Where to stay in Split for first time: 5 Safe areas

Finding where to stay in Split as a first-timer can be a headache. That’s why, in today’s article, I will help you to find safe places to stay in Split for first-time visitors.

I will share with you what I believe are the best and safest areas to stay in Split for first-timers and tourists, along with a helpful map. I’ll also share where I stayed in Split and recommend some of the best hotels for various budgets.

Split is a popular tourist destination and the second-largest city in Croatia located on the eastern shore of the Adriatic Sea. The city is well-connected by air, sea, and road. It has an international airport, a ferry port connecting it to nearby islands, and good road infrastructure.

Split has a rich history that dates back to the Roman Empire. The city’s historic core is built around the Diocletian’s Palace, which was constructed by the Roman Emperor Diocletian in the 4th century AD. The palace is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and a major attraction in the city.

The Riva is Split’s waterfront promenade, offering stunning views of the sea and nearby islands. It’s a popular place for both locals and tourists, featuring restaurants, cafes, and shops.

Marjan is a hill located on the western part of Split, providing a natural escape from the urban hustle. It offers hiking and biking trails, as well as panoramic views of the city and the Adriatic Sea.

Is Split safe to visit?

Split, just like most of Croatia, is generally safe to visit. But as a popular tourist destination, there is the risk of pickpockets, especially in crowded areas and touristy spots. So, it is important to exercise normal safety precautions, take care of your belongings, and do not leave valuables unattended. 

The city is known for its vibrant nightlife and party scene, and while Split is generally safe at night, it’s wise to stay in well-lit areas, try to stay in groups, be aware of pickpockets in crowded clubs, overcharge tourists in men’s clubs, and don’t leave your drink unattended.

Where to stay in Split for the first time?

The best and safe areas to stay in Split for first-timers and tourists are Split Old Town, Bacvice, Marjan, Znjan, and Stobrec. It’s essential to exercise general safety precautions wherever you go, such as securing your belongings, being aware of your surroundings, and avoiding poorly lit areas at night.

The Old Town is the most popular area for first-time visitors due to its central location and proximity to major attractions such as the UNESCO-listed Diocletian’s Palace, Golden Gate, and Riva promenade. This area has a lively atmosphere with lots of restaurants, bars, and shops.

Bacvice is a great base for a beach-centric experience with a vibrant nightlife scene. This area is located right next to the old town, and offers easy access to important landmarks on foot or short Uber/Taxi ride. 

Marjan is a good option if you seek a quieter and greener environment while still having easy access to the old town. This area is home to the huge Forest Park Marjan, and numerous beaches like the Kasjuni Beach and Jezinac Beach. Accommodations are cluttered around the areas of Varoš, Meje, and Špinut.

Žnjan, Trstenik, and Stobreč are excellent locations for those who want a relaxing beach holiday and don’t mind traveling a bit to reach the city center. They have a more residential and local atmosphere.

During my trip to Split, I stayed in the old town at the Judita Palace Heritage Hotel. It had a prime location on the city’s main square, right next to the iconic Diocletian’s Palace, and only 5 mins walk to the Central Bus and Train Station. I was able to explore most things on foot. My room was beautiful and spacious, and breakfast was very tasty with lots of choices.

Below is a map of the popular areas in Split for first-time travelers. You can scroll down to view the live map.

Map of the safe areas to stay in Split first time
Map of the safe areas to stay in Split first time

Let’s get into the details of the recommended areas to stay in Split, especially for first-time visitors. I’ll provide you with some suggestions for the best places to stay in each area, catering to every budget. 

All hotels in Split have been carefully selected by me from well-known and secure booking sites such as booking.com, with guest review scores of at least 8.0 or higher at the time I chose them. 

If you don’t like my suggestions (perhaps they don’t suit your budget or preferences), you can click the “MORE HOTEL DEALS” button where you can choose your own hotel.

5 Safe areas to stay in Split for first-timers and tourists:

1. Split Old Town

Split Old Town is undoubtedly the best area to stay in Split for first-timers who want to stay in the historic heart of the city. You’ll be within easy walking distance of many attractions, restaurants, and shops.

The heart of the Old Town is Diocletian’s Palace, an ancient Roman palace built in the 4th century. The palace is a maze of narrow alleys, charming squares, and historical buildings.

Peristyle Square is the central square within Diocletian’s Palace surrounded by impressive columns and features the Cathedral of St. Domnius and the Bell Tower. You can climb to the top of the bell tower for beautiful views of the city.

This area is home to the Riva Promenade, a lively waterfront promenade with cafes, restaurants, and shops, offering beautiful views of the sea and nearby islands.

Other points of interest are the People’s Square, the Town Hall, Old Town Clock, and numerous museums and art galleries, including the City Museum, Game of Thrones Museum, Ethnographic Museum, and Gallery of Fine Arts.

Best places to stay in Split Old Town for first-timers:

Luxury ($$$): Cornaro Hotel, 5-star hotel located on the edge of the old town, close to everything, within walking distance from Diocletian’s Palace. It has a beautiful rooftop terrace, which is a great spot for the sunset and relaxation. There is also delicious breakfast, paid onsite parking,  24-hour front desk, and airport shuttle services. The hotel can help arrange walking tours, pub crawls, and excursions.

Mid-range ($$): Heritage Hotel Antique Split, 4-star hotel in a prime location in the old town, an easy walk away from the lively Riva Promenade with many shops and bars. Also close to the City Museum, Gregory of Nin Statue, Main Bus Station and Ferry Port. You can enjoy amazing views of the most iconic building in Split including the St. Domnius Cathedral and the Peristyle.

Budget ($): Central Square Heritage Hotel, great hole in an unbeatable location, steps away from the most popular attractions of Split. It is in a pedestrian zone, 10 mins walk from the ferry port. Easy access to the Diocletian’s Palace, People’s Square – Pjaca and the statue of Gregory of Nin. It can be a bit noisy at night due to its central location, but they have good soundproofing windows.


2. Bacvice

Bacvice is  an excellent choice for accommodation in Split, especially if you enjoy a lively beach atmosphere, vibrant nightlife, and easy access to the city center.

The main attraction in this area is Bacvice Beach, a sandy beach known for its shallow and clear waters. It’s a great place for swimming and water sports. The beach is also famous for its unique game called “picigin,” a traditional local sport played in the shallow waters.

Bacvice is well-known for its lively nightlife. There are numerous beach bars and nightclubs along the waterfront, making it a popular spot for locals and tourists alike.

Bacvice is conveniently located near the city center and the ferry port. This makes it easy to explore other parts of Split or take ferries to nearby islands.

Best places to stay in Split in Bacvice for first-timers:

Luxury ($$$): Hotel Park Split, 5-star historic beachfront hotel, located right next to the popular Bačvice beach, 15 mins walk from the historic center. It has an outdoor pool, on-site restaurant, excellent breakfast, and comfortable family rooms. 

Mid-range ($$): Mediterra Residence, 4-star accommodation, conveniently located in a safe, quiet, and pedestrian only area, only a 5 mins walk from the UNESCO-protected Diocletian’s Palace, 15 mins walk from the beaches for swimming. Bus and train stations are nearby including the airport shuttle bus. Just be prepared to carry your luggage via stairs to your rooms as there are no elevators.

Budget ($): Hotel Villa Diana, popular 3-star hotel in central Split, owned by  the Kuzmanić – one of the oldest families in Split. It is only a 5 mins walk to the old town, the bus and the train stations. You can enjoy Dalmatian/ international food  and quality wines at its onsite restaurant/bar.


3. Near Marjan Hill

Staying near Marjan Hill provides a unique combination of natural beauty, outdoor activities, and tranquility while still being relatively close to the city center. This area encompasses the neighborhoods of Varoš, Meje, and Špinut.

Marjan is a green oasis with pine trees, cypress groves, and Mediterranean vegetation. The hill is crisscrossed with walking and biking trails, making it a popular destination for nature lovers and outdoor enthusiasts.

The top of Marjan Hill provides panoramic views of the surrounding islands and the Adriatic Sea. You can climb to the viewpoints, such as Telegrin or St. Nicholas Church bell tower, for breathtaking scenery.

Although Marjan is primarily a natural park, there are some secluded beaches along its coastline. These quieter beaches, such as Kasuni and Bene, are perfect for a more relaxed day by the sea.

The famous Croatian sculptor Ivan Mestrovic’s former residence is located on the northern slopes of Marjan. The gallery showcases his works, including sculptures, drawings, and architectural designs.

Best places to stay in Split Near Marjan Hill:

Luxury ($$$): Hotel Ambasador, popular 5-star hotel, conveniently located in the Meje neighborhood, between the old town and Marjan Hill. 10-20 mins walk from numerous places including Jezinac Beach, Meštrović Gallery, Obojena Svjetlost, and Diocletian’s Palace. It has parking which is a great advantage in Split. They also have an Outdoor pool, wonderful breakfast, and paid airport transfer.

Mid-range ($$): Hotel Cvita, 4-star hotel located in a quiet area up a hill, close to the downtown and the beach. Free parking, which is a bonus for those who drive. Great base for those who want a relaxing holiday with easy access to major sights (15 mins walk downhill/ €5 Uber ride away to old town). 

Budget ($): Golden B&B, 3-star accommodation located in Varoš, right at the base of the Marjan hike, a short walk from the historic center, but tucked away from major noise. Easy access to various local bars and restaurants. Close to the Archaeological Museum. Just be mindful that you will have a short walk uphill from where taxi/Uber drop off point.


4. Znjan

Znjan, located just east of Bacvice, is a good choice if you prefer a more modern and laid-back atmosphere, especially with easy access to the beach and don’t mind being a bit further from the historic center.

Znjan is famous for its long pebble beach, which stretches along the coastline. The beach is equipped with various amenities, including beach bars, cafes, and water sports facilities.

Best places to stay in Split in Znjan for tourists:

Luxury ($$$): Radisson Blu Resort & Spa, 5-star beachfront hotel, located on Put Trstenika, featuring 2 swimming pools with sun loungers and parasols. The beach is just 2 min walk down via the stairs. You can choose to stay in rooms that have views of Brač and Šolta islands. Good base for a relaxing beach holiday, away from the noise. You can use Uber to get to the old town.  

Mid-range ($$): Amphora Hotel, great 4-star seafront hotel located close to Znjan Beach, Duilovo Dog Beach and Trstenik. It has 3 swimming pools, private parking, and airport transfer. Good base for spa and beach break.

Budget ($): Hotel Elu Iris, popular 3-star hotel in Trstenik close to the beach (via 90 stairs), 10 mins drive by car/ 5€ Uber ride/ 40 mins walking along the beautiful coast to the city center of Split. Good base for a beach holiday. They have free parking, an Airport shuttle, family rooms, and excellent breakfast. 


5. Stobrec

Stobreč is an excellent choice for travelers seeking a more laid-back and authentic experience. It is a small coastal town located about 7 kilometers southeast of Split. 

Stobreč has its own beaches, providing a more tranquil alternative to the busier beaches in central Split. The beaches are typically pebbly, and the clear waters make them suitable for swimming and relaxation.

Best places to stay in Split in Stobrec for visitors:

Mid-range ($$): Solar Beach Inn, 3-star nice boutique beachfront accommodation located on the Stobreč Jug Beach, 35-40 minutes bus ride to Split old town. Close to the Village of Stobrec and several local restaurants. It has free public parking, airport shuttle service, and good breakfast. Great base for beach lovers. 

Budget ($): Luxury rooms ”Seven”, beautiful guest house in Stobrec, near  the Stony Beach, 15 mins Uber ride to the city center. You can find many little local cafes, bars, and restaurants nearby. 

Budget ($): Hostel Book’n’Hook, popular backpacker accommodation located just a few steps from Beach Camp Stobreč, close to Beach Stobreč and Sand Beach Strožanac. It has dorm rooms, a shared kitchen, and a tour desk.


In conclusion, Split Old Town, Bacvice, Marjan, Znjan, and Stobrec are the safe and best places to stay in Split for first-timers and tourists. These neighborhoods provide many accommodation options for all budgets and preferences to stay and explore the city.

You can continue reading about other destinations in Croatia in these articles:

There you have it, my recommendations for the most popular and safest neighborhoods that you can stay during your first trip to Split. I hope you enjoyed my article and find it both informative and helpful.

If you have any questions or would like to share your thoughts, please don’t hesitate to leave a comment below. Your feedback is invaluable and helps me continue to create more quality content.

About Author: Ocean Cameron

I'm Ocean, founder and main editor of travelhotelexpert.com. I’m a passionate traveler who specializes in uncovering the best hotels and locations in every city, especially for first-timers, all without the need for a car.

Disclosure: This page contains affiliate links. This means that, at absolutely no additional cost to you, I'll earn a small commission if you click through and purchase something I've recommended. I only recommend products that I use myself or firmly believe in. Thank you!

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