You can find any type of accommodation you like in Croatia, from five-star hotels to hostels, private villas to Airbnb. In Zagreb, Istria, and Dalmatia, standards (and sometimes prices) are as high as those in Western Europe, while in less busy regions, such as Slavonia, you might not be spoiled for choice but you can always find something suitable (and the prices are far lower).
On the coast, prices are at their highest in July and August, and apart from the large hotels, often fully booked. On the other hand, outside of the high season, you can usually find a real bargain for places that might be totally out of your budget through the summer; another great reason to consider traveling to Croatia in the shoulder months. Booking.com is the most popular website for booking hotels in Croatia, although you'll often get a better price if you book directly with the hotel.
The lodgings we list are the cream of the crop in each price category. Properties are assigned price categories based on the range from their least expensive standard double room at high season (excluding holidays) to the most expensive.
All foreign guests have to pay a tourist tax for each night they stay in a hotel or private accommodation. It’s a negligible amount, between 2 Kn and 7 Kn per night depending on the hotel category and the season, and it's most often just added to your bill.
Be sure you understand the hotel's cancellation policy. Some places allow you to cancel without any kind of penalty—even if you prepaid to secure a discounted rate—if you cancel at least 24 hours in advance. Others require you to cancel a week in advance or penalize you the cost of one night. Small inns and B&Bs are most likely to require you to cancel far in advance. Most hotels allow children under a certain age to stay in their parents' room at no extra charge, but others charge for them as extra adults; find out the cutoff age for discounts.
Apartment and Villa Rentals
Private accommodation has always been popular, especially along the coast, when grandmothers used to wait at the bus station with faded photos of their room for rent. In recent years the number of private beds has skyrocketed in places like Dubrovnik, and you can now find everything from a single bed in a family home to a fully renovated five-star apartment. Private villas are also very popular in Istria and Dalmatia and a great option if you are traveling in a group or as a family; these restored stone houses usually have private swimming pools and kitchens, and are a wonderful chance to stay off the beaten track and interact with locals. There are many websites where you can book private accommodation; start with Booking.com, HomeAway, Airbnb, and Croatian Villas.
Airbnb. You need to create a profile in advance to book accommodation on this site, but it's worthwhile for the wide variety of private accommodation and the opportunity it gives you to interact with locals. www.airbnb.com.
Booking.com. With the largest variety of accommodation options in Croatia, Booking.com is the main booking site for hotels and private apartments across the country. www.booking.com.
Croatian Villas. A great place to find private and luxury villas all along the coast from Istria to Southern Dalmatia. www.croatianvillas.com.
HomeAway. A great selection of private apartments and villas around the country. www.homeaway.com.