From most places in Europe it only is a couple of hours flying to beautiful Croatia. A less known location under tourists. I personally think this might change in the future. The beautiful coastal cities made me think that I was some kind of explorer who had finally arrived back in a civilised city.
The beautiful cities near the beaches are usually not very big, but big enough to spend a couple of days. There definitely are enough day tours going to surrounding areas, villages or wonders of nature. De Romans left their influence on this country. You can still see it in most of the cities and even their culture. A lot of their customs and delicious meals were copied or slightly altered. If you want a great vacation with a low budget, then Croatia definitely is a must!

 Places in Croatia

Dubrovnik  |  Split  |  Zadar


Marshall Tito Square in Zagreb.

Marshall Tito Square in Zagreb.

  Average costs

Stay – Guesthouses and budget rooms are well represented in Croatia. For only 25 euro you can have your private double room ($28). If you want a little bit more luxury, or be more in the city center, then you’ll need to pay a little more. For three stars expect to pay around €40 a night ($45).
For backpackers, there are quite some hostels all around Croatia. For a hostel you pay between €15 and €20 a night ($16,5 to $22).

Eat – Throughout Croatia you can find delicious food. Around the coastal cities there are a lot of dishes with fish. But even for people who don’t appreciate fish as much, there are other places with delicious meals. In most places in Croatia, food is quite cheap. For a main dish expect to pay between €5 and €15 ($6 to $16,5). A combination of an entree and main course costs around 20 euro a person ($22). The portions in Croatia are big! So don’t order too much if you’re not that hungry.
A lot of touristic places around Dubrovnik are a lot more expensive. Try to avoid these, because the food isn’t even that good.

Transport – Transportation throughout Croatia is excellent. If you don’t hire a car, you can easily go from city to city with busses. Booking in advance is the cheapest way, but the busses aren’t very expensive either way.

A bus trip from Zadar to Split for example, will cost you about ten euro and if you book on the day itself, expect to pay €25 ($27,5) for a trip from Zadar to Dubrovnik. When you book a couple of weeks in advance, the tickets can be found for half of the price.

View over Split, one of the coastal towns in Croatia.

View over Split, one of the coastal towns in Croatia.

  Saving money

Take the busses – On just a little more than a week you can see the three biggest coastal cities of Croatia (Zadar, Split and Dubrovnik). The distances between these cities are quite long. If you don’t want to rent an expensive car I highly recommend the busses. Try to plan in advance and book your ticket well in advance. This will save you quite some money if you plan on doing multiple trips. And it will make sure the bus is not completely booked. Daily there are several busses going from one city to another.

Stay outside of the old cities – Pretty much every city in Croatia has its own old part. This is the best place in every city, but also the most expensive to stay in. Book your hotel a little outside the city center to save tens of euros or dollars a day.

Cheap lunch – Throughout Croatia there are a lot of excellent bakeries. There you can buy readily made pizza’s and other delicacies. It is way cheaper than going out eating and always very yummy!

The Mirogoj cemetery in Zagreb.

The Mirogoj cemetery in Zagreb.


Split – Split is only located a good two hours away with the bus from Zadar. The beautiful city is very romantic because of its unique way of building.The city is very much influenced by the Romans and it looks as if there hasn’t changed anything in a couple of centuries. Definitely walk along the beautiful harbour to see the city in all its glory!
Definitely go to Marjan Hill. From here you get the best overview possible.

Dubrovnik – For many tourists, Dubrovnik is incredibly popular from the Game of Thrones TV series. In this TV series, Dubrovnik is used as the set for the mythical Kingslanding. It is of course not surprising that the city is very beautiful. Well, the old city is.
Once you walked to the inner city, it feels like you hopped in a time machine. Take your time and walk through the maze of streets. Don’t forget to walk on top of the wall too or take the cable lift for a splendid view over the city.

Plitvice lakes – I have only been impressed rarely by European nature parks, but the Plitvice lakes definitely did impress me! After you walk down the very steep descent to the lakes, you can already see how huge this park is. Giant waterfalls drop their water into beautiful turquoise lakes where you can completely see through. You can walk miles and miles on the paved walkways in this magnificent nature park. Don’t go too late though, because you need all the time you can get to discover this treasure!

Explore the many islands – In front of the coastal cities there are floating tens or even hundreds of little islands. With regular ferries (or private charters) you’ll get there in a couple of minutes or hours, dependant on the location. Enjoy the beautiful cities and unspoiled nature of the islands.
Most islands are only accessible during high season.

Try some local food – The food in Croatia is, to say the least, delicious. A lot of the dishes might sound weird, so ask for help if you don’t know some of the food. Most of the time there is internet in the restaurants, so you can use your smartphone to get a sneak peak of the food you might be ordering.
In many restaurants they use a special sort of mozzarella (bufala); an absolute must try!

Vis, Croatia.

Vis, Croatia.


Long stay in Zadar – In Zadar there is an airport, and because of that it is the first (or last) stop for many tourists. I think it’s best to go to Zadar first. the city is very beautiful, but tiny in comparison to the other coastal cities. From Zadar, you can go to Split and then to Dubrovnik. I personally think this is the best way to see the coastal cities. If you do it the other way around you might be a little unimpressed by Zadar.
You can definitely see Zadar in two days. Try to spend a little more time in the other cities or do a side trip to the gorgeous
 Plitvice lakes.

Many cities in a short time – Most of the time, cities can be seen in one or two days. In Croatia, I think it’s a little too fast. If you don’t want a stressful vacation but still would like to see multiple cities, book a couple of days extra.
From the cities themselves there often is a lot to do.

View over Korcula.

View over Korcula.

Did you like this article? Then give it 5 stars! Thanks!
In this article you'll find a few affiliate links. When you book something with these travel organizations, I get a small commission. You don't pay anything extra for that. You can thus see it as a way to support this blog if you found the information helpful. I use all of these travel organizations myself, and I will only recommend the ones that I really like.

Are you following me on Social Media?

Hi, I'm Sam Van den Haute. The last three years I've been traveling the world almost constantly. Heading out for an adventure and visiting the most beautiful places are what I love to do! Let me inspire you with great stories, beautiful pictures and handy tips from my adventures and travels. On my facebook page and instagram account you'll get to see the latest updates and photos to inspire you for your next vacation.
Come join us and get the latest updates!

Like Checkoutsam on Facebook

Places in Croatia

Find More  
Check Out Sam | Travel guide, blog and info.