I'm trying to plan a week long visit, but I'm undecided on which place to stay in. I've been to both cities, for half day visits on a cruise. Any suggestions? Accessibility and things to do matter the most, I think. Help!
We were in Split for a couple of days years ago, and have not yet made it to Dubrovnik, so this is a one-sided reply, but Split was really accessible with our rental car, and I believe getting there by train or boat is easy, too.
The ancient Roman ruins just outside of town, at Solin, are worth taking the time to see, as is Diocletian's Palace, if you didn't see it (or didn't have adequate time for a long exploration) on your last visit. We actually stayed just up the coast, in Trogir.
I can't speak to Split, but I spent a week in Dubrovnik and had a great time. We rented a little apartment and filled about two full days in the city itself. We walked the walls, strolled the town, ate ice cream and hung out in the main square. We did two day trips - one to Bosnia-Herzegovina and one to Montenegro. We also did a half-day trip to Cavtat. Between the two day trips, Cavtat and the really enjoyable lounging, our time was filled. There were other daylong excursions via ferry that we just didn't have time for. It was a well-spent week. One caveat - try to go when there's not a ton of cruise ships in the harbor. It totally changes the flavor of the city. You can track cruise ship daily arrivals here and work around the busier days: http://www.croatiatraveller.com/southern_dalmatia/Dubrovnik/cruise-schedule.html
Split is easier to get to but for stay I would prefer Dubrovnik. They are both pretty but Dubrovnik more. Easier to get to the beach in Dubrovnik. Easy to do a day trip to Monte Negro or two days trip to Albania.
If accessibility means by train, then train is not an option to Dubrovnik, but rental car, bus, ferry, or plane are.
Thanks for your input and advice! I'm so looking forward to this trip! Right now, I'm leaning towards staying in Dubrovnik, and day tripping via ferry to Split. Any must see or must dine places will be greatly appreciated! If this helps, for suggestion purposes, this trip will be two lifelong friends (40 years) celebrating our 50th birthdays!
You can do a day trip from Dubrovnik to Split but not using a ferry. Split is about 150 miles from Dubrovnik, so by car will take about three hours in each direction, and by bus about four and a half.
Definitely Dubrovnik! There is so much to do there and the old city is beautiful. There are also a lot of islands near by, so you can go on boat trips and island hopping.
Dubrovnik. Split is not a day trip.
Definitely Dubrovnik and don't overlook spending time on Lokrum. The 15 minute ferry leaves from the pier in the city, bring your bathing suit! Our favorite restaurant is Konoba Kamenice on the main square. Go early, it gets crowded.
I had two amazing meals at Kopun in Dubrovnik. It would be a wonderful choice for a birthday dinner. Outdoor dining in a beautiful courtyard across from the Jesuit church of St. Ignatius.
If you have a week, by the way, you could really visit both Split and Dubrovnik. Even a single overnight in Split would be enough, or maybe as many as 2-3 nights, and the rest in Dubrovnik. I wouldn't recommend doing Split as a day trip, even by car or bus.
If you have more than one day in Split, take the half-hour drive to Trogir and spend an afternoon there.