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The great Croatian road trip
Things to do

The great Croatian road trip

Running from Rijeka on the Kvarner Gulf to Karasovići on the border with Montenegro, Croatia’s Jadranska magistrala or Adriatic Highway offers one of Europe’s most unforgettable journeys. Whether weaving its way round deeply indented bays or skirting scree-covered mountains, there’s scarcely a single boring kilometre in its 650km length. The magistrala may frequently set your stomach a-churn with its endless twists and turns, but the views it offers are unforgettable, with the Adriatic’s famously stark islands parading in stately procession before your eyes. Travelling along the magistrala used to be a severe test of holiday- season nerves, with its columns of caravans, straggling towns with speed restrictions, and enough blind corners to make overtaking a near impossibility. With Croatia’s still-growing motorway network now taking the pressure off much of the magistrala, the route is re-discovering its reputation as one of Europe’s greatest coastal odysseys. We’ve chosen two large chunks of the magistrala for our list of Croatian road trips listed below, followed by three more recommendations for exhilarating and rewarding drives. For twists, turns and superb maritime views, there are few roads in Europe that can match the magistrala, especially in this northern stretch. A sense of the otherworldly sets in early, with the hypnotically bleak and tawny island of Krk dominating the western horizon. The huddled town of Senj with its knoll-top Nehaj fortress provides a good p

Great things to do in Dalmatia this summer
Things to do

Great things to do in Dalmatia this summer

Holding Croatia's most popular holiday islands, the must-visit cities of Dubrovnik and Split, not to mention beautiful beaches, crystal clear waters and the world famous music festivals of places like Tisno and Zrce beach, Dalmatia is the jewel in the crown of Croatia's tourist offer. There's tons to do each season and this summer is no exception.

How to survive a restaurant in Croatia
Things to do

How to survive a restaurant in Croatia

Well used to the annual summer influx of international visitors, almost every restaurant you will visit while on holiday in Croatia will do their best to help you smoothly enjoy the experience. Most waiters will speak English at a decent level or better and restaurant menus too will be in English, possibly also German and Italian. But Google Translate is not always wholly accurate. You do often see funny Croatian menu listings on social media, their innocent homemade direct translation attempts creating hilarious results. Pâté described as 'suffering from liver', shrimps described as 'smallpox' and a multitude of dishes described as being 'angry' rather than 'spicy' are just some of the classic examples. Less easy to navigate are some of the cultural differences you may encounter. Lucky then, dear reader, that you have Time Out Croatia at hand to guide you through the experience.

Festivals in Croatia this July
Things to do

Festivals in Croatia this July

From the best dance music events in Tisno and Split to cinema in Zagreb, plus gastro, dance, art, literature and special events for children, Croatia is full of great things to do in baking hot July.

Three fantastic boat trips from Split
Things to do

Three fantastic boat trips from Split

There’s no better way to take in the sheer beauty of Croatia than aboard a boat heading across the Adriatic to an idyllic island or following Split’s historic skyline bathed in bright orange sunset. And not just aboard any boat. When you embark on a cruise with the Novaković family at the helm, generations of maritime tradition sail with you. The Polaris yacht itself echoes history. Built for the Normandy invasion of World War II, this sleek and spacious craft has been expertly adapted to convey holidaymakers around Croatia. The open decks are spacious, the lounge is air-conditioned and the galley will be laden with grilled fish and other local specialities, along with the wine and beer also included in the price. Warm Dalmatian hospitality, of course, is a given. All tours set off from the Riva, the promenade right by Split’s historic Roman centre. RECOMMENDED: More great things to do in Split.

Split

20 great things to do in Split
Things to do

20 great things to do in Split

There are plenty of things to do in Split now that – thankfully – its days as a departure point to the nearby islands are gone. Brimming with recently opened high-quality bistros, antiquities aplenty and the best bar scene on the Adriatic coast, Croatia’s main ferry port is also the country’s most promising all-round city-break destination. Time Out's local experts pick the best things to do in Split. RECOMMENDED: More great travel destinations in Croatia.

Autumn in Split
Things to do

Autumn in Split

Autumn in Split is considerably quieter than summer - which makes it all the more appealing. September's end sees the tourists filter away, so a visit now means you can enjoy its historic old town and majestic seascape without selfie-sticks obstructing your view, and eat your way through the sizzling culinary scene without battling the hungry crowds. The best part is that, until mid-November, temperatures stay pleasant. With the heat abating, you can explore some of the surrounding nature spots without getting frazzled by the sun. When late Autumn brings its chill, you can give Split the attention it deserves.  As Croatia's second largest city, and the capital of Dalmatia, Split is bustling with life all year round, the grandeur of the Roman remains mixing with the thrum of the working harbour. Regardless of the season, this mix of ancient history and daily modern life makes Split a special place - and some of it is best enjoyed in autumn. Here are some great things to do.  RECOMMENDED: more great things to do in Split.

Great tours and attractions from Split
Travel

Great tours and attractions from Split

Split resists the usual platitudes levied at Dalmatian seaside resort towns. This chaotic, bustling port city is a handsome example of Croatian antiquity intersecting with modern urban life. The city plays out in the grand Diocletian’s Palace – an awesomely labyrinthine tangle of cobbled streets, home to Split’s best bars, businesses and restaurants. The HBO series Game of Thrones has bolstered its popularity in the recent years, but alongside it’s biggest draws – an obscene quantity of nearby UNESCO sites, and the glimmering pearl-necklace of Dalmatian islands – there’s heaps of activities and attractions to get fully involved with. Experience Dalmatia pick their favourite tours and attractions from Split. Check out Experience Dalmatia for more great tours and attractions.

The best Split restaurants
Restaurants

The best Split restaurants

The Split restaurant scene's culinary revolution is a recent phenomenon and one that's still booming. Decent and diverse eateries seem to be opening on an almost monthly basis, making Croatia's second city a gastronomic destination equal to almost any in the country. Split is not only a tourist playground – it's a living, breathing, dining-out city for locals too.

Split restaurants and cafés

The best Split restaurants
Restaurants

The best Split restaurants

The Split restaurant scene's culinary revolution is a recent phenomenon and one that's still booming. Decent and diverse eateries seem to be opening on an almost monthly basis, making Croatia's second city a gastronomic destination equal to almost any in the country. Split is not only a tourist playground – it's a living, breathing, dining-out city for locals too.

Luxor
Restaurants

Luxor

The black sphinx sitting on the opposite wall of the Peristyl provides the inspiration behind this Egyptian-themed café, although the inner decoration, with its florid ceiling paintings and rich fabrics, leaves no style unturned. Observe the regular passage of people from the comfort of a relaxing sink-in chair. In summer, cushions are set out on the steps outside – providing what is arguably the most evocative coffee-sipping location in the entire Palace. The team behind the Marmont Hotel runs the upstairs restaurant.

Antika
Restaurants

Antika

The heart of a growing funky scene in Stari Grad, Antika is part traditional, part laid-back modern. A hodgepodge of dining-room furniture crowds pine floors upstairs and stone tiles below; candlesticks overflow with years of coloured wax under wooden beam ceilings; and plaster walls with framed photos and faded paintings fill a house built in 1566. Outdoor tables line the alley and piazza round the corner. The food veers from grilled fish fare without subjecting you to pizza. Starters include tuna carpaccio and chicken breast salad; mains (45kn-85kn) shark in a sour cream and chives sauce, and made-to-order steak in a garlic, green pepper or stroganoff sauce. Opposite, Antika’s café-bar serves cocktails (25kn-35kn); White Russians are the speciality. Pull up a converted tractor seat downstairs or have the friendly staff pulley up your drink to the breezy terrace as you lounge on the faded orange cushion of a brown wicker couch.

Bota Šare
Restaurants

Bota Šare

Situated on the top level of the Bačvice beach pavilion, this Dalmatian-cuisine restaurant is one of the best places to try local fish, and especially shellfish – the Bota Šare business started out in the famous oyster-farming town of Ston, where the Šare family still has a restaurant. Ruffled sails are attached to the ceiling, a wooden boat acts as a bar and an open ice chest brims with fresh fish. Prices are more than fair – even the Bota seafood platter with lobster is affordable. The Dalmatian singers are laid on for locals, not tourists. There are sister restaurants in Zagreb and Dubrovnik.

Shopping in Split

Split shopping guide
Shopping

Split shopping guide

Though no mecca for contemporary fashion, Croatia's second city is gradually embracing the design revolution that has already swept the capital. Split shopping encompasses anything from funky local design to revered Croatian and international designer brands. Around town, you'll also find independent outlets for locally produced preserves, and for fresh local produce, Split market opens from early doors alongside Diocletian's Palace. Our team of local experts show you where to go shopping in Split.

GetGetGet
Shopping

GetGetGet

Set in new premises downtown, this shop sells accessories and objets d’art made by independent local designers. There’s a lot of highly individual, quirky and attractively priced stuff here, from Dijana Rimac’s soft-and- wooly necklaces, Jelena Štulić’s scrabble-brooches, Luka Vučić’s ornaments made from old vinyl records and Ivan Krželj’s geometric-design postcards.

Bobis Riva
Shopping

Bobis Riva

'With you since 1949' says the website of this venerable and much-loved cake shop on the Riva embankment. Pastries, cream cakes, ice-creams, all can be taken away as you stroll down the Riva or eaten sur place, and there are coffees and soft drinks to accompany. Branches throughout Dalmatia.

bio&bio
Shopping

bio&bio

An excellent range of organic foods, natural supplements and organic cosmetics is now available in Split, following huge success in other parts of Croatia. The place to go for vegetarian, vegan, macrobiotic and other ethical products, this is a convenient downtown location if you're looking for a healthy treat.

Where to stay in Split

Hotel Park Split

Hotel Park Split

Built in 1921 and completely restructured in 2015, the Hotel Park Split is a traditional first-class hotel in the centre of Split, right next to the famous Bačvice beach. It offers an outdoor pool and an upscale restaurant. Free WiFi access is available throughout the property.Each of the air-conditioned rooms is a combination of contemporary comfort with traditional elegance and is equipped with a flat-screen TV and a safe. Spacious bathrooms include bathrobes, slippers and free toiletries.The welness centre of the hotel comprises a private hot tub, a couple of saunas and whirlpool baths and a gym. Besides the restaurant, the hotel also has a couple of cafes and bars, as well as a large terrace that offers a typical and authentic Mediterranean atmosphere.Hotel Park Split is a 10-minute walk from the UNESCO-listed Palace of Diocletian and a 5-minute walk from the Ferry terminal and the bus and train stations. Free private parking is provided on site and includes charging stations for electric vehicles.Split Airport is 23 km away.

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Hotel Split

Hotel Split

Located directly on the beach, this 4-star hotel offers its own travel agency, boat rentals and a rooftop outdoor pool overlooking the fishing village of Stobreč. There is also a fitness centre and a massage service.Free Wi-Fi, cable TV and air conditioning are standard in all rooms. All windows are soundproofed.Guided visits to Split, Trogir and Omis can be arranged by the on-site travel desk. It also offers rafting trips in Cetina River and island tours on speed boats. Bicycles, cars and scooters are also available for rent.Drinks are available at the trendy lobby bar, and room service is available from 06:00 to 22:00. Reception desk operates 24 hours a day.

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Hotel President Split

Hotel President Split

Located in Split’s centre, at the foothills of Marjan Hill, this luxurious hotel features rooms with free Wi-Fi. Bacvice Beach is 5 minutes away by car.The rooms at the Hotel President Split are decorated with rich fabrics and wooden furniture. They have a spacious seating area with a sofa and flat-screen TV. The private bathrooms have marble walls and include slippers, a bathrobe and fragrant soaps and lotions.Guests of the President Split can enjoy Mediterranean and international cuisine at the restaurant, which offers a buffet menu and an extensive wine list. The bar serves refreshing drinks, as well as gourmet coffee.The hotel airport shuttle and a tour desk, where guests can arrange to visit local attractions.

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Beach Hotel Split

Beach Hotel Split

Situated directly at the beach, Beach Hotel Split offers luxurious, air-conditioned rooms with free Wi-Fi, balconies and bathrooms with a spa bath. Free private parking is offered on site.Guests can benefit from the free use of the indoor swimming pool, the sauna and the gym of the Split Beach Hotel.The historic city of Split is 8 km away. Close to the hotel there are tennis courts, golf courses and a disco club, as well as several cafés and cocktail bars.

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Hotel Slavija

Hotel Slavija

Located within the historic walls of the UNESCO-protected Diocletian’s Palace in Split, Hotel Slavija offers free internet, a 24-hour reception, and air-conditioned rooms with satellite TV.Most of the bright and comfortable rooms offer private balconies with panoramic views of Split. The rooms overlook church towers, narrow Dalmatian streets and Marjan Hill.Guests can start their day with the continental breakfast served each morning in the restaurant or in the room, and the service is free of charge. Guests of the Slavija enjoy reductions at some of the nearby restaurants.The port of Split and the main train and bus station are 300 metres away. The airport bus stops 200 metres away. The Slavija Hotel is right next to the Jupiter Sanctuary, and only 40 metres from Split Cathedral.

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Hotel Krilo

Hotel Krilo

Enjoying a perfect location on the beach in the centre of the small Dalmatian village Krilo Jesenice 14 km from Split, Hotel Krilo offers pleasant accommodation with beautiful sea views.The spacious rooms offer sea views and loggias, decorated with top-quality furniture and with a newly designed air-conditioning and heating system. The rooms are completely isolated from traffic noise.Choose from a large selection of drinks and cocktails and enjoy them in easy Mediterranean atmosphere, or sample great meals at the romantic à la carte restaurant.Hotel Krilo can arrange boat trips to Brač Island, rafting on River Cetina, as well as excursions to Međugorje, Mostar, Dubrovnik and Krka Waterfalls. Traditional Dalmatian dinner at an authentic tavern in the old village can also be organised upon request.The lovely atmosphere of this small Dalmatian place and a spacious parking area around the hotel are there to complete the offer of Hotel Krilo.

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