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Questions on Split and Dubronvik

This Rick Steves' Travel Forum is both useful and enjoyable to read. We also use the Fodor's forum, for there is a wide range of opinion both there and here. I wanted to share our planned trip next April-May and pose a couple of questions.

My wife and I enjoy spending some time in a town, getting a feel for life in that town - apartment, grocery shopping, see attractions, hanging in plazas, as well as going on day trips to nearby towns. We like to walk and use public transportation (not rent a car).

Our plan is to
fly into Ljubljana; spend 8 nights there
take train to Zagreb and then fly to Dubrovnik; spend 5 to 8 nights there
take bus to Split; spend 5 to 8 nights in Split
fly home from Split

I'm not sure how to divide our time between Split and Dubrovnik...
We'd prefer an apartment near the old town areas and (between Ploce or Pile and old town in Dubrovnik)

? any thoughts on the area between Marjan Hill and palace in Split ?

? any thoughts on the areas between Ploce or Pile and the old town in Dubrovnik?

? which of those two towns might be better to spend the bulk of our time ?

? how much time (days) might be needed to see each town at a relaxed pace ?

? does there seem to be more day trip options from Split than from Dubrovnik ?

? Dubrovnik has the cruise ship crowds - does Split ?

Split potential day trips: Sibenik, Trogir, Solin, Omis, Hvar, Brack, Krka, Pucisca
Dubrovnik potential day trips: Lokrum, Korkula, Mostar, tour to Montenegro (Risan, Kotor, Budva)

This past spring we did something similar with a week in Cordoba, Andulusia with day trips to Montilla, Malaga, Sevilla etc and a week in Lisbon, Portugal. Last spring we stayed in Tour, France and day tripped around the Loire Valley. This - laid back, enjoy the small town,take day trips - kind of thing has proved quite enjoyable

Any thoughts would be appreciated.

Posted by
1306 posts

What a delightful way to travel! I love the idea of not pressing yourselves to see a lot of sights and concentrating more on just enjoying being where you are.

I'm not sure I can answer all your questions, but I would say that neither Dubrovnik nor Split has enough by itself to justify 5 nights, not to mention 8, so I wouldn't worry about how to balance your time between the two. You can pretty much see most of what each city has to offer in a day, so the rest of your time will be either for relaxing and enjoying the ambiance, or for day trips. You can divide your time evenly, or spend a little more time in one or the other, and you will enjoy whatever you decide. Both will be very crowded with tourists (not so much in April, but more and more the later you get into May). There are plenty of great options for day trips from both Dubrovnik and Split, and both cities have no shortage of plazas for hanging out and all the other things you say you enjoy. (Actually, I don't recall seeing any grocery stores within the walls of Dubrovnik...)

One day trip from Split you should definitely consider is Plitvice. Since you're going early in the season, you can do this on an organized tour and not worry so much about the crowds you'd encounter in peak season.

And finally, it might be worth considering staying elsewhere nearby and visiting Dubrovnik and Split as day trips. Many people talk about how nice Cavtat is (I didn't make it there, so I can't say). And Trogir is a nice, quieter alternative to Split. You could also stay on one of the islands, although early in the season ferry schedules are cut back, so you'll want to check to make sure you can get where you want to go.

You will love Slovenia and Croatia. Have a great trip!

Posted by
16847 posts

Zadar's an attractive day-trip destination, north of Split.

Zagreb's worth some time, too, since you're heading that way to get the flight to Dubrovnik. Very attractive upper town, lively cafe culture. Some interesting museums.