Is Croatia Expensive for Holidaymakers?

12th September, 2022, in Travel Advice & Guides

Croatia has become one of the most popular destinations in the EU in the past few years. Situated as part of Central and Southeast Europe, it borders Slovenia, Hungary, Serbia, Montenegro, and Bosnia and Herzegovina and was part of the former Yugoslavia.

In a 2019 poll, it ranked as the 23rd most popular tourist destination in the world and regularly sees more than 11 million visitors enjoy all that the country has to offer. Latest information indicates that 20% of the Croatian GDP is accounted for thanks to tourism and in 2019, that figure was estimated at 10.5bn Euros. Such is the amount bought in by tourism that the industry is counted as an export business due to how much it reduces the trade imbalance of the country.

So, with tourism being such an important part of the country. Is it only attracting the wealthy or is it a holiday haven for a variety of budgets? We took a look at how expensive Croatia is for people looking to enjoy a holiday there.

Is Croatia expensive compared to the UK?

Firstly, if we look at the currency, we can then get an idea of how much things cost day to day in comparison to what you will pay when at home.

In Croatia, the currency used is called the Croatian Kuna. At the time of writing, the exchange rate meant that £1 would get you 8.71kn.

From January 2023, the country will move to use the Euro so depending on when you are going could determine just how much value you are getting.

To give an example of how far the currency goes day to day, we looked at a few of the common items you are likely to spend your money on should you be on a self-catering trip.

  • Bread- 19% cheaper in Croatia
  • Milk- 5% more expensive in Croatia
  • Fruit and veg- from 5%-50% cheaper in Croatia

There are also several other things you may be spending your money on whilst in Croatia that are also what you regularly spend money on when in the UK. Things such as petrol, bus tickets, medication or hygiene products. Below is an example of the current differences in price to these other common expenses.

  • 1Lt of petrol- 11% cheaper in Croatia
  • Public transport ticket- 59% cheaper in Croatia
  • 1 box of antibiotics- 18% cheaper in Croatia
  • Shampoo etc- 41% cheaper in Croatia
  • Toothpaste- 7% more expensive in Croatia
  • Deodorant- 66% more expensive in Croatia

This is a piece about holidays though so, what about the fun things you want to be able to enjoy whilst on holiday and getting to the country itself?

How expensive are flights to Croatia?

As with any destination, the time of year does mean that flights can vary greatly in cost. April and October are the cheapest months, especially if you travel midweek. May and early June start to see the increases but have not yet reached their peak. Once the summer holidays come around, the prices jump considerably but you can save some money by flying from a London airport. This may sound surprising, but they can be much cheaper than flying from some of the more regional airports. Sometimes to the level of hundreds of pounds.

You can expect to pay anything from as low as £20 return, off-peak, up to well over £500 during peak times. There are nine airports you can fly into in Croatia so sometimes, picking a different airport could see a drastic reduction in prices. With the relatively low prices of public transport too, you could discover a decent saving when it comes to getting to your hotel, hostel, or apartment.

Is accommodation cheap in Croatia?

Depending on where you want to stay in the country and what time of year you go the prices, like many in the world fluctuate greatly. Thanks to the great weather Croatia enjoys, many hotels by the sea book up early. If possible, book in the autumn or winter before you travel. This will give you a decent discount.

For a hotel that offers a good standard of accommodation, and in some cases 5 stars, you can find somewhere to stay for a price range of £50-£150 per night. Although in some of the less popular areas, these prices will lead you to more premium accommodation.

Destinations like Zagreb, Hvar, Split, and Dubrovnik will have the pricier accommodation but somewhere like Baska Voda will offer you something at a great price in a fantastic location.

Should the hotels be fully booked, or out of your price range, the variety of apartments on Airbnb and the number of hostels available allow for great value accommodation of a brilliant standard for their price. You can pick up a private room in a hostel for around £25 per night. An Airbnb adding perhaps a further £10-£15 per night to the cost of a hostel room.

Is it expensive to go out in Croatia?

When on holiday, you want to enjoy some of the sights and in Croatia there are plenty. Whether that be parks, historical attractions, or cultural wonders. Some cost and some are free. For example, a trip to the old towns of places like Dubrovnik, Rovinj, and Korcula are free and the variety of things to see won’t cost you a penny. Attractions like the Sea Organ in Zadar and the Marjan Park in Split are free too.

Other attractions like castles, cable cars, and national parks have seasonal pricing that can range from as little as £2 up to £22 per person.


How expensive is eating out in Croatia?

Much like the other areas we have covered. The prices can vary per region but on average you could expect to see a meal in some areas cost as much as 43% less than it would in the UK. Popping into a bar for a drink could also be substantially cheaper with some of the more traditional pubs or bars offering prices over 60% lower than in the UK. In the more popular areas, eating out can take up a large part of your budget and can cost you more than you would pay in the UK. That being said, you can be tactical with it. Many restaurants charge less on their lunch menus than they do on the evening menu even though it is the same meal being served. Have a larger lunch and a smaller dinner and you can end up much better off financially.

A brief guide of some typical meal costs are:

  • A local Croatian meal for two £40
  • A risotto lunch £10 each
  • A three-course meal in Dubrovnik in a high-level restaurant £50 each.
  • A lunch on the go (pizza, sandwich, gyros) £2-£4

Traveling around Croatia

The best way to get around Croatia is by hire car. It allows you to see the country with much more flexibility and not be tied to timetables and the rigid schedules of excursions. With petrol also being cheaper in Croatia than in the UK by approximately 11%, should you need to fill up, you would be spending less money than you would back home.

If a hire car is out of the equation, public transport can be a good option however taxis in Croatia are expensive and the train service is not great. Buses and trams are available in good supply though and are very cheap to use.

Tempted by Croatia? Get yourself booked on a trip to a stunning Balkan holiday haven before the increased levels of tourism help drive prices up! Enjoy it by hire car to get the best travel opportunities. Just don’t forget your car hire excess insurance to ensure there are no additional charges that may take you by surprise! Contact Direct Car Hire Excess today and get a free quote.


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