Is Croatia Expensive To Visit With The Euro? 2024 Prices In Croatia

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Post author SJ

Written by our local expert SJ

Sarah-Jane has lived in Croatia for 10+ years. SJ, as she is known, has been traveling the Balkans & beyond since 2000. She now shares her passion for traveling with her husband & kids.

You’re trying to determine whether Croatia is expensive. The answer is that it can be.

What was once considered a relatively cheap Mediterranean destination to travel to has, over the last two decades, become more expensive, and it has lost that value-for-money tag it once had. 

My beautiful country has become even more expensive since Croatia joined the eurozone. With the currency changeover from the Croatian Kuna to the euro at the beginning of 2023, I have noticed my grocery bill is up 30% for the same brands and items.

But if you want to travel to Croatia on a budget, it is doable no matter your travel style. I’ve lived here for over a decade and have some insider knowledge and tips on how to budget and save on your trip.

Read on to discover how to have a fantastic adventure in Croatia without breaking the bank. This guide includes information on what to expect to pay for everything from transport to groceries and accommodation.

Croatia Travel Blog_Is Croatia Expensive To Visit

Planning Your Trip To Croatia – So, Is Croatia Expensive To Visit

Yes and no. It’s good to remember that, like many countries, Croatia has differences in prices between rural and urban areas. Dubrovnik, for example, is a popular city-break destination, which is reflected in the prices there—in fact, it’s one of the most expensive places in Croatia, with polished hotels and high-end dining to match.

That doesn’t mean you can’t experience places like Split or Dubrovnik on a budget. Compared to other European cities such as London or Paris, Croatia’s big cities are relatively affordable.

Euro Is The Currency In Croatia

USD TO EURO AS AT MARCH 2024

As I already mentioned, the new currency in Croatia is the euro, so I’ll list prices with the €. Right now, the euro to USD exchange is 1.09, and for AUD, it is 1.66.

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Croatia Trip Cost Guide

Before we dig down into whether or not Croatia is, in fact, a budget-friendly destination, I’ll first cover the average costs and general expenses of traveling to this Mediterranean destination.

Costs Of Food And Drink In Croatia

A close up of Croatian currency.

Visiting Croatia offers the chance to dive into all of the delicious cuisine that the country has to offer. Let’s take a closer look at what you can expect to pay for food in Croatia, from a meal at a restaurant in Dubrovnik to picking up some groceries at a countryside store.

Restaurant Prices

Restaurant prices can vary massively. If you want to, you could splash out on a lavish meal in a city for €120, or you could enjoy a meal in a low-key countryside eatery for €10.

For those on a budget, you may want to consider a konoba. These traditional, usually family-run eateries are a great place to not only try local cuisine but also get a flavor of local life and also eat relatively cheaply.

The cost of a meal at a konoba runs from around €6 at the cheapest end, but near major towns and cities, it is usually around €25. It’s not always the cheapest, but it’s a good experience on a budget.

Fast Food Prices

A plate of cevapi and onions, common in Croatia.

According to the Big Mac Index, they are published every year by the Economist, a Big Mac from McDonald’s costs $3.68 (€3.39), which is around 28% less than the price of a Big Mac in the USA.

In places such as Dubrovnik, a meal at a Burger King, McDonald’s, or similar establishment will cost you between €6.60 and €10.50.

Grocery Prices

For those traveling on a budget, self-catering accommodation is crucial for keeping costs low. Thankfully, Croatia is a great place to do this. The country is awash with markets selling fresh, locally grown produce at cheap prices.

There is also a selection of affordable grocery stores that make life even easier. Konzum is the biggest of these, with around 700 stores nationwide, while another cheap supermarket, Plodine, has around 100 locations across the country.

Here is a list of the approximate prices for fruit and vegetables per kilo from grocery stores in Croatia:

  • A kilo of apples for €1.20 — 2.50
  • A kilo of bananas for €1.40 — 2.50
  • A kilo of oranges for €1.50 — 3
  • A kilo of tomatoes for €0.80 — 4
  • A kilo of potatoes for €0.50 — 2
  • A kilo of onions for €0.40 — 1.60
  • A head of lettuce for €0.20 — 2
  • 12 eggs for €3 — 6
  • A kilo of local cheese can cost anything from €6 to €30

Alcohol Prices

A row of wine bottles lined up on a shelf in Istria.

For those of you who like to have a drink or two, you’ll be pleased to know that alcohol prices are relatively affordable in Croatia. Things have become slightly more expensive over the years, and the average cost of a pint of draught beer is €2.80. A bottle of imported beer will be around €3-5.

Of course, this fluctuates depending on the type of bar you’re drinking at and where it is located. For example, Dubrovnik will be more expensive.

If you go to a mid-range restaurant, the price of a glass of wine will be around €6, while a bottle of house wine will cost you upwards of €20. Again, this depends on the restaurant, as some can be cheaper than others.

Alcohol is decidedly cheaper in supermarkets. Here, you can pick up a low-cost bottle of wine for around €5-10.

Transport Costs In Croatia

Thankfully, Croatia boasts some pretty reliable public transport for travelers on a budget to use. Whether you want to get the train along the coast or hop on a bus from one coastal resort to the next, there are plenty of options for you to choose between.

Bus Travel  – The Best Way To Save Money On Transportation

Traveling on the bus in Croatia

Croatia has a well-connected bus network that is relatively cheap to use. This means if you don’t have the budget to hire a car, you can see most of the country just by taking the bus.

Bus companies run between cities and also serve as public transport within towns and city areas.

Prices can vary depending on the route and the company you use, with a number of different companies running along the same route. But generally speaking, they’re affordable, with the journey between Split and Dubrovnik by bus costing around €12.

I really recommend booking ahead, especially in high season. Big companies such as FlixBus, Ariva, and Getbybus can all be booked online in advance — and often at a lower cost than if you bought the ticket in person at the ticket office the same day.

If you’re traveling with luggage, you will have to pay extra to stow it in the luggage compartment below the bus. The fee is around €1.50 per item.

Boat & Ferry Costs In Croatia

Ferry Jadrolinija

Don’t overlook traveling by boat in Croatia. In fact, with hundreds of islands and coastal destinations to its name, getting around Croatia by boat is sometimes a necessity.

More boats and ferries run in the high season (i.e., summer) than at other times of the year. Ferries are usually car ferries, but you can also use them as foot passengers, while catamarans are usually just for foot passengers.

Tickets can be bought online in advance, which can make things cheaper. But in peak season, getting to the dock early is still a good idea.

In general, ferries are affordable. For example, the trip between Zadar and the island of Ilovik takes 1.5 hours and costs €10-12, while to Unije, the trip is 2.5 hours and costs €12-15.

The lowest prices are in the winter months and the highest in the peak season.

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Cost Of Travel In Croatia Via Taxi

When the public transport network doesn’t go somewhere you want to go, or if you want to get somewhere quickly, you have taxis to rely on. Taxis in Croatia come in all shapes and sizes, with a number of different companies.

You can pick up a taxi fairly easily in towns and cities, while if you’re on an island or a more rural destination, it’s best to arrange one in advance.

You can even use apps like Uber, but this is limited to Zagreb, Split, Rijeka, and Dubrovnik.

Apart from Uber, taxi fares in Croatia are based on the meter. This differs from city to city. In Split, it’s around €1 per kilometer, while in Dubrovnik, it’s €0.66. Don’t forget that there’s a standard tariff for taxis too, which ranges from around €2 to €5.

Airport Shuttles

Airport shuttles can help to keep costs low if you use them wisely. Some hotels and other accommodation types in Croatia may offer a complimentary shuttle service, which may not just cover the airport but also bus and train stations or even tourist sites such as the beach and Old Town.

Rental Car Prices

Albania Rent A Car Tips - Driving in Albania

Car hire is a great way to get around if you want to see lesser-known destinations in Croatia. It’s also a good idea to hire a car if you’re traveling in a group, as it helps to keep costs low.

Thankfully, road trips in Croatia don’t usually take very long. For example, between Zagreb and Dubrovnik, it’s around a 6-hour drive.

You can rent a hire car from both local companies and international brands in towns and cities and around transport hubs.

Car hire prices in Croatia aren’t the same all year round. Prices vary. Local companies can be cheaper, some as low as €10 per day in the low season (where it is always great value for money), and you can add a 0 at the end of that for the peak summer season. 

That said, there are some affordable deals on international brands, such as booking online or as part of a package with your accommodation or flight.

Don’t forget that you will have to pay tolls on all highways in Croatia. An example charge is from Split to Dubrovnik, which costs €6.60, while Zagreb to Dubrovnik (480 kilometers) costs €30 along the highway.

Then you have to factor in the price of gas, too. At the moment, petrol costs €1.50 per liter in Croatia. You should also budget for parking.

Trains

A red train traveling on the tracks from Split to Zagreb

The train network in Croatia is much slower than hopping on a bus. But if you’ve got the time, want a slice of the Croatian countryside, and like the idea of slow travel, then it’s a great way to get around.

Prices for train travel in Croatia vary depending on the train type you book. There are three types: ICN trains, which run intercity services (the fastest option), the fast brzi trains, and the putnicki regular passenger trains.

An example journey is from Zagreb to Split, which can cost between €15 and €27 and take between 6.5 and 8.5 hours.

But generally, if you’re wondering if trains were cheap in Croatia, you’ll be happy to know that taking the train is affordable and won’t eat into your budget too much.

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Accommodation Costs In Croatia

Boutique Hostel Forum Zadar | Hostels in Croatia || Chasing the Donkey Croatia Travel Blog

One of the costs that varies the most when it comes to travel in Croatia is accommodation. Places to stay range across the country from basic backpacker accommodation, which can cost as little as €20 per night, all the way to high-end resorts that charge well over €200 per night.

Hostels in Croatia can work for budget travelers not only because of the low starting price but also because sometimes they feature kitchens where you can cook your own meals. Some of these are stocked with essential items that are free to use. Some hostels will also provide meals for guests free of charge.

That said, self-catering accommodation can also be very affordable, costing between €20 and €40 per night. In terms of affordable hotels, you can expect to pay around €60-100 per night for a mid-range option in Croatia.

Attractions & Activity Prices In Croatia

Is Dubrovnik expensive -

Now that you have a better idea of how much it costs to travel around Croatia, how much accommodation costs in Croatia, and how much it costs to eat in Croatia, it’s time to look at the cost of activities in Croatia.

There’s a lot to do throughout the country, from lounging around at the beach and exploring jewel-like islands in the Adriatic Sea to walking the medieval walls of old towns and seeing Roman ruins.

One of the most popular things to do in Croatia is exploring Dubrovnik. Walking through the old walls of the city costs €35 per person.

However, in Split, the famous Diocletian’s Palace is free to enter, as it makes up a large part of the old town. But it does cost €5.50 to visit the basement of the palace.

For those interested in natural sites, there are places like Plitvice Lakes National Park, which charges an entrance fee. This fee changes depending on the time of year—in the low season, you can expect to pay €10, but it is much more expensive €40 during the high season.

The cost of tours in Croatia varies depending on the activity. A kayaking tour from Split to explore the Five Islands, for example, costs around €80 per person, while a day tour to Mostar and its famous bridge from Dubrovnik can cost upwards of €90.

How To Save Money In Croatia – Budget Tips

  • Accommodation. Go for self-catering options where possible; this means anything from Airbnb and Vrbos to hostels and self-catering apartments on Booking.com
  • Use public transport. Having your own wheels might be fun, or hopping on a tour might make things easier, but if you’re on a budget, do as the locals do and hop on a bus, train, or ferry
  • Eating on a budget. Head to local eateries like konoba; it is here that you’ll find the best value for money, and shop at supermarkets for local produce you can cook yourself
  • Book in advance. Whether it’s accommodation, a hire car, or public transport, booking in advance usually means a better deal
  • Financial tips. Use payment services like Revolut for better exchange rates, and always pay in local currency – euros

Eating Out In Croatia On A Budget

Traditional Croatian Food: A flavorful bowl of soup, paired perfectly with warm bread and a hint of spicy peppers.

Whether you’re in a city or the countryside, it’s possible to eat on a budget in Croatia. There are plenty of food options out there, from traditional Croatian food to modern and fast food.

As I said before, you should seek out a konoba for a local, less-touristy experience that is also relatively easy on the wallet — around €10-15 for a meal.

Some restaurants you may want to seek out during your trip to Croatia include:

But if you want to stick to the very minimum in terms of budget, head to local supermarkets. Here, you can buy food like cheese, bread, salad, and drinks at a fraction of the price it would cost to eat out.

Making your own sandwiches for lunch will allow you to save on your travel budget while still allowing you to eat out in the evenings if you want to—but if your accommodation has a kitchen, you can cook something for dinner.

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Accommodation In Croatia On A Budget

Is Croatia expensive to Visit - Hotel Amadria Andrija

If you’re traveling on a budget, you won’t need to worry about accommodation in Croatia. There are plenty of budget-friendly options throughout the country, even in the major cities and towns.

Although accommodation in popular tourist destinations is more expensive than in lesser-known towns and cities, there is a good range of affordable options.

A good tip for finding cheap accommodation is to search on Booking.com, Google Maps, and TripAdvisor. Try to be flexible with your dates, too, as peak season and weekends are usually more expensive.

According to online reviews, the most affordable places to stay in Croatia are:

You can click the name of the hotel and look up your dates to see:

  1. Hotel A’mare
  2. Hotel Elu Iris
  3. Bed & Breakfast Donji Grad
  4. Hotel Saint Hildegard
  5. Hotel Miramare
  6. Elena’s Rooms & Apartment
  7. Zrinka House
  8. Stay Swanky Hostel
  9. Valamar Tirena Hotel
  10. Hotel Splendid

Hotel prices in Croatia vary depending on the time of year you travel and where in the country you are located.

You can find low-cost hostels and family-run inns for as low as €20 per night, but prices can soar to well over €500 if you want to splurge and stay in a luxury hotel resort.

Even the most basic places can hike their prices in peak season, especially Airbnb’s in popular cities like Dubrovnik. Prices can fluctuate wildly in the same area, from €50 to €1000 per night!

Parking In Croatia On A Budget

If you’re driving a rental car in Croatia, then factoring in the price of parking is crucial. In cities, especially, you should note that parking can not only be tricky to find (especially in high season) but also quite expensive.

Dubrovnik is fairly expensive for parking your vehicle. Parking in the Old Town can cost up to €11, but Dubrovnik City Parking (near the Old Town) has rates of €30 per day or €3 per hour.

It’s a similar situation in Split, which has a number of options for parking including Split City Parking, which costs €25 per day or €2 per hour.

In the capital city of Zagreb, parking is quite limited, with a maximum stay of two hours. For instance, to park in the city center (Zone 1), it’s €1.60 per hour, and the maximum stay is two hours only.

Parking is cheaper in national parks. At Plitvice Lakes National Park, for example, it costs €1 per hour to park a car; for a motorbike, it’s free!

A good idea is to check Google Maps ahead of any journey you make for parking options and read reviews to see if they fit your budget — some will even be free. Planning ahead can make all the difference.

What To Budget For A Month In Croatia

Old Istrian town in Rovinj, Croatia.

Your ideal budget for a month in Croatia will very much depend on the type of trip you want to take and the way you travel. Based on the average costs in this Croatia trip cost guide, a budget of €100€150 a day should be enough for a budget-conscious trip.

If you really want to travel on a shoestring budget, you could make your money go even further. Staying in hostel dorms, opting to travel out of peak season, booking ahead, and cooking meals for yourself means you could budget €50 a day.

On the other hand, if you’re planning on traveling to Croatia but want to enjoy eating out all the time, visiting all the top attractions, and staying in more fancy accommodations, you should budget around €150-200 per day.

If you’re planning on traveling around the country and not just staying in one place, remember to put money aside in your daily budget for the cost of public transport or a hire car.

Average Total Croatia Trip Cost

Croatia Travel Blog_Zadar Old Town
Zadar Old Town

On average, a seven-day trip to Croatia can cost between €700 and €1,400. There are always going to be some surprise costs along the way, like an unplanned trip to an island, buying souvenirs, or adding new destinations to your itinerary.

Is Croatia Travel Expensive FAQs

Cost of fresh flowers at an outdoor market.

CROATIA TRAVEL COSTS FAQS

Is Croatia worth visiting on a European road trip?

Yes, absolutely! Croatia is one place in the Balkans worth visiting on a road trip if you’re already driving around Europe. The infrastructure of the roads in the country is well maintained, the distances are never too long, and there’s some incredible scenery to soak up along the way.

Is Croatia expensive?

Though it’s gotten more expensive over the years, Croatia isn’t what we would call an expensive country. There are ways to make it more expensive if you feel like being fancy, but in general, it’s easy to be budget-friendly here.

Is Croatia expensive for tourists?

It can be — especially if you’re going in peak season. Skipping the high season (generally June to August) is a good idea if you’re worried about spending too much money. The shoulder seasons (April-May and September-October) feature cheaper accommodations, fewer crowds, and good weather.

Is Croatia more expensive than Italy?

As a comparison, Croatia is still much cheaper than Italy in terms of food, transport, accommodation, and activities. Even though Croatia is getting more expensive, it’s still around 20% cheaper to do the same things in both countries.

Is Croatia expensive for food and drink?

Even in Dubrovnik, food prices are usually quite affordable. In its major towns and cities, it’s much easier to find a cheap but delicious meal than it would be in London, Paris, or Rome, for example.

How much is a cup of coffee in Croatia?

For coffee lovers, the average price for a cup of coffee in a Croatian city like Dubrovnik is between €3 and €5, depending on the quality of the coffee and the type of cafe you’re in.

The more touristy places tend to be more expensive. It’s possible to find a cup of coffee for cheaper, however not less than €2

How much is a meal in Croatia?

The price of meals in Croatia varies depending on the establishment. In Dubrovnik, for example, a meal in the Old Town costs between €20-30 per person. But you can find menus offering dishes for €10-15. Even fast-food joints can be a good option (between €5-6).

How much is beer in Croatia?

The price of beer varies. It is dependent mainly on the type of beer you drink and the location. In a bar, a pint of domestic beer will cost you around €2.80, while a bottle of imported beer is around €3. It’s always cheaper to buy beer in the supermarket, where a 0.5-liter bottle of domestic beer can cost around €1.30.

How much is wine in Croatia?

Again, it varies but is generally more expensive if you’re going to have a glass of wine (or a bottle) at a restaurant or a bar. In a restaurant, a glass of wine is around €6, while a bottle is €20 or more. Supermarkets are cheaper: you’ll find a good bottle of wine if you spend between €5 and €10 in supermarkets in Croatia.

Where can I find an affordable restaurant in Croatia?

The number one rule is to avoid tourist traps. Prices are usually higher for food that’s not as delicious. Go where the locals go, and do a bit of research beforehand — reviews on Google Maps can reveal some really great hidden gems.

How to get around Croatia at an affordable price?

The cheapest way to get around Dubrovnik is by bus, with ticket prices ranging from€1.73to€1.99. If your hotel is near the city center, you can take a taxi to the major attractions, which are nearby.

Is driving a car expensive in Croatia?

Driving a car in Croatia is relatively affordable, especially when compared to other European countries.

Is accommodation in Croatia expensive?

The price of accommodation in Croatia depends on several factors. You can expect to pay more at the peak of the summer and for accommodation located in the best areas. You should expect to pay anything between €25 and €50 per night for budget lodging and upwards of €300 for a luxury stay.

How much money do I need to spend in Croatia?

There are many factors to consider when planning your Croatia budget. If you want to enjoy yourself and not have to worry about money the whole time, €50-€100 a day is a good idea.


Things To Do In Croatia

Oh man, there are so many popular tourist destinations in Croatia, and I have hundreds of guides on how to spend your time in Croatia. That said, here is a snapshot for first-time travelers:

Visit Dubrovnik

Game Of Thrones Dubrovnik Locations (1)

Dubrovnik has a wealth of sights and history to explore. There’s the Old Town, Mount Srd and its cable car, Lokrum Island, and those famous walls (not to mention all the Game of Thrones locations scattered around).

Head To National Parks

Kornati Islands National Park Tour | Chasing the Donkey Croatia

Croatia has no shortage of natural beauty, as you can see by visiting one of its several national parks. Plitvice Lakes National Park, a UNESCO-recognized nature reserve, covers 30,000 hectares and is the oldest in the country. There’s also Krka National Park, which is famous for its waterfalls, traditional water mills, and old monasteries.

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Hit The Beach

Croatia, Hvar island, Bol. Aerial view at the Zlatni Rat Beach, Croatia

Many of Croatia’s public beaches are free to visit and are absolutely dreamy. Split’s Golden Horn Beach, for example, also known as Zlatni Rat, is one of the nation’s most iconic stretches of sand and sea.

See Split

Split Or Zadar - Split Croatia at sunrise

Hugging the Adriatic Sea, Croatia’s second-largest city boasts a whole host of history to explore — don’t miss its ancient Roman ruins like Diocletian’s Palace and the Temple of Jupiter or Split’s beautiful cathedral.

Living In Croatia

If you’re thinking about moving to Croatia, you must read my guides! After more than ten years of living as an expat in Croatia, I have shared what I have have learned over the years.

It’s not hard to fall in love with Croatia, especially if you are like me and live on the stunning Adriatic Sea. But this pros and cons list, as well as other detailed information, will help you decide if living in Croatia will be right for you.

Before you choose to live in Croatia, please read them here.

Final Word On Is Croatia Cheap

Alright, so let’s wrap up the big question: Is Croatia cheap? If you’ve been following my guide to Croatia, you know I’ve been diving into all the costs here since I live in this absolutely stunning country. And let me tell you, planning to visit Croatia brings up that age-old question: Is it going to make my wallet cry or not? Well, it’s kind of like asking if pizza is better than pasta—it really depends, right?

Croatia is this beautiful mix of experiences. You can find spots that are super kind to your budget, and then there are places where you might feel like you’re spending more than expected. Living here, I’ve seen both sides of the coin.

I hope that you have now got a better understanding of what to expect in terms of costs for your trip to Croatia. Overall, I believe that the answer to the question “Is Croatia expensive?” – is no. It’s a fantastic place to enjoy for a whole host of different travelers with all different types of budgets. 

From breathtaking beaches to those cozy little cafes that make you want to stay forever, Croatia’s got it all. So, is Croatia expensive? It can be, but with a bit of insider know-how, you can absolutely make the most of this gorgeous country without breaking the bank. Trust me, it’s worth every euro!

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