Croatia is one of the only inanimate things that I can’t live without in my life. Do you have any? Travel in Croatia is worth its weight in gold…it’s the cake. Split, Croatia travel is the icing. We are talking about something or some place that gives you life and joy…that connects with you in a way that is hard to put into words. I hope so. And if not, I’d like to lend you mine. Croatia.
What Can You Do in Croatia?
Get ready to immerse yourself in a captivating encounter with living history, where ancient architectural wonders seamlessly blend into the fabric of everyday life. Pack a delightful lunch and find yourself a cozy spot within a no-entrance-fee colosseum, where you can savor the melodies of a captivating concert as part of your Split Croatia travel. Prepare to wander through the narrowest streets you’ve ever laid eyes on, wide enough for just a single person to stroll along. Get lost in bustling markets brimming with vibrant energy and an abundance of fresh produce.
As you embark on your Split, Croatia travel adventure, get ready to discover the magic of world-renowned olive groves, home to majestic trees that have stood tall for up to 500 years. Encounter serene islands where gentle donkeys eagerly await the affection of adoring visitors, while gazing upon breathtaking seascapes that will leave you in awe. Fancy a bit of kayaking? Absolutely! How about some white water rafting? Without a doubt! And don’t forget to make time for enchanting waterfalls that will take your breath away.
Island-hopping is a must, offering you the freedom to explore at your own pace, catch glimpses of playful dolphins, and venture into mystical blue caves. And when the sun sets, get ready to experience the vibrant nightlife, join in the excitement of yacht week, or find your own piece of paradise on secluded beaches, far away from the worries of the world. Croatia is a treasure trove of unforgettable experiences that will leave you spellbound at every turn.
Why Choose a Split, Croatia Travel Experience?
Let me share a little secret with you: while Split itself is brimming with captivating attractions, its true charm lies in its unbeatable central location, granting you easy access to a treasure trove of sights, flavors, and unforgettable experiences just waiting to be uncovered.
So, I’ve personally crafted a customized map that will be your trusty companion on this adventure. It highlights the most popular and practical gems of Split, ensuring you have all the essential information at your fingertips. And guess what? I’ve sprinkled in a few delightful surprises along the way, because who doesn’t love a little extra excitement?
So buckle up, get ready to explore, and let this guide lead you to the best that Split has to offer. It’s time to embark on an extraordinary journey filled with wonder, discovery, and memories that will last a lifetime. Let’s dive in!
Split Croatia Travel Basics
Get ready for an extraordinary adventure as we craft the perfect itinerary together! Embrace the early morning sun, slip into stylish yet comfy shoes, and curate an ensemble that exudes the city’s fashionable vibes. Trust me, paying attention to every detail will guarantee exceptional service, unforgettable experiences, and stunning photographs.
Let’s dive headfirst into the enchanting charm of Split, a destination that deserves a solid five or six days of exploration. Begin by immersing yourself in every nook and cranny of Split itself, knowing deep down that this initial encounter will leave you yearning for more. And for the rest of your trip, it’s time to venture beyond Split’s borders and uncover the wonders of the surrounding towns and islands. Rise and shine early to catch those magical ferry rides to the dreamy islands.
(*Wait, I’ve got an alternative idea that will spice up your Split Croatia travel adventure: how about tacking on an island getaway? Picture yourself packing light and instantly immersing into the blissful mediterranean island life. More on this in another post.)
Now, brace yourself for a mind-bending twist: some adventurers actually choose to stay on the islands and make occasional trips to Split for a change of scenery. It’s all about thinking outside the box, right? These free-spirited souls seek solace away from the urban hustle and bustle.
So, which approach defines the epitome of sophistication? In my humble opinion, starting your journey with a few vibrant days in Split and then indulging in a slow-paced retreat to a more intimate location, where relaxation takes center stage, is the ultimate path to pure bliss. Get ready to unwind like a pro and embrace the magic that awaits!
Split, Croatia Stats
Get ready for an adventure along the captivating Adriatic Coast, a breathtaking stretch of coastline spanning an impressive 770 kilometers (480 miles), with the vibrant city of Split nestled at its very heart. Brace yourself for an experience that will leave you spellbound as you immerse yourself in the irresistible allure of Croatia.
Let me share a little secret with you. Since my move to Croatia in 2009, Split has woven its irresistible charm around me, captivating me in ways words fail to describe. And although my move there was extended and not permanent, I go back each year, again and again…living out my Croatian heritage and dreams…becuase it’s that good. It’s worth numerous annual trips. I’m all about planning Split, Croatia travel adventures. Or you-name-that-place-in-Croatia travel adventures.
But there’s more! The city’s hidden gardens, mouthwatering cuisine, warm-hearted locals, and the infectious energy of its enthusiastic visitors combine to create a setting straight out of a Hollywood masterpiece. Picture yourself enveloped in the symphony of lapping waves, the joyful calls of seagulls, and the vibrant rhythm of shopkeepers, all set against a backdrop of warm and spirited air. Within Split, a world of delights awaits, from bustling markets to unforgettable cruises, from shopping adventures to sun-drenched beaches, and let’s not forget the irresistible indulgence of gelato.
Certainly be prepared for an encounter that will steal your heart countless times over. Split’s timeless charm and unwavering allure will work their magic on you, leaving an indelible mark on your very soul. So let your journey begin, and allow the enchantment of this city to sweep you off your feet. Get ready to fall head over heels for the captivating beauty of Split, as you create memories that will last a lifetime.
Popular Places in Split, Croatia for Your Travels
This intricate mixture of ruins and modern life is the heart of Split. Read: the reason you are going to Split. It’s a mix of history, architecture, religion, shopping and tourism. There are many great restaurants and stores throughout, but the gem is the square. Wander around it, explore the paths immediately adjacent to it and when night falls, make your back to the square for the music. I promise, you will not be disappointed in the energy. It’s amazing.
Beaches of Split, Croatia
Bačvice, Kašjuni, Kaštelet and Trstenik are the beaches in the city. A lot of people visit these beaches, have surrounding bars, music and action. In my personal opinion, you want to get out of Split or go to the islands if you want to go swimming – Split isn’t the place to go to a beach. Bačvice is the most popular and Trstenik is public, but maintained by a hotel.
The gallery is a museum of art dedicated to the works of Ivan Meštrović, a 20th century artist known for his intricate sculpting. The gallery itself is also part of the beauty as it was built as a family home and now lives to tell the story of his artwork. It’s almost never too busy and worth a visit if you like the original contemporary art style.
Shopping in Split, Croatia
There is plenty of shopping to do on your Split, Croatia travel experience. Try the old town in Diocletian’s Palace, Marmontova Street for large and small brands, the malls (Mall of Split and City Center), the local shops and the Pazar. Best advice I can give you is to realize you are in a tourist area. No bottle of olive oil is worth 100 euros unless you’ve tried the olive oil at a grove. No lavender is worth 10 euros, neither is the oil, cream, chapstick, body butter or infused-something-or-other unless you’re on at a lavender farm. Look for good deals off the beaten path.
Marjan is a hill on the west side of the Split peninsula. The hill has forested parks, trails and sea overlooks. It’s usually quiet and a nice way to take Split in, away from tourist crowds. Do you still have that pad you bought for the beach? Bring it with you, along with your towel, and have a little picnic up there. It’s really pretty and the blooming aloe buses look like their from a Dr. Suess book.
Here you will find taxis, connections to islands and luggage storage while you roam the city. At the far end of the harbor, you’ll find a ticket counter to purchase ferry tickets (just one place, right next to the luggage storage place). Tickets are worth their price. Luggage storage is worth the price.
- Marmantova Ulica Shopping
- Narodni Trg
- Peristil & Katedrala
- Golden Gate (and the toe to rub)
- Fruit Market
- Harbour & Jadrolinija Tickets
Split in a Day
Now…because I’m Croatian and trying to embrace my combo of internal North American and Croatian influences (and because I’m a Libra and can’t really decide if I like structure or freedom), I’m giving you a one-day itinerary and leaving you a free day. Star with the itinerary, then use the second day to wander or explore your favorite places in with more intention.
- By 8 am, get to the Fruit Market, stroll through it and buy a few fruits for fun.
- Stop to a bakery and buy something delicious like a croissant, a slanac (pronounced slah-nuts), burek sa sirom (a savory pastry of filo dough wrapped cheese in the top photo), or a krafna (donut) – eat this on your walk.
- Pass through the heart of Diocletian’s Palace Peristil (Peristyle) which is next to Katedrala Sv. Dujma (Cathedral of St. Domnius) and buy a ticket to go up the tower, which you’ll use later. Right now you need coffee.
- By 9 am find a wonderful cafe, probably in Narodni Trg (People’s Square) and enjoy a little bit of Split without the tourist crowds that reach their peak by about 11 am.
- Between 9:30 and 10 make your way back to the Cathedral and enter the Cathedral or simply start your stair climb to the top of the tower. This is the prettiest view of the city and you’ll get drone-like images to add to your collection of vacation photos.
- Once you climb down from the tower, listen for singing in the direction of the sphinx statue. Follow the sound up the steps by the sphinx and enter the vestibule where you’ll find a cappella singers charming the crowds with traditional Croatian music.
- Pass through the vestibule, listen for a moment, snap a photo in the picturesque spot and make your way further through the arches and follow the corridors back past the Museum of Ethnography and you’ll come into an open air spot perfect for photos of ruins, the Riva (look through the ancient window openings), and amongst the endless bougainvilleas.
- Continue walking and you’ll hear the tour groups starting up. Just follow the corridors and you’ll return out by the Cathedral. Follow the crowds to the cellars (right beneath the vestibule) and visit the charming vendors selling Split art, crafts and jewelry. Poke your head out on the south end of the cellars and see the Riva. This is picturesque and lively. Consider having an ice cream from one of the many stands and people watch in the shade.
- When you’re done, go back to the Peristyle and orient yourself in the spot you’ve come to know.
- Now it’s time to tour through the Diocletian’s Palace. Take your time through the shops, tucking into narrow passages, making your way slowly back toward the north end’s Golden Gate. No need to take a straight path, just get there eventually. At the Golden Gate you’ll find a statue whose bronze big toe must be rubbed for good luck and likely some men dressed as Roman guards with whom you may take a picture and give a tip of a desired amount.
- At this point you could walk along the outside of the palace and make your way west toward larger scale shopping, like at a crowd favorite: Zara (available all over the world, but nonetheless very popular in Split), which is on the street called Marmontova, or you could make your way out of the Palace completely and visit a beach such as Bačvice (buch-vee-tseh) or Marjan park for a cool stroll among trees with pretty views of the sea and city. My choice would be to stay in the palace or to visit the park, the beaches in split are there, but they aren’t like the beaches you’ll see on the Croatian islands. Stop at one of the restaurants listed in this guide for lunch.
- By 5pm you could be at your vacation rental showering and prepping for a dinner out. Wear some of your stylish attire to blend in with the Europeans and head back into the city for a dinner around 7:30 pm. Reservations are recommended at any restaurant you choose that accepts reservations.
- After dinner walk back to the Cathedral and sit in front of the cafe called Lvxor (lux-or). The steps in the peristyle are an outdoor cafe and are served by the staff of Lvxor. Order a glass of wine and prepare to listen to the soloist of Lvxor who sings and entertains for hours. You may see some tourists get up to dance, couples kissing in corners and children enjoying themselves as they play among the ruins. This is Split. If you miss this spot, you’ll have missed something beautiful and magical. Enjoy this for a while before you make your way through the streets for one last ice cream.
- Stroll through the warm stone and lights of the palace, it’s at its most enchanting at night. Find an ice cream shop, but my favorite evening spot is to the west of the peristyle and it’s called Pumparela Gelateria. Keep your stroll going and walk out to the very safe Riva (even with kids in tow) to enjoy people watching, boats departing, a night cap, some glittery kids toys for sale. These are the last few steps to take before you retreat for the night.
…are you in love with this city yet? I’m a puddle just talking about it!
Travel and Transportation
Nestled gracefully in the heart of Croatia’s stunning coastline, Split proudly hosts the country’s most prominent port. It’s like a magical doorway to the captivating Adriatic (no joke), inviting you to embark on an unforgettable Split, Croatia travel journey. Get ready to be amazed by the seamless connectivity that this bustling city offers. From May through September, a fleet of ferries graces its shores with such frequency that you’ll wonder if they ever take a break (even during the off-season, they continue their adventures, though at a more leisurely pace). And that’s not all!
Split also shines as a central hub for coach travel, buzzing with constant arrivals and departures. Oh, and did I mention that one of Croatia’s premier airports calls Split home, making it a breeze for globetrotters like us to access this captivating destination? But wait, there’s more! With highways crisscrossing the region, you have the freedom to explore every nook and cranny of Split and its surroundings. Whether you opt for the freedom of a car or the serene charm of a ferry, the choice is yours to embrace. Let the adventures begin!
Where to Eat in Split, Croatia
Bokeria is a popular hot spot that serves Mediterranean dishes with a nod to a famous Barcelona market.
Address: Domaldova 8
Phone: 021 355 577
(Take a peek at this wedding in Croatia I photographed in Split with the reception at Bokeria). And more restaurants continue beneath the photos, below.
KONOBA KOD JOZE
Classic Split fair – wonderful seafood at a tried and trusted local-favorite.
Address: Sredmanuška 4
Fresh caught seafood, open all year and one of the best restaurants in all of Croatia.
Address: Uvala Baluni 8
Phone: 021 399 333
Michelin star restaurant with amazing views of the city and one of the finest restaurants in Split.
Address: Ivana Plemenita Zajca 4
Phone: 21 389 400
Local dishes fusing the best of tradition and new techniques paired with really great deserts.
Address: Dioklecijanova 1
Phone: 99 323 9671
A mediterranean gem that will balance your gastro needs with the comfort of home cooked Croatian dishes elevated with new flavors and presentation.
Address: Bana Josipa Jelačića 19
Phone: 021 819 324
More Yummy Places in Split
With food prepared by celebrity chef Ivan Pažanin, you won’t get a more authentic feel of being in Diocletian’s Palace until you eat at Štorija.
Address: Obala Hrvatskog Narodnog Preporoda 15
Phone: 99 300 0303
If you are not an ice cream lover, you will be by the time you leave Croatia. Start any ice cream journey here. All made gelato style.
Address: Cosmijeva 1
Local dishes prepared with style and catering to seasonally available fish and veggies. Locally sourced and lovely. Ask for a pairing recommendations.
Address: Senjska 1
Phone: 098 934 6848
KRUŠČIĆ ARTISAN BAKERY
Another lovely bakery yes, that is just wonderful. Try any bread or pastry, knowing that this could easily fill you for breakfast or lunch. Sweet and savory.
Address: Obrov 6
Phone: 099 261 2345