Welcome to a new blog, I haven’t shared a travel blog in a while and thought it was about time!
I travelled to Croatia last September and it was my first time visiting the country! I absolutely loved Croatia and think it is definitely an underrated European country.
I stayed in Split for three days, which was more than enough time to explore the city, before travelling north to Zadar.
After landing at the Split airport in the morning, we made our way to departures and got on the airport bus to get into the main city centre. The bus fare was really cheap! I would really recommend using the public transport available as opposed to renting a car. Not only is it much more affordable, but it is also better for the environment.
Arriving in Split:
I would recommend bringing cash with you, as I found most places actually only accepted cash! While in Split I actually ended up at an ATM machine to withdraw more cash as I had initially planned on using my card for payments, before realising cash was the preferred method of payment.
The bus journey into Split is not as scenic as the window view from the plane landing into Split, but nevertheless it helps you get to grips with your surroundings! We arrived in the Split centre at midday and we were instantly enamoured by the beautiful harbour, palm trees and warm sea breeze (despite it being September.)
Immediately we went in search of a café as we were famished (we hadn’t eaten that morning since our flight had been so early!) We found a pretty pricey one on the promenade, near Pjaca Square, which was quite mediocre. I would recommend instead, checking some of the restaurants and cafés on tripadvisor which are more popular with the locals, as we found these were better, especially if you are looking to try more Croatian dishes! However, having said that, the restaurants in Pjaca Square were very convenient to eat at, in a good location and served food we liked.
What to do in Split:
After our lunch, we visited the Old Town in Split. The Old Town is so beautiful and historic, it is a labyrinth of streets surrounding Diocletian’s Palace. The Diocletian’s Palace is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and the most popular attraction in Split. Built in the 4th Century by Emperor Diocletian, the Old Town consists of more than 200 historic buildings, many of which can be explored by tourists!
At midday, the Old Town is swarming with people, which makes it very difficult to walk around, especially since the streets are so narrow. The queues for the Palace and other tourist attractions are also ridiculously long and standing in the midday heat is not ideal! We decided instead to head on to our accommodation.
The following morning we woke up at Sunrise to catch a speedboat to see the famous Blue Caves, before visiting the nearby islands, Vis and Hvar, which we spent the whole day exploring. One advantage of staying in Split is its close proximity to the Dalmatian Islands, which are arguably more impressive and picturesque than Split!
We took a speedboat to see the islands since we were only in Split for a few days and wanted to fit as much into our stay as possible. However, it was very costly (over £120 each) and if you’re on a budget or you’re planning on staying longer in Split, then you could definitely take the ferry which is much cheaper! The ferry rides are on average 1-2hours to and from an island. If you’re more interested in the islands than Split, you could always stay on an island instead.
The next day, we visited the Old Town in Split before noon and saw the Vestibule in Diocletian’s Palace, which is free to view. We also perused through the souvenirs available in the cellars of Diocletian’s Palace, called Podrumi, which is underground and the steps there bring you up to Diocletian’s Palace. We had purchased all inclusive discounted tickets for the main Old Town sights and so, we were going to make the most of the pass and see everything! The palace and museum are interesting to see, but we did find them quite underwhelming and wouldn’t recommend them if you are not staying in Split for long.
However, we did find the Cathedral of St. Domnius very worthwhile and would recommend it! Now considered the oldest Catholic cathedral in the world, the Cathedral is impressive inside and was the highlight of our visit to Split. I would note that you must wear modest clothing when in the Cathedral, as I was told off for wearing a dress where my shoulders were bare and subsequently had to cover up.
Within the St. Domnius Cathedral, is the Bell Tower attraction. If you are willing to climb the 200 steps, you will be rewarded with an incredible sight, as the Bell Tower boasts a brilliant panoramic view of Split. I also found the Bell Tower particularly instagrammable, as there are platforms for you to rest at on the way to the top, which you can great shots at!
Once we had snapped our photos at the Bell Tower’s summit, we were back in the main square of the Old Town, at exactly midday. We weren’t surprised to find the square swarming with people, however, we were surprised to see people dressed up in costume to perform a reenactment of life in Emperor Diocletian’s Split. If you’re interested in seeing it too, definitely be in the Old Town for noon!
Next, we entered the maze of winding streets in the Old Town to window shop and explore further. These streets are so stunning and home to many Game of Thrones shops, where you can buy a special souvenir! Exiting the Old Town, we embarked on the long hike up to Marjan Hill. You can enter through the park and then climb the steps until you reach the viewing platform. I ended up walking in a residential area, after completely missing the signposting and blindly following google maps on my phone which brought me to a deadend. Instead, be sure to look for the sign to Marjan Hill, leading you into the park!
The view from the Hill itself is spectacular and we found very few people there! You are able to view Split in its entirety and so this special spot makes a great place for some photos and selfies. We then spent the rest of the afternoon relaxing and sunbathing on sandy Bacvice beach in Split, close to the centre.
On our final day staying in Split, we took the ferry to Vis again as we felt we had spent a sufficient amount of time in Split and seen its main historical monuments.
If you would like read about my travel itinerary in Vis and Hvar, stay following to see these blogs which will be the next ones I share!
Have you been to Split before?
4 thoughts on “Split, Croatia Travel Guide”
We loved Split!! Such awesome character and history
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That’s so great, I loved my time there too!
Very interesting! x
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Glad you think so!
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