On our extensive Balkan journey we entered Croatia via Dubrovnik in the South and via Hvar Island, we just arrived in wonderful Split!… In this short post I will highlight the key things you should not miss when visiting Split, Croatia!
What to do in Split, Croatia?
I am starting to repeat myself on this Balkan trip, as this also counts for the lovely towns in Macedonia, Albania, Montenegro or Bosnia… My key advice for Split is very similar: the best ways to enjoy all the wonderful medieval architecture is by just roaming around and getting lost in the narrow alleyways and wandering the beautiful squares…
Obviously it helps to have a bit of a plan and do some research beforehand… You would not want to miss anything! Hence, with the tips below you will ensure your Split experience will be amazing!…
Visit Diocletian’s palace in Split
The Diocletian Palace is impossible to miss in Split as it comprises most of Split’s old town. This massive fortress-like palace served as the residence for the Roman emperor and Military. There are many sights to visit within the Diocletian Palace, like the Vestibul (free) the underground bazaar area (partially free), the Saint Domnius Cathedral, the Bell Tower and obviously the squares and alleyways (free) connecting all major sights…
Fun Fact: On the main Diocletian Square, pay extra attention to the marble columns and the sphinxes, as these are originally from Egypt and therefore thousands of years older than the rest of the Palace!…
Top Tip: For the charged sites there are various combination tickets sold at the tickets office located in the Treasury. For Croatian standards, the tickets are not overly expensive. Not all sights may be worth visiting inside, so it is nice you can pick & choose yourself!
Top Tip: In the evening, Cafe Luxor hosts live music performances on the square. Very nice setup where they provide pillows on the square if you order a drink, while enjoying the magical surroundings of Diocletian’s Palace.
Check out the Gradska Ura & Iron Gate
From the Diocletian’s palace head West and you will pass the impressive Iron gate, with its many arches. Right next to the iron gate you find the Gradska Ura. What makes this clock extra special is the 24 hour notation!…
Check out Republic Square in Split
Once you make your way through all the alleyways you’ll find yourself on large Republic Square. In any other Mediterranean city this impressive square would be a key tourist draw, but in Split it is often a bit quiet. This is likely due to the many other draws beautiful split has to occupy its visitors… The square has various restaurants in different price ranges…
From the Republic Square, or one of the city gates, you easily walk to the shoreline and find yourself on the boulevard. In my opinion, this area is best enjoyed during the day, as at night I find it a bit too glitzy with the various colored neon lights.
Gregory of Nin & Golden Gate
When you dive into the maze of narrow streets again and keep moving North, at some point you will find the Golden gate and the large statue of Gregory of Nin as well as the Chapel of Holy Arnir. From here you could visit the Museum of Fine Art as well.
Enjoy Split’s amazing bars & restaurants
Jumping back into the labyrinth of alleyways, you’ll find a wide array of bars & restaurants catering to the many thousands of (daily) visitors. It will help to make a reservation if you find a place to your liking, especially in the busy summer months when the number of tourists is even higher.
Split is filled with countless bars & restaurants, but just a few venues that we liked:
- Adriatic Sushi & Oyster Bar Split – Finally, some good sushi again after our Month’s long Balkan trip. The restaurant is a bit more expensive.
- Villa Spiza – A unique local restaurant where you sit at the kitchen counter! The chef prepares daily changing menu items right under your nose!… Great experience and very reasonably priced.
- Luxor Cafe – As already mentioned go here for drinks in the evening to enjoy the live music!
- Pizza Cut Planet – Some of the best pizza slices on our trip, great to just grab and go during your city explorations!
Where to park for free in Split, Croatia?
Strangely enough (compared to other Croatian towns), you can fairly easily find a free public parking spot around the old city center of Split. The paid parking zone around the old city is fairly narrow, so just find a free parking place in the smaller streets around this zone and you can start your Split adventure! As an example, we parked near the Istarska Ulica and Ulica Marina Drzica crossing.
Bonus: Explore the picturesque towns of Trogir and Sibenik
When in Split, do also venture further along the coast, where you find the picturesque towns of Trogir and Sibenik! Both great to just stroll around for a few hours.
Top Tip: Have lunch at Sveti Lovre Restaurant in Sibenik. Beautifully situated in a tranquil garden! A change of scenery from the ‘typical’ square or alleyway restaurants you find most. (Luxury problems)
As mentioned, this was a brief post, but containing most of the key highlights and tips & tricks for Split! One of the nicest Mediterranean cities to include in your travel itinerary! Our next stop is something completely different, Plitvice National Park, which easily lands in the top 10 natural parks worldwide that we visited, so be sure to check it out…
Further reading on Croatia and the Balkans
Do also read other Croatian Ghost around the Globe adventures:
Combining Croatia with other Balkan countries? Find some travel inspiration and extensive tips & tricks below:
- Montenegro – Why you must visit this beautiful country!
- Bosnia – Explore the dark past of the Balkans
- Albania – Read this before you plan your trip!
- Kosovo – The best things of the youngest European country
- Macedonia – Great insider tips!
- Serbia – Tips for Belgrade and the wider countryside
- Romania – All you need to know!
- Bulgaria – Great short road trip along all highlights!