Split is located in the heart of Dalmatia, where the Adriatic blues mix with a vibe that’s part Mediterranean cool, part Italian verve.
This coastal gem offers many great attractions, including Marjan Park, Diocletian’s Palace, and the picturesque Riva waterfront of Old Split.
There are so many great things to do in Split. It’s also an ideal spot for island-hopping to hotspots including Brac, Hvar, and the often-overlooked Solta.
Things to do in Split, Croatia
While the crown jewel of Split is the 1,700 year-old Palace of Diocletian and the wonderful Split City Museum, Ethnographic Museum and new Gallery of Art, there’s plenty of other pearls waiting to be discovered.
All you need is the official tourist office map (free at the Tourist Bureau in the Peristyle and available at all hotels).
This beautiful hill is located within a peninsula nearby the old town of Split. This is truly a wonderful spot to get away and get lost in the desne trees in the middle of the park or to bike on a paved path.
2. Teraca Vidilica Cafe
A cafe with an incredible view. You have to hike before getting to this cafe, so be prepared for a workout.
3. Diocletian’s Palace
This is an ancient palace built for the Roman Emperor Diocletianat the turn of the fourth century AD, that today forms about half the old town of Split.
4. Stand Up Paddle Boarding in Split
5. Mama’s Burger Bar
Split can get expensive for food especially in the high season. Mama’s Burger Bar is wonderful for burgers of course and salads. Hearty and sustainably grown ingredients at an affordable price.
6. Bacvice Beach
The one and only beach in Split is fabulous. This beach will take you to another time and world. The waters are heavenly blue and quite clear.
7. 4Coffee Soul Food
Split, like many parts of Croatia, appreciates coffee. Italian style coffee is the popular type of coffee served in Split. T4Coffee Soul Food serves single origin coffee with zest.
8. Join a walking tour
Split is perfect to explore on foot, so why not join one of the many walking tours of the city (like this one)! To make it even more interesting, join a themed walking tour like this Game of Thrones location tour.
Split walking tour itinerary
Where to start?
Use the tall bell tower of the Sv. Duje Cathedral, which can be seen from most points in the city, as your compass. It’s is in the center of the Peristyle in Diocletian’s Palace. From the Peristyle the basement of the Palace leads directly to the Riva, the waterfront promenade..
Where the Riva begins is where the two small ferry ticket booths are; where the airport bus comes and goes and where the cabs are. Most tourist buses also stop here. The road curving along the harbor away from the Riva takes you to the main Jadrolinija terminal and all the ferries (local and international) as well as to where the cruise ships dock.
Opposite where the Riva begins is the Green Market. Great place to buy everything you need for a picnic. And in front of the Green Market is one of the key bus stops in the city—including the #60 bus that takes you to the beaches in Podstrana and all the way to the terrific coastal town of Omis (it runs twice and hour, pay on board, 25kn, or buy a ticket at the kiosk right there for 20kn).
OK, now that you can’t get lost, let’s begin our sightseeing with a walk through the Palace. You can do it yourself by using our exclusive pull-out map of the actual streets or hire a professional guide at the Sightseeing/Guide Bureau in the Peristyl at the top of the steps.
Allow a good two hours for the walking tour.
After stopping for a coffee or a snack (Element, just to the right of the West Gate of the Palace on Bajamonte ul has the city’s best selection of coffee and Rizzo, a local favorite, with a tiny shop in a square off Marmontova, has sensational sandwiches), it’s time for a walk.
Head back to the Riva and walk to the end where Sv. Frane Church is (it’s the one with the clock tower). Now continue walking up the street just to the right of the church and in about 15 minutes you’ll be high up on Marjan Hill with the best overlook of the city anywhere.
This is the Varos section of the city, old, wonderful streets and interesting stone houses, ancient churches and more. Continue walking up—the street will get steeper and steeper, but it’s not a hard climb. When you get to the top, make a left, up a short staircase and you will be at the highest outdoor café in the city and a fabulous overlook. Next to the actual café building is one of the oldest Jewish cemeteries in Europe. To visit, just ask the café staff for the key! If you want to continue your walk, a steep path up from the café will take you to some ancient tiny churches and hermits caves—and an even more glorious city/sea overlook. Give yourself an hour or two for the walk up, around and down.
Back down at the Riva, diagonally across from the Sv. Frane Church, is a bus stop. You can’t miss it, there’s a bus shelter with a small newsstand next to it. The #12 bus to Bene runs a couple times an hour—the schedule is posted on the shelter. For a few dollars (10kn), you can take a gorgeous 20 minute bus ride out to Bene where you can swim, enjoy a cool forest, even play tennis on clay courts! But get out at the Mestrovic Gallery and enjoy the gorgeous garden and gallery of the “most important sculptor since the Renaissance”, Igot Merstrovic (1883-1962), the only artist to be given a one man show during his lifetime at the N.Y. Metropolitan. Great gift shop too! After enjoying this marvelous place, go back out and catch the #12 all the way to Bene, where you can swim, bike and hike through miles of parkland by the sea.
Also at this end of the Riva is the Prokurative, a handsome square whose Italian architect designed to remind him of St. Marks in Venice. Notice the wonderful faces on the upper façade? Now follow them until they all of a sudden stop. Why? Re-called to Venice, the architect never finished his dream! Enjoy a coffee and a snack at Spalatin, under the umbrellas, and then enjoy a stroll up Marmontova ul. (perpendicular to the Riva). It’s the most popular pedestrian shopping street in Split and just up on your right, if you get there before noon, is the bustling Split Fish Market. The highest quality fish are inside the small building at the rear of the market. Sometimes you can see a giant tuna head and enormous tuna steaks being cut. There are some mighty strange looking sea critters here—ask the hawkers what they are, most speak enough English to help you. If you are renting an apartment, by all means buy what looks great and enjoy!
Camping accommodation in Split, Croatia
Looking for accommodation in Split?
Camping Stobrec is not your average backpackers hang out.
It is almost entirely made up of European families and retirees travelling Europe soaking up the fantastic sunshine.
Don’t let this put you off though, with Split a fifteen-minute bus ride away, great little beach bars for meeting the local Croatians right on your doorstep and a gorgeous beach a 15-metre stroll from your tent – Camping Stobrec is a hidden gem in one of Croatia’s most bustling ports.
Camping Stobrec is situated 5km approximately from Split with a bus stop right outside the campsite with buses all through the day and late into the evening. Taxis are also readily available if you are coming back from partying early in the morning and because of the lack of Euro (they use Kuna in Croatia) taxis were a great price!
Stobrec is a small fishing village situated just outside of Split with its own harbour and own set of restaurants with fantastic sea food on offer and very friendly locals.
The campsite is situated in a forest, which means plenty of room to camp under the trees away from the glowing heat of the sun in the middle of the day and surrounded by the sea on both sides which also means a refreshing breeze blows through camp for most part of the day.
There are great facilities at the campsite with lots of toilets, showers with hot water, sinks, laundry sinks, a fantastic convenience store, restaurant, washing and drying facilities for clothes, internet access and most importantly a gorgeous beach, which whilst we were there was almost completely empty 95% of the time.
The restaurant is in a fantastic location a 5 minute walk along the beach and situated in what feels like a ship’s crow’s nest surrounded by the sea with the forest to the rear – the most magical place to watch gorgeous Croatian sunsets with a chilled beer in your hand.
Camping Stobrec offers a great selection of accommodation from the pricey (mobile homes) to the budget (tents), we stayed in a tent at the height of season which cost approximately 5 euro a night for the tent and 5 euro per person.
The ground is stony although you can buy mats in the convenience store for next to nothing and there are lots of friendly Croatians around with mallets for pegs and tin openers – very handy for the average backpacker! I believe the measure of a good beach and location is the amount of locals using it, and this beach come 3pm when most Croatians sack off work and come out of school is filled with kids using the diving board and families paddling in the shallows.
Camping Stobrec is great as a cheap base to explore Split and before moving onto the islands such as Hvar which are dotted around the coast but is also a brilliant place to relax, sunbathe, swim and snorkel as a break from heavy cultural sightseeing.
With so many things to do in Split, Croatia you won’t have a minute of boredom!