Croatia Cost of Travel – What is a typical Backpacker Budget?

How much does it cost to backpack Croatia? - Dubrovnik

On this page you will find our estimated Croatia cost of travel. Read on for suggested shoestring and more comfortable backpacking budgets in this popular Balkans country which is one of the most expensive in the region. We also have info on the local currency which changed in early 2023.

Croatia travel costs
Map of Croatia from wikitravel, can be re-used under CC BY-SA 3.0

Croatia Cost of Travel in 2023

Shoestring Backpacker Budget

  • €45/day

For anyone backpacking Croatia on a low budget, expect to spend roughly 45 Euros per day. This shoestring budget is designed to cover all of your daily travel expenses including the cost of accommodation (hostel dorm bed), transport and meals. Your exact costs will depend on when you visit though, as well as where you go, and this budget may not suffice during the summer months in the most popular coastal areas.

Many people come to Croatia with the idea that its Eastern European location means cheap prices and easy budget travelling. That may have been the case 20 years ago, but Croatia today is as expensive as it gets in the Balkans. If you’re arriving here from Hungary, Romania or Bulgaria or any of the other former Yugoslav states (with the possible exception of Slovenia), you’ll most likely be in for a nasty shock when it comes to paying for everything from accommodation to food, drink and transport.

That being said, Croatia is still slightly more affordable than many other Mediterranean destinations and ranks roughly in the middle when it comes to backpacking costs in Europe. There are also some really large regional variations and if you move inland away from the stunning Adriatic coastline, it certainly becomes a lot easier to keep travel costs down. Croatia is also somewhat unusual in that its capital (Zagreb) is cheaper to visit than most of the other major destinations.

Beer in Croatia - cheap!
Alcohol is good value in Croatia with a local draft beer typically costing 2 to 3 Euros.

Although small in terms of the area it covers, Croatia’s unusual shape and long coastline means it is some 600 km from Zagreb to Dubrovnik, the country’s most popular travel destination, so transport costs can add up if you want to see all the major regions.

Food and drink is quite affordable but if you’re a budget traveller, you really do need to be careful in terms of avoiding the obvious tourist bars and restaurants. An evening meal and a few drinks in Dubrovnik or on the Croatian islands can quickly amount to over half of our suggested daily shoestring budget if you head to the wrong place.

More Comfortable Croatia Backpacking Budget

  • €60/day

Increasing your budget will give you a bit more freedom to get out and explore fabulous Croatian islands such as Hvar and Brač. A budget of approximately 60 Euros per day may also be more appropriate than the previous one if you are coming during the peak summer season from late July through August when accommodation prices do rise.

This kind of budget will also be a bit more doable if you’re planning to do a lot of partying while in Croatia. While beer is very cheap in local bars in many towns and cities, you can end up paying two or three times as much for alcohol in a lot of the more touristy destinations. A night out in Croatia is significantly more expensive than in neighbouring countries such as Serbia and Montenegro which also feature in our Balkans Backpacking Route along with a suggested 10-14 day itinerary for Croatia.

How much do things cost in Croatia?

Approximate Price
Bus from Dubrovnik to Split (around 4 hours)€20
Ferry from Split to Hvar (1 hour)€6 (foot passenger)
Meal in an affordable local restaurant€7-12
Local beer in bar/restaurant€2-3
Dorm bed in a hostelFrom €15/night
Budget private roomFrom €30/night
Dubrovnik City Walls + Lovrjenac Ticket€35
Travel insurance for backpacking CroatiaGet a quote from Heymondo in under a minute!

These prices are accurate as of March 2023 but you may experience some seasonal variation, particularly in coastal destinations such as Dubrovnik, Split and nearby islands. Accommodation prices are quite high by regional standards but you’ll generally find food and drink good value when compared to other popular Mediterranean destinations such as Italy, Spain and Greece.

Currency in Croatia – Euro

£1 = €1.13

US$1 = €0.93

The Euro became the official currency of Croatia on 1st January 2023, replacing the Kuna. As a result, you only need Euros in Croatia these days but if you have any Kuna from a previous visit, they can still be exchanged free of charge in banks until the end of 2023. The above exchange rates are accurate as of March 2023.

These estimates for the cost of travel in Croatia were last updated in March 2023.

Croatia Cost of Travel – What is a typical Backpacker Budget?

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