By vida villas | 10 January 2023 | pollensa
Split and Dubrovnik are two of the most popular places to visit in Croatia. And no wonder! Both of these little gems serve up stunning architecture, picture-perfect shorelines and an excellent food scene.
Given their reputations, many people wonder which is the best to visit: Split or Dubrovnik? To help you decide which destination is best for you, we have put together some key information on the two sought-after spots, comparing everything from the beaches to the nightlife scenes.
As two of the most popular cities to visit in Croatia, choosing between visiting Dubrovnik or Split can be a tricky task! A lot of things come into play when deciding where to travel, which we've covered in the different sections below.
Dubrovnik has gained worldwide recognition thanks to playing host to some of the most iconic on-screen characters while serving as a filming destination for the iconic HBO series, Game of Thrones.
The enchanting beauty of the city’s ancient surrounding walls, fortresses and limestone alleyways lent themselves perfectly to the otherworldly ambience of the fantasy franchise.
A UNESCO World Heritage site, Dubrovnik lies on the Adriatic coast in southeastern Croatia and boasts a dazzling blue shoreline. Nicknamed The Pearl of the Adriatic, this beautiful city is a sea of terracotta rooftops and marvellous Baroque architecture.
The magnificent coastal city of Split lies in southern Croatia, on a peninsula in the Adriatic. It is the second-largest city in the country and a truly stunning sight to see.
This vibrant waterfront city delivers a real slice of paradise, with gorgeous beaches and ancient ruins dating back to the Roman Empire. It is a quintessential Mediterranean city with a fantastic food scene, divine landscapes and buzzing streets.
One of the most notable aspects of the town is its impeccably-preserved medieval old town which is surrounded by 2km-long city walls.
First thing first: you will be left amazed by the aquamarine waters of the shorelines throughout Croatia. Yet, Split and Dubrovnik are blessed with some of the most sublime beaches in the country. So, which has the best beaches?
Split is surrounded by dreamy beaches, each adorned with flawless turquoise waters. The coastline ranges from sandy to pebble, offering you the chance to select which natural flooring takes your fancy.
The waters perfectly lend themselves to swimmers, being transparent and clean with mellow waves. Spend your holiday swimming and snorkelling in a dreamy oasis, catching some sun and trying your hand at water sports.
While most famous for its cultural and historical attractions, Dubrovnik is also blessed with stunning shorelines. Just like Split, you will find the waters to be bright blue and crystal clear.
While the majority of the coastline is fringed with white pebbles, you will also find some with sand. For example, such as Sunj Beach on Lopud Island which just so happens to be one of the best in the city.
For those of you wondering whether it is better to go snorkelling in Dubrovnik or Split, Dubrovnik is a particularly excellent location. While both sites make for wonderful snorkelling spots, you will be left astounded by the plethora of fish, marine creatures and underwater caves to be seen in the historic city.
Despite being popular tourist destinations, both Split and Dubrovnik exude an authentic Croatian ambience thanks to their bewitching medieval architecture.
When it comes to culture, it is rather difficult to top Dubrovnik. The city plays host to festivals, prestigious art events and open-air shows throughout the year. What’s more, the idyllic city is an architectural marvel.
Picture awe-inspiring medieval infrastructure complete with ancient fortresses and striking limestone city walls surrounding the city. You will feel like you’ve entered a fairytale amidst the traditional stone houses, terracotta roofs and narrow streets of the old town.
In fact, Dubrovnik Old Town is recognised as a UNESCO World Heritage site and is brimming with historic landmarks and fascinating monasteries.
Constructed around Diolectian’s Palace, Split is also an architectural wonder. Expect to see a blend of medieval and Renaissance buildings with a distinctly Roman feel.
The maze of alleyways and courtyards of the historic quarter are particularly enchanting. Here you’ll be able to meander from cafe to cafe, exploring what lies beneath the town’s characteristic terracotta roofs.
Another great way to appreciate the architecture of the city is to climb the bell tower of St Domnius. Upon reaching the top, you will be able to gaze over all of the town’s charming buildings.
Croatian food in general is renowned for its fresh flavours and creativity. However, Split and Dubrovnik are known to be two of the finest foodie destinations in the country. As port towns, they both offer exceptionally fresh seafood.
So, in regards to food, Dubrovnik or Split - which is better?
While food and restaurants are evenly matched in both of these tourist favourites, if you’re a stickler for authentic cuisine, Split comes up top as it has more traditional dishes on offer.
That being said, modern fusion restaurants and fine dining options are certainly to be found in Split as well, including sushi bars, gelaterias and pasta eateries. You’ll find a delightful blend of French, Dalmatian and Croatian cuisine.
Dubrovnik restaurants tend to boast a creative fusion between modern cuisine and traditional dishes, incorporating culinary quirks from all over the world. However, you must try a certain shellfish during your trip.
The city is recognised as Croatia’s oyster capital so it would be a crime to miss out on trying these tasty molluscs during your stay! If you’re seeking out traditional food in Dubrovnik, try to stick to the restaurants found south of Stradun, the city’s main street.
If you’re looking to hit the dance floor during your trip, you might be wondering which has better nightlife - Dubrovnik or Split.
Renowned for being home to some of the coolest clubs in the world, Dubrovnik has a fantastic nightlife scene. You will find a string of bars hugging the harbourfront. Sip away at refreshing cocktails while watching the cruise ships set off in the distance.
Stradun is a great place to head for those looking for a laid-back night out. Here you will find intimate wine bars that are particularly well-suited for a romantic evening.
As the night progresses, you might like to head to Diocletian's Palace to sit on the steps and take in the hubbub of the city. This also happens to be an excellent spot for sampling local wine.
Split, on the other hand, is a fantastic place to go clubbing and is home to some of the hottest nightlife spots. Whether you’re into beach bars, raves or disco clubs, you’re sure to be impressed by the range of options on offer.
Clubs sprawl from one side of the city to the other. If you’re looking for a boogie, Central the Club is a fantastic option. The two-story club was originally an old cinema and is brimming with places to dance.
If you have a more understated evening in mind, wander towards Hemingways Bar where you spend the night sipping away at classy cocktails.
Dubrovnik and Split are two of the best places to go in Croatia. Drenched in culture and blessed with jaw-droppingly beautiful shorelines, they are both highly deserving of a place on your bucket list.
If you don’t fancy missing out and are wanting to go to the two cities, you can look at how to rent a car in Dubrovnik or Split and fit both into the one adventure. Alternatively, you can take a bus from Dubrovnik to Split, and vice versa.
No matter how you plan your trip, you are certainly in for a treat when visiting either of these stunning cities.
There are hundreds of wonderful sights waiting to be explored in Dubrovnik and Split. If looking for places to stay during your trip, peruse our range of holiday villas in Dubrovnik and Split, or get in touch with our team so they can plan the perfect holiday for you.