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Diocletian's Palace
Diocletian's Palace

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Best of Central Split

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Split is busy and big (it's Croatia's second largest city) but it remains one of the Adriatic's most vibrant port cities stunningly located between mountains and sea. As the economic and cultural center of the Dalmatian coast Split is bustling with islanders who flock into the city to work even as ferries whisk tourists out to the islands.

  • Bene Beach
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It was the Romans who put Split on the map with the building of Diocletian's Palace, the sprawling 4th century residence that now encloses a welter of Roman ruins within its walls. It's fascinating to wander the cobblestoned streets within the palace where fashionable boutiques and trendy clubs alternate with crumbling pillars and medieval churches. Stroll the harbourside promenade or people-watch from one of its cafes. Climb up woodsy Marjan hill for great views over the city or plunge into the sparkling waters from one of Split's beaches. There are so many sights to see and so many day trips from Split; the nightlife and restaurants offer such quality and variety it's impossible to be bored.

[Only one day in Split? Click here]

About Split

Few were the empires that did not put their mark on Split. First came the Greeks although little remains of their tiny settlement. The Romans were much more proactive, expanding the settlement until Emperor Diocletian built his retirement palace here in the third century. Diocletian's Palace is more like a walled town and it has endured as the center of Split's cultural and political life even as the Byzantines, Croatian kings, Venetians, Austrians and Italians planted their flag on the great city. See more on Split history.

Culture

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Relaxed and informal, Split residents are less interested in high culture than they are in sports and the outdoors. The local football team, HNK Hajduk Split, inspires almost fanatical devotion throughout Dalmatia and has produced a number of world-class players. Try to see a match against their arch-rival Dinamo Zagreb in the Poljud stadium to comprehend the essence of Split. Tennis is another popular sport; former Wimbledon champin Goran Ivanisevic and top player Mario Ancic both hail from Split. Locals love to play picigin in the waters of Bacvice beach. All you need is a bunch of guys and a peeled tennis ball!

What to See

Tour Split

Diocletian's Palace and the medieval quarter to the west contain most of Split's museums and galleries. Diocletian's Palace is not only a historical discovery but it also contains Split's most interesting shops, bars, restaurants and cafes. Enter through the basement halls on the on the seaside and mount the massive steps to the heart of the Palace where you'll be impressed by the towering cathedral and an assortment of Roman monuments. To the west and north of the Palace walls lies medieval Split and the Veli Varos nighbourhood which developed from the 14th to the 17th centuries. See more on Split's museums and galleries.

Video

This video makes a good orientation to Split as it shows you the entire seafront of Split. With my narration, you'll easily see where Split's major sights are in relation to the ferry port, bus station, train station and airport bus.

What to Do

Take a stroll on Split's seaside promenade and have a leisurely coffee in one of the cafes. Rent a bike at the foot of Marjan hill and bike around the coast, exploring the beaches. Explore the Bacvice neighbourhood to the east of the Old Town where there are beaches and nightlife. Wrap up the day at a bar, or dance the night away in one of Split's throbbing, super-fashionable discos. See more on Split nightlife.

To see it all, rent a car

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Besides the sightseeing in Split, the town makes an excellent base for exploring the wonders of Split-Dalmatia county not to mention the many islands that lie just offshore. From Split, you can easily visit Solta and Brac by ferry all year round. In the summer, it's possible to make a day trip to Hvar via catamaran. Other day trips from Split include Solin, Omis, Trogir, Brela Beach, Baska Voda and Makarska, each less than an hour away by car. See more on tours & excursions from Split.

Travel Tips

Raw and boisterous, yet with heaps of Mediterranean style, Split is not the place to settle in and chill. Ferries, trains and buses are constantly chugging in and out of the ferry-train-bus stations which combine to form a giant transport hub just east of Diocletian's Palace. Stay near the town centre. The dreary neighbourhoods that stretch north of town aren't dangerous but they sure aren't pretty. In deciding where to stay, decide whether your interests are beachy, cultural or clubhopping and then select from one of the neighbourhoods below.

 

Split Travel Planner

Where to Stay


Accommodation

An accommodation overview.


Neighbourhoods

Veli Varos
Bacvice
Old Town

Hotels in Split

Five-star
Four-star
Three-star
Two-star &
Hostels


Private Accommodation in Split

What's available and what's best from guesthouses to hostels.

What to See & Do


Festivals

Experience local life at local festivals or at the annual Croatia Boat Show.

Private guide

Transport


Getting Around

taxis, buses, car rental and an orientation video of Split harbour


Street Map


Local Bus Map

Plan local bus connections

Eating & Drinking


Restaurants

The best dining in Split


Nightlife

Bars, clubs, discos and pubs

More on Split in Croatia Traveller's E-book

Take Split with you! The only guidebook you'll need.
Get details about Dalmatia: Split to Dubrovnik 2017

Dalmatia: Split to Dubrovnik
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Day Trips From Split


Solta Island

Closest to Split

Makarska

A scenic coastal port.

Brela

Stunning beaches

Baska Voda

Tranquil beach resort

Omis
A former pirate's lair.

Brac Island

Zlatni Rat beach

Trogir

World Heritage Site

Hvar Harbour
Hvar Island
Gorgeous and chic

Hvar Harbour
Salona
Fascinating Roman Ruins

Split Weather
Average Temperature
Split Temperature Chart
Average Precipitation
Split Precipitation chart

Bacvice Arti B&B

Maps


View Croatia in a larger map 

Croatia map with Split

 

Check out Split luxury hotels

Tourist Information in Split

The Split tourist office (tel 021-342 606) distributes a variety of useful brochures and a city map. Offices are:

on Peristyle, in the centre of Diocletian's Palace;

on Riva at Obala Hrvatskog narodnog preporoda 9

in Slatine at Duboke garme bb

in Stobrec at Sv. Lovre 4

Split App

Travel Guide

Developer: Mobiexplore

Platforms: iOS Mx Split Travel Guide
                  Android MxSplit Travel Guide

Price: Free
Review: Attractive and reasonably up-to-date app with some useful maps, attraction information and phone numbers. Shopping and restaurant listings are paltry however.

Split Travel News

Best Outdoor Destinations in Croatia
With eight National Parks and nearly a dozen protected Nature Parks not to mention islands, rivers, mountains, rolling hills and placid seas, Croatia is a paradise for active travellers. Here are the very best destinations to experience the great outdoors.  More.
New Ferry From Split to the Islands
Krilo EclipseDay trips from Split to Croatia's most beautiful islands are now easier than ever. A brand new passenger ferry service is scheduled to start in mid-June and run until mid-September.  More.
Adriana Restaurant, Split
Interior of Adriana restaurant, SplitAs a general rule, restaurants in heavily trafficked tourist locations offer poor value for money. But rules are meant to be broken!  More.
Buffet Fife, Split
Is there such a thing as too much guidebook love? Buffet Fife in Split is much more popular with tourists than locals. Maybe it's the quality of the food.  More.

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