Are you planning a trip to Croatia? Make sure to add Split to your itinerary. Split is the second-largest city in Croatia, right after its capital, Zagreb. Split has many things to do, making it a popular tourist destination, both for its countless historic attractions and beautiful beaches. If you’re planning a trip to Split, you’ll find plenty of ideas on the must-see attractions in the city in this guide. From the best spots for panoramic views of the sea to the best hiking trails in the nearby forest park – here are all the best things to do in Split, Croatia!
In this travel guide, I am covering all the most exciting attractions worth your time in this beautiful Croatian city. With a central location on the coast and ferry access to many Croatian islands, Split is an excellent base for discovering the Dalmatian coast. Whether you want to go on a road trip or a boat cruise, you’ll find many options for day trips to national parks and other nearby towns.
Ancient landmarks and narrow cobblestone alleys are staples of Split. Your time in this city can be filled with history, adventure, and delicious food if you wish.
And if you don’t, Split is still a great city thanks to its lovely beaches and easy access to secluded bays on the islands. Whether your idea of a fun vacation includes visiting as many landmarks as possible or swimming for hours, Split won’t disappoint.
Best of Split Quick Guide
Must See: Diocletian’s Palace, St. Dominus Cathedral, Seaside Promenade, Diocletian Aqueduct Where To Stay: We Collect Umbrellas, Hotel Luxe, Hotel Park Fun To Do: St. Dominus Tower, Museum of Illusions, Forest Park Marjan, Skywalk Poljud Day Trips: Plitvice Lakes National Park, Krka National Park, Zadar, Trogir Must Try Foods: Istrian pasta, Black Risotto, Pasticada, Soparnik
Best Things To Do In Split, Croatia
With a historic old town, a forest park in the middle of the city, and some of the best Game of Thrones tours in Croatia, Split has a lot to offer to anyone who visits. The city is a great destination for a holiday, whether you’re looking to spend most of your time exploring and touring museums or you just want to relax on a beach with a cocktail in hand.
It has some of the richest history of all the Croatian cities on the Dalmatian coast, and it’s the most fun. Split is also very close to other beautiful cities, allowing for fun and easy day trips.
1. Walk Around Old Town Split (Diocletian’s Palace)
One thing that makes Split such a special destination is that its old town is designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site. That’s because the old town of Split is situated within the walls of the Diocletian’s Palace, which was famously constructed as a residence for the Roman emperor.
My favorite way of passing time in Split was roaming around the narrow cobblestone alleys. All the cobblestone alleys look alike, which was a nightmare for me because I have a poor sense of direction. But I enjoyed getting lost in the narrow passages, and I made it my mission to pet every stray cat that came across my path.
Explore Diocletian’s palace and pay attention to all the different city gates. Enter every alley you see because you never know what awaits on the other end. You’ll stumble upon graffiti, tiny shops selling local goods, and fat stray cats.
Practical Information: The Old Town of Split is accessible at any time of day or night, free of charge. But this walking tour is highly recommended.
2. See The View from St. Dominus Cathedral’s Bell Tower
The bell tower of St. Dominus Cathedral is the most prominent landmark in Split. It’s visible from everywhere in town, so it’s constantly inviting you to climb it and see what the view is like from the top.
It’s the best view in Split, and you can stay at the top of the tower as much as you like. First, make sure you have a water bottle because the climb is long and tiring. Then go to the ticket office opposite the Cathedral, and buy tickets for the bell tower.
You can then head up the stairs towards the church entrance and turn left to enter the bottom of the tower. There are many steep steps to climb, and the stairway is very narrow, but the effort pays off once you reach the top.
Insider Tip: Purchase tickets just for the bell tower. They’re significantly cheaper than combo tickets for the tower and the church, and you’ll still be able to go inside the cathedral.
Practical Information: St. Dominus Cathedral and Bell Tower are open from 8 AM until 7 PM. Tickets are available for 3€ – 15€. We accessed the bell tower and the cathedral, but not the crypt, with the cheapest tickets.
3. Visit The Game of Thrones Museum
One of the reasons why Split has become internationally famous over the last few years is because it is prominently featured in Game of Thrones. Most scenes featured in the TV show were filmed inside the walls of Diocletian’s Palace, and you might recognize some places just from walking around the old town.
The museum exhibit features replicas of dragons and costumes, and it’s a must for any die-hard Game of Thrones fans. But if you’re not that interested in the series, feel free to skip this museum. Read more: Game of Thrones Filming Locations You Can Visit in Real Life
Practical Information: The Game of Thrones Museum is open from 10 AM until 5 PM. The tickets are 14.5€.
4. Day Trip to Krka National Park
Krka National Park is only an hour outside Split, and it’s one of the best national parks in the country. I enjoyed Plitvice Lakes more, but that’s because I went to Krka during a national holiday, and the crowds were way too big for my liking.
Head to the Lozovac entrance to the park because it’s the closest one to Split. It’s a vast national park, and it will take you 5-6 hours to see everything. Bus rides in the park are included in the ticket price and can save you hours of walking down the roads.
Skradinski Buk Waterfall is closest to the southern entrance (Lozovac). Roski Waterfall is near the northern entrance to the park. The Franciscan Monastery on a tiny island in the central area of the park is another highlight, and boat excursions to the monastery are available for an additional fee.
Practical Information: Krka National Park is approximately an hour to 90 minutes away from Split by car and bus. Tickets for the park are 7-40€ depending on the season (most expensive from July to September). You can book a day tour including boat cruise that will pick you up from your hotel in Old Town Split.
5. Stroll Down The Seaside Promenade
The seaside promenade in Split – or Splitska Riva as the locals call it – is an iconic part of the city. It is lined with cafes and restaurants on one side and a splendid view of the Adriatic Sea on the other. In the middle is a road and a pedestrian area with palm trees and benches inviting you to sit and take in the views.
Most of the cafes and restaurants here are tourist traps and have the highest prices of all the locales in Split. But I didn’t mind being trapped for half an hour because the views are just that good.
Practical Information: The seaside promenade is accessible 24/7 for free.
6. Relax At Forest Park Marjan
Marjan Forest Park is a proper oasis in Split, situated on a peninsula that juts out into the sea. A visit to the park could count as a day trip because it’s such a vast space with plenty of things to do. Hiking trails, observation decks, and beaches are all found at this park, which offers sweeping panoramic views of Split’s historic center.
An afternoon at the park is a great way to take a break from the relentless crowds inside Split’s old town. Hike to the Telegrin Peak observation deck at the top of the hill, for the best view of the rooftops in Diocletian’s Palace. And head downhill to the beaches at the foot of the hill to soak in the sun and swim in the Adriatic Sea.
Practical Information: Marjan Forest Park is accessible by walking trails and a local bus. It’s accessible 24/7 for free.
7. See The Exhibit at the Mestrovic Gallery
Ivan Mestrovic is the most famous sculptor and architect from Croatia and a local legend. His statues adorn the streets of Split, Zagreb, and Belgrade, but also those of Chicago, Baton Rouge, and Ontario.
Mestrovic Gallery is a museum dedicated to the late artist. It’s situated at the foothills of Marjan Park, and it’s easily accessible by buses and walking paths from Split Old Town.
The museum is on the grounds of the sculptor’s former residence, and even the house itself is a work of art. Inside it are countless thought-provoking statues, perfectly illustrating the famous artist’s immense talent.
Practical Information: Mestrovic Gallery is open every day except Monday from 9 AM until 5 PM. The entrance fee is 12€. Or you can book this private half day tour of Split that includes entrance to the Mestrovic Gallery.
8. Head to Trogir For A Day
A half-day trip to Trogir is perfect for a morning or an afternoon in Split. It’s only a 20-minute drive between the two towns, and you can drive either on the highway or the local roads. I recommend the local road because it follows the coast of the Adriatic Sea, and it’s a much more scenic drive.
Trogir’s old town is situated entirely on a small island. It’s connected to mainland Croatia with a bridge, which you must cross to reach the old town. The historic old town is charming, with cobblestone alleys and countless ancient buildings.
The town of Trogir even has a castle on the southwestern edge of its old town. It’s right next to a small beach, where you can go for a swim if the weather allows. Also, see the St. Dominic Monastery and Church, the Trogir City Museum, and St. Peter’s Church.
Practical Information: Trogir is 20 minutes by car or 30 minutes by bus from Split. This speedboat trip is an excellent day tour that includes a stop at the Blue Lagoon and the UNESCO World Heritage Site of Trogir’s Old Town.
9. Day trip To Plitvice Lakes National Park
Plitvice Lakes is lauded as the best national park in Croatia, and I tend to agree with that statement. Situated approximately two and a half hours from Split by car, this national park is by far the best destination for a fun day trip from Split.
I visited Plitvice Lakes in autumn, and it was a wonderful experience. That’s the best time to visit to see the striking contrast between the red and orange treetops versus the turquoise lakes. And there aren’t too many people at the park, so you don’t have to buy tickets in advance or wait in long queues for the transport.
Loads of hiking trails in the national park will allow you to discover its beauty. All visitors can also ride the free buses and boats throughout the park, which allows for a much quicker exploration. The boat trip was my favorite experience, second only to the sight of the Great Fall.
Insider Tip: Tickets are cheaper if you buy them at the entrance.
Practical Information: Plitvice Lakes National Park is open year-round. Entrance to the park is from 8 AM until 1 PM, and the tickets cost 10-40€, depending on the season.
10. Visit The Museum of Illusions
The Museum of Illusions was first opened in Zagreb, Croatia, and it didn’t take long for it to become a franchise with museums in Las Vegas and Singapore. It’s my favorite interactive museum, and I love visiting it in every city I travel to because there’s always something unique to that location.
Head to this museum in Split to spend an hour or two exploring the different exhibits and having the time of your life. Pose for unique photographs, try to spot all the different illusions, and touch as many exhibits as you like.
Whatever you do, don’t enter the anti-gravity room. It messes with your brain’s balance system and can quickly make you nauseous. That was my experience, at least, but my companions didn’t have as bad a time in that room.
Practical Information: The Museum of Illusions is open every day from 10 AM until 4 PM. Tickets are 12€ per person. Get your tickets in advance here.
11. Boat Trip to the Blue Cave
The Blue Cave is one of the most famous natural landmarks in Croatia, and a boat tour from Split is the perfect way to discover it. You’ll also see some of the nearby islands and discover a small slice of paradise known as the Adriatic Sea.
This stunning natural landmark is set in a small bay on the island of Bisevo. The cave gets its name from the blue light, which appears inside at certain times of day in sunny weather. This cave is accessible only by guided tours.
During the boat ride to the famous cave, you’ll also pass next to a few of the most famous islands in Croatia. Bra?, Hvar, and Vis are all along the way, and many guided tours even include a proper visit to the island of Vis.
Insider Tip: Swimming is not allowed in the Blue Cave. Practical Information: Tours of the Blue Cave take place between April and October. The cost of tours from Split starts at 100€ and includes trips to nearby islands.
Another popular boat tour is a Blue Lagoon Cruise. Set sail along the Dalmatian Coast to three different Croatian Islands. Swim or snorkel in the Blue Lagoon and visit the white sand beaches and beach bars of Laganini Beach Club at the historic town and harbor of Trogir.
12. Take a Break at Bacvice Beach
Bacvice Beach is just a 15-minute walk from the city center of Split. The sandy beach is known for its shallow waters, and it’s a perfect destination in Split for swimming and sunbathing. When I was there in March, some locals were swimming in the sea. I didn’t dare dip a toe in the water because it was icy cold, but apparently, it’s possible if you’re brave enough.
The beach is also popular for playing sports. Volleyball and even badminton are fun here, as long as it’s not too windy. Come here to relax, enjoy the views, and inhale that wonderful scent of salty seaside air.
Practical Information: Bacvice Beach is freely accessible 24/7. It’s a 15-minute walk from Diocletian’s Palace.
13. See The Diocletian Aqueduct
The Diocletian Aqueduct is another fascinating historic attraction in the city of Split. It was constructed at the same time as the palace, so between the 3rd and 4th centuries AD. The aqueduct is 9 kilometers wide and 16.5 meters tall, and it is impressively well-preserved for such an ancient landmark.
This is a proper Roman aqueduct. You’d expect to see something like this in Rome, Florence, or even Naples, but not in Split. And that’s what makes this such an impressive landmark and a must-see attraction while you’re in Split, especially for history buffs.
Practical Information: The Roman Aqueduct is situated 20 minutes from central Split by local buses. Access to the area is free of charge.
14. Discover The Local Cuisine
The food is one of my favorite things about trips to Split. It’s the best place in Croatia to discover Dalmatian cuisine, which is rich in seafood, olive oil, and pasta. If you enjoy Mediterranean cuisine, you will have the time of your life in Split.
And even if you don’t, this city won’t disappoint. Many restaurants have menus with dishes traditional in northern Croatia, which are hearty and heavy on meat.
The dishes I recommend you try in Split are the risotto at Corto Maltese, any grilled fish at Konoba Marjan, and Istrian pasta in black truffle sauce at Restaurant Bajamonti.
Practical Information: Many restaurants in Split are open all day, often from 8-10 AM until 12 AM. Reservations should be made in the peak season, but they’re not necessary in the off-season.
15. Go Inside Jupiter’s Temple
Jupiter’s temple is a small temple from the 3rd century with a modern statue of Jupiter inside. In front of the temple is a statue of the sphynx, similar to the one that stands guard at the entrance to St. Dominus. Cathedral.
The temple is small and hidden away in a narrow alley. It’s close to the narrowest alley in Split, named Let Me Pass, which is only 1.9 feet wide. Trying to pass through the alley is an adventure in its own right, even more so because it leads you to this historic landmark.
You’ll know you’re at the right place if you see a tall green double door. There’s not much to do inside except see the statue and admire the incredibly detailed carvings on the curved ceiling.
Practical Information: Jupiter’s Temple is accessible by anyone who purchases the purple ticket for the St. Dominus Cathedral and Bell Tower.
16. Visit Zadar
Known as the Pearl of the Adriatic, Zadar is one of the most beautiful cities on the coast of Croatia. With medieval buildings, a stunning old town, and some of the most famous landmarks in the country, Zadar is well worth the two-hour road trip from Split. This Zadar sunset tour takes you to all the highlights, including the Land Gate, Square of Five Wells, Church of St. Donatus, and Saint Anastasia Cathedral, and watch a fantastic sunset as you listen to the sea pipe organ.
The city has a gorgeous old town with countless historic buildings, but the star of the show is the Church of St. Donatus. Dating back to the 9th century, the imposing cathedral dominates the entire square in front of it. Just a couple of minutes from the cathedral are the Sea Organ and Greeting to the Sun, two of the most famous monuments in all of Croatia.
Zadar also has some excellent museums. The Museum of Ancient Glass offers exhibits on the history and archeological findings, while the Archaeological Museum of Zadar has a detailed exhibit on the finds excavated from the site of St. Donatus church.
Practical Information: Zadar is an hour and 45 minutes from Split by car, or two and a half hours by bus.
17. Visit The Froggyland Museum
The Froggyland is the weirdest museum in Split, possibly even wider. To my huge disappointment, the museum was closed when I was last in Split, so I haven’t actually had the chance to see the exhibit live. But I’ve looked through all the photos, and it’s at the top of my list for my next trip to Split.
At this museum, you can see 20+ dioramas of miniature frogs in all sorts of scenarios. Frogs as politicians, poker players, and even warriors. It is incredibly bizarre and utterly fascinating at the same time, and I highly recommend this museum to anyone who enjoys things that are out of the ordinary.
Froggyland is particularly popular with children, and it’s one of the best things to do in Split if you’re traveling as a family.
Practical Information: Froggyland Museum is open from 10 AM until 10 PM between April and November.
18. Attend a Local Wine Tasting
The mild Mediterranean climate of Croatia has proved perfect for the production of olive oil and wine. Most of the country’s best wineries are in the northwest region of Istria and in the south, particularly in the area of the Peljesac peninsula.
When you visit Split, attend a traditional wine tasting to sample fine Croatian wine in one of the countless restaurants and bars throughout the city. These often include 2-3 glasses of the most popular local wines and usually some snacks. You can also just walk into any store in Split and buy a bottle of delicious local wine.
But what I would recommend is a tour of the only winery in the city of Split. Divina Vina is a winery situated in a war bunker underneath an apartment building. Yes, you’ve read that correctly; it’s a weird location, but they offer tours and tastings, and you don’t even have to make a reservation.
Practical Information: Divina Vina Winery doesn’t have set working hours. It’s best to contact the owner, Ivan at +385 (0)97 7762 407 to inquire about tastings and tours.
19. Tour Diocletian’s Cellars
The underground of the Diocletian’s Palace is open for public tours, and it’s one of the top attractions in Split, especially on hot summer days. It’s much colder in the cellars than outside, making them a popular destination for people seeking shelter from the sun.
Enter the Diocletian’s Palace through the gate on the lower end of the seaside promenade, and the entrance to the cellars will be to your left. This is the one attraction in Split that I wanted to do but didn’t because of the museum’s short working hours. But I swear, the next time I’m in Split, this is my first stop, and it helps that they’ve adjusted their operating hours since my last visit.
The Palace Underground is incredibly well preserved and is partially responsible for the inscription of Split’s historic center on the UNESCO World Heritage Site list. Parts of the Cellars were inhabited during the Middle Ages, while other chambers housed tools for the production of olive oil and wine.
Practical Information: Dioceltian’s Cellers are open every day from 9 AM until at least 6 PM. Between May and October, they’re open until 8 PM. The entrance fee is 7€.
20. See the Fortresses in Šibenik
Situated just an hour outside Split, Šibenik is another splendid historic city on the Adriatic coast. It’s only 20 minutes from the Krka National Park, and you can easily visit both places during a day trip.
This stunning town is known for its historic old town with no less than 2.851 steps, four spectacular fortresses, and easy access to Kornati National Park. I recommend visiting the Barone Fortress. It has a cafe/bar, and you can sit down and sip on some delicious Croatian wine while admiring the panoramic views of the sea and St. Nicholas Fortress.
Don’t miss out on the Cathedral of St. James, either. The imposing church was completed in the early 16th century, and it is a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
Practical Information: Šibenik is an hour’s drive from Split or a 90-minute bus ride. Book this highly rated tour that includes Split & Trogir: Krka Waterfalls, Šibenik, and Primošten.
21. Skywalk Poljud
Head to the Poljud stadium in the northern area of Split. It’s far from the city center but easily accessible by local buses.
Skywalk Poljud is an adrenaline tour that includes walking on the roof of the stadium, followed by a rope swing. You jump from underneath the roof and swing on a 70-meter rope. It’s the most exciting thing to do in Split and an absolute must for all travelers who are always looking forward to the next adrenaline rush.
Practical Information: Skywalk Poljud tours last for 90 minutes and are priced at 70€. Inquire about available tours via email at [email protected].
22. See The Old Town Hall
The Old Town Hall is situated in the heart of Diocletian’s Palace, recognizable by its Gothic-style windows. It was originally constructed in the 15th century, and in 2021 the building was renovated. It now looks immaculate and hosts temporary art and photography exhibitions.
Spot the building during a standard walking tour of Split and go inside if there’s an exhibition while you’re there. Local artists are often promoted at the Old City Hall, and it’s an opportunity to discover some unique and interesting Croatian art.
Practical Information: The Old City Hall is situated at the People’s Square in the heart of the old town. It’s open from 9 AM until 9 PM.
23. Croatian Maritime Museum
The Croatian Maritime Museum in Split was founded in 1925, and since then, it has housed an exhibit on various maritime art and relics. There’s also a life-sized ship inside the museum, making it a must-see attraction for anyone interested in this industry.
The museum exhibit includes replicas of famous ships from history, as well as tools used in shipbuilding. Weapon systems traditionally used on warships are also part of the museum collection.
Practical Information: The museum is open from 9 AM until 5-8 PM, depending on the season. Tickets are 3.50€.
Frequently Asked Questions
Is Split In Croatia Worth Visiting?
Yes, Split in Croatia is absolutely worth visiting. The historic town features many interesting attractions and landmarks, as well as easy beach access and beautiful nature.
What Is Split Croatia Best Known For?
Split in Croatia is best known for Diocletian’s Palace. Its old town is entirely situated within the palace walls, which was initially constructed as a summer residence for Roman emperor Diocletian.
Why Is Split Croatia So Popular?
Split is a popular destination because of its medieval historic attractions, excellent food, and beaches. The city’s popularity increased even more after it was prominently featured in the Game of Thrones TV show.
How Many Days Do I Need In Split?
You need at least 2-3 days in Split. That’s enough time to see the top landmarks in the city and do a half-day trip to a nearby town. Plan a stay of 5-7 days if you want to explore multiple national parks and towns on the Dalmatian coast.
Tips and Information For Visiting Split, Croatia
Best Time to Visit
The best time to visit Split is either spring or fall. The seaside town is very popular in the summer, which translates to huge crowds everywhere you go. Croatia is notoriously expensive in the summer season and the prices in restaurants and hotels triple in July and August. And don’t even get me started on the stench of sulfur on the promenade, which is only intensified in hot weather.
We went in March and had a great time. There were still tourists in the city, including a massive cruise ship, but the crowds were still manageable. There were no queues for popular attractions and museums, and we easily found available tables at restaurants without any reservations. Oh, and we paid around 30 Euros per night for a cute apartment five minutes from the old town.
The airports in Split and Zadar have some of the best international connections in Croatia, so it’s likely you can land at one of them. Split Airport is just outside the city, and Zadar Airport is approximately three hours from central Split, with bus transfers.
Ideally, you would land at Split Airport. A local bus can take you from the airport to the main bus station in town, and from there, you can take a taxi or a different bus to your hotel.
Walking is the best way of getting around Split. All the famous landmarks and tourist attractions are located near the old town, so you can easily walk everywhere in no more than 15 minutes. Local buses can take you to parts of Split outside the city center, and rideshare scooters are available in multiple places throughout the city.
Car rental is your best option for day trips because it’s much quicker than the bus. You’ll save a lot of time if you drive, but buses to the nearby towns and national parks exist and are available to travelers who don’t have access to a car in Split.
How Much Time Do You Need For Split
We stayed in Split for three days, and it was just the right amount of time to see most of the things in town and do a quick day trip. I recommend a five-day stay if you want to see Plitvice and Krka national parks because those destinations take an entire day each.
For sightseeing around the Split old town and a half-day trip to Trogir, three days is plenty of time.
Where To Stay in Split, Croatia
The tourist attractions in Split are all in the historic center, so it’s best to look for hotels that are within walking distance of the old town. Bacvice is a great neighborhood to stay in because it’s very close to the old town but still much more quiet than the hotels within the walls of Diocletian’s Palace.
Personally, I would avoid accommodation within the palace walls. The crowds and noise will keep you up at night, plus they’re much pricier than hotels just five minutes from the center. Here are some of the best hotels in Split for all budgets:
We Collect Umbrellas is an affordable apartment. It’s where we stayed during our trip to Split, and we chose it for the excellent location just five minutes from the old town. Hotel Luxe is a good mid-range hotel close to the city center with comfortable beds in clean and spacious rooms. Hotel Park is a top-rated five-star hotel in Split. It’s close to the beach and a 15-minute walk from Diocletian’s Palace.
Whenever you travel to Split, you’ll have a good time. In the summer, you’ll be able to jump in the sea to cool down for the moment, but in the winter, you’ll get to experience the Christmas Market on the seaside promenade. Spring and fall offer the opportunity to discover all the landmarks and attractions without standing in queues and overpaying for accommodation.
So, the only thing left to do is to book your plane tickets and hotel. Hopefully, this guide to the best things to do in Split helped you figure out what you want to experience in this stunning seaside city.