Croatia Travel Budget: Is Croatia Expensive?

Wondering how much a trip to Croatia costs, and if Croatia (or more accurately, Dubrovnik) really is expensive to visit? This Croatia travel budget guide is for you!

The travel budget for Croatia outlined here reflects our exact expenses during a 2 week trip to Croatia in July–in other words, the most expensive time to visit the country.

This trip to Croatia was characterized by expensive days (excursions, lodging that was on the pricier side for us at the time), balanced with very inexpensive days–for one entire week in Jelsa, we paid for almost nothing outside of our lodging and groceries.

The Croatia travel budget outlined here represents our time spent backpacking the country on what we would consider a flashpacker budget. Basically, no to dorm rooms, yes to a/c, and no to major luxuries.

We visited Split, Krka National Park, Hvar, and Dubrovnik during this trip, focusing our time on Croatia’s popular Dalmatian coast.

kate storm with 4 parrots on her shoulders in dubrovnik--definitely an experience worth adding to our trip to croatia cost
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The balance worked out well: our travel budget for Croatia ended up being right on target.

We spent 13 full days in the country, averaging a total Croatia trip cost of $107.12/day, or $53.56 per person, per day. This added up to a total cost of $1392.61.

All expenses are listed in USD unless otherwise noted, and, as usual for our travel budget roundups, we don’t include the costs of entering or leaving the country here, as those expenses can vary so dramatically depending on your starting point (in our case, this visit to Croatia was part of our planned 6 month round the world trip).

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Before getting into our detailed breakdown, it’s also worth noting that we have visited Croatia several more times since this trip (it’s one of our favorite countries in the world!), and though we don’t tend to travel on as tight of a budget anymore, a trip of this nature is still feasible on a similar budget.

However, prices for certain popular tourism activities–such as walking the walls in Dubrovnik or visiting Plitvice Lakes National Park–have risen dramatically. To capture these overall trip costs now, we’d recommend visiting outside of the absolute peak of July and August if at all possible!

view from an apartment in dubrovnik with water in the distance--this apartment easily fit into our croatia travel budget
View from our Airbnb apartment in Dubrovnik: not bad for traveling Croatia on a budget!

Our Lodging Costs in Croatia

Total: $799.81 for 14 nights

At an average of $57.13/night, lodging ate up a bigger chunk of our travel budget for Croatia than in our previous stop of Slovenia.

Split, the island of Hvar, and Dubrovnik are all tourist hot spots that we were visiting during the high season, but compromising a bit on location for our lodging helped keep costs reasonable, even if it did keep us away from the city centers.

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Our Transportation Budget in Croatia

Total: $102.29

Considering that we had 3 base destinations during our time in Croatia, and lodging in both Split and Dubrovnik that required public transportation to reach their city centers, transportation costs ended up being fairly reasonable.

The ferry between Hvar and Split cost less than $10/person each way, and the bus from Split to Dubrovnik cost less than $20/person.

A group of white and blue buses parked under a yellow awning at the bus station in Trogir--riding a bus is almost certainly going to be part of your 10 day Croatia itinerary!

Our Restaurant Expenses in Croatia

Total: $105.82

With no kitchen access in Split and limited kitchen access in Dubrovnik, we had more restaurant meals in Croatia than in many of our European destinations.

We compensated with several rounds of street food that generally ran between $3-4 per person–the prices felt quite budget-friendly for Croatia, but feel laughably expensive to type out while sitting here in Thailand.

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Our Grocery Expenses in Croatia

Total: $103.83

Groceries were very reasonable in Croatia, even in tourist destinations–$103.83 fed us every meal during our week in Jelsa (excluding the fresh garden produce that our Airbnb host was very generous with), about half our meals in Dubrovnik, and a couple of meals in Split.

produce for sale at a market in croatia: is croatia expensive? the fruit definitely isn't.

Our Tour + Excursion Travel Budget for Croatia

Total: $238.89

Our Croatia travel budget was definitely impacted by our liberal use of excursions, but we don’t regret it–there was just so much to do!

The bulk of our expenses in this category was eaten up by a day trip to Krka National Park from Split (just over $50/person), a one day Dubrovnik Card (about $25/person), and our kayaking excursion in Dubrovnik (about $33/person).

The kayaking tour was not only a bargain, it was our favorite excursion of the entire European leg of our trip.

Fun Things to Do in Dubrovnik Croatia: Girl on Kayaking Tour
Exploring this cave near Lokrum Island via kayak was so much fun!

Miscellaneous Trip to Croatia Costs

Total: $41.97

Several bathroom visits and forgettable odds and ends ended up in this category, but the most notable expense was our decision to spend about $20 and get a couple of simple pairs of swimming goggles in Jelsa.

They greatly improved our time in the Adriatic Sea while on Hvar, and I wish we had packed them to begin with. Now we have these we take with us.

Small boats parked near a rocky shore on the Pakleni Islands, one of the best things to do in Hvar

We were very satisfied with our travel budget for Croatia, though it’s debatable whether or not the trade-off for lodging that was further away from attractions in exchange for cheaper prices was worth it.

So, is Croatia expensive? Compared to nearby destinations like Piran, Sarajevo, and Kotor, absolutely–especially in the high season, and especially in ever-popular Dubrovnik. 

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However, it’s worth it: years after this trip (and with several more trips to Croatia under our belts), Croatia remains one of our favorite places in the world.

Visiting during the shoulder or off-season is a great way to limit your Croatia travel budget (we loved visiting Dubrovnik in February, and Plitvice and Hvar in September!).

Mixing in less-iconic destinations like those on the Istrian peninsula or even the capital city of Zagreb is also fantastic for lowering your overall trip to Croatia cost.

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sunset over the sea in dubrovnik, white text reads "travel budget for croatia"
About Kate Storm
Image of the author, Kate Storm

In May 2016, I left my suburban life in the USA and became a full-time traveler. Since then, I have visited 50+ countries on 5 continents and lived in Portugal, developing a special love of traveling in Europe (especially Italy) along the way. Today, along with my husband Jeremy and dog Ranger, I’m working toward my eventual goal of splitting my life between Europe and the USA.

6 thoughts on “Croatia Travel Budget: Is Croatia Expensive?”

  1. Hi, Jeremy and Kate@
    I was happy to found Croatia on your must see list. It is in my mind for s long timec to visit, and now, because of you, I can read your review for my next holiday in Croatia. I wondered, if, except your blog, you have also a vlog on You Tube.
    I hope you are ok, during your holiday in USA.
    Have a great time.
    Keep in touch,

    • Hi Cris! Croatia is truly magnificent, hope you have a wonderful trip there!

      We don’t do any vlogging or Youtubing right now, and don’t have plans to change that, but you never know what the future holds!

  2. Hi Kate,

    I’m traveling to Dubrovnik next week and was hoping to do a kayak trip. Just wondering which one you did- where did you go from, how long was it, where did it take you etc

    • Hi Laura!

      We took our tour back in 2016 and just booked it in person from a saleswoman in town, so I don’t know the exact name. It took us around Lokrum Island, briefly into some caves, and into a cove to swim and cliff jump. I believe it was a 2-3 hour tour, give or take. The one I linked here appears to follow the same itinerary–it’s a pretty popular one! Be prepared for aching shoulders, but it’s worth doing in my opinion.

  3. Hi Laura: Thanks for your blog and great tips. We are a Canadian couple in our youthful 60’s. My husband is very active, skis, bikes, hikes. I now have a 1 knee issue and I am awaiting more knee surgery. I use a cane, wear a brace. I have booked a month in Aug. – Sept. 2022 trip to Croatia for us. We will have a car to drive. I have booked hotels, apts. in many cities. Excluding Dubrovnik as we were there before. We need input on Brac, Hvar and Korcula islands. To get to by ferry car on Brac, Hvar and walk on in Korcula. We are driving to Pula and throughout to Split and many areas between. Any suggested places, seeing heritage sites and your thoughts would be appreciated. Thank you. Regards Nancy Bradbury


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