If you’re looking for a complete Ultra Europe festival guide with tips, tricks and advice, you’ve came to the right place. Whether you’re deciding to descend onto the town of Split or already have your tickets in hand, our Ultra Europe festival guide will help you plan your trip and make it a party holiday to remember!
Sun, beautiful people, great vibes and mind-blowing EDM awaits you…
When is Ultra Europe?
This year Ultra Europe will take place on TBC July dates in 2020, with the island parties taking place on the days following the main Split 3-day festival.
Why should you go?
If you haven’t been to Ultra before and love electronic dance music, you’re definitely missing out.
Location: Unlike the muddy field festivals of Northern Europe, festivals in Croatia offer guaranteed sun, plenty of activities to do during the day and the ideal surroundings to wind down with a hangover after an active night of partying. Ultra Europe is set in the stunning town of Split, a historic fishing town full of character, with plenty of sites to visit during the day. The festival itself is located in Mladezi Park in the north of Split, a 15-minute walk from the old-town centre. Read more about what’s on offer in Split city centre in the rest of our Ultra Europe festival guide below.
Atmosphere: If you’ve been to any of the Ultra festivals, you’ll know that they attract the best DJ’s in dance music, boasting insane stage displays and beautiful people from around the world who descend on the city to share their love for music. It’s truly something special. View 2020’s Ultra Europe line-up here.
Price: Ibiza, Miami and Vegas are all top party and festival destinations but can be pretty pricey. Croatia is significantly cheaper for everything from accommodation and tickets to food and drink. Chances are, your holiday savings will go a lot further here. A central hostel during the festival costs an average of £40 per night but may be cheaper if you book well in advance. The official campsite works out even cheaper!
Check out the official Ultra Europe 2018 highlight reel to get a feel of Ultra Europe vibes!
How to get to Ultra Europe
Most UK airports fly to Split airport, which is only a 35-minute drive from the festival epicentre. Flights can be more expensive due to the demand during the festival so make sure to book in advance for the best prices as soon as you have your tickets. We recommend arriving the Wednesday or Thursday before the festival for cheaper flight prices and a chance to settle in and explore before Ultra starts.
An alternative to Split airport would be to fly into Zadar, which is a 2 hour 30min drive north-west of Split. We recommend pairing your trip into Zadar with the famous Krka national park, staying in the town of Skradin for the night and getting a local bus to Split for the festival the next morning. This may be a cheaper option – plus you get to see a cool National Park!
Best place to buy Ultra Europe tickets
The 3 main ticket re-sellers in the UK are:
Although you’ll find all of the above websites to have the tickets listed for the same price (plus hefty fees), we’d recommend booking with Festicket due to their excellent customer service and regular discounts. Sign up to their newsletter and keep your eyes peeled. They also have a 5% student discount offering. If you time it right, you’ll be able to catch the Earlybird tickets at the start of the year. They’re the cheapest tickets available but the quantity is limited.
If you’re planning on staying in the Ultra Europe campsite, a Travel 2 Ultra package deal may be cheaper. Again, check their social media and discount code websites for a promo code to save more money.
Where’s the best place to stay for Ultra Europe?
During our years attending Ultra, we’ve stayed at both the campsite and a more central Split town location. Personally, we think that a central apartment is the most affordable option for groups of 2 or more and a hostel is the best option for solo travellers.
Here are all of the Ultra Europe accommodation options available:
Central Split apartment
Staying in a rented apartment in the centre of Split is the most convenient and comfortable place to stay when attending the festival. Most locations are within walking distance of the festival in the north, you have a quiet place to nurse your hangover (or pre-drink) and they can be relatively cheap if you book months in advance.
We recommend using Booking.com, looking at their map search feature and then choosing somewhere within walking distance of the Mladezi Park festival grounds (view on map here). The marina or old-town square area of Split is the best place to stay in our opinion. Many apartments can be reserved without having to pay until closer to your stay and you can cancel them if you find somewhere better.
Compare Split apartment rentals on Booking.com here or use the handy map below to pick a nearby apartment.
Hostels are another cheap option and ideal for single travellers or small groups. It’s likely that the Hostel you choose will be full of young party-goers getting ready for Ultra and it’s a great way to make friends and get into the swing of the Ultra atmosphere. We’d recommend choosing the CroParadise Pink/Green/Blue hostel group. Each building is a short walk from the old town centre of Split and the stadium venue. A top rated, central hostel during the festival costs an average of £40 per night but book quick as spaces sell fast.
Official Beachville Campsite
Unlike the muddy and dirty campsites you see at UK festivals (we know…it’s part of the experience), Beachville is an excellent holiday campsite on a much smaller scale. It offers beach huts (these can be quite expensive) or standard multi-man tents for rental and has a fully functioning restaurant, beach area, a DJ, showers and static toilets. It’s a big step forward from festival campsites which you may be thinking in the UK and it’s a good chance to meet people from all of the world and share your Ultra experience together.
The only downside to the campsite is the long distance from the festival stadium – it can take up to 2 hours in busy traffic to get to Ultra on an evening so we recommend leaving as early as you can during the day to beat the crowds.
The Ultra Europe 2020 Festival Venue – Mladezi Park
Since the launch of Ultra Europe in 2013, it was hosted at Split’s football stadium, Poljud. As the festival has grown, it’s demanded a larger area to host the crowds and 2019 was the first year that Ultra Europe took place in Mladezi Park. In our opinion after visiting both locations, Mladezi Park is definitely larger and easy to get to than the stadium, and that’s where Ultra will be hosted in 2020.
The festival itself is split into two areas. One area hosts the Ultra main stage, which is as electric and dramatic as always, surrounded by bars on either side of the floor area. There’s then another area of the festival grounds that hosts multiple bars, a food-court area, mini UMF Radio Stage and the indoor Resistance Stage that’s lit up with strobe lights and lasers. Explore them all for a different atmosphere in each!
Should I do the Ultra Europe island parties?
Ultra Beach – Hvar
Ultra Beach party takes place on the island of Hvar on the Tuesday after the festival and is hosted at the 5 star Amfora Beach Resort. Starting in the afternoon and finishing at 12am, this massive pool party has a different vibe to the main festival and is worth a visit.
We’d recommend arriving on Hvar the day before to get ready and stay in a nearby apartment. The island is small so as long as you stay in the main port area, the party should be within a short walk or taxi ride. Ferries to Hvar depart from split at least 4 times a day and are very cheap.
On the downside, tickets and drinks at Ultra Beach party can be very expensive (think Vegas/Ibiza) and averaged 10+ euros for a spirit and mixer in previous years.
Ultra Resistance Closing Party – Vis
Picture this. It’s 1am, you have a beer in your hand whilst dancing under the moonlight to your favourite DJ as fireworks light up the sky. Best of all, you’re partying in the historic Fort George, built in 1815.
The Resistance Ultra closing party on the island of Vis is the finale of the festival and it’s very impressive. Many of the Ultranauts drop out by the closing party as the island can be difficult to get to, especially if you were in Hvar the night before for the closing party.
The best way of getting to Vis for the party is to find a group of people willing to share a private speedboat transfer from Hvar. The alternate route being a ferry back to Split and then transfer to Vis, but this long journey can be difficult on a hangover and little sleep. Is the closing party worth visiting? We think so.
How much will it cost? Ultra Europe spending guide
The good thing about Ultra Croatia is the seemingly low cost compared to other European and North American party destinations, however as with any festival, prices are inflated on the festival grounds. Excluding flights and accommodation (which you should book as far in advance as possible for the best prices), here are some sample costs for your trip based on the prices in 2016:
- Beer at Ultra Europe – €6
- Vodka Redbull at Ultra Europe – €6
- Main course meal with a drink in Split – €10 – 15
- Official merchandise – €25-30 baseball hat or €30-40 t-shirt
- Supermarket bought food and drinks – very cheap (choose a chain supermarket over an off-licence) ‘Tommy Mart’ is very good
- Ice cream (essential for a party holiday) – €1.50
- Ferry tickets with Jadrolina ferry company – €8-10 each way between the islands
- Sites and attractions in Split – free to €30
- Small motor-boat rental – €20 for 2 hours
Things to do when you’re not partying
There’s a different party every night but there’s no excuse for not seeing more of what Croatia has to offer. The country is a natural beauty! Browse our list below for ideas on what to do when you’re not partying.
1. Visit Krka National Park
Krka National Park is a stunning nature park located a 1 hour 30 minutes drive from Split. There’s a large picnic area, vast forests, walking trails and numerous water falls to marvel at. There’s even a nice swimming area under a waterfall where you can cool down from the hot Croatian sun. You can book a day-trip to the park from Split, where you’ll be dropped off and picked up at the end of the day. It’s a bit of an early start after a night at Ultra but well worth doing one day! We recommend booking a tour with Viator in advance.
2. Go on a boat tour to the Blue Caves
The cool sea-breeze and snorkelling in crystal blue waters does wonders for a hangover and lack of sleep. Join a speed boat tour such as this one from Viator and jet off on a full day of exploring the marvellous Blue Caves, which are located on a small island just south of Vis island. It takes 2 hours to get there by speedboat. Tours also include the chance to swim or snorkel, relaxation on a beach and some beautiful coastal scenery.
4. Wander around Split’s old town centre
Visiting the historic city of Split and not spending time exploring the picturesque old-town streets should be a crime! The four city walls create a central square in the centre of Split, which is filled with bars, restaurants, apartments and a street market, but also some interesting museums and the iconic Diocletian’s Palace, which was the setting for multiple scenes in Game of Thrones. Order an ice cream and spend an afternoon wandering the old-town streets or people watching in a cafe. We recommend climbing to the top of the Diocletian Palace Tower for some amazing views of Split.
3. Rent a boat and explore the coastline
If you want to rent your own boat and explore the coastline near Split with your friends, you can rent a small motor-boat from the campsite by the hour, without needing a boat licence. Simply walk on down to the marina the day before you plan on heading out to see and reserve a boat at one of the rental kiosks. We recommend asking the price at a few different stands to make sure you’re getting the best price! You’ll then have the freedom to whizz between different beaches along Split’s coastline, stopping off to relax or for a drink. It’s a fun activity with a group of friends or fellow Ultranauts.
5. Relax on Bacvice Beach
Every day after Ultra, party-goers descend to Split very own city beach, Bacvice Beach, to chill-out in the sun and prepare for the next night of the festival. At one end of the beach you have a sand/rocky area to lie on alongside many bars and a few restaurants. There’s then a long promenade that takes you to a more lively area of the beach where Ultranauts are dancing to loud music, cliff jumping and enjoying a cocktail. Walk the full stretch of the beach to take in the atmosphere before finding a nice place to settle down.
6. Rent a bike and explore the south-west coast
One of our favourite activities to do during the day is to rent a bike from a travel agency in the old-town (around €10 for half a day) and cycle along the marina and then on-wards to the beaches to the west of Split. Ježinac Bay (view on map) is a nice place to relax on the beach by a cafe, whilst Kasjuni Beach (view on map) is a much livelier experience. Joe’s Beach Lounge & Bar operates all afternoon, playing Ibiza-style tunes in a party atmosphere by the beach. If you still have the energy after all that, ascend to the top of Marjan Park’s viewpoint (view on map) for the best view of Split in the whole city! It’s a tough climb but worth it. We recommend renting electric bikes to make the journey that much easier.
Ultra Europe festival guide top tips:
- If you’re a solo festival goer or a small group wanting to meet people, stay in a Hostel.
- Collect your Ultra Europe festival wrist band as early as possible on the Friday to save queuing on the evening, where you can be waiting up to 40 minutes! The ticket booths usually open around 3pm but be sure to check on the website beforehand.
- Book your tickets, accommodation and flights as far in advance as possible to get the best deals.
- Plan which artists you want to see in advance of arrival so you don’t miss any of your favourites.
- Pre-drink on the way to the festival to get a good buzz before entry and save money. Then simply top up when you’re in the festival!
- As well as the main stadium stage, there are multiple smaller stages, including the famous Resistance DJ booth. Check them out for a different festival experience
- Festival merchandise and an assortment of food stalls are available on the outskirts of the main-stage once you pass the barriers.
- Uber is available throughout Split and it’s a lot easier and quicker to use than a local taxi. Ask fellow Ultra-goers if they want to join you and split the fare to save money.
- If you’re staying in the official Beachville campsite, head to Ultra on the shuttle buses as early as you possibly can. You’ll miss the long queues of traffic and get to see the stadium as the sun is shining, before descending into darkness.
- Split town is small and you can walk almost anywhere. Avoid getting a taxi and waiting in long queues of traffic. You can walk to the stadium from the marina in 20 minutes.
Sample 7 day itinerary:
|Friday 6th||Arrival||Split Old Town sites||Ultra Europe night 1|
|Saturday 7th||Bacvice Beach||Bacvice Beach||Ultra Europe night 2|
|Sunday 8th||Krka national park tour||Krka national park tour||Ultra Europe night 3|
|Monday 9th||Ferry to Hvar||Hvar island beaches||Hvar night out|
|Tuesday 10th||Pakleni Islands boat tour||Ultra Beach Party Hvar||Ultra Beach Party Hvar|
|Wednesday 11th||Relax||Boat transfer to Vis||Resistance Closing Party Vis|
|Thursday 12th||Vis Blue Cave island tour||Ferry to Split||Split bar crawl|
|Friday 13th||Ferry to Split||Fly home|
Thanks for reading our ultimate Ultra Europe festival guide for 2020! Remember to book as far in advance as you can and do a little planning around your trip. It’ll help you have the best time! If you have any more questions about Ultra Europe, send us a message on social media or contact us here. We’re Ultra veterans and will happily help you plan your festival!