Split is the capital and second-largest city in Croatia and the largest city on the Adriatic coast.
The most populous city on the Adriatic Coast, Split has historically been under Venetian, Roman, Italian, Austrian, Yugoslav, and French rule, and its varied culture reflects it! A UNESCO World Heritage Site and home to great historical sites like Diocletian’s Palace, the Grgur Ninski Statue, and the Cathedral of Saint Domnius. Enjoy the Riva Harbor, shop the Green Market, and try local foods and wines. Outside the city, tourists can enjoy sandy beaches, local wineries, the Blue Cave, and Plitvice Lakes National Park.
Split is lively and far-reaching and endures as one of the most vibrant port towns in the Adriatic, with stunning mountain and sea views. As the cultural and economic heart of the Dalmatian coast, Split is home to islanders who travel alongside tourists on ferries on their way to work. Diocletian’s Palace, a World Heritage Site, is the foremost attraction, but there are many things to do, including day trips, culinary delights, and fashionable nightlife.
The Romans initially placed Split on the map when Emperor Diocletian constructed his retirement castle in the 4th century. Diocletian’s Palace today is a walled city and is the center of Split’s political and cultural vibe, no matter who has laid claim to it in the past. You can find many popular shops, bars, and high-end boutiques along this 4th century Roman residence.
Just outside the Palace’s walls is Split’s seaside boardwalk, Riva, a popular people-watching spot. The tight streets climb up Marjan hill to enjoy its incredible views over the city.
If you do one thing when you visit Split, you should visit Diocletian’s Palace.
Enter through the cellar and climb the extensive steps to the center of the Palace, Peristil, to view Diocletian’s mausoleum or the grand St Domnius Cathedral. When you climb the bell tower, you get to appreciate the true scope and size of the Palace. Over the centuries, Split has grown and evolved around Diocletian’s Palace.
Important sites inside Diocletian’s Palace include the center of the Palace (Peristyle). the Cardo, and the cellar. If you have watched Game of Thrones, the cellar is where Daenerys was filmed keeping her dragons while in Meereen.
It is located within Diocletian’s Palace and is the earliest Catholic cathedral in the world, completed in the 7th century AD. For the most select view of the city, climb the Bell Tower.
Veli Varos is the simple “peasant’s quarters” near Diocletian’s Palace. Completed in the 17th century, the area contains many classic stone buildings and churches along the narrow streets. This is a pretty enjoyable neighborhood to enjoy a peaceful stroll away from the crowds and maybe slip into a little outdoor cafe or local bar.
Take a walk along Split’s harbor among vibrant buildings, palm trees, and views of the Adriatic Sea.
Just west of Old Town lies the Marjan Peninsula and several trails that snake their way throughout the peninsula. For an incredible view of the city, take a pleasant stroll up Marjan Hill.
Can’t Miss: Exploring the tiny alleyways of Diocletian’s Palace is one of the best parts about visiting Split. The entire complex is a UNESCO World Heritage site and one of the best preserved Roman structures in the world, so it definitely has to be seen for yourself to truly appreciate it. Wander through the hallways and various levels that provide an up-close view of the palace.
Insider Tip: Make your way up to Marjan Hill for some fantastic views of the city. The lookout point offers beautiful views of Split and the promenade, especially at sunset. Make sure to snap a few pictures while you’re there – the colorful buildings and sparkling water make for amazing views that need to be captured.
Restaurants: You can visit Luka Ice Cream & Cakes for the best cakes in town. The ice cream is sumptuous and definitely worth a try! Stop by Fig Cafe for a twist on Mexican fare, the owner is from California who visited Croatia years ago and fell in love with the country, thus bringing his own style of Mexican food to Croatia.