Once, I read that traveling gives you home in thousand strange places, than leaves you stranger in your own land and it couldn’t be more true. Now, for me, Split is a town that I’m always glad to be back. I still think that it’s a most beautiful city in the world, but I can’t stay there for a long and that’s a price you pay for richness of knowing new places. However, I will always carry it deeper in my heart. The town under the Marjan hill is an ideal combination of tradition and modern. It is located on the Adriatic coast, but beautiful beaches and crystal clear water are certainly not the only things that will etch in your memory. This beautiful city has a lot to offer.
THINGS TO DO IN SPLIT
TAKE A WALK THROUGH THE OLD TOWN OF SPLIT
Here are few places that you will certainly pass by:
Diocletian’s palace is a heart of the town, it is one of the best preserved monuments of the Roman architecture and the only cultural monument in the world where people still live in. There you will see a lot of apartments, bars, restaurants and souvenir shops. Even some part of the Game of Thrones were captured there (you can take the guide tour to discover the details).
St.Dominus Cathedral holds record for being the oldest Catholic cathedral in the world that remains in use. It is located just near the Diocletian palace and for those who are not afraid of heights I recommend climbing the 57 m high bell tower and enjoying the view. In front of the cathedral you will see large stone stairs. Get down and you will be in the Diocletian’s cellars, just 50 m from Riva.
Riva (promenade) is a place where local people spend a lot of time drinking coffee, chatting and relaxing. During the weekends this place literally turns into a catwalk where local trendsetters show the latest patches. People here are easy going and they often use the word ” NEMA PRIŠE ” which means no rush. So when you get there, do what the locals do. Take a coffee,put your glasses on, enjoy the sun, relax and remember ” NEMA PRIŠE “, maybe you will like it.
The Old Town of Split is a UNESCO world heritage and the best way to see it all and learn about the rich history of place is to take some guide tour. You can find different offers on Peristil square or book online.
RELAX ON THE BEACH
The most popular beaches are Bačvice, Žnjan, Obojena, Kašjuni and Bene.
Bacvice is a sandy beach which you can easily reach by walking from the center. It’s the most popular spot for tourists. I usually avoid it because it’s too crowded. It is a nice place if you are here with friends and want to play picigin but if you are not rather choose some other.
Bene is the perfect beach for those who prefer quieter and more private places. It’s located on the Marjan, surrounded by the pine forest and you can reach it only by bus.
Žnjan lives to the fullest in the last few years during the summertime and even winter. Its popular place for the local people and tourists. It consists several small bays. Some of them are perfect for families with kids while on others are the beach bars.
This is the sport originally invented in Split. Its played with a small ball on a sandy beach so if you are planning to go to Bacvice, bring the ball and try it. You will see a lot of people playing it, rules are easy. Just make sure that the ball doesn’t fall into the water.
EAT TRADITIONAL FOOD
There is no better way to experience local culture than enjoying a delicious traditional food. Dalmatian cuisine is a real paradise for every food lover and one more reason to fall in love with Split. Is based on seafood, but don’t worry if you prefer meat, there are so many delicious meals for you. Here is my list of meals you must try.
For the meat lovers:
PAŠTICADA is a traditional dish that requires long preparation, so local people, mostly eat it on some special occasions. It’s stewed beef prepared in some special sauce. Try this dish in some of the taverns because in most of the restaurants won’t be the same as the one prepared by the locals.
PRŠUT is a dry-cured ham, but it’s dry on some special way in the smoke and the wind (Bura). With Paški cheese and olive oil makes a perfect combination of tastes.
For those who prefer seafood:
BLACK RISOTTO– the main ingredient is cuttlefish and the ink it produces is responsible for the specific black color of this dish.
BRUDET is a dish made of seafood, mainly fish, stew in a very little water with a lot of spices. It’s usually served with polenta.
SHRIMP BUZARA – for me this is a holy grail of Dalmatian cuisine. Nothing else to add about it, you must try it!
If you are in Split or anywhere in Dalmatia not to try some of those dishes would be like a crime.
After I told you what to try, it’s time to tell you where. In the Old Town of Split you can find so many restaurants, taverns, vine&cheese bars and patisserie, but this are my favorite :
It’s located at the peak of the Marmontova Street and there you can eat the best steak in town. I prefer the Turffs up in combination with a homemade baked potato, it’s delicious. Make a reservation so you can be shore that you will find a table.
Lately, I don’t spend much time in Split, but when I do this restaurant is a must. It is a little bit out of the center, but if you order Uber (I will never say taxi and after I will explain why) it will take you 5 min to get there. Prices are cheaper than in the center and the food is great. There you can eat anything (fish, shrimps, meat, spaghetti, ravioli…) whatever you order you can’t make a mistake.
OYSTER&SUSHI BAR BOTA
I adore sushi and I have my favorite restaurant in every town I have been. This one is placed in the Old town of Split and they provide the best Adriatic groceries like oysters, tuna, shrimps in combination with Japanese cuisine.
Maybe they are not a traditional dish, but you won’t eat better pancakes anywhere. I guarantee, this is the place you mustn’t miss.I didn’t write much about the deserts, but Croatia is a country where you can eat one of the bests. We probably took the recipes from every corner of the earth and make it on our own way so you can find almost everything here and I will feel free to say that most of the dishes taste better than those from the country of origin.
WATCH THE FOOTBALL MATCH
Football club “Hajduk” is something like a religion here, and if you are lucky to be in Split at the time of the derby or some other big match stadium Poljud is place that you should visit. For sure, you won’t watch the best football, but the atmosphere you will experience there is one of the best in the world.
GO JOGGING TO THE MARJAN PARK FOREST
For those who don’t skip practice on vacation, Marjan park forest is a perfect spot. There you can find great jogging trails or rent a bike and enjoy cycling. There are also tennis courts and one field for small football above the Bene beach. Even if you are not into some serious practice that’s the place worth seeing. The view from the top of the Marjan Hill is spectacular. It’s never crowded, probably because you have to walk to reach it and people here are a little bit lazy and if they can’t go somewhere with the car they simply don’t go. It’s so calm and I can stay there for hours, just enjoying the view. Don’t miss that.
GO ON A DAY TRIP
Split is an excellent base for a day trip. Town is not so big and you can see everything in a few days so if you are staying longer, here are few great suggestions.
The most famous beach on Adriatic sea is located here. It is completely natural and is known in that it changes shape depending on the wind and sea currents. You can easily get there with ferry. It sails every hour during the summer and it will take you 45 minutes to get there.
For all those looking for a good time, Hvar is a place where the fun lasts all day. This is my favorite island in Croatia and actually I can’t remember that nor one summer has passed that I haven’t visited it. It’s gastronomic paradise and sunniest island in Croatia with over 2, 800 hours of sunshine per year, but be aware that prices could be higher. It is luxury destination.
Biševo, Blue Cave
With a fast boat from Split you will need an hour and 30. I would certainly recommend starting early in the morning to avoid the crowds. The cave is 24 m long and the entrance is just a meter and a half, so if you get there without a skipper you will hardly notice it at all (that happened to me), luckily we didn’t wait too long for someone to pick us and bring to the cave with small boat.
This is a place to be for those who love adrenaline adventures. You can try Zip line or rafting on Cetina River.
I can’t say that Split has some great night life during the all year, but it’s not bad in the summer and it’s getting better every year. In the summer night life moves on the shore and old part of the town. Best party destinations are beaches Bačvice and Žnjan, where you will find beach bars and night clubs.
Ultra Europe festival
As I already said, it’s getting better every year and this is definitely one of the reasons. Thanks to the Ultra in the last few years Split had become unavoidable destination for all the party people and even if you don’t like that kind of music this is something you should experience at least once in your life.
The airport is situated in Kastela, and it will take you 30 minutes to Split. Take a bus or rent a car because you will pay for a taxi ride to Split, as much as a full-day rental of a small car. Public transport is inexpensive and well organized. Since recently you can order Uber, so don’t use local taxi if you don’t have to, or if you don’t care about your money.
If you want luxury stay I will recommend Radison Blue and Hotel Park, they are in the best locations and the service is outstanding. If you are traveling on a budget, you can find a lot of private accommodation on booking.com. Check out here.
Also, If you are not coming because of Ultra festival try to avoid booking on those three days because all the prices go up for at least twice in that period.
This is everything you need to know about Split, but if you have any other questions feel free to ask.
Thank you for reading 🙂