The city of Split is located on the Adriatic Sea in Croatia. It is the largest city on the Dalmatian coast and one of the most popular tourist destinations in Croatia. Split is known for its waterfront promenade, clear waters, and Mediterranean climate. The city also has a rich history and culture, with a number of museums and galleries. There are plenty of things to do in Split in Croatia, from swimming and sunbathing to exploring the city’s many historical sites. In this travel guide, we’ll be going over all the best things to do in Split in Croatia, as well as everything else you need to know. We’ll go over the best place to stay in Split Croatia, the best hotel in Split Croatia for you, getting a rental car in Split Croatia and much more! Let’s get into it!
The Complete Travel Guide to Split, Croatia-The Best Things to Do in Split in Croatia
Best Things to Do in Split in Croatia
If you are coming to Split, be prepared for a history lesson. The majority of things to do in Split are centered around the history of this amazing city. In my personal opinion, you can see all of the major attractions of the city in one full day. If you want a more leisure trip, allow at least two days to explore the city. While there may be a lot of guides for Split online, these are only things that I have personally done and can recommend. So, here are my personal picks for the best things to do in Split in Croatia!
1. Visit Diocletian’s Palace
Diocletian’s Palace is one of the most significant historical sites and most popular tourist attractions in Croatia. Built in the 4th century by the Roman Emperor Diocletian, it was intended to be his retirement home. However, it soon became an important political and military center, and remained so for centuries. Today, the palace is a UNESCO World Heritage Site, and visitors can explore its many well-preserved buildings and ruins. Although it has undergone some changes over the years, the palace still retains its original layout and design. This makes it a fascinating place to visit, and a powerful reminder of Croatia’s rich history.
There are different sections to the palace, most of which require a ticket to get in. The ticket office is located directly across from the main square and there are multiple ticketing options. If you have any desire to see the palace without huge crowds, be sure to wake up early. We came at the time of opening and had the place to ourselves for about an hour before the huge crowds showed up. This may be one of the things to do that would be nice to have a tour guide for so that you can learn about the history as you go around. Either way, visiting Diocletian’s Palace is certainly one of the best things to do in Split in Croatia.
2. Visit Diocletian’s Cellars
Diocletian’s Cellars are a must-see for any history lover. Built in the 4th century by the Roman Emperor Diocletian, the cellars were once part of Diocletian’s Palace. Today, the cellars are open to the public and offer a unique glimpse into the past. The site includes a number of Roman artifacts, as well as a museum that chronicles the history of the palace and its inhabitants. Visitors can also explore the remains of Diocletian’s private baths, which are thought to be some of the largest in the Roman Empire. Whether you’re interested in history or just looking for a unique experience, Diocletian’s Cellars are sure to impress. This is another experience that I recommend having a tour guide for, so you can actually understand what you are looking at. It helps to learn the history of where you are.
3. Stroll the Riva, or Waterfront Promenade
Riva is the promenade on the waterfront in Split, Croatia. The promenade is lined with high end restaurants, shops, and cafes, and is a popular gathering place for locals and tourists alike. Riva is the perfect place to enjoy a meal or a drink while taking in the stunning views of the Adriatic Sea. It is an absolutely beautiful promenade with small gardens and luxury yachts. The prices on the promenade are the highest in the city, but you are paying for those views. In the evening, the Riva comes alive with people strolling, chatting, and enjoying the fresh air. If you’re looking for a taste of Croatian Mediterranean culture, Riva is the perfect place for a stroll.
4. Climb to the Top of the Bell Tower
No trip to Split would be complete without climbing to the top of the iconic city landmark, Saint Dominus Bell Tower. This bell tower is a beautiful and old structure that is definitely worth visiting. The bell tower is located in the Cathedral of Saint Domnius, which is the oldest Catholic cathedral in the world that is still in use today. Saint Dominus Bell Tower was built in the year 1169, making it over 850 years old!
The bell tower is also one of the tallest structures in Split, Croatia, standing at almost 80 meters (262 feet) tall. There are a total of 103 stairs that lead up to the top of the bell tower, but the views from the top are well worth the climb. From Saint Dominus Bell Tower’s vantage point, you can see gorgeous panoramic views of Split’s Old Town, the Adriatic Sea and the beautiful mountains in the distance. Definitely one of the best things to do in Split in Croatia!
5. Hike up to Marjan Viewpoint for Fantastic Views of Split
Marjan Viewpoint is one of the must-see locations in Split, Croatia. The Marjan Viewpoint is located at the top of Marjan hill and can be reached by taking a short hike up the many steps leading to the top. There are a total of over 300 steps to the top of Marjan Hill, but the journey is well worth it for the incredible views. Once at the top, visitors are rewarded with stunning panoramic views of Split and the Adriatic Sea. There is even a cute cafe at the top to get a coffee or beer and take in the sights. Marjan Park is also a great place to explore, with its many hiking trails, picnic areas, and playgrounds. Whether you’re looking for a workout or a place to relax, Marjan Viewpoint is definitely worth a visit.
6. Visit Klis Fortress
Klis Fortress is a medieval fortress located about 10 kilometers from the city of Split in Croatia. The fortress was built in the 11th century and served as a key defensive structure for the city. Klis was especially important during the Ottoman invasions of Croatia in the 16th century, when it successfully held off multiple attacks. Today, Klis Fortress is a popular tourist destination, known for its well-preserved architecture and picturesque setting. Visitors can explore the fortress grounds and learn about its rich history at the on-site museum. Klis Fortress is just a short drive from Split, making it an easy day trip for visitors to the city. The fortress offers breathtaking views of the surrounding countryside and provides a fascinating glimpse into Croatia’s rich history.
7. Visit the Golden Gate
The Golden Gate is one of the most famous landmarks in Split, Croatia. This impressive archway was built in the 2nd century AD, and served as the main entrance to the city. For centuries, the Golden Gate was the only way to enter Split, and it was guarded by a large gate. Today, the Golden Gate is still an impressive sight, and it is one of the most popular tourist attractions in Split. Visitors can walk through the archway and enjoy views of the city from above. The Golden Gate is also a popular spot for photography, and it is often used as a backdrop for weddings and other special events.
8. Gregory of Nin Statue
The Gregory of Nin Statue is located in the city of Split, Croatia just outside of the Golden Gate. The statue depicts Gregory of Nin, a medieval Croatian bishop who was known for his wisdom and diplomacy. Visitors to the statue often rub the toe of the statue for good luck. The Gregory of Nin Statue was erected in 1929 and stands 9 meters tall. It is made of bronze and sits on a granite pedestal. The statue is a popular tourist attraction in Split and is one of the most photographed statues in Croatia. So, this isn’t the most exciting of things to do in Split in Croatia. But, it is still a popular attraction.
Trogir is a beautiful town in Croatia that is situated close to Split. The city has a long and rich history, dating back to the Roman Empire. Trogir is actually where I chose to have my home base for the month in Croatia. The town was an important trade center during the Middle Ages, and its architecture reflects this period of prosperity. Trogir is also home to a number of sights and attractions, making it a popular destination for tourists. In recent years, Trogir has become increasingly popular with visitors from all over the world. Its close proximity to Split makes it an ideal base for exploring the region, and its stunning scenery and architecture make it well worth a visit. During the warmer months, you can even take a ferry boat directly to Trogir from Split!
Learn more about Trogir in my full travel guide here!
10. Stroll the Streets of Old Town
Honestly, one of the best things to do in Split is to just wander the old cobbled streets. The entire city is basically one giant museum. No matter which street you wander down, you are seeing something interesting. The old town is relatively small, so you can walk around the entire thing pretty quickly. I recommend taking your time, turning down some small alleys, and just getting lost in the history. Also, the city itself is absolutely beautiful. So, you really can’t go wrong wandering around. If you prefer, there are even walking tours to take you around. This way you can really learn while you wander.
Best Place to Stay in Split, Croatia
The best place to stay in Split in Croatia is within the city center. All of the best things to do in Split are down in the city center and within reasonable walking distance. Split is actually a pretty large city, the second largest in the country. The main tourist area is the old town that was once Diocletian’s Palace. The closer you are to the city center, the more expensive accommodations will be but you’ll be in the heart of the action. If you are on a tight budget, consider staying somewhat outside of the city center. You will still be in a reasonable distance to the main sights, but save a little bit of money. But, if you can afford it I highly suggest staying downtown. There is nothing quite like walking the streets late at night and then having just a quick stroll home.
Top Options for the Best Hotel in Split Croatia
There are some great options for the best hotel in Split Croatia for your visit. Since Split is is a high end yachting destination, there are many luxury hotel options available. But don’t worry, it isn’t only luxury accommodations. Even the most budget minded traveler can find a reasonable hotel. If you are planning to stay for more than a week, I highly suggest considering getting an Airbnb over a hotel. This way you can at least cook a few meals at home instead of needing to eat out every single meal. Even when on vacation, going out to eat constantly can be exhausting. Since I was only in Split in Croatia for one day, I did not have a place to stay. My home base was in the nearby Trogir, which is a short drive away. For some great options for the best hotel in Split Croatia for your trip, check out the link below.
Getting a Rental Car in Split Croatia-Do You Need One?
Honestly, if you are planning to stay in downtown Split for your entire trip, then you don’t need a car. The city is very walkable and parking can be expensive and complicated. But, if you are planning to do any day trips like to Trogir or the national parks, a car would a great idea. The prices for a rental car in Split Croatia are comparable to rest of Europe, starting at around $40/day. Not cheap but also not crazy expensive. You will be able to find better rates online, and picking up at the airport. Check the link below to get a rental car in Spit Croatia.
Get a great deal on a rental car in Split Croatia on Discover Cars!
Conclusion of Best Things to Do in Split in Croatia
As you can see, there are so many amazing reasons to visit Split in Croatia. From all of these amazing things to do in Split to beautiful accommodations, this city is one not to miss. Although I only visited Split once, it still remains one of my favorite days from my trip to Croatia. There really is so much to see and do. If you are a history buff, you will absolutely love this city. Even if you aren’t, it’s still a cool Mediterranean port town with lots going on. I’m sure that there is an entirely modern scene that I just don’t know about. Be sure to explore the city beyond the tourist spots. Continue learning about traveling Croatia with my other travel guides here.
I hope that you found this Travel Guide to Split Croatia for the best things to do in Split in Croatia to be both informative and helpful. Be sure to sign up for my e-mail list and follow me on social media to stay up to date with all of my travel content. If you have any questions or comments about Split, Croatia then leave them down below. Thank you so much for visiting my travel blog!