On February 9, 2019. I decided to visit Trogir, a small coastal town 20 kilometers away from Split. Prior to that time, I had only a small portion of knowledge about it. All I knew was the fact that Trogir was a town with an interesting Cathedral to visit.
After my visit, I can say Trogir is a small UNESCO pearl which will hardly leave anyone unimpressed. Those who like sightseeing will want to return to Trogir again and again.
Read our impressions from Trogir in June 2022 as well.
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How to get to Trogir
My starting destination was Split. I used a car as a means of transport. The journey from Split was good. There was no traffic jam, and the road was fantastic. Most of the time my driving speed was 60 - 80 km/hour. The journey took around half an hour. Even during the high season, there are no traffic jams on the route Trogir - Split due to the great two-lane road.
After passing Kastela and Split Airport, there was a sign which showed Trogir. It was really easy to access and approach the town. I left my car in the first parking after the roundabout, which is less than 1 kilometre away from the old town. The parking was free because I was visiting during winter.
If you plan to go for a visit during summer, there will be more cars on the road but it shouldn't make a difference. The parking price will be higher (around 0.80 euros) per hour. Parking in the centre of the town is more expensive, so I recommend avoiding it.
If you plan to visit Croatia without a car, there are many bus lines from all major Croatian cities. The tickets are available online, or at the bus station.
History of Trogir
Trogir was established by Greeks in the 3rd century BC as a colony of Vissa, under the name Tragurion.
During the Roman age it was under the authority of Salona (today's Solin). Roman sources mention Trogir as a city.
The first Christians arrived in the 3rd century from Solin. It is known that St. Duje, today's patron saint of Split, influenced Trogir's Christians.
The first Croats arrived in the 8th century when Trogir was part of the early Croatian country. So it remained until 1102 when the Croatian country was taken over by the Hungarians.
In the later Medieval period, Dalmatia and Trogir were part of the Venetian state. During the reign of Venice, the Turkish army was harassing Europe. They tried to conquer the town but never succeeded.
After the dissolution of the Venetian state, the town fell under Napoleon's authority in 1806 and stayed until 1814. That period was marked by the development of education in the city.
After the fall of Napoleon, Austria took over the city and stayed there until 1918, when Yugoslavia was born.
Today's Trogir is part of the Republic of Croatia, and it is one of the most favourite tourist destinations among local and foreign visitors since it features beautiful architecture.
Trogir main square
The most amazing place in Trogir is the main square, surrounded by The Cathedral of St. Lawrence, the Church of Blessed Virgin Marry, the City Lodge, and the City Hall. Its atmosphere is comparable to the most beautiful world squares.
One of the first buildings you will notice is The Cathedral of St. Lawrence. It is a UNESCO protected Gothic masterpiece of art.
There are a few points of visitor's interest related to the Cathedral: the Cathedral Portal (entrance), bell tower, the Cathedral interior, and treasury.
The most important cultural attraction of the cathedral is Portal (main entrance), made by Radovan in the 13th century. It is considered to be a masterpiece of Gothic art. Even if you are not an expert in art, you will enjoy the view of the Portal.
Most of the paintings located inside the Cathedral originate from later periods, Renaissance and Baroque.
The price for climbing the bell tower is 2 euros. It took me five minutes to climb to the top. I had a nice view of Trogir and Čiovo.
The City Lodge, located opposite the Cathedral, used to be a public courtroom. It is notable for its 6 pillars decorated with capitals and two reliefs carved into the wall. Unfortunately, during summer you can't clearly see the pillars since there is a coffee bar just nearby.
But what you can see clearly is a relief called The Relief of Justice made by Nicholas Florentino. Its located inside the Lodge, on the east wall. It displays a blindfolded woman caring a weighing scale, which is a sign of justice. Above the woman there is inscription Pro Aequitate, Latin expression which means "for equity".
The second sculpture, made by Ivan Meštrović, is dedicated to Croatian bishop Petar Berislavic.
Just near the Lodge, there is St. Sebastian's church with the clock tower. At the entrance to the church, there are two sculptures: one depicts St. Sebastian the Martyr, and the other depicts Christ.
It's worth mentioning a museum of sacral art near the church.
The next building surrounding the main square is the old City Hall. It is a combination of various artistic styles. Today it's the location of the tourist board office.
Trogir features many interesting palaces of noble families. Cipko Palace stands out the most among them. It's the Reinnesance building located opposite the Cathedral, on the western side.
Riva in Trogir
After visiting the impressive main square, it was time to take a walk on Riva.
The atmosphere on Riva is relaxed, with locals and visitors sitting in coffee bars and enjoying the sun. I felt the same atmosphere as in Split, Sibenik and other ancient coastal towns in Croatia.
There are numerous tourist agencies organizing tours to nearby islands Brac, Hvar, Korcula, Bisevo etc. Some of them are available to reserve online.
The second most famous cultural attraction is Fortress Kamerlengo. It was built by Venice in the 15th century for defence against the Osman Empire. Venice, which at that time had the rule over most of the Dalmatian coast, built similar fortresses in other towns. Especially featured are Sibenik fortresses.
The fortress is trapeze-shaped with four towers at its angles.
Unfortunately, I couldn't enter the fortress because it was closed. Visitors can enter inside only during summer.
I returned to Trogir on August 27, 2019. The fortress was opened. I paid 25 kunas (around 3.5 euros) for entering the fortress. The climbing took around 10 minutes. The stairs were a little tough at the times (I recommend not wearing flip-flops while climbing the fortress), but it was worth the effort and money. The view from the top of the fortress was amazing. I could see how beautiful Trogir is.
Trogir city museum
The city museum is located close to the Cathedral. It features features archaeological remains from all ages. The earliest exhibits are from the Greek (Hellenic) period.
The exhibition of the museum takes place in several rooms. One of them is dedicated to the modern art of the 20th century. You can see amazing pieces of art made by oil painting on canvas.
The second room features stone works mostly from the Middle Ages and Renaissance. There you can see how did the living room of a rich noble family from Trogir look like in the 17th century.
St. Dominic's church
St. Dominic's church, located near fortress Kamerlengo, is another gothic masterpiece of art. The main portal features a tympanum which depicts Our Lady, St. Mary Magdalen, and St. Augustine.
St. Peter's church
Baroque lunette on the church of St. Peter was built by Nikola Firentinac, a famous architect and sculptor who also participated in the construction of Sibenik Cathedral.
There are many other buildings, churches and sculptures located in Trogir. I let you explore them by yourself, and enjoy the atmosphere of this amazing UNESCO city.
Čiovo is an island located just near Trogir. It features nice apartments, beaches and restaurants.
There are two bridges connecting the island with the land. One of them is occasionally closed due to the passage of ships.
Find updated info about events and tourist offer of the town on Trogir's tourist board website.
Day trips from Trogir
The top-of-mind excursion is a visit to Split and its Diocletian Palace. You will have a chance to see and enjoy Split Peristyle, one of the most authentic monuments from ancient Rome.
Dragon's Eye Lake is an interesting natural phenomenon that can be seen in the nearby town called Rogoznica. It will take half an hour to reach the spot from Trogir by car.
Primosten is a charming picturesque town with preserved Mediterranean culture. There you can taste one of the best red wines in Croatia called Babic and homemade olive oil of the highest quality.
The defense wall in Grebastica is an interesting site from the 15th century, built by Venice, for the purpose of defense against the Ottoman Empire. You can leave your car in a village called Galesnica, and walk to the site.
Sibenik has a magnificent fortification system, which is gaining popularity in 2022, after the reconstruction of the St. John's fortress. There you will have a chance to explore the most imposing gothic-renaissance building in Croatia, the Cathedral of St. James.
It will take you one hour to reach the town from Trogir.
Islands Brac, Hvar and Vis can be visited via organized tours that have a starting point at Trogir's Riva. The most popular one is the five island hopping tour, which includes a visit to Blue Cave at Bisevo.
Accommodation in Trogir
The most impressive accommodation place is Villa Royal, located 1 kilometre away from the old town. Although it's a luxury building with a swimming pool and a view of the sea, the price for a two-person room is less than 150 euros/night.
Check out all accommodation options on the map below, provided by our partner booking.com