Hostelworld Guide for Split

By Rebecca Keenan

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A jewel on the Adriatic Sea, Split is one of the most visited destinations in Croatia. This city is built around one of its main attractions namely Diocletian's Palace, which dates back to Ancient Rome. A living monument, the ruins of the Palace are home to narrow winding streets filled with shops, museums, churches and plenty more. Split also boasts numerous attractions to tempt more active travellers including Marjan Hill with its many hiking trails and lookout points. Thanks to Split's sunny climate and popular beaches including much-loved Bačvice Beach, it's also a popular city with sunseekers. And the fun doesn't stop once the sun sets. From regular live entertainment on Riva, Split's main promenade, to a huge variety of world-class restaurants, bars and clubs, the city is a favourite with night owls from around the world. A small city, Split is easy to navigate and boasts plenty of things to see and do, no matter what time of day or night.

 

 

In this Guide...      

Useful Information
After Dark
Places to Eat
Top Attractions
Budget Tips
Where to Shop






 The Essentials


 Climate


Getting There

By plane: Split Airport is located some 30km outside of the city centre. There are two main ways to get from this airport to Split: you can either take a taxi or you can hop on bus number 37 which heads into town at regular intervals each day.

By train: Services to Split's main train station are very basic but do include trains arriving from Zagreb, the Croatian capital.

By bus: Bus services from across Croatia and beyond arrive at and depart from the city's main bus terminal. Some of the Croatian cities covered by these services include Zagreb, Dubrovnik, Zadar and Rijeka. Keep in mind that there is a small fee for luggage and this is paid to the driver before boarding the bus.

Getting Around

On foot: It's easy to get around Split on foot as most of the main attractions are within walking distance of each other. When the city is filled with visitors, be prepared to amble instead of rush in the narrow streets of the city's historic centre.

By bus: If you're not in the mood to walk, you'll find that Split is served by a handy network of buses numbered 1 through 18. The buses run all across the city during the day. There's also the number 19, which is the city's night bus service.

By bike/scooter: Another good way of getting around Split is by bike or scooter. You'll be able to pick up either at a number of different rental places throughout the city.

 Split facts

Location: A coastal city, Split is located beside the Adriatic Sea. Near the city you'll also find the Kozjak and Mosor ridges which are part of the Dinaric Alps.
Population: Approximately 200,000 people live in the city.
Area: Split covers an approximate area of 63 square kilometres and is the largest city in Croatia's popular Dalmatia region.
Founded: Split has a very long history. The city, which was founded around Diocletian's Palace in 305AD, was initially settled by the Greeks back in the 6th century BC.


It's no wonder that Split is such a popular holiday destination as its Mediterranean climate means that the city gets plenty of beautiful weather throughout the year. Summers tend to be hot and sunny, while winters are warm and see a bit more rain. July is generally the hottest month with mean temperatures of approximately 25ºC. The coldest month tends to be January when temperatures drop to around 7ºC. In terms of rain, November and December are usually the wettest months, seeing roughly 112mm of rain each. Split still gets plenty of sun though, with around 2,600 hours of sunlight shining down on the city each year.

 Good to know...

Languages: Croatian
Currency: Kuna (HRK)
Electricity: 220 Volts AC/50 Hz, 2-pin plug (round)
Area code: +385 (Croatia), 021 (Split)
Emergency codes: Ambulance 94, Fire 93, Police 92
Time zone: Central European Time (GMT +1)
Central Post Office: Hercegovačka 1
Main Tourist Office: Peristil bb

Embassies & Consulates

USA: +385 (0)1 6612200*
Canada: +385 (0)1 4881200*
Australia: +385 (0)1 4891200*
New Zealand: +39 (0)6 8537501**
UK: +385 (0)1 609100*
Germany: +385 (0)1 6300100*
Spain: +385 (0)1 4848950*
France: +385 (0)1 4893600*
Italy: +385 (0)1 4846386*
Ireland: +385 (0)1 3008970***

*Embassy in Zagreb
**Embassy in Rome, Italy
***Consulate in Zagreb

 
Hostelworld Guide for Split www.hostelworld.com

 Cheap Eats


 After Dark


 The best pizza in town

Galija, Tončićeva 12 A huge selection of pizzas with a wide variety of lip-smacking toppings is available at this well-liked eatery. Prices are very reasonable, both for the pizzas and for the pasta dishes you'll also find on the menu. So take a seat outside and enjoy Split's fine weather while you wait for the friendly waiters to bring you your food. Open Mon-Sat 9am-11.30pm, Sun noon-11.30pm.

Maslina, Teutina 1a This is the kind of place that you'd really only find on the advice of a local as it's a bit of a hidden gem. Spend an evening at this restaurant and you'll be treated to a delicious menu covering everything from octopus salad to pasta. The prices are as agreeable as the atmosphere so make sure you check it out. Open Tues-Sat 10am-midnight, Sun noon-midnight.

St. Burek, Domaldova 13 This café is the perfect spot to try burek, a local speciality made from a kind of filo pastry plus either meat or cheese. You'll get a big portion of burek along with a drink for a very pocket-friendly price, making it a great choice for a filling breakfast or lunch. Open daily 7am-10pm.

Rizzos, Tončićeva 4 The smell of freshly baked bread will draw you into this tiny sandwich bar. There aren't any seats inside but there are a couple of tall tables outside for you to perch on while you enjoy your sandwich. A huge variety of fillings are served up on bread straight from the oven. Yum. Open Mon-Sat 7am-midnight, Sun 5pm-midnight.

Buffet Fife, Trumbićeva obala 11 This rustic looking spot welcomes a stream of locals and visitors who come to sit at the communal bench tables outside and enjoy the reasonably priced food. Dishes on the menu include everything from calamari to stew, and the big portions will definitely fill you up. Open daily 6am-midnight.


Bačvice Cocktail Bar/Club, Bačvice Beach Boasting a great view of Bačvice Beach, the balcony seats of this bar and club are popular both during the day and at night. Once the sun sets, things really begin to heat up with revellers arriving to dance to tunes provided by live DJs. Open daily 9am-4am.

Ghetto, Dosud 10 Ghetto is one of the coolest nightspots you'll come across in Split. Out front you'll find funky fairy lights strung up around the tables. The interesting interior also has plenty of places to sit and chill out while you drink beer or sip on a cocktail. Live DJs appear regularly and Ghetto also hosts an interesting collection of exhibitions. Open daily 6pm-1am.

Charlie's Bar, Kruziceva 5 Hugely popular with backpackers, Charlie's holds a Happy Hour every day between 7pm and 8pm, during which you'll find specials on shooters, jugs of beer and more. It's a small enough spot inside but there are plenty of tables to sit at outside, plus they have lots of theme nights from karaoke to pyjama parties. Open Sun-Thurs 8am-1pm, Fri-Sat 8am-2am.

 Get ready to party

Pub Crawl Split Especially popular during the summer when it can attract up to 50 people each night, the Pub Crawl Split is a great way to meet travellers from all around the world while sampling some of the best nightspots Split has to offer. These dynamic pub crawls are specifically tailored to suit the crowd each night. Departs at 9pm nightly from Peristil (main square) May-September; by appointment from October-April.

F-Caffe, Obala Lazareta 3 A good place for a morning coffee, a reviving beer in the afternoon or cocktails at night, F-Caffe is a laid-back spot close to Split's popular Riva promenade. Sit back and enjoy the chatter around you. Open daily 6am-midnight.


 Don't Miss


 Mark Your Calendar


Diocletian's Palace Diocletian was a Roman Emperor who came to this area to build his retirement pad. This is a living monument and the people of Split still make their homes in and around these impressive ruins.

Galerija Mestrović, Setaliste Ivana Mestrovića 46 Housed inside a stunning villa built by famous Croatian sculptor Ivan Mestrović, this gallery hosts lots of his sculptures along with works by other national and international artists. Open May-Sept Tues-Sun 9am-7pm, closed Sun-Mon; Oct-Apr Tues-Sun 9am-4pm, Sun 10am-3pm, closed Mondays; admission 30kn.

Archaeological Museum, Frankopanska 25 Look around this museum and you'll see a huge collection of artefacts including everything from Ancient Roman helmets to coins. Open June-Sept Mon-Sat 9am-2pm & 4pm-8pm, closed Sundays; Oct-May Mon-Fri 9am-2pm & 4pm-8pm, Sat 9am-2pm, closed Sundays; admission 20kn.

Galerija Umjetnina, Ulica kralja Tomislava 15 Split's Art Gallery is filled with works of art by Croatian and international artists. The displays include portraits, sculptures, unusual modern art installations and lots more. Open Tues-Sat 11am-7pm, Sun 10am-1pm, closed Mondays; Oct-May Sat 10am-1pm; admission 20kn.

 Don't forget to look up

St. Domnius's Cathedral and Tower, Kraj Svetog Duje Ironically, this cathedral at the heart of Diocletian's Palace is dedicated to St. Domnius who was beheaded by Diocletian. Climb the tower for great views of the city. Cathedral open daily Jul-Aug 8am-8pm, Sept-Jun 8am-noon & 4.30pm-7pm; tower open daily May-Sept 9am-7pm, Oct-Apr 9am-noon, admission 5kn.


February - Carnival In the days leading up to Lent, Split celebrates in style with Carnival. People wearing colourful costumes parade through the streets, there's music and dancing, and firework displays light up the skies over the city.

April - Croatia Boat Show The Croatia Boat Show is the biggest event of this kind in the region. A large number of exhibitors take part in the show, with over 250 boats on display.

May - St. Duje Day May 7th is known as St. Duje Day and celebrates the city's patron saint, St. Dominius. Events take place all over town and include an impressive procession.

May - International Flower Show Held in the basement halls of Split's famous Diocletian's Palace, the International Flower Show gives florists the opportunity to display their incredibly beautiful arrangements.

July - Split Festival A long-running event, the Split Festival attracts some of the nation's biggest musical stars. It's one of the country's top festivals related to the Croatian music scene.

July-August - Split Summer Festival On the go for well over 50 years, the Split Summer Festival is one of the best annual events held in the city. During the festival, events are held at various locations around Split and include everything from opera to dance and plenty more besides.

August - Enter Summer Music Festival This is the new kid on the block, a summer music festival that attracts top DJs from all over the world. Held at Split's popular Bačvice Beach, it features two stages and attracts a multitude of revellers.

August - Days of Diocletian Towards the end of August, the city hosts the Days of Diocletian during which costumed characters wander the city dressed as ancient Roman citizens. Even the Emperor Diocletian himself puts in an appearance.

August - Jazz Festival Taking place over three days, the Jazz Festival attracts both national and international jazz acts. Many of these musicians perform along Riva, Split's popular promenade.

September - Split Film Festival Alongside a great selection of Croatian premieres, you'll also see a number of international offerings at this popular film festival. This event is primarily focused on non-mainstream movies.

 
Hostelworld Guide for Split www.hostelworld.com

 Did you know


 Retail Therapy


SPLIT is located along the coast of Dalmatia in Croatia and it's off this coast that you'll encounter a staggering 1,246 different islands. One of these is Hvar Island, which is very popular with backpackers thanks to its all-night discos and beautiful beaches.

THE historic centre of Split was named a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1979 and the city is seen as an important centre in terms of Croatian culture.

THROUGHOUT its long history, Split has been known by various different names including Aspalathos in Greek, Spalatum in Latin and Spalato in Italian.

 Beware the Ides of March

THE Roman Emperor Diocletian wasn't born to a family of high status; he worked his way up the military ranks to eventually become Caesar of the Roman Empire in 284AD. In 305AD he retired to the beautiful palace he had built in Split. The modern day city of Split is built around the ruins of Diocletian's Palace.

SPLIT'S main soccer club is HNK Hajduk, which is one of the two most popular football teams in Croatia. HNK Hajduk play their home games at the impressive Poljud Stadium. This stadium can seat approximately 35,000 football fans.

PROFESSIONAL tennis player Goran Ivanisević, who won the world-renowned Wimbledon tournament back in 2001, was born in Split.

PICIGIN is a popular game, usually played at the beach, which originated in Split. It's played with a small ball and involves a group of around five players who attempt to keep the ball in the air for as long as possible. Usually played in the shallows at the beach, it often includes lots of diving into the waves to keep the game going.


Pazar, Hrvojeva Split's incredibly popular Green Market is not just home to food and drink stalls. It also boasts an impressive selection of stalls selling clothes, shoes, hats, sunglasses and more. Local handcrafts and souvenirs can also be found throughout the market. Open daily 8am-9pm.

Centar Joker, Put Brodarice 6 This bright and airy shopping centre is stretched out over a number of different floors and is home to a huge variety of stores. Some of the more familiar clothes shops you'll see include Benetton, Dorothy Perkins, Miss Selfridge and Top Shop. Local brands are well-represented too. Open Mon-Sat 7.30am-9pm, closed Sunday.

Robna Kuća Prima Grad, Trg Gaje Bulata 5 Inside this modern, bright department store you'll find a huge range of items on sale. Along with men's and women's clothes, the store offers up cosmetics, jewellery, sportswear, accessories and more. Nike and Sisley are just a couple of the well-known brands you'll see here. Open Mon-Sat 9am-9pm, Sat 9am-8pm, closed Sunday.

Marmontova This is the city's main shopping street and stretches from Riva, Split's much-loved promenade, up as far as the Croatian National Theatre. A bustling stretch, it is popular with both locals and visitors and sports shops like Esprit, Accessorize and Zara.

 Basement charm

Diocletian's Cellars, Diocletian's Palace The lowest levels of Diocletian's Palace house the cellars where you'll find a popular market. Stalls belonging to local artisans line both sides of the main thoroughfare straight through the cellars. At these stalls you'll be able to purchase everything from handmade jewellery to bags to pottery. More touristy fare like t-shirts and mugs are also available. Open daily 9am/10am-11pm.


 Split For Free


 A Day in Split...


Go for a stroll along the city's main promenade Riva is a long promenade stretching along the waterfront in Split and it's a really popular spot. Home to tall trees, benches, funky souvenir stalls and cafés aplenty, Riva is a popular meeting place and on fine days it's filled with people sitting around, chatting and enjoying the sun.

Take in the views of the city from Marjan Hill If you want to get away from the busy cobbled streets in and around Diocletian's Palace, why not head out to Marjan Hill. Steps leading up the hill start just off Trumbićeva obala which is only a few minutes' walk from Riva. From the lookout points on this high hill, you'll see stunning vistas of Split and its surrounding areas spread out before you.

Enjoy the peace and quiet in Sustipan cemetery Within walking distance from Split's bustling city centre you'll find a serene retreat in the form of Sustipan cemetery. This fascinating old graveyard is a green oasis boasting wonderful views of the coastline and plenty of benches where you can sit down and take a breather.

 Rub-a-dub-dub

Rub Grgur Ninski's big toe for good luck If you're looking for your luck to change, go to the north side of Diocletian's Palace where you'll find the statue of Grgur Ninski outside the palace walls. Also known as Gregory of Nin, Grgur Ninski is recognised as one of the fathers of the Croatian language. It's said that if you rub his big toe, the shiniest of all the toes on this large statue, it'll bring you good luck.

Soak up the sun at Split's popular Bačvice Beach Walk past Split's main bus and train station and you'll come across Bačvice Beach, which is the city's most popular beach. People flock to this Blue Flag beach to swim, sunbathe and even go rock jumping into the ocean.


Begin the day by sampling local speciality burek, a delicious pastry that you'll find at St. Burek, a café on Domaldova.

Make your way towards the north entrance to Diocletian's Palace where you'll find the impressive Grgur Ninski statue just outside the walls.

Explore the living monument that is Diocletian's Palace, from Peristil square with its Cathedral to the market stalls in the cellars.

Grab a sandwich for lunch from Rizzos on Tončićeva, where you'll find a large selection of fillings served up on freshly baked bread.

Check out the many shops along Marmontova, the main shopping stretch right in the centre of Split.

Head along Trumbićeva obala until you come across the steps leading up Marjan Hill. Walk up towards one of the lookout points for stunning views of the city.

When you head down from the hill, make your way towards popular Bačvice Beach (pictured below).

splitbeach

Soak up the atmosphere along Riva, Split's main promenade, before going for dinner at Buffet Fife on nearby Trumbićeva obala.

Check out a couple of the city's popular nightspots like Charlie's Bar on Kruziceva or Ghetto on Dosud.

Finish the night back down at Bačvice Beach where you can dance and drink at the Bačvice Cocktail Bar/Club.

 
Hostelworld Guide for Split www.hostelworld.com