Croatia

The Best of Split, Croatia

For its stunning seascapes, spectacular pebble beaches, delectable eats, friendly locals and vibrant nightlife, Split is the place for your summer vacation. The swarm of tourists it draws every year is surely a testament to that. Being one of those tourists, I’m thrilled to share what the city has to offer through a 3-day guide, along with some tips and personal recommendations. This guide includes specific addresses so get your pen and paper (or Google maps) ready!

Day 1

Day 1 – During the day

Look at that blue…

Treat yourself to a hearty breakfast at Stari Plac (Ul. Zrinsko Frankopanska 6, 21000) before hopping onto a ferry to Supetar to make your way to one of the most beautiful beaches in the world – Zlatni Rat, on Brač Island. Jadrolinija provides professional and reliable ferry services to many neighbouring islands and cities including Hvar, Dubrovnik and Zadar. A single ticket to Supetar from Split costs 33 kuna (approx. SGD$7) and takes around 45-50 minutes. Don’t forget to check three things the day before your departure: weather, ferry schedule and the time required to get to Split Ferry Port (Gat Svetog Duje 1, 21000) from your accommodation. It sounds like a no-brainer but trust me, the excitement and thrill cause you to commit the silliest mistakes you thought you never will.

After alighting from the ferry, you will be approached by endless drivers offering a ride to Bol. A one-way ride costs around 400 kuna (approx. SGD$86). Yes, that’s a hefty sum but usually, the driver will gather eight passengers so it will costs 50 kuna per pax (approx. SGD$11). A cheaper alternative is the bus which however takes twice the duration to reach Bol. Be it the taxi or the bus, you will find yourself winding down narrow roads and taking in the amazing views that Bol has to offer. Before you realise it, you will be in awe of the beauty of the beach. Find yourself a spot and soak up the sun with your fellow sea souls!

Fear not, for your belly will be as full as your heart with restaurants and bars just steps away. Mali Raj (Put Zlatnog rata 52B, 21420) has a relaxing and rustic vibe with a wide selection of authentic Dalmatian dishes. It is conveniently located at the foot of the road leading to the beach (near the place where taxis pick and drop off passengers). On average, a meal at Mali Raj will cost about 100 kuna per pax (approx. SGD$22). Head back onto the beach for an hour or two, and before leaving, be sure to pop by Fruit Land for a refreshing smoothie!

Day 1 – Sunset & Nightfall

Spare some time to explore the quaint little town of Supetar and catch the sunset en route to Split. Get dinner at Sexy Cow (Ul. Zrinsko Frankopanska 6, 21000) which serves wraps, burgers, salads and milkshakes. The variety of choices and its juicy rump steak keep its customers coming back for more. Bottomless pit? Serve yourself to more food along Marmont Street located just minutes away! Belgium fries here are unusually good and addictive.

By nightfall, Split transforms into a lively city with its plethora of bars, live music and clubs. You can people-watch at the bars along Riva or find yourself hustling with the crowd at one of the most popular cocktail bar: Bar Gaga (Ulica Iza Lože 5, 21000). Making past midnight, check out Academia Club Ghetto (Dosud ulica 10, 21000) or Vanilla Club (8 Mediteranskih Igara 2 21000). You can also do a pub crawl for only 133 kuna (approx. SGD$28). The city sure doesn’t sleep!

Sun and sun bathers

 

Day 2

Day 2 – Island-hopping in the day

To the sea we go again. Island-hopping tours go at a rate of 780 kuna (approx. SGD$167) for a full day on the Adriatic Sea, covering around five to six islands. There are many booths situated along the port, offering similar packages at the same price. I would highly recommend Adriatica Transferfor its professional and friendly skippers, clean and comfortable speedboats, and well-planned itinerary – ample time for swimming, snorkelling and tanning. The tour lasts from 8am-6pm with the route as follows: Blue Cave, Stiniva Bay, Green Cave, Blue Lagoon (Budikovac Island), Carpe Diem Beach and Hvar Town.

Zooming across the Adriatic Sea is an incredible experience and you find yourself hoping that you’ll never reach the last island on the list. While still feeling bitter-sweet, serve yourself to some traditional Croatian donuts after reaching the port.

Wander through the ancient alleys of Old Town and catch live performances at the Main Square as the sun sets at the coastline. Escape the hustle and bustle by dining at Perivoj (Slavićeva ul. 44, 2100), known for its Mediterranean cuisine. Finally, end the day on a sweet note by checking out Luka Ice Cream & Cakes (Kroatien, Ul. Petra Svačića 2) for some creamy gelato and mouth-watering cakes.

 

Day 3

Climb the Saint Domnius Bell Tower (Peristil ul. 2, 21000) for a stunning view of the city. Get the tickets right at the entrance of the tower for 20 kuna per pax (approx. SGD$4). If possible, be there as early as possible as the crowd gets real during midday. Grab lunch at Fish n Chips (Marmontova ul. 2, 21000). For 70 kuna (approx. SGD$15), you get a generous portion of fresh and tender cod fish with chips. Reward yourself to yet another slab of ice-cream at any parlours you passed before catching the bus to Baška Voda.

Day 3 – Short day-trip to Baška Voda

Serene beaches at Baska Vada

The bus from Split to Baška Voda takes around 30-45 minutes and costs 45 kuna (approx. SGD$10) one-way. There are many gorgeous beaches near Split but if you’re looking for a more intimate experience, Baška Voda is the one. It is under-the-radar possibly due to its location; only accessible by car and takes quite a climb to and from the bus stop and the beach. However, its crystal clear glistening water, authenticity and non-commercialised experience make it all worthwhile. A friendly reminder to bring your own water and snacks as there are limited choices on the beach itself.

Day 3 – Shopping to end the day

After fixing your tan and taking in the unforgettable views, shopaholics can make their way to the Mall of Split (ul. Josipa Jovića 93, 21000) for a break from the heat. Otherwise, you can head back to Split and rejuvenate with a drink at Kokolo Juice Bar (Trg Braće Radić 15, 21000), right smacked in the middle of the Diocletian Palace. Then, you can end the day early by having dinner at a family-owned Croatian restaurant: Villa Spiza (Ul. Petra Kružića 3, 21000). Its warm cozy ambience, delicious food, affordable prices easily make it better than most of the inauthentic restaurants around.

Split has so much to offer, all against the phenomenal backdrop of palm trees, massive mountains and the vast Adriatic Sea. This city’s a real charm with its beauty, vibrance and uniqueness. ​

 

 

Other tips:

– Always buy tickets at counters/ kiosks instead of getting them directly when on board. This prevents you from getting over-charged as bus conductors may randomly quote you a higher price.
– Always check the ferry schedules and plan your time ahead. This ensures that you enjoy the most out of your time here wisely.
– Prepare local currency (kuna). Although most of the restaurants and shops accept cards, there are still a handful of shops, eateries and transactions (island-hopping tours, bus/ ferry tickets) that requires cash.
– Be respectful. Some cafes or bars prefer its customers to be properly-dressed (no swimwear) so keep that in mind!
– Book an accommodation near Riva as the port is situated along it and it has everything for everyone! Check out Bonum Luxury Rooms – hosts were friendly, room was clean and modern, location was perfect. I’ll definitely return if I’m back in Split again.

Hope this helps!

I hope this extensive guide has provided you readers with a good template when planning your next European holiday! If you have anymore questions that you would like answered, feel free to post them in the comments section below!

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