A bustling Croatian port city, Split is the perfect option for a city break. You’ll find the ideal balance of sightseeing in an historical city with days spent lounging on the beach or exploring nearby islands.
One of the best things about a visit to Split is that you can spend a couple of days exploring the city, and pair it with a few days at the beach or venturing out to try some of the watersports available. Two beaches are just a short walk from the old town. Bačvice beach is closer, with a small sandy area or an expansive concrete area to sunbathe on. Sunbeds are available, but once you get used to Split prices you’ll be shocked at the rental price. The best part of Bacvice beach is the lively vibe, and huge bathing area that is waist height for a quite a way. For a quieter beach choice, a few minutes past Bačvice is Ovčice beach. Smaller, more relaxing and definitely worth the extra walk.
With history comes amazing architecture. Some parts of Split date back to around 4AD, so you just know that beautiful golden stone will draw you in and make you fall in love with the city. With parts of the old town like a maze, it’s fun to just wander and see what charming bars and restaurants you’ll find. As well as an old palace, temple and church, you’ll also find the narrowest street in Split, known as ‘Street Let Me Pass’. It is just a really narrow walkway, but if you’re passing by it’s a nice little cut through.
The beauty of Split’s location is that once you’ve soaked up as much of the old town as you can in one go, just a few minutes walk will take you to the Riva. It’s the seafront promenade, and a hive of activity. You’ll find restaurants, cafes, bars, and. even live music some evenings. It’s the perfect balance of activity and relaxing harbour vibes.
Game of Thrones fan? You’re in luck! Dubrovnik isn’t the only Croatian city used as a filming location for the hit TV series. Split was also used as a filming location for Game of Thrones. Official tours are available, showing you the sights in the city itself and in the surrounding area. If you don’t want to sign up for a tour, just take a walk through the streets of the Old Town which were used as streets in Meereen as well as the basement of Diocletian’s Palace.
Split is a compact city, and there are no cars in the old town within the old city walls. Being able to walk around keeps costs low, and when you stop for food and drinks the prices are relatively low providing you don’t stop in the tourist hotspots. Even then, it’s just the prices you’d expect in most big cities in other parts of Europe.
If you’ve got a soft spot for the red rooftops shot like me, then you’ll want to find somewhere to get those panoramic views of the city. In the centre of Split, you’ve got a few options. Hotels in the old town will sometimes have a rooftop terrace to relax and soak up the views. Alternatively, during the day you can climb a few steps to the top of the Vestibul. The doorway is a bit hidden, but this just means most people wander straight past and you won’t have to fight for the views! For something a little higher and more challenging, Saint Domnius Bell Tower offers stunning panoramic views.
Just outside the Golden Gate to the old town, a huge statue of Gregory of Nin takes pride of place. Gregory of Nin was a medieval bishop who fought to have the Croatian language spoken in churches at a time when it was strictly in Latin. This enabled thousands to reengage with their faith. These days he is still doing good, as many believe that rubbing the toe of the statue will bring you good luck. It’s clear to see where people have given it a quick rub, and yes I did too!