Top things to do in Split Croatia
Split has many attractions and fun things all within comfortable walking distance. We have rounded up the top ten things to do and see in Split.
1. Diocletian's Palace
A visit to Split is not really a visit without meandering through the narrow lanes of the 1700-year-old palace. The fortified palace has a heap of sightseeing attractions and to see the entire palace at one glance, climb up the 57-meter tall Romanesque bell-tower of the Cathedral of St. Duje.
At the top of the 13th century belfry, you can enjoy 360-degree views of Split. Once you get down, you will be back on Peristil, an imperial square, framed by a colonnade on two sides where sitting on the ancient steps and watching local life pass by is simply priceless.
Grab a spot in the morning when a local klapa a’capella band sings in the Vestibul circular foyer nearby.
Explore the Imperial Fortress
In the heart of modern city of Split stands a 1700 year old Palace. We take you through all it’s major attractions and not to miss sights revealing interesting history behind them.
Top Attractions of Diocletian's Palace
Cathedral of St Domnius
Cathedral of St. Domnius is the second oldest structure in the world which is in function as the Christian cathedral, and is regarded as the the oldest Catholic cathedral which remains in use in its original structure, in the entire world.
Relax on the Emperor Square
When you step on the polished stones of the Peristyle, it’s easy to imagine how Diocletian entered with his imperial garments and walked among the cheering crowd.
Under the Sky
In the Roman world, the emperor had a divine origin. In fact, he was the son of Jupiter, the king of the gods. The role of the vestibule was to reinstate this.
Discover Imperial Mausoleum
Diocletian’s mausoleum is part of the emperor’s palatial complex in the heart of Split, Croatia. The building, which was constructed at the run of the 4th century AD, is still in use today.
Enter the Underworld
They are situated right under the emperor’s quarters and are basically designed as their mirror image. The mirrored floor-plan is not an aesthetic solution, but a practical one as the cellar’s walls, columns and archers support the structure above.
Ancient Temple of Split
Historians have dated the building of the Temple of Jupiter between 295 and 305 AD. It was built as part of the imperial palace’s complex right across the mausoleum – the final resting place of Diocletian.
Touch the finger for good luck!
The statue was initially erected in the Peristyle of Diocletian’s Palace, a place truly worthy of such an important figure in Croatian history.
Beauty of Croatian Culture & History
It is considered to be one of the most beautiful not only in the city, but in the entire region because of the splendid Baroque architecture of the buildings that surround it.
2. Marjan Forest Park
To the west of Split is a peninsula forest park the size of New York Central Park called Marjan. Marjan has a myriad of walking and bike trails that guide you past quaint chapels before reaching the Telegrin peak at 178m.
At the bottom of the hill is a collection of pine-shaded beaches such as Bene. You can also rent a bike for the day at the western entrance and take the grand tour to Vidilica café by the Jewish cemetery, overlooking Split from above.
Bene is also the location of couple of tennis courts, a soccer course with artificial grass and a small outdoor gym accessible to anyone which makes Bene a favorite stop for numerous sport enthusiasts.
Lungs of the City
Marjan is a favorite place for families to go on a hike, sportsmen to go on a run through numerous wooden paths leading up and down the hill and for elders who enjoy long walks by the sea shaded under the lush pine forest.
3. Explore the Nearby Islands
With so many islands dotting the coastline, why not escape the urban jungle and discover the color spectrum of the crystal clear Adriatic? All in a day’s work, take the Blue Cave & Hvar Tour to explore a bright blue cave on Biševo Island, Green Cave on Vis, swim surrounded by towering cliffs in Stiniva Cove and observe the sandy seabed by Budikovac Island. Before returning to Split, soak up the last rays in Palmižana Bay and take a stroll amongst eight centuries of architecture in charming Hvar Town.
Split islands are also a perfect destinations for swimming and snorkeling enthusiasts. This is mainly due to their pristine sea, numerous secluded beaches and healthy sea cultures.
Tranquility of the islands
Croatia has more than 1000 islands dotting its long coastline and there is a collection of islands near Split that are the most pristine on the Dalmatian coast.
The most popular Split's islands
The Largest of Split’s Islands
Brac has gorgeous beaches, charming old towns and diverse historic sites. If you prefer a more relaxed setting rather than the glitz which the nearby Hvar Island is known for, then Brac could be just ideal for you.
The most popular Vacation Destination
Often referred to as the jewel in the crown of the Dalmatian Coast and compared to the iconic Cote d’Azur, Hvar Island is quickly becoming one of the top holiday destinations in Europe.
Most distant of Split’s Islands
If you want to enjoy the sound of waves crashing and the tranquility of lush green forests without being surrounded by a big crowd of tourists, then Vis Island may be the ideal place to visit off the Dalmatian Coast.
16 Islands in a Chain
Away from the city, the most beautiful group of islands in the area is not far with speedboats. Discover forest-covered islands immersed in crystal clear water.
Most popular island destinations and attractions
Inside the National Wonder
One of the most unique natural phenomena in the world, the Blue Cave on island Bisevo will be a highlight of your holiday. With its silvery-blue color, created by light refraction of sunlight entering through a crack in the stone, it leaves nobody indifferent.
Swimming and Snorkeling Paradise
Since the Adriatic sea around the Croatian islands is always crystal clear the shallow water inside the lagoon is immaculately clear so you can easily see all the way to the bottom of the sea.
Most Unique Croatian Beach
With it’s cape shifting sides with the change of wind and sea currents, Zlatni Rat beach in town Bol on island Brac is a world phenomenon. The beach is also ideal for families with children as well as the adrenaline junkies for the variety of water sports offered on the beach.
Gem of Croatian Tourism
Hvar town has a long and distinguished history as a center for trade and culture on the Adriatic.As one of the earliest tourist boards in Europe, it was founded in 1868 with the purpose of providing good care for visitors.
4. Eat Local, Drink Local, Party Local
After all the physical activities that come with experiencing Split, it’s time to indulge in the best of local flavour. Sip on the best Croatian wines in one of town’s wine bars; Zinfandel, Paradox, Diocletian’s Wine House, to name a few. For food, we have rounded up a few must-try eateries tucked into town. On a shoestring budget but want local flavour, try Villa Spiza (Kružićeva 5), run by two sisters who whip up a new menu daily. Pikulece on Dominosova is a tiny tapas joint where a local celebrity chef has crafted a selection of creative bites inspired with local flavour. At the fine-dining end of the spectrum is Restoran Paradigma (Ulica Bana Jelačića 3) who has fabricated Mediterranean cuisine with contemporary flair.
Overdosing on Caffeine – a Truly Local Activity
Meeting friends for coffee is a favorite pastime on the Dalmatian coast and the highlight is a meet-up on Riva, set against the palace’s southern wall. Here, locals get dressed up in high fashion to be seen and stride the length of the seafront promenade before choosing their café of choice, usually Fro, the elite mingling spot. When it starts to get too warm, socializing shifts to the shaded backstreets in cafés like Crème de la Crème (Iličev prolaz 1) for killer coffee and cake, shabby-chic Galerija (Dominisova 9) or nearby Teak (Majstora Jurja 11).
Selection of Bars in Split
The narrow streets of Diocletian’s Palace, the historic core, and suburbs are packed with cafes that convert into bars come nightfall. Find out where the nighlife starts, discover the secret watering holes, or quiet hangouts.
Go out Clubbing!
Start your evening in the crammed café bars within Diocletian’s Palace and Split’s historic core before they close at 1am. When the clock strikes, the party starts in the suburban clubs where you can make noise till sunrise.
5. Visit Authentic Markets for Fresh Produce
The Green Market
Unlike many farmers’ markets in tourist destinations, Pazar caters to locals. Located outside the eastern wall of Diocletian’s Palace, fruit and vegetables, and clothing stalls thrive from sunrise. Pazar secrets; there is a lady outside the butcher shop that sells the most delicious soparnik in the morning, a traditional flat-bread filled with spinach and garlic, and somewhere in the bustling market, a stall sells home-made bread made in a wood-fired oven.
The No-Fly Fish Market
Amidst the glitzy designer stores of Split’s main shopping street, lies the main fish market, known locally as Peškarija and referred to as the ”belly button of Marmontova Street.” Come early to catch the action as fishermen shout out their daily offer, a lady fillets the freshest catch, and customers bargain. Fun fact; there are no flies in sight due to the smell from a nearby sulphur spring.
6. Experience Tranquility of National Parks
Split is a popular starting destination for visiting number of Croatian National Parks. National Parks are protected areas by law and are commonly determined by extreme natural beauties, endemic species and diverse plant and wildlife.
Most popular national parks visited from Split are Krka and Plitvice National Parks. Krka, the closer one, attracts visitors with its amazing landscape, opportunity to swim by the waterfalls and it unique educational ethno village.
Plitvice, on the other hand, is the unique natural area characterized by 16 interconnecting lakes, numerous waterfalls and most beautiful nature trails. It is also a home of the highest Croatian waterfall which is one of the most famous landmarks of the park.
Swim by the Waterfalls
One of the most remarkable natural landmarks in Croatia is Skradinski buk, a waterfall system with travertine formations spreading over 800 meters in length. It is the top attraction of Krka National Park.
Roar of the Highest Waterfall
The lakes are beautiful at every time of the year, but during the spring, summer and early autumn, the vegetation makes the place spectacular. Many people prefer to visit the park on a hot summer’s day to enjoy the cool breeze created by the splashing water.
7. Split is a Beach City, take advantage!
There are a number of iconic beaches in Split city and in it’s near vicinity. Bacvice, the most popular beach, is located only 10 minute walk from Split center. Marjan hill is also a location of most beautiful pebble beaches in Split.
Play Picigin on Bačvice Beach
Picigin is Split’s pride and joy. It is a ’sport’ invented by them where two or more speedo-equipped players toss a small ball around in knee-high water. It involves very intricate flips and jumps to save the ball from falling into the sea. The birthplace of Picigin is Bačvice, Split’s sandy beach located a 10-minite walk from Riva. Give it a try between tanning and drinks in the Žbirac cafe.
Relax on a Beach
Take advantage of our insiders guide revealing the best beaches in Split. You are sure to find the beach which best suites you. All you have to do is sit back and enjoy in the summers day.
More Things to do in Split
Take a stroll west bound from Riva, passing the West Coast (Zapadna Obala) promenade to reach the Sustipan peninsula near ACI Marina. This clifftop park was once a cemetery and houses a medieval Benedictine monastery. Sustipan (meaning under the pines) is a great escape from the buzz to sit on a bench and gaze over the Adriatic, but also a favourite spot for adrenaline junkies who dive from the cliffs into the sea.
9. Meštrovic Gallery
Continue another 10 minutes west to reach Meštrovic Gallery (Šetalište Ivana Meštrovića 46). Considered one of the greatest sculptors of the 20th century, Ivan Meštrović’s (1983-1963) masterpieces are exhibited in his former summer residence below Marjan hill. The marvellous gallery showcases some 190 sculptures, 290 architectural plans, furniture sets and countless paintings.
What Can You do in a Day?
Many times you end up spending only one day in Split. It doesn’t need to be uneventful, though. Discover what you can do in Split in a single day!
Discover Split islands in a day
With a playground of pristine islands as a backyard, a visit to coastal Croatia cannot be complete without a game of island hopping.
Reveal Hidden Split
We want to tell you about some of the places that quietly stay clear from the limelight and away from the tourist board headlines. They are the places that ooze with urban charm and places where the people are the attraction.