Upon arrival at Heathrow Airport, having been deprived of international travel for a full 17 months, I had all but forgotten how to travel, not remembering a plastic zip lock bag for toiletries and casually forgetting to look at the gate board. I have been to Croatia only once before for a festival. I loved the citrus beers, warm weather and beautiful landscape (Plitvice lakes especially) which created a sense of excitement for adventures around Split (known for Diocletian and lots of Game of Thrones filming). Behold my guide to all things Split to help on your next post covid adventure (wow it has been too long)
Split central is filled with narrow cobbled streets, not dissimilar to the Gothic quarter in Barcelona. It contains a bustling harbour with a restaurant street known as the Riva ,right next to the docks where a myriad of speedboats and boat trips wait to take eager tourists island hopping. It’s easy to get lost in the alley ways and culture, having a glass of wine near the street performances in Diocletian’s place ,having a dance as you gaze at the impressive buildings around you. If you want more island paradise, Split is just a ferry/speedboat ride away from many of these : Hvar (apparently the party one), Solta(contains Maslinica), Drvenik(location of Blue Lagoon) plus many more. Here is a map for reference:
Local bakery and supermarkets
Throughout Split an assortment of bakeries make fresh pastries to start your morning right. The Borek is my favourite, very similar to a filo pastry known as Banitsa in Bulgaria containing a feta and egg mixture. There was a version filled with Spinach that I got every morning. These foods transported me back home to dishes my grandma makes. The supermarkets sell oatmeal with figs that energise you for a day of activities. Have the Borek with some Kefir drink from the supermarket and you are set.
Ba!Ce For Cevapi
I didn’t believe my husband when he told me how good Cevapi is. He praised the bread but all I could see was a hefty sandwich that didn’t seem appealing. Upon trying it I was immediately in love with this dish to the point I wished I had been having these daily. This grilled meat dish served on delicious bread is one to try. Once you have it you will want another the next day. Don’t say I didn’t warn you. Ba!Ce is the best place we found, located 5 minutes from the Riva.
Brooklyn Bagel Co
How every bagel place should be. This place is the best! It has both sweet and savoury bagels on an assortment of bagel breads (It’s like the bagel version of Subway). The fig spread is definitely my favourite and very iconic to Split. Would also say it’s the Croatian equivalent of London’s Bagel Bake.
Why not try the seafood from a coastal location like Split. After seafood with a good wine paring? Look no further than Nostromo. Recommended to us by a local I had some of the best seafood and Rose` here, with unique dining experiences such as Sea Stone soup (containing an actual stone from the sea in the soup they warn you not to eat) and dishes to take home as souvenirs (they told us we could take the shells from our scallops) what’s not to love. Their risotto is magic and warming, adding to this culinary experience.
This setting is quirky and ambient. We were sitting outside in the cobbled street people watching, basking in the atmosphere as we dined on the delectable charcuterie board. My main meal, funnily enough entitled Silence of the Lambs was perfectly Confit Lamb, alongside a salad and chunky potatoes. The cocktail the staff recommended was amazing so definitely ask for a drink recommendation if you dine here.
Amazing for cocktails but painfully average for food. The vege burger was ok at best. The Blue Lagoon cocktail I ordered after I saw a group order them (the power of ordering what that other table has) was tasty and skilfully mixed. This is definitely a party place at night, so great for drinks but that’s all I’m afraid.
Game of Thrones Museum
I didn’t visit this while in Split but it’s located in the city centre. If you purchase something from one of the Game of Thrones shops dotted around they also give you a discount on the tickets.
Game of Thrones Filming Locations
While you can go to Dubrovnik to step into any Kings Landing scene, Split and it’s surrounding towns are host to a number of Game of Thromes filming locations. Let’s review what scenes were shot where to fuel any Game of Thrones fan’s journey in and near Split. There are many gimmicky looking tours for Game of Thrones locations but to be honest you can find out where they are and go by yourself. Buses from Split are not expensive and Ubers are more pricey but easier ( looking at approx 28 pounds one way based on our trip to Trogir) I only managed to get to Diocletian’s palace and Trogir on this trip but am providing this guide for the rest of the locations as well.
Split City Centre
Diocletian’s palace and basements- This beautiful palace built for Emperor Diocletian in the 4th century AD as his retirement residence, houses the catacombs where Daenerys kept her dragons and her throne room in Meereen. Papaliceva Street is also one of the streets from the Meereen slave rebellion scene. During our trip the basement housed a variety of market stores selling a myriad of items. The square outside the palace had live music every night. The atmosphere is wonderful, people sitting with their drinks or dancing surrounded by spectacular architecture.
A 30 minute Uber or Bus from Split city centre will get you to Kliss Fortress which depicts the city of Meereen.
Zrnovnica Quarry and Mill
Zrnovnica is between 30-40 minutes from Split either by train or Uber.
Lavcevic quarry- This is where Daenerys arrives in Meereen with the army of Unsullied
Antonicin Mill- Currently a lovely grill restaurant in a garden but famous for Missandei’s swimming scene.
This picturesque town depicts the trading ports of Qarth where the warlocks imprisoned Daenery’s dragons in season 2. St Dominic Monastery was also used in some of the filming. Would recommend getting a 45 minute Uber there and back. The bus takes ages so wouldn’t recommend unless you have an hour and a half. Whilst this is a beautiful place I found it too touristy and busy for my liking . We did climb up the tallest tower of St Dominic, an absolutely phenomenal experience but a very steep climb especially on the way down, I did have a mini panic attack about the height but otherwise it’s fine.
Used as a double for the city of Bravoos , I was very sad to have missed this one( I chose going to Omis over this as I didn’t know this was part of the GOT universe) You can get there easily by train or bus , taking approximately an hour and a half.
Bus trip to Omis
As well as taking day trips around the Game of Thrones locations catching a bus to Omis is a wonderful experience. Located approximately over an hour from Split, Omis is a small, quiet town and port that used to be a pirate town. It contains Starigrad fortress from which beautiful pictures can be taken. I found it extremely scenic with it’s towering cliffs and the quiet gave us a good break from the hustle and bustle of Split. On occasion someone will try sell you a boat trip but that’s about the only thing that disturbs the quiet.
Boat trip around islands
This is the thing everyone does. It’s best to think about what vibe you want. If you are a person who likes a full on party scene maybe the Catamaran is for you. If you prefer a more chill, family friendly vibe where you still have unlimited beer and wine on offer the boat tour we did was quite good. This tour takes you to Drvenik and Solta, both great locations/islands to visit. However I can’t vouch for the people on there. We did meet some nice people, however we also got our allocated seats taken by inconsiderate people who wanted to be next to the alcohol taps. Would instead recommend going on a tour with a sunbed area, island hopping yourself by ferry/speedboat, going on a private tour or one with fewer people . It’s luck of the draw where the boat trip crowd are concerned (and remember you are stuck with them on a boat for the whole day)
Hope this sorts out a few things on your Split holiday. Will be back with upcoming film reviews and hopefully another holiday post later in the year. Till then love and light to you all.