Easiest Thing I’ve Done in Croatia? COVID-19 Testing Experience at KBC Split

Daniela Rogulj

October 27, 2020 – How dreading getting tested turned into one of the most painless experiences in Croatia yet. My COVID-19 testing experience at KBC Split. 

We’ve all heard horror stories about COVID testing by now. From waiting in non-socially-distanced crowds for hours to despising the tickling sensation up their nose so much they wouldn’t wish it upon their worst enemy – I have heard it all. 

To say I wasn’t exactly eager to get my first COVID test today is a bit of an understatement. And the fact that I needed it to travel abroad when I haven’t left my house in 3 weeks as the cases rose had me even more on edge. However, if I wanted to see my partner for the first time in 7 months in Barcelona on Thursday, I needed that negative test result ASAP. 

With plans to leave on Thursday (so long as the airline Gods are on my side), I called my doctor in Split on Monday morning, who referred me to the testing center at KBC Split (Križine) on Tuesday at 10:45 am, exactly 48 hours before I was to leave Split. My first hurdle – crossed – and easily, at that. 

But then I began to worry when I saw an article in the local media about lines for testing wrapping around the streets of KBC Split on Monday… (yikes). Dalmacija Danas also shared a photo of the line they witnessed today, just before my appointment, which they claimed was even BIGGER than yesterday (you can have a look HERE). 

Why would it be any different for me?

With ripping jugo winds and an 80% chance of rain in the forecast between 10-11 am on Tuesday, conveniently as I was to be waiting in line for testing, I was not looking forward to having a similar experience – and since I was on a strict timeframe, there was no room for error.

Once I mentally prepared for what would likely await me at the testing center, I arrived 15 minutes early, just in case. 

I made my way up the slight incline to the testing center at KBC Split at 10:30, and as the makeshift testing center came into view in the corner of my eye, I witnessed the unimaginable – no one. And no line. 

Because we in Croatia are too familiar with the fact that nothing is ever this easy, I immediately jumped to the conclusion that my doctor duped me, and the testing center was closed. 

But it wasn’t. 


I walked up to the testing window as the only person getting tested at the time was finishing up. Confused, I handed over my health cards to the nurses, who asked if I’ve had any symptoms. After an oral swab and a nasopharyngeal swab in both nostrils, the nurse asked for my doctor’s name and said to call her tomorrow as the results will be done then. And that was it.

The entire process took less than two minutes. 

I left stunned and looked around to see if anyone else was waiting, but the testing area remained empty. I was home 10 minutes later. 

In a country where bureaucracy is dreaded, and confusion is king, this painless process was a pleasant surprise. Of course, everyone’s testing experience is different, but for anyone hoping to skip the line, try going on a Tuesday at 10:30 when the jugo is blowing, and you may get as lucky as I did. 

To read more about coronavirus in Croatia, follow TCN’s dedicated page.



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