Set on the pristine waters of the Adriatic, the small country of Croatia is definitely becoming the place to visit, both in the winter and in the summer.
Its wonderful mountains, deep blue sea, hidden beaches and charming seafront towns continue to lure more and more visitors each year. And among those who visit, apart from tourists with deep pockets, are those penniless visitors who want to get the most out of their destination with limited funds.
That is why we have formed this handy guide on how to visit Croatia on a tight budget. Here are just some of the tips you might find useful in your travels.
When is the right time to visit Croatia on a budget?
When it comes to budget travel, it is important to pick just the right time to go.
When it comes to Croatia, the traveler has to be aware of the high seasonal demand. High season in Croatia lasts from the beginning of July to the last week in August.
If you want to cut down on your costs significantly, it is better to go during low season, the best months being March and October, when the prices of accommodation plummet over 80%.
Which is the right place to visit Croatia on a budget?
Another great tip for huge savings in Croatia is to pick carefully the places you visit. For example, Dubrovnik is best seen on a day trip, since the city is crazily expensive. Smaller and less touristic towns often offer services and items at as much as 50% less cost than in more touristic places.
In Croatia, it’s a great idea to choose a smaller but centrally located town, and do day trips to all the places you want to visit – your savings will be huge, and the country is small enough for tourists to be able to reach many points from their chosen spot.
Croatia doesn’t have a big eating-out culture, so most restaurants are quite expensive, especially in touristic areas.
If you really want to eat out, take a stroll off the main streets of a town, and you’re bound to come across a pizza place or simple restaurant with good food at a fraction of the cost when compared to those on the main squares and streets.
Also, most restaurants offer ‘gablec‘ – a simple lunch comprised of a main course, a side dish, salad and dessert. They are massively prepared for workers and businessmen and served around lunchtime – 11AM to 3PM. You can find one of these for as low as 23-38 Croatian Kuna (3.45-5.70 $ | 2.20-3.60 £ | 3-5 €) .
If you want to save even more, visit one of the green markets that every city and town in Croatia boasts. You can get delicious home-grown food as cheap as 15 kn (2.30 $ | 1.45 £ | 2 €) for a meal.
How to save on transportation in Croatia
While the bus is considered to be by far the cheapest way to get across Croatia, more and more people on a budget opt for ride shares. There are numerous Facebook pages which are dedicated to people sharing costs of going by a car.
There is also the popular page blablacar.com, which serves this precise purpose. If you’re going for big savings, here you can find rides from Zagreb to Split for as low as 70kn (10.50 $ | 6.65 £ | 9.28 €), compared to 150 when going by bus.