Recently popular for its Games of Thrones setting, Split is a famous town on Croatia’s Dalmatian Coast, also known for its beaches and originally built around the Diocletian, a fortresslike palace built for the retired Roman emperor in the 4th-century (where you can still clearly see the Roman walls, squares, and temples). Despite its initial appearances, Split is everything but a small town, with over 300,000 people in the wider Bay area, it’s the economic hub of the eastern Adriatic shoreline, making it a lively place to pass by and visit. You’ll also enjoy Split’s modern seafront promenade, the Riva, and the sandy beaches around such as Bačvice. In short, this surprising city has plenty of things to offer you and in this article, we’ll look at the 11 top things to do in and around Split, Croatia.
1. Take a tour around Diocletian's Palace
Located in a bay on the south side of a short peninsula, the Diocletian’s Palace is an ancient palace built for the Roman Emperor Diocletian around the 4th-century AD and is today a UNESCO Heritage Site forming about half the old town of Split. Don’t misunderstand the word “Palace” used as “the retirement residence of the Diocletian”, as the structure has more likeness with a large fortress. Consequently, the ruins of this monumental structure can be found all over the city and you’ll have great times discovering the many secrets and stories behind this iconic place.
Address: Ul. Kralja Petra Krešimira lV 5, 21000, Split, Croatia
2. Check out the view from the Marjan Hill
Surrounded by the city and the sea, the famous Marjan Hill (one of the best-known symbols of the city) will surely be on top of your Split attractions list. If you’re looking for a break from the rushing city lifestyle, then walking, running, jogging, climbing or riding a bike to Marjan (and its 3 kilometer (1.9 mile) area of Mediterranean pine forest) is the perfect thing to do for a relaxing time while being fairly close to the city center. Prepare yourself to find a completely different world within the city while enjoying a mesmerizing view of the entire city, the surrounding islands, and the nearby mountains of Mosor and Kozjak. A must!
Address: Marjan Park-Forest, Dalmatia, Croatia
Website: Marjan Hill
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3. Visit the St. Duje's Cathedral
Located nearby the Archdiocese of Split-Makarskahe, the Cathedral of Saint Domnius, (Saint Duje’s Cathedral), is a beautiful Catholic cathedral in Split, consisting of a church formed from an Imperial Roman mausoleum. Built in AD 305 as the Mausoleum of Diocletian, this magnificent building is one of the best-preserved ancient Roman buildings and is also known as the oldest Catholic cathedral in the world that remains in use in its original structure (reconciling ancient pagan, Christian, Medieval and modern heritage).
Nowadays, visitors can access the building with tickets; you’ll particularly appreciate climbing the steps all the way to the top of the Bell Tower of the cathedral (57meters high (187 feet)) to see the old town’s rooftops, the many cathedral treasures (reliquaries, icons, church robes, illuminated manuscripts and documents in Glagolitic script) or the rich and beautiful cathedral interior and architecture. The St. Duje’s Cathedral is unmissable in Split.
St. Duje's Cathedral
Address: Ul. Kraj Svetog Duje 5, 21000, Split, Croatia
Website: Cathedral of Saint Domnius
4. Take a trip to Brač
Brač (pronounced bratche) is a Croatian island in the Adriatic Sea known for its white-pebble beach Zlatni Rat (Golden Cape), a favored windsurfing site outside the resort town of Bol. Truly recommended to families, sportsmen and nature lovers who will be able to discover the island by bike, and to all those who seek an authentic island with small typical villages, Brač will entertain you only 50 minutes by ferry from Split.
Address: Dalmatia, Croatia
Website: Island Brač, Croatia
5. Round off your trip with a visit to Peristil Square (Peristyle)
Intended for Emperor Diocletian, Peristyle is the central square of the Diocletian’s Palace. Owing to its unique beauty made of red granite pillars (not only Roman, but also Egyptian influenced) and unusual acoustics, Peristyle became the ideal scenery for theater, but also for an urban concert and nightlife. Here you’ll like walking up the impressive stairs that lead to the domed Entry Vestibule and the entrance to Jupiter’s Temple.
Address: Peristil, Poljana kraljice Jelene 5, 21000, Split, Croatia
Website: Peristyle (Peristil)
6. Witness ancient splendor at Jupiter's temple
This wonderfully intact building was originally an ancient Roman temple, dedicated to the king of the gods and still has its original barrel-vaulted ceiling and a decorative frieze on the walls. The Temple of Jupiter is located in the western part of the Diocletian’s Palace near the Peristyle and was built around 300 AD. Open for visitors, with an entrance fee, the temple is worth visiting simply for its sphinx brought from Egypt by Emperor Diocletian.
Temple of Jupiter
Address: 21000, Ul. Kraj Svetog Ivana 2, 21000, Split, Croatia
Website: Temple of Jupiter
7. Visit the summer resort: Hvar
Hvar is another island in the Adriatic Sea, best known as a summer resort where you’ll enjoy a day trip out of the rush of the Split hub and daily life. Easily accessible, this little heaven, lost in the blue sea, also features secluded beaches and coves such as Dubovica and many inland lavender fields for a relaxing and beautiful time.
Address: Dalmatia, Croatia
Website: Hvar Island, Croatia
8. Snap some shots at the Fortress of Klis
Situated on the eponymous hill, 13 kilometers (8 miles) north of the town of Split, between the mountains of Mosor and Kozjak, the Klis Fortress is a medieval fortress that was a royal castle (the seat of many Croatian kings). Due to its location, this is the perfect place from where you can take some beautiful panorama pictures of Split. Built into the south part of a rocky mass, the huge fortress actually consists of three parts, nowadays used as a tourist attraction with a very interesting historical museum.
Fortress of Klis
Address: 21231, Klis, Croatia
Website: Visiting the Klis Fortress
9. Spend your day wandering around Varoš
Varoš or Veli Varoš is one of the oldest parts of Split and is located northwest of Diocletian’s Palace, at the foot of the well-known hill Marjan. Originally founded by farmhands and fishermen beginning in the late 17th-century, this neighborhood consists of a maze of pedestrian streets and several significant churches (the most famous is the Church of St. Mikula from the 11th-century) where it’s easy to get lost. There, you’ll appreciate wandering through the typical housing architectures and the original local ambiance.
Address: Plinarska 4, 21000, Split, Croatia
Website: Veli Varoš
10. Ivan Meštrović Gallery
Stop by the Ivan Meštrović Gallery in Split, Croatia for a wonderful introduction to locally and internationally-acclaimed artwork! The space itself is dedicated to the life and the times of renowned artist Ivan Meštrović, hence the name of the property itself. Inside, you can find a wide variety of his well-respected works, together with those installations that are lesser known. The sculptor actually built the original building in the 1930s, the location that is today the Ivan Meštrović Gallery. Among the artistic works, you can find a portfolio of design work, sculptures, drawings, and even furniture and diversified architecture! there’s even a restored chapel nearby, that contains even more o the works of Ivan Meštrović.
Ivan Meštrović Gallery
Address: Šetalište Ivana Meštrovića 46, 21000, Split, Croatia
Website: Ivan Meštrović Gallery
11. Split City Museum
A gateway outside one of the impressive Venetian era villas, this one is now tge Museum of the City of Split....Posted by 3 Gray Goats Photography on Sunday, 12 February 2017
Your easy introduction to the rich history surrounding Split, the Split City Museum is ready to impress. It’s an exciting, educational opportunity in Split if there ever was one. The museum building itself is home to some wonderful views of the surrounding landscapes, while on the premises, all the information regarding the founding and origin of Split available for your perusal and understanding. the Split City Museum might as well be your go-to source for information regarding the city itself! What was once an old home in Split, has now been converted into an educational opportunity.
Split City Museum
Address: Papaliceva 1, Split 21000, Croatia
The beauty of Croatian's Split!
The old beautiful city of Split has much more to offer than its simple buildings featured in “Games Of Thrones”. It has a vast range of activities and things to discover, a buzzing and lively nightlife and a cultural scene. With these 9 top-ranked attractions, while walking through the magnificent city’s historical places and its surroundings, you’ll enjoy experiencing its pure and strong Croatian personality.
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