Emily: I’ve wanted to go to Croatia for the last several years. I heard wonderful things about the country and how beautiful (and relatively affordable) it was compared to the rest of Europe. It’s located in Eastern Europe and is just a few hours from Italy.
Last year, my friends and I organized a group trip to visit Rovinj, a small coastal town on the Dalmatian Coast of Croatia. It’s a gorgeous town full of romance. Everything is stunning there, from the streets to the houses. The food is also excellent.
We went for a kizomba dance festival. Later in the trip report series, I will introduce you to kizomba and describe what an incredible dance it is! The dance festival was amazing and Croatia is definitely a place I want to return and spend more time exploring! The trip’s retail cost was ~$17,000 but I paid ~$900.
Captivating Croatia Trip Report Index:
- Part 1 – Introduction and Planning
- Part 2 – Admirals Club Lounge, New York (JFK)
- Part 3 – Air Berlin Flight to Croatia
- Part 4 – Getting to Venice
- Part 5 – A Night in Venice – Gritti Palace Hotel Overview
- Part 6 – A Night in Venice – Gritti Palace Hotel Room
- Part 7 – Apartment in Rovinj, Croatia
- Part 8 – Activities in Rovinj Croatia – Discovering the Old Town
- Part 9 – Activities in Rovinj, Croatia – Exploring the Old Church
- Part 10 – Activities in Rovinj, Croatia – Day Trip to Plitvice Lakes
- Part 11 – Activities in Rovinj, Croatia – Dance Festival Review
- Part 12 – Eating in Rovinj Croatia
- Part 13 – Shopping in Rovinj, Croatia
- Part 14 – Return Flight on Lufthansa
- Part 15 – Conclusion & Reader Giveaway
Getting to Rovinj
After staying overnight in Venice, my friend and I took a boat to Rovinj. We booked with Venezia Lines, which operates ferries between Italy and Croatia. You can reserve tickets online or you can go to the station.
We booked at the station the morning of our departure. The tickets were 67 euros (~$75) per person for a 1-way trip. The schedule is posted on their website. It’s about a 3 hour ride.
The station was an easy walk from the hotel.
We checked in at the counter…
…and handed over our bags.
After ~30 minutes, we boarded the boat.
We found seats close to the window, where we had beautiful views of the water.
Unfortunately, the boat was delayed for ~90 minutes because of mechanical problems. We almost disembarked from the boat, but as people were getting off, they made another announcement that they had fixed the boat. Yay!
It was a quiet ride to Rovinj. When we arrived, we took a taxi from the ferry stop to our hotel. It was around 20 euros (~$22).
Apartment in Rovinj, Croatia
My friends and I stayed in a soba, which is a private guesthouse. We decided to share the flat, so we split the cost. My friend Sarita found the apartment via Booking.com and it cost ~$317 per person (or ~$1,594 total) for 11 nights.
The apartment was located on Buzetska Street in Rovinj. It was picturesque 15-minute walk to the main part of town.
We booked the apartment in December 2014, or ~7 months in advance. I heard this was a must, especially if you plan to go during the annual dance festival! Many places offer free cancellations, so it’s best to book in advance and then cancel if needed.
The apartment had a full kitchen, free Wi-Fi, and free parking. No meals were included, but there was a supermarket within walking distance. We went to the store and stocked up on food, and had a couple of amazing dinners at home together!
Having a full kitchen really made a difference, especially for an 11 night stay. Robbie is an amazing cook and made roast chicken for us! We helped chop the vegetables and clean up afterwards.
There were 3 bedrooms: 1 had 2 twin beds, another bedroom had 1 more twin bed, and the the last bedroom had a queen size bed. There was also a sofabed in the living room. The living room was not a very private space, and I’m glad only 5 of us stayed there rather than the maximum of six.
Other Options for Accommodations
We considered staying in the nearby resorts. The resorts are convenient because they are located near the water, close to town, and have pools! But they are much more expensive, especially if you plan to travel as a larger group like we did.
We went to a couple of resorts for the dance festival.
I loved how there was so much to do at the resort. You could swim in the sea, lie out on the beach, visit the pools, or slide down the waterslides!
The beaches by the resort can be rocky, so wear shoes with sturdy soles.
You Can Do It, Too!
There aren’t any big chain hotels in Rovinj, but the rooms are fairly cheap. My friends and I stayed in a soba, or private apartment, for 11 nights. The total cost was ~$1,594 that was split between 5 people, which brought the stay to ~$317 per person.
We weren’t located right in the city center, but we were very close and had a very peaceful ~15 minute walk to / from town. And it was fun to hang out and cook together!
You can use Booking.com for hotel or apartment reservations. Check your hotel or apartment for a flexible cancellation policy, and it’s best to book far in advance due to the busy summer holiday season!
You can also check Airbnb for affordable accommodations in Rovinj and other spots throughout Europe. It’s a terrific alternative to paying full price at hotels.
My friends and I had a great time in Croatia. Our apartment was cheap, clean, and located walking distance from town. Next time, I would want to stay a little closer to town, but the price was perfect!