Split, Croatia is a tourist hot-spot for travellers who enjoy spending their holidays relaxing, shopping, and eating next to stunning views of the sea. The scenic drive from Zagreb to Split offers stunning views of immaculate scenery, through which I mostly slept.
I met a group of Norweiagns and Americans on the bus, whose love for liquor brought them together on a wild romantic holiday that every backpacker dreams of. We spent three days indulging in wine, seafood, and endless shouts of “schnapps it!” alongside Croatia’s flawless coastline.
Split’s Old Town is the most stunning I’ve seen in Eastern Europe. The Old Town is called Diocletian’s Palace – because that’s exactly what it is: a crumbling, beautiful ruin from the 1400’s. The ancient palace walls and corridors have been transformed into skinny streets and boutique shops that offer stunning views of the Adriatic Sea down every side street. Free wifi streams throughout the walls of Old Town. Once I became accustomed to the currency conversion rate, it was easy to bypass the expensive cafes for cheap (and relatively good) street food. (My personal favourite? The lukewarm pizza with spinach and feta.)
Snag some fruit samples that are aggressively handed out at the main market, but watch your purse as you browse the stalls of cheap junk. To the north of Old Town is a picturesque antique market, selling everything from scuffed silver rings to black-and-white war photographs.
Split’s main beach is small and grey, leaving something to be desired for the high expectations that accompany a coastal resort town (as did the nightlife – in mid-May, the clubs were about as lively as afternoon tea. Less, even). Instead of wasting a day along the packed promenade, hike up the leafy paths through Marjan and dive in at one of several secret swimming spots. A few fellow backpackers and I found our own private cove with glass-like water and streaming rays of sunshine
There aren’t many hostels within the City Center, so it’s important to book accommodation early. I stayed right inside the Palace – you can read about my experience here. If I had more time in Croatia, I would’ve explored the Game of Thrones filming locations in Dubrovnik and relaxed along the islands. Unfortunately, after three days, it was time for me to split.