Ultra Europe Music Festival is returning for the fifth and possibly final year in Croatia, and music lovers from around the globe will be able to enjoy world’s top DJs once again.
In 2016 over 100,000 visitors from 143 countries made it on this unforgettable journey with performances from David Guetta, Carl Cox, Armin van Buuren, and many others.
Official Ultra Europe 2016 Aftermovie above is fantastic, I recommend watching at least the first 4 minutes! It truly gives me the chills and makes me even more excited for this amazing event!
Lineup for 2017’s Ultra includes Carl Cox, Tiesto, Armin van Buuren, Martin Garrix, Hardwell, Axwell & Ingrosso, Seth Troxler, Fedde Le Grande, W&W, DJ Snake, and more. See attached image for full lineup of artists performing this year!
How to prepare for Ultra Europe? In this guide I’ll cover currency, clothes, food, drinks, accommodation and more tips which will be especially helpful for first-time visitors.
Ultra Europe 2017 Croatia: Schedule
- July 13 (Thursday) – RESISTANCE™ Opening Party in Giraffe Palm Beach House, Split (view on Google Maps)
- July 14-16 (Friday, Saturday, Sunday) – ULTRA Europe in Poljud stadium, Split (view on Google Maps)
- July 17 (Monday) – Regatta, Golden Horn beach in Bol on Brac Island (view on Google Maps)
- July 18 (Tuesday) – ULTRA Beach in Hotel Amfora Grand Beach Resort, Hvar Island (view on Google Maps)
- July 19 (Wednesday) – RESISTANCE™ Vis, in Fort George, Vis Island (view on Google Maps)
This ultimate 7-day music experience will once again host five events on five crazy locations. Opening party in Giraffe Palm Beach House (Hemingway Bar) in Split will mark its beginning, followed by a 3-day ULTRA Europe festival on Poljud Stadium.
Regatta will come back to the idyllic Brac island, on Croatia’s most recognizable beach Golden Horn. As “The Sun” magazine called it, “the best pool party in the world”, will return to Amfora Grand Beach Resort on picturesque Hvar island on day 6, and on the final day the party will be on Vis island in 200 year old Fort George.
Tickets are already available on UltraEurope’s website, with a 7-day ticket going for €319. This ticket includes access to all 5 events, but you can also buy individual event tickets if you don’t intend to attend all of them:
- Opening Party – €29
- Ultra General Admission – € 169
- Ultra Beach – €99
- Resistance Vis – €49
Ultra also has official partners this year offering accommodation and local travel services. It’s convenient for visitors who want hassle-free booking, but if you’re looking to save a few euros you might consider booking everything by yourself — check my tips below!
Surviving Ultra Europe Festival: Tips & Tricks
Ultra week in Croatia has been pretty chaotic these past few years. During the whole 2016 Split hosted a record number of 674,000 tourists, and you can imagine how 100,000 arrivals within 7 days can cause chaos and confusion.
Accommodation in Split is almost impossible to find unless you book early, and prices are going through the roof. Streets, bars, beaches and restaurants are packed with party-loving tourists.
For those who want to avoid hordes of visitors this is the worst possible week to visit Split, especially because our summer tourist season ramps up exactly in mid-July.
If you’re coming to visit Split during Ultra 2017 it’s immensely important to find and book your accommodation in advance. Like, right now! Good accommodation in Split city for reasonable prices can be hard to find in July and August, and it gets near impossible during Ultra.
Even the worst possible room you can imagine with only a bed and nothing else will likely cost you €80 if you don’t reserve it at least a month in advance. Most visitors coming for this festival don’t have high expectations or demands, but it’s still more enjoyable to have a nice place to rest your feet.
I recommend you try HotelsCombined if you want to find cheapest hotels or private apartments. This website will search hundreds of other booking sites to compare prices and find the best deals.
Alternatively you can use Booking.com and Agoda.com, both of these often have special discounts and it’s worth checking out. HostelWorld is also an excellent choice to find cheap youth-friendly hostels!
Do not arrive to Split for Ultra without a place to sleep! Worst thing you can do is spend half a day walking around the city looking for a room. Use the time for something more productive; go sightseeing, take a swim, or grab a drink. Don’t spend your first day in Croatia frustrated.
Cheap alternative if you don’t mind staying in a tent is to sleep in Ultra’s Beachville camp. Beachville bus shuttles are going back and forth multiple times a day, but unfortunately it is rather far with the ride taking approximately 40 minutes.
Traveling around Split by bus is the cheapest and most convenient way. During Ultra Europe festival there are dozens of additional bus lines going to and from Poljud Stadium throughout the day, and to other places near Split including Kastel, Seget, Stobrec, Solin, Podstrana.
I suggest taking a few minutes to read my Split by bus article to learn how to take advantage of public transport. And if you’re ever in doubt just ask: chances are every second person you see is going to Ultra.
I don’t recommend taking taxi anywhere unless you’re sharing expenses with others, especially in this period, but if you must make sure the driver turns on the meter and gives you a fair price.
On the other hand, booking a taxi transfer from Split airport is convenient and cheap. You can book your airport transfer in advance and have your car waiting for you as soon as you arrive, rather than standing in the sun with your luggage and waiting for your ride.
Food and drinks
Where to eat, what do drink, and how much will it cost? Good thing about Split is that it’s a relatively larger city (in Croatia, at least), so there’s plenty of competition. Assuming you stay away from popular tourist attractions you can find cheap restaurants in Split with excellent food.
Finding or buying drinks is no problem either, as small grocery stores and bars are around every corner. In Croatia you can legally purchase and consume alcohol if you’re older than 18, so bring your ID with you (which you should do anyway, ULTRA festival attendance requires legal age of 18).
Our summer heats can be treacherous especially if you spend your time under the sun, so make sure you are sufficiently hydrated. Consuming large quantities of alcohol will likely be preferable for most visitors, but don’t forget to drink some water too.
If you’re staying directly in sunlight or a few hours on one of Split’s beaches don’t forget to bring sun protection. If swimming unprotected for 3-4 hours you will get sunburn, which can easily suck the fun out of your holiday.
Weather & luggage
Average temperature in Split in July is 25°C (76°F). Daily highs are around 30°C (86°F) and go down to 19°C (66°F). About 5 days of light rain is expected during the whole month, but most of those days are usually in the first week of July.
You can bring an umbrella just in case, but overall you should pack light clothes; t-shirts, skirts and swim suits will likely be worn during your whole holiday. Ideally you’ll only see sunshine, so dress accordingly!
Not a topic you expected, I’m sure. Nevertheless the fact is Split is considered Croatia’s unofficial drug capital, and drug abuse is not uncommon here. As you’d expect this reaches new heights during Ultra Europe.
Using drugs in Croatia is not legal, and if caught (with low amounts) you can expect a €100 – €300 fine. There may be other consequences as well so I’d highly advise against buying or using any illegal substances, but for those who visit electronic music festivals often I’m sure you already know more than I’m prepared to tell you about how to buy drugs in Croatia.
In 2016 (July 15th – 18th) during Ultra Europe there were 296 people taken into custody by the police, 189 of which were foreign citizens. Total fines issued equaled €78,636, which averages to about €265 per person.
In February 2017 Croatian drug abuse prevention agency reported that drug usage in Split increased 20 times during Ultra 2016 compared to other periods. This conclusion is based on testing and analyzing sewage waters.
Our police may be somewhat understanding or forgiving to tourists caught using drugs, but do not expect it. I highly advise keeping these activities within the privacy of your own accommodation and avoid carrying any illegal substances with you. Do not show off or consume it in public — not all cops wear uniforms.
I wrote a bit more about this topic in my Croatia Safety Tips article so please go read it if you intend on buying drugs in Croatia.
Ultra Europe on Hvar island
On July 18th (sixth day) Ultra Europe music festival moves to Hotel Amfora Grand Beach Resort on Hvar Island. Over 5,000 Ultranauts can enjoy the world’s best pool party in this exclusive resort within walking distance of Hvar town.
Amfora is not a cheap hotel to stay in, but if you can afford it you definitely won’t have any regrets. It’s also an excellent way to participate in the magic of Ultra festival without the chaos you’ll undoubtedly experience in Split.
You can view more photos here in case you’re interested in staying in Amfora Hvar Grand Beach Resort hotel. There are also many cheaper hotels nearby so use the link to look for alternatives as well.
Hvar is considered one of the most expensive destinations in Croatia, but if your budget can handle it I’m sure you’ll fall in love with the island. There’s plenty of attractions on Hvar well worth visiting, and Hvar town itself is one of the safest and nicest destinations in the country.
To get to and back from Hvar island you will need to travel via catamaran, so read my guide on how to get to Hvar for more information!
Ultra Europe on Vis island
Vis is a small and remote island, perfect for calm and relaxing holidays in incredibly preserved nature. For almost 50 years this island was a military base and off-limits, so unsurprisingly it’s far less developed with no grand resorts or large towns.
And that’s exactly what makes it an idyllic place for a summer getaway! Vis’ unspoiled nature and tranquil environment is only slightly disturbed during the last day of Ultra Europe, which in 2017 is once again making its way to Fort George (utvrda Sv. Juraj in Croatian).
Tips & tricks for first time visitors
- Never been to my country before? Learn basic facts about Croatia!
- Our currency is Kuna. Some places will accept Euros, but no guarantees. ATMs, banking fees, and more info in our currency tips!
- Need to know how much money you’ll spend? See my travel expenses article and easily determine your costs with my handy calculator!
- If traveling via airplane you should expect large crowds and potential lack of taxis. You can book very cheap airport taxi transfers here and have your car waiting for you as soon as you arrive.
- Free wifi may be available on Ultra venues, but nearly all bars and restaurants have free wifi for customers. More about internet in Croatia!
- Spend some time sightseeing! Take a hike to Split’s Marjan Hill and go explore the Diocletian’s Palace. You don’t want to leave Split without visiting at least some of its iconic attractions.
- There are plenty of beaches near Split so feel free to go for a swim, but don’t forget sun protection.
- If you have more free time consider taking an excursion: here’s our list of 13 day trip ideas from Split worth taking!
Split expects another record-breaking season in 2017, so I hope some of my Ultra Split travel tips and other articles will help you avoid the chaos and confusion during Ultra week!