I adore Split. I went there a few years ago on the first of many road trips with my friend Hamilton (blog post here). We travelled from Zagreb, down to Plitvice, then onto Split and Hvar before finishing in Dubrovnik. It was out of season, just before everyone and their Mother started planning trips and the entire trip cost us £300 each (car rental/food/accommodation/activities – everything), it wasn’t too busy and we had a blast.
Cut to a couple of years ago, when my boyfriend and I were planning our summer trip and Split was high on our list of where we wanted to go. Unfortunately all of the flights were around £300/£400 each. In fairness, we had left it very late to book and so all flight prices were extortionate but considering I had paid £300 all in for a trip a few years before, I wasn’t ready to dish out more than that on the flight alone (we ended up going to Corfu that summer, if you’re wondering).
So, how did we end up going to Split this time?
Well, one of the many problems that come with forgetting/not bothering to unsubscribe from mailing lists, is that sometimes companies send emails with flight sales, and sometimes those flight deals are actually very good. Then, all of a sudden, you find yourself booking flights when you hadn’t really planned on it.
In other words, my boyfriend and I ended up going to Split because we saw crazy cheap flights and had a bit of a mad moment. We went in September (out of season again, like the first time I went) and it was still warm enough to walk around in a t-shirt/shorts but not so hot I got sunburnt – perfect weather for me.
I think our flights cost us around £65 return with Norwegian – one of my favourite airlines, fyi and our accommodation was £120 each. I think we ended up spending more like £350/£400 in total but I wasn’t surprised by that, seeing as Split has become so much more popular in recent years.
As with most trips recently, this was more of a relaxing getaway than a busy trip trying to fit everything possible in. Nonetheless, I would say we did a lot – the perfect amount for the duration of the holiday, in my opinion.
Having been before, we ventured to do things that I generally hadn’t already done, which meant we explored a few options which were a bit off the beaten track:
What to Do
We only went for four nights/five days but I think still managed to fit a lot in, without being stressed about cramming in too much (especially as I had been before). Here’s what we prioritised:
- Beaches – oddly I’ve never been a big fan of beaches but when in Rome (/on a summer holiday), it makes sense to. Within Split, my favourite was Kasjuni Beach, which has a beach bar and curves around slightly, meaning it was a bit less windy than some other places. We also went to a lot of beaches on Hvar, my next point.
- Visit Hvar Island – (This is actually deserving of its own post, which I will write next and link back to here). There are a few islands off Split – I would say Hvar is the most well known and if you only have a short amount of time, it makes the most sense to visit. Having said that, if you’re there for longer then definitely island hop. They’re stunning and each have their own character.
- Get lost in the Old Town Streets – I have an awful sense of direction so this was very easy for me. Genuinely though, they’re lovely walkways with lots of twists, turns and hidden surprises (the surprises are mostly restaurants but still). If you’re into Game of Thrones, I’m aware they filmed some of it there and even if you’re not, it’s crazy walking along knowing that the streets you’re walking have stood the test of time of real life history (I don’t think GoT is based on fact, I just mean it’s set in the past FYI).
- Rub Gregory of Nin’s Big Toe – I won’t lie, I know nothing about this statue other than it’s meant to be lucky to rub the big toe. You can tell immediately which one based on how much shinier it is than the rest of him! I don’t know if I got any luck per say but how often do you get to say you rubbed a giant big toe on holiday? (Maybe don’t answer that)
- Go to Krka National Park for the day – Krka is absolutely stunning and not that far from Split. It’s not as big as Plitvice Lakes but still beautiful, and unlike Plitvice you can swim in the water there, which is pretty fun. Also, they call waterfalls ‘Slaps’ which is pretty enjoyable to say. I’m going to write a separate post on how to get there/what to do because I personally found it a bit excruciating working out the best value way of doing it within a day. It was a bit of trial and error but I really wish I knew at the time, what I know now. Basically, if you want an easy but pricey day then book a day trip otherwise, I’ll do a post on how to get there by public transport to save some money (I personally found a few things I read online while trying to figure things out a bit convoluted and unclear – things that should seem simple like how to get on the boat, actually could have done with some slightly clearer instructions on the National Park’s website).
Separate to what we did this trip, I would also recommend the below from my previous trip (post here):
- Split Tower
Where to Eat
This time, I found it harder to find affordable food – when I first went most meals were around £5-£7 but this time I noticed that a lot of places looked a fair bit fancier and upon closer inspection, the prices reflected this.
Out of where we ate, these two places were the most memorable:
- Pizzeria Portas – recommended to me by a friend who had just been to Split, it’s a super cosy place with a lot of variety on it’s menu. It’s also in a gorgeous location and pretty damn romantic (if you’re into that).
- Bepa! – you know a place is good, when you go there multiple times on holiday. Ok, in fairness it was right below our apartment which made it very easy. But also, the food is good and the people are lovely.
Where to Drink
- Marvlvs Jazz Library Bar – again, if it’s good then it’s good and judging by the amount of times we visited here in a short space of time, we were basically in a committed relationship by the end of the trip. It’s rare to find a bar that feels like home but this one really pulls it off – amazing music (jazz of course, at just the right volume), perfect lighting (not pitch black but also not bright lights stolen from Greggs) and a great selection of whisky (and everything else). We ended up here during a rainstorm which was incredibly lucky, as it’s a delightful place to wait something out. Unfortunately, the storm didn’t end for a few hours until after we had run through the flooded streets and got completely soaked through, which was slightly less lucky I guess.
Where to Stay
Personally I prefer to stay in an apartment when I’m away, I just feel that it gives me more space and freedom to relax. I like to be able to get up when I want, without being interrupted by room service and then keep whatever I want in the fridge (mostly milk for a tea because I’m super cool and crazy like that).
Below are the two apartments I stayed in while visiting and I highly recommend them both as they’re affordable and in good locations; the top one is right in the centre of the old town and the other is slightly outside. Nevertheless, they’re a short distance from one another and you’ll still be able to explore the neighbourhood with ease.
Of course, Split is also a bit of a party city and you’ll find a lot of stag/hen dos running around but don’t let that put you off. They’re easy to avoid (if you want to) and generally if you spend a trip in the way we did, it’s unlikely you’d have a reason to bump into them anyway!
I’m aware it’s likely I’ve missed some glaringly obvious places off my list but the above are what I would genuinely recommend to friends and strangers alike, so I hope they come in handy.