WHAT ARE THE BEST THINGS TO DO AND SEE IN SPLIT?
Welcome to Croatia! On this page, you can discover in pictures the main experiences not to be missed in the city of Split, its must-see tourist sites (monuments, beaches…) and the activities not to be missed.
Thanks to its location and proximity and connections to a number of islands and coastal cities, Split is a good base if you are considering visiting several places in Croatia. The city is not very big and everything is done on foot but there are many small streets to explore.
This selection may be useful for you to plan a travel itinerary if you are going to visit Split for the first time by giving you a taste of the best things to do and places of interest to visit.
The list is not in any specific order. Hopefully this selection will be useful to you, feel free to leave a comment if you think there are things to add.
- Remember to book your hotel in Split on Booking.com
Here are 13 things to do and see on a trip to Split, Croatia:
1. The Peristyle
The most easily recognizable part of the Diocletian Palace, this square, 35 metres long and 13 metres wide, once formed the heart of the palace. The Cathedral of St. Domnius is on the left of the photo, and if you continue at the bottom you can either access the underground by going down the stairs or to the vestibule.
2. The Cathedral of St. Domnius
Located just to the left when facing the Peristyle, this cathedral and its 60-metre high bell tower were built between the 12th and 16th centuries on the former mausoleum of Diocletian. You can access the summit (access is charged) but be careful with your ears when the bell rings every hour.
3. The vestibule
A large dome-shaped room located just after the peristyle, which was the entrance to the residential part of the palace. You can listen to traditional Croatian singers who enjoy the special acoustics of the place.
4. The underground passages of the Diocletian Palace
The former underground rooms of the Diocletian Palace also served as a repository and then as a discharge for the inhabitants, which made it possible to preserve them as they were when they were cleared in 1956. Today, the central room between the peristyle and the Riva houses souvenir stalls and exhibitions.
5. Walking on the Riva
A landscaped promenade that runs alongside the Diocletian Palace. There are many cafés and restaurants, and in the evening you can admire the sunset and see luxury yachts.
6. Marjan Hill
Marjan Hill (178 meters). There are walking paths in a pine forest and an old chapel. The climb up the 300 steps is quite difficult, especially in the heat, but you are quickly rewarded with superb views of Split and the surrounding islands.
7. Klis fortress
Located a few kilometres from Split, this medieval fortress was used as a backdrop for the Games of Throne series. Even if you don’t like Games of Thrones, the place is worth a look and you can admire a superb panorama. To get there by yourself rather than with an organised tour, you can take a bus from the Split bus station (see timetables & info) which takes about 20 minutes and stops at the foot of the fortress. Then you have to walk to get to the top.
8. Shopping at the Mall of Split
The ideal place if you have time to waste in Split and are looking to escape the stifling heat. Shuttles to get there leave from the Riva and make the round trip (free).
9. Go to the beach
There are several beaches located near Split. You can see the Croats playing Picigin, a funny sport that is played with a small ball. The beach of Bačvice is very popular and there are many restaurants and cafes, otherwise you have to go a little further to Kašjuni or Bene beach.
10. Take an excursion to the Blue Cave
The blue cave, located on the island of Biševo, is the main attraction of the’5 island tour’ style excursions found along the Split walk. Prices are around €100 per day and include a visit to the surrounding islands such as Hvar or Stiniva Bay on the island of Vis (pictured here). The journey is made in speedboat.
11. Marmontova Street
Located in the historic part of Split, a few steps from the walls of the Palace, this large pedestrian street offers many international shops (Bershka, Zara…) but also some art galleries and a cinema. For the record, it bears the name of a Frenchman, General Auguste Marmont.
12. The Republic Square
Certainly the most beautiful square in Split with its architecture reminiscent of Venice, surrounded by buildings in the neo-Renaissance style. The square is nicknamed “Prokurative”. In summer you can often see concerts or cultural events.
13. Ivan Meštrović Gallery
A very beautiful villa that was once the residence built by Ivan Meštrović, considered one of the best sculptors of the 20th century, and where you can admire part of his collection of statues and sculptures. The entrance also gives access to the Kaštelet.
More things to do in Split:
- Kayaking: many agencies offer kayaking trips usually to Hvar or around Marjan Hill either in the morning or late afternoon to see the sunset, with the possibility of snorkeling, swimming or jumping off cliffs.
- Visit the museums: in particular, the archaeological museum which houses a collection of objects from the nearby site of Solin (Salona).
- Canyoning or rafting on the Cetina River.
- Go to Split market.
Some day trips from Split:
- Krka National Park
- Visit the Roman ruins of Solin (or Salona): located about 5km from Split. Take bus no. 1 from Split (about 15 minutes drive).
- Visit Hvar: you can go by boat from Split in the morning and with a return at midday.
- The island of Solta (one hour by ferry): not very touristic but at least it’s quiet, and you can go around by bike.
- The island of Brač: visit the city of Supetar (the largest city on Brac). If you have a drone you can take a great picture of Zlatni Rat beach, located in the south of the island.
- Trogir: a beautiful city located 40 minutes from Split and on UNESCO’s World Heritage List.
- Paragliding in Omis.
- If you have a car, visit the cities of Kastela and Makarska.