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Historic Rooms in Old Town
Hotels in Croatia are very diverse in style, type, and budget. Most of the tourist destinations in the country are centered around the beautiful coastline, which is the biggest draw for travelers to the area. Typically when you visit a coastal town, your goal is to have a hotel as close to the water as possible. In Croatia, the old towns are more appealing as places to stay. The scenic old towns are positioned precariously on the edge of the water, and offer a glimpse into a world that is long forgotten elsewhere. While the accommodation in the old town can be a little more "aged," and might be more expensive, this is part of the appeal. Don't miss out on this experience because you want a five star hotel. You'll definitely regret it.
Off the Beaten Path
Croatia is a not so hidden gem, but you can still find some great deals on accommodation. The typical budget-saving rules apply here. Travel in the off season. Negotiate your price. Travel with a group of friends or stay in one place for longer than usual and ask for group deals. Also consider going to less touristy places where the costs can be surprisingly affordable. If you're traveling to a popular destination, do some research ahead of time. In many places, such as Dubrovnik, you can arrive and meet locals at the bus or train station. Many people will approach you with rooms available in their homes. These can be a great deal, but do confirm the location ahead of time. Location is very important, particularly if you decide not to stay and need to make your way back to the center of town. While this can be a gamble, and somewhat risky, you could have an incredibly unique and memorable experience.
Apartments and Guesthouses
The main types of accommodations in Croatia include apartments you can sublet, small, privately owned hotels, mid-range resorts that cater to group tours, and five star luxury accommodation. The small, privately owned hotels offer the most charm and character, while the mid-range resorts can be surprisingly cheap and save you some money. The luxury accommodation is wonderful if you're looking for a resort vacation where everything is taken care of. You may miss out on some of the authenticity of the area, but you'll enjoy a wonderful vacation in a coastal setting. Apartments are a great option if you're traveling with a group of people and want to be able to cook some of your own meals. This option helps you feel more settled in a community, and gives you a unique perspective on the area.
There really is something for every type of traveler in Croatia. Consider what type of trip you'd like before you make a reservation. The location and style of accommodation can significantly impact your trip in general.
Dubrovnik is probably the most popular destination in Croatia. It's charming old town is a wonderful place to get lost and the pebbled beaches are a great place to relax for a while. If you're headed to Dubrovnik you should definitely plan to stay in the old town. If you're arriving in town by bus it's easy to meet a local who will eagerly rent a room in their place. Often these homes are not in the old town, so ask around until you find one that is. Also make sure you negotiate as you will likely get them to drop the price a little bit. Private rooms in someone's home are far more appealing than the hostels in the area as they are usually a bit cheaper and are often a much better quality.
While there are a few hotel in the old town, you'll find most of them outside of the city's walls. Luxury options are almost always outside of the old town as well. On the plus side, they are often new and modern and usually include a nice pool and a delicious restaurant. They do often lack the historic charm though.
Like in Dubrovnik, you are likely to get the best deal by staying in a private room in someone's home in Split. The best place to find these rooms is to head to the bus station or the ferry terminal. There are almost always locals there ready to sell you a room. Even if you're not arriving until later in the evening, you'll likely find at least a handful of people to choose between. Remember to negotiate and make sure you understand where the accommodation is before you hop in a vehicle with someone.
There are a few hostels around town as well. They aren't as nice as staying in someone's home, but they can be better located. You'll probably pay a little more for less privacy, but the peace of mind of going with an established business is enough for some people to choose a hostel.
Many of the mid-range and luxury resorts are located closer to the water. The beaches are mostly pebble and not sand beaches, but the water is refreshing, particularly on a hot day. Many of these hotels offer pools and nice restaurants where you can truly enjoy a luxury vacation. Even so, make sure you spend a good amount of time wandering through the old town.