Despite being the second-largest city in Croatia, Split – with its Unesco-listed site, Diocletian’s Palace – makes it easy to immerse yourself in the local culture. First-time visitors will likely spend their days marvelling at the ancient sites or sunning themselves on Bačvice Beach. However, those in the know will book a hotel that gives them access to traditional dining experiences, knowledgeable locals and incredible views – here’s our guide to the best places to stay in Split, bookable with Culture Trip.
Smack bang in the middle of Diocletian’s Palace, Vestibul Palace offers a boutique hideaway. Part of the Small Luxury Hotels of the World group, the hotel was created by merging three palaces of three different architecture styles: Romanesque, Gothic and Renaissance. Its storied history is instantly apparent in its rooms, where the old (original stone walls) meets the new (deep soak tubs). The restaurant, Magnus, serves modern Croatian cuisine made from local and seasonal ingredients.
Behind one of Diocletian’s Palace’ ancient stone walls, Hotel Peristil makes for a classic escape. With unpretentious interiors and walls clad in oil paintings, you’ll find locals congregating at the groundfloor cafe-restaurant Tiffany. Come nightfall, dine on traditional dishes, including fresh Adriatic seafood, on one of the tables that spills onto the pavement, so you can nosy at the people passing by.
The oldest hotel in Split, Hotel Park, which opened in 1921, is just moments from Bačvice Beach. Interiors are kept in a sleek Art Deco style, and each of the 65 rooms is light-filled, with glorious views over the Adriatic Sea. The hotel’s restaurant, Restaurant Split, offers a unique chef’s table package, where you can visit Split’s open-air market with the chef and have a private dinner cooked for you with the ingredients picked that morning.
Tucked away inside Diocletian’s Palace, Heritage Hotel Antique Split is a family-run gem. Rooms are classically styled – think exposed stone walls, heavy curtains, plush bedding and mahogany fixtures. Some rooms even have direct views of St Domnius Cathedral and the Peristyle. A stay here means you’re within 10 minutes of Split’s ancient landmarks – just ask the friendly team to point you in the right direction.
Wedged between the lively Riva boardwalk and the Marjan Hill Stairs – which will give you the best views in Split – Villa Matejuska Apartments offer quaint rooms in an old stone house. While each of the apartments has a small kitchenette for home cooking, dinners are best eaten at the in-house restaurant, where traditional Dalmatian cuisine is served alongside a heady selection of fine wines.
Making a strong case for some of the best views in Split, it’s hard to find a better place to take a dip than at Marvie Hotel’s rooftop infinity pool that is overlooking the glistening Adriatic Sea. Rooms are minimalist and light-filled, thanks to the floor-to-ceiling windows. The real focus here is on wellness – evident in its onsite spa and in the menu of Da’Mar Restaurant, where most dishes are gluten-free and can be made vegan.
If you’re looking for a modern oasis away from the main tourist traps (but right next to sandy Bačvice Beach), it has to be Briig Boutique Hotel. As the first design hotel of this coastal city, you’ll find Wegner chairs furnishing the on-site Median restaurant and vintage artwork from Croatian creatives adorning the walls. Each of the 62 rooms will appeal to even the most ardent minimalism lover, but do opt for one of the rooftop suites, if you can, for your own private whirlpool.
In the charming neighbourhood of Veli Varoš, a largely residential area, Divota Apartment Hotel will instantly make you feel like a local. The apartments are dotted among several old houses on winding cobblestone lanes. But don’t let the façades fool you. Inside, the abodes are clad in white, with hardwood floors and pops of colour in the form of artworks. Most rooms have private courtyards, and each has a fully equipped kitchen, too.
Equidistant from Bačvice Beach and Split’s Old Town, Dioklecijan Hotel & Residence boasts minimalist rooms and impressive views over the city from greenery-covered balconies. After a visit to the rooftop spa, take a dip in the open-air pool. Sitting high above the city, it’s an ideal place to watch the sunset.
In the heart of downtown Split, Tchaikovsky Hostel is a stylish boutique option, just moments from the city’s must-see landmarks. Here, art lines the walls, and free artisan teas are served throughout the day. Each bed comes equipped with its own night light, shelves and a curtain for that extra dose of privacy – which, when you’re staying in a hostel, feels like landing on a pot of gold.
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