Split Gay Travel
Where is the Split gay beach? Are there gay bars in Split? These answers, plus the best hotels & areas to stay, in wolfyy’s Split gay travel guide.
The Gay Travel Experience: Split, Croatia
Of all Croatia’s destinations, Split is where you will find the most gay tourists! Split is one of the most gay-friendly Croatian cities along with Dubrovnik and Zagreb.
While Croatia as a whole is not super comfortable with homosexuality compared to the rest of Europe, that doesn’t stop droves of gay tourists from visiting every year.
A high density of international tourists dissipates any anti-LGBT sentiment that you may find. I definitely enjoyed myself in this wonderful city. Many bars and sightseeing locations are filled with predominantly tourists, so you certainly won’t feel out of place.
Gay travel in Croatia usually starts or ends in Split, as it’s an anchor point for many travelers making their way along the country’s spectacular islands. Croatian cities are increasingly branding themselves as top gay holiday destinations, and Split has without a doubt become a staple world gay travel hotspot!
If you are debating whether to visit Split as opposed to Dubrovnik, then I would first decide how important nightlife is to you.
While you can still find gay nightlife in Split, expect it to be a bit more relaxed. Dubrovnik on the other hand has rowdier nightlife and spectacular clubs.
Gay Split: Hotels & Where to Stay
Split Old Town hotels are the most popular, where you’ll stay along beautifully enchanting alleyways and historic streets.
Staying along the bustling waterfront Promenade, called the Riva, is another fantastic choice within the Old Town. These options are usually more expensive, but worth it in my opinion.
Cornaro Hotel is one of the most highly rated LGBT friendly Split hotels in the Old Town. They have beautiful, modern rooms with windows that open up, allowing you to peer down to the streets below.
They’re also quite popular for their rooftop bar that offers some pretty stunning views both day and night. And don’t miss their indoor jacuzzi lounge, surrounded by fun purple lights.
Riva Luxury Suites
Riva Luxury Rooms is another stunningly elegant gay-friendly hotel option. They’re also rather affordable for accommodations within the Old Town. I love how their rooms embrace the character of the Old Town with exposed stone walls that beautifully contrast with rich teal walls.
Technically a guest house, Riva offers exceptionally large rooms compared to many other Split accommodations. Even their studio rooms are spacious. Highly rated and often complimented for cleanliness, you can’t pass up a stay here!
Laura Lux Suites
Laura Lux Suites is perfect for couples. They are a modern LGBT-friendly guest house. Their deluxe double room includes a romantic jacuzzi tub on-suite, plus a private terrace. I love how much light these rooms get, too.
The Laura Lux guest house is just to the west of Split’s Old Town. This area is still fantastic, even while walking around at night. Plenty of nearby restaurants and shops will keep you happily entertained.
Split Vacation Rentals
Browsing vacation apartment rentals within the Old Town walls, you’ll find some stunning options. They’re often more affordable than traditional hotels nearby.
Apartment rentals just outside the Old Town are better for those seeking cheaper accommodations in Split. The surrounding area is perfectly walkable and safe.
For a part of my trip, I stayed about a 10-minute walk north of the waterfront in a pretty cheap rental and had a great experience. Friends of mine stayed in the neighborhoods west of Split’s Old Town, which is also a vibrant area.
As a general tip, you can tell which areas are the true “Old Town” by checking Google Maps for the regions that are shaded beige.
In fact, Google Maps doesn’t even show most of the restaurants, bars or hotels connected to a street in this area! It just goes to show how maze-like the Split Old Town feels.
More Split Hotels & Hostels
Piazza Heritage Hotel – Exceptionally well-rated boutique hotel in Old Split with traditional decor.
Heritage Hotel 19 – Chic, modern waterfront hotel with an on-site bar and restaurant known for their friendly and helpful staff.
Hostel Dvor – Modern, minimalist hostel just outside the Old Town offering both mixed dorm beds and private rooms.
Split Experiences for the Gay Traveler
Book a Croatia Gay Sailing Trip
Sailing the Croatian Islands with a group of gay friends was definitely one of the most memorable trips of my entire life! If you’re interested in joining my next trip or booking your own, I can help you organize your first adventure gay sailing in Croatia or Greece.
Flexible bookings are available and deposits are risk-free! Learn about gay sailing holidays in Croatia and Greece.
Explore Split's Old Town
Take a stroll through the wondrous narrow alleys in the Split Old Town. Make your way around the labyrinth of streets, exploring every little nook. Diocletian’s Palace and the surrounding area are a great place to start.
Paths that you may think are dead-ends often lead to beautiful little plazas with cute bars and restaurants.
Some of the Game of Thrones scenes were filmed here in Split. Fans of the series love the local Game of Thrones filming location tours!
When you break away from the tourist crowds in the Old Town, you’ll get some great opportunities to capture some amazing photos.
Split Gay Beach: The Best Gay Beach in Croatia
To get there, head to Kasjuni Beach and then start walking west. You will find increasing numbers of gay men as you progress, and then a completely nude beach even further west.
Local gay Croatians are usually hanging out at Kasjuni Beach during the warmer months. They prefer this area because they can stay out of the public eye.
You may notice local gay guys can be shy or even stand-offish. This is only because they may be nervous to interact with other gay men.
Nevertheless, if you’re looking for a gay cruising spot in Split, all you have to do is wander the rocky coves past the beach area. I definitely witnessed a few encounters from afar. If you really want to catch some attention (including from nearby sailboats), wear a flashy jockstrap!
Remember, local gay Croatians are not always open or comfortable with their homosexuality because of societal pressure. Say hello!
Day Trips from Split
If you’ll be visiting Split but aren’t planning on doing any sailing, then you should definitely consider touring nearby Croatian Islands with a couple of day trips.
Day trips to Plitvice Lakes National Park are another incredible option. Seeing the gorgeous waterfalls, marine life, and clear-water lakes here will make you feel like you’ve been transported to another world.
Pizzeria Bokamorra is a stunning and tasty high-end restaurant. Their cocktail menu is spectacular. You can also head here just for drinks. Pizzeria Bokamorra was actually one of few places in Split where I found custom cocktails.
Terminal F might just satisfy a craving for delicious American/international food after eating seafood for a few days. The burgers at Terminal F were definitely the highlight. Whatever they are putting in there is magically satiating.
Bobis take-away cafés are all over Split. They’re quite inexpensive and are convenient for a quick breakfast or snack. Grab some croissants, pastries or protein-filled lunch wraps before exploring the city.
What is Croatian Food Like?
Local food in Croatia is primarily fish and other seafood. The Croatian culture also borrows significantly from the Italians. Pizzerias are the second most common type of restaurant you will find in Croatia.
Most high-end restaurants will have a “catch of the day.” The menu should include a price per kilogram of a specific type of fish, or scallops for example.
Split Gay Bars
Academia Club Ghetto is the unofficial Split gay bar. Club Getto attracts a mixed crowd, but it is widely known to be the top gay hangout in the city. They often host intimate musical performances or have a live DJ. Gay travelers looking for a venue to spend an evening usually come here.
Remember that Split has no official gay bars, however you can still easily find other gay travelers given the city is such an international gay travel destination.
As mentioned earlier in this guide, homosexual public displays of affection are not always tolerated well, unless of course it is clear that an establishment is an LGBT safe space.
Many locals do support homosexuality, but then again many do not. Use your judgment, especially while drinking out at traditional bars.
In my opinion, Split is not much of a late-night party destination. There are many tucked-away bars in the Old Town, but they won’t provide anything too rowdy.
Lastly, Fluid Cocktails was one of my favorite places for cocktails in Split. It’s a cozy bar with seating outside in a narrow alleyway. The vibe is precious and the staff is quite friendly.
My friends and I were briefly chatting with a man sitting next to us, who we found out minutes later was the server! The bar is informal, yet has a great ambiance. You can find Fluid Cocktails right in the Old Town.
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Is Split Safe for Gay Travelers?
Gay travelers in Split should exercise some caution for a few reasons. Although Croatia is part of the European Union and is a popular gay travel destination, there is still a formidable anti-LGBT sentiment among some locals.
One of the two homophobic scenarios I witnessed in Croatia was in Split. A gay couple that was part of my group of sailing friends was showing a small amount of affection in a restaurant called Roof 68.
A waitress came over to them and explained they are not permitted to kiss each other in the establishment. This surprised everyone, who left shortly after. It was disheartening to experience.
In my opinion, this incident should not deter you from visiting Split or anywhere else in Croatia. Isolated incidents like this can happen anywhere. Many locals do in fact support homosexuality and equal rights for the LGBT community.
I tell you this story only to illustrate why gay travelers in Croatia should still make sure they are in a safe environment before displaying any affection.
Split Gay Travel Tips
Flights & Car Rentals
Discover Cars is the best platform for finding a rental car in Split. You can even pick up your car in Split and leave it in Dubrovnik if you’re traveling between cities.
Grab Some Cheap Snacks
Looking for cheap snacks? Head to Stari Pazar Green Market just outside the Old Town. Stari Pazar is an outdoor market that sells mostly fruit and dried goods. I grabbed some apples and berries for fuel to explore the city!
Consider Travel Insurance
Getting travel insurance coverage before visiting Croatia can come in extremely handy. Trip cancellation protection, lost-baggage coverage, travel delay reimbursements and medical coverage abroad are just a few reasons why you should always have some sort of insurance policy.
Travelex Insurance is one of the easiest providers to use. Their website gives you an immediate quote based on your age, trip cost and a few other factors. They then offer plans in several price tiers.
Alternatively, you can shop among the quotes from a whole bunch of different providers using a travel insurance marketplace service like Aardy.
Need to Do Laundry in Split?
I needed to wash some clothes in Split, and I found the perfect spot. A small little place called Self-service Laundry Primus Verum is open every day. It’s quite convenient if you need to do laundry at early or late hours, or on a Sunday! However, keep in mind there are only three washers and three dryers.
Split Airport Tips
Split International Airport has recently expanded, opening a spacious new terminal with a ton of space for travelers. There’s a huge café and plenty of seating on the uppermost level of the terminal.
If you’re departing from Split and have extra time, grab food and hang out here before going through security.
The airport is about 30 minutes by car from the Old Town. Getting an Uber or a bus ride from the terminal is easy, too.
For Uber or taxi pickup, you have to walk to the designated location on the main road directly under the large pedestrian bridge. Buses from SPU to the Split Bus Station are directly outside the terminal door.
Split Bus Station Tips
The Split bus station is usually very busy and can be a bit confusing at first. The easiest thing to do upon arrival is to show your ticket to the information window attendant. They will know exactly what platform the bus is going to arrive on.
Trust them because they do this every day, so they know your route.
It’s probably best to listen to the announcements in case of a bus platform change. It happens from time to time, so it’s better to be cautious.
Traveling between cities in Croatia is quite convenient by bus. I traveled all around the Mediterranean and other parts of Europe using FlixBus buses, which are almost always exactly on time, comfortable, civilized, and safe. They’re also incredibly cheap if you book far in advance.
Is Split Expensive?
Croatia in general is no longer cheap! Split, Dubrovnik, and the Croatian islands are all so popular with international tourists, that prices are have inflated tremendously.
Bus from Split to Dubrovnik: Do You Need Your Passport?
Buses that travel between Split and Dubrovnik must cross through Bosnia and Herzegovina. Bosnia and Herzegovina occupies a small stretch of coastline, and so there will be two border checkpoints during the journey. Hopefully, they’re quick. My journey wasn’t too bad.
At the border, you likely will not need to exit the bus. An officer will board the bus and visually check your passport. They probably will not stamp it since they know the bus is bound for another Croatian city. My passport wasn’t stamped.