Comfortably blurring the lines between old and new worlds, Split is a buzzing city located on the Dalmatian Coast, where stone-paved paths packed with people lead to the Roman ruins of a palace, or down to views of the ocean and rolling hills. As a tourist and transport hub, backpackers, cruise-goers and locals are drawn to this Mediterranean gem for its people, history  and excellent exchange rate (yep, it’s cheap).

We’re kind of obsessed with the food here, and Croatians know good, simple food. Meals are affordably delicious, with seafood fresh from the Adriatic sea a must. It’s common to see menus outside of restaurants with seafood dishes crossed out for the day, selling out of what they had purchased from the fish market that morning.

Some TFC advice:

  • – Take a tour on a segway. You’ll be in a group of two (you and a mate) and after a quick tutorial on the promenade, you’ll be zipping through old town and entering the national park in no time. We spent about an hour and a half with our guide, who stopped in certain places to show us some great swimming spots. Worth your while – just for the video footage of you on a segway.
  • – Visit Majala top of the hill for views of the city.
  • – Go explore the beaches along the coast, or hang in a beach club where you can rent a chair or umbrella or lie on limestone.
  • – Do as the locals do and sip your morning coffee on the promenade.
  • – If you want to party, you’ve come to the right place. While many Sail Croatia trips start and end in Split, there are hoards of backpackers and travelers who can easily find good tunes and cheap beers.

4 Coffee Soul Food – specialty coffee

It’s always our mission to not only experience the culture of a city, but seek out a little bit of our own too. Finding specialty coffee can be difficult but doable, and when we discovered the hole in the wall 4 Coffee Soul Food, we were surprised. Owned by three coffee-loving Croatians, Dado made us a slick latte and cold drip, telling us to go enjoy our (ceramic) cups in the nearby park. Ok, let me pay, I said. No no, drink first, business second. Pay when you come back. Sold. There’s also a second store D16.

4 Coffee Soul Food | Hrvojeva 9, Split 21000, Croatia

Konoba Marjan – Seafood dinner

This family owned establishment specialises in seafood caught fresh that day, served up with traditional Dalmatian cuisine. Order the seafood plate for two for a taste of the Mediterranean, and you’ll receive an abundance of seabrim, snapper, prawns, calamari and flake, all complimented with a buttery garlic sauce on the side (pour or live in regret). Veggies on the side and you’re in heaven.

Konoba Marjan | Senjska ul. 1, 21000, Split

Green Market – Make it yourself

Stock up at the fresh produce market in the old town for all your Airbnb dinner needs. If you’re not quick, the bees will beat you to the piles of sweet berries, stone fruit and watermelon. Delve into a selection of homegrown vegetables, cheeses, meats, nuts and bread and plaited garlic bulbs.

And if you fancy a quick and easy acai bowl or fresh juice for breakfast, there are plenty of stalls like Kokolo Juice Bar which will quench your thirst.

There’s also a flea market nearby, for all water based accessories we always forget to bring from home (flotation devices, hats, sunglasses etc).

Green Market | ul. Stari Pazar, Split 21000

Bobis Riva – cheap lunch

The much-loved Bobis has plenty of affordable street options including wraps and other Croatian specialties, cakes and drinks. Look for the ‘burek motani’ – a flaky spiral pastry stuffed with cheese, spinach or meat (think sausage roll consistency) for as little as $2 AUD. Dine under the misters on the promenade or take away.

Bobis Riva | Obala Hrvatskog narodnog preporoda 20, 21000, Split

Bananasplit Bistro – Drinks

Decked out with eclectic furniture and lanterns in a prime location, Bananasplit is the perfect place for a cocktail or beer before dinner. We’ve read some gnarly reviews about the food though, so stick to the beverages.

Bananasplit Bistro | Jerina ul. 1, 21000, Split

Buffet Fife – cheap eats

It’s crowded, loud and cheap, but that doesn’t stop the hoards of locals, backpackers and families trying to nab a meal at Buffet Fife for an authentic experience. Plus, the incredible value for money gets a travel gold star from us. We skipped the buffet and instead chose an abundance of different mains and sides, including sea bass, Viennese potatoes, salads and more. Book ahead people, it gets busy.

Buffet Fife | Trumbićeva obala, 21000, Split