12 Best Things to do in Split, Croatia

By Anjali Chawla

Please note: This article includes affiliate links to the products we earnestly love and recommend, meaning at no extra cost to you, we might make a teeny-weeny commission if you click on the link and decide to buy something. The money will be used to sustain this little cozy blog we call our virtual home.

The second-largest city in Croatia after Zagreb and the largest city in the Dalmatia region, Split is a gem of a place. The city has an intriguing history dating back to the Roman empire and the beauty of the Adriatic coast. Plus, it serves as a gateway to stunning Croatian islands like Hvar, and Vis and little Croatian towns like Trogir and Sibenik. With so much to do and see in Split, you might get overwhelmed. You must be mulling over what to do in Split. Worry not! Here, I have listed down the best things to do in Split Croatia for you to craft a perfect Split itinerary.

Don’t Miss: A First Timer’s Guide to Visiting Split Croatia

Best Things to do in Split, Croatia

There are quite a number of neighborhoods out of the old city walls stretching north of Split – Varos, Dobri, Lucac, Manus, and many more but they seem to be relatively dull. I recommend you rather stick to the pretty old town center or take a day trip or two to the pretty coastal towns or islands near Split.

Here are the top things to do in Split Croatia:

Admire the Diocletian Palace

This one’s the most sought-after out of all Split attractions.

Roman emperor Diocletian built himself a super-sized palace on the Dalmatian coast as his abode after retirement at the turn of the 4th century.

Split is built into and around the Diocletian settlement.

Diocletian’s complex was a colossal fortified structure that housed the imperial palace and military garrison.

A UNESCO World Heritage Site, Diocletian Palace isn’t exactly a palace but a beating heart of the city. This is where you’ll spend the majority of your time when in Split.

With almost 220 buildings within its walls, the palace complex is home to about 3000 people.

The palace is an irregular structure with many towers on the northern, eastern, and western façades; the emperor’s apartments on the southern façade which was along the seaside receded with time.

Its narrow maze-like streets leading to numerous passageways and courtyards are jam-packed with cafes, restaurants, bars, shops, and apartments.

Diocletian's palace split

The major attractions within the palace include:

The Cellar and Basement Hall

If you enter through the palace’s Brass Gate, you’ll spot souvenir shops lined on both sides of the passage that leads to Peristill.

It’ll look familiar to GOT fans as it’s where dragons are kept. The basement is well-preserved and wonderfully retains the ancient structures.

cellar and the basement in Diocletian's palace
peristil ot peristyle square diocletain's palace

Peristyle or Peristil

The historic central square or open-air pavilion of the Diocletian Palace, Peristyle is flanked by the Split Cathedral and bell tower on the eastern side and the Vestibule of the Emperor’s Quarters on the southern side.

Emperor Diocletian would walk to Prothyrum (balcony) through the Vestibule from his quarters into the Peristil and his subjects would kneel down in front of him.

Walking the courtyard is like walking back in Roman and Egyptian times.

Today, the courtyard brims with hoards of tourists – some posing with men dressed as Gladiators, some appreciating the history, and some enjoying the hospitality of Cafe Luxor.

Vestibule

The Vestibule of the Emperor’s Quarters was the formal entrance to the Diocletian Palace’s Imperial apartments. The vestibule’s impressive rectangular structure from the outside and circular from the inside mesmerizes visitors.

Look up and witness the blue sky through a dome-like opening. Awe-inspiring! There once used to be a beautiful dome that collapsed but how and when no one knows.

This space is used for klapa performances (a traditional form of acapella singing in Dalmatia performed by many singers in a group) as the vestibule has amazing acoustics.

Cardo

Cardo is one of the main streets through Diocletian’s Palace.

cardo main street through Diocletian's palace

Split Cathedral aka St. Domnius Cathedral

Originally, the Mausoleum of the Roman Emperor Diocletian, the Cathedral of Saint Duje was converted into a cathedral in the 7th century and is considered the oldest Catholic cathedral in the world.

bell tower of st. domnius diocletain's palace split
st. domnius cathedral diocletain's palace split

The bell tower of Saint Domnius, an example of original Dalmatian Medieval architecture was added in the 13th century. The bell tower construction lasted for almost 300 years.

It graces the Split skyline. You can climb to the top of the bell tower to relish the 360-degree panoramic views over the entire Split.

Cathedral treasury on the first-floor houses relics of St. Domnius or St. Duje, the patron saint of Split.

The crypt below the cathedral was converted into the Chapel of St Luce.

Opening Hours:

June to September – 8 am to 8 pm
May and October – 7 am to noon and 5 pm to 7 pm
November to February – 7 am to noon
March and April – 8 am to 5 pm

Entrance Tickets:

The ticket to the cathedral includes admission to its baptistery, treasury, and crypt. The bell tower tickets can be purchased individually.

The Cathedral + The Baptistery (Temple of Jupiter) + The Crypt – 25kn

The Cathedral + The Bell Tower – 15kn

The Cathedral + The Baptistery (Temple of Jupiter) + The Crypt + The Treasury + The Bell Tower – 45kn

Four Town Gates – Golden Gate, Silver Gate, Iron Gate, and Bronze Gate

The quadrant of Diocletian’s Palace has four gates, one on each side –

  • Bronze Gate (south gate)
  • Iron Gate (west gate)
  • Golden Gate (north gate)
  • Silver Gate (east gate)

All the gates lead to the historic center of the palace – Peristil.

Gregory of Nin Statue or grgur Ninski
vestibule diocletian's palace

Gregory of Nin Statue (Grgur Ninski)

Just outside the Golden Gate stands the 28 feet tall statue of Gregory of Nin by Ivan Meštrović.

Rubbing the toe of the statue of Gregory of Nin is said to bring good luck.

Let Me Pass Street

Let Me Pass Street or Pusti me da prodjem is one of the narrowest streets in the world.

It’s right next to the Temple of Jupiter.

let me pass street in Diocletian's palace
mini-me passing through let me pass street

There’s no entrance fee into the Diocletian Palace and it is open all the time (24/7). Though some of the individual attractions inside the complex require a ticket like the Cellars, Cathedral of Saint Domnius Treasury, Split Bell Tower, and the temple of Jupiter which can be purchased at the entry to individual sights.

Tip: Take a walking tour of Diocletian Palace to understand its 1,700 years old history in a better way.

Stroll Split Old Town

The old town inside the palace walls now houses shops, bars, cafes, and hotels.

Piazza or Narodni Trg or Pjaca or People’s Square

The medieval quarter of Split constructed during the Venetian rule, Narodni trg is now the main square or rightfully the heart of Split’s public life.

Dominated by the 15th-century Town Hall, the square is circled by busy cafes and restaurants.

Piazza or Narodni Trg or Pjaca or People's Square

Vocni Trg or Fruit Square

Officially known as Trg Braće Radić, Vocni trg was once home to a colorful and lively fruit market. The square is now rimmed with exclusive shops, bars, and cafes.

It also hosts fairs and street performers showcase their talent here.

A number of historical landmarks adorn the square – Octagonal Venetian Tower, Milesi Palace, and a statue of Marko Marulić.

Split Old Town is a sight to behold at night.

vocni trg or fruit square in split croatia

Related Read: The Epic 14 Days in Croatia Itinerary

Take a Walk on the Riva Promenade

Riva waterfront promenade just outside the city walls is a perfect place to take a walk while admiring the Dalmatian Coastline and gawking at the little boats and huge ships at the port.

The ferries to different Croatian islands depart from here. You can sit on one of the white benches or even on the grass and indulge in people-watching when you get tired after the walk or all the sightseeing.

Tip: You can take a refreshing walk (1.4 km) from Riva Promenade to Sustipan Park, Split’s green haven.

riva promenade in split croatia

Have a Cup of Croatian Coffee at One of the Cafes on the Riva

The Riva is a lively public space jammed with cute and charming cafes, restaurants, and vibrant bars. It’s an ideal place to have a cup of Croatian coffee and relax after you finish exploring Diocletian Palace.

If you happen to stay here till late evening, you can see a live musical performance too.

Hike the Marjan Hill to Check Out the Best Views Over Split

Just out of Old Town Split, Marjan, a hill on the peninsula enveloped by dense pine forests offer the best views over the city of Split. Marjan Forest Park offers some amazing hiking trails and lookout points.

Walk the Riva Promenade towards Sperun Ulica all the way to Senjska Ulica. Take the stairs (Marjanske Skale) to the Marjan First Lookout (Prva Marjanska Vidilica) for incredible views of the city and Dalmatian Coast.

It’s where you can witness Split’s best sunset.

There’s also an outdoor cafe, Vidilica here. You can climb a few steps from here into the Old Jewish Cemetery. If you follow the trail down near the Old Jewish Cemetery, you’ll reach Kašjuni Beach.

Or you can continue hiking Marjan Hill from the first lookout to the Church of St. Nicolas which leads to the 360-degree viewing platform.

view from Marjan Hill in Split Croatia

Shop at Pazar – Split’s Green Market

Pazar, an open-air fresh food market just outside the Diocletian Palace at Silver Gate delights its visitors with local fruits, vegetables, meat, and cheese straight from the farm.

It’s open from 6:30 am until late in the evening.

There are many stalls selling colorful flowers and traditional souvenirs.

Make sure to carry your own eco-friendly bags.

pazar green market in split
Pic Credits: Wikimedia Commons

Read More: The Most Beautiful Places to Visit in Croatia

Soak the Sun at Trstenik Beach

We love pebbled beaches and thus chose Trstenik Beach out of all the beaches in Split. Bačvice, Kaštelet, Kašjuni, and Bene are some of the most beautiful beaches in Split.

Managed by Radisson Blu Resort, Trstenik Beach is much quieter and cleaner in comparison to other beaches. The water is unbelievably clear.

Barring a part that is exclusively for people staying in the resort, the rest of the beach is completely open to the public.

Relish the Local Food

A trip to any country or city is incomplete before you taste their authentic local food.

Split or for that matter, all of Croatia is famous for mouthwatering seafood.

Konoba Matejuska, Bokeria Kitchen & Wine Bar, Pikulece, Konoba Nikola, Restoran Kadena, Konoba Hvaranin, and Dvor are some of the best restaurants in Split to try Mediterranean cuisine.

Museum Hopping

Split is not big on museums. It has a few interesting museums like the Split City Museum, Split Archeological Museum, Split Live Museum, Split Ethnographic Museum, Mestrovic Gallery, Croatian Maritime Museum of Split, and Museum of Croatian Archaeological Monument.,

If you’ve to choose only one museum, visit Split Archeological Museum. The oldest museum in Croatia, it’s a delight for history lovers as well as kids to learn more about the history of Dalmatia.

Take a Day Trip to Klis Fortress

Overlooking the town of Split, Klis Fortress lies in the tiny hillside village of Klis dotted with olive groves and vineyards.

The killer birds’ eye views alone are worth a climb to the top of the fortress.

If you are a Game of Thrones (GOT) fan, you must know that the fortress is used as Meereen, the city in the Bay of Dragons ruled by Daenerys Targaryen.

You can reach the fortress in about 20 minutes by car via D8. We absolutely rely on and recommend Discover Cars to rent a car wherever you go.

Bus numbers 22, 35, and 36 take you to Klis Fortress and a return trip can cost somewhere around 20 to 25 Kuna per person.

Opening Hours: 9 am to 4 pm daily

Entrance Fee: 40 Kuna per adult and 20 Kuna per child

klis fortress split croatia

Join a Guided Game of Thrones Tour

GOT fans would love to take one of Game of Thrones Guided Tours in Split, Croatia. Here are the best ones:

Take a Day Trip or Half-Day Trip to Trogir

Just about 30 km away from Split, Trogir is a tiny gorgeous coastal town. Its Old Town lies entirely on an island connected to the mainland by bridges. Flaunting buildings dating back to the 13th and 15th centuries, the Old Town beautifully preserves its rich heritage and culture.

Land Gate, Trogir Cathedral, Cipiko Palace, Kamerlengo Castle and St. Mark’s Tower, the Church of St. Peter, the Clock Tower and City Loggia, the Benedictine Monastery of St. Nicholas, and St. Dominic Monastery are some of the best attractions in Trogir.

A drive (recommended) from Split to Trogir takes anywhere between 25 to 30 minutes. You can also reach Trogir from Split by bus 37 which leaves from Sukoisanska bus station.

Ferries also run from Split to Trogir during the peak season and take around an hour to reach. The ticket prices for foot passengers start from 20kn.

day trips from split to trogir croatia

Recommended Reading:

Renting a Car in Europe
Schengen Visa for Europe
How to Plan a Trip to Europe
10 Days in Europe: Amazing Itinerary Ideas
The Epic 14 Days in Croatia Itinerary
7 Best Places to Visit in Croatia
The Island of Vis in Croatia
Blue Cave in Croatia
Coolest Things to do in Dubrovnik, Croatia
One Day in Dubrovnik Itinerary
The First Timer’s Guide to Visiting Split, Croatia
Plitvice Lakes National Park, Croatia
Things to do in Zagreb, Croatia
A First Timer’s Guide to Visiting Zagreb, Croatia
Where to Stay in Zagreb, Croatia
One Day in Zagreb Itinerary
Best Things to do in Zadar

Save the Best Things to do in Split Croatia to Pinterest

best things to do in split croatia

Sharing is nice 🙂 If you have liked our post please share it with your friends and family and feel free to subscribe to our mailing list or you can also follow our stories on Facebook, InstagramPinterest, and Twitter.

Photo of author

Anjali Chawla

A story-weaver and a travel blogger based in Delhi, Anjali left her corporate job to see what having life exactly feels like and never looked back. Her 14-year-old daughter is her best travel buddy. She aspires to travel to all the seven continents with her family. Antarctica remains her dream destination. Books, mountains, colorful doors and windows, blue skies, sunsets, open roads, cobbled streets, undiscovered places, and beautiful minds inspire her. Join her as she unclothes the beauty around the world, one place at a time.

Leave a Comment