25
Jun

Top 10 Things to Do in Split and Dubrovnik, Croatia

Posted By Trav

things-to-do-split-dubrovnik

Croatia is an incredible country, and no part is more stunning than the Adriatic coast.

The two main cities, Split and Dubrovnik, form a dynamic duo for any traveler looking for good food, amazing architecture, friendly people, and of course, some of the world’s best beaches.

And if you’re heading all the way there, you can’t just see one – you’ve got to visit both!

Now, here are the top 10 things to do in Split and Dubrovnik…in under 2 minutes!

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Here are the top 10 things to do in Split and Dubrovnik:

SPLIT

1. Wander Through Diocletian’s Palace

The best preserved remaining Roman ruins in the world, Diocletian’s Palace is a maze of narrow alleys and tiny shops.

Enter through any of the entrances and get lost amidst the beautiful architecture of this ancient city, which is sure to give you wanderlust!

2. Eat at Popaj’s

With personal pizzas for under $2 and delicious chicken sandwiches for $3, this local institution gives you the best bang for your buck in all of Croatia.

Plus, it’s seemingly open at all hours of the night and day.

So grab some grub, and then head to…

3. Bacvice Beach

Bacvice is the spot you want to head to for sun and sand – in fact, it’s the ONLY spot for sand since it’s the only sand beach in downtown Split.

It’s also the clearest and cleanest beach in the city, so head here for a swim, some sunbathing or even to grab a bite to eat or drink at one of the beachside cafes.

4. Take the Ferry to Brac

Take the 1 hour ferry ride to the wonderful island of Brac and explore the island by bus or car (it’s not that expensive to bring a rental car over).

While you’re there, don’t forget to visit the quaint town of Bol, where we ate the world’s best calamari, and spend a few hours (or days) at Zlatni Rat, known as one of Croatia’s best beaches.

5. Walk the Promenade

With lots of great restaurants and people watching, this is a great place to hang out in Split.

Whether you’re watching the boats come in to the harbor during the day or enjoying the beauty of it lit up at night, nothing beats relaxing on the Promenade.

6. Drive the Coast to Dubrovnik

Both Split and Dubrovnik are stunning in their own right, but the drive between them – that might even have them beat!

Rent a car and enjoy one of our favorite drives in the world – 3 hours of hugging cliffs and fantastic ocean views.

And don’t miss Mekarska, a beautiful seaside town and great place for a pit stop.

DUBROVNIK

7. Walk the City Walls

The city of Dubrovnik has a medieval old city completely surrounded by fortified walls (and is the real life setting for King’s Landing in Game of Thrones).

One of the best things to do – and well worth the pricey entrance fee – is to climb up and walk the city walls.

Give yourself a few hours so that you can really explore – there are many places to get on and off the wall if you need to take a break and grab a drink while gazing out over the amazing Adriatic Sea.

8. Explore the Abandoned Hotels Around Dubrovnik

Due to the war that encapsulated that area in the mid 90’s, there are quite a few abandoned hotels outside Dubrovnik.

These hotels, most of which used to be five star resorts, were destroyed and never repaired.

Which leaves us with amazing opportunities for exploration, located on prime coastal real estate.

The easiest to find is the Hotel Belvedere, which is located within walking distance of the old town of Dubrovnik (here’s great instructions on how to find it.)

My favorite spot, which is a little further out of town, is the bay of Kupari, which houses a complex of 9 abandoned hotels.

To get there, drive south from Dubrovnik to Kupari, and when you see a sign that says “beach”, turn right and drive back down the lane to the sea.

We had no idea it existed and still found it, so that should be enough info to get you there!

 

However, use caution when wandering through as they are deteriorating and can be unsafe.

9. Hike or Drive to Bosanka

Save yourself the 100 kuna (about $14) by skipping the cable car and either drive or hike up to Bosanka, the home of Mount Srd, which will reward you with the best views of Dubrovnik.

The drive is stunning, with many hairpin curves and lots of goats along the side of the road.

The walk, which will take you roughly 2 hours from old town, not only provides you with amazing vantage points the entire way, but also will help you burn off those calories from the fried calamari at Buffet Fife.

10. Day Trip to Kotor, Montenegro

This two hour drive from Dubrovnik is a great way to spend a day.

Just like the drive between Split and Dubrovnik, the scenery is beautiful but in a totally different way.  Once you enter Montenegro, the landscape completely changes, and you feel like you’re in a different world (in reality, it’s just a different country).

Drive along the bay until you reach Kotor – which has an old city that is fun to explore.

But most importantly, take the fantastic hike up the side of the mountain and peek your head through the windows at the top of the castle, as it reveals stunning landscape on the other side.

Final Word(s)

Croatia is one of our favorite countries in the world, and there’s a reason that the popularity of this once “hidden gem” is booming.

It’s an incredible place full of great food, friendly people, rich history, and some of the world’s most stunning beaches.

So before it becomes even more discovered, hurry up and get to Croatia, and when you do, make sure to visit both Split and Dubrovnik.

Have you been to Split or Dubrovnik before?  If so, what are your favorite things to do there?  Let us know in the comments below!

25 comments

  1. Andrew F says:

    Trav. Great YouTube. But it gets truncated on the android and for some reason the subscribe button was not working . So how does one get to Croatia from Texas and hoe much to budget for a week?

    1. Trav says:

      @Andrew F- Truncated like the screen size of the video? Or the length of the video? No idea why the subscribe button wasn’t working, that’s odd.

      To get to Croatia, I’d fly (haha!). You could possibly have 1 layover if you want out of Dallas, in to a European hub, and then down to Split or Dubrovnik. Most likely looking at 2 though.

      For a week, depends on your type of traveling prefences. To put it in perspective, you can get medium range accomms in shoulder season for about $60-80 and meals for about $7-10 if you’re eating at pretty good places, $15 or so if it’s fairly fancy.

      Hope that helps!

    2. Bill Smith says:

      We stopped at Split and Dobrovnik on a Mediterranean cruise. We loved both places especially Split. We are still talking about the coffee with cream. It was the best ever. And the food was to die for. We had a Croatian lasagna. We also enjoyed the palace ,the promenade and especially the friendly people

      1. Trav says:

        @Bill Smith- Yeah, both places really are fantastic. Even though Croatia is becoming more and more popular, I still see it as a bit of a hidden gem. So beautiful, such good food, and such friendly people.

  2. Jennifer says:

    I was very disappointed with Bacvice Beach when I was in Split a couple weeks ago. There might be sand, unlike the other beaches, but it was full of debris, crowded and full of kids throwing sand. After traveling that far for vacation, I almost cried. I recommend going to Marjan Park and enjoying those beaches. The water is so clear and the beaches are a lot less crowded. It actually seemed like the Adriatic I saw in the pictures. Brac also has some amazingly clear beaches. I would definitely recommend taking a ferry ride there.

    1. Trav says:

      @Jennifer- Bacvice also was surprising to me at first (and not in a good way). I pictured it as the AMAZING Croatian beaches, so I was a bit taken back. However, we soon found it was perfect for a beach day if you were hanging out downtown. But yes, if you want the beautiful beaches, head to the islands. And Marjan Park is also a great spot.

  3. Diane says:

    You might want to add some suggestions for the food and wine of the area.

    1. Trav says:

      @Diane- You mean types of food and wine? We definitely recommend a few different restaurants, which are linked in the notes, and more that are linked here.

      As far as types of foods, you can’t go wrong with seafood – all day everyday! And wine, I just got a 2 gallon jug from the lady at the market. Heather hated it, but hey, for $7, you couldn’t beat the price!

  4. Chi says:

    Great suggestions. Going to be in Dubrovnik for about 4 days. Would you recommend I rent a car? How is public transportation or can one get around pretty well by foot?

    1. Trav says:

      @Chi- Umm, we had a car but parking is really, really hard. We actually had a parking spot with the place we stayed for $15 extra a day. You can EASILY walk the old city and even go outside the old city on foot. It’s pretty small. Getting to the top of the cable car by foot is even possible, although it’s a 2-3 hour hike. Beautiful though!

  5. Rekha Rajan says:

    BTW, what is the best time to visit the country? I am an Indian and am used to not-so-cold weather.

    Also, what kind of budget does one need to have for a 10-day vacation.

    1. Trav says:

      @Rekha Rajan – Summer is great weather, but also really busy. For that reason, I’d recommend “shoulder season”, which is the time on either side of peak season. So for Croatia, that would be May and early June and then early September. Still warm enough for sure, but not nearly as crowded as July or August.

      As far as budget, depends how you are traveling and when you are traveling. If it isn’t peak season, hotels will be much cheaper. It is pretty much on par with Italy.

      Decent hotels for $100, you can do it cheaper in apartments if you want. Meals out, for an entree, $7-12 at a regular place, $20 or so for nice seafood places.

  6. Haha, I can’t believe somebody mentioned Popaj. Split is my hometown and a place where I’ve been living pretty much for the whole of my life and Popaj really is the most famous fast-food place among the locals. It’s definitely not the best one but still…I find it cute you stumble on it and mentioned it in the post.
    Greetings from Croatia,
    Anca!

    1. Trav says:

      @Anca- I LOVE Popaj’s! And if that isn’t the best one, what is? Because I need to come back and try it. I love your hometown, and can’t wait to come back anyway, so I might as well have a new food place to try while I’m there!

      1. If you’re looking for a fast food place – definitely Kaleta. The best chicken-cheese-burger in the whole universe. Trust me :)

        1. Trav says:

          @Anca- Well looks like I’ve got to come back…that sounds divine! Where’s it located?

          1. It’s near the theater, but it’s pretty hidden from the street. Google it, that’s the easiest way to find it!

  7. Ruby says:

    Great suggestions. Amazing CROATIA if your are travelling from gatwick airport, you can use best meet and greet car parking service of Compare parking deals.

    1. Trav says:

      @Ruby- You can use the parking service where? At Split airport? Or Gatwick?

  8. Kevin says:

    Just got back from Croatia and on our drive from Dubrovnik to Split we stopped at Kupari. The place is amazing. I could have spent hours there just wandering through the abandoned holtels. I certainly recommend it to anyone that may like things that are a bit diferent. It was super easy to find it as well.

    1. Trav says:

      @Kevin- Yeah, that place rules – glad you liked it and that it was easy to find. Anything else you did that you liked and would recommend?

  9. Hi
    what camera do you use for your travel photography? Maybe you write a post sharing what’s in your bag?
    Cheers
    Piotr

    1. Trav says:

      @Piotr- That’s a great idea, we are starting to do that actually. We use the Canon SL1, which is the smallest DSLR out there. We also use the iPhone for many of the shots – it’s incredible how clear it is!

  10. Great video, Trav! I love the drive along the coast from Split to Dubrovnik. In a village of Slano, there is a detour you can take, all the way to village of Trsteno. It takes you up in the hills, and views are even more amazing. Maybe next time when you are around :)

    1. Trav says:

      @frankaboutcroatia- Just another reason to go back! Thanks for the tip…I’ll be there sooner rather than later I hope!

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