Split, Croatia is the second-largest city in the country and the largest city in the Dalmatian region. It lies on the eastern shore of the Adriatic Sea and is spread over a central peninsula and its surroundings. An intraregional transport hub and popular tourist destination, the city is linked to the Adriatic islands and the Apennine peninsula.
One of the oldest cities in the world, Split has a Mediterranean climate, with warm summers and mild winters. It's home to Diocletian's Palace, built for the Roman emperor, and has since become a UNESCO World Heritage Site and one of the most popular tourist destinations in Croatia. The city is also famous for its vibrant nightlife and as a gateway to some of Croatia's most beautiful beaches, such as Bacvice, Bene, Jezinac, Kaštelet, and Trstenik.
The city has a long and rich history, which is reflected in its architecture, culture, and cuisine. Split has been inhabited by a number of different peoples over the centuries, including the Greeks, Romans, Venetians, and Austrians.
Whether you're looking for an action-packed vacation or a relaxing getaway, Split is the perfect destination. The city centre is easily navigated on foot, trains help you get in and out of the city, and the bus lines allow you to reach the outskirts of Split and some of the world's most beautiful beaches. And, if you need it, Split Airport is home to all the major car rental companies you're used to.
Before you embark on your travel around Split, leave your bags somewhere safe. Bounce is here to help with convenient luggage storage facilities around the city center and near the airport. Once you're not weighed down by your bags, walking and riding public transportation is so much easier.
How to get around Split by train
Split is an important junction for Croatia's rail network, with connections to Zagreb, Dubrovnik, and elsewhere. Split is home to two train stations, but most tourists will end up at the main train station in the city centre. This hub for travel throughout the country is the only train system in Split. There is no metro, tram, or commuter train available.
It's accurate to say that you can't get around Split by train, but you can certainly arrive and leave the city this way. A popular option with visitors is to leave Split for Zagreb from the main station, which is about 6.5 hours away, or a little longer if you opt for the overnight train. Although train travel isn't possible through the city of Split, it's a very useful tool for travel all over Croatia. If Dubrovnik, Zagreb, Sibenik, and Zadar are on your itinerary for your Croatia visit, you'll probably be spending at least a few hours on the train. It's worth noting that you can also get trains to Vienna, Budapest, and Munich directly from Split, Croatia.
How to get around Split by bus
If you arrive in town via the airport, you're going to have to get to your hotel somehow. One of the best options for this is the airport shuttle bus. This shuttle bus will take you from the airport and drop you off directly at the main bus station. This central station is your gateway to the Split city centre, and as a guide, Diocletian's Palace is a mere ten-minute walk away. The Split Central Bus Station is a hub for anyone looking to escape the city and head to the water. It's basically in the Split Port and is no more than a ten-minute walk from the popular Bacvice Beach.
One of the most popular ways to get around Split, aside from on foot, is by using the hop-on-hop-off bus. While, to some, these might seem like a tourist cliche, they exist for a reason. You get dropped off at all the major attractions, rest your feet, and have a bird's eye view of everything as you travel. You can easily tick off Diocletian's Palace, Marjan Hill and the surrounding forest park, and the Croatian National Theater without cracking a sweat. Well, maybe not if you travel in the summer.
The Split local buses are another treasure trove to keep in your back pocket. City buses are reliable and relatively frequent, especially during peak times. If you don't want to get the airport shuttle bus that only gives you one option for pickup or drop off, you can also get bus number two to the Split Airport. Local bus fares are very reasonable and a single bus ticket will cost you roughly $1.50 per ride within the city limits.
You can purchase your local bus ticket from a number of kiosks around the city at the main bus stops and stations, from newsstands, and directly from the driver. Regardless of where you purchase your tickets, don't expect to be able to pay by card. Both the drivers and the ticket machines currently only accept cash. And, if you're buying on board, try to have exact change. If you're planning a return journey, it's cheaper to buy the outgoing and return tickets together.
For anyone who might be on the local buses a lot during your Split visit, consider downloading the bus app for all the info you need at your fingertips. It's aptly called Split Bus and has details of schedules, bus stops, and maps to help you plan. Additionally, you can purchase a one-day bus ticket for just over $4 or a three-day ticket for about $8.50. This can save you quite a bit over multiple journeys and also saves you from fussing with cash and change as you board the sometimes quite crowded local buses.
For anyone who likes to experience the nightlife in Split, there are night lines that run, although sparingly. If you're not partying it up in the walkable city centre, you may need an Uber or taxi to get you back to your hotel.
How to get around Split by car
There are a few options if you want to get around Split using a car. The first is to book from one of the car rental companies, and you ideally want to do this at the Split Airport. Here, you'll get the best deals and access to all the major car rental companies, and a big plus is that you won't have to rely on the sometimes very crowded airport shuttle bus to get you to your hotel.
Although, if you rent a car, there are some definite drawbacks as well. The most important is that the city center and specifically Diocletian's Palace is a completely pedestrianized part of the city. Having a car here won't help you at all. Also, generally in Split, parking is very hard to come by, especially in any of the more popular tourist areas.
If you prefer to tour around town in a comfortable (and air-conditioned) private car, consider making use of the Split taxis for the odd time you might need to get somewhere that you can't reach on foot. Taxi stations are scattered throughout the city, with companies like Radio Taxi Split at your disposal. You can get a taxi from the Split Airport as well for convenience, but this will set you back upwards of €40. But this high price will save you some hassle if you choose a taxi over a car rental. You won't have to go and pick the car up and you won't have to struggle to find parking.
Split taxis are best used occasionally on your trip, and in most cases, a car rental isn't worth the aggravation or the cost. This is especially true during the summer high season.
Can I get around Split on foot?
The short answer is absolutely. As mentioned, the main tourist area of Split city centre is Diocletian's Palace, which is completely free of rental cars, taxis, or local buses. Even the picturesque riverfront promenade, which is within walking distance of Diocletian's Palace, called the Riva, is totally pedestrianized. A great way to make sure you don't miss anything in the Split city centre is to take a walking tour. You can download a comprehensive guide and do it yourself or join a guided walking tour for some extra information provided by a local.
Aside from the historic Split Old Town attractions, you can also easily get to Bacvice Beach, Marjan Hill, and some of the best shopping in Split on foot. And, in most cases, you won't be relying on the public transport system to get you from the port to the bus station to the train station either. Each of these hubs is no more than a five to ten-minute walk from the others.
Once you have explored the city centre, you may want to go a little further afield to spots like Firule Beach, Bene Beach, and Kasjuni Beach. Before you start dialing the car rental companies or heading to one of the taxi stations, consider picking up a bike. Download the app and you can pick up any of the public bicycles you see scattered about. This is a great way to get to multiple locations that might each be technically walkable, but when you add it up, you're walking all day.
Can I get around Split by boat?
While you can't exactly navigate the city by boat - this isn't Venice - but you can use various watercraft to explore other areas and even do some island hopping on the nearby islands. The Split Ferry Port is easy to access, and very close to the Split Central Bus Station. The ferry port offers cars and passengers the chance to leave the bustling town of Split and head to a more relaxed Brač Island in less than an hour. There are a total of four ports on this island: Bol, Supetar, Sumartin, and Milna. The beaches here are arguably even better than the locals Split ones, even though both have their merits. Crystal-clear water, excellent snorkeling, and endless sunshine await you here.
If you prefer to see the city from the water, you can also charter a boat or book with a boat tour company. There are also water taxi stations at the ferry port if you need them.
Navigating Split is truly an easy task, as long as you know which mode of transportation best suits you and your itinerary. You can hit up some of the nearby towns and cities on the train, use the ferry or water taxi to do some island exploration, or use the local bus lines to get through and to the Split outskirts. Walking is the only way to see the city centre, which makes planning your transportation easier. Just make sure you have good walking shoes! Cars and taxis should be used sparingly due to the hassle and cost, but they do have a place in the conversation of how to get around the city.
No matter how you get around town to the stunning beaches, museums, historic sites, parks, and restaurants, you're bound to have a great time in this coastal gem. And, since you might be walking quite a bit, don't forget that Bounce has you covered for all your luggage storage needs in Split and around the world.