August 16, 2023 – We have heard a lot about how expensive Croatia is this summer. Take the pizza, beer and ice cream challenge – can we find the cheapest town in Croatia?
The media is full of stories of how prices have skyrocketed in Croatia, and how tourists are complaining about 40 euro sunbeds, 5 euro ice creams, 20 euro pizzas, and 9 euro beers. As I wrote in my recent article, Is Croatia Expensive: Views from Manchester, Zagreb and Dalmatia, prices have certainly gone up, but those headline prices are the exception rather than the rule.
It got me thinking. With all the stories about high prices, could we find the opposite, away from the tourism hotspots – a place where standard things such as beer, pizza and ice cream ingredients cost more or less the same (albeit a little more expensive on the coast), and perhaps find the cheapest town in Croatia.
I checked with the owner of a popular bar in Dalmatia. He sells Karlovacko 0.5l for 4 euro. He buys it for 1.05 euro, including VAT. A nice mark up, and I am not criticising, just observing – I have no experience of running a bar.
Last night, I was in a bar 30 minutes from Zagreb, and when my large, chilled Lasko came, I was shocked – just 1.80 euro.
For sure, the view was not Dalmatia, but that was CHEAP. The first beer in a bar I had seen under 2 euro this year. And the price of buying the beer cannot have been much cheaper than the 1.05 euro in Dalmatia.
It got more intriguing. While having dinner in the hotel restaurant, I was stunned to see that the ice cream was just 1.20 euro. Again, I had not seen anything that cheap all summer.
And then we went for lunch today. The two pizzas in the main photo were small pizzas (but much bigger than things I had seen sold for double the price on the coast). We ordered two small ones for three, and there was no way we could finish. Ours were 9 euro each, so 6 euro each for three, for a meal we could not finish.
As you can see from the image below, the cheapest pizza was 7.20 euro. So in this town, it is possible to order a restaurant pizza that you will not finish for 7.20, a large beer for 1.80, and ice cream for 1.20 (and in a hotel).
Total price 10.20 euro.
Does this make this town the cheapest town in Croatia? Using the criteria of a restaurant pizza, large (0.5 litre) beer in a cafe, and a scoop of ice cream, is there a cheaper town in Croatia?
This is not a poll about the most beautiful seaside resort, more a reflection on the prices in Croatia away from the limelight. If your town can do better, send details, including screenshots and the names of the locations to [email protected] Subject Cheapest Town.
And the town in question? Just a day after Jelena Rozga entertained 10,000 fans in Oroslavje, I rocked up to meet one of the bright stars for the future of Croatian politics and Croatia 2.0 – the Mayor of Oroslavlje, Viktor Simunic.
The places in Oroslavlje…
Pizza – Oro-Goro. No wonder people travel from Zagreb to eat here.
Ice cream – Hotel Zagi.
Beer – Cafe Nera.
So, the challenge is set. We have 10,20 euro to beat. Is this the cheapest town in Croatia for pizza, beer and ice cream, or can you do better…