Apartment in Komarna, a balcony and the sea

Croatia Apartments For A Short-Term Rental

In this post, we share the best tips on finding Croatia apartments for a short-term rental. You will learn about what to expect, rate's tricks and tips, as well as get the list of selected apartments in various destinations in Croatia.

Holiday apartments in Croatia are perhaps the most popular accommodation option. Croatians have been renting apartments to tourists for decades. If they knew how popular the “sharing economy” would become in the last few years, they would have patented it :).

Apartment in Komarna, a balcony and the sea

Croatia self-catering holidays

Furthermore, renting an apartment in Croatia is the single most popular way here to make a second income and to earn that extra cash everybody needs.

lack of good jobs, small wages (average net monthly salary in Croatia in 2019 was 850€ compared with 2.500€ in Germany), relatively high cost of living, and an increasing number of tourists to Croatia, have pushed many Croatians to turn their homes into apartments to rent.

When we travel in Croatia (or elsewhere) we like to stay in apartments and campsites more than in hotels. This type of accommodation gives us a chance to meet locals, and learn a bit more about the place we're visiting, and about the people. It also gives us the freedom to eat whenever we feel, and not at fixed hours like in hotels.

We both lived and worked on a cruise ship, and ever since, we really appreciate the possibility to prepare our own meals. While a hotel's food is good for a couple of days, it's tiring in the long run. We appreciate a home-cooked meal. Holiday rentals in Croatia always come with a fully-equipped kitchen where you can cook your own meals.

Legal requirements

The vacation rental market in Croatia is strictly regulated. All vacation rentals are legally inspected and need to meet the minimum standards, imposed by the Ministry of Tourism, in order to be eligible for short term rental. As a result, after inspection, each apartment receives a rating, ranging from one to five stars depending on the level of standards they meet.

And while you can still find 1-, and 2-star apartments among older units, minimum quality standards imposed for new rentals are at least for a 3-star property.

Standards for apartments define things like the size of an apartment, bathroom size, height of the ceiling, etc … I know, you would think that perks like WiFi, washing machine, dishwasher, and alike are more interesting to the guests. They are considered too, but quite a lot of emphasis is put on the surface, size of the bed, or if the tiles in the bathroom cover entire walls.

What to expect

Croatia apartments to rent: What ti expect

Croatia apartments to rent: What t0 expect

Size of Croatia vacation rentals

One-bedroom apartment should be at least 38 m2 big; a two-bedroom apartment a minimum of 59 m2; and a 3-bedroom apartment a minimum of 77 m2.

Bathrooms

Law regulates a number of bathrooms as well as their size. The minimum bathroom size should be 4 m2. Furthermore, the one-bedroom apartment should have at least one full bathroom; a two-bedroom apartment at least two full bathrooms, a three-bedroom apartment should have two full bathrooms and a half bath.

Soap is provided, but not a shampoo, or a shower cap. However, some owners will provide it anyway (check before booking).

Hair-dryer is normally provided in all apartments. And so are bathroom towels.

Bed-linen

Each and every guest gets clean and fresh bed-linen. They are usually changed once a week and for every new guest. However, you can request a change of a bed-linen more often. Your host will normally accommodate your request.

Kitchen

The majority of Croatia vacation rentals come with a fully-equipped kitchen. Studio apartments usually have a kitchenette rather than a full kitchen. Normally in a kitchen, you'll find a fridge, a stove, an oven or a microwave, as well as cooking pots, cutlery, plates, glasses, and cloths.

Other facilities

All newer apartments are air-conditioned. But some older two-star Croatia apartments don't provide an air-conditioner. Internet connection is mandatory only for four and five stars apartments. However, you'll find a free WiFi internet in the majority, if not in all, apartments.

Satellite TV usually means that you'll get free international channels found on Astra & Hotbird satellites.

Toaster, coffee machine, an electric tea cattle, aren't mandatory, but you'll find them in many apartments. More and more apartments also come with a dishwasherWashing machine, while not mandatory, can be found in many apartments.

A villa in Porec with garden and swimming pool

Facilities are sometimes simply great!

Rates

How much you'll pay for an apartment rental in Croatia depends heavily on:

  • size of the apartment (the bigger it is, the more expensive it is),
  • location (the closer to the town or to the sea it is, the more expensive it is),
  • season (July and August are the most expensive months to rent),
  • facilities (the better facilities there are, the more you'll pay), and
  • length of stay (many apartments charge a short-stay supplement; many owners also give an additional discount for stays longer than a week or two).

Expect to pay on average 50€ a day for an apartment for two in a shoulder season, and around 90€ a day in high season. Some popular destinations, like Split, Dubrovnik, and Rovinj, are more expensive.

Rates of the holiday apartments in Croatia are usually per day per apartment, and for the maximum occupancy. However, some owners will show a base price for two persons, and add a supplement for every additional person.

A price of rental doesn't always include a tourist and registration tax. Tourist tax amounts to approx. 1€ per person per day for everybody above 18 years of age; or 0,5€ per day for teens (12 to 18). A registration tax amounts to 1€ per person per stay. Read the small print when checking prices.

Tips for short-term Croatia apartments rental

Croatia apartments to rent: Our best tips

Croatia apartments to rent

In Croatia, things are never simple. So, instead of having one set of requirements for all apartment rentals in Croatia, no, no, there are two sets of requirements. One set applies to the apartments built prior to 2007, and another set of requirements applies to apartments built after 2007. So, as you can imagine, there is a lot of discrepancy among apartments of the same star rating. 

They might have the same rating (e.g. 4 stars), but the apartments built after 2007 will offer much more comfort than the ones built prior to 2007. Quite confusing for the guests trying to use star rating as a guiding light in the unknown world of Croatian apartment rentals.

The best tip I can give you when choosing the right apartment for you is to read travelers' reviews and check photos online.

When you rent an apartment in Croatia, the owner has to register you with the local tourist office and pay a tax. All guests will need to provide an ID or a passport on arrival. This is also a sign you are renting a fully legal apartment.

When searching for private accommodation, double-check if they provide parking and a WiFi. This is not mandatory. However, many apartments in Croatia offer it. Parking is especially important as in some coastal towns it can be a real hustle to park your car (and it will increase your overall rental cost if you need to pay for it separately).

Popular websites for holiday rentals in Croatia are Booking.com, HomeAway, and Airbnb. Other websites are FlipKey, Atraveo, and NovaSol.

In low season try to bargain as much as possible. Very few apartments rent in a low season, and owners are usually very flexible with a rental price.

What to bring

Filter coffee – many apartments in Croatia feature a filter coffee machine, but a good quality filter coffee is hard to find in Croatian grocery stores. Croatians traditionally drink Turkish coffee or Mocca. So if you are fancy about your morning coffee, make sure to bring your own.
Teas – Croatians generally only drink herbal tea. This habit is changing lately, but it's still difficult to find a good quality black, green or English tea, particularly in small coastal towns.
Beach towel – while in all Croatia apartments, you'll find bathroom towels, this isn't a case with beach towels. We recommend a microfiber beach towel when traveling for its really lightweight, and quick drying.
Toiletry bag – Many apartments will come with complimentary soap, and sometimes even with a shampoo and a shower gel. However, this isn't always a standard, better carry your own toiletry bag with toilet essentials for travelers.
Water shoes – Croatian beaches are mostly rocky and pebbly. In either case, you'll need water shoes to comfortably walk on the beach.
Camera – To catch all those wonderful moments, you'll need a camera. We lately switch from DSLR camera (we've got Canon Rebel T7i) to much smaller and lighter Panasonic Lumix GX85. This is a perfect travel camera.
Adapters & converters – Croatia uses 220V, 50 Hz frequency, and type C & F plugs. Both are similar plugs with two round prongs with 19 mm between the two.
Mosquito repellent – Very few apartments in Croatia have mosquito nets on windows and doors. Make sure to bring a mosquito repellent with you.
Peel-off hooks – they take so little space yet can be very handy, especially if you plan to stay in one place for a longer time.

Recommended apartments in Croatia

Below you will find a list of apartments in Croatia to rent that we recommend. We look for the interesting vacation rentals with good reviews in all major Croatian destinations.

Zagreb Apartments

Zig-Zag Apartments: We love Zig-Zag apartments for their modern look and professional management. Zig-Zag has apartments at a couple of locations in downtown Zagreb. These well-appointed apartments have a contemporary design and come with free WiFi and a fully-equipped kitchen. You can choose among studio, one-, two-, and even three-bedroom apartment.
Design Studios Svi-Mi: These lovely studio apartments are located in Marticeva, Street, in downtown Zagreb. There are 5 studios in total, and all but the smallest one (26 m2) have a separate sleeping and living areas (big plus being studios!). Each apartment has a nice kitchenette, featuring a small fridge, two-burner electric cook-top, and a microwave.
Tesla Boutique Apartments: We love the location of these apartments, right downtown, close to Cvjetni, and Main Square. Apartments are new, modern, and roomy featuring designer furniture, free WiFi, air-conditioner, and a flat-screen TV.

Split Croatia Apartments

Divota Apartments: Cozy apartments and rooms scattered across Veli Varos neighborhood come with a fully-equipped kitchen, a seating area, flat-screen TV, WiFi, and an iPod docking station. All apartments are air-conditioned, and many features exposed stone walls. Some apartments also have a terrace.
Emperor's Suites: You'll have a choice of three apartments in total located at two different locations within Split's historical center. Apartments are fully-furnished. Each apartment features high-speed WiFi internet, flat-screen cable TV, a kitchenette, washing machine, and A/C.
Gajeta Apartments: Located at the various addresses in the Split old town, one- and two-bedroom apartments Gajeta come with all mod cons like A/C, LED TV, and free WiFi. They all have a kitchen or a kitchenette, a seating area, a bathroom, and a super comfy bed.

Dubrovnik Apartments

Apartments Sonatina: Located in the heart of the old town, Sonatina Apartments offers three brand-new studio apartments. Each studio consists of a large bedroom with a kitchenette, and a full bath.
Apartments Festa: These lovely apartments are right in the heart of the old town. The location is fantastic and can't be more central than it already is! The apartments are tastefully decorated, comfortable, and come with a kitchen or a kitchenette, some even feature a dishwasher. Free WiFi is available throughout the property. The staff is friendly and helpful.
Villa Dorida: Not quite Dubrovnik, but these 4 seafront apartments in Komarna, 70 km north of Dubrovnik, make a great base to visit Dubrovnik for a day but also explore the entire region. Besides Dubrovnik, you can easily visit Peljesac peninsula, Korcula, Mljet, Brac, and Hvar islands, Split, Trogir, Mostar, Medugorje and Kravice Waterfalls. The property is right at the beachfront. All apartments have a large balcony overlooking the sea, and they are all fully-equipped including a dishwasher, washing machine, free WiFi, A/C, and private parking.

Istria Apartments

Frank's Place, Porec: This is our little place in Porec. It's a fully-equipped modern one-bedroom apartment located in a quiet village, with lovely views over the green fields. We don't rent this apartment since 2018, but we plan to rent it again in 2021!
Apartments Nina, Rovinj: This family house offers 5 apartments and one room. It's located in a residential area of Rovinj, just a 20-minute walk to the old town. Run by Vera's colleague and his wife, the property is impeccable, and apartments come with all modern cons.
Apartments Paulino: Run by our good friends Josipa and Lino, these four fully-equipped apartments are located in a quiet residential area of Rovinj, just 10 minutes walk from the beach and a 15-minute walk from the old town. All apartments are tastefully decorated, come with the terrace, and offer free WiFi and private parking.
Mariva Downtown Studio: This studio apartment in the heart of the old town is a perfect choice for couples. Interior is modern, and fully furnished including a large flatscreen TV, free WiFi, dishwasher, microwave, espresso coffee machine, etc.. Private parking, provided free of charge, is in the vicinity.
Casa M, Rabac: Casa M in Rabac consists of four modern and fully-equipped one-bedroom apartments with superb views over the sea. Rabac is a great place in Istria if you are looking for a relaxing holiday by the sea. It has the best beaches in all Istria.

We also rent an entire villa in Istria. It's luxurious, it's secluded. It has a lovely landscaped garden. And it comes with a swimming pool. Check our Villa Rupeni Istria!

Plitvice Vacation Rentals

Ranch Jelov Klanac: Located away from the main roads, this ranch offers 4- and 6-bed apartments in two separate chalets. Excellent place to stay to get a back-to-nature feel.
Holiday home Fairy Land: This lovely wood cottage features a kitchen, fully-functioning wood-burning fireplace, and a porch. Fairy Land Cottage can accommodate up to 4 persons.
Villa Verde Guest House: This modern family-run villa offers comfy rooms with en-suite bathrooms. Breakfast is ample, including even their own farm fresh eggs. Friendly owners.

If you have any questions regarding vacation rentals in Croatia, please leave a comment. We are happy to help and assist you.

11 replies
  1. Mischelle
    Mischelle says:

    Suggestions for Pula within walking distance to Istrian National Theatre? I am looking for something with at least 2 bedrooms from June 23 to July 20, 2019.

    Reply
  2. R Mackintosh
    R Mackintosh says:

    Hi Frank and Vera
    Seasons Greetings from Scotland
    Love all the information you are posting about Croatia. We have stayed with Mila and Jasminka in Komarna a couple of times now and love meeting them and seeing what Mila has done with his man cave its fantastic. Please tell him I am still enjoying his Brandy and green walnut drink. Hope he enjoyed the Drambuie?
    Ah Croatia makes me smile.
    Say hello to your Mum and dad for us
    Ronnie and Eunice

    Reply
  3. Stephen Rawlinson
    Stephen Rawlinson says:

    Hello Frank,
    Am enjoying your blog
    Any chance of recommending a travel agent that books smaller family run accommodation?
    My wife and I would like to tour Croatia on a budget and the travel agents we have tried so far want to put us up in expensive all be it wonderful hotels
    We of course could search Airbnb but a travel agent knows the right locations which are so important for us travelers.
    Thanks for your blog
    Stephen Rawlinson

    Reply
  4. Sally
    Sally says:

    Hi Frank,
    I want to bring my 4 children to Croatia for 2 weeks to do some fun outdoor activities and experience the natural environment. I looked at an all inclusive activity holiday but it was way above our budget. I would really appreciate it if you could advise me where would be the best place to stay which would be close/accessible to most activities. Also, I need to know what driving and car hire is like in Croatia or would it be best to use public transport and organised tours?
    If you can help, that would be fantastic.
    Kind regards
    Sally

    Reply
  5. Terri
    Terri says:

    Frank, we are from the USA and are trying to make last minute 14day trip to Croatia. We have flights direct to Dubrovnik and flighting out of Venice. Our trip planner has not be very helpful and not sure if the Company will work out. Is it possible to plan a trip ourself to Croatia and feel comfortable. The tours will be easy for us to setup. We will at some point pick up a car in Split.
    We are now looking into to planning it ourselves. We are arriving on 4/10/17 and many place in Dubrovnik are book. We have found a airbab right outside the Old Town Wall. We have been in contact with host, just a little concern since we have never done this before. Also our biggest problem is getting from Dubrovnik to Hvar, the ferry are not running on the day we are to leave. We have found a Taxi driving service online, they have replied and we think the price is good compare to others. Are service reliable. We are hoping to stay also in Trogir, Plitvice Lake, and Rovinj. Also we don’t have international for service, once in another county we were able to pick up cheap phones at airport for local use and international calls for cheap.

    Reply
  6. Libs Slattery
    Libs Slattery says:

    Hello Frank, we are a family of 4 looking to try our first holiday in Croatia next year. We prefer self-catering accommodation, so would be graetful for any advice you have to suitable apartments (with pool if possible) either Prementura area or Lapad.
    We have two teenagers who love to snorkel (nothing too serious, more pleasure than discovery) and we like to eat out at night.
    We aren’t planning on hiring a car, so would need supermarket, bars, beach (snorkelling) and restaurants within walking distance.
    Any help would be great fully received.
    Thank you in advance
    Libs

    Reply
  7. Marcy
    Marcy says:

    Frank your insights would be most appreciated…. 5 people coming Aug. 11-18 want to stay in Podsrana or near but not in Split. Prefer to support local apartment owners and not pay the middle guy but do not know how to find local owners. Do you have a suggestion? we will be in Croatia and spending most of our time traveling up the coast. We are volunteers in Moldova. friends are from Montana, and daughter is grad student. budget 70-90/day and we do not want to rent a car. Thank you for any help you can share with us. Marcy

    Reply
    • Frank G
      Frank G says:

      Hi Marcy,
      try to browse Booking.com, and once you find apartment you like, google them by the name. You have a good chance to find a direct contacts, or owner’s website. Dalmatia is well connected by buses, but if you would like not to spend too much time on road, and want to be close to Split, then Podstrana can be a good choice. You can also check Omis Riviera, Trogir, or Stobrec. Further south, Makarska can also be a good choice. It’s high season in Croatia in August, so it might be difficult to find apartment for 5 for 70 euros a day. Good luck, and have fun in Croatia!

  8. Faye
    Faye says:

    Thanks for putting these apartments together Frank. I’ve been planning to visit Dubrovnik soon and I’ve been looking for a place to stay since I have no family there. This really a big help. Good thing I came across.

    Reply

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