Split, or Split in Croatian, is the main city of Dalmatia and one of the most important tourist resorts in the Croatia. Its imposing historic center, with its Roman remains, earned it the title of UNESCO World Heritage Site. In this short guide we will give you all the information on what to see in Split, where to stay in the city, but also how to get there and which period to choose to visit it.
Split is located on the central Dalmatian coast, overlooking the blue Adriatic Sea and is one of the best low cost destinations for beach holidays in the Mediterranean.
Despite initial appearances, the city is not a small tourist resort, but extends over a vast coastal area, well beyond the historic center. With more than 300.000 inhabitants, Split is the second largest city in all of Croatia, just after Zagreb.Discover the Flight + Hotel Packages to visit Croatia
What to see in Split
Split old town
The main attraction of Split is that of walk through the cobbled streets of its old town. There are centuries of history in those streets, as Split has been a place of vital importance for Dalmatians since Roman times.
You will have the opportunity to see constructions of very varied styles, from Roman ruins to beautiful Baroque palaces. Get lost in the center of Split and discover its squares, shops and restaurants hidden among its streets.
During your visit to Split absolutely not to be missed is the Diocletian's Palace. The Roman emperor Diocletian was the first in history to abdicate, and he did so to retire in this palace in the heart of Split.
More than a palace, it looks like a military fortress, surrounded by walls with a splendid view of the sea. Half of the complex was for Diocletian's personal use and the other half for military use. No wonder Diocletian's Palace is one of the locations where Game of Thrones season XNUMX was filmed.
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It was completed in the year 305 and it is surprisingly well preserved. It currently occupies a large part of the historic center of Split. You will find many restaurants, apartments and shops within the palace grounds. In its basement there is a market with souvenirs and typical products.
Cathedral of San Doimo and its bell tower
The monument is located inside the Diocletian's Palace and was originally erected as mausoleum for the Roman emperor. It was in 650 that the building was converted into a church.
Interestingly, Diocletian was famous for the persecution of Christians, but years later his mausoleum became a cathedral dedicated to one of his victims: St. Domus.
The construction dates back to the year 350 and this makes it the oldest cathedral in the world. Inside you can see the combination of the original Roman structure with Romanesque elements, such as the wonderful wooden doors carved in the 12th century.
The bell tower dates back to the XNUMXth century and it is highly recommended to climb to the top to enjoy one superb view over the city. Admission to all spaces costs 45 Kuna (6 euros), while for the bell tower alone it is 20 Kuna (2,60 euros).
The central square of Diocletian's Palace is a must see in Split. Here the emperor made his public appearances. Now on the steps of the square you can have a coffee or even watch a play in the open air, thanks to the magnificent acoustics of the square.
The most amazing thing about this square is an Egyptian sphinx. Diocletian, after suppressing a rebellion in Egypt, had brought twelve sphinxes to Split. Only one of them remained intact.Discover the Flight + Hotel Packages to visit Croatia
The temple of Jupiter
From Piazza Peristilio take the narrowest street call (let me pass, please), in Croatian (Pusti me da prodjem) and you will find yourself under the temple of Jupiter.
This temple is another space that it was part of the huge Diocletian's palace. The emperor dedicated it to the Roman god Jupiter, although in the XNUMXth century it became the baptistery of the cathedral.
The entrance to the temple is included in the entrance of the cathedral, but if you want to visit only this place the cost of the ticket is 20 Kuna (2,60 euros).
The four gates of the city
Diocletian's palace was accessible from four different gates which are preserved as access points to the historic center of Split. The main gate, used by the emperor and his family, bears the name Zlatna vrata (Porta Aurea). Also there Leads torgentea and Porta Ferrea they are monumental.
La Porta Aenea (Bronze) it is the smallest and overlooks the city's waterfront. Although it is a small and narrow door on the ground floor of the building, in the past it was a direct exit to the sea and a safe escape in case of an attack.
The names have little to do with the material they are made of, since they are all made of stone. Going through one of these gates is unavoidable to access the monumental part of Split.
Galleria Ivan Meštrović
Ivan Mestrovic, is the greatest Croatian sculptor, whose works are visible in every corner of the city (Grgur Ninski, Marko Marulic and many others).
His gallery is a art Museum founded in 1952 dedicated to the work of this XNUMXth century sculptor, located on the southern slopes of the Marjan hill. It is one of the main things to see in Split.
Prokurativa - Republic Square
Piazza della Repubblica is one of the most beautiful squares in Split. This beautiful neo-Renaissance square is decorated with three-sided columns, while the fourth side is open to the sea. In the summer months, various cultural and musical events take place in the square.
Piazza del Popolo
Although Piazza Peristilio is the best known, this other square has been the center of life in the city for centuries. It is surrounded by beautiful buildings: theRenaissance clock erected on the ruins of a Roman tower, the old gothic town hall in Split, now an exhibition hall. In the other buildings of the square lived the most important noble families of the city.
Plus you will see the historian City Café (Gradska kafana), where intellectuals gathered, the Morpurgo bookcase, one of the oldest in the world and numerous shops.
This palace is one of the best examples of Baroque architecture to see in Split. It was commissioned by the Cindro family, a family well known for their involvement in the wars against the Ottomans during the seventeenth century.
The Cindro palace is located on the right of via Kresimirova a few steps from the Porta Ferrea and in the vicinity of Narodni Trg (Piaca) square.
One of the most popular things to do in Split is stroll along its promenade. Palms are its hallmark. They combine perfectly with the landscape dominated by the facade of Diocletian's palace and the bell tower of the cathedral.
There are many bars and restaurants where you can have a drink overlooking the sea. It is also common to find festivals or public events.
In the heart of Split there is Fruit Square, a square where the fruit market took place for many years. This is why it is popularly known as "fruit square".
It is surrounded by buildings of great historical value. First of all, you will be hit by one Venetian tower built in the XNUMXth century as a guard point against possible attacks. Opposite is the Milesi palace, another example of the majestic construction of the Dalmatian Baroque. Finally, in the center of the square there is the statue of Marko Marulic, a XNUMXth century poet considered the father of the Croatian Renaissance.
The green lung of the city Marjan hill it is the most popular place for sports and nature lovers. Give yourself a breath of fresh air in this oasis of peace among the pines, see Split from an original point of view, discover magnificent beaches with transparent water or take a leisurely bike ride.
In addition to the good views, it also has some historical attractions. These are the churches of San Jerónimo and San Nicolás, as well as the Jewish cemetery with tombs from the 18th century.
This medieval fortress is an essential stop for fans of Game of Thrones. It is another of the locations chosen to shoot the series and when you see its wonderful location you will quickly understand why.
This fort is right on the top of a hill, about 15 kilometers from Split. It played a leading role in the wars between Dalmatians and Ottomans, as having control over this fortress was essential to dominate the territory.
Other interesting places
If you are still wondering what to see in Split, here is a second list of suggestions:
- The beautiful Kašjuni beach west of Marjan
- Baia di Bačvice
- Il Split archaeological museum
What to see near Split
Now that you know Split at your fingertips, don't hesitate to explore the surroundings:
- Islands of Croatia (Vis, the most isolated, Hvar, the most popular)
- The Biokovo nature park
- The Makarska Riviera and its crystal clear waters
- The charming medieval city of Trogir
- Krka waterfalls
Where to stay in Split
Split is the largest of the coastal tourist cities in Croatia, followed by Dubrovnik which is a little smaller and also a little more expensive. Hotels are cheaper than spain or other tourist resorts overlooking the Mediterranean Sea.
Besides the accommodation, the various services and restaurants are also cheap. Even if it's not as cheap as it used to be, it always stays one of the best low cost destinations for the sea in Europe.
Historic Center: to stay close to attractions
The historic center of Split is not very big. By staying in this area you can easily walk to all the monuments and places of interest of the city. It is the most charming area with the largest hotel offer in the city.
Sleeping in the center of Split allows you to easily reach the port. If you arrive by car it is advisable to book a hotel with car parking, the car parks in the center are all paid.Find accommodation or a hotel in the center of Split
Bacvice: for beach holidays in Split
If you are aiming for beach holidays, Bacvice is the best area to stay for your holidays in Split. In addition to various types of accommodation and hotels, there are numerous villas and large houses available for the holidays.
On the beach you can do various activities and practice various watersports. There are many on the waterfront bars and restaurants where you can eat without spending a lot, and for young and old lovers of nightlife, there are various night clubs and discos.Find accommodation or hotels in Bacvice, near the beach and sea
When to go on holiday to Split
With over 2.800 hours of sunshine per year, the climate is mild and good for most of the year. This has led to the nickname of the city of Split: "The most beautiful city in the world" or "The flower of the Mediterranean".
La spring andautunno they are excellent times to visit the city and the historic center. Temperatures are mild and good rates can be found for accommodation and flights. May and September can also be good times for beach holidays.
THEsummer surely it is the best time to visit Split or to go on vacation. Although in this period the rates are higher, it is still a good economic destination even in high season.
- winters in Split they are generally mild, with temperatures above 0 ° C. Despite the popular saying that in the city it snows once every 30 years, there is actually at least one day of snow almost every winter, usually in January or in the summer. beginning of February.
How to get to Split
You can reach the city in different ways: car, train, plane, bus and by ship or ferry. Depending on which area of Italy you leave from, the various means of transport may be more or less convenient.
The car, the bus and the train are the best means for those leaving from the north-eastern regions.
- THEauto it is good for those who want flexibility in travel and more comfort.
- THEbus it is the cheapest way, especially if you book well in advance.
- Il train it can be inconvenient for the various changes that need to be made.
Il ferry or ship they can be the best means for those leaving from cities overlooking the Adriatic Sea. Ferries depart from Ancona or Pescara and reach Split in about 10 hours. The hydrofoils they depart from the same ports and take about 5-6 hours, and the cost of the ticket is higher than the ferry.
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THEplane it is the best way to reach Split from other areas. Split Airport is located 25 km from the city and is connected by shuttle buses. THE direct flights depart for Split from the following airports: Rome, Milan, Lamezia Terme, Palermo, Catania, Pescara and Venice.
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