The city was originally built around the Diocletian palace (a palace/fort built for the retired Roman emperor Diocletian) where the locals sought refuge centuries ago. Wandering the historic centre of Split you can still clearly see the Roman walls, squares, and temples. Split is one of three very popular backpacking destinations on the Croatian coast along with Zadar and Dubrovnik.
Split is a very popular destination for backpackers during summer. Availability in the best hostels becomes limited. It is one destination in the Balkans that is a very good idea to plan a few weeks in advance and book ahead. You can still cancel free of within 48 hrs at most hostels.
This is a small hostel, it only fits 20 people. But it is always full. In fact, you may find it hard to find a spare bed at this hostel during peak season. The size of the hostel and facilities provided by the owner make this one of the best hostels for socialising with other travellers. Josko is a great guy and clearly the main reason that this hostel has become such a highly rated hostel. If you can find a spare bed and if you don’t mind late nights and a lack of sleep, you should stay here.
A really friendly social hostel only 5mins to the beach but about 15mins walk from the old town. Not a party hostel but very chilled out and friendly with a great communal area. Comes with all the amnenties you expect such as good wifi, reading lights, lockers, power adaptors and tea and coffee facilities.
This hostel is located above a bar, depending on your mood, this can be a good thing or a bad thing. The clue is in the name for this hostel. If partying followed by napping followed by more partying and napping seems like a great way to spend your time in Split (it is!) then you will probably like this place.
*Split Hostel Siesta Fiesta has had reports of bed bugs during the 2016 summer. Check the reviews on hostelworld early in the 2017 season to see if the situation is better before booking.
Sights and Highlights
This is a very well-preserved, UNESCO protected Roman Palace built early in the 4th century AD. It resembles more a fortress than a palace, about half of the overall footprint was used as a military garrison. Used as a filming location for the 4th season of Game of Thrones. The palace is quite integrated into the modern centre of Split so this is not a site that you will visit once while in Split, but rather pass through and by many times during your stay. It is possible to take a 90 min tour through some of the internal spaces. Check with your hostel for start times as they vary throughout the year.
Sunbathe and Swim
The beaches in Split are very mediterranean. By this I mean they are small, crowded and covered in deck chairs and umbrellas to rent. However if you’re in Croatia during summer then it is probably why you are here. Bačvice Beach is popular with the locals and will be packed full of people in good weather. If you continue to head away from the town you will come to Ovcice Beach, another very popular and busy beach. As you continue east along the coast and go passed the harbour you will continue to find beach of beach. For more information visit Beaches in Split.
The most famous local food is Soparnik. It originates from the Poljica region and is a crepe-like dough filled with Swiss chard and onions and baked on a fireplace. It reminded me a lot of Turkish Gözleme, which incidentally is one of my absolute favourite snacks when done properly. If you find this for sale then its worth a try.
As with most places in the Balkans, there is a steady supply of delicious Ćevapi available on every corner along with the usual side dishes of chopped onion and kajmak (creamy cheese topping). It’s a food that is hard to go past when travelling on a budget.
Excellent service and friendly staff, great coffee and a really good choice of Croatian craft beers. A really fun atmosphere fostered by the owners. The owner does a great version of Gangsta’s Paradise on karaoke night if you ask nicely. The best bar in Split.
If you are after a local Croatian craft beer, than this is your best option. They have a great and diverse range of beer options, and they also serve donkey salami. I think that combination speaks for itself. They have a nice place a short walk to the north-west of the centre of the old town.
As with most cities in the region, most of the places you want to see and go to are well within walking distance around the old town centre. If you do need to catch a bus to get a little further, here is abus route map for split.
Getting In and Out
From the train station it is possible to travel to Zagreb, the capital of Croatia. Most backpackers will use a bus and will be heading to one of Zadar, Zagreb, Mostar or Dubrovnik. All of these locations and more are possible from Split by bus. Bus timetables can be found at ak-split.hr