The jewel of the Dalmatian Coast in Croatia, Split is one of the most breathtaking destinations in the world. The historic centre is packed with medieval buildings and landmarks while the port of Split is bustling with the constant movement of ships.
It’s easy to get around the city, but choosing where to stay in Split is still an important decision.
Most travellers strategically choose to stay in Old Town as it’s in the centre of the city. It’s also one of the more expensive areas, however, and it’s harder to find vacancies. Luckily, there are plenty of other districts ready to provide world-class accommodations.
The neighbouring areas include a little bit of everything. You can stay within walking distance of shopping districts, food markets, public parks, or even the beach.
Not sure where to find the right hotel? Start comparing accommodations with this guide to the best places to stay in Split…
Where to stay in Split: The best neighbourhoods & areas
The city of Split includes eight different districts containing a total of 27 neighbourhoods. The variety of choices makes it a major challenge to find the top areas to stay in Split.
While Split is the second-biggest city in Croatia (and a must for any Croatia travel itinerary), it’s relatively compact. Most of the top things to do in Split are in the centre of the historic Old Town, but there is still plenty to see and do outside of the palace walls.
If you want to get away from the most crowded tourist areas, consider staying in one of the other districts. From the slopes and parks of the Marjan district to the beaches of Bacvice, Split contains more than just old buildings.
The large hill to the west offers nature trails and beautiful scenery while the beachside area is known for its nightlife. You’ll also find large food markets with fresh seafood and some of the best restaurants in the region.
The best areas to stay in Split include:
- Old Town
✔ Best area to stay in Split for sightseeing and exploring the city on foot
In the centre of Split, you’ll find Diocletian’s Palace. Built in the fourth century, this ancient palace now spans across about half of Old Town. The sprawling complex features dozens of historic buildings including a mixture of residential and commercial structures.
The pedestrian-only city centre is where all the main historical and cultural landmarks are located. It’s also got enough restaurants, shops, and bars to help empty your wallet.
If you plan to visit all the top sights (and especially if you’ve only got one day in Split), staying in Old Town makes sense. This area also contains some of the best hotels in Split. Stay in renovated historic buildings just metres from the city’s major attractions.
Choosing accommodations in Old Town also makes it easier to visit the surrounding attractions on foot instead of relying on public transportation.
You can easily walk to the shopping districts in Marjan or to the beach in Bacvice. Everything is just a short trip from the centre of the city.
Due to the popularity of Old Town, it’s important to book early. During peak tourist seasons, rooms fill up quickly.
Recommended hotels in Old Town
Old Town contains a wide assortment of accommodations including boutique-style hotels and luxury suites. Almost all the hotels in this area are housed inside historic buildings and charge a premium price for a night’s stay.
- Piazza Heritage Hotel: Overlooking one of the public squares, this hotel places you in the centre of the action. It’s a luxurious five-star option situated across from the Split Riva Promenade. You can walk out the doors of the hotel and find yourself instantly surrounded by the best bars, cafes, and shops in the city.
- Villa Split Heritage Hotel: As one of the more affordable mid-range options in Old Town, this hotel is a popular choice with limited vacancies. It’s also closer to the centre of the historic area, making it easy to check out everything if you’re only staying for a day.
- Jupiter Luxury Hotel: Located a little closer to the port, this hotel is a budget choice with great views of the historic area. The interior is cosy with a bit of rustic charm. While it’s not a luxurious hotel, it’s affordable and still within the heart of Old Town.
✔ Best neighbourhood to stay in Split for swimming and nightlife
Bacvice is the name of the most popular beach in Split and the surrounding neighbourhood just beyond.
If you enjoy swimming and other water activities, this is the place to stay. From late spring to early fall, the waters are typically the perfect temperature.
The long golden beach and pristine waters are often packed with locals and tourists alike. While it’s another crowded area, it’s still one of the best spots in the city.
Besides the beach, Bacvice provides plenty of fun away from the water. This neighbourhood is also known for its nightlife and bars. The area right behind the beach is lined with packed bars and clubs that only grow more crowded throughout the evening.
Sip exotic cocktails or try Croatian craft beer. Go for a stroll in front of the main strip to sample the live music coming from the various bars. If you like having a good time, you’ll want to stay in the area.
While it’s got a noisy night scene, Bacvice is also family-friendly. You can spend the day enjoying the water activities or walk a mere 10 to 15 minutes trip into Old Town.
Recommended hotels in Bacvice
Bacvice offers a mixture of budget hotels and luxury accommodations. The hotels tend to get cheaper further away from the shore so be prepared to pay a premium price for the higher-demand beachside hotels.
- Hotel Best Locations Rooms: As the name suggests, this hotel offers a convenient location. You’re just a few minutes away from Old Town and the beach. It’s also a budget choice for a four-star hotel, providing you with modern amenities and views of a garden.
- Boutique Hotel Bacvice: This mid-range boutique-style hotel is a little further from the beach but offers lovely accommodations. Every room resembles a Mediterranean honeymoon suite with white linens, marble tiles, and gold décor. The hotel is also just a nine-minute walk from Diocletian’s Palace.
- Marvie Hotel & Health: With a rooftop pool, restaurant, and beachside location, this is the top luxury hotel in Bacvice. It’s got everything you need in a resort including a bar, hot tub, and fitness centre. This is the perfect choice for couples, families, and solo travellers who want to stay just metres from the beach.
✔ Best district to stay in Split for families and beachgoers
Bacvice is not the only beach in the city. Neighbouring Znjan also has its own shoreline. While Bacvice is known for its nightlife, Znjan is known for its family-friendly environment.
You won’t find festivals, late night clubs, and drunken partiers here. Instead, Znjan is a laid-back area with a fantastic beach, playgrounds, parks, and restaurants.
Znjan is a modern area full of residential and commercial districts built in the last few decades. It’s a major contrast compared to the other neighbourhoods and gives you a little break from the crowded historic areas.
While this neighbourhood is further from Old Town, it’s closer to the biggest shopping malls in the city. The Mall of Split, City Center One Split, and Prima 3 surround Znjan to the north, east, and west.
The only drawback to staying in this neighbourhood is the distance from Old Town. On foot, it would take about 30 minutes to reach the historic centre of the city. Luckily, the neighbourhood also contains several bus stops on the main line that runs into Old Town.
Recommended hotels in Znjan
The hotels in Znjan provide reasonable prices and a range of options. Some of the hotels are near the beach while others place you closer to the shopping districts. You may even get a free shuttle to Old Town from the hotel.
- Radisson Blu Resort & Spa: With balcony views of the sea and neighbouring islands, this hotel has a few features not offered by the other options. It’s a luxury resort with pools, restaurants, and bars. You’ll get to stay in comfort near the beach and within travelling distance of Old Town and the malls of Znjan.
- Hotel Ora: Located on the western edge of Znjan and the main road going to Old Town, this hotel makes it a little easier to get to the historic centre. It’s also short walk down to the beach or to a couple of the nearby shopping malls.
- Hotel Fanat: This hotel is the furthest from Old Town and one of the most affordable options for staying in Split. The accommodations are comfortable and some of the rooms provide views of the sea. It’s also right by the beach, allowing you to see how busy the waters are before venturing down to stake a claim on some sand.
✔ Top area to stay in Split for nature lovers and culinary aficionados
The Marjan district encompasses several smaller neighbourhoods including Meje and Veli Varos. It’s the region directly to the west of Old Town and includes a diverse mix of residential areas, parks, and shopping areas.
When you first walk from Old Town to Marjan, you’ll notice that it’s also got a lot of history. Many of the streets are paved with stone and lined with 16th-century residential buildings and churches. It’s a quaint area with outdoor cafes and more of a local vibe.
As you work your way across the district, you’ll encounter more commercial areas and modern structures. There are a lot of stores, restaurants, and bars in the area catering to all tastes and styles. This area includes the Veli Varos neighbourhood, known for restaurants that serve authentic local cuisine.
Beyond the shops and markets, the Marjan district provides access to the slopes of Marjan hill. The hill includes nature trails, public parks, and a few shopping districts.
The northern part of this district includes the Meje neighbourhood, widely considered the most exclusive residential area of the city. The wealthy streets of Meje ensure that you’re never far from fine dining and high-end shopping.
Recommended hotels in Marjan
Outside of Old Town, it gets harder to find hotels and easier to find apartments for rent. While there are a few options in the Marjan district, some of the hotels are just outside the immediate area, bordering the neighbouring districts.
- Hotel Cvita: This hotel is at the bottom of Marjan Hill and still within walking distance of Old Town. You can easily travel to the surrounding shopping districts, spend the day hiking, and visit the historic sites. It’s also got its own pool, hot tub, and 24-hour front desk, helping you relax after a long day of sightseeing.
- Hotel Jadran: Views of the hillside and beach make this a scenic spot to rest. It’s about 15 minutes from Old Town and near the hiking trails of Marjan Hill. The low rates also make it an attractive option for budget-minded travellers.
- Heritage Hotel 19: Located just outside the historic centre, this hotel borders Marjan and Old Town. It’s a convenient spot with decent rooms for a mid-range hotel. It’s also just a short walk from the beach and Republic Square.