Comparison Split vs Dubrovnik – Croatia has become a popular tourist destination in recent years, with its stunning coastline and rich cultural heritage. While both Split and Dubrovnik are UNESCO old towns with stunning beaches, Dubrovnik is more laidback compared to Split.
Two of the country’s most popular destinations are Split and Dubrovnik. While both cities offer a wealth of attractions and things to do, there are some key differences to consider when deciding which one to visit. In this article, we’ll compare Split and Dubrovnik in several categories, including history and culture, beaches, nightlife, and overall vibe.
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Where to Stay in Croatia
Accommodation in Croatia isn’t as expensive than other countries around Europe. You can access a dorm that can go up to €15-20. And while a hotel that is a double room in a budget can go up to €60.
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Comparing Split and Dubrovnik
History and Culture
When it comes to history and culture, both Split and Dubrovnik have plenty to offer. Split is known for its stunning Old Town, which is home to the UNESCO-listed Diocletian’s Palace. This ancient palace dates back to the 4th century and is one of the best-preserved examples of Roman architecture in the world. The palace is also home to a number of museums and galleries, including the Split Archaeological Museum, which features artifacts from the Roman era.
Dubrovnik, on the other hand, is famous for its beautifully preserved Old Town, which is surrounded by impressive city walls. Dubrovnik’s Old Town is also a UNESCO World Heritage Site and is home to a number of historic landmarks, including the Rector’s Palace, the Cathedral of the Assumption, and the Franciscan Monastery. Dubrovnik is also known for its connections to the popular TV show “Game of Thrones,” as many scenes were filmed in the city.
Both Split and Dubrovnik have stunning beaches that are worth visiting. Split’s most popular beach is Bacvice, which is located just a short walk from the city center. This sandy beach is ideal for swimming and sunbathing and is popular with both tourists and locals. Split is also home to several other beaches, including Firule and Znjan, which are also worth checking out.
Dubrovnik’s beaches are a bit more secluded than those in Split, but they are equally beautiful. Banje Beach is one of the most popular in the city and offers stunning views of Dubrovnik’s Old Town. Lapad Beach is another popular option and is located in the Lapad Bay area, which is home to several bars and restaurants.
When it comes to nightlife, Split has a more vibrant scene than Dubrovnik. Split is home to several nightclubs and bars, including the famous Ultra Europe music festival, which takes place every summer. Split’s waterfront promenade, Riva, is also a popular spot for nightlife, with many bars and restaurants offering stunning views of the harbor.
Dubrovnik, on the other hand, has a more laid-back nightlife scene. While there are still plenty of bars and restaurants to choose from, the city’s atmosphere is more relaxed and romantic. Dubrovnik’s Old Town is a popular spot for evening strolls and romantic dinners, and there are several wine bars and jazz clubs worth checking out.
The overall vibe of Split and Dubrovnik is quite different. Split is a bustling city with a more modern feel, while Dubrovnik is a more traditional and romantic city. Split is a great option for those who want a more active and lively vacation, while Dubrovnik is ideal for those who want to relax and soak up the city’s history and culture.
In conclusion, both Split and Dubrovnik offer a wealth of attractions and things to do, but they have different vibes and cater to different types of travelers. Split is great for those who want a more vibrant and active vacation, while Dubrovnik is perfect for those who want a more romantic and laid-back experience.
Ultimately, the choice between the two cities depends on your personal preferences and what you want to get out of your vacation. If you’re interested in history and culture, both cities are fantastic options, but Dubrovnik’s Old Town is more famous for its well-preserved ancient architecture.
If you’re a beach lover, both cities have beautiful beaches to offer, but Split’s beaches are more easily accessible from the city center. And if you’re looking for a lively nightlife scene, Split is definitely the better option.
In terms of logistics, both cities are easy to reach, with Split and Dubrovnik both having international airports. If you’re planning to explore more of Croatia, Split is a good starting point, as it’s located in the middle of the country and has good connections to other destinations. Dubrovnik, on the other hand, is located at the southern tip of Croatia and is a good choice if you’re planning to explore the southern part of the country.
Ultimately, whether you choose Split or Dubrovnik for your vacation, you’re sure to have a fantastic time. Both cities are beautiful, historic, and full of charm and character, and they offer a glimpse into the rich cultural heritage of Croatia.
Both Split and Dubrovnik can be great destinations for solo travelers, but they offer different experiences. Split is generally considered to be more of a social and lively city, which can make it a good option for solo travelers looking to meet new people and have fun. The city has a vibrant nightlife scene and plenty of opportunities to socialize, including organized pub crawls and boat parties.
Dubrovnik, on the other hand, is a quieter and more romantic city, which can be a good option for solo travelers who want to relax and enjoy the scenery. The city is known for its beautiful Old Town, which is a UNESCO World Heritage Site, and its stunning views of the Adriatic Sea. There are plenty of opportunities for solo travelers to explore the city at their own pace, including walking tours, boat tours, and sunset cruises.
Both cities have plenty of accommodation options for solo travelers, including hostels, budget hotels, and apartments. Split has more options for budget accommodation, while Dubrovnik tends to be more expensive overall. However, both cities have a range of options to suit different budgets and preferences.
When it comes to safety, both Split and Dubrovnik are generally considered safe for solo travelers. However, as with any destination, it’s important to take common-sense precautions, such as being aware of your surroundings and avoiding unsafe areas at night.
In conclusion, both Split and Dubrovnik can be great options for solo travelers, depending on what you’re looking for. Split is ideal for those who want a more social and lively experience, while Dubrovnik is perfect for those who want a quieter and more romantic vacation. Ultimately, the choice between the two cities will depend on your personal preferences and travel style.
When it comes to budget travel, Split is generally considered to be the more affordable of the two cities. The city has a range of budget accommodation options, including hostels and guesthouses, as well as plenty of affordable restaurants and cafes. Split is also home to several free attractions, including the Diocletian’s Palace, the Marjan Forest Park, and the Archaeological Museum.
Dubrovnik, on the other hand, tends to be more expensive than Split, particularly during peak tourist season. However, there are still ways to save money in Dubrovnik, such as staying in budget accommodation outside of the Old Town, eating at local cafes and restaurants, and visiting free attractions like the city walls and Lovrijenac Fortress.
Both Split and Dubrovnik can be great options for family travel, but they offer different experiences. Split is a more lively and social city, which can be great for families with older children or teenagers. The city has plenty of activities and attractions to keep families entertained, including the beach, boat trips, and cultural sites like the Diocletian’s Palace and the Archaeological Museum.
Dubrovnik, on the other hand, is a more romantic and laid-back city, which can be better suited for families with younger children. The city has plenty of family-friendly activities, including walking tours, boat trips, and visits to attractions like the city walls and the Dubrovnik Aquarium.
Both Split and Dubrovnik are popular destinations among digital nomads, but Split is generally considered to be the better option for those looking for a thriving digital nomad scene. Split has a range of co-working spaces, cafes with high-speed internet, and a lively community of digital nomads. The city also has a range of activities and attractions that can be enjoyed outside of work hours, including the beach, boat trips, and cultural sites.
Dubrovnik also has a growing digital nomad scene, but it tends to be more low-key than Split’s. The city has a few co-working spaces and cafes with high-speed internet, but there are fewer networking opportunities and social events compared to Split.
Top Things to Do in Split
This ancient palace is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and the centerpiece of Split’s Old Town. Built-in the 4th century AD for the Roman Emperor Diocletian, the palace features an intricate network of courtyards, arcades, and chambers, and offers a fascinating glimpse into the city’s rich history.
Visitors can explore the palace’s underground cellars, climb the bell tower for panoramic views of the city, and visit the Ethnographic Museum, which is housed in the palace.
Marjan Forest Park
This natural area is located on a hill overlooking the city and offers hiking trails, scenic viewpoints, and beaches. The park is a popular destination for locals and visitors alike, and offers a welcome escape from the bustling city center. Visitors can hike to the top of the hill for stunning views of Split and the surrounding area, or relax on one of the beaches located within the park.
This sandy beach is located just a short walk from the city center and is a popular spot for swimming and sunbathing. The beach features a range of amenities, including sun loungers and umbrellas, beachside cafes and bars, and water sports rentals. Visitors can also enjoy a game of picigin, a traditional Croatian sport played in the shallow waters of the Adriatic.
Split is a great starting point for exploring the nearby islands of Hvar, Brac, and Vis, which offer some of the most beautiful beaches and natural landscapes in Croatia. Visitors can take a day trip to one of these islands to explore their stunning beaches, historic landmarks, and local cuisine. Popular activities include swimming and snorkeling, hiking, and sampling local wines and olive oils.
Split is known for its delicious local cuisine, which combines Mediterranean and Balkan flavors to create a unique and flavorful experience. Visitors can try local specialties like cevapi (grilled meat served with flatbread), pasticada (slow-cooked beef stew), and grilled seafood, as well as local wines and liqueurs. The city is home to a range of restaurants and cafes to suit all budgets and tastes, from casual street food vendors to fine dining establishments.
Top Things to Do in Dubrovnik
Walking the city walls is one of the top attractions in Dubrovnik, offering stunning views of the Old Town and the Adriatic Sea. The walls date back to the 13th century and are among the best-preserved in Europe, featuring towers, gates, and fortifications that provide a glimpse into the city’s rich history. Visitors can walk the walls at their own pace, taking in the historic landmarks and stunning views along the way.
This historic palace now houses the Cultural Historical Museum of Dubrovnik and features exhibits on the city’s history and culture. Built in the 15th century, the palace was home to the city’s rulers and features a range of architectural styles, from Gothic to Renaissance. Visitors can explore the palace’s ornate interior and learn about Dubrovnik’s rich cultural heritage.
Cable Car to Mount Srd
Taking a cable car to the top of Mount Srd is a must-do activity in Dubrovnik, offering panoramic views of the city and the surrounding area. The cable car was built in 1969 and provides a quick and convenient way to reach the mountaintop, where visitors can enjoy a meal or a drink at the mountaintop restaurant, or simply take in the stunning views.
The Old Town of Dubrovnik is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and is home to a wealth of historic landmarks, including the Cathedral of the Assumption, the Franciscan Monastery, and the Dubrovnik Synagogue. The Old Town is a maze of narrow streets and alleyways, lined with stunning architecture and charming cafes and restaurants. Visitors can explore the Old Town on foot, taking in the sights and sounds of this unique and historic city.
Taking a boat trip to the nearby island of Lokrum is a great way to escape the crowds and enjoy nature. The island is located just a 15-minute ferry ride from Dubrovnik and offers a range of activities and attractions, including hiking trails, botanical gardens, and historic landmarks like the Fort Royal Castle. Visitors can also relax on one of the island’s many secluded beaches, or swim in the crystal-clear waters of the Adriatic.
Srd Hill Hiking Trail
This hiking trail starts from the Old Town and takes visitors up to the top of Srd Hill, offering panoramic views of Dubrovnik and the surrounding area. The trail is well-marked and takes around 1-2 hours to complete, depending on your fitness level. Visitors can also take the cable car to the top of the hill and hike back down to the Old Town, enjoying stunning views along the way.
Dubrovnik Summer Festival
This annual festival takes place from mid-July to mid-August and is a celebration of music, theater, and dance. The festival features performances from some of the world’s top artists and takes place in a range of venues throughout the city, including the Old Town and the Rector’s Palace.
Overall, both Split and Dubrovnik offer a wealth of attractions and experiences for visitors to Croatia. From stunning historic landmarks to beautiful natural landscapes, from delicious local cuisine to vibrant cultural festivals, these two cities have something to offer travelers of all interests and budgets. Whether you choose Split or Dubrovnik for your next vacation, you’re sure to have a memorable and enjoyable trip.
Cost of Travel in Split
The cost of travel in Split and Dubrovnik can vary depending on the season and your travel style, but as a general guide, here are the approximate costs for one person for one week:
Hostels and guesthouses in Split start at around €10-€15 per night for a dorm bed, and around €30-€50 per night for a private room. Budget hotels start at around €40-€60 per night, while mid-range hotels range from €60-€120 per night.
There are plenty of affordable restaurants and cafes in Split that offer local cuisine at reasonable prices. Budget travelers can expect to spend around €10-€15 per meal, while mid-range restaurants will cost around €20-€30 per meal. Local streets food options like cevapi and burek can be found for as little as €2-€3 per serving.
Public transportation in Split is fairly affordable, with single bus tickets costing around €1-€2. Taxis and rideshare services like Uber are also available, with prices starting at around €5-€10 per ride.
Many of Split’s top attractions, such as the Diocletian’s Palace and Marjan Forest Park, are free to visit. Other activities, such as boat trips to nearby islands, can range from €20-€50 per person.
Cost of Travel in Dubrovnik
Accommodation in Dubrovnik tends to be more expensive than in Split, particularly during peak tourist season. Budget hostels and guesthouses start at around €20-€30 per night for a dorm bed, and €60-€80 per night for a private room. Mid-range hotels range from €80-€150 per night, while luxury hotels can cost upwards of €200 per night.
Dining out in Dubrovnik can be expensive, particularly in the Old Town. Budget travelers can expect to spend around €15-€20 per meal, while mid-range restaurants can cost around €30-€50 per meal. Local street food options like burek and pastries can be found for around €2-€3 per serving.
Public transportation in Dubrovnik is limited, but buses are available to nearby towns and villages. Single bus tickets cost around €2-€3. Taxis and rideshare services like Uber are also available, with prices starting at around €10-€20 per ride.
Many of Dubrovnik’s top attractions, such as the city walls and Rector’s Palace, have an admission fee of around €20-€25 per person. Boat trips and excursions to nearby islands can range from €30-€60 per person.
Keep in mind that these costs are estimates and can vary depending on the time of year you’re traveling, your travel style, and your personal preferences. However, these figures should give you a good idea of the approximate cost of travel in Split and Dubrovnik.
Final Thoughts on Split vs Dubrovnik
In conclusion, both Split and Dubrovnik offer a wealth of attractions and experiences for travelers, but they offer different vibes and cater to different travel styles. Split is great for those looking for a more lively and social vacation, while Dubrovnik is ideal for those looking for a more romantic and laid-back experience.
Both cities have stunning architecture, beautiful beaches, and rich cultural heritage, but they offer different activities and attractions to explore. When choosing between the two, consider factors such as your travel style, budget, and the time of year you’re visiting. Ultimately, no matter which city you choose, you’re sure to have a memorable and enjoyable trip to Croatia.
About the Author: Ruben, co-founder of Gamintraveler.com since 2014, is a seasoned traveler from Spain who has explored over 100 countries since 2009. Known for his extensive travel adventures across South America, Europe, the US, Australia, New Zealand, Asia, and Africa, Ruben combines his passion for adventurous yet sustainable living with his love for cycling, highlighted by his remarkable 5-month bicycle journey from Spain to Norway. He currently resides in Spain, where he continues to share his travel experiences alongside his partner, Rachel, and their son, Han.