How much does it a cost to spend a month in Labin, Croatia (Istria)?

by Gigi Griffis
Labin Croatia

Heading to Istria for an extended vacation or digital nomad adventure? Not sure what you should budget for the trip?

I’ve got you covered.

If you aren’t familiar with me, I’ve been a digital nomad for 9+ years and everywhere I stay, I track my budgets and share them. Because it’s so hard to plan for nomadic life when you aren’t sure about the costs.

So here they are, demystified.

My real budget for one month in the rolling hills in Croatia’s pretty northwest:

Category Kuna Dollars
Accommodations 3375  $535.07
Transportation (national/international) 0 $0
Transportation (local) 60 $9.51
Groceries 2497 $395.87
Supplies 104 $16.49
Eating/drinking out 1213 $192.31
Entertainment & activities 0 $0
Health & wellness 160 $25.37
Totals 7409 $1174.62

Notes on my spending:

Half of this trip was vacation time, so I probably spent a bit more than usual on going out, grabbing coffees, etc. The other half, I was working. So if you are on full-on vacation, expect to spend more. If you’re working the whole time, you may come in lower than I did. 

For accommodation, I was lucky enough to rent a spacious one-bedroom in the cute historic center of Labin. Since I rented directly from my landlord, the cost was much more reasonable than on any of the rental sites. It’s worth noting here that the prices on rental sites in Croatia during the summer are insane. Like $1,500 for a depressing studio in Rovinj kind of insane. And $7,000 a month for a mediocre two-bedroom in the countryside kind of insane. (Those are both real examples.) I strongly recommend going in the shoulder season if you’re looking for a bargain. And if you must travel in summer, expect to either pay out the nose or spend quite a few hours (read: whole days of your life) scouring Facebook groups and asking around for more affordable options.  The number above includes my rent and paying for weekly cleaning.

If you want to talk to my own fabulous landlord, you can reach her via email. Her place is smack dab in the center of Labin on a cobblestone lane, a five-minute walk from the main square. This is what the cute one-bedroom flat looks like: 

My transportation line item was paying for parking when a friend was kind enough to let me tag along with her for lunch with some other friends (since she was driving, I offered to pay for parking as my contribution). 

It’s worth noting here that staying in rural Istria like I did, you’ll probably want to rent a car. I did not because I hate driving with every fiber of my being. But the bus service here isn’t super frequent. And even the backroads felt a bit too dangerous for me as a cyclist (and I gave up on my biking plan early). If you want to do Istria without a car, I’d recommend basing yourself somewhere like Rovinj or perhaps Pula, which are larger cities and have more transportation infrastructure.

I did a bit more eating out than usual and sometimes offered to pay for friends’ meals, so my eating out line item is probably a bit higher than it usually would be. 

Health and wellness is what I spent at the pharmacy this month. I’ve decided not to include my insurance in this line item anymore because I’m seeing such big differences in what people are quoted for international insurance, so I’m not sure my number is a particularly helpful comparison. For reference, I pay $268 per month with GeoBlue. 

I’ve also decided not to include my traveling pooch’s line item in the main calculation anymore because it doesn’t apply to most people. I will still share those numbers here in the more detailed breakdown. This month, Luna’s bills added up to $41.54. That’s dog food, heartworm prevention meds, and a visit to the vet to get her nails trimmed. 

Looking for more European budgets? Here they all are

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