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Are reservations a must?


We will be in Croatia for the first two weeks of July. I have two questions:

I know it will be crowded. What is the definition on crowded? Manhattan crowded? Disney World crowded? Shoulder to shoulder crowded? We plan on making reservation in Zagreb for two nights when we arrive. I know no one knows for sure...but in general, do you think its possible to book online a day or two in advance after that as we decide where/when we want to go for our next stop or to risky? We prefer Airbnb but will stay in hotels if needed.

Thank you.

Posted by
18022 posts

"do you think its possible to book online a day or two in advance after that as we decide where/when we want to go for our next stop"

Yes, I think it is possible, but there are other people out there that are planning ahead and booking farther in advance, and when they find a good place at a good price, they don't say, "That's too good for me, I'll pass on it and leave it for someone who books at the last moment." No, they book it, and you get what they didn't want. So, if you don't care about getting the best place at the best price, wait until two nights before to book.

Posted by
4882 posts

You are travelling in the busiest time of the year, so I wouldn't risk flying all the way there and to risk not finding accommodation or to spend half my holiday booking accommodation.

Many Europeans are holidaying in the cheaper holiday destinations such as Croatia, as Egypt and Tunisia are out of bounds and people are avoiding parts of Greece, so places are likely to be busier.

Crowded depends on where you go. Dubrovnik will be busier than Disney World until the cruise ships depart c 6 pm. Vrboska on Hvar will have some visitors but you will still be able to get a seat in a restaurant for a meal or a coffee. It's a bit like me asking you how busy America will be in July (assuming you are American!).

You will have more flexibility if you are hiring a car. Many Airbnb places on the islands have a 3/4 night minimum booking in peak season.

Posted by
6746 posts

When you get off a ferry, you'll likely see ladies standing with signs with the word "sobe" on it. Many rentals in Croatia are quite informal - folks just renting a room in their house (I'm sure at fairly affordable prices).

Posted by
470 posts

Finding good accommodation in the beach destinations at the last minute will be tricky, or at the very least, much more expensive than it would be booking ahead. The largest groups of tourists in Croatia - Germans, Slovenians, Italians, etc. mostly book weeks if not months in advance. Minimum stay requirements are very common in those destinations, even as much as 7 nights isn't unheard of - Saturday is often considered to be the "change day", it's also when traffic is the absolute worst in this part of Europe. I'm not implying you'll be required to stay for 7 nights, not at all, it just means that your accommodation options will be automatically more limited. Granted I have no experience using Airbnb in Croatia, we usually either go to a hotel or private self-catering accommodation booking the old-fashioned way, so your experience may differ. Otherwise, those ladies with the "sobe" signs are always a last resort, as Agnes mentioned, although they are a bit of a hit-and-miss affair in my experience.

That said, I generally find booking isn't really necessary when in the interior of Croatia, most tourists stick to the coast, so if you'll be travelling inland it shouldn't be such a problem. On the coast, especially on the smaller islands, on the other hand, do try to book ahead if you can.

And regarding the crowds, apart from some places like Dubrovnik when the cruise ship passengers arrive, you will rarely find places to be shoulder to shoulder crowded.

Posted by
4376 posts

I don't understand wy you would waste precious vacation time running around looking for a place to stay?

Posted by
22 posts

Thank you all. This has been helpful! I am from the USA, Oregon to be exact. Which, if you have not been is a very beautiful place! I will book our first location to be sure we can rest after our flight. I am very much a planner and will more than likely reserve ahead. I was just curious if there was any room for being flexible during the high season.


Posted by
16869 posts

On one summer driving trip in Slovenia, I simply found my lodging upon arriving in town. I asked the owner of a rural Slovenian guesthouse, "Where is everyone?" He said, "You'll see when you go to Croatia." Still, I carried on and made the mistake of trying to drive along the Croatian coast to Rab Island on a Saturday in August. Traffic was very slow, the line for the ferry was long, and there were no hotel rooms left available on the island.