A former Croatian royal castle and stronghold, the Klis Fortress stands guard in a highly strategic location above Split, Croatia. The incredible history, the impressive fortress structure and the views of Split and the Adriatic Sea beyond make the Klis Fortress one of the top things to do in Split.
The Klis Fortress is located well outside of town, so you may be wondering how to get to the Klis Fortress from Split. We got from Split to the Klis Fortress the fun way, by local bus, but there are a variety of ways to get to the Klis Fortress which make visiting the fortress much easier.
Klis Fortress from Split
- How far is Klis Fortress from Split?
- Best Ways to Get to the Klis Fortress from Split
- Klis Fortress Opening Hours
- Where to Stay Near the Klis Fortress
- Additional Posts on Croatia with Kids
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How far is Klis Fortress from Split?
The Klis Fortress is 7.5 miles (12km) from the center of Split, so you’ll need some form of transportation to get there. We had a few struggles in our attempts to get to the Klis Fortress from Split. In hopes of helping others learn from our experience, here is what you need to know to easily get to Klis Fortress from Split:
Best Ways to Get to the Klis Fortress from Split
1. Drive from Split to the Klis Fortress
If you are visiting Croatia with a rental car, you can easily drive from Split to the Klis Fortress. The 30 minute drive to the Klis Fortress will involve city driving and some highway driving on mountain roads. There are a few small parking lots near the Klis Fortress. If you are visiting on a weekend or peak season, it will help if you arrive at Klis early, ahead of the crowds.
2. Take a Tour to the Klis Fortress
The Klis Fortress is one of the top things to do in Split. As with all major tourist attractions, there will be wide variety of organized tours to the Klis Fortress. Taking a tour is the easiest way to get to the Klis Fortress from Split.
As many know, the Klis Fortress isn’t just an ordinary fortress as it played a prominent role on a hit HBO show. Due to its newfound celebrity, the Klis Fortress has two main types of tours:
Klis Fortress Game of Thrones Tour
Klis Fortress gained notoriety as the Game of Thrones filming location for Meereen. Game of Thrones will recognize Meereen as the city in the Bay of Dragons which Daenerys Targaryen conquers, then stays to rule over Slaver’s Bay.
We’re big Game of Thrones fans (ugh, even after that disappointing ending), and we were very excited to visit the Klis Fortress to see the Meereen filming location.
There are several Game of Thrones tours from Split. Most will take you to the Klis Fortress (the Meereen filming location) and Diocletian’s Palace (home to many famous Daenerys Targaryen scenes). Some of the longer tours will also visit the location of Daario Naharis’ famed battle as well as the setting for the free city of Bravos.
This very highly rated 3.5 hour Game of Thrones tour from Split includes air-conditioned transportation.
A Traditional Klis Fortress Tour
Many visitors to Split won’t care that it was a Game of Thrones filming location, but wish to visit the Klis Fortress based on its significant historical value to Croatia. For these visitors, we suggest the Salona, Klis and Trogir Full Day Tour from Split. This full day tour visits three of the most important historic sites around Split. In addition to a visit to the Klis Fortress, you’ll explore the ancient Roman ruins of Salona visit Trogir, a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
3. Take a Hop-On Hop-Off Bus to the Klis Fortress
A fun and easy way to get to the Klis Fortress from Split is on a Hop-On Hop-Off bus. This convenient way to see the major attractions in Split includes stops at the Diocletian Palace, Marjan Hill, Salona, Klis Fortress & Trogir.
4. Taking a Public Bus to Klis Fortress from Split
Despite the ease of taking an organized tour to the Klis Fortress, we prefer to mingle with the locals, so we visited the Klis Fortress by public transit.
The Split to Klis Fortress bus is urban route #22. The bus stop in central Split is just east of the Croatian National Theatre – this is a major bus stop in Split and is known as the HNK stop.
You can buy bus tickets to the Klis Fortress from a little booth at the HNK bus stop. You need to buy a two-trip “Zone 2” ticket, which cost 22kr (~$3.50USD) for the return trip. Each time you get on the Route 22 bus, the driver will validate one half of the ticket with a date stamp.
The Split #22 bus stops at the Klis Megdan stop, a 3 minute walk to the Klis Fortress.
Taking the Bus Back to Split from Klis Fortress
You get back on the bus at the same Klis Megdan bus stop you got off at. If it’s a normal route, you will get dropped off at the HNK stop near the Croatian National Theatre. For more information on the “normal route” comment, read on…
Understanding the Bus Schedule to Klis Fortress
The bus which goes from Split to the Klis Fortress is Route 22, operated by Promet. Open the Split Route 22 bus schedule and then keep reading below to understand how to read the times on the schedule.
In the example below, there is a weekday bus at 8:30. Note: this is the time the bus leaves the Klis Megdan stop, not the HNK stop!! To estimate the time the bus leaves the HNK stop, you need to add about 30 minutes to the time on the schedule – I wish we had known that – it would have saved us a half-hour!
One other important item to be aware of is to watch for comments on the schedule. Some of the times have (to) HNK, (from) HNK or are highlighted in yellow. We advise that you ask the bus driver or another passenger what these notes mean before you get on the bus.
For example, we took the #22 bus from the Klis Fortress back to Split at a time which had a comment on it. To our surprise, the bus stopped at a random bus stop way outside the Split Old Town and everyone got off. A helpful lady saw our confusion and explained we had to get off the bus and transfer to a Route #1 bus to take us the rest of the way.
The Savings from Taking the Bus to Klis Fortress
In addition to the satisfaction of visiting the Klis Fortress independently, you can also save yourself a big chunk of change.
- Cost to take the bus: 22kr per person return trip
- Cost of admission: 40kr per adult
- Total cost of doing it yourself = 66kr (~10USD)
- Approximate cost of going on a tour: 300-520kr ($50-80USD)
Approximate savings per person: $40-70USD per person!
Klis Fortress Opening Hours
The Klis Fortress is typically open daily from 10am to 4pm. Check for updates to the Klis Fortress opening hours before you go.
Where to Stay Near the Klis Fortress
If you’d prefer to stay outside the hustle and bustle of Old Town Split, getting a vacation rental near the Klis Fortress is an excellent idea! Staying outside of Split, you’ll likely be able to find a rental with much more space and maybe even a pool or an outstanding view of Split and the Adriatic Sea.
We hope you found these options to get to the Klis Fortress from Split useful. We took the bus to Klis and saved quite a bit of money, but sometimes it just makes sense to treat yourself to an easier option while on your holiday in Croatia. Either way, you’ll love visiting Klis Fortress – it’s one of the best things to do in Split!
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