First time in Split? Make sure you know these 3 things

 — Guest post by Seb from The Traveloid — 

If you’re looking to see the Dalmatian coast, Split makes a great starting point thanks to it’s good transport links, both with international destinations and nearby islands. Split is well worth a a visit for at least a couple of days thanks to the great nightlife, bars and backpacking culture.

But before you book your flights and accommodation, make sure you’re aware of these three things – if not, you may not get what you bargained for!

Split old town

The old town is beautiful. The rest is not.

Scroll through a Google Images search for Split and you’d think the entire city is one beautiful, ancient Roman palace. Unfortunately, that’s far from the case. Yes, Split’s old town is absolutely stunning, but this is in fact a very small part of Split itself. Head just five minutes out of the old town and you’re faced with the Brutalist architecture typical for many former Socialist cities.

Here, you won’t find much aside from seemingly endless high-rise apartment blocks, cheap cafes, and small local supermarkets – there’s just not that much to do. Don’t be tempted by renting a ‘modern’ apartment, the only way to enjoy Split is to ensure your accommodation is right in the centre of the old town.

split croatia

Customer service isn’t the locals’ best forte

Customer service isn’t exactly an area that the bars and restaurants of Split seem to excel at. And to be honest, it’s hard to blame them. Why would you want to work when you could be sitting on a beautiful beach, drinking a cold beer with not a cloud in the sky?

Unfortunately, many of the staff seem to think this way too, and if you’re very particular about the standards of service you expect, then you’re likely to be less than impressed.

“When my friend uses his phone at the dinner table, I take it from him, and throw it away. Now, he has to talk to me!”

This is the response one of my travelling companions got when he asked the waiter for the WiFi code at a restaurant in the old town. Sure, it’s just a bit of banter, but snatching his phone from his hand was probably a bit much, considering we’d only been there for a few minutes.

Elsewhere, we found that what’s on the menu isn’t necessarily what’s available.

“Can I have the Spaghetti Bolognese?”

“No.”

“…how about the carbonara?”

“No.”

“…what about the burger?”

“No. Only grilled chicken or Calypso chicken.”

Split Riva

It’s more expensive than you think

Upon arriving in Split, my general expectations where for it to cost around the same as many other south eastern-European countries. How wrong I was. Split’s old town is rather upmarket, which in hindsight is clear from its popularity with yachting enthusiasts. If you’re a backpacker on a budget, then Split Riva, the promenade on the seafront, is probably the last place you should go for a meal.

Instead, try heading further inland, through the maze of alleys and lanes that make up the old town. Prices are a little cheaper, yet you’ll still find many of the seafood delicacies that make the cuisine in Split so popular.

Have you been to Split?

Did it meet your expectations? Let us know in the comments below!

Author: Seb is a keen traveller who’s on a mission to travel to every country in Europe. Catch up with his adventures and antics at The Traveloid.

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Travel blogger from Bulgaria chasing adventures all over Europe!

Latest comments
  • I just spent a month in Split and while I don’t disagree old town is preferable, being a 5-10 minute walk away is no big deal and a bit more cost effective.

  • I disagree with most of the stuff written here. Clearly written by a person not seeing, breathing, knowing enough about the city. To conclude facts about the city you can not base it on one street you saw 1km from Diocletian palace. In fact, Split is not presented as solely roman city, that Roman part it’s just one small chunk.
    To enjoy your stay you should exactly rent your room/apartment/hotel outside of the city centre. Next time you write something be aware of following:
    – not whole city is like the rude person who took phone from your hand
    – don’t expect everything to be as on tourist brochure
    – inform yourself
    – relax and smile

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