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Best Time to Visit Croatia | When to Go & Travel Tips

Best Time to Visit Croatia | When to Go & Travel Tips

Croatia is a European country on the Adriatic Sea that’s often overlooked. In fact, tourism in the country has only risen in popularity in the last few years.

The beautiful coast, islands, waterfalls, historic cities, and national parks have started drawing more and more tourists to the country.

Knowing what the weather is like and when most people visit the country can help you make sure you go at a time of the year where you can do everything you want to and make the most of your trip.

We’ll guide you through the best, cheapest, worst times, and everything in between to visit Croatia so you can plan the getaway of your dreams. 

Why You Should Visit Croatia

Boats that look like they're floating on water that is clear during the best time to visit Croatia

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Croatia is rising in popularity as a tourist destination, and there are several reasons why it needs to be on your list of places to visit. The country is nestled on the Adriatic Sea and features several landscapes that offer something for every type of traveler. 

If you’re looking to spend time wandering through historic cities, then Croatia has several for you to choose from. Split and Zagreb are two of the most famous cities in the country, and each one is worth visiting.

In addition, the city of Dubrovnik is famous for being the site of King’s Landing in the HBO series “Game of Thrones.”

The best city to travel to is Split for those who plan to visit the islands or beaches since it’s right on the coast and very close to famous islands like Hvar, Bol, and Vis. Zadar is another beautiful coastal city to visit that’s north of Split.

Croatia is more than just beautiful beaches and islands, though. There are stunning national parks that feature bright green trees and mesmerizing waterfalls. The best national parks in the country are Plitvice Lakes National Park, Krka National Park, and Paklenica National Park. 

For wine lovers, Croatia is a great place to visit. The wine is fantastic, and there’s even a wine cellar below the ocean! Edivo ages their wine underwater off the coast and is popular for wine enthusiasts. 

Overall Best Time to Visit Croatia

Small restaurant in Bol during the best time to visit Croatia, the summer, with blue skies and crystal clear teal water

Pawel Kazmierczak/Shutterstock

Overall, the best time to visit Croatia is during the summer. The tourist season starts at the beginning of May and runs through September, so it’s safe to say this is the ideal time to visit since it’s when most people flock to the country. 

The summer months bring less rain and warmer temperatures to the country. While any month between May and the middle of September are great months to visit, if you want to narrow it down even further, July, August, and September are ideal. 

August is when Croatia sees its peak in visitors and warmest weather. The weather tends to linger between the mid to high 70s and 80s during this time, but the temperature can reach closer to the high 80s and low 90s during the day.

At night, it’s in the low 70s, which is nearly perfect for most people. These months tend to be a little more expensive than the rest of the year since it’s the high season, but it’s still a relatively affordable place to visit. 

That being said, if you plan to visit Croatia anytime from May to September, especially in August, you need to book your accommodations early to ensure you get to stay where you want without paying out the nose for your stay. 

Cheapest Time to Visit Croatia

Gate in Dubrovnik pictured during the cheapest time to visit Croatia

xbrchx/Shutterstock

It’s no secret that Croatia is a relatively cheap country to visit, once you get there at least. But, if you’re looking for the most reasonably priced time of year to visit, you need to head there when summer starts dying down.

The summer begins dying down from the middle to the end of September through the end of April. This time of year marks the beginning of the rainy season, and when most tourists avoid the country because the weather can ruin their outdoor plans.

Since fewer tourists are in the area, many tour companies, hotels, and other businesses will lower their prices to entice travelers to come to Croatia. 

For example, as of the time of writing, a hotel in Split costs about $151 per night in July compared to $44 in December. While $151 is still pretty affordable, there’s no arguing the drastic difference in the nightly prices.

It’s not only the hotel and accommodation prices that drop during this time. Businesses and tourist companies will lower many famous tourist attraction tickets and tour tickets to accommodate fewer people visiting. 

You can even find cheaper flights to major Croatian cities during these months than during the high season. 

A one-way flight from New York City to Split, Croatia, costs $552 in July and is around $400 in January. While it may not seem like a huge difference, it’s still much more affordable than in the summer months.

Least Busy Time to Visit Croatia

Majestic view of Plitvice Lakes National Park during the least busy time to visit Croatia

Creative Travel Projects/Shutterstock

Tourists will still linger into October, but it starts getting less busy from the end of September through April. These months are the least busy time for tourists in Croatia for many of the same reasons that these are also the cheapest months to visit.

The weather starts to cool down to temperatures that most people don’t want to spend too much time outdoors. So even though this also tends to be the most affordable time to visit, it’s the least busy because most people travel to Croatia to experience the beaches, islands, and parks. 

Something wonderful about visiting Croatia during the least busy time is that you’ll have more space. There will be fewer crowds and less noise in the major cities and other tourist attractions.

Worst Time to Visit Croatia

Cloudy sky with rain over the ocean during the worst time to visit Croatia

Damir Sencar/Shutterstock

The worst time to visit Croatia will depend on your preferences. If you hate the heat, then the worst time to visit for you would be in the summer, but mostly August. 

Overall, the consensus is that the worst time to visit the country is November through March. These are the coldest months and often some of the rainiest.

January, in particular, is the coldest month of the year, with daytime temperatures rarely reaching over 48 degrees Fahrenheit. Since the weather is much colder in January and the surrounding months, your options for activities are much more limited.

The lack of available activities means you can’t enjoy everything Croatia offers. While the weather is less than ideal, you can still find some fantastic deals on lodging, flights, and activities once you arrive.

So, if you don’t mind the colder weather and some rain, you won’t have an issue visiting during what most people consider the worst time of the year.

Things to Consider

Street view of Dubrovnik pictured during the best time to visit Croatia

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Croatia is one of the best countries to visit in Europe because it’s beautiful, cheap, and has something for everyone. For most of the year, the weather is lovely, which helps draw people to the country.

As you plan your trip, there are several things you’ll want to keep in mind: 

  • Stay somewhere central. Croatia is a spacious country, so you’ll want to stay somewhere close to attractions, restaurants, bus stations, train stations, or the airport.
  • Eat at local restaurants. There are dozens of restaurants with varying cuisines, but eating local and where the locals eat will allow you to have a genuine experience. 
  • Go island-hopping. The Croatian islands are stunning and worth checking out if you can rent a boat or go with a tour group. Even if you can only visit one or two popular islands, it’s well worth it.
  • Check out the national parks. The greenery and waterfalls in their several national parks are stunning and should be on your list, even if you’re craving a coastal getaway. 
  • Take the buses. The bus system in most major Croatian cities is extensive and easy to navigate, making it a better option since taxis tend to be the most expensive option. 
  • Plan activities in advance. Knowing what you want to do beforehand will help make sure you have enough time for it. Whether it’s buying tickets to the parks, renting a car, or other tours requiring reservations, you may be disappointed if you wait until the last minute.

Frequently Asked Questions

Gorgeous waterfall in Krka National park during the best time to visit Croatia

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There are many things to consider as you plan your trip to Croatia. We’ve gathered and answered some of the most frequently asked questions regarding visiting Croatia:

How many days in Croatia is enough?

How many days you should spend in Croatia will depend on what activities you want to do while you’re there. Most people say that spending ten days in the country is the perfect amount of time to experience a little bit of everything.

When is the rainy season in Croatia?

The rainy season in Croatia is long. It’s roughly eight months out of the year, from the middle of September through the beginning of May. These months see more than a 22% chance of rain almost every day during this time of year.

Is Croatia a cheap country to visit?

Croatia has one of the most affordable currency exchange rates of all European countries. For example, 20 USD is 143 Croatian Kuna. While the cost to get to the country can be costly depending on where you’re coming from, once you’re there, accommodation, food, drinks, souvenirs, and activities are very cheap.

When is the tourist season in Croatia?

The tourist season in Croatia is during the dry season, May through September. It can run through to October in some years, but tourists usually peak in the country in August.

When is the hottest month in Croatia?

August is by far the hottest month of the year in Croatia. The weather is dry, and the temperatures can reach almost 90 degrees Fahrenheit, and they rarely fall below 70 in the evening and nighttime. August’s water temperatures are also the warmest, peaking around 77 degrees Fahrenheit.

What are the best Croatian islands?

All the islands off the coast of Croatia are stunning. Brac is an excellent option because it has a little bit of everything. Hvar is the most glamorous, and we can compare it to St. Tropez in France. Lastly, Vis is the furthest away from the mainland but has a lot of history and a WWII fort.

What should I avoid when traveling to Croatia?

When visiting Croatia, you should avoid traveling without a plan, especially during the peak season from July to August. Since there are many more tourists during this time, if you go without a plan, you may not be able to do what you want or get the lodging you prefer.

Do they speak English in Croatia?

Yes! Most Croatians speak English, especially in the major cities and tourist areas. Many Croatians speak more than one language, and more than 80% of Croatians speak English. Of course, you may run into some people who don’t, but you’ll be okay if you stick to the tourist areas. It doesn’t hurt to learn a few words like hello and goodbye in Croatian.

Is it safe to travel to Croatia?

Croatia is a safe country to travel to. While bad things can happen even in the best countries and areas, Croatia has a very low violent crime rate. However, you should always be vigilant when traveling to ensure your safety.

So, What’s the Best Time to Visit Croatia?

Overall, the best time to visit Croatia is between Mary and September. These are the warmest months of the year and the months where you’ll see little to no rain during your trip, which is especially important if you plan to have beach days, island hopping, and explore the parks.

Croatia is always a cheap country to visit, but the most affordable time to visit the country is during the rainy season since fewer tourists are around. The rainy season runs from the end of September until the beginning of May. 

During this time, more accommodations are available, and flight prices tend to be lower. This time of year is also the best time to visit if you’re looking to go when there are fewer tourists around crowding the beaches and other activities.

While it’s the cheapest and least crowded time to visit Croatia, most people consider it the worst time to visit. Specifically, November through March see the coldest weather there.

If you don’t have a problem with cooler weather, then this may not be an issue for you, but you won’t enjoy the beaches, water, and other outdoor activities nearly as much.

Croatia is a beautiful country, so no matter what time of year you decide to visit, you’re bound to have a fantastic experience you’ll never forget. Now that you know when the best time to visit is and some other helpful tips, it’s time to plan your dream Croatian vacation!