4 days: Split or Dubrovnik?

Old Mar 15th, 2016, 11:46 AM
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4 days: Split or Dubrovnik?

Hi travelers,

I am joining a guided tour of Croatia in July and will arrive 4 days before. I am trying to decide to spend that time in Split or Dubrovnik (on the tour we visit those two cities plus Korcula and Hvar. We have two days in each location for 8 days total).

The things I like to do while traveling (in order of fun factor!)
1. Visting churches/cathedrals/museums
2. Sea kayaking/boat rides/visiting islands
3. Walking around medieval old towns
4. Sitting in cafe's drinking coffee/wine and reading

We depart from DBV to start the tour so even if I fly into Split, I need to make my way to DBV. I don't know either city/area at all, so based on my interests above...any recommendations? I am leaning towards Split simply because it's bigger...

Thanks!!
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Old Mar 15th, 2016, 01:05 PM
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There are more day trips that you can take with public transport from Split (Trogir, Sibenik, islands). From Dubrovnik, day trips are better with a car or private tour.
It's only 4 hours by bus to Dubrovnik, so I suggest you fly into Split and stay a few days before heading to Dubrovnik.
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Old Mar 15th, 2016, 04:18 PM
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Good point, Yorkshire. Thanks for the tip.
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Old Mar 15th, 2016, 05:47 PM
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I think Split would fit your stated interests better than Dubrovnik, although (of course) neither is a bad option! And, as yorkshire notes, you have a greater range of day trips from Split than Dubrovnik. I'll also add that I'm not sure I would want much more than 2 or 3 days in Dubrovnik -- the highlights of the city itself can, IME, generally be seen in just a day or so (although I'm sure a more leisurely visit could be lovely). In contrast, I found Split itself, and the area around it, incredibly rich in a diverse array of options including churches and cathedrals in a remarkable range of architectural styles and with an amazing range of artistic features; several museums that I thought quite interesting; lots of interesting medieval, and otherwise dated, streets worthy of exploration, and lots of great public squares and lungomares and other places for sitting, sipping, and people watching.

If you do decide to go to Dubrovnik, the bus from Split to Dubrovnik is, IMO, easy and convenient and offers astounding views -- sit on the RIGHT side when heading south from Split.

And BTW, given your interests, I strongly recommend the Rough Guide, which has, IME, excellent coverage of museums and places to see in Croatia, as well as very good coverage of things to do (e.g., kayaking).

Either way, I'm sure you'll have a great trip!
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Old Mar 16th, 2016, 03:12 AM
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As you will start your tour from Dubrovnik, you could spend your 4 days before in Montenegro and reach Dubrovnik by bus from Hercegnovi
or you could explore Apulia and reach Dubrovnik by overnight ferry from Bari.
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Old Mar 26th, 2016, 05:42 AM
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Dubrovnik has maybe the most picturesque Old Town in all Europe. But be aware that in July, it will be flooded by 16,000 cruise ship passengers DAILY. There is no life of its own left besides tourist businesses. It is only bearable before 10:00 (before the ship excursions arrive) and after 16:00 (after they have left). I cannot imagine staying there for more than one night.

Split is a medium-sized city with an Old Town built inside a Roman emperor's palace. It has a broad and pretty waterfront boulevard and lots of cafés which are popular among the locals. There are a few city beaches, but they are like city beaches are.

I would look for a beach hotel in a pretty cove near Split.
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Old Mar 26th, 2016, 05:52 AM
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I'll go against the majority of opinions. I would absolutely choose Dubrovnik. I stayed in an apartment with a terrace on a hill with an extraordinary view and walking distance from old town for 6 nights. I spent my mornings and evenings in old town and did day trips while the cruise ships were docked. I did not rent a car and used the bus system to visit the Bay of Kotor (gorgeous!), Mostar in Bosnia (fascinating!) and down to Budva, Montenegro. Another day I took the little ferry to the island of Lokrum and hiked. Another day I joined a kayak tour company to kayak around the islands north of Dubrovnik. You can also take a bus to Ston and Mali Ston. The bus system is easy and the Croatians are incredibly helpful. LOVED Dubrovnik and the easily accessible area around the town.
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Old Mar 27th, 2016, 01:47 PM
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You're spoiled for choice. Dubrovnik is stunning but small so that agree one or two days (early morning and late afternoon to avoid the cruise stampedes) would be enough however adding the day trips as suggested are a good option.

If you chose Split, it is bigger, there is the Diocletian Palace to roam, also there is the gorgeous world heritage town Trogir just one hour's ferry ride or 30 minute bus ride away - with lots of churches etc. When I was there I also took a bus to Primosten, again 30 minutes from Trogir, small but pretty on an island with causeway. Water all around Trogir and Primosten for your water based activities.

The bus from Split to Dubrovnik was very scenic, agree, look for a seat on the right hand side for the coastal views.
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Old Mar 29th, 2016, 07:22 PM
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Thanks for all the very useful advice!! Much appreciated.
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