A Complete Guide To Hostels In Croatia |Croatia Travel Guide & Blog

A complete guide to hostels in Croatia

Hostels in Croatia are getting popular. Not so long ago, we only had here hostels run by Ferijalni Savez Hrvatske (Croatian Youth Association), a member of Hosteling International. There were only few hostels, located exclusively in bigger towns, like Zagreb, Zadar, Split, and Pula. Things changed, and now you can find hostels almost anywhere in Croatia.

A Complete Guide To Hostels In Croatia |Croatia Travel Guide & Blog

A Complete Guide To Hostels In Croatia |Croatia Travel Guide & Blog

Below you'll find a detailed guide to hostels in Croatia.

Hostels in Croatia: Legal requirements

All hostels in Croatia, just like any other type of accommodation, need to meet a minimum requirements imposed by the law and need to be legally inspected in order to operate as hostels.

This is a good thing, as you are guaranteed minimum standards in all hostels. These requirements include for example a size of room, number of beds per room, bedlinen, height of ceilings, basic equipement like lockers, size of bed, lightining, etc..

However, design, decoration, general look and feel are mostly left to the owner to create. Many hostels are really cool, and design-centered places, particularly in Zagreb.

What to expect in hostels in Croatia

Hostels In Croatia: What To Expect |Croatia Travel Guide & Blog

Hostels In Croatia: What To Expect |Croatia Travel Guide & Blog

Hostels are places with a good vibe and energy, and travelers staying at the hostels are generally younger (or young at heart), and with less attitude. You'll find simple, but clean and comfortable accommodation. Some hostels also provide a superb-design, and feel more like a boutique hostels, than classic hostels.

You'll usually find 4-, 6-, and 8-bed single-sex or mixed dorm rooms. If you are ready to pay a little extra, many hostels, beside dorm rooms, offer also private rooms with/ out en-suite bathrooms.

WiFi, air-conditioning, 24 h reception, lockers, bars, and shared living space are now standard everywhere.

Type of hostels in Croatia

Basically there are two types of hostels in Croatia: hostels run by Croatia Youth Association (a member of the Hosteling International), and private hostels.

Croatian Youth Association Hostels

Croatian Youth Association Hostels

Hostels In Croatia: Croatia Youth Association |Croatia Travel Guide & Blog

Croatian Youth Association, a member of the Hosteling International, runs a chain of hostels throughout Croatia. You'll find these hostels in all major destinations in Croatia like Zagreb, Rijeka, Pula, Zadar, and Dubrovnik. Check here a full list of destinations.

If you decide to stay in their hostels, you'll need to present a valid HI Card. However, if you don't have a HI Card, you can purchase one in any of HI hostels. The card costs 60 kn and it's valid for one year.

You can also decide to pay 10 kn per person per day and receive a welcome stamp for every night spent in a hostel. Once when you collect 6 stamps, you'll get a valid HI Card.

Advantages of staying at HI member hostels: if you plan to travel around Croatia and stay at the hostels, Croatian Youth Association hostels offer a 10% discount for every consecutive stay at their hostels.

Private hostels

Hostels In Croatia: Private Hostels |Main Square Hostel in Zagreb

Hostels In Croatia: Private Hostels |Main Square Hostel in Zagreb

Private hostels don't belong to any association. They are basically private properties registred as hostels. It means that they offer dorm rooms, along with private rooms, shared kitchen area, and shared bathrooms rather than private bathrooms.

Many privately owned hostels have superb-design, and a cool boutique hotel feel, particularly hostels in Zagreb, like Swanky Mint, Main Square Hostel, Shappy Hostel, Funk Lounge and alike.

Cost of staying in hostels in Croatia

Prices in hostels are calculated per bed. You can expect to pay anywhere from 13€ to 35€ per night, depending on the season, and a type of room you choose.

All hostels in Croatia provide linen and fresh towles free of charge. Breakfast is usually not included in room price. Check at the time of booking.

When you should consider staying in hostels in Croatia

  • If you are a solo traveler and like to meet other travelers
  • If you just look for a cheap and clean accommodation
  • If you aren't easily intimidated when sharing a room with strangers
  • If you don't like/ have money to eat out all the time. Most hostels offer a small kitchen where you can prepare yourself a meal.

Tips for staying in hostels in Croatia

  • Book ahead. The most popular booking sites for hostels in Croatia are Booking.com, HostelWorld, and Hosteling International (member hostels only)
  • Check your options; if you don't fancy sharing a room with strangers, explore private room option at each hostel
  • If you are a larger party, hostels might not be your cheapest accommodation option. Consider staying at vacation rentals instead.
  • Read reviews
  • Double check the location
  • Some hostels offer mixed rooms. Make sure to choose a right hostel with a right room for you to feel comfortable.
  • Protect your valuables.

What to pack for a hostel in Croatia

Toiletry kit – You'll need to carry your own toiletries, as none of the hostels in Croatia provide them. You'll need a toiletry bag, where you can store all your toiletries and make-up. Look for ones that enable you to hang them on the wall, above your bad, and in a toilet. We recommend Amazon Basics Toiletry Bag. If you fancy something above basic, and you're ready to pay a little bit more, then we absolutely love Lavievert toiletry bag.
Flip flops – Flip-flops are essential when staying in a hostel. You'll find them handy to use in the shower, and just about anywhere around the common areas.
Earplugs and sleep mask – Some people staying in hostels like to stay out late, party, or simply read in a bed for long time. If you are light sleeper, for your peace of mind, bring a sleep mask and earplugs. Check here for more info and latest prices.
Reading light – When a dorm room goes dark, but you still don't feel like sleeping, a reading light can come in handy. They are small and light to carry, have a clip for attaching it to the book, and are batery-operated. Click here for additional info and prices.
The pack or packing cubes – I like my backpack organized. Nothing puts me more off than when I need to digg through my entire backpack when in need of something. Packing cubes help you better organize your backpack. For the ultimate convenience, check The Pack, attached set of packing cubes that can serve you as a provisional closet everywhere you stay.
Day pack – day pack is super-handy to have when traveling, and staying in hostels in Croatia. You can leave your big bag in a room, and only carry around few things you'll need for a day, like your documents, wallet, camera, and a bottle of water. We absolutely love Outlander compact day pack.
Cable lock – Well, while majority of people staying in hostels in Croatia are honest, you can always have somebody sneaking in with other thoughts on their mind. You simply need to take care and protect your belongings. Pacsafe has a great range of padlocks, cable locks, and bag protectors.

Suggested hostels in Croatia

Hostels in Zagreb

1 | Swanky Mint Hostel

Best Hostels In Croatia |Swanky Mint Hostel in Zagreb

Best Hostels In Croatia |Swanky Mint Hostel in Zagreb

Swanky Mint Hostel is located in the center of Zagreb. Hostel offers dormitory rooms with shared bathroom and private rooms with en-suite bathroom. All the rooms are air-conditioned.

There is a free WiFi, lockers, cafe and shared kitchen.

More info and prices …

2 |  Hostel Shappy

Best Hostels In Croatia |Hostel Shappy in Zagreb

Best Hostels In Croatia |Hostel Shappy in Zagreb

Hostel Shappy is located in the very center of Zagreb, next to the Flower Square. It offers a free WiFi, a lounge area with flat screen TV, PlayStation3, Nintendo Wii, and a pool table.

Hostel has really nice and cool bar with good choice of local brandies. Hostel has six rooms, some are dormitory rooms and others are private rooms.

More info and prices …

3 |  Main Square

Best Hostels In Croatia |Main Square Hostel in Zagreb

Best Hostels In Croatia |Main Square Hostel in Zagreb

Main Square hostel has a superb-location, right behind Zagreb's central Jelacic Square. The hostel is modern, and offers an accommodation in dorm rooms, and en suite private rooms. All rooms are air-conditioned. Rooms feature a seating area, and a free WiFi.

Fresh towels and sheets are provided. Lounge area comes with two flat-screen TVs, and a Playstation. Hostel doesn't have its own bar or restaurant, but there are plenty of them in the vicinity. Laundry facilities are available with extra charge.

More info and prices …

Hostels in Zadar

1 |  Hostel Forum

Best Hostels In Croatia |Hostel Forum in Zagreb

Best Hostels In Croatia |Hostel Forum in Zadar

Boutique Hostel Forum is located in Zadar old town. Hostel Forum offers dormitory rooms, private rooms and one suite. All the rooms are air-conditioned. Shared rooms offer enough privacy as beds are separated one from the other with a curtain. Free WiFi is available.

More info and prices …

Hostels in Split

1 | Downtown Hostel

Best Hostels In Croatia |Hostel Downtown in Split

Best Hostels In Croatia |Hostel Downtown in Split

Downtown Hostel is located in the heart of the old town, amidst city's main sights. Ferry port, bus and train stations are just a couple of minutes walk from the hostel. The owners and all staff are very friendly and helpful. For your safety, there is a 24 h reception.

Downtown hostel features 4- and 8-bed mixed dorm rooms, one studio apartment for two, a shared living room, a balcony, and a kitchenette.

More info and prices …

2 | Hostel Matejuska

Best Hostels In Croatia |Hostel Matejuska in Split

Best Hostels In Croatia |Hostel Matejuska in Split

Located in Split's popular neighborhood of Matejuska, just few minutes walk from the Palace of Diocletian, hostel Matejuska must be the smallest hostel in Croatia. It features only two rooms: a 4- and 6-bed dorm room.

The hostel offers free wifi, and free coffee and tea from the vending machine.

More info and prices …

3 |  Hostel Dvor

Best Hostels In Croatia| Hostel Dvor in Split

Best Hostels In Croatia| Hostel Dvor in Split

Located just few minutes walk from the old town, hostel Dvor is lovely little place. It features 3-, 4- and 6-bed dorm rooms, but also double rooms with private or shared bathroom.

Each bunk bed in dorm rooms comes with electric outlet, a reading light, a shelf, and huge locker. WiFi, linen, towels, as well as tea, coffee, fruit and cookies, are provided free of charge.

More info and prices …

Hostels in Sibenik

1 |  Hostel Splendido

Best Hostels In Croatia |Hostel Splendido in Sibenik

Best Hostels In Croatia |Hostel Splendido in Sibenik

Located within walking distance from the old town, and Sibenik main sights, hostel Splendid is a family-run hostel. The service is extremely friendly, and owners, are always at your disposal.
The common facilities include private parking, garden terrace with a BBQ, a bar, and a shared kitchen.

Hostel features 4-, and 8-bed mixed rooms, as well as private double rooms. WiFi is available and free of charge. Hostel provides 24 h reception.

More info and prices …

Hostels in Hvar

1 | Hostel Shaka

Best Hostels In Croatia |Hostel Shaka in Hvar

Best Hostels In Croatia |Hostel Shaka in Hvar

Like many hostels in Hvar, hostel Shaka is located in the residential area, a 10-minute walk from the old town. The hostel features 6-, and 8-bed mixed dorms, as well as private rooms. All rooms have en-suite bathroom, and a balcony.

Other facilities include shared terrace, a kitchen, lockers. All rooms are air-conditioned. Free WiFi is available throughout the hostel.  The atmosphere is very convivial, and if you like to hang out with fellow guests, Shaka staff organizes greet & meet evening parties.

Rooms are very clean, and comfortable. Hostel provide free linen and towels.

More info and prices …

2 | The White Rabbit Hostel

Best Hostels In Croatia |Hostel The White Rabbit in Hvar

Best Hostels In Croatia |Hostel The White Rabbit in Hvar

Benefiting from the superb downtown location, The White Rabbit Hostel offers 4-, 6-, and 8-bed mixed dorms, but also private double rooms. All rooms come with free WiFi, linen, towels, lockers, and air-conditioner.

Other facilities include 24 h reception, a fully-equipped shared kitchen, a lively bar, and BBQ facilities.

More info and prices …

Hostels in Istria

1 | Villa Borgo

Best Hostels In Croatia |Hostel Villa Borgo in Motovun

Best Hostels In Croatia |Hostel Villa Borgo in Motovun

Hostel Villa Borgo is located in Motovun, Istria. Hostel offers 12 rooms, shared terrace, lounge area and a small bar. Views from the terrace are great. Majority of the rooms are private with an en-suite bathroom.

More info and prices …

2 | Link, Lovran

Best Hostels In Croatia |Hostel Link in Lovran

Best Hostels In Croatia |Hostel Link in Lovran

Located in Lovran, the hostel Link is the only hostel along the Opatija Riviera.

Hostel Link features 114 double, triple and quad rooms. All rooms come with en-suite bathroom, WiFi, flat-screen TV, and an air-conditioner. Some rooms have double, or single beds, or bunk-beds. Some rooms also come with a sea view.

Hostel Link features a coin-operated laundry, a shared kitchenette, a bar with a nice outdoor terrace, and a common area.

More info and prices …

3 | Joyce, Pula

Best Hostels In Croatia |Hostel Joyce in Pula

Best Hostels In Croatia |Hostel Joyce in Pula

Located at the heart of Pula, right next to the Gate of Sergeii, hostel Joyce offers exclusively double rooms with en-suite bathrooms. Rooms are air-conditioned, feature flat-screen TV, WiFi, and double or twin beds. Breakfast is included in room price. Prices are a bit high as there aren't any dorm rooms available.

Hotel is located in a historical building, and doesn't have an elevator. This can be a problem if your room is located on higher floors.

More info and prices …

4 | Roundabout, Rovinj

Best Hostels In Croatia |Hostel Roundabout in Rovinj

Best Hostels In Croatia |Hostel Roundabout in Rovinj

At 18 euro a night in August, this is definitely the cheapest bed you'll find in Rovinj at this time of the year. Hostel Roundabout is a brand new hostel, located at the entrance of Rovinj, well, at the second roundabout.

The hostel offers 4-, and 8-bed mixed dorm rooms. Rooms are air-conditioned. Linen and towels are provided. Each bed comes with a reading lamp, and a locker. Common areas include a shared kitchen, 24 h reception, and a bar.

More info and prices …

Hostels in Dubrovnik

1 | City Walls Hostel (ex. Fresh Sheets Hostel)

Best Hostels In Croatia |Hostel City Walls in Dubrovnik

Best Hostels In Croatia |Hostel City Walls in Dubrovnik

With a great location within the old town, friendly staff and owners, awesome vibe, it comes as no surprise that Fresh Sheets Hostel has been voted the Third Best Seasonal Hostel worldwide by Hostelworld.

Fresh Sheets Hostel offers 4- and 6-bed mixed dorms, one small double bedroom, free WiFi throughout the hostel, shared kitchen, lockers, and a breakfast/lounge area. Book early as this is the most popular hostel in Dubrovnik, and it sells fast.

More info and prices …

Have you stayed in hostels in Croatia? Do you have anything to recommend to fellow backpackers? Let us know in the comments below. 

Photo credit: main photo Main Square Hostel; other hostel photos: from hostel's website 

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