places that are called “konoba”, “hiža” or “klet”, as they tend to offer more traditional dishes. For other meals, go to a farmers market and enjoy seasonal produce from Croatian fields and gardens.
Remember to be smart about how you spend your money, but also give yourself the gift of experiencing the culture to the fullest. Some things are worth your money, and a visit to Croatia is definitely one of them!