By Rachael Funk
The second largest city in Croatia and the largest city in the Dalmatia region, Split is a deceptively expansive town with an ancient city center. Featuring Roman walls, squares, and temples, Split is lauded for its excellent climate and medieval buildings. A great choice for a European beach getaway, Split is densely packed with history to investigate, gastronomy to dive into, and plenty of sun.
What to know
You will find most of Split’s tourist attractions within the borders of the old town, behind the seafront Riva. Though the area can be crossed on foot in about ten minutes, there is no shortage of things to see and do. The old town is surrounded by suburbs which some visitors may enjoy strolling by. The peninsula to the west of the city is where you should go for dramatic views of the surrounding islands and the sea, but if you’re looking for the best of Split’s beaches, head north. Locals agree the most worthwhile beaches in the area can be found on the northern area of Marjan or east of the ferry dock at the Bacvice.
When to Go
Much like the rest of Croatia, the height of Split’s tourist season lands in July when the temperature and tourist levels are the highest of the year. If you prefer a quieter holiday without as many crowds, you can visit between April and June, as the weather starts to warm. The months of August through October usually remain warm enough to be still able to swim in the sea and explore the city without the crush of other visitors.
How to Get Around
A significant portion of the town center is pedestrian-only, so be ready to do a lot of walking. To travel around the rest of Split by car, you can hire a taxi or rent a car. If you rent a car, be advised there is no parking at all in Diocletian’s Palace or in the old town; all available parking is located outside of the city’s walls. The city’s public transit is limited to buses, which run between 5 am and midnight every day, with the exception of Sundays when there is no bus service whatsoever.
Where to Eat
Split has a long list of specialties to sample while you’re visiting. Starting the day with a piping hot cup of coffee and devouring all the fresh seafood you can handle are obvious choices, but the city is filled with tons of other option to entertain your palate. See if you can find the best strukli, which is a filled pastry, or be adventurous and give the lavender ice cream a try! Here are a few other places where you’ll find good eats!
- Fife Trumbićeva obala 11, 21000, Split, Croatia +385 21 345 223
- Konoba Hvaranin Ul. ban Mladenova 9, 21000, Split, Croatia +385 99 667 5891
- Maslina Teutina ul. 1A, 21000, Split, Croatia +385 21 314 988
- Konoba Kod JozeSredmanuška ul. 4, 21000, Split, Croatia +385 21 347 397
- Kantun Paulina Matošića ul. 1, 21000, Split, Croatia +385 21 395 973
- Bokeria Kitchen & Wine Bar Domaldova ul. 8, 21000, Split, Croatia +385 21 355 577
What to See
Diocletian’s Palace was built in the 4th century and remains one of the city’s top attractions. Divided into four sections with two main roads, this expansive monument of Roman architecture provides plenty to marvel at. Game of Thrones fans may recognize this site as a filming location used on the show.
A must-do in the city is to explore the Old Town. Walk the medieval streets and see the sights of centuries prior. Steeped in history and exploding with top-notch restaurants, cozy cafes, and plenty of shopping, this part of the city has loads to discover.
A hill on the peninsula, this area is known as the Lungs of the City. Covered in pine trees and a great hiking spot, the vantage point from the top can’t be beaten! From the top, you can see the sea surrounding you on three sides, and the city and mountains behind. Snap a photo for Instagram or simply enjoy a coffee from the café.
Tips and Tricks
If you’d like to save some money, travel to Split in May or September, when the prices are at their lowest.
Stop by Kuća Sladoleda for the best ice cream in the city.
See if you can make some friends at the beach and start a game of picigin, a sport invented in Split!
Krka National Park
Nestled next to the Krka River in southern Croatia, this area is famous for its seven waterfalls. Offering nature trails, traditional watermills, and the Krka Monastery, this is the ideal place to spend a peaceful day.
Off the coast of Split on the island of Brac, Bol is a great town to spend a sunny day exploring. While the entire island is worth a trip, Bol is a picturesque town made of small stone houses and quaint streets. The main draw of the area is Zlatni Rat, a pebbled beach that is a great place to swim, surf, and work on your tan.
If you are looking for a town saturated in history that dates back to the 15th and 16th centuries, this is the place to be. Comprised of seven small harbor villages, Kastela has tons of landmarks and points of interest to check out, including Kastilac Fort, Castle Cambi, St. Michael Church, and more. Don’t forget to stop by a winery or two to sample what’s happening in the local cellars.