In this article, I want to cover a few key points on Croatian travel, an introduction of sorts, before I delve into the ins and outs of each individual city. Here, I cover budget v. luxury travel, language, prices, and transportation.
Budget v. Luxury
You can spend a TON of money here and turn your trip through Croatia into the ultimate luxury experience. Conversely, you can spend very little and still have the trip of your dreams, as long as you’re willing to rough it. Post-GOT, a luxury trip is much more feasible with many more options than before, but in some of the smaller, northern towns you’ll still struggle to find more than one “luxury” option.
Croatian is hard. As always, that’s no excuse. Learn “Good Morning,” “Please,” “Thank you,” and other basic phrases here.
The Price is Right: Shoulder season v. High Season
Croatia’s high season officially begins in the second week of June. Mark your calendars, because this means that the lovely 6:1 exchange rate that makes your U.S. dollars worth oh-so-much between the months of October-May suddenly dips to a 4:1 rate. Still pretty great, but not nearly the same bang-for-your-buck. This matters more in a place like Dubrovnik that’s chock full of tourists (think grossly elevated prices) but it pays to take this into account in any part of the country. Literally.
Croatia has an amazing bus system. Buses and ferries are the best ways to travel, hands down. The train system that Europe is so famous for doesn’t extend into Croatia to the same extent it does in most of Western Europe so don’t come into the country expecting that to be a possibility. I really like this site for bus timetables. If you want a good link for the ferries, click here. Jadrolinija is the most reliable carrier for Croatian ferries. Jadrolinija isn’t your only option but we found that it runs to more locations more consistently than other carriers.
Although bus transportation can be slow, it’s still the easiest way to get around. The coastal bus rides in particular tend to be rather stunning, so take advantage. One last friendly reminder- Croatian transportation runs on a similar timetable to Swiss transportation. If the schedule says the bus is leaving at 1654 (4:54 p.m.), that is precisely when it is leaving and do not assume that the purchase of a ticket will somehow convince the driver to stick around if you’re running late.