Our journey from Budapest to Split was via Zagreb, where we then took a sleeper train for roughly eight hours to Split. This was our first and only sleeper train on the trip, and if I had to sum it up in one word, it would probably be awkward. The rooms were awkwardly sized and you could hardly move in them; the beds were awkwardly small and there was certain fear of falling out; and finally, sharing a small box with a German couple we’d never met before: super awkward!
So we’d arrived in Split, worn out and ready for our five-day chill out bonanza before finally heading home to England. For a small city it has a lot to offer, so to keep it short I’ve put together a list of my favourite bits.
Pedalos. Need I say more? For around £10, you can take a pedalo out to sea for three hours. Throw in lunch, some beers, a wireless speaker, glorious sunshine and blue seas, this is the way to relax without any of the hustle and bustle of the beach. Bobbing up and down with a beer in one hand, music, my friends and nothing for miles, was one of my favourite moments of the entire trip.
Park Šuma Marjan. This national park forms the peninsula at the end of Split, next to the Old Town. It’s quite the hike to the top, so make sure you have good footwear on. One of my friends wore flip-flops, which broke halfway up, and while it was hilarious for us, he wasn’t so thrilled. The views out across Split and the sea are stunning, and it’s so worth the effort of the hike.
Plaza Kasuni. This tiny beach is at the South-West end of the Marjan park, and it’s a beautifully secluded local’s getaway that remains relatively undiscovered by tourists. We ventured down here after hiking the mountain, and swam in the quiet bay while the sun set through the gaps in the landscape.
The Old Town. Probably the main draw for tourists that come to visit the second city of Croatia, Split’s ancient town centre offers striking architecture with picturesque views and heaps of alfresco dining that make it one the best destinations on the Dalmatian coast.
Tower Pub Crawl. This was the biggest bar crawl that we did in our travels, there must have been around 100 people on it, and it was mad. We made loads of friends, played some very drunken beer pong, went on inflatables in the sea, and at some point a bar got lit on fire and they poured shots into people’s mouths over it. I mean, as far as bar crawls go, this one is pretty awesome.
The harbour. If you walk along the coast for a few minutes you’ll find your way to Split Harbour. While there aren’t any activities here, it was really nice to wander past all of the yachts and boats, some of them are incredibly grand and left us slightly awestruck. On our last evening we had dinner overlooking the harbour’s twinkling lights, which was both cheap and beautiful.
With our time in Split coming to an end, we said goodbye to mainland Europe and boarded our plane back home. It was a wild and wonderful two weeks that I’ll never forget, and neither will my liver.