Where to stay in Hvar for first time: 5 Safe areas

Finding where to stay in Hvar as a first-timer can be overwhelming. That’s why, in today’s article, I will help you to find safe places to stay in Hvar for first-time visitors.

I will share with you what I believe are the best and safest areas to stay in Hvar for first-timers and tourists, along with a helpful map and areas to avoid. I’ll also share where I stayed in Hvar and recommend some of the best hotels in Hvar for various budgets.

Hvar is a beautiful island and popular tourist destination located in the Adriatic Sea, off the coast of Croatia. It is the longest island in the Adriatic Sea, stretching about 68 kilometers in length.

The main town on the island, also called Hvar, is a popular destination known for its historic architecture, lively nightlife, and vibrant atmosphere. The town features a picturesque harbor, a medieval fortress overlooking the city, and a main square surrounded by restaurants, cafes, and shops.

Hvar is renowned for its natural beauty, with numerous secluded coves and beaches. The Pakleni Islands, located just off the coast of Hvar, are a popular destination for boating and swimming.

The island is famous for its lavender fields, especially in the interior villages like Brusje and Velo Grablje. Lavender has been traditionally cultivated on the island for centuries, and the fields are at their most colorful and fragrant in late spring and early summer.

Hvar has a long tradition of wine production, and the island’s vineyards produce high-quality wines. The indigenous grape variety, Plavac Mali, is commonly grown in the region.

Fortress Fortica, locally known as Spanjola, offers panoramic views of the town and surrounding islands. It’s a popular spot for visitors interested in history and architecture.

Hvar is accessible by ferry from the mainland, with frequent connections from Split. During the summer months, there are also catamaran services connecting Hvar to other nearby islands and coastal towns.

Is Hvar safe to visit?

Yes, Hvar, like most of Croatia, is generally safe to visit. But, as in any popular tourist destination, it is wise to exercise general common sense, and be careful with party boats taking you to various night spots that can be overcrowded and unsafe at night.

Where to stay in Hvar for the first time?

The best and safe areas to stay in Hvar for first-timers and tourists are Hvar Town, Stari Grad, Jelsa, Milna, and Vrboska. These are popular areas on the island that provide a variety of accommodations and amenities for all budgets and needs.

Hvar Town is the most popular area to stay in Hvar for the first time. It is the main town on the island and has the widest range of accommodations and tourist amenities. It has lively nightlife, beautiful beaches, and historical sites such as Hvar Fortress, St. Stephen’s Square, and the vibrant waterfront.

Stari Grad is one of the oldest towns in Europe, offering a more relaxed atmosphere compared to Hvar Town but still offers picturesque surroundings, great restaurants, and cultural sites. It’s an excellent choice for those seeking a quieter experience.

Jelsa, Milna, and Vrboska are great bases for a quiet beach holiday and local atmosphere. They have limited accommodation options compared to the Hvar town. You can find small villas, guest houses, B&B, and apartment style accommodations.

During my trip to Hvar, I stayed at History Hvar Design Heritage Suites. I had a super central location in Hvar Town, an easy stroll from St. Stephen’s Square, Hvar City Harbor, and Fortica Fortress. My room was lovely with modern furniture and a comfortable bed.

Below is a map of the popular areas in Hvar for first-time travelers. You can scroll down to view the live map.

Map of the safe areas to stay in Hvar first time
Map of the safe areas to stay in Hvar first time

Let’s get into the details of the recommended areas to stay in Hvar, especially for first-time visitors. I’ll provide you with some suggestions for the best places to stay in each area, catering to every budget. 

All hotels in Hvar have been carefully selected by me from well-known and secure booking sites such as booking.com, with guest review scores of at least 8.0 or higher at the time I chose them. 

If you don’t like my suggestions (perhaps they don’t suit your budget or preferences), you can click the “MORE HOTEL DEALS” button where you can choose your own hotel.

5 Safe areas to stay in Hvar for first-timers and tourists:

1. Hvar Town

Hvar Town, without a doubt, is the best area for first-time visitors to book their accommodations in Hvar island. It is the most popular and vibrant spot on the island, known for its lively atmosphere, historical sites, and bustling nightlife.

The town has a rich cultural and historical heritage. You can explore the historic side of Hvar by visiting landmarks such as the Fortica Fortress. Hvar Cathedral, the Arsenal, and Franciscan Monastery. 

Hvar Town is renowned for its lively atmosphere, particularly during the summer months. The town square and waterfront come alive with cafes, restaurants, and bars, creating a vibrant social scene.

Hvar Town is famous for its nightlife. There are numerous bars and clubs, and the nightlife scene is among the best in Croatia. You can enjoy beach parties, cocktails at trendy bars, and dance the night away at popular clubs.

Hvar Town serves as a hub for exploring nearby islands. You can easily take boat trips to Pakleni Islands, Vis, and other beautiful destinations from the Hvar Town harbor.

The picturesque waterfront promenade is perfect for leisurely strolls. You can enjoy beautiful views of the sea, yachts, and nearby islands while sipping on a coffee or enjoying a meal.

Best places to stay in Hvar Town for first-timers:

Luxury ($$$): Palace Elisabeth, Hvar Heritage Hotel, beautiful 5-star historic hotel in central Hvar Town,  close to everything including the ferry port, St. Stephen’s Cathedral, and Hvar Theater. Rooms have stunning views of Dalmatia’s largest square Pjaca, Hvar Bay and Paklinski Islands. It has an indoor pool, 2 restaurants, and paid airport shuttle services. 

Mid-range ($$): Adriana Hvar Spa Hotel, 4-star hotel in a prime location, right on the marina, easily accessible from the ferry port. It has a beautiful rooftop bar and pool on the 4th floor. There are also 24-hour reception, excellent breakfast, family rooms, and airport transfer.

Mid-range ($$): Heritage Hotel Dea Hvar, 4-star boutique hotel located in a great area in Hvar Town, close to the City Harbor, Hvar’s Theater and Arsenal and St. Stephen’s Square. Easy access to restaurants, bars, and shops, but quiet for a good night sleep.

Budget ($): Pharos Hvar Hotel, popular 3-star hotel, located in a quiet area on the top of the hill, within 5-10 mins walking distance to beaches, Hula Hula Beach Bar, the city center. 10-15 mins walk from the port via some steps, so it is good if you have a car to transfer your luggage.  

Hostel ($): White Rabbit Hostel, great backpacker hostel centrally located in the city center of Hvar Town, min walk away from St. Stephen’s Cathedral, good base to explore the city. There are only a few steps to the hostel if you are arriving by ferry.


2. Stari Grad

Stari Grad is an excellent choice for those who appreciate history, culture, and a more tranquil environment. It’s a great place to experience local life and enjoy a slower pace.

Stari Grad is one of the oldest towns in Europe, dating back to ancient times. The town boasts charming streets, historic buildings, and a relaxed ambiance. The Stari Grad Plain, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, is nearby and offers a glimpse into ancient Greek agricultural practices.

You can explore historical sites such as the Tvrdalj Castle, the Dominican Monastery, and the Church of St. Stephen. Stari Grad’s rich history provides a cultural and educational experience.

The town’s waterfront is picturesque, and you can enjoy lovely views of the harbor. There are waterfront cafes and restaurants where you can relax and soak in the scenery.

Best places to stay in Hvar in Stari Grad for first-timers:

Mid-range ($$): Ancora Faros, 4-star waterfront accommodation in a convenient location, right in the middle of Stari Grad. Very close to the harbor with many shops and restaurants. Quiet base for exploring Hvar. It has shuttle services, car rental services, and exceptional Breakfast. Rooms come with a kitchen.

Mid-range ($$): B&B Heritage Villa Apolon, great 4-star hotel located in Stari Grad, a short walk from the  old village, Petar Hektorovic Palace, and the beach. It has a terrace, a garden, luggage storage, and family rooms. The breakfast has many choices with fresh fruit salad and an a la carte menu. 

Budget ($): Apartments Ivanković, 3-star accommodation in a great location, a short distance from the city center of Stari Grad (downhill) and a beach where you can find a bar and sports facilities. It has free parking, which is a bonus for those who drive. They can help arrange tours to Pakleni Islands and Bol on Brač Islan and jeep safaris.


3. Jelsa

Jelsa is a quaint and picturesque town with a more laid-back atmosphere. It’s known for its beautiful harbor, charming squares, and pleasant surroundings. It’s a good choice if you prefer a quieter environment while still having access to amenities.

Best places to stay in Hvar in Jelsa for tourists:

Mid-range ($$): Villa Riva, 4-star good value for money beachfront guest house in the middle of the pedestrian zone of the center of Jelsa, 10 mins walk from Fontana Beach and Mina Beach. It has free private parking, paid airport transfer, air conditioning rooms with soundproofing.

Mid-range ($$): B&B Aurora, 4-star bed and breakfast in Jelsa, close to Fontana Beach, Mina Beach, and Bočić Beach. It has a 24-hour front desk, air-conditioned rooms, amazing breakfast, and comfortable family rooms. Easy walk from ferry port.

Mid-range ($$): Villa Vista, 4-star accommodation situated on the Burkovo Hill, offering beautiful views of Jelsa Bay. It is only a 5 mins walk to the shops and restaurants in the town center. Apartments come with a well equipped kitchen, common barbecue facilities, and bike rental services.

Budget ($): Rubin Jelsa, 3-star beachfront hotel, featuring free private parking, barbecue facilities, a garden, and family rooms. Good base to explore Mina Beach, Camp Holiday Beach, and Fontana Beach.


4. Milna 

Milna is a small fishing village, situated on the western part of the island, known for its peaceful surroundings and authentic atmosphere. It’s an ideal choice for those who want to escape the crowds and enjoy a more traditional Croatian experience.

Best places to stay in Hvar in Milna for travelers:

Mid-range ($$): Hotel Fortuna, 4-star hotel situated at the beach in the Milna village, easy access to 4 pebble beaches. It has an onsite bar and restaurant, free parking, and an outdoor pool, where you can use sunbeds and umbrellas for free. They have a reasonable shuttle from/to Hvar Town.

Budget ($): Hotel B&B CHAMBERLAIN, 3-star accommodation that has free parking, a shared kitchen, and family rooms. Only a min walk from the beach.

Budget ($): Apartments Kiro, a 3-star good value for money sustainable apartment in a quiet area in Milna, a short distance from Beach Mala Milna and Malo Borče Beach.


5. Vrboska

Vrboska is a charming and unique town on the island of Hvar, and it’s often referred to as Little Venice due to its canals and bridges. 

The town boasts cultural and historical attractions, including the Church of St. Mary of Mercy and the Fisherman’s Museum. The architecture reflects the town’s rich history.

The town’s harbor is a focal point, offering beautiful views and a pleasant waterfront area with cafes and restaurants. It’s a great place to enjoy a leisurely stroll.

Best places to stay in Hvar in Vrboska for visitors:

Mid-range ($$): Villa Welcome, 3-star accommodation located in the quiet area of Vrboska, featuring rooms with views of the sea, the harbor and the village. Easy access to the village center with restaurants, coffee bars, and a supermarket. Short distance from Maslinica Beach and  Soline Beach.

Budget ($):  Mediteran Hvar – Luxury Rooms and Restaurant, B&B, 3-star guest house in Vrboska,  close to a very nice beach, featuring a terrace with an amazing view of Vrboska.

Budget ($): Guest House Lucijo, 3-star accommodation situated in the center of Vrboska, close to a stone paved beach and  grocery store. They can help to organize boat trips to the island of Brač.


In conclusion, Hvar Town, Stari Grad, Jelsa, Milna, and Vrboska are the best places to stay in Hvar for first-timers and tourists. These are safe and popular towns and villages on Hvar island to book your accommodations and explore the island.

You can continue reading about other destinations in Croatia in these articles:

There you have it, my recommendations for the most popular and safest neighborhoods that you can stay during your first trip to Hvar. I hope you enjoyed my article and find it both informative and helpful.

If you have any questions or would like to share your thoughts, please don’t hesitate to leave a comment below. Your feedback is invaluable and helps me continue to create more quality content.

About Author: Ocean Cameron

I'm Ocean, founder and main editor of travelhotelexpert.com. I’m a passionate traveler who specializes in uncovering the best hotels and locations in every city, especially for first-timers, all without the need for a car.

Disclosure: This page contains affiliate links. This means that, at absolutely no additional cost to you, I'll earn a small commission if you click through and purchase something I've recommended. I only recommend products that I use myself or firmly believe in. Thank you!

Leave a Comment