A complete travel guide to Split, Croatia

Split, Croatia is the largest town in Dalmatia and the second-largest in all of Croatia (after Zagreb). Split is a quintessential Mediterranean city, with a small-town vibe, noisy streets, and easy-going locals. 

From a stopover place for tourists catching a ferry to nearby islands, or a bus to another, more exciting tourist destination, Split has become one of the most popular places to visit in Croatia.

Located in the middle of the Dalmatian Coast, Split makes a great base for your tour of Croatia. It is also an important transport hub and a port city.

In this Split Travel Guide, you’ll learn where is Split, what’s the best time to visit Split, and the reasons to visit. We also share the best things to see and do in Split, places to stay, eat, and drink as well as provide all necessary travel information to help you plan your stay in Split, Croatia.

A complete travel guide to Split Croatia, Illustration

The best time to visit Split is anytime from May through October. Bustling cafes, Riva – a seafront promenade perfect for strolling or people-watching, charming restaurants serving fresh mouth-watering dishes, breezy beaches, historic boutique hotels, and cozy wine bars, are just some of the attractions that draw thousands of visitors to Split every year.

Whether you travel solo, as a family, or as a couple, you won't find yourself short of activities, attractions, and things to do in Split. Split's historic old town is a place where you'll find the majority of must-see sights in Split.

The same goes for restaurants! From small, family-run taverns showcasing delicious Dalmatian cuisine, and yummy street-food joints serving a quick fix like hearty burek, or cevapi for late-night food cravings, to harbor-side elaborate fine dining restaurants, Split restaurants offer something for everyone's budget and style.

If you plan on exploring only Split's old town then you will need one day in Split. But, fortunately, if you plan to spend more than a day in Split, the town is full of historic boutique hotels, charming vacation rentals, hip hostels, and even some villas in Split Croatia.

Being the biggest town on the Adriatic makes Split also a real beach town with a variety of beaches along its shores: from sandy Bacvice, rocky Kasjuni, and Bene beach, to pebbly Znjan and Trstenik.

If you are here for late-night fun, Split isn't as wild as Novalja, or Tisno, but you will still find some fun bars in the old town mainly open until 1 pm, and a couple of nightclubs working until wee hours scattered in various areas of town.

Finally, if you need some practical info on public transport, parking in Split, or traveling to Split, you'll find it below! Those who plan to rent a car while in Split will be happy to know that all major national and international car rental companies have their branch offices in Split.

Where is Split?

First things first, let's explain where Split is! Split is located in central Dalmatia, a southern region of Croatia, on the shores of the Adriatic Sea. It lies on a small peninsula. The Marjan Hill rises on the western side of the peninsula, and the Mounts Kozjak and Mosor rise high on the north and northwest sides of the city.

Below is the map of Split.

Split old town is small and easy to walk, but due to a maze of tiny little streets, and passages, it's not always easy to find your way around. You can download Split old town map in .pdf from the Split tourist board website.

Best time to visit Split Croatia

Although Split is great to visit year-round, the best time to visit Split is from May through October. However, June and September are better times than July and August because the weather in July and August is really hot and the crowds of tourists are everywhere.

June and September are both good months to visit Split, but we prefer September a little bit more because the sea is warmer in September than in June.

So, the absolute best time to visit Split is the second half of September when the weather is still warm, dry, and sunny but not burning hot. And, the sea temperatures are still high enough for swimming. By mid-September, school holidays are over, and there are fewer tourists in Split and elsewhere in Croatia.

How many days do you need in Split?

If you plan on exploring only Split's old town, then you will need one day in Split. Although Split is the second largest town in Croatia, the old town is compact and small enough that you can easily visit it in a day.

However, if you would like to experience more of Split, including Split beaches, islands, and surroundings, consider staying a couple of days and up to a week in Split.

Split is a great base to explore many Dalmatian highlights including the towns of Dubrovnik, Trogir, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, Zadar, Sibenik, and even Mostar in Bosnia and Herzegovina, national parks of Krka Waterfalls, and Plitvice Lakes, islands of Brac, Hvar, and Vis.

weather in Split Croatia

What is Split weather like? Like elsewhere in the Mediterranean, Split has dry and warm summers and wet and mild winters.

Temperatures in winter rarely, if ever, go below 0°C. It rarely snows. But, in Split, like in the rest of Dalmatia, you can expect a strong northwest wind Bura in winter. And, when Bura blows, it gets really cold.

Summer, on the other hand, is very dry and hot. It doesn't rain much in the summer, and when it occasionally does, it never lasts too long. The average temperatures in July and August are 25°C. But this is the average for the month, including daytime and nighttime. This means that for days we can have daytime temperatures well above 30°C.

Split Climate Graph, Average monthly temperatures
Average monthly temperatures in Split|Split Weather

In the graph below, you can also see the average monthly sea temperatures in Split. Take this only as a reference, as average values often can deceive. The sea temperature at the beginning of June, for instance, is much lower than at the end. At the end of June, the temperatures are high enough for comfortable swimming.

Average monthly sea temperatures in Split, Croatia
Average monthly sea temperatures in Split|Split Weather

Why should you visit Split?

If you are not sure if you should visit Split during your time in Croatia, here are the reasons to add Split to your Croatia itinerary.

Split is a very interesting and must-visit place in Croatia. A Unesco World Heritage Site since 1979, Split is known for its rich history dating back to Roman times, and the ruins of Diocletian Palace. But, Split is also a vibrant town with a lot to do. Bustling cafes, Riva – a seafront promenade perfect for strolling or people-watching, charming restaurants serving fresh mouth-watering dishes, breezy beaches, historic boutique hotels, and cozy wine bars, are just some of the attractions that draw thousands of visitors to Split every year.

We love the vibe! Split has an awesome urban vibe, yet it feels slow-paced and relaxed. A 1700-year-old Diocletian Palace, the heart of the town, is full of cafés, cool bars, and lovely restaurants. A seafront promenade – Riva – a pride of all people from Split, bustles with people. Even in the midst of winter, you'll find locals playing picigin {a ball game played with a peeled tennis ball in the shallow sea} on the Bacvice beach.

Split is still affordable! Split is not a cheap place to visit, but it is still more affordable than many other popular places in Croatia, including Dubrovnik and Hvar. You can get a good quality meal for 13 €; coffee at some bars in Split's old town costs only 1.3 €; 0.5L of a local draft beer 3.5 €; accommodation is affordable (the only time it gets crazily expensive is during Ultra Festival). Yes, visit Split while it's still affordable. Do it fast, because the prices are increasing so much, it's even hard to keep track.

It is a perfect base to explore Dalmatia! Split's central location makes it a perfect base to explore the rest of Dalmatia. You can easily reach the islands of Hvar, Brac, Vis, and Solta; spend a day exploring Trogir, and the Roman ruins of Salona; get active in Omis; or visit Krka and Plitvice National Park.

Great food! Dalmatian food is yummy; and many restaurants in Split offer these traditional dishes: pasticada, a baby beef stew, with gnocchi; stuffed bell peppers with mashed potatoes; meatballs in a tomato sauce; grilled oily fish with chard; and like.

In Split, history is all around you. You won't wait in long queues in front of some museums to experience it. The old town is a 1,700-year-old living museum where people live and breathe every day.

What to do in Split Croatia?

The 15 top things to do in Split Croatia, Illustration
The 15 top things to do in Split Croatia, Illustration

Whether you travel solo, as a family, or as a couple, you won't find yourself short of activities, attractions, and things to do in Split.

Below we shortlist just a couple of ideas to give you a feel of what to expect.

Relax on Riva! Split's famed seafront promenade, Riva, is always abuzz with people; it's lined with cafés and bars where locals spend hours over a coffee or a beer. Simply do like locals do, sip a coffee, and watch the world go by … for hours.

Explore the old town! Just get lost in a maze of allies, cobbled streets, and passages in Split's old town, and explore 1.700 years of history.

Eat local! The food and restaurants here are awesome! We've written a post on the best restaurants in Split, along with reviews on restaurants we've visited recently. Our fave restaurants are Villa Spiza, Uje Oil Bar, and tavern Nikola in nearby Stobrec.

Have a coffee at Zbirac! Zbirac is the coolest day bar in Split. Located just above Bacvice beach, Zbirac is the locals' favorite place to grab a drink. The bar is small, but it has a great terrace overlooking the beach and the sea. It's protected from the north Bura wind, so the outdoor terrace is open all year.

Play picigin at the Bacvice beach! A sandy beach located a 10-minute walk from the old town, the Bacvice is, along with a seafront promenade, the most popular place in town. Picingin, a beach ball game invented here, is played in shallow water with players keeping a ball from touching the water.

What to see in Split?

A small town square in old town Split, Croatia
A small town square in old town Split, Croatia | Image by Michelle Maria from Pixabay

You'll never need to walk far to see Split's top sights! The majority of them are located within the Split old town.

Town gates! Split old town is located within a 1.700-year-old Diocletian Palace. The Palace measures approximately 160 m by 190 m. Each of the four town's walls has a gate (Golden Gate, Silver Gate, Bras Gate, and Iron Gate) located at the center of the wall, dividing the Palace into four quarters.

A bell tower! The bell tower of the church of St. Dominus is one of the symbols of Split. First built in the period from the 13th to the 16th century, the bell tower went under complete renovation in the 19th century. The views from the top are fantastic and worth a climb via a narrow staircase.

Peristyle! A narrow public square near the Cathedral, the Peristyle is the heart of the Palace and the place where all guided tours of Split begin or end. Ancient Roman columns made of red granite, an Egyptian sphinx, an entrance to the Palace's basements, a Cathedral, and the Temple of Jupiter, can all be found on the Peristyle. It's one of the main landmarks of Split, and it gets crowded at times.

Varos! One of the oldest neighborhoods in Split, Varos is a charming place consisting mainly of traditional stone houses with wooden green shutters. It's located on the south side of Marjan Hill, just northwest of Diocletian's Palace. This neighborhood was established in the 17th century by peasants and fishermen. Today, it's full of cozy apartments and room rentals.

Pazar and Peskerija! Split's green market (Pazar), and fish market (Peskarija) are the two best places to feel the pulse of the city and observe locals as they go about their daily business.

Restaurants in Split

Best Split Restaurants: Where To Eat in Split, Illustration
Best Split Restaurants: Where To Eat in Split, Illustration

You can't go hungry in Split with so many great places to eat. It is a foodie's dream destination. From small, family-run taverns showcasing delicious Dalmatian cuisine, and yummy street-food joints serving a quick fix like hearty burek, or cevapi for late-night food cravings, to harbor-side elaborate fine dining restaurants, Split restaurants offer something for everyone's budget and style.

What is a typical food in Split? Typical meals in Split include grilled meat, fish, or seafood with sides like Swiss chard, french fries, or grilled veggies, various stews like cuttlefish or beef stew, pasta dishes, and risottos, especially black risotto with squids and squid ink. Cheap local fast food includes savory phyllo-dough pies (burek or pita) with various fillings like cheese, spinach, potatoes, or minced meat, as well as cevapi, finger-shaped minced meat grilled and served with pepper spread (ajvar), onions, and pita bread.

How much does it cost to eat out in Split Croatia? Eating out in Split is still affordable, although the prices are on the constant rise. You can eat for as cheap as 3€ to 6€ in local fast food joints. A handful of local taverns offer a choice of fresh, tasty, and well-cooked daily dishes for as little as 8 € to 20 € per dish. Dishes can include grilled tuna, tuna stew, pork, beef or veal chops with Swiss chard, calamari stew, pasta with zucchini and prawns, and like. A meal in an upscale restaurant will set you at around 60€ per person.

Below we list our three favorite Split restaurants, all three of them showcase delicious Dalmatian cuisine. For more info, check out our full post on the best restaurants in Split.

Villa Spiza! Villa Spiza is a tiny little place serving traditional, fresh, and unpretentious food, using only locally sourced produce. There are just a couple of tables. The menu is simple, and it changes daily. Expect to pay 40 to 70 Kn per dish.

Contacts | Kružićeva 3 | t: +385 91 152 1249 | Facebook Page

Fetivi! Fetivi is a small, family-run tavern with a friendly atmosphere and excellent food. Located close to the Matejuska, a small fishing harbor west of Split's seafront promenade, Fetivi serves traditional Dalmatian food, like fried small oily fish, octopus, chickpeas stew, black risotto, various grilled dishes, etc. Expect to pay around 100 Kn per dish.

Contacts | a: Tomica Stine 4, Split | t: +385 21 355 152

Kadena! Locals' favorite restaurant in Split, Kadena is an elegant place with a nice terrace, shaded, and fantastic views over the sea. The place is rather large, and it often accommodates large groups that can be noisy at times. However, the food is sublime, and the service is excellent. A bit pricey; expect to pay around 60€ per person for a 3-course meal with drinks.

Contacts | a: Ivana pl. Zajca 4, Split | m: +385 91 522 6685 | t: +385 21 389 400 | e: info@restorankadena.com | Website

Accommodation in Split

Split Accommodation: Where To Stay In Split, Illustration
Split Accommodation: Where To Stay In Split, Illustration

If you plan to spend more than a day in Split, the town is full of historic boutique hotels, charming vacation rentals, hip hostels, and villas in Split Croatia. On the other hand, except for Lav Meridien Split and Radisson Blu, you won't find here big full-service hotels and international hotel chains.

The average price of a double room with breakfast in Split, in the low season (April, May, November) will set you back 120 € a day. The same room in the shoulder season (June, September, October) will cost 180 €, and in the high season (July, August), you will pay an average of 250 € per day. You can find cheaper prices than this if you are willing to go further out of town, if you stay in a guest house as opposed to a hotel, and if you are lucky to get some special deal because of the low occupancy. However, you can also end up paying much more if you choose to stay in an upscale boutique hotel in the old town of Split. In the high season, a double room with breakfast can cost 350 € and more a day.

Vacation rentals are a bit cheaper, but in high season the prices are still anywhere between 120 € and 250 € a day for an apartment that accommodates 2 to 4 people.

For us, Diocletian's Palace and Varos are the best neighborhoods to stay in Split. In both neighborhoods, you'll be within walking distance from all historical sites, and amidst the city's hustle and bustle. The only downside is parking, as both neighborhoods are (mostly) car-free.

Our favorite hotels, all located within the old Palace, include Palace Judita Heritage Hotel, Piazza Heritage Hotel, and Cornaro Hotel.

Split offers lots of private apartments and rooms to rent. We particularly like Divota Apartments, located in various houses across the Veli Varos neighborhood.

For a budget stay in the heart of the city, check hostels Downtown, and Dvor.

The best sites to look for accommodation in Split are Booking.com, and Airbnb.

Check our list of recommended accommodations in Split!

Split Beaches

Bavcice Beach in Split

Being the biggest town on the Adriatic makes Split also a real beach town with a variety of beaches along its shores: from sandy Bacvice, rocky Kasjuni, and Bene beach, to pebbly Znjan and Trstenik.

The beaches in Split aren't the prettiest beaches in Croatia, but they help to ease the midday heat during the summer. And especially during the working week. With little time left after work, locals visit town beaches for proximity and convenience. The most popular beaches in Split are Bacvice, Kasjuni, Bene, and Znjan.

On weekends, people rather get out of the town for a swim; either to the neighboring islands of Solta, Brac, or Ciovo; or head south to Duce.

Bacvice, a sandy beach located a 10-minute walk from the old town, is the most popular beach in Split. It's a perfect beach for a game of picigin with friends. A lovely café bar Zbirac is another reason to enjoy Bacvice. This beach is extremely popular among locals, and almost always crowded.

Just south of Bacvice, you'll find Trstenik and Znjan beaches. Locals like them because both beaches have good facilities for children, and parking nearby.

West of the town center, at the foothill of Marjan Hill, you'll find Kasjuni beach. This no-frills pebbly beach has a long breakaway that protects it from the wind. The rocky coast at the far end of this beach offers some privacy, and it's also dog-friendly. Not far from Kasjuni, there is another popular beach in Split – the beach Kastelet (locals also call this beach – Obojena).

On the other side of Kasjuni Beach, at the footsteps of Marjan Hill, you'll find Bene Beach. This rocky and cemented area with direct sea access is lined with pine trees offering lots of natural shade. There are also hiking trails around, as well as other sports offered, a beach bar, and toilets.

Our full post on the best beaches in Split.

Bars, Clubs & Nightlife in Split

Academia Ghetto Club in Split, Croatia
Photo credit: Academia Ghetto Club

If you are here for late-night fun, Split isn't as wild as Novalja, or Tisno, but you will still find some fun bars in the old town mainly open until 1 pm, and a couple of nightclubs working until wee hours scattered in various areas of town. The clubbing scene in Split is fun and unpretentious.

The majority of popular bars and clubs are scattered across a few streets and neighborhoods. The bar crawl usually starts in the old town, across bars in Dosut Street, and Pjaca; sooner or later in the night, a party crowd moves to the Bacvice neighborhood.

Ghetto Club, despite its name, is actually a bar featuring an art gallery. A well-kept secret, and locals' fave place to hang out, the Ghetto is getting more and more popular among tourists as well. The bar has a bohemian feel and a nice courtyard to chill out while sipping your drink. In Get, the hippest corner of an old town, check Shotgun Shooters Bar, a tiny bar serving dangerously cheap shots, long drinks, and beer. If you like to meet fellow international travelers, head to Charlie's Backpackers Bar. Charlie's slogan says it all “founded by Aussies, built by backpackers, and loved by locals”. Drinks are cheap here. Cocktails and burritos seem to be a winning formula in Sanctuary Cantina, a great little place in the heart of Split's old town. Their cocktails are seriously the best in town!

Leopold's Delicatessen Bar is the best place for craft-beer aficionados, Marvlvs Library Jazz Bar is a good place to chill out with a glass of wine, while Bar Sistema has the most amazing interior and impressive whiskey library. For a good drink with some finger food, visit The Daltonist Craft Bar. Fabrique Pub offers food, more than 50 different local and international beer labels, and late-night DJ or live band parties.

For late-night clubbing head to Central, a nightclub in the old town just out of the Palace's walls, Adriatic Social Club which offers great day and night chilling for music and sound enthusiasts, or to Bacvice area, to low-key Bacvice Club.

Read more about Split's bars, clubs, and nightlife here.

Popular events

Lots of events and festivals take place in Split throughout the year. However, many of them are more interesting for locals than tourists. Below you'll find the most popular events in Split, worth attending if you are in town on selected dates.

Ultra Europe is probably the largest music festival held in Croatia. The festival has been taking place in Split every July since 2013. A week of music, and fun, with Ultra Beach taking place on Amfora Beach on Hvar Island. Previous line-ups included Carl Cox, David Guetta, DJ Tiesto, and many others. For more info check the Ultra Europe website.

Split summer festival takes place every year from mid-July to mid-August. The festival features various dance and music performances, as well as an open-air theater. The festival takes place at different venues around the old town.

Taking place in mid-August, the Days of Diocletian, celebrate Split's Roman past. The event takes place across the palace with costumed performers, theatre and music events, exhibitions, and traditional food.

Practical info on Split Croatia

Finally, if you need some practical info on public transport, parking in Split, or traveling to Split, you'll find it in this post!

We share practical information on various ways to reach Split, how to move around Split, as well as information about parking in Split for those who travel by car.

Being the second-biggest travel hub in Croatia, Split is easy to reach by all modes of transport: by plane, car, bus, and even train. The same is true about moving around Split – the town is relatively small and walkable, and no matter where you stay, you are always within 30-40 minutes from all the major sights. Besides, public transport is available and well-run.

If you travel by car, you'll like to know that parking spots are still relatively easy to find. However, availability and prices depend on how close to the old town you would like to be. The closer to the old town, the more expensive parking gets, and there are fewer spots available. Below we share all the prices and locations of major parking lots.

Traveling to Split

Reaching Split is really easy. It is the second-largest travel hub in Croatia after Zagreb. You can reach Split by plane, car, train, bus, and ferry. Split bus, train station, and ferry port are located next to one another and within a short walking distance from the Split old town. On the other hand, Split Airport Resnik (SPU) is located 20 km northwest of downtown Split, in the immediate vicinity of  Trogir.

By plane! A shuttle service operates between Split Airport and downtown. Shuttle buses depart 20 minutes after landing. It takes 30 minutes to reach Split downtown, costing 8 € (8,9 $, 6,9 £) per person. You can also reach downtown by taxi, and that will set you back 30 €-45 €. The cheapest way to reach Split from the airport (and vice versa) is to take a local bus no. 37 or no. 38. Both lines have a scheduled stop not far from the airport. A one-way ticket costs 2.65 €.

Consider also flying into Zadar airport, as it's only 150 km northwest of Split. Zadar Airport has some pretty cheap Ryanair flights and can be a viable option to reach Split.

By train! You can also reach Split by train from Zagreb. The one-way ticket costs approx. 15.10 € and the return ticket costs 30.20 €. Trains run three times a day, from June 15 until September 15. The rest of the year, they run once a day. The train takes six hours. More info at Croatian Railroads website.

By bus! Intercity buses connect Split with Zagreb and many coastal towns, and they run frequently throughout the day and a year around. It takes 5 hours to reach Split from Zagreb, and a one-way ticket costs around 20 €. The best place to check bus timetables and book your ticket online is GetByBus.

By ferry! Split is a major ferry port for the central Dalmatian islands. Besides local ferries, ferries also connect Split with Ancona in Italy. Jadrolinija is the largest ferry operator in Croatia. You can check ferry schedules and prices on the Jadrolinija website and book your ferry ticket online. Jadrolinija also operates a ferry between Split and Ancona. Jadrolinija operates the line a year around. Prices start from 50€ (53$, 43£) per adult, and 64€ (67$, 54£) for a car.

Helpful tip on local ferries: In high season, ferries get crowded. Arrive at least two hours prior to departure (if you travel by car).

By car! Traveling to Split by car is really easy. Split is centrally located and easy to reach from many places in Croatia. If you are coming from the direction of Rijeka or Zagreb, you can take motorway A6/A1. It takes about four hours to reach Split from either Zagreb or Rijeka. This motorway has tolls, and a trip from Zagreb to Split will cost you around 24 €.

Budget tip: If you try to save on tolls but don't mind driving through villages on a single-carriageway road, you can take an old D1 road. 

Split public transport

Split public transport is well-organized. The bus network is extensive. City buses run between different Split neighborhoods and connect Split with the nearby towns. They run all the way to Trogir to the north and south to Omis.

The Split Metropolitan area is divided into four zones. Zone 1 covers the wider city center, while other zones cover towns in the vicinity of Split, like Trogir, Solin, Kastela, or Omis. Generally, buses within Zone 1 run from 5 am to midnight every half an hour. Former night lines don't operate any longer. If you need a ride after midnight, you'll need to use taxis.

Buses in Zone 2 and 3 run less frequently. If you stay out of the town center, make sure to check the bus schedule and plan around it, as buses on some lines leave every hour and on others even less frequently.

If bought in the bus directly from the driver, a one-ride ticket costs 2 € for Zone I, 2.50 € for Zone II, 3 € for Zone III (Airport), and a one-ride ticket for Zone IV (Trogir, Omis) costs 4 €. Tickets can also be purchased at any kiosk, and then, they cost 50% less (Zone I: 1 €, Zone II: 1.25 €, Zone III: 1.5 €, Zone IV: 2 €).

Download the Split bus schedule and bus lines map.

Taxis in Split are expensive but can be a good option if you travel as a group and share the cost.

The start is anywhere from 1.38 € (UberX) or 1.06 € (Cammeo) and as much as 2.65 € (Radio Taxi Split). Additionally, every kilometer costs anywhere from 0.77 € (UberX), 1.06 € (Cammeo) to 1.33 € (Radio Taxi Split). The minimum fare for Cammeo is 2.39 €, and UberX's is 3.72 €.

Basically, taking a taxi within town limits should cost you anywhere between 4 € and 8 € (4.35 $-8.70 $, 3.55 £-7.10 £).

You can also move around the town easily on foot. Split is not too big; wherever you stay, you are never more than a 30-40 minute walk from the old town.

Parking in Split

The historical part of Split, the Diocletian Palace, a seafront promenade, and most of the Varos are all car-free zones. This means that if you visit Split by car, you'll need to find parking out of the old town. Bear this in mind when you book your accommodation (check if a hotel or a private apartment offers a parking space).

Parking is possible on streets, parking lots, and garages. Fees apply.

Below is the Split parking map!

At the eastern end of Riva, there is a parking lot with a capacity of about 100 cars. This parking is the closest to the old town, but also the busiest and the most expensive. You pay for parking by the hour; for the first hour in summer, you'll pay 4 € (4.35 $, 3.55 £), and every following hour increases to 5 € (5.40 $, 4.40 £). In winter, the first-hour costs 2 € (2.20 $, 1.80 £), and every consecutive hour will set you back 3 € (3.25 $, 2.65 £). This parking is expensive, but it is the most convenient for a visit to the old town.

Another conveniently located parking lot is behind the main train/ bus station. Parking costs 1.30 € (1.4$, 1.15£) per hour for the first hour, and 2 € (2.2 $, 1.8 £) per each consequent hour; or 22.60 € (24.50 $, 20 £) per day.

Large parking in Vukovarska Street, just out of the city walls, and across Strossmayer Park, offers 320 parking spaces. Not far from Vukovarska, you'll find two other parking lots – in Svaciceva and Zrinsko-Frankopanska Street. Parking costs 1.50 € (1.65 $, 1.33 £) per hour.

A cheaper option, but a bit further away, is a parking lot on Plinarska Street. This parking is convenient for those who plan to stay in the Varos neighborhood. Parking costs 1 € (1.08 $, 0.9 £) an hour.

At the west end of Riva, near the church of St. Francis, there is a small street parking. The parking costs only 1 € ((1.08 $, 0.9 £) an hour. However, the parking spaces here are few. Also to reach this parking you'll need to pass through the Marjan tunnel, and make a big circle around the town.

Practical info about street parking in Split

  • You can also park your car in the designated areas on the streets.
  • Street parking is divided into zones, according to the proximity to the old town. Street parking costs 1.20 € per hour for Zone 1; and 1 € per hour for Zone 2 and 3.
  • The maximum parking time in Zone 1 is 2 hours. There isn't any time limit for parking in zones 2 and 3.
  • Download the Split parking app. It shows you the number of available parking spaces on any given street or parking. It also gives you the possibility to pay directly from the app, either via SMS or credit card.
  • You can pay for street parking in Croatia with coins through self-operated parking machines, or by SMS via your cell phone. You need to send your license plate within the text message (writing it without any spaces) to the following phone numbers: Zone 1 – 708211; Zone 2 – 708212; Zone 3: 708213. Operator's fees apply, and they usually amount to 0.13 €.
  • Street parking fees apply:
    Zone 1 | Mon-Fri: 6.30 am-9.30 pm | Sat: 7 am-2 pm | Sun & public holidays: free
    Zone 2, 3 | Mon-Fri: 7.00 am-7 pm | Sat: 7 am-2 pm | Sun & public holidays: free

There are additional parking lots in residential parts of Split.

Car rental in Split

Those who plan to rent a car while in Split will be happy to know that all major national and international car rental companies have their branch offices in Split. You'll find them all at Split airport, but also many keep a second office in Split downtown. Whatever works better for you!

In Croatia, the car rental business is very seasonal, and rates increase dramatically from June through September.

We always use Rentalcars.com for car hire. They have good prices, work as consolidators with all major car rental companies, and generally are reliable.

On their site, you can easily compare the prices and availability of many car rental companies. Their filter options give you a chance to narrow your search down in accordance with your preferences: automatic or manual transmission, supplier, number of seats, etc.


If you prefer to rent a car directly with a local car rental company, below you'll find info and contacts.

1 | Nova

Another national car rental company with offices across Croatia.

Contacts (Main office) | a: Obala Kneza Domagaoja 1, Split | t: + 385 21 775 388 | e: splitdowntown@novarentacar.hr | Website

Working hours | Mon-Sun: 8 am-8 pm

Contacts (Airport Office) | t: + 385 21 203 308 | e: splitairport@novarentacar.hr

Working hours | Mon-Sun: 7 am-9 pm

2 | Oryx

Oryx is the largest Croatian car rental company with offices all around Croatia.

Contacts (Town office) | a: Sv. Petra Starog 1, Split | t: +385 21 318 800 | e: std@oryx-rent.hr | Website

Working hours | Mon-Fri: 8 am-3 pm | Sat:, Sun 9 am-2 pm | Sun: upon request

Contacts (Airport office) | t: +385 21 895 164 | e: sta@oryx-rent.hr

Working hours | Mon-Fri: 8 am-8 pm | Sat:, Sun 9 am-5 pm

3 | Enterprise

Enterprise is a global rent-a-car company with offices in all major Croatian towns.

Contacts (Town office) | a: Poljicka Cesta 26, Split | t: +385 99 382 4783 | e: split@enterprise.hr | Website

Working hours | Mon-Sat: 8 am-8 pm | Sun: 9 am-12 pm

Contacts (Airport office) | t: +385 99 392 0362

Working hours | Mon-Sun: 7 am-11 pm

Shopping in Split

One thing you'll notice in Split is that locals are generally well-dressed and good-looking.

Split has always been a shopping mecca for people from all parts of Dalmatia. And in recent years even more so as many shopping malls opened in and around Split downtown.

The old town also features many shops, designers, and artisans' stores. The main shopping street in the old town is Marmontova Street.

The two largest shopping malls in Split and Dalmatia are City Center One Split and the Mall of Split. City Center One you will find at the eastern end of town, on Vukovarska Street, a 15-minute drive from the center. City Center One Split features over 150 shops, cafes, and restaurants, including H&M, Lacoste, C&A, Humanic shoe store, Swarowski, etc.

For fresh produce, we suggest shopping at Split's green market (Pazar), and the fish market (Peskarija). You'll find both in the old town.

There are a few supermarket chains for your general grocery shopping: Lidl, Konzum, Spar, and Tommy. All are good, but Lidl has slightly cheaper prices and faster cashier service. Spar, along with a few independent stores, is located in the old town. Spar occupies the ground floor of the Palace Papalic built in the 13th century. The entire space feels more like a place for a museum than a supermarket.

Anybody in search of an original, local design, should visit a couple of concept stores in Split's old town. The Break Time, located on Trogirska Street 8, offers unique hand and locally-made nautical bracelets. The Jaman Art is a gallery, and a shop selling paintings, cellphone cases, sculptures and prints, work of academic painter Danijel Jaman. If you are a nerd for good design, head to Nered Shop for lovely souvenirs handmade and designed in Croatia. Designer store Krug is the best place to shop for authentic clothing and jewelry entirely handcrafted in Croatia in limited series.

Money and ATM

As of January 1, 2023, the Croatian currency is the euro. The exchange rate is around 1.08 US$ for 1 euro, and 0.88 £, 1.5 AUD, and 1.45 CAD. You can exchange money at many places in Split: exchange offices, banks, and hotels.

ATM machines are also everywhere; near every bank, at prominent places in town, and at many hotels. ATM machines have an option for different languages, so they are easy to operate. Beware that some ATM machines have higher fees than others. We find that generally, ATM machines that belong to banks are cheaper than independent ones.

If you decide to pay with a credit card, you might be offered the possibility to be charged either in your own currency or in euros (local currency). You might intuitively opt to pay in your own currency. However, don't do this! The banks use something called a dynamic currency exchange rate, and most of the time (read always) it's less favorable than if you decide to pay in local currency.


I always hear people complain that the internet in Croatia is slow. I generally don’t need super-fast internet, 4 Mbps is fast enough for me.

Anyway, during the high season, with so many tourists around, the number of users increases so much that our infrastructure can't really take it. So, at times, the internet gets really slow in summer. This doesn't happen everywhere, and not on all networks, but there aren't really rules. You just learn to live with it.

However the closer you stay downtown, the better the internet you should get. Almost all accommodation comes with free WiFi internet, and you should expect a speed of at least 20 Mbps. Mobile still mostly runs on 4G, but 5G is becoming a standard more and more.

Many bars and restaurants offer free WiFi for their guests, but you need to ask for a pass. Towns also offer free WiFi hot spots, but this connection, unfortunately, doesn’t work most of the time.

Further reading about Split Croatia


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38 thoughts on “A complete travel guide to Split, Croatia”

  1. Hello. My husband and I are traveling to Split next week. Do you recommend we purchase one of the Split City Cards on offer for 3 day passes to various places? If so, which one?

  2. Hi Frank –
    If we arrive from Split via ferry into Hvar town and wanted to spend some additional nights in StariGrad – what’s the easiest way to get to Stari Grad for Hvar town (without a car)? And also, are their direct Ferries from StariGrad to Dubrovnik?

    • You can get from Hvar to Stari Grad by bus. As for direct Dubrovnik – Stari Grad ferry – I am not aware of any, they all go directly to Hvar Town.

  3. Hi Frank!

    How do you suggest 9 people get to downtown split from the airport on July 3? Thanks in advance!

  4. First of all, thank you for all the information on your site. We first had the idea of visiting Croatia listening to an NPR report of about Dubrovnik.
    While we initially hoped to go there, we were slow to book and missed out on the chance. We do have the opportunity to go to fly into Split in July (I know, not the best time). Do you think that 7 days is too much time to stay there? We have beach lovers in our group as well as history buffs. With the different tours and close locations will we run into too much idle time?
    Thanks again for the information.

    • Split is OK to stay for a week if you don’t mind staying in a big town. It has lots of things to do, good restaurants, beaches within walking distance, and it is a good base to do day trips to many nearby places. You can visit Hvar, Brac, Vis or Solta island. You can go to Krka National Park, or visit Trogir. You can also go wine tasting in the vicinity, or check some of the beautiful beaches along Omis and Makarska Riviera.

  5. Great blog Frank! I have learned so much about Croatia from your website, and it has been absolutely useful in planning my trip. Would you be so to guide me a bit further? (1) I’m thinking of a day trip from Split to Plitvice Lake. Do you think that’s unreasonable? We will have a rental car, so I’m thinking if we leave early AM, do they allow entry at a certain time.
    (2) Also, between Krka and Plitvice, if you were to choose, which would you? We just have one day and we can’t make up our mind.
    (3) Would you recommend any particular oyster restaurants (small town or fancy), any mature olive orchards and wineries?
    Thank you much

    • Hi Charanjeet, thanks for reading!
      1) Yes, you can visit Plitvice from Split for a day (it will be a long day, but it is doable)
      2) Hm, hard to say. Plitvice is more concentrated. All the sites are one next to another, while Krka is more spread out (if you want to see all the sites you will use the car between some of them). Plitvice has bigger falls. But both sites are nice. Krka will be less stress also because is much closer, and then you can have a more relaxed visit. Food is also better around Krka Waterfalls (Konoba Vinko in Konjevrate is highly recommended as well as a visit to Bibich or Sladic winery). Hope these few comments help you choose.
      3) The most famed oyester and shellfish place in Croatia is Ston on Peljesac peninsula. Particularly restaurants in Mali Ston, but we like even more Ficovic in Hodilje. Wineries around Split include Putalj (the closest), but if you want to see the best ones, you need to go more south, like WInery Rizman and Terra Madre in Komarna (views are top), Saints Hills, Korta Katarina, Bura, or Milos on Peljesac (don’t miss a visit to Postup and Dingac wine growing hills). Some of the nicest sites you will see! And also previosuly mentioned Bibich and Sladic near Skradin.

    • Usually, you can get by bus, and you should be able to check it on Getbybus. The problem is that this year is specific with Covid, and there are fewer buses at the moment, some lines are even completely ceased. However, by summer this should stabilize. Already now if you check dates in June, the Getbybus shows availability.

  6. Hi Frank,
    any thoughts on staying in Trogir vs Split? Niceness of Old Towns, cost of accommodations, parking? we figure we can do a day trip to whichever one we don’t stay in. We’re not that interested in the nightlife .

    Thanks. Love your blog

  7. Hi Frank,

    Your site is SO useful. It’s our go-to and we are very grateful. Sadly we saw your villa too late but promise this will be our choice for Istria when we’re back in a few years. Rachel

  8. Frank can you help we are going to Split in October and the only ferry we can find to Hvar is at 10 am from split and we only get 2 hours there is there a ferry service that gives us more time time. Thanks. Susan

    • I am afraid that there isn’t any easy solution. You can either plan an overnight in Hvar, take a private boat transfer to Hvar, book a group tour to Hvar from Split, or take a car ferry from Split to Stari Grad (for this you will need a car as you need to travel from Stari Grad to Hvar).

  9. Your travel guides have been great for Porec & Split, I am going to Pula in September 2018 you wouldn’t happen to have anything on this region. We are also going to Zadar next May

  10. Hi! I am visiting Split & Hvar in June. Everything is planned out except where to stay our last night.

    On Saturday morning we have a 6:15 AM flight out of Split. Where would you recommend staying that is easy to get to the airport for probably 4AM?

    Thanks in advance for your help!

  11. Hello Frank, I have a question regarding non agency hotels, apartments, private apartments. I am planning our trip from July 15 to July 29th. Most of the agencies are 80% booked. Is it possible to find accommodations by simply inquiring at smaller places, like we do when we travel in the states? Thanks

  12. Hi Frank,

    My boyfriend, our little dog and I are going to Split in July. So far we’ve only booked out flights and are currently looking around for places to stay. We’d like to stay in central Split a couple nights and for the rest of the week we’re are looking for a place that has nice food and beaches. We’re not into partying, so someplace a bit more mellow would be preferred. We’ve looked at Makarska and Brac. Do you have any suggestions?

    Many thanks :)

  13. Hello Frank,
    I am a 84 year old retired male in good health. I will be traveling with my gran daughter in October for two weeks. We do not drink, except during dinner or lunch. Please explain what services you provide.

    • Hi Gordon,
      beside writing this blog, and providing some info, we don’t offer other services. Have a nice time in Croatia with your gran daughter.

  14. Dear Frank, I am a 71 year old Canadian widow in good health living in London, Canada. My income is limited to my gov’t pension of $1900CA per month and I have no savings. I am tired of our cold winters and am starting to contemplate a move to an affordable, warmer location. I came across Split, Croatia online as a place recommended for expats to retire to. I do not speak Croatian, but my mother tongue is Hungarian and I have studied Italian, French, and German.
    Since you have personal experience living there, can you please give me your honest opinion on whether this could be a good move for me? What do I need to be aware of in order to make this life-changing decision? Could I survive (or even live comfortably) on my frugal resources?
    Any advice or precautions you can offer would be greatly appreciated!

  15. Hi Frank
    Me and my sisters will by fly to Croatia from London fir about 7 days. 3 days in Zagrenb, 1 day in Split and 3 dsys in Dubrovnik. We would like to visit Montenegro too.

    We have searched lots of reviews and do not know where to start from. Any recommendations?

  16. Hi Frank , Your website is so useful . Huge thanks .
    We are here in Split for a few days before hiring a boat on Saturday for a week & returning it to Split.
    We are then hiring a car for a few days , again returning to Split & wonder if you can offer any hints for further travel . We don’t necessarily need to stick to the coast, but it is is so beautiful are happy to .
    Travelling with husband & 2 kids 19 & 21 . All fairly fit . Happy to cycle, walk etc .
    As yet no accomadtion boooked & we’d favour getting away from the crowds & eating hood local food .
    Many thanks , Cheryl

  17. Hi Frank,

    Very useful guide thank you.

    We will be visiting Split in early October for 7 days and plan to travel to Hvar and Brac possibly spending a night on each. We like nice restaurants and bars and generally exploring the sights. We would not have ny interest in spending time on the beach or in the water.

    With regard to the islands particularly can we expect that most restaurants will still be open or might it be out of season for some?

  18. We wish to enjoy beach more than city, is it better to stay in one of the islands like Brac or should I stick to Split city? We have 4-5 days. Thanks.

  19. Frank – my wife and I are visiting Split in late June and want to visit Rovinj from Split. Can you recommend the best way to get to Rovinj from Split. Any recommendations re: car hire with driver? Are there ferries from Split to Venice? Any recommendations on boat/yacht rental companies for island hopping while we are in Split? Thanks.

  20. Hi Frank,

    My husband and I will be in Split in September 2017. We would like to take a boat tour to visit a couple islands; maybe Vis, Hvar, Brac. Can you recommend a good company and a good itinerary please. Thank you.

  21. Hi Frank,
    I have been reading about an International Children’s Festival at Sibenik. Do you know anything about it or about the town of Sibenik itself? It is not very far from Split. Would Split be a nicer place to stay?
    I love all your advice and pictures on your website btw!

    • Hi Marie-Claire,
      Sibenik is wonderful! It’s less known than Split, Zadar, or Dubrovnik, but in the last years its tourist offer and infrastructure is really developing. I think you’ll be happy in Sibenik. It’s less hectic than Split. You can visit Split easily from Sibenik for a day.

  22. Frank, my wife and I will be cruising from Dubrovnik to Split in early October. Once we get to Split we were thinking of staying a couple of days there and then driving up to Plitivice for a couple of days and then to Zagreb to fly home, could you recommend some stops along the way from Split to Zagreb?

  23. We spent 2 months in Split and absolutely loved it. Our time there was the highlight of the last year of travelling. As you say, it is centrally located – we used it as a base to explore Dubrovnik, Mostar, even as far as Kotor. Lots of highlights in the immediate vicinity too (my personal favorite was the little town of Omiš).
    By the way, I took your recommendation of Konoba Matejuska and it is fabulous. We became regulars. I have to say that Buffet Fife was absolutely horrible the one time we went. Terrible. Maybe they had a bad day or something has changed.
    Excellent guide to Split.
    Frank (bbqboy)

  24. I’ve always loved Split and prefer it to Dubrovnik, mainly because it isn’t as touristy and crazy. We spent 5 days in Split towards the end of June. We’d take the kids for a walk after dinner every evening, get an ice-cream and sit around the Peristyle (I had no idea it was called that!) listening to the accoustic musician playing every evening outside the Luxor. We used Split as our base to get to Brac- we did 2 day trips to Brac. Im glad tourists are starting to notice Split.


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