Over the course of June through August 2020, we stayed in Split for a total of six weeks. Here is how we score Split. Please refer below "Destination Score Criteria Explained".
1. Green Space - 5
Marjan Forest Park is expansive. There are a lot of small neighbourhood parks and plenty of tree-lined streets.
2. Air Quality - 4
Light pink smog often could be seen over the horizon. Occasionally the air visibility was very low.
3. Walkable - 4
Popular beaches, Marjan park and the Joker shopping mall are all within 2km of the Old Town. Foot paths are generally in good shape although sometimes the cobble stones in the Old Town can be slippery and uneven. On narrow residential streets parked cars can take up most or all the foot paths. Cars generally give way to pedestrians at pedestrian crossings.
4. Transport - 5
Very connected domestically and internationally by air, ferry, bus and train. Local transport costs are reasonable. Uber is available.
5. Internet - 3
Average download speed of about 24MB/s, upload speed of 7MB/s
6. Cost of Living - 3
Espresso coffee is USD$1.6. Local buses cost USD$1.8 - $3.3 depending on travel distance. Average AirBNB nightly price is USD$46 (peak summer time).
7. Street Art and Street Performance - 2
Hardly any street art. Some street performance. A lot of graffiti.
8. Natural Beauty - 5
Beautiful Adriatic sea; lovely pebble, rock and sandy beaches; great mountain ranges.
9. Architecture - 3
Well preserved Roman and Baroque architecture in the Old Town. Quite a percentage of residential buildings are quite old and ugly.
10. Fresh Produce - 5
Daily green market and fish market provide bountiful fresh produce. Supermarkets also have plenty of fresh produce. Prices are very reasonable, especially for seasonal products.
11. People - 3
Local people are reserved and generally don't exchange eye contact or greetings with strangers on streets. They don't have the concept of "personal space" and tend to be oblivious about other people around. Services are generally professional. When engaged either face-to-face, on the phone or via internet, they tend to be very friendly.
12. Jolly Hobo's Pleasure Level - 4
We enjoyed the swimming, the park and the Old Town. We didn't like dog poop everywhere, litter in the parks, pushy people, graffiti and ugly buildings.
The total score is: 46 (out of total 60), therefore Split gets our 2nd top rating of "Super Jolly"!
Destination Score Criteria Explained
We score each destination that we stayed, living like a local. The length of stay is normally longer than two weeks. We picked 12 categories that matter the most to us as follows, not in any particular order. In any given category, the lowest score is 0 and highest score is 5. We then add the scores together to come up with a total score and a level of "Jolly":
0-20: Really Bad
21-30: Not So Jolly
41-50: Super Jolly
51-60: Supremely Jolly
1. Green Space
How many small and large green spaces for exercises, picnic, reading etc. It also includes the amount of tree lined streets providing adequate shade.
2. Air Quality
In general what is the air quality like? Is smog visible? If so, how often?
How walkable is the place? Are there good quality walk ways / foot paths? How are the pedestrian crossings and traffic light lights? Do cars give way at pedestrian crossings?
Public transport / connections, ease of use, cost
Uber etc availability
Quality of internet. We do a Ookla speed test at each location. Download speed is important of course, but considering we load up photos & videos, upload speed is important too.
6. Cost of Living
Use the following benchmark items:
A cup of standard coffee in a cafe
Local transport cost
Average AirBNB nightly cost for a one bedroom apartment with Wifi, kitchen and washing machine and a rating of 4.85+
7. Street Art and Street Performance
How lively is it on the streets from an art and entertainment perspective?
Is there quality street art or is there just graffiti?
8. Natural Beauty
What is the natural environment like? Is it attractive? Does it have any particular appeal such as mountains, sea etc?
What is architecture like? Attractive place, new, old, ugly?
10. Fresh Produce
Availability, quality, price of fresh food and grocery shopping
Are local people friendly? Are they processional at service oriented venues such as supermarkets, shops, cafes and restaurants?
12. Jolly Hobo's Pleasure Level
Overall how much did we enjoy the time in this place.