Croatia Travel Costs: How Much Money You'll Need In Croatia | Croatia Travel Tips

Croatia travel costs: how much money you’ll need in Croatia

This week in our Croatia Travel Tips series, we are sharing information on Croatia travel costs. Croatia is not a dirt-cheap destination any more. High season in Croatia is very short – basically only July, and August, and the prices skyrocket during these two months.

Croatia Travel Costs: How Much Money You'll Need In Croatia | Croatia Travel Tips

Croatia Travel Costs: How Much Money You'll Need In Croatia | Croatia Travel Tips

The highest travel demand, the biggest crowds, and the highest prices happen from the last week of July to mid-August. These three weeks, Croatia travel costs are pretty high. Luckily, the rest of the year is not too bad. Croatia travel costs drop down significantly from October to May. And while winter months (November to March) might be the cheapest months to travel in Croatia, bear in mind that many activities, hotels, restaurants, and other facilities are open only seasonally from May to October.

Croatia Travel Costs: Accommodation

Accommodation is perhaps the the largest part of your travel budget, and the highest of all Croatia travel costs.

Croatia Travel Costs: Apartment Rental

Croatia Travel Costs: Apartment rentals in Croatia usually offer the best value for money

High season: In average, for one-week holiday in a high season, for two persons, you'll spend in total 2.130 Kn (280€) if you stay in a campsite, 3.750 Kn (490€) for an apartment rental (up to 4 persons), 5.320 Kn (700€) for a room with breakfast in a two-star hotel, 7.600 Kn (1.000€) for a 3-star hotel, 10.600 Kn (1.400€) for a 4-star hotel to as expensive as 26.600 Kn (3.500€) in a 5-star hotel.

Shoulder season: If you travel in a shoulder season (June, September), an accommodation cost of holidays in Croatia will drop down significantly. For example in June or September, (the best months to travel to Croatia in our opinion), accommodation for two will cost you 1.450 Kn (190€) if you stay in a campsite, 2.660 Kn (350€) for an apartment rental (up to 4 persons), 3.400 Kn (450€) in a 2-star hotel, 5.320 Kn (700€) for a 3-star hotel, 6.850 Kn (900€) for a 4-star hotel, up to 19.000 Kn (2.500€) for a 5-star hotel.

Croatia travel costs: tips for cutting accommodation costs in Croatia

  • Avoid traveling to Croatia in July and August, choose instead June or September
  • Prices are the most affordable if you stay in a fully-equipped apartment.
  • Price shop: prices of accommodation change with a demand; book early, but opt for a flexible rate, and watch closely your accommodation choice; the closer the date of your holidays, the more firm your booking can be; if you find a better deal in another property, or better prices with less flexible conditions, jump on the opportunity and re-book your accommodation.
  • Use Booking.com site to compare prices of accommodation in Croatia. They have a user friendly interface, simple price calculations, and by far the largest choice of accommodation in Croatia.

 

Croatia Travel Costs: Transport costs

Transport costs make a large part of your total Croatia travel costs. Many tourists to Croatia arrive by car. However, many low cost companies fly to major Croatian coastal towns (Zadar, Split, Dubrovnik, Rijeka, and Pula) from April to October, and more and more tourists arrive to Croatia by plane, then traveling around the country by bus, or a rent-a-car. Low cost companies, like everywhere else, offer very cheap rates the earlier you book your flights, and rates gradually increase as the seats fill up. So if you plan on flying to Croatia, secure your flight as early as possible.

By bus

The most affordable way to travel around Croatia is by bus. There are lots of bus companies operating in Croatia, and while the prices don’t differ much, if you need to cut your Croatia travel costs, it pays to shop around a bit. A one-way ticket from Zagreb to Split costs anywhere between 146 kn to 216 Kn per person, and funnily enough the cheaper one departs at better time (9.30 am vs. 11 am) and it’s faster (5 hours to reach Split vs. 8 hrs). You can book a seat online for all the buses departing from Zagreb through Zagreb Bus Station website.

Examples of one-way bus ticket prices in Croatia (per person) in 2014:

  • Zagreb-Split: 146 to 216 Kn (20€ – 30€)
  • Zagreb-Dubrovnik: 190 to 250 Kn (25€ – 35€)
  • Zagreb-Pula: 150-195 Kn (20€ – 26€)
  • Split-Dubrovnik: 100 to 130 Kn (15€ – 18€)
  • Pula-Poreč: 60 to 80 Kn (8€ – 11€)

By ferry

Ferry prices are affordable as long as you don’t travel by car. While a passenger tickets tend to be rather cheap, the price for a car (should you happen to have one) is very high. It adds quite a bit to your total Croatia travel costs.

Examples of one-way ferry ticket prices in Croatia in 2014:

  • Split-Brač (Supetar): adults: 33 Kn (4.5€); car: 160 Kn (22€);
  • Split-Hvar (Stari Grad): adults: 47 Kn (6.5€); car: 318 Kn (45€);
  • Split-Vis: adults: 54 Kn (7.2€); car: 370 Kn (;
  • Orebić-Korčula (Dominče): adults: 16 Kn (2.2€); car: 76 Kn (10€);
  • Brestova-Cres (Porozina): adults: 18 Kn (2.4€); car; 115 Kn (15.5€);

By train

Train transport in Croatia is very limited. And trains are generally very slow. There are trains connecting Zagreb with Split to the south, Rijeka to the west, and Osijek to the east.

Examples of one way train prices in Croatia in 2014:

  • Zagreb-Split: 190 Kn (25.4€)
  • Zagreb-Rijeka: 175 Kn (23.5€)
  • Zagreb-Osijek: 205 Kn (27.5€)

By car

Travel by car is by far the best way to travel around Croatia. However, it’s also the most expensive one, especially if you need to rent a car.

Fuel cost
In July 2014, the price of fuel was 10,89 Kn (1.45€) for Eurosuper, and 10,03 Kn (1.35€) for Eurodisel. Prices change weekly.

Toll highways, bridges and tunnels
Ticket system toll highways in Croatia are new, comfortable, and fast, but expensive. A one-way trip from Zagreb to Split will cost you 174 Kn (23.5€). If you travel further south to Ploče (the last motorway exit – Karamatići) it will set you back 222 Kn (30€). From Zagreb to Rijeka, expect to pay 70 Kn (9.4€) each way.

Besides motorways, tolls apply to some bridges and tunnels. A bridge to Krk you’ll pay 35 Kn two ways (4.7€). The tunnel Učka that you pass driving to or from Istria will set you back 29 Kn (3.9€). From the Kaštel, a Slovenian-Croatian border crossing, to Pula the highway costs 41 Kn (5.5€).

Car rental
Car rental in high season, just like accommodation, comes with a high price tag, and brings up your Croatia travel costs. Daily rental with a full insurance package and unlimited mileage starts around 400 Kn (54€) for a mini car category (ex. Nissan Pixo), economy car (ex. Polo) goes for 470 Kn (65€), intermediate car category (ex. Audi A3) you’ll pay around 550 Kn (75€), renting a station-wagon will set you back 630 Kn (84€) per day.

In shoulder season, car rental is more affordable. In September for example, you’ll rent a mini category car for as low as 125 Kn (17€), economy car for 140 Kn (19€), intermediate for 360 Kn (48€), while a station-wagon will set you back 380 Kn (51€).

Croatia Travel Costs: Food & Drinks

Restaurants and bars

Being from Canada, I’ve always found that restaurants in Croatia are expensive. Anyways, when talking with my north-European or British friends, they find it affordable. The truth is probably somewhere in the middle. You can eat well in Croatia for as little as 20 to 40 Kn. You can read all about that in our post about Local, delicious and cheap eats in Croatia under 6.

Light meals go for 35 Kn to 60 Kn (5-8€). Light meal can include a plate of pasta, risotto, mussels a la buzara, fried calamari, chicken breasts with a side dish, and alike. Fish and steaks are generally the most expensive. Fish is charged by kilo, and you can expect to pay around 350 Kn (45€) per kilogram. Portion is usually 330 gr. Expect to pay around 140 Kn (19€) for a steak. If you like wine, ask to taste restaurant's house wine. It's usually very decent wine, and the price is much lower than any bottle you can order. This will help you keep your Croatia travel costs in line with your budget.

Prices of drinks in bars vary a lot depending on the destination (Dubrovnik and Hvar being the most expensive), micro-location (the closer to the popular attractions, the more expensive it gets). We’ll skip those extreme places for now, and focus on average prices in bars and cafes in Croatia.

  • Cocktails: 35 Kn – 60 Kn (5-8€)
  • A bottle of wine: 120 Kn – 280 Kn (16-40€)
  • A glass of wine: 9 Kn – 26 Kn (1.2-3.5€)
  • Espresso: 7 Kn – 10 Kn (0.9-1.4€)
  • Macchiato (coffee with milk)/ Cappuccino: 10 Kn – 14 Kn (1.4-1.9€)
  • Cafe Latte: 14 – 20 Kn (1.9-2.7€)
  • Mineral / Still water: 12 Kn – 15 Kn (1.6-2€)
  • Soft drinks: 14 Kn – 20 Kn (1.9-2.7€)
  • Alcoholic beverage: 22 Kn – 28 Kn (2.9-3.8)
  • Local beer 0,33 L: 14 Kn – 20 Kn (1.9-2.7€)
  • Imported beer 0,33 L: 25 Kn – 40 Kn (3.4-5.5€)

A small treats by the beach cost:

  • Ice-cream: 5 – 10 Kn (0.7-1.4€) for a scoop; 8 Kn – 15 Kn (1-2€) for a Nestle or Ledo cornet;
  • French fries: 12 Kn – 25 Kn (1.6-3.4€)
  • Crepes: 12 Kn – 20 Kn (1.6-2.7€)

Green markets, supermarkets and bakeries

The cheapest stores to get your groceries are supermarkets. Croatian supermarket chains, like Konzum and Plodine, tend to be a bit more expensive than their international competitor Lidl. Other supermarket chains that you can find in Croatia are: Mercator, Kaufland, Spar, Tommy, Billa, and Getro. All supermarkets run weekly special offers that can help you cut your Croatia travel costs.

Prices of some items in Croatian supermarkets*:

  • Barilla Spaghetti 500 g: 8.99 Kn (1.2€)
  • Rice Gallo arborio 500 g: 14.99 Kn (2€)
  • Fresh milk Dukat 3,2% mm 1 l: 5.99 Kn (0.8€)
  • Eggs (pack of 10): 10,99 Kn – 16.99 Kn (2.3€)
  • Jamnica mineral water / Jana still water 1,5 l: 4.99 Kn (0.7€)
  • 6-pack beer Karlovačko 0,5L: 44.95 Kn (6€)
  • Tuborg Green 0,5 l: 8.99 Kn per can (1.2€)
  • Heineken 0,33l: 7.99 Kn per can (1.1€)
  • Butter Dukat I class 250 g: 13.99 Kn (1.9€)

*these prices were taken in July 2014 in Konzum supermarket; they may slightly vary in other supermarkets, or by brand; the prices here are for the informational purpose only; stores change their prices regularly; check the real price when you arrive in the store

Green and fish markets are not always the cheapest option to shop for fresh fruits, vegetables, and seafood, but they are certainly the most interesting places to shop. Croatians love their local green markets, and every town has one. Prices are a bit higher than in the big supermarkets, but if you are able to tell locally grown from imported produce, then we suggest you to check the green markets. Don’t forget that some of the stands just resell products from the supermarkets for the higher price. But here you need to go with your gut feeling, and try not to pretend to buy locally grown tomatoes in December, or locally grown mandarins in April.

Bakeries are everywhere in Croatia. Majority of them, however, sell white flour, chewy bread and rolls. But if you look harder, and do your research you’ll come across few bakeries offering really great whole grain breads, rolls, and pastries. In Poreč we like Concettino and Mlinar bakeries, in Zagreb we love Stil bakery and homemade corn bread you can buy at green markets, etc. Bakeries also make all kinds of sweet and savory pastries and bread rolls. The most popular are phyllo dough pies (meat, spinach, potato, cheese), and buhtle (yeast dough pastry filled with cheese, marmalade, or chocolate spread).

Croatia Travel Costs: Activities

You’ll find lots of activities to choose from while on holidays in Croatia. However, activities don’t always come cheap. If you look into cutting your Croatia travel costs, then stick to cycling, swimming, sun bathing, and walking when it comes to activities. We’ve checked costs of popular activities in Croatia, and would like to share them with you to help you plan better your holidays in Croatia. 2014 prices are as following:

  • Jet Ski: 200 Kn – 250 Kn (27-34€) for 15 min
  • Paddle boat: 50 Kn – 70 Kn (6.7-9.5€) per hour
  • Banana boat ride: 50 Kn (6.7€) per person
  • Single Dive: 300 Kn – 450 Kn (40-60€)
  • River rafting: 210 Kn – 280 Kn (28- 37€) per person
  • Sea Kayaking: 250 Kn (34€) per person
  • Zip lining: 400 Kn (54€)
  • 10-minute panorama flight: 120 Kn (16€) per person or 600 Kn (80€) per flight
  • Entrance fee for Plitvice Lakes National Park in July and August: 180 Kn (24€)
  • Entrance fee for Krka Waterfalls National Park from June through September: 110 Kn (15€)
  • Entrance fee for Mljet National Park from mid-June to mid-September: 100 Kn (14€)

We hope that this post will help you plan better your holidays in Croatia. While we couldn’t list all the costs that might occur during your stay in Croatia, we believe these info helps you get a better idea what to expect in Croatia cost wise.

If you need any other info regarding Croatia travel costs, let us know in the comments below. We’ll happily answer all your questions. Or, just share your thoughts on Croatia travel costs: expensive, cheap, moderate? We are happy to hear from you!

35 replies
  1. Terry
    Terry says:

    Frank,
    Good day to you. You have a great website. Thanks for all of the in-depth and interesting information!

    We will be spending 4 nights in Rovenj. During this time, we will also make day trips to Porec and Pula.

    To get us started, we thought we would purchase approx. $200 USD in either Euros or Kunas before arriving in Croatia. This will save us some time of not having to purchase upon our arrival. Which currency is most widely used in these three areas where we will be travelling (Kuna or Euro)?
    Thank you, Terry

    Reply
  2. Jackie Cartledge
    Jackie Cartledge says:

    Hello Frank.
    Thank yo for all your information. I am arranging a visit to Croatia from 04/07/19 – 18/07/19 for 6 people. 3 sisters and hubbys!
    The plan is:
    Arrive Split for 2 nights. 04/05
    Gulet cruise from Dugi Rat 06-13th. ( already booked)
    Pick up a vehicle from Split Town centre. Drive to Mostar for 1 night 13/07 ( up to 3 drivers)
    Leave Mostar for Dubrovnik 2 nights. 14/15th
    Dubrovnik to Bay of Kotor 2 nights 16th/17th
    Return flight from Dubrovnik 18/07 Drop car at Dubrovnik airport.
    I have checked distances and it seems doable!

    We are experienced travellers ( toured Spain, 3 weeks in Uganda, across Europe, Cyprus) and are used to ” doing it ourselves”. However i think age may be catching up with me and a bit of confidence has gone.

    Do you thin the above is doable!!! Thanks

    Reply
  3. Junior
    Junior says:

    Hi Frank

    My Girlfriend and I are going to Croatia next month we are staying In Opatija for 10 days.

    Do you have any tips on nice places to go and activities, apart from Rovinj, Plitvice and Krka?

    Also, we were thinking to drive to Lake Bled in Slovenia, do you any experience of driving through Slovenia?

    Thanks you

    Reply
    • Frank G
      Frank G says:

      Slovenia is wonderful! Also, easy and safe to drive. Besides Bled, make sure to visit the capital, Ljubljana. You can also visit northern Adriatic islands, Krk, Cres, and Rab.

  4. Darwin
    Darwin says:

    Hi Frank,
    I’ll be visiting Croatia by early Oct and I’m planning on taking 3-4 days in Istria after Plitvice & Zadar. How is the public transport from Pula airport at around midnight? The flight sched I’ve seen of Croatian Airlines from Zadar to Pula arrives at 23:30HR. Unfortunately, I’ll be missing the Friday Jadrolininija ferry. The only other option I guess is taking the late afternoon bus thru Rijeka.
    Thanks

    Reply
  5. Ana-Maria
    Ana-Maria says:

    Hello, we are off to Croatia to visit many relatives and will be in Zadar as our base. Would you know whether there are any excursions (day trips) from the Island of Vir to Dugi Otok (to get to Sakarun beach) please? We will be there August/September. Many thanks Frank

    Reply
  6. Rameet
    Rameet says:

    Hello – which would be the best place to go for diving and snorkelling and not so touristy – is June or September better for visibility?
    Hope you can help.
    Thank you

    Reply
  7. Michelle
    Michelle says:

    Hi,

    My sister and I are heading to Croatia next week and spending one day in Split before heading to Bol on the Island of Brac for three nights. We love the water and particularly stand up paddle boarding. Do you know where we can find out more about this in Split/on Brac?

    Thanks so much!
    Michelle & Nicky

    Reply
  8. Debbie & Dudley
    Debbie & Dudley says:

    Hi Frank,
    We booked a last minute holiday to Novigrad arriving this Tuesday. Flying to Pula through Thompson airlines. We have rented an apartment with AirBnB for the week. However, we have hit a problem in hiring a car, without a credit card. Companies double the cost with debit cards and have high holding fees. It’s to late to apply for a credit card. Could you advise on car hire company and best way of getting around if we do not have a car please. Best wishes and thank you Debbie & Dudley

    Reply
  9. Sue Mullins
    Sue Mullins says:

    Hello Frank – we ( two ladies late 60’s) are travelling to Porec for a wedding, then want to get to Split on 5 th July. Any good ideas?

    Reply
  10. Lasara Jarvis
    Lasara Jarvis says:

    Hi!
    We are planning a September honeymoon in Croatia. We’ll visit Venice for two days either at the beginning or the end of the trip. In Croatia we know we want to visit Split, Dubrovnik, Plitvace (and/or Krka), and Korčula. We’re thinking about two weeks.
    Can you offer any guidance on which order would be best? How to get around? Where to stay?
    Thanks so much!
    Lasara and Adam

    Reply
  11. neil
    neil says:

    Frank:

    Although I find your information helpful, don’t you think that a blog on savings on costs from 2014 is out of date and that a new evaluation of this topic is needed? January 31,2016

    Reply
  12. Edie
    Edie says:

    We are travelling in Croatia for 2+ weeks Nov 12 till end of November. We will be travelling from Budapest. What is the best way to get there. Are the ferries running in November? Will a lot of the venues be closed in November? Is it possible to travel from Dubronvik to Rijek on ferries? Any information you could provide would be great.

    Reply
  13. Annette
    Annette says:

    Hi Frank,

    My hubbie and I are arriving in Croatia on 1st September and travelling for 5 weeks.

    We would like to stop for at least a week in 3 places to soak up the local atmosphere.
    Can you recommend some small quiet local villages that are by the sea side that maybe have a couple of restaurants and a supermarket as we will be using the local buses to get around and doing a bit of self catering as well. We also use AirBNB a lot for booking self contained apartments and find this a good way to find what your after for your budget.

    Loved reading all the information and very timely for us. We are in Bulgaria currently and it sounds like Croatia will be a bit more expensive than here.

    Cheers
    Annette & Harvey
    Australia

    Reply
    • Frank G
      Frank G says:

      Hi Annette & Harvey,
      thanks for reading! Glad to hear you’ll explore Croatia for five weeks. That should give you plenty of time to get to know the country. Since you are travelling on bus, it can be a bit tricky, as small villages usually don’t have very good bus connections, particularly in Istria and the islands.

      You can check villages along Makarska Riviera; Split, although a big town, can be a good base to explore the rest of Dalmatia on bus and ferries (it’s a major transport hub in Dalmatia).

      My in-laws have a seafront villa with apartments to rent in a small village of Komarna (70 km north of Dubrovnik). It’s a great place to unwind, and feel the local vibe. Besides, the views from the balcony are top.

      We also like a lot Peljesac peninsula. It’s still not too crowded with tourists, has lovely beaches, and the best red wine in Croatia is produced here. Viganj is an interesting village, popular among wind surfers (laid back atmosphere is guaranteed).

      You can also considered staying at the less visited islands like Vis, Dugi Otok, or Silba.
      Besides AirBnB, check also Booking.com. I believe that in Croatia Booking has the largest choice of private accommodation (and they don’t charge a booking fee).

      Let us know if we can help with anything else.

  14. John Costello
    John Costello says:

    My wife and I are going to spend two weeks in Croatia starting August 8th. We are driving from Zagreb to Rovinj and then south to Dubrovnik. I didn’t see any restaurant recommendations for Rovinj in your Istria article. Do you have any? Or should we drive north for dinner?

    Reply
  15. Ronit Herzfeld
    Ronit Herzfeld says:

    Frank,
    Thank you for this thoughtful and helpful post. We are coming in early September and staying for 2 weeks. We are thinking of renting a boat and a skipper in the Split vicinity. Would you happen to know how much that would cost for 3 days. If too expensive, do you have any other ideas as to how to cruise some of the islands with some privacy?

    Thank you for all your help.
    Ronit

    Reply
  16. Heather
    Heather says:

    Regarding rental cars, what is the cost crossing the border into Slovenia? Is there a fee or any paperwork required? Same with driving through the short part of Bosnia heading South to Dubrovnik? Also, is there a toll sticker/pass available in Croatia as there is for slovenia?

    Reply
  17. jenny@atasteoftravel
    [email protected] says:

    What a fabulous post. You have done all the hard work for visitors to Croatia so they know exactly what to expect. We’re coming to visit you in August this year…not the ideal time as you mention but sometimes you’ve gotta visit when you can. I know it is going to be so much more expensive than our visit in June and July last year but the beaches will still be stunning and the food fresh and delicious! See you soon!

    Reply
    • Frank G
      Frank G says:

      Thanks for your comment, Monika! Glad to hear that Croatia wasn’t too expensive for you. Apartments usually aren’t that expensive. You’ll find majority of them renting for 70 euros a day. However, they can go as expensive as 180 euros a day. It takes some planning and searching to find a right match.

  18. Sand In My Suitcase
    Sand In My Suitcase says:

    Yes, we were aware Croatia isn’t cheap. We found restaurant prices to be about the same as in Canada. And we found the weather in September to be glorious – not too hot for sightseeing but still warm enough for swimming… Good money tips here!

    Reply

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