Split is the second-largest city in Croatia and possesses the culture, spirit and jaw-dropping beauty that the country is so famous for. Admittedly, I’m not normally a big party-goer, but the atmosphere in this Dalmatian crown jewel really gets to you.
The combination of crystal clear waters, palatial surrounds, and an emerging bar scene makes Split unique and unforgettable (well, unless that Rakija gets to you). If you’re going to Croatia, this place is an absolute must. But seriously, I absolutely loved my time in Split and constantly think about going back.
Looking at the Split waterfront from the ferry
Where To Stay
AirBNB is really good in Split as many people rent out apartments and rooms over the Spring/Summer. You can generally find a really good deal – I found an awesome place next to the oldest church in Croatia for less than $12AUD each per night (splitting between three friends).
There are hostels scattered throughout the city as well and a popular hostel choice is Charlie’s, which is also attached to a bar. If you’re staying here or visit the bar, don’t forget to bring travel trinkets as the bar does a deal: leave a travel memory on their netted roof and you get a free shot. Who could say no to that? (I probably should’ve said no…)
Where To Go
- The Diocletian’s Palace forms the centre of Split and comprises of most of the old town. It is beautiful to walk around, and I thought it was worth paying to enter the ruins and explore the history of the city.
- Plitvice Lakes can be reached from Split but it is at least an overnight trip as the drive is around 6 hours one way. A very popular, but stunning location.
- Climb the nearby hill for a stunning view across Split and out into the Adriatic.
- Being quite central along the coast, you can access many stunning islands and towns quite easily from Split, including Mljet, Hvar and Trogir.
When To Go
Like most Croatian destinations, people annihilate Split in the summer months as tourists from all around the world want to have a taste of the good life. I came back to Split a few times and felt like the best time was the very end of May/start of June, as the weather was good and everything was open, but the huge mob had not yet arrived. Unless you’re super keen to experience Split as a humongous, drunken, expensive mosh pit; avoid the crowds that accompany the Ultra Music Festival.
When I was there, the nightlife was really good fun, with the clubs not quite packed and the bars in full swing. There are many great places to get a drink and have a dance. When in Croatia, you must try the local spirit Rakija, which can vary from being nice, mild and sweet, to feeling like your throat will be burning forever and you’ll get drunk just from smelling it. Definitely an experience either way!
TO JE TO – This place deserves a special mention as it truly made my time in Split so amazing! My friends and I first went to this café/bar in the first week of it opening and were back every day for the following two weeks. They do a mean coffee and at night, it transforms into an awesome bar with events on and a huge variety of cheap and delicious drinks (around $4AUD for 500mL of the local beer Ožujsko). The whole team there are amazing and we instantly felt like friends; and the people that frequent the bar are also friendly characters with many great stories to tell.