Best Things to Do in Split

Enchanting Split got its name from an ancient Greek toponym derived from a variety of local shrub, back when it was a small, unestablished settlement. When Roman emperor Diocletian decided to live out his retirement here, it really came to live, with the early 4th-century Diocletian’s Palace constructed here. 

Today, Split is Croatia’s second largest city, and some say its sexiest. There’s so much to see and do here, it would take months to check it all off your list. To help you out, we’ve provided the top things to do for your first visit – odds are, you’ll want to come back and experience the rest.

Explore Diocletian’s Palace

Diocletian’s Palace, Split
Diocletian’s Palace, Split

The palace was what really brought Split to life. A massive complex, it’s a UNESCO World Heritage Site home to some of the world’s most well-preserved Roman architecture. Many of the buildings now host boutiques, art galleries, wine bars, cafes, coffee houses, and restaurants, providing plenty of enjoyment while strolling through the ancient winding streets. 

Climb the Bell Tower of St. Dominus for a View Over the Old Town

The Cathedral of Saint Dominus once served as the mausoleum for the emperor himself. Located in the heart of the palace, by climbing the nearly 200-foot-high bell tower you can enjoy a magnificent view of the Old Town out to the sparkling blue expanse of the Adriatic.

Tour the Palace Cellars

The palace cellars were once the entrance to the complex, used to drop off supplies and receive noble guests. After Diocletian passed away, they were used as storage and for waste disposal. An excavation revealed many well-preserved items from the period, including a large press used to make grapes into wine. The cellars were also where Daenerys trained her dragons in ‘Game of Thrones.’

People Watch Along the Riva Promenade

Riva Promenade, Split
Riva Promenade, Split

The Riva is a waterfront promenade where locals like to enjoy something they refer to as fjaka. It literally means ‘the art of doing nothing,’ enjoying the moment while allowing all worries to fade away. Find a spot at one of the cafes or restaurants, grab a beverage, and watch the world go by.


Visit Klis Fortress

Nestled in the hills behind Split, Klis Fortress dates to the 7th-century, build to defend the area from invaders. ‘Game of Thrones’ fans might recognize it from the series as the city-state of Meeren. Visitors can enjoy a jaw-dropping view from the lofty setting as well as explore Roman baths, temples, and an amphitheater.

Sip Coffee in Republic Square

Enjoy the buzzing atmosphere in the Venetian-style Republic Square which is surrounded on three sides of a neo-Renaissance palace. It’s a fabulous spot to sip coffee, with multiple coffee shops and eateries here with outdoor tables. Various cultural events, including festivals and concerts, are often hosted here as well. 

Hike Up Marjan Hill

Marjan Hill, Split
Marjan Hill, Split

Just north-west of the Old Town, Marjan Hill overlooks Split, the sea, and multiple islands from nearly 600 feet above. The hike to the top is relatively easy and provides a great respite from the hustle and bustle, with a nature reserve, scenic trails, and more. It’s also one of the best places to take in a sunset. 

Relax on the Beach

There are several beaches within easy reach of the Riva Promenade. Bacvice is one of the most popular, just 10 minutes on foot from the ferry terminal. The only sandy stretch in the city, here you can wade in the shallow, crystal-clear blue waters and unwind with the picturesque scenery, perhaps with a cocktail in hand. 

Browse or Buy at the Green Market

The Green Market is popular among locals and visitors alike, located near the east wall of Diocletian’s Palace. There are lots of seasonal products, including fresh fruits and vegetables, herbs, cured meats, artisanal cheeses, and more, all provided by local farms. Herb-infused olive oils, homemade wine, and packets of lavender, along with the usual cheap souvenirs, can all be purchased here.

It’s easy to see that you’ll need to spend more than a day here. Not only can you enjoy all these top things to do in Split, but many outstanding day trips are also possible, from a visit to medieval Trogir to boat tours that will bring you to the famous Blue Cave.

Sample the Local Wine at a Wine Bar

Red Grapes, Croatia
Wine, Croatia

If you enjoy wine, sampling some of the local vino at a wine bar is a must. Croatia has a long legacy of winemaking, despite not being well-known outside of the country. There are over 60 distinct grape varieties. Favorites include Babić, a full-bodied red; Plavac Mali, one of the most popular red wines; and Posip, a fresh and fruity white wine.

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