BEST PLACES TO STAY IN CROATIA – BEST AREAS AND HOTELS FOR ALL BUDGETS
Are you planning a trip to this beautiful country and wondering about where to stay in Croatia? Then this post is for you, as you will find out about the best places to stay in Croatia – the best areas for all budgets.
Croatia has become a top travel destination in Europe – for many good reasons. Beautiful beaches, stunning landscapes, lively and fun cities and islands, cute towns, friendly locals, and the Mediterranean climate are just a few of them.
When I planned my Croatia road trip, I definitely felt overwhelmed. There is just so much to see and, because of Croatia´s geography, it can take forever to get from one place to another.
The country is very stretched out, with another country (Bosnia-Herzegovina) crossing it, which means you must cross borders if you want to get from Split to Dubrovnik, for example (unless you travel by ferry).
You should consider this when planning in which area to stay: Do you want to road trip or do you want to stay in one or two places and do day trips?
BEST PLACES TO STAY IN CROATIA IN 2023/2024
That is why I have divided this post into the best places to stay when road-tripping Croatia and the best areas to stay when planning to do day trips.
If you road trip, choosing hotels and places might be easier, and you can get around quicker than if you need a base. However, road-tripping can also be overwhelming. When not road-tripping, my tip is to change areas 1-3 times (depending on the length of your stay) and do day trips.
Disclaimer: This post contains affiliate links. This means I might earn a small commission when you buy a product (at no extra cost to you) after clicking on my link. More about it here.
Rovinj in Istria is a beautiful coastal town very high in the north of the country. The town is lovely, and the area reminded me more of an Italian coastal town than the rest of Croatia. The influence of the Venetians is clearly visible here.Rovinj is a good place to stay in Croatia if you want to stay in the northern part of the country, or if you road trip and want to see as much as possible.
For Rovinj, you will probably need one day, and then you could do a few day trips, e.g., visit Pula. So, if you want to explore Istria, choose that as your base. Apart from that, other main tourist attractions are quite far from it, and it is not the best place to stay in Croatia for longer – and I suggest changing locations after a few days.
Possible day trips:
- Pula – about a 45-minute drive away
- Trieste (Italy) – about a 90-minute drive
- Rijeka – about a 90-minute drive
Where to Stay in Rovinj
In general, I suggest staying in or near the old town.
Apartments La Casa di Loreto provides contemporary lodging with a picturesque view of the port, situated in the historical district of Rovinj within a conventional house. The renowned St. Euphemia Church is just 851 meters away, and guests can enjoy this attraction free of charge. Book your stay at Apartments La Casa di Loreto here.
Zagreb is another good place to stay in North Croatia. It is a good option if you want to explore the city in one or two days. However, while Zagreb is interesting, I have to admit that I would probably skip it with less than 10 days in Croatia.Due to its “remote“ location, getting to Zagreb takes time, and you cannot do many day trips from Zagreb. Whether you travel by car or public transportation, most main tourist attractions are quite far away, so this is why Zagreb would not be my top choice as your base.
Zagreb could be used as a base to get to the Plitvice Lakes, which are a 2-hour drive away, but that’s basically it. But if you have more time and want to explore Zagreb, then the city is a good starting or endpoint of your Croatia trip.
For exploring the city, I recommend staying in or near the Upper Town so that you can see the main attractions easily.
Possible day trips:
- Plitvice Lakes National Park – a 120-minute drive
Where to Stay in Zagreb
Esplanade Zagreb Hotel, a 5-star hotel situated in the heart of Zagreb, is positioned directly next to the Zagreb Main Railway Station, providing convenient access. The hotel features a fitness center and sauna and offers free WiFi throughout the premises. Guests can choose to dine on the terrace of the hotel’s restaurant or indulge in award-winning cocktails. Book your stay at Esplanade Zagreb Hotel here.
The Timeout Heritage Hotel Zagreb is a 4-star hotel situated in the heart of Zagreb, just a 4-minute walk from the Museum of Broken Relationships. The hotel features a terrace, restaurant, and bar, providing guests with a range of amenities to enjoy. Luggage storage space is available for guests, and the property also offers a 24-hour front desk, airport transportation, a shared kitchen, and free WiFi throughout the premises. Book your stay at The Timeout Heritage Hotel Zagreb here.
The Swanky Mint Hostel, positioned in the heart of Zagreb, is only 700 meters from the Ban Jelačić Square. The hostel provides air-conditioned rooms, complimentary WiFi, a café, and an internet corner for guests to utilize. Moreover, all the significant attractions in Zagreb are just a few steps away from the hostel. Book your stay at The Swanky Mint Hostel here.
Plitvice National Park
Plitvice is one of the main attractions in the country. Many tourists come here to see the many, many waterfalls in the Plitvice Lakes National Park. It is the oldest and largest national park in Croatia and has also held UNESCO World Heritage status since 1979. This alone makes it one of the best places to stay in Croatia.So, it gets busy here in the summer months, and I recommend booking in advance. It is great to stay for one night – there are not many tourist attractions close by, so I would not make it your base, to be honest.
Where to Stay at Plitvice Lakes National Park:
House Prijeboj is situated in the serene village of Prijeboj, located within the UNESCO-protected Plitvice Lakes National Park. Adjacent to a forest, the property features free WiFi and air-conditioned rooms furnished with handmade wooden furniture. Book your stay at House Prijeboj here.
Guest House Family Varda Plitvice Lakes is located in Jezerce, just 2.2 miles away from Entrance 2 of the UNESCO-listed Plitvice Lakes. Free WiFi is accessible throughout the property, and guests can enjoy a garden with a dining area, sun loungers, and barbecue facilities. Book your stay at Guest House Family Varda Plitvice Lakes here.
Zadar is a coastal town and quite central and a good choice for staying in Croatia for a few days.While I have to openly admit that Zadar was my least favorite place in Croatia, it is a good place to stay in Croatia for one night to explore the city, but it is also a good place for other day trips to Split, Sibenik & Trogir, and the Plitvice Lakes.
However, getting to Dubrovnik from Zadar is too tedious. I cannot recommend doing many day trips from Zadar. So, if you road trip, I suggest staying one night here. And if you don’t road trip, I suggest staying here for a few days to do a few day trips.
The old town itself is quite small and “doable“ in one day – but you can do a trip to one of the smaller villages close by or take the time to swim and enjoy some beach time.
Possible day trips:
- Plitvice National Park
Where to Stay in Zadar
Located in Zadar, Suites One provides accommodations just 200 meters away from St. Donatus’ Church. Free WiFi is accessible throughout the property. All units consist of a seating and dining area, along with a kitchen equipped with a dishwasher, oven, refrigerator, stovetop, and coffee machine. Additionally, each unit features a private bathroom with bath robes. Book your stay at Suites One here.
Art Hotel Kalelarga is situated in the historic center of Zadar, within the UNESCO-protected Venetian walls. Positioned on the main promenade, Kalelarga, the hotel boasts an on-site restaurant and complimentary WiFi. The hotel offers modern and air-conditioned rooms with contemporary furnishings. Book your stay at Art Hotel Kalelarga here.
Sky Hostel is situated in Zadar, just an 8-minute walk from Kolovare Beach, and features air-conditioned rooms. The property is in close proximity to several popular attractions, with Duke’s Palace only a 12-minute walk away. Guests can take advantage of the shared kitchen, 24-hour front desk, and luggage storage available on-site. Book your stay at Sky Hostel here.
Looking for more places while wondering where to stay in Croatia? Then consider adding Split as a base for a few bases. What I like the most about Split is its central location. It is so easy to do day trips from here, and if I had to name only one area/city in which to stay in Croatia, I would recommend making Split your base and going on day trips from Split.Dubrovnik is a great city to stay in Croatia, but prices for accommodations are quite hefty – especially in the high season. Also, food and parking prices (speaking of, it is up to 240€ for 24 hours of parking if you choose the most convenient parking spot in the city center) are high. But while Dubrovnik is very touristy, I still loved it, and I think it must visit.
If you make Split your base, you should/could make a day (or two-day) trip to Dubrovnik. But if you road trip Croatia, then I would stay here for a night at least, as its location makes a trip here quite time-consuming.
Possible day trips:
Where to Stay in Split:
HOTEL PARK SPLIT – Originally constructed in 1921 and extensively renovated in 2015, Hotel Park Split is a classical first-class hotel situated in the heart of Split, directly adjacent to the renowned Bačvice beach. The hotel features an outdoor pool and a sophisticated restaurant. Book your stay at Hotel Park Split here.
GOLDEN GATE ROOMS – Golden Gate Rooms provides air-conditioned lodging with complimentary WiFi access, located within the UNESCO-protected Diocletian’s Palace in Split, which is over 1700 years old. Book your stay at Golden Gate Rooms here.
GRAVITAS HOSTEL is located in the heart of Split, offering free WiFi throughout the premises and a shared lounge area for guests to enjoy. The property is conveniently situated near several popular attractions, including the Split Archaeological Museum, Gregory of Nin, and People’s Square – Pjaca. Book your stay at Gravitas Hostel here.
This city is a must-see place, and I suggest staying here at least one night – as, even with the crowds – it is one of the very best places to stay in Croatia.
In Dubrovnik, I recommend staying in the old town of the city. Prices are high, but you can take your time strolling the city’s unique old town without the crowds early in the morning or in the evening.
Because what you will find plenty of in Dubrovnik is tourists. Seriously, Dubrovnik gets crowded as heck, and you will enjoy the quietness when the day tourists are not there yet. The TV show Games of Thrones has done its part, but Dubrovnik has been a popular destination even without the show.
I stayed at two different places in Dubrovnik and enjoyed both – one was directly within the city walls and just outside the city walls. Each had its perks – and one had a kitchen included, which is great if you want to self-cater. However, many hotels in Dubrovnik are small, and accommodations are quickly booked, so especially if you travel during the high season, book in advance.
Possible day trips:
Where to Stay in Dubrovnik:
The Pucić Palace, an 18th-century baroque palace located in the heart of Dubrovnik Old Town, offers a restaurant and a wine bar for guests to enjoy. This 5-star property seamlessly combines contemporary conveniences with traditional stone walls and upscale furnishings. Complimentary WiFi is accessible throughout the premises. The palace is just a few steps away from the Stradun Promenade. Book your stay at Pucić Palace here.
Hilton Imperial Dubrovnik is located just outside Dubrovnik’s Old Town, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, and offers an array of luxurious amenities. The hotel boasts an indoor pool and a wellness center complete with saunas, a hammam, and fitness and massage facilities. Guest rooms are situated within a historic building, constructed in 1897, that elegantly blends the late 19th-century charm with modern technology. Check out the Hilton in Dubrovnik.
La Vita e Bella III is located in the heart of Dubrovnik, offering air-conditioned rooms with complimentary WiFi and private parking. The property is conveniently situated near several popular attractions, just a 3-minute walk from Onofrio’s Fountain, 275 meters from Pile Gate, and a 5-minute walk from Ploce Gate. The property is non-smoking throughout and is only an 8-minute walk away from Buza Beach. Book your stay at La Vita e Bella III.
I, very, unfortunately, had to skip Hvar. The weather was terrible, and I decided against visiting (I book very spontaneously, but I also visited off-season). However, according to my friends and family that visited, it is a great place to stay for one night.
Hvar Town is Croatia’s premier party town! But there is more to it than that. The town is known for its beautiful old town, perfect for getting lost in and partying the nights away. Since it is an island and you need to get to Hear via ferry, it is not the best place to base yourself on many day trips.
Where to Stay in Hvar
Situated amidst Gothic and Renaissance architecture, Palace Elisabeth, Hvar Heritage Hotel is the oldest hotel on Hvar, and is positioned alongside St. Stephen’s Cathedral and the renowned Hvar Theater, providing guests with a picturesque setting. Complimentary WiFi is accessible throughout the hotel’s premises. Book your stay at Palace Elisabeth here.
Guest House Karević is situated just 300 meters away from the beach and 0.6 miles away from the historical center of Hvar. The guest house provides accommodations with a balcony and complimentary Wi-Fi. Guests can request to use the barbecue facilities available on the premises, and free private parking is provided on-site. Book your stay at Guest House Karević here.
Neum is actually not located in Croatia but in the southern point of Bosnia-Herzegovina. The history is complicated – however, if you want to visit Dubrovnik from most other places in Croatia (like Split, etc.), you have to cross the border in Bosnia and drive through Neum.
If you take the ferry, you will not cross borders, but you could stay in Neum if you travel by bus or car. Neum is a little beach resort that is, honestly, less beautiful than the Croatian beach towns, but it is also much more affordable.
So, if you are on a budget and are looking for a more affordable place to stay in Croatia (or, in this case, a place to stay near Croatia) and want to get from Split to Dubrovnik, Neum is a great place for a stopover.
Possible day trips:
Where to Stay in Neum
Hotel Sunce, situated in the bustling coastal town of Neum, offers an outdoor pool and air-conditioned rooms with satellite TV. The hotel’s central location places it right on the Adriatic Coast, providing guests with picturesque views from their balconies overlooking the sea or surrounding parks. Book your stay at Hotel Sunce here.
SUMMARY: WHERE TO STAY IN CROATIA
Croatia is a beautiful country with a diverse range of attractions, including stunning coastal towns, historic cities, and natural wonders. When it comes to choosing a place to stay, it largely depends on your preferences and the purpose of your trip.
Croatia is such a diverse country with so many beautiful places to stay. Whether you are a beach or city (or town) person – or you enjoy the mountains – you surely find the best places to stay in Croatia for your Croatia trip. Whenever you are headed to Croatia – hopefully, this post will help you figure out where to stay in Croatia.