Travel Split: Essential Tips for Your Seaside Vacation
Split is the second largest city in Croatia, a town of entertainment, culture and history, and the focal point of Dalmatia. Tens of thousands of tourists visit it each summer, and the city offers a lot to those who choose to spend their holiday there. Planning to travel Split? Here is everything you need to know:
Sites to see in Split
The main sight is the Diocletian’s Palace, built by the Roman emperor Diocletian seventeen hundred years ago. It’s a UNESCO World Heritage site and one of the best preserved Roman buildings in Croatia. There is no entry fee for the main part, but you have to pay if you want to visit the palace’s basements
Split’s patron saint is St. Domnius, and the Cathedral bearing his name is an important cultural landmark. Some parts of the cathedral were built by the Romans (it was supposed to be Diocletian’s mausoleum, but it was never used). The complex was turned into a church centuries later, thus making it an interesting mixture of Romanesque and Mediterranean architecture.
Be sure to visit a few of Split’s museums. The Archeological Museum is the oldest museum in Croatia (established in 1820) and has many exhibits dating from Roman times, but it also provides a great overview of the history of Split. The Maritime Museum will show you how much the Adriatic Sea has influenced the people of Dalmatia. The Gallery of Fine Arts and the Mestrovic Gallery will amaze you with famous Croatian art.
The center of all life in Split is the Promenade (or Riva, as the locals call it). Dotted with cafes, bars, vendors and souvenir shops, it’s a perfect place for an evening walk or a relaxing drink.
Getting to Split
Split has an international airport and there are flights from most major European cities, especially in the summer. It’s located 25 kilometers westwards of Split, with busses running from the airport terminal to the city itself. If you’re looking for a more convenient ride, you can always opt for a taxi from Split airport to the city or to other places in its vicinity.
Bus lines to and from other Croatian cities such as Zagreb, Dubrovnik, Zadar, Sibenik, Rijeka run frequently. There are busses several times a day (you can find the timetable on the AV Split website). Split also has a train station: it’s near the city center, and there are lines to Zagreb and Perkovic (you can change trains for Sibenik there). Trains are usually slower and somewhat cheaper than busses (the same is true in all of Croatia).
Split, being the largest city in coastal Croatia, is the hub of maritime traffic. There are ferries three times a week from and to Pescara and Ancona (Italy). There are also ferry lines to Croatian islands, Brac, Solta, Vis, Korcula, and Lastovo, as well as a large ferry to Dubrovnik and Rijeka twice a week (with stops at several islands).
Accommodations in Split
A lot of locals rent private accommodations–they either rent a room (soba) or an apartment (apartman). Some can be booked online, but it’s more common to arrange your accommodation upon arrival. Just look for locals holdings signs stating ROOMS or APARTMENTS.
Be sure to see the room before taking it. This type of accommodation usually includes towels and sheets, but not breakfast. The price is usually somewhat negotiable. Also, don’t worry if your host asks you for your passport–this is because they need to report to the local police that you’re using their accommodations (they’ll return it in an hour or less).
There is also a variety of hotel accommodation: a large tourist center such as Split has more than fifty hotels differing in price and quality. Booking online is common and even advisable as most of the hotels tend to be full in the peak of the season.