Split, through the eyes of Willem

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Why Split?

Willem and his girlfriend went to Split for six days. “We enjoy taking city trips. Last year, we visited the cities of Florence and Bologna. It was a wonderful trip with lots of sights, but it didn’t leave much time for relaxation. We also missed the sea. With Split, we found the perfect combination of culture and relaxation. There’s a lot to see from the past, which I find very interesting. And it’s a compact city, so you don’t have to walk very far, and yet you can see everything easily.”

What caught your attention first in Split?

Willem knew that a part of Split is part of an old imperial palace, resembling a fortress. “You can see many elements of the old palace in the streets; you can see the outlines of what was once a palace. For instance, the walls have been reused for houses.” Every city has a square where everyone gathers, and Split is no exception. However, it’s the former inner hall of the palace, evident from the tall columns. “You can easily imagine the emperor walking here.” The palace is on the UNESCO World Heritage List, and the old city center is part of it too.

What surprised you about Split?

“I thought the palace would be more closed off, and I didn’t realize it’s truly integrated into the city. I also didn’t know that Split is becoming popular among young people and is known as a party city, along with the surrounding islands like Hvar. I read about it, but I didn’t know that beforehand. Oh, and what I didn’t know either: you can smoke in smaller bars. So, be aware of that if you’re not a fan.”

What are your top recommendations?

Immerse yourself in the palace, wander through the old town.

  • Stroll in the square (the former inner hall of the palace) in the evening, with an ice cream in hand, while enjoying live music in the background.
  • Take the ferry to an island. “We went to Hvar, and it was beautiful. It’s also a nice change from the city.”
  • Climb Marjan Hill. Willem suggests setting aside a half-day for this. “It’s a long hike, so you need to be a bit fit. But as a reward, you get beautiful views of Split and the islands.” According to Willem, truly a highlight (literally!).
  • The town of Trogir is an hour away from Split. It’s nice to go there for a half-day. “It has a different vibe than Split. It’s also compact, and scenes from ‘Game of Thrones’ were filmed there.”
  • “I always enjoy trying the local cuisine; you can do that at Konoba Korta.” A tip: make a reservation because it’s often crowded around mealtime. Or reserve when you’re there for the next day.
  • Pizzeria Portas is “a great recommendation, the pizza was really good.”
  • In the extension of Pizzeria Portas, on a small square, there are several good restaurants, and it’s nice to sit there in the evening. Willem ate at Trattoria Tavulin.
  • “We had lunch at Fratelli, at the corner near Marjan Hill, and it was very good.”
  • A 15-minute walk from the center is the Art Hotel, with a rooftop pool. “That completed our trip. Explore the city for part of the day and at the end of the day, read a book by the pool: a perfect combination, very relaxing.”

What would you skip?

Willem hasn’t done anything he regretted; he only has things he would recommend. He shares a thought and a tip: “Many organizations offer a day trip to the blue lagoon, a cave with very blue water. It’s probably beautiful, but you’re out for a whole day, visiting various islands where you can only spend a short time. You’re on a boat with all tourists… I wonder if it’s worth it.” And a tip: “Hvar was very beautiful. But be aware of the time of day and the period you’re there. If you’re there in the evening and/or in the heart of summer, it’s very hot, and all the young people are there too. Consider if you’re in the mood for that.”

What’s your fondest memory?

“Marjan Hill, because the view was truly beautiful. You can take a moment to relax. You’re on top of the world, and you take the time to absorb it all. I also enjoy boat trips a lot – I always get very happy sitting on a ferry, enjoying the surroundings. Is Split a recommendation for a city trip? 100%.”

You can find more tips about Split here.