The minute you arrive in Split, the warm breeze on your cheek lets you forget your daily routine and prepares you for a relaxing Mediterranean experience. Split is a coastal town, well developed and strategically positioned - it is no trouble reaching it as both - the highway and the Split Airport are right in its vicinity. No matter how your dream holiday looks like, laying on the warm pebbly beaches and cooling off in the crystal-clear waters of the Adriatic Sea, strolling ancient cities, admiring untouched nature or tasting local nightlife, the Croatian Dalmatian coast will quickly become your dream vacation. The best way to explore the area is by car, so we warmly recommend a car hire in Split. There are plenty car hire agencies, such as Sixt, Avis, Europcar, Hertz and others located in the city.
Basic info and car hire in Split
- Location: Eastern shore of the Adriatic Sea, Croatia
- Population: 178.000 (2015)
- Official language: Croatian.
- Currency: Kuna.
- Public holidays in Split: For public holidays in Croatia click here »
- Weather: The climate is between humid subtropical and Mediterranean. Hot, moderately dry summers (above 77 °F / 25 °C) and mild, wet winters (around 46 °F / 8°C). Spring and autumn are pleasant.
- Internet coverage: Wi-Fi coverage in Croatia is improving all the time. Search for cyber cafes and bars with ‘free wi-fi’ Just ask the waiter for the password. Most public places, hotels and restaurants offer Wi-Fi.
- Car hire in Split: The most common pick-up location for hired vehicles is Split Airport, also known as Resnik Aiport. Prices for hiring a car in Split are about 13.5 £ / day (15€ /day) in spring and summer and 9£ / day (10€ / day) in autumn and winter. Keep in mind that prices change frequently. To ensure you have the lowest car hire price, make a car booking from 3 to 8 weeks prior to your vehicle collection. Alternatively, it's possible to get a great last minute car hire deal also. Find the best car hire deal in Split!
Driving in Split
Like in most European countries, driving shouldn’t be a problem. The only irritation may be heavy traffic (especially in the summer), or roadwork. Roads are well-maintained and motorways offer quick travel over long distances. If you’re an impatient driver, try to avoid driving to the city centre during the summer months when the streets can be a bit chaotic. Explore the surroundings and then park your rental in one of the many parking areas nearby. Keep in mind that the maximum BAC level is 0.05 % and 0.02 % for drivers with less than 3 years of experience in driving. If you’re wondering when the best time to travel to Split is, it all depends on what you are looking for. Weather is pleasant throughout the year, although winters can be unpredictable. May, June and September are best for sporting activities when temperatures are not as high as July and August. Events and festivals occur throughout the year, but the big ones are usually held in the summer.
- Age limits: 21 (In some cases, in order to hire a car, it is required that a driver has held a driving licence for a minimum of one year).
- International Driving Permit: An IDP is recommended, so please check with your rental agency.
- Additional papers: ID (passport), a valid driving licence and proof of insurance (It is advisable to buy insurance at the car hire company, in case your policy does not cover you while driving in Split.).
- Additional requirements: A warning triangle is compulsory and a reflective jacket must be kept within reach of the driver inside the vehicle. If you intend to take the car aboard a local ferry, inform the car hire agency at the time of pick up. There is no extra charge.
- Children in the car: Children under the age of 12 are not permitted to travel in the front seat of the vehicle. Children (between the ages of 2 and 5) must wear an age appropriate child restraint and, if necessary, ride in a booster seat.
- Driving side of the road:
- Lights: Dipped headlights are recommended at all times but must be used at night and during times of poor daytime visibility.
- General speed limits: 80 mph (130kph) on motorways, 70 mph (110kph) on urban motorways, 55 mph (90kph) on other roads outside populated areas, 30 mph (50kph) in populated areas.
- Parking suggestions: Parking around the old historical part can be tricky during peak season (mid-June through mid-September). However, there is on-street parking where you can safely leave your rental vehicle during working hours (7:00 a.m.- 7:00 p.m.). There are many other parking options available as well.
What to see in Split
Depending on your mood or time of the day, you can head towards Split or take a walk through narrow streets of Trogir The UNESCO World Heritage city of Trogir is just 3mi /6km from the Split Airport, where you will most likely collect your hired car. After visiting Trogir, head to Split, the principal city of the area and the second largest city, an everlasting rival to Zagreb, especially in regards to soccer. You will quickly discover that the “Game” and the locals’ devotion to it is of mythic proportions. You do not need a vehicle to explore the town, but a rental will come in handy if you are staying out of the ancient centre, and even more so if you decide to visit the nearby islands of Brač and Hvar or the Cetina River. These islands and the river are spectacular, and you really should consider a car hire.
Our favourite spots
This is the main attraction in Split. The structure was built by the Roman emperor Diocletian at the turn of the 4th century C.E. and is virtually woven into the city, since structures built in later centuries took advantage of the “prefabricated” construction elements already available. Restaurants, shops and homes can be found within the walls of this most well preserved Roman palace in the world. Needless to say, the palace is listed as an UNESCO World Cultural Heritage site. Lose yourself in the narrow streets and find yourself in front of the dramatic sculpture of bishop Gregory of Nin (Grgur Ninski), created by the Croatian Rodin, sculptor Ivan Meštrović. Rub the priest’s toe for luck and head to the Ivan Meštrović Gallery.
Vanulično parking Riva is two minutes from the palace. Šetalište Ivana Meštrovića is less than 10 minutes from the Ivan Meštrović Gallery.
More parking options here »
Ivan Meštrović Gallery
See the world’s largest collection of his work. Meštrović is considered to be the greatest sculptor of the religious subject matter since the Renaissance and was the first artist to exhibit at the Metropolitan Museum of Art while still alive.
Cars can be parked at Šetalište Ivana Meštrovića less than ten minutes from the Ivan Meštrović Gallery.
Split city stadium Poljud
If you are feeling frisky and happen to find yourself in the area in the beginning of July, don’t miss the largest electronic music event in this part of Europe, the ULTRA Europe Festival. The three-day, round-the -clock party attracted 60,000 youngsters in 2013 and is planned to take place at the beginning of July for the next four years.
The town is situated on a small island between the mainland and the island Čiovo, and is connected to both by bridge.Trogir was founded by the Greeks and later ruled and influenced by the Romans and Venetians. The architecture represents Romanesque, Gothic, Renaissance and Baroque periods and may be observed in the maze of narrow streets. Visit at least one of Trogir’s 10 churches and the magnificent Kamerlango fortress.
With a little bit of luck, you might get parking on the island, but if not, there are two more parking places on the mainland.
Hotels in Split
Located in the centre, just five minutes from Diocletian Palace. You can park your rental 60ft (20metres) away from hotel Marul.
This hotel is located only five minutes from the Diocletian Palace and other historic sights. Parking is available.
If you appreciate a more intimate location, then hotel Consul is for you. Located close to the old city centre, just a 10-minute walk from the palace. Parking is available.
This hotel is very close to the beach, but nevertheless not far from the downtown areas with restaurants and bars. Parking is available.
Drive your rental car around Split
Ready for some sea and sun? There are plenty of nice beaches close by, but for the real Mediterranean experience, take a ferry to islands of Brač or Hvar, two of roughly 1,246 Croatian islands (the exact number is still a mystery). Car ferries travel from the two ports of Gat Sv. Duje and Gat Sv.Petra, so have no fear, car hire in Split still applies. Moreover, taking your rental may be essential, especially for windsurf addicts who will want to visit the famous Zlatni rat beach (English: Golden Cape) in Bol on the island of Brač – rated one of world’s top-10 beaches by Lonely Planet (2009).
For celebrity hunters, the city of Hvar on island of Hvar might be a better choice where might bump into actor Brad Pitt who has been spotted walking the streets of Hvar. If you miss Brad, there’s still plenty of atmosphere to take in at Hvar, Jelsa and Stari grad, including surprising fields of lavender. In July, at the time of harvest, the scent of lavender overflows the island.
Another ferry boat trip is a visit to the island of Šolta. This place is not super touristy, which might suit you and it's only a one-hour trip boat trip and you can lay on beaches, sip on coffee and stroll the towns of Rogač, Maslinica and Nečujam. Cars aren't permitted on these ferry boats. However, if you don't want to leave your rental back in Split, you can take the car and passenger ferry called Jadrolinija that will take you from Split to Rogač.
For nature lovers, the surroundings of Split offer a unique experience of canoeing or kayaking up the Cetina River that meets the Adriatic Sea at the idyllic town of Omiš, once the base of famous Corsairs of Almissa (pirates of Omiš), only 15mi / 25km/south-east of Split.
To conclude your holidays in the Split area, you have two options: Pack your bags and go back home, or. . . take a scenic coastal drive (136mi / 220km) toward a Mediterranean pearl, the city of Dubrovnik. Dubrovnik is another world! The city republic that never surrendered to Venetians nor to the Turks, but instead, grew its prosperity and cultural richness by trading with the many nations throughout the Mediterranean.
Where to eat, drink and party in Split
You will not be disappointed in the food and drinks section either. Traditional dishes based on fresh fish, meaty stews and fried seafood go so well with light white bread, local olive oil drizzled over a green salad, and white wine mixed with sparkling water.
Wine is a big deal for the Croatian culinary world. Many Split winemakers still produce homemade wine using traditional and local varieties, which are now becoming popular among wine specialist. Among white wine, Malvazija is very popular. During the day, you, enjoy it mixed with sparkling water; when the night falls, it goes perfectly with every seafood dish. Plavac and Boganuša are also popular sorts. Red wine like Merlot and Kabernet are also widely praised. Many locals drink them mixed with still water, known as Bevanda. If you enjoy spirits, try some Slivovica or Travarica. They’re both pretty potent, but according to locals, it’s the best way to ease digestion and get the party started.
Major events and festivals in Split
Perfect for history buffs and those intrigued by Croatian culture. The musems are free for public on the Night of the Museums event.
Also known as Splitski Krnjeval, this festival is great for music and dance lovers.
Foodies will love this – this leading gastronomic and tourist event in Croatia will be held in Spaladium arena and you'll be able to get to know Croatia through its food and wine – what could possibly be better?
Various concerts, dance and theatre shows and a lot more will liven Split even more! The events will be held in various locations across the city.