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I haven’t been to Croatia yet, but the country is high on my travel wish list. For this post in the Focus on Festival Series Anca from One Day Itinerary, shares her experience with the Ultra Music Festival in Split, Croatia.
Ultra Music Festival is one of the biggest and most famous festivals of its kind in the world. For several years now, its European version is held in the Croatian city of Split every summer. Honestly, it’s just as good as the Miami event. Spectacular line-ups, awesome parties and pristine Adriatic Sea are the main highlights of these incredible few days. If you’re planning on visiting, here’s a short guide on everything you need to know about Ultra Europe and the city hosting it.
Ultra Europe basics
Ultra Europe is a festival of electronic music, a spin-off of the original Ultra Music Festival first held in Miami in 1999. Today Ultra festivals are held all over the world, with the most popular performers of this type of music in the world regularly attending them. As mentioned, Ultra Europe is held in Split a city on the Adriatic coast and the second largest city in Croatia. The date is usually set somewhere in mid-July, and young people from all over Europe (and world) flock to this event.
An Excellent Location
Split is a beautiful city whose origins date back to the end of the third century AD. Its core is a massive Roman palace complex, so there’s plenty of sightseeing to do. On top of that, it is very well connected with the islands in its vicinity which hide some of the most spectacular beaches you’ll ever see. Staying here a few days before/after the festival is a great vacation idea because you have plenty to do and enjoy.
The city is located on the eastern coast of the Adriatic Sea and has a very well connected airport, so it would be smart to check for flights that would suit you. If you can’t find any, you can land in Zagreb, Croatia’s capital, and then easily find a bus to Split (the drive takes at least four and a half hours, though, although with a car that drops below 4 hours). Zadar is also a nice destination (much closer than Zagreb) to book a flight to if you can find one that lands there and not in Split.
Expect Big Crowds
Ultra Europe is a big festival and Split is a booming city when it comes to tourism. Given that the festival coincides with peak season, you will find people from quite literally all over the world here, especially in the city centre, and a LOT of them, too. Additionally, this is the time of year when prices peak, so plan ahead because the hotels will probably be full. However, there’s an elegant solution to that.
Rent an Apartment
Many locals will leave the city and go to the country or some of the neighbouring islands during this period. Check out websites like AirBnB or Booking.com or something like that and you are bound to find loads of apartments available for rent during those few days. Much more spacious than a hotel room, especially if there’s several people in your group, and a great place to start partying even before you hit the stadium.
The Venue is Awesome
Yes, stadium. The main event takes place on the stadium belonging to the local football (soccer) club, and it is a beautiful edifice with about 35000 seats. However, I mention this number just to give you an idea of its size – the crowd is actually down on the pitch (although you can climb up to get a better view) with several bars down there pouring drinks. And the whole thing becomes even more impressive when the fireworks start. Oh yes, they have those, too!
The Line-ups Never Fail
Every year, some of the most renowned artists in the world of electronic music appear on the stage. Think of the likes of Carl Cox, David Guetta, Afrojack, Armin van Buuren and many, many others, all crème de la crème. Therefore, if you like this kind of music, these three days in Split will be heaven for you. You simply can’t afford to miss out on this!
Head to the Islands Next
Remember the islands I mentioned earlier? Well, once Ultra Europe in Split finishes, parties continue there, most notably on Hvar and Vis. The beauty of these places cannot be overstated, and you can reach them easily from Split. You might want to avoid ferries, though, since they are the slowest. Catamarans are much faster, but you may also be lucky enough to hop on a party boat!
Chill Out and Enjoy the City
After all that partying, you could probably use a bit of rest, so why not spend a couple of days exploring the city? Like I said, there are plenty of sights here, plus the city has a whole lot of excellent restaurants and great bars. you can make a day trip to some of the islands you missed or explore the surrounding towns (Trogir is particularly beautiful). Or simply hit one of the beaches and soak in the sun.
Ultra Europe is something every fan of electronic music should experience. It provides loads of fun, parties and fantastic music, all in a beautiful Mediterranean city of Split. The festival’s itinerary will take you to the neighbouring islands too, so you will get to know this part of the Adriatic quite well. You’ll see for yourself why it’s growing in popularity every single year. I do recommend a stay of at least a week, especially if you want to explore the amazing Roman architecture here. Besides, you will need to recuperate after all that intense partying. In any case, coming to Ultra Europe Festival in Split is an excellent way to spend your vacation. You will love every minute of it!
About the Author
Anca is a travel writer and the founder of One Day Itinerary – the biggest collection of travel itineraries for people limited by time. In her travel guides she aims to inspire people to travel whenever they have a spare day (or two).
Do you love music festivals? Have you been to Ultra Music Festial in Split?