Split, the largest city of the region of Dalmatia in Croatia, is one of Eastern Europe’s most picturesque destinations to visit. This gem of a city, surrounded by three mountains and the world’s most beautiful sea, is attracting an ever-increasing tourist attention. Boasting medieval ruins, stunning architecture, art spaces, breathtaking scenery, and a thriving food and entertainment scene, it’s no wonder this alluring port city has everything going for it.
If you are planning a tour through Croatia, Split is a must-visit. Here are the best things to do in the historic city.
1. Explore Diocletian’s Palace
Croatia is home to a good number of Europe’s historical sights and Diocletian’s Palace, the most awe-inspiring of them all, is located in Split. The massive palace, constructed at the turn of the 4th century AD, resembles a fortress and is about half of Split’s Old Town. Built by the Roman Emperor Diocletian as his retirement residence, it is considered one of the world’s well-preserved remnants of a Roman palace and is listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
2. Spend a day at Split’s spectacular beaches
Croatia is blessed with gorgeous beaches and Split is not exception. Just a short distance from the heart of the city is Bacvice, a sandy beach frequented by locals and tourists alike. It’s proximity to the Old Town makes it very popular. People go there to swim and play a traditional ball game called picigin.
Aside from Bacvice, Split also has a string of quieter beaches such as Kasjuni and Bene Beach. These beaches make for a relaxing, semi-secluded beach getaway amidst a backdrop of towering pine trees.
3. Have fun on the Riva
Riva, Split’s bustling waterfront promenade, is arguably the most exciting part of the city and the best place to sample the local culture. A fusion of the old and the new, Riva artfully blends elements of Split’s heritage architecture with modern amenities. A wide range of dining options line the promenade so it is a favourite haunt for those wanting to relax, alone or in the company of friends.
At night, the Riva transforms into a floodlit wonderland, teeming with entertainment events and venues for an unforgettable night spent partying or chilling out with friends.
4. Embark on an island-hopping adventure
Split is the best starting point for exploring the grandeur of Croatia’s Dalmatian Coast. So be sure to allocate one full day for a memorable island-hopping adventure to some of the most beautiful islands in the Adriatic Sea – Brac, Hvar, Vis, and Korcula.
5. Marvel at the scenic views from Marjan Hills
Marjan Hill is a 178-metre forested hill in the centre of Split’s Marjan Peninsula. Surrounded by the city and the sea, it is the best spot for enjoying the splendid views of the city and nearby towns, villages, as well as the Mosor and Kozjak mountains, especially at sunset. Marjan provides for the best photo opportunities so don’t leave Split without capturing the breathtaking scenery in a panoramic photo.
6. Experience outdoor adventures
Split is the perfect destination for those looking to experience adrenaline-pumping activities. From conquering canyons to shooting the rapids, off-road driving, and mountain biking, Split offers many great ways to discover Croatia’s changing landscapes.
7. Admire Croatian art
Split also has something for art-lovers. Ivan Mestrovic, Croatia’s greatest sculptor, lived in Split for quite a number of years. Visit the Ivan Mestrovic Gallery and Kastelet-Crikvine, art spaces dedicated to the most significant works of the 20th century sculptor. Some of his other works can be found around the Diocletian Palace.
8. Indulge in excellent food and wine
While not exactly considered a world-famous food city, Split features food and wine offerings that won’t disappoint. The historic city has no shortage of cafés, eateries, and restaurants serving scrumptious traditional Dalmatian cuisine complemented by a glass or two of the best Croatian wines.
9. Discover Game of Thrones filming locations
Whether or not you’re a hardcore fan, visiting Game of Thrones filming locations is an exciting activity. Head to the city of Dubrovnik, a World Heritage-listed site with an uncanny resemblance with King’s Landing. Some of the scenes where also shot in Tresteno Arboretum, Klis Fortress, and Diocletian’s Cellars, as well as several locations around Split.
10. Climb the Cathedral of Saint Dominus
At the core of the Diocletian Palace is the Cathedral of St. Dominus, once the location of Emperor Diocletian’s mausoleum. Climb all the way to the top of the belltower to marvel at unhampered sweeping views of the palace complex and the city, stretching towards the sea. Both the cathedral and the tower were built after Diocletian’s death. The cathedral was built in honor of the Virgin Mary while the tower was dedicated to the Roman Emperor Diocletian.
Ready to spend a holiday in Split, Croatia? Experience epic adventures with these tours and activities!