Accommodation choices in Hvar, Dubrovnik, and Korcula run the gamut from hostels to apartments, private rooms (sobes) to campgrounds.
When we first arrived and travelled around, there weren't many hostels in Croatia. We spent most of our nights in apartments or sobes (private rooms). They were affordable and easy to find. Usually a baba or a whole swarm of them would meet us at the bus or ferry ports. If that failed, a visit to a tourist agency sorted things out. Most tourist agencies have rooms on offer though you might be able to negotiate better prices privately thus avoiding commission.
Private hostels in Croatia have sprung up in recent years. While some may be a hostel in name only, backpackers travelling around the coast have had good things to say about hostels in Korcula, Split, and Hvar.
For a list of places we would recommend, please scroll down.
During the peak season (July - August), prices jump as supply decreases. However, you should still be able to find something affordable. A couple hints:
- if you plan to stay longer than a couple nights, prices will be up to 30% cheaper. Negotiate your stay upfront.
- if you have the romantic idea of staying in an old style stone house, ask. Many of the rooms offered are in newly constructed homes and while the quality of the room may be nicer and more modern, it may lack in character.
- a 'ten minute walk' or something 'close' is often doublespeak for 'way the hell out'. This applies especially to apartments and rooms in Dubrovnik. Get them to point out their place on a map unless you feel like taking buses into town.
- when it comes to touts, Croatia isn't nearly as bad as travelling around places like Turkey. That said, when you arrive via ferry or bus, the crowds of old ladies can be daunting. Remember backpacking is relatively new to the country and a lot of locals are still getting used to this unique form of 'tourism'. Your actions will set the precedent so be cool and respect the locals. If the swarms of babas are getting to you, walk off the boat or bus, bring your bag to fresh, have a cold drink, and talk to other travellers for a good place to stay.
Formerly known as Happy House Hostel, One Love is run by a wild young South African/Croatian named Zlatko, this is the first hostel in Korcula (aka 'The Korcula Backpacker'). It is a party place and you may find that your stay keeps getting longer and longer. Beware the beer bongs.
Architect Vivian Faithfull and his wife designed and rebuilt this lovely villa located across the channel in Viganj. With gorgeous views of the sea and the town of Korcula, it's worthy of a five star rating. It books up quickly so if interested, don't procrastinate. Sleeps 9-11. Great value for groups. Rental Period: weekly
We spent many a nights in Miro's place. Located a brisk two minute walk from the old town, Miro offers two apartments, one has lovely views of the old town. Rental Period: weekly [TEL: +385.020.711.387]
Olea offers private rooms or sobes and an apartment with a mini kitchen and en-suite bathroom. Located within 1 minute walking distance to the old town, Olea is a good place to lay your weary head. The bar downstairs is also a worthy destination. Discounts for minimum three day stay. [Tel: +385.(0)98.725.823]
Tonci is a top-notch guy with some lovely apartments overlooking the old town of Korcula and the sea. Sanja's mother stayed here and didn't move from the balcony except to learn how to say cheers in Swedish. Scandinavians seem to have discovered Apartments Adriatic in a big way... and boy can they drink! If you are looking for some good accommodation in korcula, you should be happy here.
Camping in Korcula isn't exactly roughing it. This campsite is the closest to the old town and located amongst pine trees overlooking the sea. During the summer, the campground can be ridiculously crowded and may require reservations. If you are looking for a place within walking distance and don't mind close neighbours, you may want to give it a try.
One of Dubrovnik's best choices for budget accommodation in the Old Town. Fresh* Sheets Hostel has dorm beds and private rooms. Includes: shared bathrooms, free breakfast, and internet access. Located in the quiet part of town, just a few minutes walk from the sea and within 8 minutes to all bars and restaurants. Beds are 22-36 euro per night.
Hard-working lady who meets almost every bus even during the off-season. Her rooms are clean and have en-suite bathrooms. Prices vary according to season. [Antuninska 10, TEL: +385 (0)98 979 0843]
If you don't get snagged by the wily old lady offering rooms just before the entrance of the youth hostel, you'll find yourself at what can be described as the only 'official' hostel in Dubrovnik. A fifteen to twenty-five minute hike to the old town. [Vinka Sagrestana 3, TEL: +385 (0)20 423 241]
Nice environs and a nearby beach. We've never struck a peg into soil here but have heard decent things from indecent people. Or was it indecent things from decent people? Hey, you're camping... [Vatroslava Lisinskog 17, TEL: +385 (0)20 448 688]
The first hostel in Hvar is a 10 minute walk from the old town. The Green Lizard has a reputation for being well kept, friendly, and chilled. Recommended by backpackers, it is well worth checking it out if you plan to stay in Hvar. Dorm beds, double rooms, communal kitchen, and laundry service available.