How to Get to Split: Ultimate Guide

If you’re planning to visit Split, the picturesque gem of the Dalmatian coast in Croatia, you’re probably wondering about the best ways to get there.

Luckily, Split is incredibly accessible, and this guide will provide detailed instructions on how to reach this breathtaking city by car, detailing routes from different parts of Europe.

By Car

Navigating the scenic routes and highways to Split, the jewel of the Dalmatian Coast in Croatia can be an adventure of its own. From the charm of the Adriatic coastline to the breathtaking beauty of Plitvice Lakes National Park, the journey by car is an unforgettable experience that allows you to discover Croatia’s diverse landscapes at your own pace.

Whether you’re coming from Zagreb, other European countries, or neighboring cities, your drive to Split promises to be a stunning prelude to your Croatian vacation.

The A1 Highway from Zagreb to Split

The most common and fastest way to get to Split from Zagreb, the capital of Croatia, is via the A1 motorway. The new highway has significantly reduced the travel time between these two cities, making the journey less than four hours long.

Be prepared to pay a toll fee between Zagreb and Split on the A1 motorway – the fare is around 27 euros. If you’re heading further south towards Dubrovnik, don’t forget your passport or identity card, as you’ll need it to cross the border between Croatia and Bosnia and Herzegovina.

Scenic Route via Plitvice Lakes National Park

For those who prefer a more scenic route, an alternative pathway from Zagreb to Split goes through the mesmerizing Plitvice Lakes National Park. The drive is approximately 406 kilometers long and will take around 4 hours.

This route is perfect for travelers wanting to immerse themselves in the natural beauty of Croatia, and we recommend making pit stops along the way, with the Plitvice Lakes being an ideal location for a break.

Arriving from Northern Italy

If you’re journeying from northern Italy, there are a couple of different routes available. One option is to proceed via Ljubljana to Zagreb and then take the A1 highway to Dugopolje.

Alternatively, you can follow the coastal road (Jadranska Magistrala) via Rijeka, Zadar, and Sibenik. This route offers stunning seaside views and gives you the chance to experience more of the Croatian coast.

Traveling from Omis to Split

During peak season, traveling from Omis to Split can often be quite congested. In this case, we recommend taking an alternative route through Gata to avoid traffic jams.

Similarly, if you’re traveling to Split from Sibenik or further north in the main season, consider using the highway to avoid potential traffic jams on the coastal road.

Tips and Warnings

Split can be quite busy, especially during the peak season. This is especially true on the changeover days (Friday, Saturday, and Sunday), when many visitors arrive and depart. If you’re planning to catch a ferry to one of the nearby islands, be sure to add an extra buffer to your time schedule.

To stay updated on road conditions, border crossings, ferry terminals, and toll costs, consider downloading the Croatian Automobile Club (HAK) app. This resource provides invaluable real-time information that can help ensure a smooth journey.

Getting to Split by car gives you the freedom to explore at your own pace. By preparing ahead of time and being aware of potential issues, you can ensure that your journey to this Croatian gem is as smooth and enjoyable as possible.

Useful resources:

  • Speed Limits on Croatian Roads:
  • Motorway: 130km/h
  • Major Motor Routs: 110km/h
  • Outside built-up areas: 90km/h
  • Within built-up areas: 50km/h
  • Zero tolerance for alcohol in blood.
  • Croatian Auto Club (HAK) – Traffic Flow and Road Conditions Page

Getting to Split by Bus

If you’re considering a bus journey, you’re in for a treat. Croatia is well-known for its reliable, safe, and comfortable bus service, making it the go-to option for public transportation.

Bus Services and Stations

The main hub for all bus activities in Split is the central bus station, colloquially known as the ‘Kolodvor’. Conveniently located next to the harbor and the main railway station, it’s an easy 9-minute stroll from the city center, just about 800 meters away.

With a range of facilities like an ATM, a toilet, luggage storage, a kiosk, and a cozy coffee bar, you can sit back and relax while waiting for your ride. If you’re on a shopping spree or planning to catch a train, you’re in luck, as the station is neighbored by a shopping mall (300m) and a train station (50m). Forgot to park your car? Don’t worry; there’s a parking lot just 9m away.

Split also houses a Ferry Port Stop, an additional bus stop just an 11-minute walk from the city center, approximately 900 meters away.

Bus Routes and Tickets

For those planning to hop between Croatian cities or venture further into Europe, buses offer excellent connections. Whether you’re planning to move between larger cities like Zagreb and Split or Split and Dubrovnik, or you’re going international into Italy, Austria, Germany, Slovenia, Serbia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, or Montenegro, the bus service has got you covered.

To ensure a smooth journey, remember to buy your tickets well in advance and reserve your seat, as buses can fill up quickly during peak times. Note that tickets should be purchased at the bus station counter, not from the bus driver. Be prepared to pay a small fee (between 1-2 €) for luggage stored in the bus trunk.

Bus Travel Tips

Ready to hit the road? Here are a few insider tips to make your journey even more pleasant. Croatian buses are generally well-maintained and equipped with air conditioning to keep you cool during the hot summer months.

Planning a longer journey? Don’t forget to pack some essentials. Water, a sandwich or some fruits, and a small pillow for the night routes will go a long way to ensuring your comfort. Rest assured, the bus will also make a planned stop at a restaurant on longer routes. Confirm this while purchasing your ticket.

And, to make your journey fly by, don’t forget to pack some entertainment. Whether it’s a good book or your favorite music playlist, these can be your best companions on the road.

So, there you have it! With these handy tips, your bus journey to Split, Croatia, is set to be smooth and enjoyable.

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Getting to Split by Plane

So, you’re thinking about touching down on the sun-soaked shores of Split, Croatia? Fantastic choice! Whether you’re coming for the historic charm of Diocletian’s Palace or the relaxing vibes of Bacvice Beach, there’s a flight path with your name on it.

When to Fly to Split

Flights into Split are plentiful, especially between May and September. During this time, you’ll find the skies buzzing with planes from numerous airlines, each eager to bring holidaymakers to this Adriatic jewel.

In the off-peak months, from November to March, direct flights become a bit more elusive but worry not, new connections often pop up from April onwards, ensuring you won’t miss out on the Split spectacle.

Airlines Offering Direct Flights to Split

Your options for direct flights are broad, spanning several key airlines. Budget-friendly EasyJet, for instance, has confirmed no less than 17 flights to Split Airport. If you fancy a British touch, then British Airways might be your preferred carrier, offering direct flights from London Heathrow to Split twice a week during their summer schedule.

If you’re based in Scotland or Northern England, Jet2 is a boon for you, providing affordable, direct flights from Edinburgh, Leeds, Bradford, and Manchester.

And for those in Germany craving some Dalmatian sunshine, Express Airways has you covered with direct flights from Bremen, Dortmund, and Karlsruhe/Baden-Baden.

Domestic Flights to Split

Of course, if you’re already enjoying Croatia’s many wonders, you can hop on over to Split from other cities in the country. Croatia Airlines, our national carrier, has several flights a day from Zagreb to Split.

Trade Air also offers a generous helping of connections, whisking you from Rijeka, Dubrovnik, Osijek, or Zagreb straight into the heart of Split.

Searching for the Best Flight Deals

If you’re in search of the best deal, we recommend using flight search engines like JetRadar or Cheapflights. These handy tools aggregate all currently available direct flights to Split, enabling you to compare dates and prices across different airlines. It’s never been easier to grab a great deal and set off on your Croatian adventure.

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How to Sail into Sunny Split

Ready to set your sails towards the azure beauty of the Adriatic Sea and discover the charming city of Split, Croatia? You’re in for an unforgettable journey, with salty sea breezes and breathtaking island vistas along the way.

This guide provides all the information you need to navigate your voyage and ensure smooth docking at Split’s bustling ferry port.

Overview of Split Ferry Port

Split’s ferry port, nestled in the heart of the Croatian mainland, is a major hub for several reputable ferry companies. These include Jadrolinija, Kapetan Luka, TP Line, Bura Line, Krilo Shipping Company, Adriatic Fast Ferries, Snav, and ENVIRA Sibenik. They collectively offer routes to a whopping 26 destinations.

The frequency of journeys per day peaks during the high season, with between 87 and 103 journeys, while the off-peak season sees between 33 and 36 journeys per day. As you might expect, journey times can vary greatly, ranging from as little as 20 minutes to as long as 11 hours, depending on your route.

Ferry Routes and Services

A total of 28 ferry routes pass through the port of Split. Out of these, 9 routes accommodate cars, 19 welcome bicycles, and 20 are pet-friendly. How’s that for variety?

The port provides frequent services to destinations such as Supetar on Brac Island, up to nine times daily, and various Croatian islands and cities, even reaching as far as Ancona and Bari in Italy.

The port’s official address is Obala Kneza Domagoja, 21000 Split, Croatia. You’ll find parking available near the ferry port, including the conveniently located bus and train station parking lot, locally known as Zeljeznicka Stanica, which is nearest to the ferry terminal.

For those with extra luggage, left luggage facilities are available in the vicinity of the ferry port, including one within the bus and train station.

Getting to the Split Ferry Terminal

Navigating your way to the Split ferry terminal can be quite simple, depending on where you’re staying. If you’re in the old part of town or in Veli Varoš, a leisurely stroll of 10-25 minutes is your best bet, as cars are not permitted within the Diocletian’s Palace.

For those staying on Bačvice, the ferry terminal is a hop, skip, and a jump away. You can opt for a taxi or choose from a number of local buses to the green market, which is mere minutes away from the ferry terminal.

For those making their way from Split Airport, a pre-booked transfer, taxi, or shuttle bus will get you to the ferry terminal in a jiffy. Also available is bus number 37 which weaves its way through charming coastal villages along the way to the bus station Sukošan. From there, it’s best to jump on bus number 60 and alight at the green market, only a few minutes away from the ferry terminal.

If you’re heading to Split from other cities in Croatia, rest assured the city is well connected by regular or seasonal bus lines. As soon as you enter Split from the north or south via the highway or the coastal road, just follow the signs for the center and the ferry terminal, and they will lead you straight to your destination.

Split Ferry Port Facilities

The ferry terminal itself is well-equipped with ticket offices, a post office, ATMs, a range of shops and stands selling souvenirs and beach essentials, as well as a variety of bars, restaurants, and fast-food outlets.

Ferry Connections from Split

From Split, ferries traverse the sea to connect Croatia with Italy, Korcula Island, and Hvar Island. Depending on the time of year, you can enjoy a selection of up to nine ferry crossings daily.

Here’s a quick overview of specific ferry routes and their frequency:

  • Split – Ancona: With SNAV providing five sailings weekly and Jadrolinija offering three, the estimated journey time is around 9 to 9.5 hours.
  • Split – Bari: Jadrolinija operates this route once weekly, with a journey time of around 10 hours.
  • Split – Korcula: TP Line offers this service seven times weekly, getting you there in approximately 2 hours and 55 minutes.
  • Split – Dubrovnik: Serviced by TP Line seven times weekly; this route will take around 5 hours and 20 minutes.
  • Split – Pomena: TP Line takes you to Pomena seven times a week with a journey time of around 3 hours and 45 minutes.
  • Split – Hvar: TP Line operates this route four times daily, whisking you to Hvar in just 55 minutes.
  • Split – Milna: Operated by TP Line seven times weekly, this quick jaunt takes just 30 minutes.

So whether you’re dreaming of soaking up the sun on the deck, keen to bring your bike for an island adventure, or have your furry friend by your side, Split’s bustling ferry port has a sea voyage that’s perfect for you.

And as you sail into the port with Split’s beautiful seafront promenade coming into view, know that your Croatian adventure is just beginning.

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Journey to Split by Train

Imagine the rhythm of the tracks, the scenic vistas slipping by, and the distinct charm of rail travel. Now, think about a destination that’s as mesmerizing as the journey itself. Yes, I’m talking about Split, Croatia! Getting there is part of the adventure, and there’s no better way to delve into the heart of Croatia than by train.

From Zagreb to Split: A Scenic Journey

Embarking on a train journey from Zagreb to Split is like diving into an awe-inspiring postcard. This six-hour voyage takes you through lush landscapes and picturesque scenes of Croatia. One-way ticket prices are reasonably priced, ranging from $24 to $30.

On board, you’ll find amenities such as air conditioning, WiFi, and power outlets to keep you connected and comfortable throughout the journey. Choose between 2nd and 1st-class trains, with the latter offering extra comfort and space. The journey starts at Zagreb Glavni Kolodvor, the main train station in Zagreb, and concludes at the Split train station. You can purchase tickets online or directly at the station.

Getting to Know Croatian Trains

Trains in Croatia are managed by Croatian Railways (HZ – Hrvatske Željeznice). They offer three types of trains: local trains, express trains, and ‘Executive trains’. Local trains generally have unreserved 2nd class seats, while reservations might be necessary for express trains. ‘Executive trains’ exclusively offer 1st class seats.

The Intercity (IC) Zagreb – Rijeka/Osijek/Cakovec and the speedy ICN train Zagreb – Split are the exceptions, as they may require seat reservations. Please be aware that Croatian trains can be tardy sometimes, so be prepared for occasional delays.

Split Train Stations

Split houses two train stations: the main station, situated in the city center, and Split Predgrađe, locally known as Kopilica station. The main station is conveniently positioned next to the bus station and the ferry port, making it simple to transition to other forms of transportation.

The station boasts basic facilities such as a ticket counter, an information center, toilets, a kiosk, a bakery, fast food, an ATM, an exchange office, and luggage storage. The Split Predgrađe station is nestled in the northern part of Split, close to the North Port of Split. It’s about 10-15 minutes from the city center and the main train station.

Both stations are well connected to the city bus network, and the main station is also a stone’s throw from the city’s main historical sights.

Train Routes to and from Split

There’s a multitude of train routes connecting Split with other captivating cities such as Zagreb, Dubrovnik, Zadar, Pula, Sibenik, Rijeka, Budapest, Munich, and Vienna. These connections allow you to further explore the mesmerizing landscapes and rich cultures of Croatia and beyond.

One crucial tip, though: if you’re considering a train journey from Italy to Croatia, be prepared for a lengthy trip. For instance, the route from Venice to Split can take 15 to 20 hours and includes at least three train switches. If time is of the essence, you might find flying or taking a ferry more convenient and time-efficient.

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Split: A City of Endless Wonders

From the ancient grandeur of Diocletian’s Palace to the serene beauty of Marjan Hill, Split is a city that never ceases to amaze. Immerse yourself in the city’s rich heritage at the Cathedral of St. Domnius, or explore the local wine culture at Putalj Winery. For the adventurous, a visit to the ancient ruins of Salona is a must. And if you’re a fan of the arts, the Croatian National Theatre and the Museum of Fine Arts await.

The city’s vibrant Riva Promenade is a bustling seafront stretch known for its electrifying ambiance and stunning Adriatic views. For sports enthusiasts, catching a Hajduk game at Poljud Stadium is an experience not to be missed. And for Game of Thrones fans, the Game of Thrones Museum, nestled in the heart of Diocletian’s Palace, is a must-visit.

Split is not just about historical sites and vibrant city life, it’s also a paradise for beach lovers. From the lively city-beach vibe of Bačvice Beach to the tranquil setting of Trstenik Beach and the picturesque location of Kašjuni Beach on the Marjan peninsula, there’s a beach for every preference.

For those who prefer a more secluded experience, the serene ambiance of Ježinac Beach and the intimate charm of Firule Beach are perfect choices. And if you’re looking for a family-friendly destination, Žnjan Beach and Ovčice Beach (Little Sheeps Beach) won’t disappoint with their array of amenities and activities.

If you’re only coming to Split for a short visit, check out my guide on how to get the most out of one day in Split. For those looking to venture further, day trips from Split reveal the stunning Krka National Park, serene Hvar Island, charming Trogir, and adventurous Šolta Island. For a unique experience, explore the Blue Cave, historic Salona and Klis, or venture to Mostar and Kravice Waterfalls in Bosnia and Herzegovina. Each journey promises unforgettable experiences and a taste of Croatian heritage.

And don’t forget to check out my list of top-tier hotels in Split, each offering a unique blend of comfort, luxury, and local charm. From wellness-focused establishments to historic palaces turned boutique hotels, there’s something for every traveler. Whether you’re seeking a tranquil retreat or a bustling city-center location, these hotels offer diverse amenities, from rooftop pools to gourmet restaurants. With their prime locations, they provide the perfect base for your Croatian adventure, ensuring an unforgettable stay in the heart of Split.

About the author

Tomislav is the main contributor and creator of Croatia Wanderlust. With a deep appreciation for his homeland, he dedicates his time to sharing detailed stories and insights about Croatia's rich culture, scenic landscapes, and historical landmarks. His writings aim to provide readers with a comprehensive understanding of what makes Croatia a unique and must-visit destination. Through his articles, Tomislav hopes to inspire travel enthusiasts and curious minds alike to explore the beauty of Croatia.

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