Even though Croatia is no longer a hidden gem in Europe, it is still an amazing country with lots of undiscovered places. Other than its neighboring countries, which are only just being discovered, Croatia already conquered a spot among the top touristic places in Europe. Croatia is an amazingly beautiful country with lots to offer. In this article we take you to Split, the most important city of Dalmatia. Read on about things to do in Split.
Split: The second largest city of Croatia
Even though the city is relatively large, it surely doesn’t feel like it. Where the suburbs definitely have the ‘city vibe’, the old city center is pretty compact. Stroll through the small alleys and get lost. You don’t need more than a few hours to see most of it. The atmosphere is chilled. Probably also because old town Split lies on the coast.
If you want to see more of the Dalmatian region around Split, I highly recommend to rent a car. The city is beautiful, but it’s surrounding is even better! If you, just like us, visit Split during a road trip, two to three days will be enough. Of course it’s personal how long everyone needs, because I can imagine you’d want to spend a few weeks in this vibrant town.
Things to do in Split: 15 of the best things to do
Split has a very authentic city center, don’t get me wrong, but it’s not known for it’s attractions. The city has, however, a very nice chilled coastal city vibe. The locals are relaxed and friendly. The climate is pleasant which is largely due to it’s location, right on the Adriatic Sea. Dozens of cruise ships visit Split in the summer, crowding the city with tourists. Not surprisingly there are numerous souvenir shops selling all kinds of knickknacks. Besides Croatia’s fabulous coast line, the country also has literally hundreds of island. The most popular islands near Split are Brač and Hvar which are worth visiting. Read on to find out fifteen things to do in Split.
#1. Stroll the Riva Boulevard
The Riva Boulevard is the most prominent street in Split. Right on the coast with a view on the harbor made it an important place back in medieval times. These days the car-free zone is mostly home to bars and restaurants. Settle yourself on one of the comfortable terraces and order a drink or two to do some people watching. A perfect thing to do for the first few hours in Split:) We recommend to eat elsewhere though, since prices are steep and the food is not necessarily better (Like most prominent places in touristic places)
#2. Visit Marjan Hill for a panoramic view over the city
Split is situated on a peninsula which is best seen from the Marjan Forest Park on Marjan Hill. There are more places to have a great view over the city, but the best about this one is that it’s free! Check on the map to find the stair which lead to this amazing viewpoint over Split.
#3. Visit Diocletian’s Palace, an important place of interest in Split
Definitely the most beautiful building in Split. This Roman era buit palace is standing right in the middle of the old town. With a square and dozens of little shops inside this truly is the heart of the city center. Diocletian’s Palace has been on the UNESCO world heritage list since 1979.
#4. The basements of Diocletian’s Palace
Like mentioned before, inside Diocletian’s Palace you’ll find a lot of souvenir shops. Besides bringing you mom a Split mug, there’s also a museum dedicated to the basements of the palace. Another reason the basement is popular among tourists is because this was one of the film locations of Game of Thrones of which Croatia has a lot.
#5. Split’s Bell Tower: An amazing view over the city
Towering above Diocletian’s Palace is Split’s Bell Tower. If you’re afraid of heights or claustrophobic I don’t recommend visiting the tower as the staircase is pretty narrow. At the top of the tower you’ll have an amazing view over the entire city and on a clear day you can even spot a few islands.
Entrance to the tower costs 20 kuna (about US$3). If you also want to visit the nearby Saint Domnius Cathedral and the gallery you’ll be better of buying a combination ticket for 42 kuna (22 kuna for students)
If you’re planning to see all of Split’s places of interest, it might be a good idea to buy the Split Card which will save you a lot of money.
#6. Gaze at the magnificent architecture
The city center of Split is littered with gorgeous structures in all kinds of colors and from all kinds of eras. These buildings are an attraction in and of themselves, taking up number six on the list of great things to do in Split.
#7. Stroll through endless alleys: One of the best things to do in Split
Getting lost in Split’s old town is part of the experience. We’ve walked in circles without even realizing dozens of times. On lots of places the structures haven’t changed throughout the years. This was probably one of the reasons so many scenes were recorded for Game of Thrones in Split.
#8. Have a tasty burger at Mama Burger
Besides great local Croatian food there are a lot of nice looking places with great international food. On our third oblivious circle we decided to order a burger at Mama Burger to refuel. The terrace is situated on one of the courtyards littered throughout the city.
#9. Silk: Thai street food in Split
Another great place to eat something non-Croatian is Silk, a Thai restaurant which has amazing food for reasonable prices.
Both restaurants can be found on the map at the beginning of the article.
#10. Things to do in Split’s suroundings: Take a trip to Krka National Park to admire the waterfalls.
After you have ticked these ten things to do in Split, it’s time to explore beyond. It’s about an hour drive from Split. The park is known for its amazing waterfalls. If you don’t have your own transportation it’s possible to book a tour from Split. Besides agencies in town, it’s also possible to book a trip to Krka National Park online.
#11. Visit Trogir, a pittoreske coastal village
About 40 minutes away (100 minutes by boat) lies the cozy harbor town of Trogir. Trogir is situated on an island which is connected by two bridges. The historical center is a car-free zone so the atmosphere is quiet and laid back. Stroll about for a few hours and order a drink on one of it’s terraces. The best view on Trigir is from the Kamerlengo Tower. Just besides the small bridge is a parking which costs 10 kuna per hour.
#12. Visit the Fortress of Klis
30 minutes inland, in a town called Klis, lies the Fortress of Klis. This impressive structure also played an important role in Game of Thrones. Scenes from Meereen were shot here. Enterance is a steep 60 kuna (40 kuna for kids), which was too much for us since we are no Game of Thrones fans. Even without entering the fortress it’s an amazing building.
#13. Explore the ruins of Solin
You won’t see the ruins of Solin back in Game of Thrones as these ruins are actual ruins which are at the most three feet high. The ruins are the remains of the Roman city of Solina. The signs explain what is going on in front of you. You have to bring a big bag of imagination to see the city as it was hundreds of years ago. Still pretty cool though. Allegedly this is the birthplace of Diocletian. Entrance is free.
#14. Amazing views of the Cetina Gorge near Omiš
About 20 miles south of Split we encountered the most stunning view of our Croatian road trip. Near Omiš is a small parking spot next to the road that overlooks the Cetina Gorge. Besides the view it’s also possible to zip line or do a boat tour.
#15. The Blue Lake and the Red Lake
If you have more time to kill, drive on to the Blue- and Red Lake near the Bosnian border. It’s about a 90 minutes drive from the Cetina Gorge, but you’ll need more time because you will be stopping a few times to take pictures of magnificent views. Your destination is Crveno Jezero (Red Lake) and Modro Jezero (Blue Lake). The Red Lake is free and the Blue Lake costs 22 kuna which also gives you entrance to the adjacent theme park.
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That about sums it up. Let us know if you have a suggestion for more cool things to do in Split!