If you follow me on Instagram you will know that we arrived in Croatia last week and are staying about twenty minutes from Split. While we had been quite busy with work and studying during the week, we spent all weekend exploring Split and the little town we’re staying in. On Saturday afternoon we hopped on a bus and twenty minutes later we found ourselves at the heart of the city center. Split is probably the prettiest city I’ve ever seen and coming face to face with such beauty was just what I needed after a stressful week.
Wandering through the old town
The best part of Split is of course the old town. I loved wandering through the narrow side streets, glancing at the picturesque cobblestone path every now and again. The tiles were so smooth, sometimes I forgot I’m outside as it kind of felt like I was walking around in someone’s living room…until I looked up and saw that I was surrounded by Split’s beautiful old town.
I’ve also developed a slight addiction to taking photos of other people’s laundry. For some reason I just absolutely love the look of clothes hanging out to dry. Perhaps it is because seeing those clothes flutter in the wind somehow invokes feelings of homeliness within me – something that is often missing from this life of travel.
Honestly Split’s old town is just gorgeous. I could have spent all day just staring at all these beautiful old buildings! The best thing about coming here in winter is probably that you avoid the crowds. There weren’t many other people here at all when we were there and sometimes we got a little side street all to ourselves. I loved imagining how this place must have been like during the time it had just been built, before the shops and the tourists had arrived.
The Diocletian’s Palace
At the heart of the old town lies the Diocletian’s Palace. It actually is more of a fortress than a palace and makes up about half of Split’s old town. Diocletian’s palace was built by the Roman Emperor Diocletian in the 4th century AD. Today, the complex is still used by local residents and shop owners. From what I’ve heard, it can get quite crowded here in summer, but it’s a lovely place to stroll around and relax in winter!
The Riva and Christmas Market
One of the reasons Split is such a popular destination is definitely the riva or seafront. Packed with restaurants and cafés, as well as lots of benches and other free places to sit, it’s a wonderful place for a coffee or a picnic. We didn’t get a chance yet to check what vegan options (besides coffee) there are in the local restaurants, but I will make sure to update you on that next time we visit Split. Even without visiting a restaurant, Split’s riva is a great place to just sit down and people watch. As we were strolling up and down the promenade, I kept thinking about how lucky I was to be able to be here right now. The palm trees, the feeling of sunshine on my skin and a city that looked more like a painting than real life all felt too good to be true.
As we’re visiting Split in winter, there was a lovely little Christmas market going on. It wasn’t as big as the one we’ve seen in Zagreb, but it’s still worth a visit. We didn’t spot any vegan food here, but there were stalls that sold drinks, as well as lots of souvenirs and other kitsch.
No visit to Split is complete without hiking up Marjan hill. We did have to climb up a couple of stairs to get there, but it was definitely worth it. While getting to the park only takes a few minutes from the city center, exploring the whole area will take you hours! We spent about an hour walking around in the park, but eventually turned around and decided to explore the rest another time – we are staying near Split for a full month after all.
Eating vegan in Split: Upcafe
I’m hungry all the time and my life pretty much revolves around food. Obviously I had done my research and found a nice little place to eat. We decided to give Upcafe a try, which is a vegetarian restaurant/ café with some vegan options. The first time we ate here was actually last week after our two day train trip. We had a nice vegan lunch for 40 kuna per person last week. This time we were only looking for a quick snack on the go and so we opted for stuffed pancakes (19 kuna) – they were incredible. Unfortunately I’m an idiot and so I accidentally ate them all in the bus before taking a picture. I am however trying to recreate the recipe, so I will be able to share them with you at some point.
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