Split is the gateway to the Croatian islands with a lot to do and see for such a small, developing city. There’s plenty of beaches, music festivals and events and nature at a stone’s throw and you won’t be bored unless you stay for too long?
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Airport –> Split City Centre –> Riva (Split’s Promenade)
I arrived at the Split airport all excited and took the shuttle to the city centre that dropped me at the bus station. This bus station is a really useful stop that you will need if you want to go around along with the Port which happens to be right in front of the bus station, how convenient!
I got a place through Airbnb right next to the Diocletian’s palace which was quite handy. This is the tourist hotspot and you need to be careful about eating and drinking because prices for everything are jacked to cater to the ‘rich’ Europeans.
The city centre is quite small and pleasant and when you roam around you will see a lot of different small shops, more like boutiques, with a lot of souvenir shops, eateries and what not.
I went out to get a quick feel of the city and to meet my friends who were heading towards the UltraEurope festival. The whole city had the UltraEurope fever with plenty of drunk and merry people roaming around with their country’s flags, it seemed like fun but since I hadn’t bought the tickets I decided to go for a stroll on the promenade and enjoy the atmosphere followed by an amazing dinner.
So then I opened Grindr (as you do!). The general population was tourists and were there for the festival but there were some like me; just there on holiday. The local guys generally don’t like showing their faces and were mostly average looking. I started chatting to Maxime who was on holiday as well from Toulouse and we met for dinner. I’m only so happy I bumped into him, he was really fun and I spent the rest of the time in Split with him.
Diocletian’s Palace –> Split Bell Tower –> Cathedral of Saint Domnius –> Znjan Beach
The next day started with a tour of the old part of the city centre or Diocletian’s palace. There are no free walking tours in Croatia because the law forbids them and you have to purchase a ticket. There’s plenty of people selling tours in the courtyard of the palace and I bought one ticket and waited for it to start while enjoying my ice cream.
The palace is a complex of buildings enclosing the oldest church in the world, some underground vaults and of course the palace. The guide gave some basic info in a monotonous tone and in 90 minutes we were done with a rather boring tour. I headed to the cathedral and the bell tower to get a better idea of Split.
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The cathedral of Saint Dominus is quite ordinary looking and crammed with tourists because it was small and while it has historical significance it lacks all the shine of Europeans cathedrals, fitting of its location and age. The cathedral ordained at the turn of the 7th century is regarded as the oldest Catholic cathedral in the world that remains in use in its original structure. Next stop was the bell tower of Slit which will make you climb some serious steps and this was my intro to steps and Croatian love of them but the views on the top were beautiful. It was a bit cloudy but you could still see the ships coming and going, the aqua coloured transparent water and the layout of Split; pictures gold!
Enough of untrue and history, I said and called my friends to let them know I was coming to meet at Znjan Beach, which is the most famous beach in Split.
The most surprising and positive surprise in Split was Uber which was super cheap so I called one and headed to the beach. The beach has a few bars with a great atmosphere and the sun came out to help. We stayed the whole day on the beach chilling, drinking and chilling. The food was pretty awesome and quite affordable and there was plenty of eye candy. I liked the atmosphere because unlike gay beaches there was no sexual tension, at least not for me?
A nice dinner later I headed to my place to get some rest because Max and I decided to go cycling around Marjan Park next day and we decided to go early (9 counts as super early on holiday)…
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Split City –> Kasjuni Beach –> Marjan Park –> Obojena Beach –> Split City Centre
We woke up early and met near the bus station to hire cycles, you can get them from the main road in front of Inbox which is the big open-air club at the corner of Polijana Kneza Trpimira. We needed some deposit and the photo ID of one person to hire cycles. The locks came in complimentary and we set about to our journey after a quick brekkie of fruits from the vendor market behind us along with the pebble beach shoes.
Split is generally flat and there wasn’t a lot of slopes except for a small distance until you actually reach the park but even there the road was smooth.
Our first stop was Kasjuni beach; my favourite beach in the whole of Croatia. You have to go down a path to get to the beach where we stored our cycles and got to the sunbeds and umbrellas. The beach was quiet and peaceful with just a few people. The water was crystal clear and very peaceful. We splashed around a bit and ended up taking a quick nap, waking up to that view was it’s life-changing; utter bliss!
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We took our cycles and went back to the road and started cycling around the park which was really beautiful. The road was very clean and clear with a few people strolling around, it was like going through a magical forest where only crickets talked to birds and they dance back at them. The whole trip took us about 3 hours at a slow leisurely pace with a few stops for pictures, detours, water and just being lazy because why not!
At the end of the park, there’s a great restaurant with some amazing fresh grilled fish with potatoes and chard which we digested with a caipirinha and then headed to the road for some more lazy cycling and finally reached Obejana beach.
Obojana beach is busier with lots of families and no sinners or umbrellas so you have to bring your own and we didn’t have those. We stayed for a bit with a little splish splash and swim and then headed to the city where we returned the cycles and after a nice long shower went to the city centre to get some food.
Not far from the bus station is Aktuell Shisha Bar that does comfortable seating and great shisha which we really enjoyed. There was something about the night with the full moon that just made Split look really peaceful and with most of the people gone after UltraEurope, it returned to its normal pace which was much more relaxed compared to the day before…
We were quite tired by now but Max wanted to try the gay bar in the city centre called Ghetto. It’s in a beautiful courtyard but the place was full of girls for a hen do but the music was quite dancy. We stayed for a bit and then returned finally to get some sleep.
The airport doesn’t have a lot of options in terms of seating or eating and I had to wait till I got to London to eat something which was a shame.
The only thing I would probably add to my trip is the one day trip to the waterfalls in Krka National Park which you can do easily with a tour which picks you up and drop you back in 6 hours and costs roughly €30. It does look magical but oh well next time…
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