Croatia has been poppin’ off as a hot travel destination for us backpackers in the last few years. The Croatian city of Split has been charging the way, luring us in with its rich history, dazzling beaches and feeding us up with delicious Croatian cuisine. 

The warmth of the Mediterranean climate is almost as strong as the warmth of the locals. Known for their hospitality, the Croatian’s will welcome you in with open ups and show you around their incredible home. 

Whether you’re up for roaming the old town, topping up your tan on the beaches or embracing nature on a hike up Marjan Hill – Split absolute spoils it’s visitors with endless EPIC adventures. 

Deciding where to stay in Split can be a tough decision; it is a savagely popular destination and has a shit-load of areas to choose from. But equipped with my POINT-BLANK guide on the areas of Split at your disposal, you will have no problems discovering your perfect match. 

So, let’s dive into the best areas in Split and find out which is best for you.

Split sign in split, croatia. Missing the S so girl is pretending to be the S
Let me take you through everything I know from my time in Split.
Photo: @danielle_wyatt

Where Is the Best Place to Stay in Split

Backpacking in Croatia is becoming the thing to do at the moment, and it’s clear why. Travellers are flocking in every summer like moths to a flame and it’s easy to see why. Croatia is home to some bloody beautiful landscapes and rich history for us travellers to dive headfirst into – Split is a pinnacle of this.

In this article, I’m going to dive into the top five areas to stay in Split in detail. However, if you’re short on time, here is my top hotel, hostel and Airbnb below.

Heritage Hotel Antique Split | Best Hotel in Split

Heritage Hotel Antique Split

Set in the clutches of the UNESCO Diocletian’s Palace, the superb location matches the quality of service that you will receive at this small luxury hotel. Heritage Hotel offers spacious rooms that are decorated in a pleasing pastel, and free snacks and drinks are available whenever you fancy.

Breakfast consists of fresh pastries and cakes, and is served either on the floral terrace or in the breakfast room. The staff are more helpful than Google Translate in Mongolia.

Backpackers Fairytale | Best Hostel in Split

Backpackers Fairytale

The Backpackers Fairytale is one of the best hostels in Split because it is home to the holy trifactor: A super-friendly vibe, a super-friendly host, and a top-tier location. Family-like hostels rock and this one is no exception.

A mere three minutes from the imposing Diocletian’s Palace, you can head out to God knows where and return God knows when. And if you get lucky, the hosts may take you outdoors for an adventure!

Apartment Amore in Diocletian Palace | Best Airbnb in Split

Modernized Old Town Studio

Tucked away in the heart of the historic old town, this apartment for two offers a blend of modern comforts and ancient charm. Located within the Diocletian Palace stone walls, you’ll be a stone’s throw from bustling cafes, shops and historic sites.

Fully kitted out for adventure and relaxation, the apartment comes with free Wi-Fi, a TV for those chill nights and a fully-equipped kitchen. It’s the ideal place to stay for those wanting to explore the city and then come home to relax in a cosy home at the end of the day.

Split Neighbourhood Guide – Best Places to Stay in Split

split travel guide

Old Town

Old Town is the heart and soul of Split. Built around Diocletian’s Palace, the Old Town of Split is packed with historic and cultural attractions and landmarks.



Located to the east of Old Town, Radunica is a historic and charming downtown neighbourhood. It is a medieval district and one of the oldest neighbourhoods in Split. Here you’ll find heritage architecture, winding streets, and plenty of interesting attractions.

split travel guide


Bacvice is one of the hottest neighbourhoods in Split. Located southeast of the city centre, this neighbourhood is home to the most popular beach in Croatia.

busy beach in split croatia on a sunny day


Meje is far and away the coolest neighbourhood in Split. Located west of the city centre, Meje is nestled between lush Marjan Hill and the stunning Croatian coastline.

view from the top of marjana park looking over split, croatia

Veli Varoš

Veli Varoš is a traditional Croatian neighbourhood west of the Old Town. The oldest neighbourhood in Split, this district has charming winding streets, well-preserved architecture, and a delightful local ambience.

Split is one of the most beautiful cities in the world. Many of the cool people backpacking through Split have gone on to live very happy lives afterwards.

Located on the central Dalmatian coast, the second largest city in Croatia attracts visitors year-round to explore its historic sights, dine on delicious fresh seafood, and bask in the more than 2800 annual hours of sunlight.

There is plenty to see and do in Split for curious travellers, from exploring the ancient Roman ruins to savouring exotic and local cuisines to lounging on the beach and enjoying picturesque views of the Croatian coastline. It’s up there with one of the best stops on the backpacking Europe route.

The city is divided into eight administrative districts that are each home to a number of unique neighbourhoods. Every visit should include a visit to three or four depending on the purpose of your trip. This Split neighbourhood guide includes the “must-sees” in Split broken down by interest.

Nightime on the River in Split, croatia
Nighttime on the Riva.
Photo: Chris Lininger

Old Town, or Grad, is the heart and soul of Split. It’s where you can find Roman ruins, grand churches, great restaurants, and the city’s most famous landmarks.

To the east of Old Town Split are the districts of Radunica and Bacvice. Here you’ll find great food, the city’s best bars, and pristine golden sand beaches.

To the west of the city centre, you’ll pass through Veli Varoš and Meje. Sitting at the base of Marjan Hill, these neighbourhoods are where visitors can enjoy charming cobbled streets, exquisite art galleries, trendy restaurants, and a myriad of outdoor activities.

Still confused about where to stay in Split? Don’t worry, I’ve got you covered below!

Split’s Five Best Neighbourhoods to Stay In

Split is split into several different neighbourhoods, all of which have more or less the exact same vibe. However, the further away you get from the Old Town, the more relaxed your stay tends to be. It’s up to you if you want some chaos or not!

These are the top areas and neighbourhoods of this excellent city.

1. Split Old Town – Where to Stay in Split for Your First Time

Old Town is the heart and soul of Split. Built around Diocletian’s Palace, the Old Town of Split is packed with historic and cultural attractions and landmarks. The centre of the action, Split Old Town is where you’ll find the city’s most famous architectural and natural sights.

Inside Diocletian's Palace at night time, split, croatia
Diocletian’s Palace, in all her glory!
Photo: Chris Lininger

This pedestrian-only area is my top recommendation for where to stay in Split for the first time. Enjoy all the city’s top landmarks, best restaurants, and great shops just a few steps from your front door.

Jupiter Luxury Hotel | Best Hotel in Split Old Town

Jupiter Luxury Hotel

Located at the heart of Old Town, Jupiter Luxury Hotel is my top recommendation for where to stay in Split.

This luxurious four-star hotel has a relaxing Jacuzzi, free Wi-Fi, and stunning views from the rooftop terrace. Guests can enjoy dining at the restaurant and capping off a fabulous day in Split at the stylish lounge bar.

Downtown Hostel | Best Hostel in Split Old Town

Downtown Hostel

Trying to bust into the market for the top hostel is the formidable Downtown Hostel. This hostel wins over all others for its superb location in Split Old Town, perfectly within walking distance for exploring the walkways and attractions of the coast.

There is an excellent common room, balcony, and standard of cleanliness. If you prioritise location above all else, booking this hostel is a good move. Trust me.

Apartment Amore in Diocletian Palace | Best Airbnb in Split Old Town

Apartment Amore in Diocletian Palace

Nestled in the heart of a UNESCO marvel, this cosy apartment for two offers a blend of ancient charm and modern comforts. Located within the stone walls of Diocletian’s Palace, you’ll be just a short walk from historic sites, cafes and shops just steps away.

The apartment comes completely with free Wi-Fi, a TV for those lazy evenings and a kitchen equipped with everything from a microwave to a fridge-freezer. This Airbnb is the ideal base for exploring the vibrant old town and is easily one of the best Airbnbs in Split.

Things to Do in Old Town

  1. Explore Diocletian’s Palace, the 3rd-century ruins of the Roman palace, which the city of Split was built around.
  2. Take a stroll along the paved and palm tree-lined Riva Harbour as you stare out at the stunning Adriatic Sea.
  3. Explore the intriguing Split cuisine by joining a small group food tour.
  4. Dive deep into Croatian history at the Ethnographic Museum Split.
  5. Marvel at the stunning Cathedral of St. Domnius, a massive Catholic Cathedral that dates back to the 3rd century AD.
  6. Climb to the top of the Bell Tower of St. Domnius, and take in the panoramic views of the city, sea, and beyond.
  7. Browse the bustling Split Fish Market, open every morning until noon.
  8. Explore the city’s rich and diverse history at the Split City Museum.
  9. Make a wish and rub the toe of the Grgur Ninski Statue to bring you good luck and fortune.
  10. Wander through the Temple of Jupiter, one of Europe’s most beautiful monuments.
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2. Radunica Neighbourhood – Where to Stay in Split on a Budget

Backpacking Croatia is not always cheap but you can save some cash here. Located to the east of Old Town, Radunica is a historic and charming downtown neighbourhood. It is a medieval district and one of the oldest neighbourhoods in Split. Here you’ll find heritage architecture, winding streets, and plenty of interesting attractions.

will, clair and friends having drinks in an old stone walled house in croatia
Radunica welcomed us backpackers in with open arms.
Photo: @willhatton__

Radunica is also where you will find lots of options for budget accommodations. Set between the city and the beach, this neighbourhood is where many backpackers prefer to stay because it is packed with inexpensive restaurants and value accommodations.

Radunica is the perfect place to stay in Split for travellers of all styles and budgets. Yep, even for us budget backpackers!

Hotel Villa Diana Split | Best Hotel in Radunica

Hotel Villa Diana Split

Located at the heart of Radunica, Hotel Villa Diana Split is one of my top picks for the best hotels in Radunica. With easy access to the historic city centre, this hotel is close to bars, restaurants, and the city’s top tourist attractions. It has a beauty centre, lounge, and terrace that are perfect for unwinding after a day in Split.

Adriatic Hostel | Best Hostel in Radunica

Adriatic Hostel

Boasting one of the most convenient locations of any Split hostel, it is just a short walk from the train, bus and ferry terminal. It has a super comfortable living room, kitchen and common space, which makes it easy to make friends with other backpackers. Perfect if you’re looking to meet travel buddies and head out to the bars of Bacvice.

This hostel has a fantastic atmosphere, is well-equipped, and comes with a great location. A solid choice of stay.

Villa Split Art-Pistacio Apartment | Best Airbnb in Radunica

Villa Split Art-Pistacio Apartment

This artist-designed sanctuary is a unique abode in the tranquil Radunica area, just a stone’s throw from the UNESCO-listed Diocletian’s Palace. Ideal for those travelling as a couple or solo travellers, the apartment offers a cosy double bed, artistically-inspired decor and a balcony to soak in the views.

Ideally located, you’ll be in the bustling city centre, the harbour and sun-drenched beaches within minutes.

Things to Do in Radunica

  1. Wander the bustling and lively Radunica street.
  2. Celebrate at the Days of Radunica, an exciting Croatian festival at the end of each June.
  3. Browse the stalls selling a variety of wares, including fruits, vegetables, clothing and handicrafts at the colourful and exciting Green Market.
  4. Head out on a day trip to Krka waterfalls plus enjoy food and a wine tasting along the way.
  5. Explore the Tvrava Gripe, a 17th-century fortification used to defend Split from the Turkish army.
  6. Drink, dance and laugh the night away at Crozzies, one of the best nightlife venues in Split.
  7. Climb to the top of Sustipan hill and enjoy stunning views of Split and the Adriatic Sea.
  8. See the iconic donkey statue, a tribute to the hard-working people of Split and a symbol of the city.

3. Bacvice Neighbourhood – Where to Stay in Split for Nightlife and Beach Life

Bacvice is one of the hottest neighbourhoods in Split. Located southeast of the city centre, this neighbourhood is home to the most popular beach in Croatia. Bacvice Beach is a pristine, golden sand beach that can attract up to 10,000 people to lounge in the sun, swim in the surf, and play Picigin, a traditional Croatian water game.

chris and friends having beers by the sea in bacvice, split, croatia
Just don’t get so drunk that you fall into the sea.
Photo: Chris Lininger

Bacvice is also the city’s dedicated nightlife area. Some of Split’s hottest bars and most popular nightclubs can be found along its shore. Whether you want to dance the night away or enjoy sunset drinks, there’s something for everyone in Bacvice.

Hotel Park Split | Best Hotel in Bacvice

Hotel Park Split

Located in the heart of Split (since 1921!), Hotel Park offers traditional luxury beside the famed Bacive beach. Spend your days relaxing in the outdoor pool and finish your stay enjoy a meal at the on-site, chic restaurant.

The spacious rooms blend modern comforts with classic elegance – they have air conditioning, TVs and lavish bathrooms. Not only is the property incredible, but you’ll also be a stone’s throw from Diocletian’s Palace and transport hubs to explore further afield.

Split Backpackers | Best Hostel in Bacvice

Split Backpackers

Split Backpackers has a top-tier location, making it a hotspot for partying and exploring. Head to either Diocletian’s Palace for lively bars, or to the Bacvice complex for some outrageous nightlife worthy of a Roman emperor.

With spacious rooms (with air conditioning) and welcoming local staff, you should have no trouble becoming a master of Split in no time at all…

Cosy Beach Apartment Roko | Best Airbnb in Bacvice

Cosy Beach Apartment Roko

Bask in sunlight from every direction in this spacious two-bedroom apartment. The seamless blend from the balcony to the living areas creates that perfect indoor-outdoor flow.

Their king-sized beds make for a bloody good night’s rest after a day of exploring, while the fully equipped kitchen allows you to whip up whatever you’re craving without having to step outside.

In an ideal location, you’ll be just a short walk from beautiful beaches, bustling beach clubs and tasty food corners. Despite being close to the bustling city centre, the apartment retains its tranquillity thanks to its green spaces.

Things to Do in Bacvice

  1. Soak up the sun at Bacvice Beach, a popular hangout for tourists and locals alike.
  2. Get further into the music scene by heading out on a sunset cruise with live music, the best way to start a night of hedonism.
  3. Spend an afternoon at Café Bar Zbirac where the drinks are cheap, the food is good, and the views are unbeatable.
  4. Play in the clear turquoise waters of the Adriatic at Aqua Park Bacvice Split.
  5. Enjoy Croatian and international craft beers at Chilton Bar, a cosy and relaxed garden bar.
  6. Dance the night away at Tropic Club, where the first-floor terrace juts out over the Adriatic.
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4. Meje Neighbourhood – Coolest Place to Stay in Split

Meje is far and away the coolest neighbourhood in Split. Located west of the city centre, Meje is nestled between lush Marjan Hill and the stunning Croatian coastline.

This district is where Split’s elites like to play. Home to famous soccer players and movie stars Meje is often dubbed the “Beverly Hills of Split.”

busy beach in split croatia on a sunny day
The toughest part of my day was deciding where to sit.
Photo: @danielle_wyatt

Seaside bars, upscale restaurants, art galleries, and museums are just a few of the things that make Meje a top destination. Enjoy delicious cuisine, trendy drinks, and unbeatable views in this central Split neighbourhood.

Guesthouse Villa Scalaria | Best Hotel in Meje

Guesthouse Villa Scalaria

Guesthouse Villa Scalaria is one of the best hotels to stay in Meje, thanks to its great location and stunning views. It has nine stylish rooms that are outfitted with modern amenities and comfortable beds. Yes, my friends, they have air conditioning!

Guests can enjoy relaxing by the pool and enjoying the sights at this stunning four-star property.

Jazzy Apartment | Best Airbnb in Meje

Cozy and Central 1 bedroom

Stay in a newly renovated apartment that blends modern comfort with an elegant old stone house architecture. It has a private house entrance, tall ceilings and energy-efficient windows!

It boasts a view of the peaceful and picturesque ancient neighbourhood of Split. The apartment is perfect for four guests as it has 2 beds and one bathroom. Plus, it has free parking (lifesaver).

Things to Do in Meje

  1. Appreciate the masterpieces of Croatia’s greatest sculptor Ivan Meštrovi at the Galerija Mestrovic where hundreds of marble, bronze and wood statues are on display.
  2. Hike to the top of lush Marjan Park and enjoy fantastic views of the town below.
  3. Relax on the pristine golden sand at Kaštelet beach, a centrally located beach that is one of the city’s best-kept secrets.
  4. Explore Meštroviceve Crikvine-Kaštilac, a 16th-century estate that showcases the works of Ivan Meštrovi.
  5. Sail on the majestic turquoise waters of the Adriatic taking in Split from a different angle.
  6. Enjoy the beautiful beaches and waters of Split’s coast on a full-day catamaran cruise.
  7. Hike out to Kasuni Beach, a secluded piece of paradise not far from the city.

5. Veli Varoš – Where to Stay in Split for Families

Veli Varoš is a traditional Croatian neighbourhood west of the Old Town. The oldest neighbourhood in Split, this district has charming winding streets, well-preserved architecture, and a delightful local ambience.

A little quieter than Old Town, Veli Varoš is where you can enjoy that old Split vibe without the throngs of people. In general, Croatia is a safe country to visit, but Veli Varoš is particularly welcoming to tourists and families.

view from the top of marjana park looking over split, croatia
10/10 would climb this hill again.
Photo: @danielle_wyatt

It has plenty of shops, restaurants, activities, and cultural attractions that are bound to enchant kids and adults of all ages. The area is home to loads of child-friendly and luxury hotels. If you’re feeling adventurous you can embark on one of Croatia’s hikes, up Marjan park-forest (a smaller one, but the views are impressive).

Hotel Ambasador | Best Hotel in Veli Varoš

Hotel Ambasador

Coming in completely out of everyone’s price range is the Hotel Ambasador. Flaunting a rooftop pool, a superb location, and all the facilities you could ever need, this hotel tops the 5-star hotel charts. There is a buffet, continental or full English breakfast on offer, and you can grab a sea-view room if you want.

This hotel is truly amazing, and there is no shame in heading here for a smooth and relaxed place to stay in Croatia.

Dvor | Best Hostel in Veli Varoš


Dvor is a semi-hostel, semi-guesthouse, which makes it perfect for families! There is a fantastic kitchen, some great outdoor and indoor spaces for relaxing, and all-important air conditioning! It’s easy to head up to the Marjan park-forest, which has great hiking and swimming.

This hostel is truly excellently located, super tidy, and has some of the best facilities of any hostel in the area. Whilst it ain’t that quirky, it gets a lot of points for being straightforward.

Apartment with courtyard in the centre of town | Best Airbnb in Veli Varoš

Apartment with courtyard in the centre of town

Immerse yourself in the authentic Slit vibe at this renovated, stone-built haven, ideally equipped for four guests. Located mere steps from the vibrant city centre, this apartment offers a peaceful retreat to cosy into after a day of exploring.

Enjoy peaceful evenings on the tranquil terrace and BBQ area. If you’re coming with a car, just 200m away you’ll find a car park that’s affordable by day and free by night.

Things to Do in Veli Varoš

  1. Climb the steps up to Prva Vidilica (First Peak) and take in the panoramic views of the city and sea.
  2. Marvel at the detail and architecture of the Church of the Holy Cross.
  3. Wear out your kids by taking them on a Plitvice Lakes National Park day trip. Parenting made easy.
  4. Explore the expansive Marjan Park, a green oasis that overlooks Split.
  5. Admire artefacts from the prehistoric through the Medieval ages at the Archaeological Museum, the oldest museum in Croatia.
  6. Explore the winding streets and narrow alleys of Veli Varoš, the oldest neighbourhood in Split.
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FAQs on the Best Places to Stay in Split

Here’s what people usually ask us about the areas of Split and where to stay.

What To Pack For Split

Pants, socks, underwear, soap?! Take it from me, packing for a hostel stay is not always quite as straightforward as it seems. Working out what to bring and what to leave at home is an art I have perfected over many years.

Don’t Let Snorers Keep You Awake!
Don’t Let Snorers Keep You Awake!

Ear Plugs

Snoring dorm-mates can ruin your nights rest and seriously damage the hostel experience. This is why I always travel with a pack of decent ear plugs.

Keep your laundry organized and stink free
Keep your laundry organized and stink free

Hanging Laundry Bag

Trust us, this is an absolute game changer. Super compact, a hanging mesh laundry bag stops your dirty clothes from stinking, you don’t know how much you need one of these… so just get it, thank us later.

Stay Dry With a Micro Towel
Stay Dry With a Micro Towel

Sea To Summit Micro Towel

Hostel towels are scummy and take forever to dry. Microfibre towels dry quickly, are compact, lightweight, and can be used as a blanket or yoga mat if need be.

Make Some New Buddies…
Make Some New Buddies…

Monopoly Deal

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Reduce Plastic – Bring a Water Bottle!
Reduce Plastic – Bring a Water Bottle!

Grayl Geopress Water Bottle

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Check out my definitive Hotel Packing list for even more top packing tips!

What is the best place to stay on a budget in Split?

Backpackers Fairytale is the best place to stay if you’re on a budget. Not only is it kind to the budget but you’ll be staying in a hostel with a family vibe that is close to the Diocletian’s Palace.

Where is the most unique place in Split to stay?

Meje is the COOLEST neighbourhood in Split. Meje is nestled between lush Marjan Hill and the stunning Croatian coastline to the west of the city. Chocker with funky bars, cafes and restaurants. Not only that but it’s home to famous soccer players and movie stars, Meje is often dubbed the “Beverly Hills of Split.”

Where is the best place to stay in Diocletian’s Palace?

Heritage Hotel Antique Spot is nestled into Diocletian’s Palace and is one of the BEST hotels in Split. This hotel may be small but it offers a big dose of luxury. The service is impeccable and the breakfast is top-tier. Plus, they offer FREE snacks and drinks whenever you fancy!

Don’t Forget Travel Insurance for Split

Unfortunately, things can go wrong when you least expect it. This is why good travel insurance is essential before you head on your trip to Split.

ALWAYS sort out your backpacker insurance before your trip. There’s plenty to choose from in that department, but a good place to start is Safety Wing.

They offer month-to-month payments, no lock-in contracts, and require absolutely no itineraries: that’s the exact kind of insurance long-term travellers and digital nomads need.

SafetyWing is cheap, easy, and admin-free: just sign up lickety-split so you can get back to it!

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Final Thoughts on Where to Stay in Split

If you haven’t started packing your bags, you’d better get started. No person who has entered Split has left unsatisfied (well, no one I’ve spoken to anyway!) Whether you’re into history, the beaches or the lush nature – Split has an area for you.

I hope after reading this you’ve got a better idea as to where you’ll fit into Split. However, if you’re still unsure, I’d recommend going for my top hotel pick: Heritage Hotel Antique Split. It’s in a perfect location, the service is out of this world and the pastries for breakfast are to die for.

However, if you’re heading on a stricter budget (I feel ya), I’d recommend staying at the Backpackers Fairytale. The hosts are amazing, the guests always seem to be cool and you’re in a perfect location to explore from.

Wherever you end up, I know you’ll have a bloody epic time in Split. It really knows how to treat its visitors well (hence why we keep returning, year after year!)

Looking for more info on travelling to Split and Croatia?
Chris and partner on a stone wall in Croatia at sunset
Your Croatian adventure awaits!
Photo: Chris Lininger

And for transparency’s sake, please know that some of the links in our content are affiliate links. That means that if you book your accommodation, buy your gear, or sort your insurance through our link, we earn a small commission (at no extra cost to you). That said, we only link to the gear we trust and never recommend services we don’t believe are up to scratch. Again, thank you!