Complete Croatia Itinerary and Costs Revealed!

Letter 123

After spending just over 3 weeks of my summer travelling around Croatia, visiting 10 different places, I feel I can shed some light on how much Croatia will set you back. From accommodation to travel and activities to food, I’ve got you covered!

 

TOTAL SPENT: £810.76

 

Brief Summary

  • Average per week = £246.75
  • Average per day (23 nights) = £35.25
    • Minus anomalies of Plitvice and Dubrovnik (we’ll get to why later) = £32.25
  • Average accommodation price = £14.74

 

QUICK TIPS:

Go before the national parks increase their prices for tourists

  • I went to Plitvice at the end of June and it cost 80kn (approx. £10)
  • I went to Krka at the beginning of July and it cost 110kn (£13.75)

Stay in the non-touristy cities like Sibenik (one of my favourite places) which is way cheaper than the likes of Split and is only an hour away.

Try to avoid festivals where accommodation will sell out (or time it right and embrace them)

  • I went to INmusic festival in Zagreb on a whim and it was amazing! It was super cheap as well (I haven’t actually added it into the costs here but I spent a total of £90 at the festival including the ticket for 3 days and all food and drink there)

Strategically plan what time to get a bus based on where the sun will be and the view you want (sounds silly I know)

  • Croatia’s coast faces west and is stunning so planning a bus before mid afternoon hits and the sun starts to sit means you can sit by the window looking out at the sea and islands without cooking alive
  • Also make sure you have extra change for getting on the bus because they charge extra for your bags (normally between 8 and 10 kuna)

 

Itinerary

Croatia route

  • Budapest, Hungary
  • Zagreb – 4 nights
  • Plitvice Lakes – 1 night
  • Pula – 4 nights
  • Rovinj – 2 nights
  • Zadar – 3 nights
  • Sibenik – 3 nights
  • Split – 1 day
  • Brac – 2 nights
  • Korcula – 2 nights
  • Dubrovnik – 2 nights
  • Kotor, Montenegro

You can probably tell I began to run out of time towards the end, as I was desperate for a long time in Montenegro, so my relaxed 3 or 4 night stays in each place became 2 nights. Even so I feel I had a good amount of time in each place.

If you wish to stop reading here then I will summarise quickly before going into detail. Croatia is a pretty pricey country compared to neighbouring Balkan beauties. However, it’s well worth it and you can find cheap parts too. Food can be pretty cheap from local bakeries and supermarkets but eating out is quite expensive – I only ate out a handful of times. Get yourself a hostel with a kitchen (or a wonderful host who cooks for you – see my Brac Island post here). Buses are pretty easy and efficient, just buy your ticket at the bus station, most journeys are very frequent and cheap too. Don’t overlook the capital even though it’s inland as it has a lot to offer! Spend time in the cities, national parks, beaches and islands – this country is surprisingly vast!

 

Now for the details…

 

Zagreb

4 nights = £150.70

  • Accommodation: Mali Mrak Hostel £44 (dorm bed)
    • Amazing place – couldn’t recommend enough! A little out of the centre, very quiet, great vibe and perfect hosts!
    • Hostelworld Link
  • Transport £32 (bus from Budapest)
    • Local trams are efficient and cost barely anything (I believe about 50p per journey)
  • Food £56.32
    • Mostly supermarket but I did eat out and try some of the local food
    • My favourite restaurant here was Heritage which is a Croatian street food place with insane food – here’s a link to the google maps location of it. I paid about £6 for a few tapas style dishes and a drink.
  • Activities £7.50
    • This doesn’t include the festival – ticket was about £55 for 3 days I believe
    • I went to the Museum of Broken Relationships which I loved and also did an amazing walking tour.
  • Other £10.88

I thought Zagreb was great and still can’t understand why people don’t like it or decide to skip it. It’s definitely cheaper than the coastal cities and has character in abundance as well as friendly people and a random lake. I honestly really enjoyed it.

zagreb 4

Plitvice Lakes

1 night = £60.88

  • Accommodation: Villa Jezerka Hostel £15 (for half a double room – I was with my boyfriend)
    • Great hostel – not the best looking but was what we needed. Easy to find and the owner is great and even took us to the park early in the morning so we would beat the crowds – which is highly recommended.
    • Hostelworld Link
  • Transport £10
    • Bus from Zagreb which was about 2 and a half hours long
    • They are quite frequent, ours was at about 11am – you can do Plitvice in a day from Zagreb (or Zadar/Split) but you do arrive at the park at about 11am which is when it’s super busy. By staying over you can enjoy the park quiet in the morning.
  • Food £25
    • We splashed out a bit and had a few really nice meals. Eating within the park isn’t as expensive as we thought and as we didn’t have a chance to get food before we didn’t really have a choice.
  • Activities £10
    • Entrance to the park – as I mentioned earlier – is cheaper before July hits.
  • Other £0.88

I loved staying here and getting away from the city bustle. Definitely a good stop off and the national park is as stunning as you would expect – worth it 100%.

plitvice 1

Pula

4 nights = £105.25

  • Accommodation: Airbnb £52 (for half of an apartment – with access to a pool!)
    • If you’re in a couple definitely go for an airbnb – you can get a lot for your money!
    • Airbnb link
  • Transport £18.75
    • Bus from Plitvice where you have to change in Karlovac.
    • We also got a bus to a national park in the south – not reliable at all, be warned.
  • Food £34.50
    • We spent barely anything on food – it is much cheaper when you’re sharing with someone else. Mostly ate in but did have a few treats out for lunch or dinner.

Pula was probably my least favourite city in Croatia however I had a great time relaxing at my airbnb with a pool and venturing out to a national park called Kamenjak. It’s still a cool city but you only need about half a day to see it all so plan other things to do in the region!

BUDAPEST, ZAGREB, PLITVICE AND PULA

pula 2

 

Rovinj

2 nights = £67.63

  • Accommodation: Roundabout Hostel £42 (dorm bed)
    • Interesting hostel – not the best I’ve stayed in but it is the only one in Rovinj so you don’t really have much choice. Also it was the most I paid in Croatia!
    • Hostelworld Link
  • Transport £4.50
    • Bus from Pula – very cheap and quick, could be done as a day trip
  • Food £16.88
    • I ate supermarket food and bakery treats which is quite cheap
  • Other £4.25

Rovinj is beautiful and still quite untouched by tourists so is very much worth a visit. Not a cheap place because of accommodation but 2 days is plenty here and you will fall in love with it. I happened to also run into a salsa festival here which is so much fun!

Romantic Rovinj

rovinj sunset 1

 

Zadar

3 nights = £101.13

  • Accommodation: Lazy Monkey Hostel £48 (dorm bed)
    • This is a super cool hostel a little walk away from the centre right by the beach and port. It’s a great place to stay with such a cool vibe and good people.
    • Hostelworld Link
  • Transport £35.13
    • The bus from Rovinj was pricey because you have to change in Rijeka and it takes about 5 hours in total from what I remember. It’s such a stunning route though!
    • I also took a boat over to Ugljan Island which was stunning and pretty cheap
  • Food £16.88
    • More supermarket food! I cooked a few times with people at the hostel and also ate out at a beach shack down the road which was super cheap
  • Other £1.13

Zadar is a place you can’t miss! It’s such a great city and you also must get over to one of the islands as they are paradise! Lots of backpackers come here so you’ll also meet people.

Zadar: hiking to an abandoned fortress

zadar town 1

 

Sibenik

3 nights = £101.88

  • Accommodation: Hostel Globo £36 (dorm bed)
    • This is a good simple hostel where I happened to bag a whole dorm of 8 for myself! I liked the staff and the location couldn’t be better!
    • Hostelworld Link
  • Transport £11.63
    • The bus from Zadar was cheap and quick
    • I got a local bus to Krka national park which was cheap but not reliable!! Waited absolutely ages for a bus on the way back but I had good pals to chat to in the sun so I wasn’t fussed
  • Food £27.88
    • As the hostel was super cheap I did pick up dinner every night from the takeaway which sold the best falafel wrap ever! Treat yourself right? Otherwise I ate from the local market and supermarket.
  • Activities £17.50
    • The bulk of my spending here went to Krka national park which is well worth it (but not quite as good as Plitvice in my opinion).
    • I also visited a couple of fortresses in the city which were incredible!
  • Other £8.88

I can’t praise this little city enough – I loved it. It was hands down one of my favourites for its cobbled street charm and stunning views and sunsets. Don’t skip it!

Side note – I didn’t stay in Split but I did stop off for the day after Sibenik (it’s only an hour on the bus) before going to stay on Brac island. You can easily do Split from Sibenik and it’s so much cheaper to stay here. In my opinion Split doesn’t need longer than a day.

The most underrated Croatian city: Šibenik

Krka or Plitvice?

sibenik town 6

krka walk 1

 

Brac

2 nights = £60.06

  • Accommodation: Central Studio Apartments £30 (dorm bed)
    • This place is special, mainly because of the lovely family that own it. I loved the location, dorm room, outdoor kitchen and views. It was wonderful and quiet.
    • Booking.com Link
  • Transport £17
    • The ferry over from Split wasn’t too expensive and only takes 50 minutes so it’s a very doable day trip!
    • I got a bus across the island from Supetar to Bol (where the famous beach is) as this was where I got a katamaran to Korcula.
  • Food £7.25
    • I spent so little on food as I bought everything from the supermarket and the family at the hostel cooked for me one night which was wonderful! Got some homemade Borek and lots of lovely treats.
  • Other £5.82

Brac is such a beautiful island with stunning beaches and so much to do. If it was cooler I would’ve hiked the hill/mountain – highest point of all the islands. I would definitely come back for a holiday here!

brac supetar 2

Korcula

2 nights = £60.38

  • Accommodation: Hostel Caenazzo 2 £30 (dorm bed)
    • This was a slightly dodgey hostel but still not bad. It’s location was perfect and it had what I needed.
    • Hostelworld Link
  • Transport £15
    • The Katamaran from Brac was slightly expensive but not too bad considering it was the only way to get here and there was only 1 per day I believe.
  • Food £11.63
    • Once again – supermarket food! Combined with the daily borek of course.
  • Other £3.75

Korcula was pretty, but for me not as good as Brac. I feel I could’ve skipped it, but the town was nice. If you want to relax somewhere where there’s not that much to do then it’s a good place. It would’ve been better if I’d had a car to be fair.

Island escapes: Brač and Korčula

korcula 7

 

Dubrovnik

ie. The city that sucks your money up.

2 nights = £102.88

  • Accommodation: Youth Hostel £42 (dorm bed – with breakfast)
    • This was THE cheapest hostel in Dubrovnik and to be honest wasn’t bad. It was about a 25 minute (beautiful) walk to the old town which I didn’t mind, it was quite near the port and the beach and you get free breakfast so I was a happy bunny.
    • Hostelworld Link
  • Transport £15
    • The Katamaran was the same as from Brac to Korcula which is efficient and reasonably priced.
  • Food £20.63
    • Eating out in Dubrovnik is not cheap, so I didn’t really do it. I bought a few beers, went to nice bakeries and tried not to spend too much. If you eat out in this city you’ll spend a fortune.
  • Activities £21.75
    • This was quite a portion of the money which I spend on walking on the walls – amazing and only ‘cheap’ for me because I had the right student card (ISIC) and also going over to Lokrum island which was stunning and worth it.
  • Other £4

I had mixed feelings about Dubrovnik. It was beautiful and amazing and a seriously cool place. But it was also packed with tourists, very ‘game of thrones-y’ and extremely expensive. I’m glad I went but it’s not a place I would return to unless it was for a day trip. I did get a firework display on the beach which was pretty amazing.

The many highs and few lows of Dubrovnik

dubrovnik old town 3

 

So that’s it! All of the costs you could need to know about in Croatia and my lengthy itinerary. It’s an awesome country and I’ll remember my trip fondly.

Anyway questions, feel free to ask!

From Lou

About Me

PS. I’ve now (12/03/18) written a full post about my travel budgeting formula, which you can read here: How to calculate a travel budget (and other tips)

While the average daily spend for this trip was £35.25 (or £32.25 when you remove the anomalies of Plitvice (at £60 for 1 night) and Dubrovnik (at £100 for 2 nights)), I didn’t actually spend this each day:

  • Over the trip I spent £159 on transport, typically travelling between places every 2, 3 or 4 days
  • Therefore, without transport, I spent £651.
  • That works out to £28 per day including accommodation.
  • I’ve said in a previous letter (about travelling in Andalucia here) that to calculate a budget I work out a rough average for accommodation (I stated earlier that it is about £15 per night) then double it for an average daily budget.
  • This would give me a daily budget of £30 which I stuck to for the trip and then needed extra for transport.

7 thoughts on “Complete Croatia Itinerary and Costs Revealed!

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