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Why rent a car in Split?
Split is a great place to visit by car. Not only you’ll get to explore its historic, fun city and its surrounding beaches, you’ll also have the freedom to travel to all of the landmarks of the surrounding Dalmatia region.
Top ways to enter Split
- Split Airport: The second largest in Croatia, Split Airport is about 19 km (12 mi) from the city center.
- Zadar Airport: Less than two hours drive west, flying to Zadar is another great way to reach Split.
- Dubrovnik Airport: About 180 km (112 mi) from Split, nearby Dubrovnik Airport is the third busiest in Croatia.
- Zagreb Airport: Croatia’s capital might sometimes feel like quite a way away, but the drive between the country’s two largest cities only takes about four hours.
- By sea: If you’re arriving in Split by boat, you can conveniently pick up a rental car at Split Aci Marina.
Useful city facts
- The second biggest city in Croatia, Split is the capital of Split-Dalmatia County. Nearly 350,000 people live in the city’s larger metropolitan area.
- Founded by Greeks, the city has also been ruled by Romans, Hungarian, Venetians, and the French during different times of its varied history.
Top destinations and activities
- St. Duje's cathedral. First built during the Roman times as the emperor Diocletian’s mausoleum and later remade into a Catholic cathedral, St. Duje’s has a beautiful mixture of both architectural styles. Remember to climb to its stunning belltower as you’ll get the best city views anywhere in Split from there.
- Diocletian’s Palace. Another great remnant of Diocletian’s reign in ancient Split, this retirement complex has changed very little throughout the ages. Now a UNESCO World Heritage Site, it can be found at the very heart of the Split Old Town. On a more modern note, Game of Thrones fans will recognize it as the place where dragons were kept in Meereen.
- The Egyptian sphinxes. Brought to Split almost 2000 years ago from the other coast of Mediterranean, these two sphinxes are some of the most unique Egyptian artefacts in Europe. You’ll find one of them in Peristil square while the other is in front of Jupiter’s temple.
Traffic and parking tips
- Unless specifically indicated otherwise, the speed limits are 130 km/h on motorways, 110 km/h on main highways, 90 km/h on most other roads, and 50 km/h in populated and built-up areas.
- During autumn and spring (from October to March) you need to drive with your headlights on, even during the day.
- If you’re driving with a foreign car, it needs to have a nationality sticker on the back. This is important if you’re arriving in Croatia by car from a neighboring country, especially Montenegro, Bosnia and Herzegovina or Serbia that are not part of the European Union.
- The legal alcohol limit is 0.05% for experienced drivers and 0.00% for novice drivers and drivers under the age of 24. Exceeding the limit can lead to large fines, an EU-wide licence ban, or even imprisonment.
- Gas stations are usually open from 7:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m., although many will work until 10:00 p.m. during summer.
- The insurance and car documentation needs to be in the car whenever you’re driving.
- If you’re the driver, you need to have your passport or ID card with you at all times.
- The emergency number, like elsewhere in the EU, is 112.
There’s a toll to be paid for using most Croatian motorways. There are two types of tolls in Croatia, the open ones and the closed ones. On open toll motorways, which are mostly tunnels, bridges, and short stretches of highway, the driver pays when arriving at the road. On closed toll motorways, the driver pays when arriving at the road and is given a receipt for their payment that shows where they entered the toll road. They then need to present the receipt when leaving the toll road. If you lose the receipt, you’ll need to once again for the maximum length of the toll road. If your receipt is more than 24 hours old, for example, because you stay for the night somewhere along the toll road, you’ll need to provide a valid explanation of the situation at the exit toll booth.
The payment for the toll road can be done either in cash or by credit card. You can also purchase a smart card or an expiring seasonal smart card that will include a 10% discount. Both types of smart cards are non-refundable. Some rental cars are equipped with an electronic toll responder the price of which is usually included in the rental price. Do ask your car rental provider about it in advance. Find out more about the toll roads in Croatia on the European toll road website.
Ideas for a day-trip
- Salona. An ancient Roman colony and once one of the greatest cities of that Empire, Salona still retains a well-preserved amphitheater, basilica, and other landmarks from the Roman times. From Split, Salona can be reached in less than 20 minutes by car.
- Zadar. Just 110 km (68 mi) from Split, Zadar is another gem of a town along Croatia’s Adriatic coast. Its most famous attraction is the Sea Organ, a unique instrument that uses wind and waves to create music. There are also many opportunities for water sports or simply a relaxing day on great beaches like Kolovare, Borik, and Vitrenjak.
- Plitvice Lakes National Park. Divided into upper and lower lakes, Plitvice is one of the most attractive nature areas in Croatia. It is not allowed to swim in the lakes because of the many unique flora and fauna species that live here, but it’s still great to go a longer hike or a boat trip to enjoy this serene place.
Most popular rental types and cars
The most popular rental car in Croatia is the VW Polo, followed by the Opel Corsa and the Skoda Fabia. The most popular rental car types are economy, mini, and compact.
The rest of Dalmatia. Drive to see Dubrovnik, perhaps the most picturesque little town in Europe, but also make time to explore the rest of this beautiful region and its fishing villages, homestays, islands, and wildlife areas.
Istria. Just as welcoming as Dalmatia, but unique and proud thanks to its history and local character, the Istria peninsula is a great beach, culture, and culinary destination.
Zagreb. Croatia’s inland capital is just as interesting, but very different from the country’s south in terms of history, architecture, and atmosphere. You really should visit them both to be able to tell you’ve seen all of Croatia.
How can I save money on my rental car?
There are things you can do to get a good rental car deal in Split:
- Compare rates of different rental car providers
- Book your rental car well in advance
- Plan your route before you go
- Know your fuel and mileage requirements
- Visit on the month when the rental prices are the cheapest. According to our data, visiting Zagreb is the cheapest in February when renting a car is about 80% cheaper renting a car in August, the most expensive month.
Which is the cheapest month to rent a car in Split?
What’s the usual rental length in Split?
What's the most popular month to rent a car in Split?
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