Nomad Guide to Split, Croatia
“In every outthrust headland, in every curving beach, in every grain of sand there is the story of the earth.” ― Rachel Carson
Oh! Where to even begin?! I fell in love with this city! Without question, I would recommend everyone visit this beautiful city and enjoy the casual pace of the Dalmatian lifestyle.
Before you go, I would prepare yourself for a lot of walking and sunshine, so plan clothing accordingly! Everyone is pretty casual and it is a smart idea to carry a bathing suit 24/7.
The city felt incredibly safe, but always remember to be cautious and aware of your surroundings. There were a lot of first impressions and things that shocked me upon arrival that you can read about in my blog post on my early thoughts.
This guide will primarily focus on what to do, where to go, and how to continue your nomad lifestyle here (if that's what you are up to). I do not have any advice on where to stay, as I was staying at an apartment provided by Remote Year for the entire month.
I stayed in Split for five weeks, so I have plenty of more suggestions and places I enjoyed, but that blog post would take ages to write and y'all don't want to read a book. Therefore, I picked all my top choices below. I hope this is a useful guide to anyone hoping to explore the city of Split!
Where to eat?
Bokeria Kitchen and Wine Bar - This was highly recommended by our city leaders and was my first dinner out in Old Town. They offer a diverse menu with Mediterranean flavors and a great Dalmatian vibe. The host welcomed us right in and I was impressed with the excellent service for the big group we had. Plus, the food was amazing and the wine was paired well.
Perivoj - This was another suggestion from our city leaders, after I asked for recommendations on where to find the best dessert in Split. I shared this final meal with my roommate and a couple close friends. It is the cutest location, featuring a courtyard with a fountain and live piano music. I was further impressed by their menu when I saw a vegetarian section and was blown away by the truffle pasta. Dessert was lit! We shared berries with mascarpone and a delicious chocolate thingy. I can't event describe what it was, but go try it out for yourself! Would return in a heartbeat!
Brasserie on 7 - Remote Year has this awesome game called "Lunch Roulette" that I try to sign up for every time it is offered. You sign up for Wednesday lunch, then they pair you with random people and give you a reservation to a recommended restaurant. So fun, right?! That's how I found this place! It is located right between Diocletian's Palace and the water, so the views are stunning. They had a great cocktail list and everyone was pretty impressed with their food.
Makrovega - Cheers to a vegan restaurant!!! Makrovega offers both vegan and vegetarian version of their daily menu. The daily menu is really the best way to go because you get to try a little bit of everything. They have vegan lattes (yes!), fresh juice, raw desserts, and everything you need if you love a good veg meal!
Looking for a quick and inexpensive bite? You can almost stop anywhere for a delicious pastry (sweet or savory), giant slice of pizza, scoop of gelato, etc. Most of the cafes I visited had pretty comparable food that was simple, but filled the belly.
Suggestion: Stop at least once at a fruit stand for a fresh juice or smoothie. If you are into this at home, you are going to be very impressed with the prices and they do a good job!
Where to drink?
Sanctuary - The typical night out usually started at this bar. We fell in love with the cheap cocktails and cool mix of locals and tourists. Plus, the owner and main bartender (Tristan) is from Seattle and knew his craft cocktails, so we were never disappointed with anything we ordered. I got pretty hooked to tequila shots because he actually served them with salt and lime! (A lot of bars give you lemon, boo)
Big warning for a lot of the bars in Old Town - wear good shoes! It is ridiculously common for glasses to break at the bars and sometimes the glass does not get picked up for a while. You don't want to cut your feet!
Central - This is not my normal jam, but it is the perfect place if you are looking to get dressed up and go out to impress. This club has a cover charge, but it may be worth it if you are looking for entertainment along with your club admission. The are girls dancing on stage, swinging from the ceiling, and they put on a pretty good show. I was blessed with the good fortune of having a friend pay for a fancy VIP table behind the DJ on stage and it was one of the craziest experiences I have had. It's definitely pricey, but it's whatever you are into 🙂
Inbox - Looking for a place to get your dance on underneath the summer sky, complete with crazy lights and big crowds? This is your jam. I only went once but our group were somewhat regulars of this night club. The music is pretty good and the drinks are not unreasonable. Such a fun night out!
Beach Bars - Honestly, this is where we spent more of our time. We lived further from Old Town on Znjan beach, which is lined with over a dozen beach bars with a chill atmosphere and fair prices. We spent a lot of time at these bars, such as Congo and Plan B. If you are staying closer to Old Town, check out Beach & Booze.
Things to do in Split
Explore Old Town - Just walk around and enjoy the beauty of Diocletian's Palace. The ancient palace has been transformed to accommodate cafes, shops, hotels, and local businesses. You can get lost in the maze of the palace, which I love. Visit during the day to see everything clearly, but make sure to go back again at night when the lights of the city bounce beautifully off the polished limestone and transform the palace into something new.
Definitely take the time to visit the top of the Bell Tower. It is a little nerve wrecking to climb up to the top, but the 360 degree view of Split is well worth it. Also, take the time to explore the Green Market, open most days until 2 pm. There are plenty of merchants selling a variety of produce, oils, bread, eggs, cheese, meats, etc. I loved grabbing fresh flowers and lavender from the market.
Marjan Hill - This is another stunning view of the city! Take a long walk up the start of the trail to get the famous picture everyone takes overlooking the city. There is also a little restaurant and bar, but I never stopped there. Then continue to the top for a unique experience of Split. A group of fellow remotes did this at sunrise and said it was well worth getting up early.
Take a swim - The water is amazing! I loved the beaches in Croatia, but I must warn you that the majority of the beaches (especially Znjan) are pebble beaches, so I would recommend good water shoes. I used my chacos just fine. There is a sand beach near Beach & Booze, which I loved visiting. The beach is very shallow, so you will see crowds of people playing games in the water. It is definitely the most crowded, but I still enjoyed it!
Day Trips Away
Have enough time to leave the city? I highly suggest taking the time to explore a few of these day trips:
Explore the Islands - Whether by ferry, a boat tour, or a privately rented boat, get out there and visit the islands! They are gorgeous and host numerous hidden gems. The most popular island is Hvar, which is known for their party night life, but the town square is stunning.
Krka Waterfalls - Just a couple hours from Split, you can visit breathtaking waterfalls at the Krka National Park. Take a quick stroll, enjoy the sounds of running water throughout the park, and don't forget your suit to swim in the fresh pools!
Zadar - If you are visiting Krka, might as well head over to Zadar and make a full day trip out of it! Zadar is a smaller city on the water that is famous for its Sea Organ and light show. The sounds of the sea organ are one of the coolest things I have ever heard in my life.
Plitvice Lakes National Park - I never went to this park, but those who did within my group talked nonstop about its beauty. The park is bigger than that in Krka, with plenty of waterfalls, walking trails, and a way of getting lost in nature.
Dubrovnik - Calling all Game of Thrones fans! This city has become famous, as it is one of the central locations for the filming of GOT. The giant fortress in Dubrovnik is definitely worth a trip to the city. I would ask around to find some of the hidden cliff side bars too 🙂
Where to work?
Are you a digital nomad too? If you need a place to work from in Split, I would really suggest our co-working space, Work in Progress. WIP offers free passes to try out the space and has great rates if you are looking to work and stay in Split for a few days.
Where to exercise?
Honestly, I had enough exercise walking up and down the hill to my apartment and swimming in the ocean each day, so I did not do much outside of my minimal yoga practice (hoping to change that in Budapest). However, a number of people in our group enjoyed nice runs along the Riva, renting bikes, or playing sports on the beach.
Additionally, my roommate attending one yoga class that she boasted about from Zen Yoga. She really enjoyed that the class ended with aerial stretches done from hanging silks. A big group of remotes also enjoyed classes at Crossfit Split.
Croatia is absolutely stunning! I would visit again or live there! I loved the slow vibe of everyone. We would spend mornings like the locals, sipping coffee at a cafe for a few hours, before getting into the groove of the day. There is plenty to see and the locals are pretty friendly.
If you are visiting Croatia, please read my post on the local movements taking place there and be aware of how you travel. Respect the culture, the environment, and the people of Croatia. It is a beautiful country that is trying to thrive and find a balance between tourism and maintaining their daily lives.
Please let me know if you plan to visit! I would love to share even more of my experiences and suggestions for what you are looking to do!