Split is a very popular tourist destination in summer. People generally head to the beaches or go island-hopping – that doesn’t really seem too appealing in winter. So should you visit Split in winter? What can you do there in winter? Is it really worth it? I’m spending a full month here in Split this winter and after over two weeks here, I feel confident in answering all of these questions. So before heading to Split in winter, this is what you should know.
Split in winter means less people
If you’ve seen any pictures of Diocletions palace in summer, you’ll know that it gets crazy busy here and Split’s old town can get quite crowded. In winter, this is definitely not the case. While there will still be people here (umm, residents don’t just vanish into thin air in off season), there’s definitely way less tourists in Split in winter. Which means you can enjoy a quiet stroll through Split’s old town without worrying about getting in the way of one of those massive tour groups. While Split’s riva will still be busy, I’ve noticed that it’s now mainly locals sitting in the cafés. You also don’t get bothered by anyone trying to sell you tours or lure you into their guesthouse.
Split in winter means discounts and cheaper prices
As there are way less tourists in Split in winter, you will be able to bargain more and get some awesome discounts. We actually got a crazy 70% discount on our Airbnb without even asking – if Airbnb is your thing, you’ll definitely love being able to afford much nicer places for less money in winter. We’ve also heard of people getting discounts on tours, car rentals and hotel stays.
Not everything will be open in winter
While less people is great for you and me, it’s not so great for local businesses. Which is why some shops and restaurants won’t be open in winter. We were pretty bummed when we found out Vege Takeaway isn’t open in December as we were really looking forward to eating there. But don’t worry, the majority of restaurants will stay open in winter, so you might not even notice this.
Split’s ferries have a different schedule in winter and may be less frequent
Despite the temperatures being rather low we wanted to visit one of the islands near Split. However, unlike in summer, ferries may not be as frequent depending on what day you want to go. Due to our work and study commitments we are generally only able to go exploring on the weekend, which meant that the first ferry to Hvar was at 2:30 pm, which is way to late considering it gets dark at 5pm. During the week the ferries are more frequent though, so you should ideally visit the islands on a weekday.
You won’t be sunbathing but it’s still much warmer than in other European cities
While Split’s beaches are of course still very beautiful in winter, you won’t be doing any sunbathing there. The water and air temperatures are just too low and you would be freezing. But that’s ok as Split has so much more to offer than just beaches and sunbathing. While it is true that it’s not warm enough for swimming and sunbathing, Split’s winter is still a lot milder than that of other European (and Croatian) cities. It is currently mid-December and it gets to around 13-14° C here. You can almost walk around in just a t-shirt. You will still need to bring a jumper though, as it is quite cold in the mornings and evenings. But hey, at least it’s not snowing here!
Split is still breathtakingly beautiful in winter
So what if you can’t go swimming in winter. Split’s old town is incredibly picturesque and you could literally spend all day wandering through the narrow side streets or gazing at Diocletian’s palace. If you’re craving some nature, head over to Marjan hill and spend the day exploring the seemingly endless hiking tracks. You can also just relax at the riva or stroll through the Christmas market. There’s so much to do here!
There’s even a Christmas market here
Ok so Split’s Christmas market may not be as spectacular as the one in Zagreb, but it’s still pretty neat. You can fill up on some roasted chestnuts or buy quirky Christmas souvenirs. The best part is you won’t be freezing cold and you will be surrounded by palm trees and the seaside. I have to admit, the Christmas-palm tree combination feels a bit strange – but in a good way!
So yes, you should definitely visit Split in winter
Ignore the guides that tell you the best time to visit Split is in summer and head over here this winter! We absolutely love it here and I’m sure you would love it here too!
If you don’t believe me, check out our very first travel vlog exploring Split in winter. I’m sure that will convince you that Split is still an incredible place to visit despite the low temperatures!
So tell me, what are your favourite places to travel in off-season? Or do you prefer sticking to high-season for your travels?
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