Prices in Croatia: My Real Budgets for Travel in Split, Croatia

Dec 19, 2013    /    budgeting + saving

This November and early December, Luna and I eased our way into winter with some sunshine and sand along Croatia’s Dalmatian Coast. Here’s the regular breakdown of our very affordable budget from November 8 to December 7, 2013.

 Kunas  Dollars
 Small studio near old town 4260 $750
 Ferries + transport 134 $23.86
 Groceries and supplies 1111.79 $199.18
 Eating/drinking out 844.46 $151.29
 Other 7 $1.25
 Dog food, supplies, & vet bills 429.80 $76.54
 Activities 317 $56.45
 Gifts + post office 331 $59.30

Total Kuna:  7435.05   /    Total Dollars: $1,317.87

Notes on my Croatia spending:

Yet again, I found my lovely little studio apartment on Airbnb. It wasn’t the cheapest of the bunch, but I loved the exposed stone walls and the perfect location just outside the 2,000-year-old center and only steps away from the harbor, so I was willing to pay a little more. Cheaper options started around $500 for the month. Do keep in mind that I was traveling off-season, so the on season prices start a little higher.

Transportation here is very, very affordable. Round-trip ferry rides to the islands ran around $10 each (and the above numbers represent trips to lovely, natural Solta and the more bustling port of Stari Grad on Hvar Island). Dogs on island ferries travel free.

The transportation numbers above don’t reflect any long-distance travel, as that travel happened before the period I was tracking. The overnight train ticket from Zagreb to Split with a seat (not a bed) cost 51.80 euro. Plane tickets are similarly priced (and Croatian Airlines allows small dogs in cabin for a small fee, according to their website).

My food budget came in way low this month (hoorah!) due to the facts that 1) Croatia’s restaurants and cafes are very reasonably priced ($2 for a cappuccino; $2 for a personal pizza), 2) Croatian culture is very traditional and if you go out with the locals, splitting the check is considered weird, so often one person picks up the tab and the next time the other person does (and this ended up coming out in my favor this time), 3) since Croatian culture is very traditional, it’s also not normal for ladies to pick up the tab, so if you’re out with a guy he’ll pretty much always insist on paying, even if he’s just a friend, and 4) I shopped a lot at the local fresh market, which was very close to my apartment, and cooked at home.

As usual, I spent a lot of my time walking around the town, the islands, and the beaches, which is free. My entertainment budget mostly reflects my Thanksgiving spa day at Filomena Spa & Lifestyle Club (they were kind enough to offer me a discount in exchange for a mention here on the blog, so my budget is a bit lower than it otherwise would have been) and my nights out at the movies (watching the new Hunger Games movie multiple times at the ridiculously low Croatian theater prices which range from about $4 to $6).

The rest of my time exploring Croatia was spent on the back of my friend Ivan’s motorcycle. We explored Trogir, Omis, the world-famous beaches of Brela, and mountaintop lookout points, mostly spending our time riding to the destination, walking around and taking photos, and then having a coffee or some food. It was a simple and perfect way to see Croatia and, since Ivan wouldn’t let me pitch in for gas or anything, it was also not something that impacted my budget.

Finally, there are a couple things I haven’t included in the above budget. One is the $50 or so I spent on new music (and one or two rainy day movies) on iTunes. It didn’t seem particularly relevant to the location, so I’ve omitted it. I also leave out (in all these budget posts) a couple ongoing costs, like my health insurance, which I pay for once a year and comes out to about $75 per month, and like my Skype phone number/Google voice bill, which ends up being about $5 – $10 per month.

Have you been to Split, Croatia? Any budget tips or notes for us? Any budget items you’d love to know the cost of that I haven’t included?

Want to see more travel budget breakdowns? Your wish is my command.

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  • Maria
    December 19, 2013

    Well that’s about what I pay for a month at home, minus all the fun you had.
    Maria recently posted…Wordless Wednesday – TransportationMy Profile

    • gigigriffis
      December 20, 2013

      Excellent. I like to tell people they can live on their home budget while traveling. Further proof. :)

    • Tina
      April 2, 2018

      Hi we are thinking of retiring and living in Croatia do you recommend any certain areas that will be ideal for 60 year old pensioners we also have 5 dogs who will be coming with us from UK to Croatia will the dogs be safe and do people like animals

      • gigigriffis
        April 2, 2018

        Hi Tina!

        I found Croatia to be overall very dog friendly. The only tricky thing was buses (the bus drivers can decide on a case-by-case basis whether they’ll carry the dog, which is a bit of a hassle), but other than that, most apartments, cafes, etc. were dog-friendly and people were dog-friendly. I think vet services can be a bit hit or miss, so definitely ask around to find the most fully equipped vet office (Luna got very sick and the original vet we took her to didn’t have x-rays or full blood test facilities; would have probably been better to have a fully-equipped office from the start).

        As for the people, I found that they like dogs very much.

        And as for where to choose in Croatia, it’s obviously down to what you prefer and what criteria are most important for you, but if I were looking to retire there I’d strongly consider Split or the surrounding area. It’s much less crowded than Dubrovnik and the far south. It’s got all the city amenities you’d need, but if you lived near the center it would still feel a bit like a charming small town.

        Hope that’s helpful!

  • Pero
    December 21, 2013

    For a month to stay in may hometown is not bad but only because is a low season. In high season it will be much much more. I would like to add your article link on my website as in this very moment I’ve been writing about Croatia travel costs and how to cut them. I hope you don’t mind linking to your blog!
    Pero recently posted…Dec 21, New 2014 Flights To Split CroatiaMy Profile

    • gigigriffis
      December 22, 2013

      Ciao Pedro,

      Do the food and movie and coffee prices rise in the summertime? I thought it was only the housing that was really impacted?

  • lucent imagery
    June 2, 2014

    Oh I’m having so much fun perusing your blog and getting ideas for our future travels! I think a month in Croatia sounds great, have just shared this with my husband. Thank you for your excellent information!

    • gigigriffis
      June 3, 2014

      Thanks! I’m so glad you’re enjoying it.

  • Carter
    December 11, 2014

    This is just brilliant. I needed this basic information to begin my plans for a three month stay in Split. Since I’m single, have a large budget and don’t have any real needs other than a nice apartment within walking distance of town, I’m thinking I might do well in Croatia. Would you be open to questions from an enthusiastic traveler via email? :-)

    Thanks, Gigi.


    • gigigriffis
      December 12, 2014

      Absolutely! Shoot me a note anytime (just click get in touch in the navigation).

  • Richard Brandlon
    August 7, 2015

    My wife and I will be in Split for ten days as part of our celebration (60th anniverary). I am getting along in years ans find myself not quite as spritely as I once was. Is Split a suitable walking town for an old man?

    • gigigriffis
      August 8, 2015

      Hi Richard! I think you should be fine. I’d suggest staying in or near the old town so that you won’t have to walk long distances (Split is actually rather large and sprawling if you count the suburbs). The old town itself is a manageable size, as is the main seaside promenade. There are some stairs at the front and back entrances to old town, but other than that no real obstacles. The bus system also seems to be reasonably good there, so if you do want to go somewhere further away, consider taking the bus.

  • Steven
    November 7, 2017


    I just saw this blog, it’s november 2017. I’ve been thinking about spending one month in Croatia for a while now.

    Have all the prices for accommodation and food etc changed a lot since your blog post and it’s become more of a tourist destination.

    • gigigriffis
      November 7, 2017

      It was definitely already a big tourist spot! But these prices were from off-season, so I’m guessing that hasn’t changed too much in Split. Dubrovnik is another story – accommodations and food are much pricier down there.

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