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At first glance, Split looks like a beautiful little tourist town, built around the wonderful Diocletian palace. But it's nothing of the sort - this is Croatia's second largest city, a vibrant hub connecting the mainland Dalmatian coast to the hip islands, just off the shore, and the place to uncover an authentic modern Dalmatian experience. As well as promenade the gorgeous Adriatic seafront and see the historic sights. It features a wide range of accommodation and our pick of the best places to stay in Split vary from a budget hostel to stylish Old Town luxury.
Split's Old Town does look like a beautiful little tourist town, historic buildings, cafes, restaurants and boutiques all snuggled in within the city's Roman walls. And the recently renovated seafront makes the picture, surrounded by dramatic coastal mountains, that much more enchanting when you're arriving or leaving via ferry.
Within Split's ancient walls the old layout of squares in front of temples can still be seen today. You'll probably want to start by exploring the palace, which was built for a retired Roman emperor and is actually more of a small suburb than a palace, complete with its own shops and housing. It's about 200metres square in size and the complex has about 220 buildings within its walls. Make sure you explore the basement halls as well - some are empty, but some house fascinating exhibitions.
After that stroll through the cathedral of St. Domnius, visit the synagogue, the third oldest in Europe, and visit Varos, one of the oldest parts of town.
For more outdoor sightseeing visit the seafront, Marjan hill and the beach at Ba?vice.
Many of Split's visitors are just passing through on their way to the islands. There are several ferries a day to and from Hvar, Brac, Solta, Vis and Kor?ula.
Even if you're not using Spilt as a gateway it's worth taking a ferry trip - both because the views of Split as you come and go are some of the best you can get of this photogenic city, and because the islands themselves are definitely worth a visit as well.
- Hvar has the fertile vineyards, gorgeous beaches and medieval towns;
- Brac is lush with pines and figs and is known for its clear waters;
- Kor?ula, the largest, is loved by cyclists; Solta is well developed and very welcoming,
- and Vis has more of those lovely, sandy bays and beaches.
As well as ferries to the islands, you can also come in and out of Split via ferry from Dubrovnik and Rijeka, and Pescara in Italy.
Split has a reputation for being sunny all year round, with relatively mild winters. So if you're looking for a sunny, but cultural winter break, Split is a good option. If you come during the cooler months you'll also find it much easier to book a room in one of the best places to stay in Split.
- The Divota Apartment Hotel is definitely one of the best places to stay in Split for families or groups. A stylish collection of rooms, apartments and a three bedroom house, it is perfectly situated for exploring the city.
For those on a budget
- Who says cheap accommodation has to be grotty? At the Design Hostel Goli + Bosi you'll find a range of incredibly inexpensive yet stylish rooms. Plus a fantastic pizzeria! Prices start from just €20 per person if you're in one of the dorms.
- Hotel Marmont is close to both the seafront and the heart of the Old Town. It boasts contemporary chic rooms encased in a beautiful 15th century shell, plus outside terrace and busy cocktail bar.
- Hotel Vestibul Palace is situated in the heart of the Diocletian Palace. One of the best places to stay in Split if you're looking for a spot of luxury combined with contemporary interiors located bang in the centre of the old town.
- The Judita Palace Hotel is also ideally placed for those who want to be immersed in Split's historic zone. Expect exposed stone walls and creamy furnishings in the stylish rooms and suites.
Best Hotels in Split
Design Hostel Goli + Bosi from $23Split
Fantastically modern hostel from a newly renovated 19th century warehouse. A range of modern minimal rooms, dorm-style rooms, and suites provide excellent value accommodation for families and groups of friends. Simple but delicious pizzeria and access to all the sights.Groups - Three and four person dorm-style rooms perfect for groups of friends.Contemporary - Superbly contemporary and minimal rooms all in white.Value chicQuirky - The quirky side of modern.
Grgur Ninski Rooms 4 rooms from $69Split (Dioklecijanova ul. 8)
A chic bed and breakfast located inside Diocletian's Palace in Split. Rooms contrast old and new with exposed stone walls, minimalist white-on-white décor, and contemporary furnishings. Breakfast is served at a nearby cafe. The perfect place to soak up the city's history and architecture.Local exploring - Located within the Palace, it's in the heart of the Old Town with tourist attractions, restaurants and cafes around.Value chic - Great value for money considering its cool interiors and superb location inside a UNESCO world heritage monument.Writing a novel - Be inspired by all the history around you! Writing desks in rooms.Sights nearby - Gregory of Nin and the Cathedral of St. Domnius are both moments away from the hotel.
Azur Palace 5 rooms from $81Split
This chic guesthouse located only ten minutes from the beach provides modern and spacious rooms in a traditional style building. Close to the city sights, it's ideal for those wanting to take in all that Split has to offer. It also has its own garden for relaxing in the sun.Local exploring - Its urban location means exploring Croatia's second biggest city couldn't be easier!Beach Life - The Split coast and beaches are nearby, making this a perfect spot.City Style - Situated in the heart of Split.Designer - Uniquely designed interiors.
Antique Split Luxury Rooms 8 rooms from $109Split
An elegant hotel in the heart of the historic centre of Split. Traditionally styled rooms feature exposed brick walls, parquet flooring made complete with gorgeous city views. Within walking distance of many of the sights. A charming base for city exploring.Local exploring - Well located in the historic centre of Split and within walking distance of many sights.Sights nearby - Discover the legacy of the Roman Empire in Split’s UNESCO World Heritage Site, Diocletian’s Palace.Romantic - Good for couples.Full of character
B&B Skyfall 3 rooms from $126Split
Modern interiors offer a chic stay in the beautiful Split. Big bedrooms have minimalist bathrooms, and either city or sea views. Restaurant offers a la carte menu, with plenty of other options close by. Minutes from the city's sights or a day at the beach.Local exploring - The best of both worlds with chic rooms offering sea or city views and easy accessSights nearby - Republic Square, Dicoletian's Palace and Cathedral of St Domnius all very closeViews - Great views from hotel
Hotel Marmont 20 rooms from $151Split
An old-town hotel perfect for the cultural explorer. 21 minimalist chic rooms with kingsize beds and big bathrooms. Many historic sights, day trips, and lots of beach life. A sumptuous seaside spot for couples.Historic - Mediterranean side streets and the Sveti Duje CathedralRomantic Break - Situated in the UNESCO-listed old town of SplitDesigner - Minimalist furniture and bathroomsSailing - Ultra SailingRecommended by - Mr & Mrs Smith, I Escape
Divota Apartment Hotel 24 rooms from $136Split
A renovated stone town house with a collection of contemporary chic rooms, studio apartments and one house. Interiors are all white with wooden floors and all the mod cons. Kitchens, sitting rooms, and in the thick of all the attractions. Stylish and family friendly.Private Hot Tub - Book the three bed villa and get your own private terrace with hot tubSights nearby - Unesco-listed Diocletian's Palace, Cathedral of St. Duje.Sailing - Catch a boat to Hvar, Vis, or Pag.Birdwatching - Good birding near the hotel.Recommended by - I Escape
Martinis Marchi 6 rooms from $206Maslinica, Dalmatian Coast
A beautiful Croatian castle renovation of the island of Solta, a boat ride from Split. A historic house with beautiful interiors that echo tradition. Enormous suites sleep between 4 and 6, all with private balconies looking onto the pool. Romantic, remote, and family friendly.Families - All the suites sleep 4, some sleep 6.Romantic BreakGroupsSights nearby - Short boat ride into Split
Judita Palace Hotel 8 rooms from $296Split
A romantic hotel just near Diocletian's Mausoleum. Beautiful rooms and suites have stone walls, creamy furnishings, wooden floors and all the mod cons. Charming terrace, sitting room, library and restaurant. A stylish spot for a stop-over in Split.Sights nearby - Diocletian’s Palace, Peristyle and Diocletian’s Mausoleum.Romantic - Good for couples.Views - Great views from hotelSailing - Can be booked nearby.
Hotel Vestibul Palace 11 rooms from $304Split
A traditional Dalmatian house with chic minimal interiors in central Split. Rooms and suites have original stone walls, big sky lights, white walls, and sparse furnishings. Good Mediterranean restaurant and walking distance to all the attractions. A stylish spot for Split.Local exploring - From Split you are able to explore the Croatian islands, such as Korcula, Hvar, Vis.Sights nearby - St Domnius Cathedral, ruins at Saloma, the capital of the Roman province of Dalmatia.Sailing - Can be booked nearby.Local markets - Good for local colour.Recommended by - Mr & Mrs Smith, Small Luxury Hotels