Split had been high on my need-to-visit list since I first heard about this Croatian gem. This meant I was not only super excited but also had high hopes for our 48 hours in Split.
This city on the Dalamtian coast has become increasingly popular over the last few years and it’s easy to see the attraction. Split has everything you could want; packed full of history and Roman ruins, picturesque views, plenty of beaches and lots of day trip options to the nearby Islands. Add in the 30º heat we experienced despite visiting during the end of September and you’ve described a pretty perfect holiday destination.
So how do you spend 48 hours in the perfect sounding place?
If you’re interested in seeing what else we go up to our interrailing adventure check out this post.
To start our time 48 hours in Split we headed straight for a wander along the Riva Promenade.
The Riva is definitely one of the most popular and iconic areas of Split. On one side is the waterfront, on the other the historic buildings of the old town, making it pretty picture perfect and definitely Instagram worthy. It’s lined with cafes and restaurants, palm trees and plenty of benches to sit and soak up the views.
Although slightly more expensive we decided to stop at a cafe along the Riva for breakfast. 100% worth spending a bit more for the views.
After a very relaxed morning, we decided to start exploring. First port of call was Diocletian’s Palace.
That being said it’s not necessarily somewhere you need to seek out specifically. Spend some time walking around you’ll definitely find it. That’s because the Palace is not really a palace but is actually a labyrinth of streets, gates, and ruins that make up most of the old town.
The Roman ruins of the Palace are said to Split’s main attraction so be prepared for the crowds and having to dodge a tour group or 6. If you want to escape the crowds for you can buy a ticket and head inside the Cathedral of St. Domnius which also includes admission to its crypt, treasury, and baptistery. I would also recommend taking a guided tour if you’re interested in knowing more about the place.
We decided that instead of a ticket we would buy an ice-cream and grabbed a seat to indulge in some people watching.
From there we had a wander around Green Market before ending up at the Golden Gate and the Statue of Gregory of Nin. The statue, by the way, is said to have a lucky toe and if you make a wish while rubbing it the wish will come true. Because I guess we could all use a bit more luck in our lives.
After seeing as much of the old town as we could, we headed towards the West Promenade and the Marina.
The promenade is home to some seriously impressive super yachts and paved entirely in white stone. It definitely feels like your stepping into a land of luxury. We simply strolled along taking in the views, but there’s cafe’s dotted along the way should you need to rest your feet.
By this point, the afternoon heat so definitely getting to us. So it was back to the hostel, quick change and off to Bacvice Beach to cool down.
Bacvice is about 10/15 minutes from the city centre and the only sandy beach in Split. The sandy part is actually pretty small so be prepared for it to be a bit crowded. There however a few cafes surrounding the bay, plenty of sun loungers and the water is warm and shallow with inflatables if you fancy something a bit more active. Perfect for a relaxing afternoon in the sun.
For food that evening we decided on Toto’s Burgers which I’d heard good things about. And this place did not disappoint. So good we went back twice! We both had the combo menu which included a burger, fries and a drink for 87 HRK (about £10). They also sell beer and wine if you fancy a glass, as well as other dishes like burritos and salads. Plus plenty of vegetarian and vegan options. Good food and good prices, what more could you want!?
We ended our night with a little bar crawl around Split.
A couple worth noting are Charlie’s Bar and Sanctuary Bar, both in the old town.
Although not my cup of tea, Charlie’s is the place to be if you want cheap drinks, the chance the meet other travellers and a party atmosphere. This backpacker is definitely not for those of us who just want to quiet drink before bed.
Sanctuary bar, although just around the corner, is more suited for those who want something a bit more chilled. My favourite bar in Split this place offers cheap cocktails, a good selection of beers as well as screens to watch live sport and an outside terrace. And when I say cheap I’m talking any cocktail for 35 HRK (£4.70).
I’d heard high praises for the bakeries in Split so, on our second morning, it was time to put them to the test. We headed to Bobis Bakery for pastries to start the day and they did not disappoint. You’re talking around 6 HRK (70p) for a pastry so definitely a budget-friendly option for breakfast.
Now, if you’ve been here before you’ll know my love for a good viewpoint. That morning we decided to get some exercise and head up to the Split Viewpoint at the edge of Marjan Park. This was one of my favourite activities from our entire time in Split and I couldn’t recommend it enough.
The walk up isn’t actually that hard and only takes about 15 from the Riva so don’t be put off by the whole uphill thing! If you are fancying a bit more of a hike you can carry on into Marjan Country Park.
The viewpoint itself offers the most incredible views over Split. You really can see everything from the old town in one direction and the marina and beyond in the other. The perfect spot for an insta shoot if that’s your thing!
There’s also a little cafe next to the viewpoint which we stopped at. It has a massive outside terrace so you can cool down with a drink while still enjoying the views.
Lunch that day was my new Croatian favourite, cevapcici at Fife. A place that has been popular with both locals and tourists Fife focuses mainly on Croatian food. Although not the best service we’ve ever had, the food was good and the price incredibly budget friendly. We both opted for cevapcici and fries, something we first discovered in Zagreb and paid just 57 HRK (£6.60) each.
Our afternoon was spent wandering around, popping into a few bars, all before the BEST EVENING OF MY LIFE!
You can not go to Split without stepping foot on a boat. Whether you go Island hopping or just on a 40-minute cruise out to sea, a boat trip is a must if you’re ever in the city.
For our boat experience, we chose a sunset cruise around the city’s shoreline.
The cruise costs €20 (£17) each and included a glass of wine or apple juice on board. What was really nice however was that we were able to take our own food and drink on board as well. Meaning you could stock up on a few cans from the local corner shop and not have to make one glass of wine last 90 minutes…
The cruise itself was pretty much the most magical experience of my life to date. If you don’t do chose to do a sunset cruise at some point in your life you are missing out big time! The sunset, the wine, seeing the city light up as the sun went down, it was the perfect evening.
If I’m honest I didn’t fall in love with Split as much as a thought I would. I can’t put my finger on it but it just didn’t blow me away as I hoped. But that being said I had some of my favourite experiences of the entire trip in Split. The sunset cruise topped the lot and is probably my best travel memory. So I’m just not sure why I don’t feel that well about the whole city.
Do I regret going? Absolutely not. Would I go back? Probably not, no. Should you go? Definitely. Just because I didn’t fall in love with somewhere doesn’t mean you won’t!
And if you do go, don’t forget to come back to tell me what you think.
All my love,