Split; travel tips from local

  Croatia is my home country and if you ask me, Split is the most beautiful city on the Adriatic coast. So let me guide through there with a few local tips. There is something here for everyone; history, nice weather, amazing beaches with sparkling clear sea, nightlife… In the summer, Split is full of life and even if I don’t live there anymore, it is my favorite place to spend holidays.

What to see

Dioklecijanova palača (Diocletian’s Palace) is an ancient palace built for the Roman Emperor Diocletian. It wasn’t a coincidence if the emperor had chosen exactly this place in the whole Roman empire to retire. The reason, maybe known only to local citizens, since we had learned about it in primary school, is that the emperor had rheumatism, and under the palace, the water is full of sulfur. He had used it to build a spa which helped him relax. The palace has four entrances; Golden, Silver Gate, Iron, and Brass Gate. The one you will probably like the most is the Brass Gate which leads straight to Diocletian’s basements. One of the Games of Throne scenes is filmed in front of it. Basements are the story for itself. In front of the Golden Gates, there is a statue of Grgur Ninski. Rubbing the statue’s toe is said to bring good luck.

Where to drink

In Split, the custom is to take a coffee, sit and chat for hours. The most popular place for that is Riva (Promenade), filled with nice restaurants and pastry shops, also, in my opinion, one of the most beautiful parts of Split, just near the sea and palm trees. You can sit there, relax and watch boats sail by. The only thing there, it could be a bit more expensive than the other parts of a city, but not too much. However, if you want to spend less, and meet locals, you need to go inside the Palace. There are a lot of little cafes, it is cozy and enjoyable, always crowded. Coffee, beer or vine is around €2 there, maybe €3. For these sorts of things, I recommend Tik or Kala (my personal favorites). Also, you will find cheap cocktails there, Sanctuary bar is the most popular one. A minute from Sanctuary bar, just down the street there is Charlie’s bar, a place where locals usually come to hang around with tourists, it is small but I am sure you will enjoy it if you are eager to meet new people. Also if you are looking for a cute place to hang around, you shouldn’t miss the cafe bar Odmah iza, with a pink bicycle in front of it and the most interesting interior design. If you are looking for a cheap place to eat in Split, there is Plan B (my favorite – 1m pizza for 8 people), also Gusti and Maslina, Popey (fast food). Of course, if you are willing to cook, the supermarket Tommy is at almost every corner of the city. If you are looking for a place to find fresh fruit or groceries, I would recommend visiting Veliki Pazar and the Fish Market, where you will feel a real local Split spirit. There are several great restaurants with really extraordinary food, don’t worry, wherever you go, you won’t regret it, the food is delicious in Split. Bon appetit!            

Beaches, nightlife and where to eat after!

Split is famous for its weather and miraculous sea. If you like sandy beaches and lots of people, Bačvice beach is just what you are looking for. Filled with tourists, locals who play Picigin (game born in Split, probably the only beach game protected as cultural heritage) and beach bars. It’s a beach, with sunbeds and parasols (maybe too many of them, but they are usually all taken). For people in Split, Bačvice is part of their city’s identity. Seawater is surprisingly clear, for the beach with so many people. Although, if you are not a great fan of sand, as I am not, you should go a bit farther and enjoy Žnjan City Beach or Kasjuni. Žnjan is my number one, beach bars there are the most beautiful ones in Split, great music and stunning environment. Kasjuni is very special too; Get in the water, look up, and you will see Marjan Hill in its full beauty, with pine forest, churches, rocks, etc. You can reach both on foot (not recommended in the middle of summer), by public bus (number 12 for Kasjuni, number 8 for Žnjan), by car or by bicycle. Those beach bars turn into night clubs after midnight, you can always take a swim if it is too hot as it usually is, or if you have just had enough of dancing for one evening. In the city center the Central Club is very popular, with show dancers and all, but in my opinion, inside is maybe a bit too hot in the summertime. After a night out, the most popular place for locals to go is Prerada, which is opened 24/7, you can grab a slice of pizza there or burek (try it, you won’t be sorry).

Where is the best place to take pictures?

Every corner of Split is inspired by ancient history mixed with modern present. Those breathtaking places will for sure find a special place in your heart as much as in your photos. However, if you are looking for a spectacular panoramic view, there are two places you need to visit; Prva Vidilca, at Marjan Hill, there you can enjoy the view, have coffee and relax surrounded by nature. The other extraordinary place is a bell tower of St. Duje Cathedral (patron saint of Split). It is the oldest Catholic cathedral in the world that remains in use in its original structure, without near-complete renovation at a later date (though the bell tower dates from the 12th century). Split is the perfect home base for day trips around Croatia!

Lana Tamajka

I have been traveling around for the last 7 years and I have been dancing since I was 4. I am coming from Croatia, currently live in Cork City, Ireland. Travels and dance competitions are my greatest passion. I love nature, reading, writing, free climbing and hiking. Since I have been traveling for a long time now, I think it is maybe a time to share my travel tips.