Everything You Need to Know
Visiting Split, Croatia? This Croatia Travel Guide has everything you need to know before exploring this charming European city.
Nestled along the azure waters of the Adriatic Sea, Split stands as a living testament to Croatia’s captivating history and natural beauty. This enchanting city, with its labyrinthine streets and Roman ruins, holds the key to centuries of tales waiting to be discovered. Split’s allure lies not only in its picturesque landscapes but also in the resilience of its people and the echoes of its diverse history. This Adriatic gem welcomes travelers to unravel its stories, one cobblestone at a time, and experience the unique fusion of past and present that defines the spirit of Split, Croatia
As of January 2023, the currency used in Croatia is the Euro, but they only just transitioned over from Croatia’s previous official currenc, which was the Croatian Kuna (HRK).
When To Visit
Unpopular opinion, but we think the best time to go is June-September. Yes, there will be crowds, but you can’t beat the sunshine & warm summer weather.
Not many visitors know this, and many actually stick to bottled water, but Croatian tap water is completely safe to drink. Believe it or not, it’s one of the cleanest in the world.
Split is located along the central part of the Croatian Adriatic coast, making it one of the country’s coastal gems. Getting to Split, Croatia, depends on your starting location and mode of transportation, but there are a few different options that you can look into.
Split has its own international airport, officially known as Resnik Airport or Split Airport (SPU) and many major airlines operate direct flights to Split from various European cities. Upon arriving at the airport, you can take a short 30 minute taxi, shuttle, or bus to the city center.
Split is well-connected by rail to other major Croatian cities like Zagreb, but it isn’t quite as reliable as the rail services in other parts of Europe. For example, you can’t travel from Split to Dubrovnik by train. That said, if you are traveling by train, the station in Split is centrally located, making it convenient for travelers arriving by rail.
Since Split is located right on the coast, traveling by ferry can be a great option – not to mention picturesque. The port in Split, “Luka Split,” is the main ferry terminal, connecting the city to the surrounding islands and coastal destinations and only a short drive from town.
What To Expect
How Long Should I stay?
We spent three nights in Split and felt like it was plenty of time to see everything that we wanted to see in the main city center. You can essentially walk all of Old Town in one day – in fact we recommend booking a walking tour to learn about the history of the city and Diocletian’s Palace! Depending on whether you are spending a day traveling to one of the many nearby day-trip recommendations, we think two full days is plenty of time! This will allow you more time to visit other places within Croatia, like the islands, Dubrovnik, etc. This will give you one full day to learn all about the history and explore Old Town, and then another day to explore the neighborhoods outside of the historic center and enjoy one of the many beach clubs.
Split is the second-largest city in Croatia by population and is the largest city in the Dalmatia region. That said, most of the places to see are within the historic center, all of which is walkable. You can easily walk around and then hop in a taxi or shared ride for any sight-seeing and adventures outside the main center.
The historic center of Split, including Diocletian’s Palace and the Old Town, is highly walkable. Strolling through its narrow streets and along the waterfront is a delightful way to explore the city’s charm. Be sure to pack comfortable walking shoes, as we were averaging around 20,000 steps a day!
Taxis are lined up at the waterfront and readily available to take you at any given time, but they are expensive as they have a minimum flat fee of 20 euro, not matter the length of the destination. We recommend using Uber, as this was a cost saver for us and extremely reliable.
Best Time To Visit
The best time to visit Croatia depends on your preferences and the type of experience you seek, as the country offers a diverse range of attractions and activities. We visited during August, which is prime time for tourists and extremely hot. Ideally, we would have loved to visit in June, right before peak season. When deciding when to visit, some things to consider are below.
For a classic beach holiday and island hopping, summer is the best time – but warning that it can get HOT. Late spring and early fall offer a good compromise with pleasant weather and fewer tourists.
Yacht Week in Croatia is an annual event that combines sailing, partying, and socializing in the stunning backdrop of the Adriatic Sea. It is a week-long sailing experience that attracts young and adventurous travelers from around the world, but in recent years it has extended beyond just a week long adventure. Travelers come from all over during the months of June and July to celebrate and explore Croatia’s islands on yachts.
Croatia offers a unique and diverse array of activities during the winter months. While some coastal areas may experience milder weather, the interior and mountainous regions provide opportunities for winter sports and cultural exploration. Definitely check out the Sljeme peak on Mount Medvednica, just above Croatia’s capital city Zagreb, which is perhaps the most well-known ski resort in the country
Where to Stay
Nestled near Marjan Hill, Hotel Park offers a luxurious escape with panoramic views of the city and sea. Indulge in elegant rooms, a rooftop pool, and gourmet dining. The atmosphere is sophisticated yet welcoming, with a perfect blend of modern amenities and timeless charm.
Immerse yourself in history at Heritage Hotel Antique, housed in a meticulously restored 16th-century building within Diocletian’s Palace. The hotel exudes old-world charm with its stone walls and antique furnishings. The intimate atmosphere makes it an ideal choice for those seeking a touch of the past.
Situated in the Varoš neighborhood, Divota Apartment Hotel combines the comfort of a hotel with the privacy of self-contained apartments. The atmosphere is relaxed and intimate, with a focus on personalized service. Enjoy a short stroll to the nearby beach and the historic city center.
Located in the heart of Diocletian’s Palace, Vestibul Palace offers boutique luxury with a perfect blend of modern design and Roman heritage. The hotel’s courtyard and stylish interiors create an atmosphere of sophistication and tranquility, providing a peaceful oasis amid the bustling city.
For a vibrant and social atmosphere, Hostel Split Backpackers provides a budget-friendly option without sacrificing style. The modern and colorful decor, along with communal spaces, fosters a lively atmosphere ideal for solo travelers or those looking to connect with fellow adventurers.
Offering affordability without compromising comfort, Cornaro Hotel is centrally located, making it an excellent choice for budget-conscious travelers. The contemporary design and friendly atmosphere create a welcoming base for exploring Split’s attractions.
Things To Do
Step into the enchanting Old Town, where medieval charm meets coastal allure. Lose yourself in narrow alleys adorned with ivy-clad stone walls, leading to hidden squares and artisan boutiques. Pause for a leisurely coffee at one of the seaside cafés along the Riva promenade, where the scent of sea salt mingles with the aroma of freshly brewed espresso. The lively atmosphere invites you to savor the simple pleasures of Croatian coastal life.
Escape the bustle of the city and ascend Marjan Hill for a breathtaking panorama of Split and the Adriatic beyond. The pine-scented air and serene pathways make this lush park a local favorite. Whether you’re exploring the medieval chapels that dot the hillside or simply reveling in the stunning views, Marjan offers a tranquil retreat with a touch of adventure.
There are lots of options for cooling off during the hot summer months in Split, including lounging at one of the many beach clubs. That said, we have to be honest that we were disappointed by the quality of beaches and beach clubs in Split. One of the places we went to was Kavala Beach Bar, which we recommend not venturing to! Picture this more of a local public beach, vs a private beach club.
Nestled in the historic Fisherman’s Square, Konoba Matejuska is a seafood haven with a view. The atmosphere is casual and charming, capturing the essence of coastal dining. Indulge in fresh catch-of-the-day dishes while soaking in the vibrant energy of the harbor.
Bokeria, located near Diocletian’s Palace, combines the rustic charm of a market with the sophistication of a wine bar. The atmosphere is lively, with an eclectic mix of locals and visitors. Explore a menu that fuses Mediterranean flavors with international flair, and savor each bite in a trendy, urban setting.
Uje Oil Bar, situated in a centuries-old building, offers a unique Dalmatian tapas experience. The atmosphere is rustic yet chic, with stone walls and wooden accents. Sample a variety of olive oils, cheeses, and local delicacies, accompanied by a selection of regional wines.
Cuisine: Fine Dining
Overlooking the city harbor, Dvor offers a fine dining experience steeped in history. The atmosphere is elegant and sophisticated, with a terrace providing stunning panoramic views. Delight in a menu that showcases the best of Dalmatian and Mediterranean cuisine, paired with an extensive wine list.
Fife, a local favorite, exudes a warm and laid-back atmosphere. Located near the Green Market, this restaurant is known for its hearty Dalmatian dishes. Join the bustling crowd and enjoy classics like pasticada and grilled fish, served in generous portions that capture the essence of traditional Croatian dining.
Nestled within the heart of Diocletian Palace within a sun filled courtyard, this charming spot if the perfect place for a late brunch or lunch. The cuisine combines a mix of fresh and creative takes on local ingredients with an array of rich flavors in both tasted within the food and craft cocktails.
Bars and Cocktails
Situated on the Riva promenade, Hemingway Bar offers a sophisticated setting and a wide range of meticulously crafted cocktails. Its elegant atmosphere and attentive service make it a popular choice for a refined evening out.
Nestled in the charming Veli Varoš neighborhood, Ghetto Bar attracts a diverse crowd. With its relaxed ambiance and friendly staff, it’s an excellent spot for enjoying craft beers, cocktails, and live music performances.
This cozy jazz bar, situated within the walls of the Diocletian’s Palace, transports visitors to a bygone era. With its vintage decor, extensive whiskey selection, and live jazz performances, it offers a unique and intimate experience.
Lively spot for both daytime relaxation and nighttime partying. With its beachfront terrace, it’s the perfect place to enjoy cocktails, music, and dance until the early hours.
If you are planning on visiting Croatia, Split must be on your itinerary. Whether you’re drawn to cultural landmarks, scenic landscapes, or seaside relaxation, Split Croatia has something for every type of traveler. With close proximity to Dubrovnik and the Croatia Islands, it makes for an easy destination to explore while visiting the stunning country of Croatia. We recommend checking out our other travel guides, including Dubrovnik Croatia Travel Guide and Hvar Croatia Travel Guide for recommendations on two of our other favorite places in Croatia.