Zvonimir Peran

2019-02-23 · 5 min read

Split, the second biggest Croatian city, is known for ancient sights, sandy beaches and rich nightlife. Alongside Dubrovnik, Split is the most important part of Croatia tourism, featuring millions of visits every year.
Continue reading to find out main beauties of Split that attract so many people every year.


Center of Split
Center of Split
(© Ballota / CC-BY-SA-3.0)

The most common accommodation type in Split is accommodation in private apartments. The price depends on location and season. The best apartments are located in the centre of the city and in the areas close to the beaches like Bacvice, Znjan and Meje. Cheaper option are apartments within 5 - 10 kilometres distance from the city centre.

If you are going to Split by car, be sure to check if a parking space is provided. Areas of the city which are not close to the centre mostly have enough free parking spaces on the street, but in the wider city centre, it is not a case.

Another option is the hotel accommodation. The most famous hotel is called Park, located near beach Bacvice.

  • Diocletian's palace, the most significant cultural tourist attraction of Split, was built by Diocletian, a Roman emperor notorious for persecution of Christians. In his luxury palace, he spent the last few years of life.
    Being located in the narrow centre of Split, the palace is a must-see attraction for every visitor. It contains a lot of originally preserved ancient sites that include streets, squares, and churches. It was called a palace, but it was more like a big fortress surrounded by walls and towers.
    The Split Peristyle, a square located at the eastern part of the palace, is considered as the most beautiful in the city.
    Find more info on our Diocletian's palace page.
  • Split Peristyle
    Split Peristyle

  • Golden gate, the most attractive entrance to the Diocletian's Palace, is almost completely preserved.
    The statue of Gregory of Nin (Grgur Ninski), located just near the entrance, reveals master craftsmanship of Ivan Meštrović, the most famous Croatian sculptor.
    Gregory of Nin, known as Croatian national hero, was medieval bishop and proponent of Slavic worship.

  • Papalic's palace, a 15th century gothic-renaissance masterpiece made by Juraj Dalmatinac, is located next to the gate. Nowadays, it is the location of the Split City Museum.
  • Grgur Ninski
    Grgur Ninski

    Golden gate
    Golden gate

    Renaissance windows at Papalic palace
    Renaissance windows at Papalic palace

  • Riva in Split is promenade along the sea located near the Diocletian's palace. Being special for locals, this place hosts the most important political, social and entertainment events.

    Riva is also place of romantic walks, love and socializing. Looking around yourself, you see people feeling pretty relaxed and having a great time. There is a special Mediterranean atmosphere out there.
    While walking on the Riva, take an ice cream or pancakes. Sit in the coffee bar and enjoy coffee and the sun.

    The biggest party in Split is held every year in Riva on May 7, when the patron of the city St. Duje is celebrated. The celebration is held throughout the day, from morning mass to evening concerts.
  • Split Riva
    Split Riva

  • Marmont's street, located between Croatian National Theater and Riva, is another highly attractive street. It was named after Napoleon's General Marmont, which is a very interesting fact because Napoleon and Marmont were actually the occupiers of Split. Still, people liked this man because of huge contribution to the city architecture.

    Marmont was also responsible for the architectural design of a Prokurative, a square similar to the Venetian Square of Saint Mark. The square is located just near the end of Marmont's street and monastery of St. Francis located on Riva.

    There are many events and festivals held in Prokurative such as the Split Festival of Pop music (original Festival Zabavne Glazbe). The festival gathers the most famous Croatian singers.

    Enjoy your walk on this beautiful street and view of the nice and interesting square.
  • Marmont Street
    Marmont Street


    Croatian National theater Split
    Croatian National theater Split

  • Sustipan (or the peninsula of St. Stephen) is located in district called Zvončac, close to the West Coast. In the Middle Ages, there was a Benedictine monastery and a church. In the 19th century, one of the most famous cemeteries in Croatia was built on Sustipan.
    Today, there is a beautiful small forest park ideal for socializing and romantic walks.
  • Sustipan

  • The most vibrant area of Split is piazza (Split market). Piazza manifests agricultural wealth of the Split hinterland. You can taste and buy real Dalmatian and Mediterranean specialties.

    Olive oil, characterized by exceptional and unique taste, is one of the most delicious Mediterranean specialties.

    Many of Dalmatian wines are famous, for example red wine Babic from Primosten is widely known.

    Dalmatian prosciutto and cheese are also worth tasting.

  • homemade cheese and dried meat
    homemade cheese and dried meat

    homemade bread and honey
    homemade bread and honey

  • Marjan hill is known as a place of contemplation of numerous medieval hermits. No wonder, because it is naturally preserved.
    Nowdays, it is a place for recreation, sports, family vacation, swimming and romantic walks.
  • Marjan paradise
    Marjan paradise

    marjan bike pedestrian path
    marjan bike pedestrian path

  • Poljud is part of Split known mostly for the stadium of football club Hajduk. Hajduk was founded in 1911, and for many people in Split, it is far more than a football club: a symbol of the city; almost like a religion. Hajduk and football are the most common topics in Split cafes.
    Besides Hajduk, stadium Poljud is famous for Ultra Europe Festival, which is held there every year in July. From 2019. Ultra Europe Festival will be held on Park Mladeži Stadium.

    It is worth to mention beautiful 15th-century Franciscan monastery and Romanesque church of Holy Trinity, both located near the stadium.
  • Romanesque Church of Holy Trinity
    Romanesque Church of Holy Trinity


    Beaches are jewels of Split. The following are the most famous.

  • Beach Bačvice, the most popular beach in Split, is well-known for picigin, a game included in UNESCO's immaterial cultural heritage. It is a game played in shallow waters on sandy beaches. Players are throwing a small ball to each other with acrobatics. The ball must not fall into the sea. The aim of the game is to keep the ball in the air as much as possible.

    Bars with the good cocktail offer are located right next to the beach.

    Bacvice beach Bacvice beach full of people

  • Beaches Ovcice and Firule, known for tennis courts and players Goran Ivanišević and Nikola Pilić, are located few hundred meters eastern of Bacvice.

    Firule beach Popular Firule beach

  • Being the biggest beach in Split, Znjan is ideal for families with children. There is a large free parking space, which is advantageous to Znjan in relation to all other Split beaches. The beach has been completely reconstructed in 2018.

  • Beaches Kasjuni and Bene,which are characterized by exceptional natural beauty, are located at the foot of Marjan hill. Ideal for bikers, athletes and runners, these beaches are places of refreshment for a sportsman who run on the Marjan trim trails.
  • To find out more information about beaches in Split, visit our Split beaches page.

    Beach Kasjuni beauty
    Beach Kasjuni beauty

    If your time in Split is limited to one day or less, then I advise you to visit Diocletian's palace first. The visit includes walking through the old city, sightseeing of squares and buildings like Split Peristyle, Piazza, Museum of Split, Golden Gate etc.
    Next thing I would do is walking on Split Riva and enjoying its Mediterranean atmosphere.
    It would be a great idea to just sit for a coffee in Riva's bars and enjoy the atmosphere together with domestic people.
    Another attraction that should be visited is some of Split beaches, preferably Bacvice. You could try playing picigin there for a while.
    In the end, I would visit some of the Marjan attractions like Marjan forest park or top of Marjan hill.

    The integral parts of Split tourism are islands Brac and Hvar. They are connected to Split via ferry lines. Ride to Brac takes 50 minutes and ride to Hvar takes 2 hours. Many visitors who arrive in Split take at least a day trip to each of these islands.

    Getting to know a culture of Split is an essential part of the travel experience.
    People in Split are pretty relaxed all the time. That's the way of life in Split. "Nema žurbe" (no hurry) - is well known saying among people. I believe you will feel that vibe when you get there.

    Split is a city with many cafe bars. Socializing in bars is a characteristic of the culture. Split is among the cities with the highest rate of average time spent in cafes in Croatia. Common topics are football club Hajduk and politics.

    The population of Split is a mix of indigenous citizens, newcomers from nearby islands (called boduli) and newcomers from the hinterland (called vlaji) and Herzegovina (a region from the nearby country). Boduls are emotionally connected with the sea. That's why they engage in sea activities like fishing and diving.

    Another interesting characteristic of culture is the care of own appearance. Many men hit the gym. It is socially expected for them to be strong and fit. Similar is for women. They are expected to take special care of their looks.

    Just like whole Croatian culture, Split culture is mix of Balkan and Western culture. It can be easily noticed by the type of music being played in clubs. Some nightclubs play Balkan turbo-folk music. while others play current popular Western music. During summer season most of the clubs play the latter because it is favourite among visitors.

    Split, considered a safe city, has low crime rate, meaning that people can feel free to move anywhere they want. Although considered as safe, I wouldn't recommend walking alone during the night because there may be drunk people around.

    Most of the people in Split are hospitable and ready to help if needed. However, there are a few things to pay attention to.

    The first one is to request a bill wherever you go. Every shop or bar must issue a bill for each service or product they sell. There are some shops that may request more money if they notice buyer is a foreigner.

    Another thing is taking care of personal stuff when on the beach. I would not recommend taking too much money with yourself. Take only enough money for ice cream and cocktail.

    Being official Croatian currency, kuna (HRK) is one and only way of payment. If some seller says that he accepts euros, it probably means he is trying to illegally charge you more money than the real cost of his product.

    ATM cash machines and currency exchange offices are everywhere around the city, so do not need to worry about that.

    The nightlife offer in Split is rich. This is especially true during the summer season when most of the nightclubs work every night. That period includes the second half of May and the whole months June, July and August.

    Split-Riva-During-Summer-night Split Riva During Summer night

    Club Inbox is usually a first destination of night out. It is outdoor nightclub located two hundred meters away from the main bus station in Spit. People gather around 10 pm when DJ starts to play music, and they leave around 1.30 am, when the club is closing.
    Prices in club Inbox are little higher than average in Split; for a small beer, you may pay around 4 euros.

    bar Inbox Bar Inbox full of people

    Another option is Fabrique pub located in the centre of the city, between West Coast and Marmont's street. It's also a restaurant with a great food choice. It is favourite among the middle-age population, most people being in the 21+ age range.
    The club closes at 2 am.

    Fabrique pub Atmosphere in Fabrique pub

    Many people decide not to enter clubs before 1 am. Instead they just have fun and enjoy drinking on places of socializing. Many of these are beaches like Bacvice, Ovcice and Firule.

    Bars Bacvice and Tropic are located few hundred meters away from club Inbox, near beach Bacvice. They open at 11 pm, but people gather there around 1 am. These clubs are usually a second night out destination. Entrance to the clubs is free.
    Club Tropic is little fancier than Bacvice, so if you plan to go there, you need to take care of the dress code. On the other hand, the atmosphere in club Bacvice is more relaxed with no special dress code.
    The prices are average for Split. If you take a small beer in Bacvice, you will pay less than 3 euros.

    bar Bacvice Bar Bacvice at 1 am

    Club Central is located near Croatian National Theater, in the centre of the city. It is known as the fanciest club in Split, so if you want to go there, take special care of the dress code. Entrance is usually free for women, and men need to pay around 10 euros. Entrance fee is higher if there is a special DJ guest having performance. The club opens at 00:30 am.

    Zenta is a favourite among locals club located near beach Firule. It's a two-floor nightclub, with each floor playing a different type of music. Usually, on the first floor there is house and Hip Hop music being played, and on the second-floor Croatian trash music.

    If you want to join a group when going for a night out, Pub Crawl may be for you. It has become common in Split during recent years. Two most famous ones are Tower Pub Crawl and Pub Crawl Ziggy Star.

    Split Summer Festival (Splitsko Ljeto) is manifestation held during July and August in Split. It is held on various locations, including Croatian National Theater, peninsula Sustipan, Split Peristyle and others. The manifestation consists of theatre plays, concerts and exhibitions.
    Find full program on Split Summer festival's website and tickets on National Theater's website.

    Ultra Europe Festival is one of the most famous european music manifestations that is held in Split, on stadium Poljud in July every year. It gathers together world's best DJs. (In 2019. Ultra will be held on Park Mladeži Stadium.)
    2018. edition included performances of David Guetta, Tiesto, Hardwell and others. 2019. edition will be held on July 12, 13 and 14.

    Solin Summer Festival is manifestation held in Solin, a small city near Split. It is similar to Split Summer Festival, with advantages of cheaper tickets and many free events.
    Find full program on Solin's website.

    There are few open-air cinemas working in Split during summer months. The most famous ones are Bacvice and Golden Gate. Entrance fee for Bacvice is 25 kuna, which is around 3.5 euros. Some of the movies being played are recent date, yet some are older. Most of the movies are Hollywood ones with Croatian subtitles. There are also a few Croatian movies with English subtitles.
    You can find program of Bacvice cinema here.

    The climate in Split is mild with Mediterranean characteristics. Summers are hot, with an average temperature of 26 degrees Celsius. Winters are mild with only a few snowy days during the year (if any). The temperature rarely goes below zero.
    The sea is warm enough for swimming in June - September period and sometimes in May.

    Other than being a popular tourist destination, Split is also a great place for shopping. We will list the most important shopping centres in Split.

    Mall of Split is the largest shopping centre in Split. It's all in one place for shopping. If your shopping time is limited (and it should be because there are so many other things to do in Split), then you don't need to look for another shopping place except this one. It can be easily reached by car. There is a large garage with free parking space. Another option is to reach it by local bus.
    More info can be found here.
    City Centre One is another shopping place located few kilometres away from Mall of Split.
    Shopping Centre Joker is located few kilometres away from Poljud. It's the main advantage is the location. It is shopping centre closest to the centre of city.
    Mall of Solin is located in nearby city called Solin.

    Mall of Split
    Mall of Split

    Mall of Solin
    Mall of Solin

    The easiest way to reach Split is by car. You can take A1 highway and exit in Dugopolje, which is only a few kilometres away from Split.

    Another option is to take a bus. Many European cities have direct bus lines to Split, especially during the summer season. Others do have lines to Rijeka or Zagreb, which are very well connected to Split.

    Trains are a little bit worse option than buses due to fewer train lines, longer travel time and more expensive tickets. On the other hand, travelling by train could be more comfortable.
    The busiest train line is Zagreb-Split, driven by a tilting train. Usually, there are three to four departures a day from Zagreb to Split and vice versa.
    Train timetable and online tickets are available on HŽ website.

    Next option to reach Split is by plane. Split Airport is located 24 kilometres away from the centre of the city. The distance can be traversed by bus, taxi (including Uber) or private transfer. Another option is to rent a car.

    Important news for Asian visitors (especially Korean) is that Korean Air introduced direct flight lines Seoul - Zagreb three times a week, starting with September 2018. Travel time is only 11 hours.

    Flight from Zagreb to Split lasts only 30 minutes. This means Croatia is accessible to Asian visitors more than ever before.

    Split is located in Dalmatia on the Adriatic coast, between cities Zadar and Dubrovnik. The attractiveness of its location lies in the beautiful Adriatic coast and the naturally preserved Marjan.

    External links

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