New Split Rules on Public Drinking, Dress Code Reach UK Media

By 4 February 2023
Vilma Plenkovic Plazonja Facebook page
Vilma Plenkovic Plazonja Facebook page

February 4, 2023 - A new year and a new approach to improving tourism in Split, and the UK media is spreading the message, as new Split rules for dress and public drinking take effect.

Back in 2015, some drunken Australian tourists were arrested for climbing onto the roof of Hvar Cathedral, causing some 5.000 kuna of damage. They were very remorseful when they sobered up, with one of them agreeing to an anonymous interview with me, which you can read here

And what is the reputation of Hvar as a destination among Australians?

Priority number one it is a party place. The heritage and buildings like the cathedral are lost in the party culture.

He went on to say after the interview that he would never drink like that at home, but it seemed to be ok to do so in Croatia. There didn't seem to be any rules. If he had been aware of rules, he would not have broken them. 

The balance between party and excess has been a constant topic in the media in Croatian tourism over the last few years, with several destinations introducing fines for public drinking and improper dress in cultural centres.

The Dalmatian capital of Split was in the news for all the wrong reasons last summer, with a stream of stories of public drinking, urination and fornication in the UNESCO World Heritage Site, Diocletian's Palace. 

It is a subject that TCN covered in some depth, with various interviews on the subject with experts and stakeholders.

These included:

Is Split Tourism 'Strategy' Killing the Goose with the Golden Eggs?

ULTRA Europe Festival's Joe Basic Talks Split Tourism Development.

Luxury Hospitality Expert Zoran Pejovic on Split Tourism Development

Mayor Ivica Puljak promised to act, and it seems that he has. A new bylaw has come into effect, which - among many other things - addresses some of the issues. Public drinking will now be fined to the tune of 150 euro, and walking around historic places topless or in swimwear will no longer be tolerated. An additional benefit of the new law is that these rules will be enforced by patrolling wardens. 

Early days, but it seems that that message is already getting out, with the London Metro among others to report the news. A little like the Australian on the Hvar cathedral roof, hopefully a little education and PR for the season will set expectations of behavior. 


What is it like to live in Croatia? An expat for 20 years, you can follow my series, 20 Ways Croatia Changed Me in 20 Years, starting at the beginning - Business and Dalmatia.

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