Apartment rentals are perhaps the most popular accommodation option you’ll find in Croatia. Croatians have been renting apartments to tourist for decades. If they knew how popular the “sharing economy” would become in last few years, they would have patented it. Apartment rental is the single most popular way in Croatia to make a second income and to earn that extra cash everybody needs.
A lack of jobs (unemployment rate in Croatia was 13% in July 2016), small wages (average net monthly salary in Croatia in June 2016 was 755€ compared with 3.600€ in Germany), relatively high cost of living, and an increasing number of tourists to Croatia, have pushed many Croatian to turn part of their homes into apartments to rent.
When we travel in Croatia (or elsewhere) we like to stay in apartments, or campsites more than in hotels. This type of accommodation gives us a chance to meet locals, and learn a bit more about the place we’re visiting, and about the people. It also gives us a freedom to eat whenever we feel, and not at fixed hours like in hotels.
We both lived and worked on a cruise ship, and ever since, we really appreciate a possibility to prepare our own meals. While hotels’ food is good for a couple of days, it’s tiring on a long run. We appreciate a home cooked meal. Apartments in Croatia always come with a fully-equipped kitchen.
Holiday rental market in Croatia is strictly regulated. All vacation rentals are legally inspected and need to meet a minimum standards required in order to be eligible for short term rental. After inspection, each apartment receives a rating, ranging from one to five stars depending on quality standards they meet.
And while you can still find 1-, and 2-star apartments among older units, minimum quality standards imposed for new rentals are at least for a 3-star property.
Standards for apartments define things like a size of an apartment, bathroom size, height of ceiling, etc …
Croatia apartments: what to expect
One-bedroom apartment should be at least 38 m2 big; a two-bedroom apartment a minimum of 59 m2; and a 3-bedroom apartment a minimum of 77 m2.
Law regulates a number of bathrooms as well as their size. Minimum bathroom size should be 4 m2. One-bedroom apartment should have at least one full bathroom; a two-bedroom apartment at least two full bathrooms, a three-bedroom apartment should have two full bathrooms, and a half bath.
Soap is provided, but not a shampoo, or a shower cap. However, some owners will provide it anyway (check before booking).
Hair-dryer is normally provided in all apartments. And so are bathroom towels.
Each and every guest gets clean and fresh bed-linen. It’s changed once a week, and for every new guest. However, you can request a change of a bed-linen more often. And normally your host will accommodate your request.
Majority of apartments come with a fully-equipped kitchen. Studio apartments usually have a kitchenette rather than a full kitchen. Normally in a kitchen you’ll find a fridge, stove, an oven or a microwave, as well as cooking pots, cutlery, plates, glasses, and cloths.
All newer apartments are air-conditioned. But some older two star apartments don’t provide an air-conditioner. Internet connection is mandatory only for four and five stars apartments. However, you’ll find a free WiFi internet in majority, if not in all, apartments.
Satellite TV usually means that you’ll get free international channels found on Astra & Hotbird satellites.
Toaster, coffee machine, an electric tea cattle, aren’t mandatory, but you’ll find them in many apartments. More and more apartments also come with a dish washer. Washing machine, while not mandatory, can be found in many apartments.
How much you’ll pay for a holiday rental in Croatia depends heavily on:
- a size of the apartment (the bigger it is, the more expensive it is),
- location (the closer to the town or to the sea it is, the more expensive it is),
- season (July and August being the most expensive months to rent),
- facilities (the better facilities there are, more you’ll pay), and
- a length of stay (many apartments charge a short-stay supplement; many owners also give an additional discount for stays longer than a week or two).
Expect to pay in average 50€ a day for an apartment for two in a shoulder season, and around 80€ a day in high season. Some popular destinations, like Split, Dubrovnik, and Rovinj, are more expensive.
Prices of the apartment rentals in Croatia are usually per day per apartment, and for the maximum occupancy. However some owners will show a base price for two persons, and add a supplement for every additional person.
A price of rental doesn’t always include a tourist and registration tax. Tourist tax amounts to approx. 1€ per person per day for everybody above 18 years of age; or 0,5€ per day for teens (12 to 18). A registration tax amounts to 1€ per person per stay. Read the small print when checking prices.
Tips for short-term holiday rentals in Croatia
While new legal requirements elevated minimum standards for vacation rentals in Croatia a lot, there is still lots of discrepancy among apartments of the same star rating. This is due to different standards that apply to new apartments (built after 2007), and old apartments (built prior to 2007). When choosing a right apartment for you, read reviews, and check photos.
When you rent apartment in Croatia, the owner has to register you with the local tourist office and pay a tax. All guests will need to provide an ID or a passport on arrival. This is also a sign you are renting a fully legal apartment.
When searching for the private accommodation, double check if they provide parking and a WiFi. This is not mandatory. However, many apartments in Croatia offer it. Parking is specially important as in some coastal towns it can be a real hustle to park your car (and it will increase your overall rental cost).
Homeaway is the only site that connects you directly with a property owner. AirBnB is the only site out of these three that charges a customer a booking fee for booking through them. Homeaway, and Booking.com don’t make you pay any booking fees. Booking.com charges a property owner a commission on every booking made through their site, while Homeaway charges a marketing fee to a property owner.
In low season try to bargain as much as possible. Very few apartments rent in a low season, and owners are usually very flexible with a rental price.
What to bring
Toiletry bag – Many apartments will come with complimentary soap, and sometimes even with a shampoo, and a shower gel. However, this isn’t always a standard, better carry your own toiletry bag with toilet essentials for travelers.
Suggested Croatia apartments to rent
Zagreb Vacation Rentals
Split Vacation Rentals
Dubrovnik Vacation Rentals
Istria Vacation Rentals
We also rent an entire villa in Istria. It’s luxurious, it’s secluded. It has a lovely landscaped garden. And it comes with a swimming pool.
Plitvice Vacation Rentals