Where to stay in Split, Croatia the Roman capital of the Balkans
Split is a beautiful Mediterranean city with a long and rich history. It’s famous for its early Roman settlements, which is reflected in the architecture. The city offers a little bit of everything, from traditional to modern attractions, making it a top destination worth visiting.
This article will help you choose where to stay in Split.
Split is a relatively small city, meaning most of the action and attractions will be centrally located and within walkable distance.
Here are some areas to consider:
|Best area for first-timers||Split Old Town|
|Best area for nightlife||Bacvice|
|Best bohemian/alternative are||Varoš|
Transportation, getting around Split
Split is a small city and the main locations are all concentrated in the center, making it extremely easy to explore on foot.
In fact, many of the central areas (especially around Diocletian’s Palace) are pedestrian-only.
- Bus – the main form of public transportation in the city. The main bus lines are 1, 3, 4, 6, 8, 9, 17 and 21 and all of them pass through the city center. Here’s a basic map to help you visualize it. A typical central city bus ticket costs around 11 Kuna’s (around $1.65)
- Taxis – there are plenty of them in Split and can be found at taxi stations through tourist hotspots as well as called. The standard inner-city tariff is 10 Kuna’s (around $1.5) starting fee and 7 Kuna’s (around $1) per kilometer.
- Uber – Uber does exist in Split in the form of the standard UberX service. Those who enjoy the convenience and security provided by this world-renowned app rest easy.
Find out more about Split public transportation here.
Where to stay for first-timers in Split – Split Old Town
The area known as Old Town is the cities neighborhood of origin.
Although modern city history is associated with the construction of Diocletian’s Palace in 305 a.d., there are records dating back to around 3rd-century b.c. suggesting it was a Greek colony.
Nevertheless, the area is recognizable by its traditional Roman architecture, which has been preserved over the centuries.
What to see and do in Old Town Split?
Already mentioned in the introduction, the palace was built for the Roman emperor Diocletian.
Although the word palace may associate with a luxurious private estate, it more resembled a fortress, as only part of it was for Diocletian’s personal use and the rest a military compound.
While you’re there, make sure to come by the temple dedicated to the Goddess Jupiter in the central area of the palace.
Today, the historical architecture of the palace and areas around it are listed in the UNESCO World Heritage Sites.
Riva Harbor is a gorgeous pedestrian zone with lines of palm trees spreading from one end to the other.
From it, you can gaze upon the gorgeous Mediterranean sea, worth coming to for both sunsets and sunrises.
The street is also full of cafes and restaurants, as well as souvenir shops, among others.
Split Ethnographic Museum
What better way to explore a cities culture and folklore, than visiting the ethnographic museum.
Here you’ll have the opportunity to learn about and see elements of Croatia’s tradition, such as clothing, tools and accommodation, particularly those of the Dalmatian coast.
Sometimes, the museum will host a live event of traditional folklore singing and dancing from the area.
Where to stay in Old Town Split, our top Airbnb’s
Affordable price range: Historic Home Split – gorgeous stone apartment with modern furnishing (rated AirBnB Plus)
Moderate price range: Studio in Diocletian Palace – modern studio in a premium historical location (rated Airbnb Plus)
Luxury price range: Luxury Palace #1 – modern apartment, lots of utilities, premium location, pool, hot tub, etc. (rated Airbnb Plus)
Where to stay for the nightlife in Split – Bačvice
Just south of Old Town is the area known as Bačvice. It’s known for its popular beaches, lots of snack and drink bars and clubs. Very popular tourist area, especially among younger crowds.
What to see and do in Bačvice?
Plaža Bačvice (Bacvice Beach)
This popular place to swim during the day quickly becomes a place to hang out at night as daily restaurants and cafes become nightclubs and bars as the sun goes down.
Although it’s known for being overcrowded, it’s an ideal place for people looking to hang out and meet new people, both local and otherwise.
Great for sunbathing or taking a swim, and plenty of beach beds to rent.
Enjoy an evening out
We recommend this area for the nightlife because it’s youthful and full of people in the evening.
If you’re looking for a party, there’s plenty of clubs nearby.
If you want to grab a drink and enjoy some acoustic music in the evening, there’s plenty of that down at the beaches.
Plenty of restaurants with open spaces become dance floors in the evening and you can hear all sorts of music, from global hits to club bangers and of course local favorites.
Here are just some of the many recommended places:
- Cocktail Bar Mystic
- Restaurant (Konoba) Matoni
- inBOX open-air club
Open-Air Cinema (Ljetno Kino Bačvice)
As the name suggests, this is an open-air cinema with one big screen, with the view of the sea behind it.
It has projections every day during the summer, and showcases everything from trending cinema to movie classics, and is home to the Mediterranean Film Festival every June.
The usual entry fee is 30 Kuna’s (around $4) and it has a typical cinema snack menu as well.
For those who don’t mind sitting on the floor, they can experience the cinema for free by picking a spot on the side hills.
Where to stay in Bačvice, our top Airbnb’s
Affordable price range: Apartment with Seaview – nice apartment in a residential area with a view of the sea from its terrace
Moderate price range: Apartment Park – very modern, fully furnished apartment with lots of utilities, in a nice residential area
Luxury price range: Monvi Luxury Suite – super modern flat in a premium central location, private parking and lots of utilities and walking distance from everything (rated Airbnb Plus)
Where to stay, bohemian/alternative edition – Varoš
Translated meaning “Small Town”, this area really does feel like its own place, even though it’s connected to the city.
This is a hillside, mostly residential area with plenty of green scenery, parks, viewpoints, churches and more.
Where to go and what to see in Varoš?
Museum of Croatian Archeological Monuments (MHAS)
“Muzej Hrvatskih Arheoloskih Spomenika” as it is called in the native tongue, is a museum dedicated to periods from around the 7th to 15th centuries.
It houses plenty of artifacts from the time, things like jewelry, weapons, armor, clothing, tools, as well as a large number of stone monuments that were parts of early Croatian churches.
The museum is praised for having its exhibitions that curate a story and let the observer imagine themselves what it was like to live in the time period.
Entry is free, while curated visits are available on workdays from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. and cost 250
Kuna’s (around $40).
Marjan Forest Park and Hill
Varoš is completely surrounded by its back by the forest named Marjan.
The forest has been made into a national park and walking zone, making it easy to cover from all sides on foot.
In the park, you’ll find plenty of churches and similar monuments and many viewpoints looking both in the city and the sea.
Telegrin hill is the highest peak and provides a 360-degree view of the area with plenty of benches and walls to sit on.
The park is also a great place to go biking.
The beach is located on the north-west side of the Marjan forest.
You can reach it on foot after hiking through the forest, or grab the bus number 12 until the last stop.
It’s a small and secluded beach, meaning there are fewer tourists and noise and the water is cleaner.
Once you get off the main road, don’t be afraid to explore the area for even more exclusive beach parcels.
It’s also a highly recommended spot for catching the sunrise or sunset.
Where to stay in Varoš, our top Airbnb’s
Affordable price range: Seagulls Nest – fancy apartment with lots of natural sunlight and great views
Moderate price range: Ornate Flat – fully furnished, great location, great sea view from patio (rated Airbnb Plus)
Luxury price range: High-End Azimut Apartment – the location, utilities, furnishing, lighting, everything about this apartment is premium (rated Airbnb Plus)