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2018 Hostel Guide: Best Hostels In Croatia
Written by Sammi Egan
A while back I noticed a trend, bloggers saying that they’re “over hostels.” Over hostels? What on earth can they mean? Hostels are GREAT! So many of my travel stories start with “So, I stayed in this great hostel….”
And end with Absinthe-fuelled nights, randomly hiking up a mountain to look over a city, staying in on a Saturday night eating the best paella I’ve ever had, or blagging our way into music festivals.
Or simply by someone saving me money when I realized I’d left my entire shower bag behind in not only another hostel but another country & giving me her shampoo, conditioner & shower gel as she was going home the following day! You wouldn’t get those random nights out, or weird trips, or kindness if you were staying in a room alone in a hotel.
All that said don’t forget when you’re sharing space with people- especially people you’ve just met – you gotta be courteous. Respect people’s space; don’t dump your things on their bed, or by their feet. Don’t leave all your products scattered around the bathroom. Recently I traveled with my best friend, and I loved sharing space with her, but her biggest pet peeve? My drunken snoring. Yeah… that’s embarrassing, but what’s worse is keeping your whole dorm room awake all night with it.
Before you go out tell them it’s okay to throw a pillow at you or wake you if you’re keeping them awake! If you are coming in later, then make sure your toothbrush, toothpaste & pyjamas (don’t be going naked in a hostel bed, not only does no one want to see it, you never know who else is sharing your bed & I’m not speaking about people, tho’ I’ll come to that!) are out ready at the end of your bed, no rustling, no banging around, and absolutely NO LIGHTS- use your phone!
Lastly, if you meet someone hot on your big night out and want to…. Consummate your new found love, please do it somewhere other than your dorm room! No one wants to hear that, or be in other bunk falling asleep to the gentle (or not so) swaying of the bunk while you’re getting busy. If you all keep on each other’s right side your dorm mates will become your family for a few days, your travel advisors, your sisters to have a late night girly chat about what someone’s boyfriend thinks “Netflix & Chill” mean, and whether “and”, “&”, or “n” have different connotations!
That’s why I love hostels, and why I recommend you check out these hostels in Croatia.
Swanky Mint Hostel
Coming in at third place last month in Best Hostels in Croatia, Swanky Mint is a gem in the country’s capital city. This hostel is located on Zagreb’s main street and is a factory- convert. Way back in the 19th century 3 Czech brothers moved, as many others did, for work and adventure. With them, they brought their expertise and new technologies. One of the brothers opened a Dry Cleaner’s, as had another Czech, this time, a woman. The pair met, and eventually married, they bought their home on the site of this hostel, where with their combined expertise they opened a dry cleaner’s where they expanded into steam operated dying of clothes and textiles. The hostel is definitely swanky; with the theme being of an old factory, the beds appearing to be made of chipboard and the exposed walls. You’ve got the choice of dorms or private rooms. The hostel offers all the usual amenities that backpackers love: WiFi, real towels, lockers, key cards for the rooms. The hostel boasts its own garden and sun terrace, as well as a bar, which reminds me you get a shot of Rakija to welcome you to Zagreb.
Right in the heart of Zagreb, in the pedestrian zone, this new, cozy design hostel puts travelers within walking distance of some of the best grub, cold beverages, nightlife and cultural heritage in the city. Dorm rooms and private rooms are each decorated according to unique style and taste, so pick a design that fits your personality. The hostel offers special packages for large groups, business travelers, and couples and is equipped to accommodate families. Free Wi-Fi and air-conditioning are a few extra perks to look forward to when staying here.
Main Square Hostel
Another hostel that puts travelers right in the middle of Zagreb action is Main Square Hostel. As the name suggests, it is located just 50 feet from Ban Jelačić Square. This modern hostel is loaded with unique and funky art, giving the whole place a chill atmosphere. Choose between dorm-style rooms or suites and enjoy free WiFi, onsite laundry and a lounge area decked out with flat-screen TVs and a PS4. As there are no dining facilities onsite (just vending machines for the in-between meal munchies), this hostel is perfect for the traveler who is ready to hit the streets to explore the neighborhood cuisine.
Mali Mrak Hostel
One of the first hostels in Zagreb, Mali Mrak, is a friendly house to stay in, they advertise themselves a good place to stay if you’re a traveler with an easy going attitude to life (no princesses- hooray) & absolutely isn’t a party hostel. It is 20 minutes by tram out of the city center on the foothills of Medvednica and 15 minutes’ walk to the Grmošćica nature park. The hostel will offer you information on the best areas to go for hikes and make the most of the natural beauty it’s surrounded by. You might even get proposed to join the owner on a hike with his dog. As well as all the usual amenities, towels, linen, WiFi, the hostel has loads to offer. Not just free tea and coffee facilities, free wine too! There are also free laundry facilities and bikes for guests who are staying a longer period in Zagreb. The hostel can also arrange for you to do yoga lessons on the terrace (in the summer) and get a massage. Those who are interested in local culture can find out the best secret haunts, and other stuff outside of the mainstream tourist stuff. They’ll take you out on market day and arrange a community dinner for those interested. Plus, they offer discounts to lefty’s and, since I am one, what’s not to love?!
City Walls Hostel, Dubrovnik
This particular hostel has been renamed recently and renovated, and was formerly the Fresh Sheets Hostel. Located centrally in the Old Town of Dubrovnik, this hostel has won awards, which makes it very popular indeed.
The atmosphere within the hostel is fun and friendly, and many guests enjoy the lively feel on site. Rooms are either 4 or 6 bedded dorm-style, and mixed. There is a small double bedroom on site, which can be booked ahead of time, as it is very popular also. Free Wi-Fi is available on the property, and there is a shared kitchen and lounge area. All guests have access to their own locker also.
Boutique Hostel Forum
In the heart of Zadar, Boutique Hostel defies just being a bed to crash on at the end of a long day. Recently winning Best Hostel in Croatia, it offers you en-suite rooms with all the usual amenities free of charge. You can choose between dorms or private rooms- which come with their own minibar and TV- this hostel has all the amenities of a hotel for a much cheaper price tag. The building itself was built just after WWII, and the outside is very serious looking. The designers decided to combine this with a lively interior, and the size of the property meant some serious space issues. The building’s dimensions measuring at 75m by 5m meant fitting people in was going to take some genius. Luckily they found that, and they took the time to make sure that in this tiny space you’d find your own space, and be able to socialize with others all at the same time. Homage has been paid to the Roman Forum, with the room numbers being in Roman Numerals as well as the grandstand in the Common Area. Using geometry, bright colors, patterns, and mirrors they’ve made this hostel into an architectural and design paradise. You’ve gotta see it to believe it!
In the Arbanasi district of Zadar, this hostel is not central, but it is awesome. It’s around a 20-minute walk along the waterfront to the Old City Gates, but five minutes away is the sea. Being out of the Old Town, the hostel is able to accommodate you with lots of space. The dorm rooms are said to be spacious and well thought out, with beds against the walls, giving you room to sort your things out in the middle of the floor. The Drunken Monkey has a bar which is open til midnight, serving hot drinks, smoothies, and alcoholic beverages, but no food- you can visit the sister hostel, The Lazy Monkey, if you feel the need, for breakfast. The hostel has a garden complete with lounge chairs, a hammock, bbq and a splash pool! Who doesn’t love when a hostel has a splash pool? If you can drag yourself back out into the world, you could go for a walk down to the beach. This one, being away from the central areas, isn’t overcrowded with tourists, and if you continue on from there for 10 minutes there is an awesome, and affordable, beach bar!
Started by a group of traveler’s this hostel has got all the “Backpacker staples” (WiFi, laundry service, breakfast, lockers). Their common areas boast hammocks, and a ping pong table, too. They try to provide guests with everything they could need, from pancake- waffles at breakfast to sorting out your day trips and nights out. The rooms are spacious and open onto balcony’s or gardens and are great to chill out if you had a heavy night the night before. They can sort you out for scuba diving, hiking, kayaking, island tours, summer festival info, and cooking courses. They also have all the low down on the local festivals going, as well as getting you to Carpe Diem at night.
Hostel Shaka, Hvar
Visitors to the Hostel Shaka in Hvar will be treated to a truly authentic experience, as the hostel is located within a residential area. The property is only around ten minutes on foot from the Old town, and there are several cafes and grocery stores around the hostel itself.
The hostel comprises of mixed dorm rooms, which sleep either 6 or 8 people, and there are also private rooms available on request. Every room has an en-suite bathroom, as well as a balcony, for some fresh air. There is a shared kitchen and outdoor terrace area, and there are lockers on hand to keep belongings safe. Air conditioning is as standard, and Wi-Fi is complimentary. The overall vibe of the Hostel Shaka is also very upbeat and sociable.
A laid back but fun atmosphere to be found at Dink’s Place. Just a seven-minute walk from the town center, this hostel is right in the heart of all the action and is the perfect place to absorb the island’s atmosphere. While it is close to the town, you’re still far enough out to get a decent night’s sleep in a more tranquil neighborhood. Offering comfy beds- with a plug socket for each bed- and lockable drawer’s for your valuables, this hostel is great for a good, comfortable night’s sleep. At Dink’s, you can hire bicycles, scooters or boats and tell you where all the hidden beaches are on the island, as well as send you to vineyards and wineries- and even fields of lavender during the right season. They also organize nights out to the best bars and clubs on the island.
The White Rabbit Hostel
Owned and run by a pair of young travelers, this bright, spacious hostel has a prime location in the middle of Hvar town and is known for its social atmosphere. Sleep in one of the 2, 4, 6 or 8-bed dorms and enjoy the goodies this hostel offers. It boasts a lively rooftop bar (open morning to night), high-speed WiFi and friendly staff willing to organize tours. A kitchen is available for your cooking needs as well as air-conditioning and lockers.
A traditional style backpackers hostel in Split, with a mixture of dorms and private rooms depending on your requirements, and barely a five-minute walk to town, this is a great choice of the many hostels in Split. Tea and Coffee are on tap all day, and you can try their homemade Rakija start your night. It’s a great place to meet other travelers in Split. The only downside is the lack of kitchen, but you can get discounted meals and cheap breakfasts at a restaurant nearby. The staff are really knowledgeable about the town, and surrounding areas and can organize any number of day trips including rafting on the Cetina river nearby (tons of fun!), and sea kayaking around Split. Plus they can organize pub crawls and take you to all the hotspots around Split.
Downtown Hostel, Split
Visitors to the Downtown Hostel get to stay in seriously central surroundings, as the hostel is set within the actual Palace of Diocletian. For the price, this is a fantastic choice of accommodation, and there are many sights to see just outside of the property’s door. There is on-site bike and car hire available, and many other social activities to enjoy, such as darts.
Some rooms have seating areas, and all rooms have a private bathroom or a shared bathroom, depending upon specific choice at the time of booking. Regardless, there is a shared kitchen space, and a 24-hour reception desk, for any queries or questions during a stay. Wi-Fi is high quality and free also.
Hostel Matejuska, Split
The location of the Hostel Matejuska is fantastic, because not only is it central within Split, but it also has beautiful sweeping views over the Adriatic Sea. Of course, as with most hostels, Wi-Fi is complimentary, and the central location also means that there are many sights and amenities within walking distance. The Palace of Diocletian and Republic Square are both just 500 meters away on foot, and there are countless bars, restaurants, and cafes just around the corner also.
The rooms all have shared bathrooms, and most of them have that sea view. There is a lounge area for guests to enjoy, ad there are also vending machines on site for light snacks.
Split Hostel Fiesta Siesta
“Good vibes on tap” this hostel is run by Aussie backpackers in the center of Split, in Diocletian’s Palace. With all the backpacker staples, including free breakfast, it’s an awesome choice if you want to party the nights away in Split. It’s conveniently located above Charlie’s Backpackers bar to start your nights out.
Another option in the heart of Split is the charming Hostel Emanuel. All Lodging is dormitory style, and one of the absolute best features of these bunks is the power plug and reading lamp available for each bed. No need to worry about charging your electronics! The beds are adorned with curtains as well, to give travelers a little extra privacy while getting some shut-eye. Enjoy free tea, coffee or hot chocolate during breakfast before heading out for the day. Keep in mind – Wi-Fi is available for an extra fee.
This unique, old stone villa has charm and character – it’s over 200 years old! – Along with an abundance of renovated amenities. It’s the perfect home base for travelers looking to explore Split and the surrounding areas. Just a 10-minute drive from the city, the lodge offers free pick up and drop off in Split twice a day. All rooms are equipped with an en-suite bathroom and guests can expect the traditional backpacker amenities. The best part? After a long day of adventure, relax in the swimming pool, sun beds and hammocks.
Design Hostel Goli & Bosi
Boutique hostel? Yes, please! Ultra modern, ultra funky and ultra clean. Grab some shut-eye in dorm-style bunks, private suites that come with free breakfast or in a quirky “Ship Cabin” (perfect for the explorer who wants a private room and shower but doesn’t need the luxury of space). Enjoy no-frills food with fresh ingredients at Snack Pizzeria De Belly on site, serving up a fun daily menu of Croatian faves.
In the center of the city, Hostel Splendido is a comfortable, chic, family run hostel with guest rooms featuring 2, 3, 4 or 8 beds. Guests enjoy access to shared bathrooms (complete with hair dryers), a communal kitchen, laundry facilities, free parking (for cars and bicycles) and free Wi-Fi. The on-site billiards, garden terrace, cafe, and bar provide additional comforts for backpackers ready to unwind after a day of exploring the local area. For those needing a little extra caffeine, tea and coffee making facilities are always awaiting guest use!
With bright walls of block colors, bold artwork, a bar terrace overlooking Kvarner Bay, air-conditioned rooms with flat-screen TVs, and a multitude of funky dorm or private rooms (some with a seaside view), there is much to love about this hostel. Located right in the heart of Old Town Lovran, travelers can explore the nearby coffee bars and restaurants or can grab a beverage or snack at the hostel’s bar and cafe. Other great features? Pets are allowed upon request, WiFi is free, and a convenience store is onsite.
Villa Borgo, Istria
Set in Motovun, a small village in Istria, this particular hostel is ideal for anyone who loves the open countryside, as the views over the valley are stunning. The City Gates are just a few meters away from the property, and the terrace overlooks the Mirna River and surrounding countryside. There are also many outdoor activities available on site, or just a short distance away, such as paragliding and hiking.
The hostel offers rooms and apartments, all of which have private bathrooms and a fan for the warmer months. Apartments have a satellite TV, as well as kitchen facilities. More of a small B&B than a hostel, this particular property is within the same price range but gives much more quality for guests to enjoy, as well as the beautiful location.
Located in central Pula, adjacent to the Gate of Sergeii, this particular hostel, offers fantastic value for money and excellent rooms to stay in. All rooms are double, and they all have en-suite bathroom facilities, air conditioning, TVs and complimentary Wi-Fi. There are either twin beds or a double bed inside. Breakfast is also complimentary, although there are many small cafes and restaurants just outside the property if guests prefer to eat outside.
The price of this hostel is a little higher than some of the other hostels in the area, but that is because rooms are private, and not dorm-style. Breakfast is also included, which bumps the price up a little. There isn’t an elevator on site, so guests with mobility problems should request a lower level floor.
This particular hostel is very popular and is also genuine value for money. Located centrally, at the direct entrance to the city, this is a new property, so rooms and facilities are very modern and clean as a result.
Rooms are either 4 or 8-bed dorm rooms, which are mixed. Room are all air-conditioned, and the hostel provides complimentary line and towels also. Each separate bed in the dorm comes with a locker for keeping items secure, and a reading lamp. There is a shared kitchen area, a bar for making new friends, and a 24-hour reception area for any problems or queries.
Beach Hostel Eklata
Miles of sandy and pebble beaches bring families looking for an escape from the bustle of the city to the Makarska Riviera. When spending a holiday here with children, Hostel Eklata really is the way to go! Loads of sports & recreational activities along with children’s entertainment, large family rooms, and the convenience of a mini-mart, kitchen, restaurant and cafe bar (ice cream here we come!) give this hostel family-friendly bonus points.
These are the best hostels in Croatia, and there are so many more to choose from as well as these. With all this choice, different hostels for different people, different room options, the ability to organize day trips and nights out, I can’t see why you’d choose to stay in any other kind of accommodation! Hostels rock & these are the cream-of-the-crop.
Ohhh and lots of hostels in Croatia allow kids, so if you need a travel bed for your toddler click here.
What other hostels in Croatia would you add to this list?