Lights don’t mean fun.
There are bars and restaurants aplenty, but at first you’ll head towards the pretty lights and possibly the loud music. Unfortunately these often lead to a venue with nothing to offer. Be it food or a fun party atmosphere; always go for the places that have more to offer than a large electricity bill. Split is all about the people and socialising, which is tough when you can’t speak over the music.
It’s worth the horrible train.
Well, you might get here by some other means, but I spent almost ten hours sleeping on the floor of a grubby train, curled up tightly so others could squeeze onto the same dirty corridor floor of the train. Once you arrive and the journey is behind you, it’s totally worth it, though.
Hostels are expensive and grubby.
Okay this may not apply for everywhere, but Apartment Meri was an absolute dive and the cheapest I could find on Hostelworld… at £15 per night. The owner (though strict), has a fantastic sense of which visitors will get on great and share similar interests/humour, which makes the facilities irrelevant as you’ll have a great time socialising with other guests and getting out of the hostel. I am in no way affiliated with this place or being told to write this, I just arrived with utter disgust and ended up absolutely loving the place.
Like anywhere else, utilise pre-drinks. There’s a lot of reasonably-priced establishments but they’re not as cheap as the shops! A lot of places are very open and outdoors so you can also sneak in a few cans yourself (they all serve their own cans from a fridge beside the bar so nobody will know once you’re past the bouncers).
Bouncers and drugs are dodgy.
Some of the guys in our hostel went to a beach party and decided to buy drugs from the bouncers, because they were Australian party goblins. Turns out they paid a lot of money for some pills that did nothing and upon trying to take them back… well things went wrong. Just don’t do it. Get drunk like a sensible person.
I’m not talking home prices, but Split is a mix of backpackers and holidaymakers with real money to spend, as well as being eastern-but-not-eastern Europe. I dined on supermarket bread filled with minced meat and watermelons to keep the cost down as the restaurants were far beyong my budget as a backpacker.
Find the rocky “beach”.
There’s no real beach here worth raving about (there’s an overcrowded dirty one at the northern end), but if you keep walking down and around the coast for about half an hour you can find a lovely little segment of clear blue sea over a very small cliff. Those rocks are a wonderful place to sunbathe and jump from into the sea. They’re also not overly busy because it’s not a “beach” – but a pleasant way to enjoy the sun and the water nonetheless.
Okay so I haven’t really given you advice on things to see in Split because my time was spent sunbathing, eating and drinking. I still loved Split as a place to walk around during the daytime and it really does come to life at night. You wouldn’t expect it when you arrive, but it’s pretty awesome. I intend to return and I advise you visit Split with a lot of flexibility on how long you intend to stay – you could easily hate it, but I absolutely loved it.