A lifestyle expat travel blog about culture, history, Brexit, the Royal Family, travels around the world, Europe, and being British in Berlin!
So last week, I continued my writings about Croatia.
If you’re just joining, this is what you missed:
At the beginning of our journey, I told you that this trip was a family holiday along the coast of Croatia.
We had planned just ten (10) days – three (3) days in Zagreb, three (3) days in Split, and four (4) days in Dubrovnik.
Isn’t it thrilling?
Croatia is the first time that I’ve ever been to the Balkan States, my 62nd country, and the first (1st) new country for 2017!
It was better than I ever hoped.
I would love to be able to write loads more about Zagreb, but that would take me months!
So sadly, we have to move on to:
I absolutely loved Split!
And it seems that I just can’t resist putting in some sort of reference in connection to Game of Thrones.
I’m a freak!
Split is the second-largest city of Croatia and the largest city in the region of Dalmatia!
It lies on the eastern shore of the Adriatic Sea and is a link to numerous Adriatic islands and the Apennine peninsula.
Split is one of the oldest cities in the region and considered to be slightly over 1,700 years old, founded as the Greek colony of Aspálathos in 295 A.D!
It later became the ancient capital of the Roman province of Dalmatia, otherwise known as Salona, and thereafter, a Byzantine city.
In the 10th and 11th centuries, Split came under the rule of the Croatian kings.
In the 12th century, it became a free commune under the Hungarian-Croatian king, and by the 15th century, the medieval free commune was replaced by the Venetian administration until the 18th century!
In the 19th century, Split was entangled with Napoleon and the Austrian-Hungarian Empire, Italy, the Kingdom of Yugoslavia, the ex – Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia, and finally, as an important part of an independent Croatia!
Split is a great little place.
It’s also the imperial city with a huge palace that was built by the Roman Emperor – Gaius Valerius Aurelius Diocletian – in 295-350 A.D. In fact, the palace is the city of Split!
The transformation of the palace into the town began in the 7th century, and is very Mediterranean in feel and pace.
There are little town squares, al fresco restaurants, palm trees, open-air markets, and classical seating under the arms and guises of historical buildings.
Everywhere you move is connected to the historic core, such that the historic town of Split and the Palace, is protected by UNESCO as a World Heritage site!
Not only that, but I was hugely impressed that Split was not just a town full of old bones and ruins, but that the city is actually growing out of the palace!
The market stalls are made from the bricks, the flea-markets are on the promenade, the restaurants are under the huge Roman columns, and the city gates are romantic meeting points, and places where everybody “hangs out!”
There’s a reason that I spend a lot of time travelling to old parts of Europe.
I like traditions.
And I like history.
And I really like the town of Split.
I was in awe!
I even managed to get myself a couple of Roman soldiers!
It’s not possible to fly non-stop from Berlin, so we flew with Lufthansa, via Munich on the way in, and Austrian Airlines, via Vienna, on the return leg.
Our outward journey from Berlin Tegel (TXL) to Zagreb (ZAG) with a stop-over, took 6 hours and 20 minutes. Our return journey from Dubrovnik with a stop-over, took just 4 hours.
However, you don’t even need to fly, as you can either take a cruise ship in from the Mediterranean States, a ferry from Italy, take a bus-coach from anywhere you like, or simply rent a car and drive from Austria or Slovenia!
Note: There’s a tiny little train station in Split, but it isn’t very regular so you’re better off by road!
If you’re on a tight budget then many bus-coach companies such as MeinFernbus / FlixBus also go to Croatia. But do be aware that the fastest routes are usually only sold in Croatia itself.
My husband – The Music Producer – doesn’t like driving on holiday, so we decided to use the coach-bus between Zagreb – Split.
Zagreb – Split was a straight-forward ride, and took 6 hours and 20 mins. Cost: €24.00 per person.
But it can be a little tight as Split is tiny.
In fact, there were very few tourists around as it wasn’t yet “the season,” and many a restaurant were luring customers in with 10% discounts.
But in the summer, prepare to gird your loins, and fight your way through!
Zagreb is the capital city in Croatia, and it’s very small!
Split is even smaller, and receives up to 3,000 guests per cruise ship, in the summer!
I can’t imagine where they would put them, but it won’t be pretty!
Having said that, if that’s the only time that you can travel, don’t let anything get in your way, as most cruise visitors are only in town for half a day, so the evenings will all be yours!
We were only there for 3 days, but we could have stayed for an extra day, making it four (4).
It’s of historical and architectural interest, the seafood and wine is impressive, and the waters are clean, green-blue, and crystal clear.
You simply can’t go wrong!
Neither do I!
It’s amazing how many languages a typical European speaks.
Most speak a minimum of three (3)!
If you speak German, Italian or Korean, you’re good to go.
Besides, everyone pretty much speaks English too!
Ha! Ha! Not unless you really want to!
Split isn’t cheap-cheap, but if you’re from the UK or the US, it’s as cheap as chips.
If you’re from Germany, prices are the same as in Berlin, and you can eat at gourmet restaurants, at budget prices!
And the seafood is marvellous!
We pretty much spent a large amount of time drinking lots of wine, whilst people watching. And a few more!
And on this trip, we decided to book apartments instead of hotels or hostels.
We had great difficulty with personal space in Madrid last year, as The Tall Young Gentleman has recently turned 15 (OMG!), and is very tall. We decided to either book two (2) hotel rooms, or a large apartment instead.
Prices are low, and the quality and standard of apartments available, is exceedingly high. I’ll write more about it in the next few weeks!
Book ahead to get good prices.
Book your apartment or hotel here!
Too many to write at the moment.
More next week!
All of Croatia is pretty small, so every city we visited was quite walkable.
Cars are not allowed into the Old Town!
For the day-to-day, the locals used some sort of cart!
The best way to see Split is to simply walk.
We were lucky to get a private customised city tour courtesy of the Split – Dalmatia County Tourist Board who paired us with an expert guide called Dino Ivančić.
Dino was lovely & so, very funny!
In fact, Dino is a bit of a local star himself. Not only is he a qualified expert historian, but his Split – Croatia roots (not his hair. Ho! Ho!) go back more than 1,000 years! And he’s a hit with journalists & bloggers from all over the world!
I was interested in getting the low-down on Game of Thrones.
I know. I know!
And he very kindly obliged, showing us not only the Roman remains, but also where bits of the series was filmed.
I was so excited, running around and pointing out where the former Slave-Masters got stabbed to pieces, Grey Worm and the Unsullied got attacked, and Ser Barristan Selmy was murdered by the Sons of the Harpy, in the streets of Meereen!
The Music Producer and The Tall Young Gentleman looked on in gentle despair, but to their credit, listened with enthusiasm as I babbled on, throwing Dino question after question.
About historical culture of course!
We really got a wonderful insight into the people and history of Split, and fantastic guidance around the world heritage that is the Diocletian Palace.
Thank you so much!
Split has nothing at all to do with a banana!
Split is superb!
It has astonishing culture, and the sea is gorgeous.
Because, Game of Thrones!
And there be Dragons!
All the way!
The city of Split is a living monument, alive and brimming with history.
I can’t wait to visit again.
Let’s do it!
Where we stayed: Luxury Guest House Roman Horizon – We paid just €45.00 per night however, there was a mix-up in the apartment that we booked, and the apartment that we received. I booked a huge apartment with a communal roof-top terrace, and got a studio instead!
It was border-line uncomfortable for 3 people. I’m still trying to settle our differences on whether the description quoted was wrong, or whether I misunderstood the description!
UPDATE! I’ve sent in my thoughts to booking.com who were great. It seems that some other guests had the same complaint! However, to be fair, the apartment would have been fantastic for TWO (2) people rather than for three (3)!
My recommendation: A great apartment for two (2) people (and a small child) only.
Book your hotel or apartment here!
This article is not sponsored and even though we received a complimentary city tour courtesy of the Split – Dalmatia County Tourist Board, all opinions and the delightful ruins and lakes that we strolled through, are my very own!
In May, I’ll be writing more about Croatia, and visiting Sweden!
I’ll be there. Will you?
If you’re not in Berlin in May, you’ll miss all the fun!
May is going to be exhilarating!
Watch this space!
Note! I never travel without insurance as you never know what might happen.
I learnt my lesson in Spain. And obviously, in countries like Qatar, where technically the risk is higher, I can’t imagine going that far beyond, WITHOUT INSURANCE. No siree! You can get yours here, at World Nomads!
Please note that there are now affiliate links (for the very first time) connected to this post. Please consider using the links, because every time some sort of accommodation or travel insurance is booked via my links I get a little percentage, but at no extra cost to yourself!
A win-win for all!
Thanks a million!
I have been to Split a whole day (we lived in Trogir). An interesting city, but unfortunately it has not enormous beaches as in Budva, Montenegro.
Your photo with “Romans” is very successful.
Thanks so much Victor!
‘Not a problem, it sounds like you enjoyed yourself nevetheless. I like history so Split, for me was like being in heaven. I’ve never been to Montenegro, and sadly, after 2 days, sometimes even 1, on a beach, it’s time for me to say goodbye! I’m just a crazy girl! 😉
I don’t like to lay on a beach. I like to stroll along the sea. Five km to one side and five back, that is my daily plan here in Budva.
Me neither! Strolling on the water-side is exactly what we did. That’s one of the reasons that I like living in cities with rivers. You get the calmness of the water, the thrill of relaxinng on the water-side, and without the hassle and ugliness of sunburnt sunbathers! 😉
p.s. Budva sounds lovely. Do you live there?
Victoria, my visit to Split was just too hurried, since we were on a Mediterranean cruise and only had few hours there. We did enjoy it though and have always said we will be back to explore it further. I laughed at your “banana split” joke hahaha. Great photos and a fun post, thanks 🙂
Thanks so much Gilda!
What a shame that you weren’t able to see more of Split. But I figured as much which is why if travellers are staying in Split, they shouldn’t worry too much about cruise tourists, as it’s only a few hours where there’s a bit of a crush! Were you there in the summer or off-season?
p.s. I hate bananas. But it had to be said! 😀
Croatia is an amazing country! I found out about its beauty due to GOT! 🙂
Thanks so much Agness!
Me too! I hadn’t heard of Croatia previously. Game of Thrones is fantastic and Croatia is a dream! 😀
Loved Dubrovnik, never been to Split. Have to put it on the bucket list!
Thanks so much Thomas!
We loved Dubrovnik too, and I’ll be writing about it very soon..! However, if you ever get the chance to visit Split, go ahead and do so. It’s lovely. 😀
Split is definitely on the wish list for us. It’s hard for me to imagine Croatia as a warm sunny place with beaches. I can’t wait to visit and the costs sound reasonable. You know how much l love seafood so l’m sure l would enjoy that along with the real life history lessons. So glad you guys had fun. Too bad about the flat..sounds like they pulled the old switcheroo :-).
Thanks so much KemKem!
Split is really cool, and honestly, most of the Balkan States are being looked at with new eyes ‘cos the typical summer holiday destinations of Italy and Spain, are becoming far too hot! We went to Tuscany a few years ago. In August. We almost melted & died!!
We’re planning on going to France later in the summer, and “The Music Producer” is till worried. And mind you, it wasn’t he that was melting, it was “The Tall Young Gentleman” and I!
Do visit Split. The prices are still amazingly cheap, and good seafood is very reasonable. We ate very, very well indeed! 😀
p.s. The old switcheroo? I think so too.
I’m heading to Croatia in a few months so I will definitely be paying Split a visit after reading your post!! 🙂
And who doesn’t love a cheeky game of thrones reference 😉
Thanks so much!
I’m glad that you’ll be visiting Split. You won’t regret it. It really is a pretty little thing!
p.s. Game of Thrones all the way! All the way!! 😉
I’ve now been to four Croatian cities—Dubrovnik, Ilok, Rovinj and Hvar—and I loved them all, but I have to admit, I’d LOVE to take the ultimate Game of Thrones tour through the country and see all the sites!
Thanks so much Kristin!
But aren’t they lovely. I’m not in the least surprised that you loved those cities. So did we! We really wanted to spend longer, but we only had 10 days which we had to spread between Zagreb, Split and Dubrovnik!
I adoooooore Game of Thrones. Some of my friends think I’m awfully strange ‘cos of all the sex, blood and gore! But quite frankly, I like the realsism of it, and the notion that there’s no discrimination between the sexes or the ages. All die. And pretty horribly too! It was far, far worse in the Middle Ages…! 😉
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No, but it looks nice:) I’ve never been to Croatia, but I’ve heard it’s like Italy, but cheaper? You don’t by any chance happen to be in Munich at the end of June?
Thanks so much Mitzie Mee!
Yep! It does. It’s a cross between Austria and Italy depending on which part of Croatia you happen to be. Lots of Italians use Croatia as their summer hideout, and many locals speak Italian too. And it’s cheaper. 😀
I would say that Zagreb had much of an Austrian vibe as some of the street names were even in Austrian-German. Split was more Italian. And Dubrovnik was Dubrovnik!
Munich by the end of June? I don’t have any plans in Bavaria right now. My German travels will most likely be in July & August. Are you going to be in town?
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I have been in Split but only for afternoon visit when i was vaiting for ferry. It on route for most ferrys for island Hvar and Vis. It is crowded during high season, and prices in bars and restaurant are lower in spring and autumn.
Thanks very much Robert!
I can’t imagine how it would be in the High Season, as we went in April! It was very nice at that time and prices were very reasonable indeed, but I can see quite easily how crowded it could get in the summer! Luckily, we went by road. We spent 3 days there, but could quite happily, have spent a week!
If you get the chance, do visit again. 😀
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