Continuing our European tour…
Next up: Split, Croatia!
From Zadar, Split is about a 3hr bus ride (although, I would plan more like 4-5 hours based on the unpredictability of the Croatian bus system). Bus tickets cost around $20-30 and were easy to purchase ahead of time online, which I would recommend doing since the bus fills up fast.
Split is a gorgeous costal town in Croatia that has a lot more going on compared to Zadar. We spent three days in Split and I feel like that was a good amount of time to both relax and also see what the city has to offer.
Where to stay:
Similar to Zadar, when you visit Split you want to stay in the old town. This is where all of the bars, restaurants, shopping are located. We stayed in a small apartment, which was steps away from everything we wanted to do. It was also tucked away in a private alley, so it was quiet at night and it had every amenity that we needed for cooking meals at home.
Where to eat:
Split had a lot more options when it came to dining, compared to Zadar. You can find all types of cuisine in the old town, fitting into every budget. I’ll be honest, we were feeling tight on money at this point in our trip, so we made a point to buy groceries and cook most meals at home. However, we did eat at Torito Food Bar, which is an awesome little tapas bar (if they have the burger on special, get it! SO good!)
What to do:
The one regret I have from our trip is that we didn’t do Croatia during the Summer. The city of Split and the islands that surround it (Hvar, Vis, etc) are tropical destinations. During the Summer, you have countless options for island tours, catamaran trips, snorkeling, etc. But, because we visited in September (post-peak season), the weather wasn’t great so we didn’t do any “warm weather” activities.
But that doesn’t meant that we didn’t have a good time.
1. Experience the nightlife: Split has a really good nightlife scene. There is a healthy mix of both bars and clubs to suit every taste. One night we went out and started at a cute cocktail bar in the Old Town, whose name is escaping me now, and it was packed with young people. We then bar hopped a little and ended at a small karaoke bar, To Je To, which apparently is the place to end your night in Split.
2. Go for a hike: If you’re into awesome views of a city, and are willing to hike to get to them, then you must do the hike in the Marjan park. There are a bunch of trail options for people of differing athletic abilities. Even if you just climb the stairs to the first landing point, you get an awesome view of the city, plus there’s a restaurant where you can grab a cocktail before heading back down the hill.
3. Do a boat tour: Like I said before, because of the weather we didn’t have the option to do any island, waterfall or boat tours while in Split. However, there are a TON of options for these types of activities while in Split. My recommendation would be to avoid booking these before you visit. That way you can shop around and get the best deal for your tour. Many tours advertise right on the main strip so you check those out while you walk the boardwalk and enjoy a beer.
Bonus activity!: Not unique to Split or Croatia, but something I had been wanting to do on our trip was get the cartilage pierced in my ear. I had been thinking about it since Madrid and didn’t muster up the courage until a rainy morning in Split. We passed a tattoo/piercing shop and I thought to myself, “now or never”. Surprisingly, it didn’t hurt at all. Also surprisingly, it takes up to a year for a cartilage ear piercing to fully heal. Wish I had known that prior… But it’s still cute. 🙂