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 the main beauties of Split that attract so many people every year.
UPDATE 2021: Read our 2021 Split travel guide as well to see how does it look like after pandemic.
Table of Contents
- What to visit in Split
- Split beaches
- Split in one day
- Day trips from Split
- Culture and tradition of Split
- Safety in Split
- Nightlife in Split
- Climate in Split
- Events in Split
- Shopping in Split
- How to get to Split
- Map and location of Split
- Accommodation in Split
- Frequently Asked Questions
- Split photo gallery
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What to visit in Split
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.
Cathedral of St. Domnius is an architectural masterpiece of art which dates back to the emperor Diocletian, who wanted to build his mausoleum in the place of today's cathedral. But history has decided otherwise. Diocletian's bones were moved away from his mausoleum. Instead, the bones of Christian martyrs persecuted by Diocletian, including St. Domnius, were brought into the building, which became Split Cathedral.
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 Mestrovic, 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.
Find more info on our Diocletian's Palace page.
Riva in Split is promenade along the sea located near the Diocletian's palace.
Being special and emotional place for locals, Riva 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.
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.
Sustipan (or the peninsula of St. Stephen) is located in district called Zvoncac, 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.
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.
If you are looking for a place for recreation, running, cycling, a romantic or family walk in Split, there is one which includes all those activities. It is Marjan forest park.
The main Marjan path is about 1700 meters long. It is ideal for families with small children because there are no cars. It is only necessary to watch out for bikers.
Pedestrian and bicycle paths are separated, which makes walking and riding a bike even more comfortable.
If your child doesn't know how to ride a bike, Marjan could be a great place to learn.
It is possible to rent a bike at an affordable price.
For all those who are engaged in running or MTB cycling, Marjan is also an ideal place. There are numerous forest roads, trim trails and workout places.
There are three beaches located at the foot of Marjan hill: Kasjuni, Bene, and Kastelet.
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 Mladezi Stadium.
Due to coronavirus pandemic Ultra Europe 2020 is cancelled. It is still unclear if the festival will be held in 2021.
It is worth to mention beautiful 15th-century Franciscan monastery and Romanesque church of Holy Trinity, both located near the stadium.
Split features amazing beaches, which are one of the main aces of its tourist offer. There is all kind of beaches in Split: pebble, concrete and sandy. Some of them are crowded, yet some feature intimacy.
Bacvice is the most famous beach of Split.
It is less than a half of kilometre away from the main bus station in Split.
It covers an area of several hundred meters in length. It is mostly sandy beach but there is also a concrete area.
The sand is very soft, making it ideal for picigin, a game included in UNESCO's immaterial cultural heritage. It is played in shallow waters. 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.
Bacvice is a great place for swimming and jumping into the sea. The swimming area is fenced for security reasons.
There are many beach bars and nightclubs around the beach. You can refresh yourself with ice cream or favourite cocktail.
Two popular nightclubs are Tropic and club Bacvice. They work every night during June, July and August.
The clubs open at 11 pm and work till 5 am. The entrance is usually free and the prices for drinks are reasonable. If you want to take a small beer, you will pay 20 kunas (around 2.5 euros).
Additional service available near the beach is rent a jet ski, kayak or paddleboat.
Znjan is the biggest beach in Split. It is an ideal vacation spot for all generations because of a large pebble beach which is a few miles long.
Another reason for the popularity of Znjan is a very large free parking space, which is a great advantage of this beach compared to other beaches in Split. If you decide to go to Znjan with a car, you can be worry-free regarding parking.
Bene is a beach located at the foot of Marjan. It is characterized by the natural beauty of Marjan forest park.
The beach is almost completely in the woods, which means there is plenty of shade. You can spend even the hottest hours of the day at the beach.
Unlike Znjan, or Bacvice, Bene is a little harder to access. It can't be reached directly by car. After you leave the car at the entrance of the forest park, you need to walk around 15 minutes to reach the beach. (It is not a bad idea at all, because Marjan is really beautiful).
Another option to reach Bene is local bus number 12, which circulates around Marjan all the time. Its starting point is Split Riva, near the church of St. Francis.
Restaurant Benedict is located near the beach. It is a place with great food choice at affordable prices. Mediterranean specialities that include fish from the Adriatic sea and seafood are little more expensive.
Right next to the restaurant there are football and tennis courts, trim tracks and bicycle trail. There is also a field for water polo and a gym.
Facilities for children are included in the beach's offer which includes tracks for toy cars and an amusement park.
Having all these facilities makes Bene an ideal place of refreshment for athletes and recreationalists. Nature lovers will also enjoy Bene because of its beauty. Another advantage is peacefulness which is not featured by other popular beaches.
Price for renting a deck chair is 5 euros per person per day, which is less expensive compared to Bacvice or Kasjuni.
Kasjuni is a large pebble popular beach, favourite among tourists and locals. It is located at the south side of Marjan, few kilometres away from Bene. Many people consider it to be the most beautiful beach in Split.
Big advantage for Kasjuni over Bene is ease of access: the beach can be reached by car and there is a free parking space. Those who are don't have a car in Split can reach it local bus number 12.
The prices on Kasjuni are little bit higher than average in Split. Price for sun lounger and umbrella is 20 euros per person per day.
The beach features rescue service and a small pebble part reserved for pets.
Firule is a beach located between Znjan and Bacvice. Just like Bacvice, Firule is a sandy beach ideal for Picigin.
Right next to the beach there is one of the most famous disco clubs in Split: Zenta.
Zenta is club with excellent music. Often guests are world-famous Djs.
The club consists of 2 floors. Usually, a different type of music is played on each floor, so you can choose the one that you like more.
During the day, Zenta works as a beach bar. Prices are reasonable. For a coffee you pay 8 kn, which is approximately 1 euro. The beer (0.3l) will cost you 15 kn, which is approximately 2 euros.
Beach Kastelet (called "Obojena Svjetlost", which means Colored Light) is another beautiful Marjan beach located 1 km away from Kasjuni. The beach characteristics are pretty similar to Kasjuni: it's pebble beach reachable by car and there is a free parking space. It is favourite among locals and tourists of all generations.
More info on tourist events and attractions in Split can be found on Split's tourist board page.
Split in one day
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 the beaches in Split, 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.
Day trips from Split
Except being an amazing tourist destination, Split is a good base for day trips. If you are the type of person who wants to visit more than one place during your holidays, Split has some great opportunities.
The first recommended day trip is visit to Trogir, UNESCO town featuring Romanesque and Reinessance architectural masterpieces of art, like Cathedral of St. Lawrence.
If you want to explore a bit of nature, you can reach NP Krka in less than two hours from Split. You can add a visit to Sibenik to this trip as well, which features Renaissance Cathedral of St. James, and Sibenik fortresses
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.
If you arrive in Split outside the high tourist season, you can even visit places like Dubrovnik and Plitvice Lakes in one day. However, a more comfortable option is to sleepover in these destinations to avoid too much travel in one day.
Omis is a small coastal town located 40 kilometres south from Split. Omis is known to be the top Croatian adrenaline destination, featuring zip-line, kayaking, rafting on the Cetina river, canoeing, and mountaineering.
Biokovo Skywalk is the new glamourous attraction located in the hinterland of Makarska Riviera. It's a small bridge entirely built of glass. Tourist agencies will organize day trips to Biokovo from Split in 2021.
Last, but not least, we recommend visiting Klis fortress, one of the most prominent fortification buildings in Croatia, located less than half an hour ride from Split. You can join this trip with a visit to the ancient Salona.
Culture and tradition of Split
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 zurbe" (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.
Safety in Split
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 take care of personal stuff while 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 it's easy to claim the money.
Nightlife in Split
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.
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.
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
Many people decide not to enter clubs before 1 am. Instead, they just have fun and enjoy drinking on places of socializing. Some of these are beaches 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 without special dress code.
The prices are average for Split. If you take a small beer in Bacvice, you will pay less than 3 euros.
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.
Climate in Split
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.
Events in Split
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 the world's best DJs.
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.
Shopping in Split
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.
How to get to Split
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.
Map and location of Split
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.
Read moreSplit after coronavirus
Accommodation in Split
The best accommodation option in Split is hotel Park. It features amazing luxury rooms and vicinity to all places of visitors interest in Split.
Another highest quality accommodation option is Raddison Blue Resort, located near beach Trstenik. It's rooms feature an amazing sea view.
Good accommodation option in the centre of Split is Prima Luxury Rooms, located just near north entrance to Diocletian's Palace (Golden Gate).
More affordable place to stay is Split Urban Rooms, also located at the entrance to Diocletian's Palace.
The map below is provided by our partner, booking.com
UPDATE 2021: Due to coronavirus pandemic it's perfectly okay to be picky while looking for accommodation since supply is much higher than demand when considering private apartments. As you can see from the map below, many of them are empty.
Frequently Asked Questions
Is Split coronavirus free?
As of February 2021, the number of cases in Croatia has been decreasing, meaning we expect life to get back to normal in a few weeks.
Are there any visitors in Split in 2021?
Not yet. As of February 2021, streets of the town are still pretty empty due to pandemic and rainy weather. But I believe the first tourists will start to arrive in March.
Split photo gallery
Enjoy the beauty of Split through the photo gallery below.