Hvar is famous for sightings of the rich and famous. From Beyoncé to Prince Harry, lots of celebrities and famous people have been spotted in Hvar. Given its recent popularity, Hvar is relatively expensive and its more a wine, dine and boat sort of destination than a destination that is filled with lots of sight seeing. The island of Hvar has two main towns, the town of Hvar and Stari Grad. These are on two separate sides of the island. This post specifically covers how to spend one day in the town of Hvar.
How to Get to Hvar
The most popular way to get to the island of Hvar is by ferry. There are 2 types of ferries – passenger and car. Passenger ferries dock in the town of Hvar itself while car ferries land in Stari Grad. If coming by car, you will have to drive from Stari Grand to the town of Hvar. Parking in Croatia in general is not easy and I highly recommend not bringing your car. You really don’t need it if you are only going to spend one day in the town of Hvar.
There are 4 main ferry companies that run between Hvar and Split – Kapetan Luka, Jadrolinija, Adriatic Fast Ferries and TP Line. The journey takes around 50 minutes to 1 hour. Below are the schedules.
- Buy your ferry ticket in advance. A few days ahead if possible. This is especially true in low season when ferries don’t run as often. Even more true during shoulder season where the ferries don’t run as often but there are still lots of tourists
- During low season you may have to use 2 different companies instead of doing a round trip with the same company as there are not as many frequent trips and not all companies run every day
- The schedule is not the same everyday so make sure you are booking for the correct time and date
- The ferries are very punctual so make sure to be at the dock a few minutes early
What to Do in Hvar
If you are not staying overnight in Hvar, then I recommend hopping on the 1st ferry out here in the morning and hopping back on the last ferry back in order to see and do the things listed here.
Before I get to the list, it is important to note that most sights in Hvar close from 12-1 pm. This maybe a good time to grab lunch or head to the beach.
Walk Along the Harbor
Hvar’s harbor front is really beautiful! It’s relatively small and walkable from end to end. You will see lots of luxury yachts docked here. There are lots of seats near the ferry dock end of the harbor which is also where these yachts are docked as well. I sat for a long time observing the good life of the rich! From jumping into the pools in the yachts to eating chef prepared meals and taking snoozes in the open decks, it sure was nice to “experience” that lifestyle at least with my eyes!
Walk Around St. Stephen’s Square
Many of the buildings here date back to the 16th and 17th century when Hvar was under Venetian rule. If you observe closely, you can definitely see remnants of Hvar’s Venetian past in the facades of some of the buildings. This square is a great place to grab something to drink, a bite to eat or to enjoy some people watching.
Visit St. Stephen’s Cathedral
The focal point of the main square is this renaissance-era cathedral. When you walk in through the bronze gates, take a closer look at it. It depicts religious scenes as well as scenes from life on Hvar. The church is not always open so if you are walking by and see the gates open, it’s best to enter rather than keep the visit for later.
Visit the Fort
This fort was built beginning in the 13th century and was added on to by different occupiers. Today, the fort offers the best views of Hvar’s harbor and the Pakleni islands nearby. It also houses a marine archeological collection. It’s a little bit of a hike to get up there but trust me it’s worth it for the view!
Visit the Franciscan Monastery
This monastery used to be a hospice for sailors back in the 15th century. Today it houses several paintings from the 16th and 17th century, a museum showcasing currency through time and a chapel that’s worth a visit.
This convent is home to Benedictine sisters who make beautiful lace using agava (a cactus like plant). There is a museum here that you can visit which showcase some of this work.
The Theater in the Arsenal Building
Built in 1612, the Hvar Public Theatre is considered one of the oldest public theatres in Europe. This theater was built as a symbol of reconciliation between the rich and the working class who lived here in Venetian times.
Climb up to the Bell Tower
When I say climb it’s literally a 2 minute climb up a few stairs. Just walk along the waterfront until you see the tower and then take the stairs up the lane. It’s a nice little view of the harbor, especially at golden hour!
Get lost in all the quaint little streets in Hvar. It was one of my favorite things to do here!
Relax at the Beach
There are 2 beaches where people go to swim in the town of Hvar.
In front of the Franciscan Monastery
The is a small beach here where you can lay out or get in the water.
It takes about 20-25 minutes from the town center to get to this beach. The path to the beach is both a little steep and rocky. I highly recommend wearing good shoes. There is a concession stand here.
Pro tip – Don’t let the crystal clear turquoise water fool you! It’s really rocky underneath. Bring water shoes to protect your feet!
Where I Ate
Dalmatino serves traditional Dalmatian cooking. The meal I had here is in my top 3 meals I had on my entire Croatia trip! They give you a free shot before and after the meal and the service is amazing! My server took the time to explain everything and was so friendly and nice! I cannot recommend this place enough!
I didn’t get the name of the place but there is a gelato stand just before the ferry dock on the left hand side when walking from the town square. They also sell really amazing orange juice which I had twice!
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Check out my detailed post on Split HERE or below!
Interested in other day trips from Split? Check out my post HERE or below!
Visiting other places in Croatia? Checkout all my posts on Croatia HERE
I visited Hvar as a part of a 12 day road trip around the Balkans! Check out this trip HERE or below!