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 :).
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.
A 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.
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Recommended apartments in Croatia
Below you will find a list of apartments in Croatia to rent that we recommend. We look for interesting vacation rentals with good reviews in all major Croatian destinations.
Split Croatia Apartments
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 out Villa Rupeni Istria!
Plitvice Vacation Rentals
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
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.
Law regulates the 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.
Each and every guest gets a 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.
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 clothes.
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 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 dishwasher. Washing machine, while not mandatory, can be found in many apartments.
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
- a 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
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).
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 the 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 a DSLR camera (we've got Canon Rebel T8i) to a 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.
If you have any questions regarding vacation rentals in Croatia, please leave a comment. We are happy to help and assist you.