Split is a bustling port city, the second largest in Croatia, with majestic mountain and sea views. Because of its Mediterranean climate, it has hot and moderately dry summers and mild to cold, wet winters. The warm summers make it the ideal destination to visit. Moreover, from 1 January 2023, Croatia became a member of the Schengen states and the euro currency was adopted.
Split is known for its inviting vibe with ancient grandeur.
Here is our top 10 list of things to do in Split:
1. Explore the Diocletian palace on foot, Split’s main attraction
The UNESCO-listed Diocletian’s Palace is a city within a city. The old town was constructed for Emperor Diocletian and built at the turn of the fourth century. Today, it houses cafes, restaurants, bars, shops and hotels. This four-square-kilometre open-air palace has no entrance fee. However, you must pay to access the Diocletian’s Mausoleum and the Temple of Cybele. We listed the various ticket prices in our article “The secret to enjoying a family holiday – Spilt, Croatia”.
The key features of the palace are the Cathedral of St. Dominus, the bustling Peristyle Square, the Vestibule and the Temple of Jupiter. Try to reach the four gates that guard the entrances: Golden, Silver, Iron and Bronze gates. The bronze gate gives you access to the basement of the Diocletian’s old Central Hall, now occupied by many souvenir shops. The peristyle square (locally known as Peristil) is the most beautiful part of the castle. It is also worth walking to Pjaca Square next to the town hall to admire the beautiful architecture.
2. Climb Split’s cathedral to the top of the Bell Tower
You will find the Cathedral of Saint Domnius in the centre of the Diocletian palace complex. The bell tower of Saint Domnius Cathedral (known as Sveti Dujam by locals) is one of the most iconic buildings in Split, offering panoramic views of Split. Climbed the 200 stairs to the top of the bell tower, and you will be rewarded with 360-degree views of the Old Town. It is very doable in about 10 to 15 minutes, even if you take the time to admire the magnificent views. Initially, the steps are very narrow, and you cannot walk up straight; then, it transitions into easy, walkable metal stairs.
The Bell Tower opens at 8 a.m. daily except for Sundays, when it opens at noon.
3. Stroll along Riva promenade
Everything happens on Riva. Riva is a car-free zone on a seafront promenade lined with many restaurants, and new ones are almost opening by the day.
4. Admire the towering statue of Grgur Ninski next to the Golden Gate
Grgur Ninski was the first bishop to use the Croatian language and Glagotic script in church services, going against the pope’s wishes. This 8.5-meter bronze sculpture was created by Ivan Mestrov, one of Croatia’s most significant sculptors, to honour this legendary bishop. It is customary to rub Grgur’s toe for good luck.
5. Stroll Split’s local markets
Spilt’s big open-air Pazar green market sells fresh fruit and vegetables, cheeses, cured meats, olive oils, low-cost clothing, shoes, and even unique souvenirs. The stalls run along Hvojeva Street from the east of the Diocletian Palace to the Silver Gate of the palace. The Pazar Green Market is open daily from 7 a.m. to 2 p.m. You must try one of Croatia’s speciality dishes called ‘soparnik’, a traditional kale-type pie. It is so delicious.
6. Spend a relaxing day on the beach.
7. Watch a soccer match at Hajduk’s stadium.
A soccer match in Split is a spectacle not to be missed. In our previous article, “The secret to enjoying a family holiday, Spilt, Croatia”, we describe this fanatic and fiery soccer team. The tickets are cheap, and whatever you do, don’t shout for the opposing team. On non-match days, you can do a stadium trou and get a sneak peek of the club’s trophy room.
8. Do island hopping in Split
There are many day trips, by boat or ferry, where you can visit as many as five islands in one day. These islands are Hvar, Vis, Bisevo (known for its blue caves), Ravnik, and Budikovac. Our private full-day boat trip took us to Bol, Carpe Diem, and Havar. We paid 110 Euros per person. For more information about island-hopping ferries, click here
To read more about Hvar, click on this link.
Hvar is the most famous of all Croatian Islands. It is popular for its turquoise water, lavender fields, and 2800 hours of sunshine per year.
You can read more about our experiences on these islands in our article “The secret to enjoying a family holiday, Spilt, Croatia”.
9. Hike Marjan hill
Marjan Hill is the most scenic hike in Spilt. We cheated by taking a tuk-tuk ride to the starting point of Marjan Hill. Here, we enjoyed the most amazing views of Old Town, Split from the bar and restaurant called Teraca Vidilica. The restaurant is the starting point of the hike to Marjan Hill, with its pine forests and magnificent views of the Adriatic Sea. If you want more information about the walk to Marjan Hill, Triptins provide a helpful map. Just click on this link.
10. Enjoy a gelato in the Diocletian Palace
There are ice cream parlours around every corner In Split.
Where to enjoy an unforgettable meal in Split Croatia?
The food in Split is highly influenced by its Italian ancestry, and therefore, Dalmatian cuisine features rich culinary traditions with unique Mediterranean flavours in this gastronomic destination. Riva promenade is the best place to enjoy a meal any time of the day, most notably during sunset.
Here are our top 3 restaurants in Split.
1. Fig restaurant
Fig Restaurant on the ramparts of the Diocletian Palace is an excellent choice for its sun-filled courtyard. The restaurant serves healthy, international and contemporary dishes made with fresh ingredients and a touch of creativity. Fig restaurant is open for breakfast, lunch and dinner and offers vegan, vegetarian and gluten-free dishes. To view their menu, click here.
Fig’s address is Dioklecijanova 1, Split 21000, Croatia
2. Zoi Restaurant
Zoi restaurant is located on the Diocletian Palace’s Southern wall (GPS location 43°30’26.5 “N 16°26’22.8” E). The open-air terrace on the restaurant’s top floor is the best place to enjoy 180-degree views over the Adriatic Sea. This elegant Michelin-star restaurant presents Mediterranean cuisine with a modern twist; bookings are essential a few days ahead.
The food and setting transports you back a thousand years. The restaurant caters for vegetarians, pescatarians and meat-eaters. A one-in-a-lifetime 5-course meal is on offer for 85 Euros per person. Zoi serves seafood, Mediterranean, Croatian, Central European, and International dishes. Zoi’s address is Obala Hrvatskog Narodnog Preporoda 23, Split 21000, Croatia.
3. Goohster Beach club
Goohster Beach Club is located on Marina Lav, a world-class Mediterranean harbour and beach in Podstrana, about 10 kilometres from Split. This restaurant offers international and local dishes with a twist and exquisite cocktails to cater to the most discerning guests’ appetites.
Click here for more information about the restaurant. Goohster has a beautiful beach lounge with several options for sunbed rentals. They offer vegetarian-friendly dishes too. Goohter’s address is Grljevacka ulica, 2a Le Meridien Lav, Podstrana 21312 Croatia.
In this article we shared with you our favuorite spots in Split and where to enjoy an unforgettable meal.
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