As the summer rolls to an end, we find ourselves in the lull between the lasting memories of Pimms on warm summer evenings and the first few brisk mornings of autumn. We wanted to squeeze in one last vacation before we truly had to close the book – and what better place than beautiful Croatia? Split, Croatia has a population of approximately 180,000 and is about an hour ferry ride to the beautiful island of Hvar. Located on the coast, Split is the perfect location to base yourself for one last summer hurrah. Here’s our guide on how to do Split with the full benefits but a fraction of the cost!
Like most warm European cities, Split is a sleepy little town in the mornings, so feel free to wake up early and beat the crowds, or stay in and make the most of a relaxing vacation. Be sure to take advantage of the Pazar and Konzum markets. Filled with fresh fruit, pastries and local meats and cheeses, there is more than enough for a simple breakfast or a locally inspired picnic for noon. We encourage learning a few basic words of the language before going anywhere, so don’t be afraid to try it out with the locals as they’re some of the friendliest and most relaxed people you could meet.
If you’re feeling a mid-morning or afternoon espresso, there are lots of quick places to choose from on the promenade or have a wander into the back streets that open up into beautiful squares filled with life. A personal favorite treat was the array of fresh fruit juices and smoothies and Kokolo seemed like the fastest and most fun place to be. You’ll often hear them from a few streets away playing swing music. For a more exciting view head up to Teraca Vidilica. Remember, in Croatia, it’s never too late or early for a refreshing bevvie.
The great thing about Croatian food is that there is something for everyone – but we mostly recommend taking advantage of the beautiful seafood. Restaurants like Restoran Šperun and Trattoria Bajamont provide a lovely selection. If you’re hoping for more tapas style, make your way over to Villa Spiza or PARADOX Wine and Cheese bar.
While Split is a relatively small city, you could never run out of things to do as you stay curious! An obvious choice is to simply use a whole day getting lost in the narrow streets. Peep into alleyways and markets or go for a long walk along the coast. While there is the main city beach, Bacvice, it’s worth it to explore beaches like Uvala Ježinac. Or take a one-hour ferry to the incredible island of Hvar. The Jadrolinija ferries are going to be your best bet to travel anywhere and cost around £20 for a roundtrip. They also take you to other islands around Hvar or even down the coast to Dubrovnik.
If you’re up for it, take a walk up to the old fortress. There, you’ll have the option of entering for 40kn or simply enjoying the view from just outside. Likewise, the Diocletian’s Palace and Cathedral of Saint Domnius are a nice dip into Split heritage. At noon there is a quick reenactment of the changing of the guards in the main square – a cheesy but entertaining experience. Lastly, a real worth-it winner was the wander over to the Ivan Meštrović Gallery. It’s quiet and filled with a nice wander through a garden filled with lovely statues by the artist Ivan Meštrović.
At the end of the day, it’s nice to sit at home with a lovely bottle of wine and rest before going out at night. Any of the bars will be good because in Split it seems to be less about the drinks themselves and more about the people you meet and times you have.
Whether you’re just finding a new place or trying to explore more of Croatia, Split is the place to be. Filled with nothing but good memories and kind people, it was an amazing way to cheers to the end of summer.
If you have any more questions about Croatia or any of our other travel spots, feel free to contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.