So, to get here was a bit of a mission as we found super cheap $50NZD flights from Lisbon to Split but it involved a 14 hour stopover in Toulouse…so that’s right , we spent the night in Toulouse but at the Airport ‘Hotel’ (more like hostel at best) for $45NZD which worked out well and allowed us some much needed sleep before arriving in Croatia.
We flew with ‘Volotea’ – yup, I had never heard of them either but despite this, they were great. We had 35 people on our flight and only 5 checked in baggage so 1 hour and 40 minutes later we were off the plane and 3 minutes after that we had our luggage, were out customs and waiting for the Airport bus!
For all those arriving into Split and wondering how to get to the city – there are 4 ways – Taxi, Uber, local bus or Airport bus. They all range in price from $140NZD, $60NZD, $4.50NZD and $9NZD for the 30 minute Airport shuttle, which we opted for as it was the best for time and money. Try and grab small bills as the bus driver is not a happy bunny if you pay with large Kuna…which we did until I asked if he would take Euro, which he did begrudgingly.
From the bus stop we walked to our accommodation, which is essentially a tiny house located in the old town but close to everything and just what we needed (mind you, it’s making us reconsider living in a tiny house as it’s cramped)
Now, back to Split itself. Lonely planet describes Croatia’s second largest city of Split as : ‘a great place to see Dalmatian life as it’s really lived. Always buzzing, this exuberant city has just the right balance between tradition and modernity. Step inside Diocletian’s Palace (a Unesco World Heritage Site and one of the world’s most impressive Roman monuments) and you’ll see dozens of bars, restaurants and shops thriving amid the atmospheric old walls where Split has been humming along for thousands of years’ – Sounds pretty epic right?
Well, it is (even though as I type this we are sitting in a thunder and lightning storm which hit early last night and hasn’t stopped). Tired from the flight and early morning, I was determined to get to explore as much as we could before said storm hit yesterday, so after checking in and showering we made our way into town to explore and have some lunch. We stopped at ‘Fife’ a local favourite for both locals and backpackers a like serving un- obnoxious and well-priced Croatian favourites. I opted for the stuffed courgettes and Leo, the stuffed peppers. Overall, it was ok, nothing to write home about and I feel the Croatian food may let me down as it is very meat based and seems quite carby. I may have my mind changed – who knows! Oh and it’s expensive here – for 2 meals and 1 beer it was nearly $35NZD – which is pretty pricy!
From there we walked through the old town of Split. Now after being in Portugal for the past week, we have had our fair share of ‘old town’s’ but this one certainly is pretty spectacular. As it became a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 2014 and, many improvements have been made around this area. For instance, they have cleaned the main Temple with special lasers meaning that it’s true beauty can shine through again.
For any Game of Thrones fans, Split will tick of plenty of boxes for you – I am not, neither is Leo but we do enjoy the architecture which took us to Diocletian’s Palace and from this citadel, plenty of other famous landmarks.
Filled with beautiful yet narrow alleyways, artisans craft and food markets, stunning buildings and ruins, it is easy to get lost wandering around for hours on end. There are also plenty of places to eat and drink along the way so if needing a pit stop you won’t look far.
Oh, and of you are looking for some ‘good luck vibes’ on your Split adventure be sure to visit the Grnur Ninski statue, very iconic to Split, located very close to Diocletian’s, which was created by the most famous Croatian sculptor – Ivan Meštrović. Apparently, if you touch his big golden toe and make a wish it will come true. Or just grab a photo and hopeful this will bring you god luck! Either way…it’s worth a go!
Walking home was made perfect buy the views along the Riva promenade - Palm trees, coffee shops, and smoothie stands look out over Split’s harbour and make for a perfect wander home in Split. We stopped at the Olive tree for a coffee and to people watch and my goodness it is arguably the best place for people watching, not to mention this bar is stunning (albeit expensive)