When is the Best Time to Visit Split in Croatia?

By 26 January 2013

So when is the best time to visit Split?

A simple enough question, with a simple enough answer - it depends on what you are looking for.

While the Dalmatian coast is perceived to be open for tourist only in the summer - and most island tourism businesses are only open from April to October/November, Split is a vibrant city, with plenty going on throughout the year. 

Peak season is obviously the busiest, when the city is throbbing and full of nightlife, which will appeal to some but not others. The shoulder months are quieter, but contain some great culture and festivals, such as that of Sv. Duje in May, and there is much more time and space to enjoy the city. And for from being dead in the winter, there is plenty going on right up to December 31, including the biggest dance festival in Europe for New Year with the Salsa Silvester Festival. 

The best time to visit comes down to personal taste and requirements. Some factors worth considering:

Flights. While you can fly to Split all year round, the level of choice increases dramatically from April until October (see www.croatia-split.com/arrive/flights.html) as many carriers operate a seasonal schedule. The options from regional airports across Europe increase dramatically, and prices can be very competitive if you shop around. 

Weather. Split has a mild climate and the weather is generally good throughout the year, although winters can be somewhat unpredictable. It does snow, but not that often, and one pleasant personal memory was my first sight of Split having fought my way through the snow from London by car - passing over the hill to find a green palm-tree laden city of culture against a backdrop of a glistening sea. Summers can be hot, with temperatures in the mid-thirties, and those seeking milder temperatures may prefer the months of May, June and September. The lower shoulder season temperatures are obviously more conducive to activity sports, such as hiking and cycling. 

When is the Season? Opinion on the dates of peak season vary, but I would put them somewhere between June 15 and September 15, with July and August the busiest. It is the time of year when everything happens and the city is full, no more so than this July, with some 60,000 additional guests expected for Ultra Europe. An important consideration for island hoppers is what is happening on the islands, with Hvar's famed nightlife winding down at the end of August for example. 

When are the festivals? The tourist board provides an updated list of events in the city (www.visitsplit.com/index.php/en/265/events) and there are plenty of cultural events and festivals throughout the year, as well as numerous museums, galleries and theatres open all year. Here are five festivals not to miss

What is open out of season? Because Split is a living city of some 200,000 people, most of its attractions are open all year. The central palace area is certainly more pleasant to explore in the winter months, when things are less crowded, and a tour of the Adriatic coastal towns and leisurely walk around the walls of Dubrovnik, for example, are much more relaxed without the summer hordes. The story is a little different on the islands, however, with many businesses open from 6-7 months a year only, so if your holiday plan includes some island visits, it may be best to focus on Easter onwards as a target date. 

Ultimately the choice of when to visit comes down to personal preferences, but one thing is guaranteed - Split is a fascinating place to be, whatever the month! 

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