Split is a stunning Adriatic oasis for travellers of all interests. Home to the world-famous Yacht Week, Split floods every summer with tourists and party-goers flocking to the Dalmatian coast to catch some rays.
Croatia is an idyllic place to spend the summer. If you can’t wait for your next trip, here are the best places to explore in the second largest city in Croatia.
The city exists within the boundaries of UNESCO World Heritage Roman ruins known as Diocletian’s Palace. Originally the home of the 4th-century Roman Emperor Diocletian, the palace walls now act as the outside edge of the city’s historic centre.
The ruins now host cafes, clubs, residences, and other establishments within their walls. Outside of the ruins’ walls, residences made of hodge-podge limestone and marble foundations abound.
The north entrance of the ruins boasts the statue of Grgur Ninski, who was the first bishop to perform church services in the Croatian language instead of Latin. Local legend suggests that rubbing the statue’s toe will bring you good luck.
You can visit the Temple of Jupiter ruins and scale the bell tower in the Cathedral of Saint Domnius for a full 360-degree view of Split from above. Saint Domnius Cathedral originally acted as Diocletian’s mausoleum, which Christians converted to a church in the following centuries. The temple and cathedral are now some of the oldest Christian churches in the world.
Food and Nightlife
Croatia has some excellent traditional food you won’t want to miss. Due to its position on the Adriatic, seafood dishes are prominent features of the Croatian diet, particularly oily fish, mussels, and black risotto.
Other popular local dishes include a beef stew (called “pašticada”) with gnocchi and sauce, as well as a lamb dish with peas.
The Riva Promenade sits on the edge of the Dalmatian peninsula. It offers many shopping opportunities, cafes, and ice cream parlours for people to peruse while they stroll along the walkway. There are benches for dedicated people watchers and those looking to rest their weary feet.
It’s a wonderful way to spend some of the warm summer nights exploring downtown Split. The West Coast Promenade also offers many shops and views of the Dalmatian coast.
Marjan Hill is a large hill next to Diocletian’s palace. The viewpoint from the top, Prva Vidilica, overlooks the Mediterranean and the islands that surround the peninsula. It’s a very steep hike, but if you’re a sucker for a stunning view, it might be worth the climb. You can reward yourself at the top with a coffee at Cafe Bar Vidilica.
Bačvice Beach is the most loved of Split’s beaches because it’s made of sand, not pebbles like the beaches by Marjan Hill. This makes it perfect for several of Split’s beach clubs.
Jadran, Kašuni, or Obojena beaches are great options for exploring if you have sturdy shoes or hardy feet. You can also visit Ciovo Island off the coast of Split to sample their vineyards as well as their olive and almond orchards.
Catch the sunset from the island or the mainland, as both offer a wonderful vantage point to catch the warm hues of the setting Adriatic sun.
The most popular beach bars are Jadran Beach Bar, Mistral Beach Bar at Radisson Blu Hotel, Beach & Booze, Zen Beach Club & Lounge, and Joe’s Beach Bar & Lounge.
Plitvice Lakes National Park is a perfect day trip. About a 2.5-hour drive northwest of Split, Plitvice boasts many breathtaking waterfalls. It’s a photographer’s paradise.
The 16 waterfalls within the park attract millions of visitors annually, and the dense vegetation creates perfect conditions for outdoor exploring. Make sure to read up on some of the legends associated with the national park – the lore spans monks, magical queens, and other mythological beings. We recommend the Medvedak Trail, Čorkova Bay Trail, Plitvice Trail, and Medveđak peaks for hiking in the area.