View of Split from Marjan Park, Croatia

10 best things to do in Split, Croatia

by Jan

Are you planning a visit to Croatia and wondering what are the best things to do in Split?  Or maybe you’ve already booked your trip and are wondering how to spend a week in Split?

Split, on Croatia’s Dalmation coast, offers a wonderful blend of rich history, culture and geographical variety.  It’s an ideal family holiday destination, as there are plenty of things to do in Split for children.

Split lies on a small peninsular on the shores of the Adriatic Sea and is Croatia’s second-largest city.  Having been to Dubrovnik a couple of times, we were keen to return to Croatia. With its easy access and wide choice of things to do, Split seemed the perfect choice.

In this guide we share our 10 best things to do in Split:-

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Visit Diocletian's Palace

Diocletian's Palace, Split, Croatia

Top of our list of the best things to do in Split is visit Diocletian’s Palace.

Diocletian’s Palace is an ancient palace built for the Roman emperor at the turn of the 4th Century. This impressive monument is part of an ancient complex, which includes over 200 historical buildings.  The Palace is a UNESCO building and a fine example of some of the best- preserved architecture in the world.

Unsurprisingly, Diocletian’s Palace is one of the best attractions in Split.  Game of Thrones fans may recognise some scenery from the popular HBO drama.  You’d be correct in thinking that Diocletian’s Palace is where Daenerys Targaryen kept her dragons!

Admission to Diocletian’s Palace is free.  Alternatively, you can buy a ticket which will permit you to explore the excavated remains of the basements.  Avid Game of Thrones fans will note that this is the actual setting for  Daenerys’ throne room.

Explore Split's Old City

After a visit to Diocletian’s Palace, take a walking tour of the rest of Split’s Old Town.  Split is relatively small compared to some cities and very compact, which makes it easy to navigate on foot.  This is ideal if it’s your first time in Split, as there’s something new at every corner.

Split is a beautiful city.  It has a maze of winding alleys and backstreets, where you can see its Romanesque churches and baroque architecture.  Look out for the Cathedral of St Domnius, the world’s oldest Catholic cathedral.

Afterwards, stop for a drink at Pjaca Square (People’s Square), where you can watch the world go by.  Opposite is the Old Town Hall, which is one of the many museums in Split and will often host visiting art exhibitions.

Alternatively, head to Fruit Square, which hosted the city’s fruit market for many years.

 

People's Square, Split, Croatia

Rub Gregory’s lucky toe

Statue of Gregory's Lucky Toe, Split, Croatia

In front of the Golden Gate, you’ll find the enormous Gregory of Nin Statue.  Don’t forget to rub his golden toe and make a wish!

Gregory was a medieval Croatian bishop, who strongly opposed the Pope.  Nowadays, we can remember him, as his statue stands proudly in front of the Golden Gate of Diocletian’s Palace.

Saunter along The Riva

Now, once you’ve had your fill of Split’s wonderful  historic buildings, head across to The Riva on the waterfront.  It is directly in front of the old town.

The French style promenade has palm trees, cafés and restaurants overlooking the Adriatic water.  It’s perfect for a stroll.

 

view of the waterfront in Split, Croatia from sea flanked by high cliffs

Visit the Marina

Afterwards, follow this pedestrian heaven along the waterfront, you will come to Split’s Marina.  With its panoramic sea views, it is the ideal spot to admire the yachts and boats.

Split Harbour, view of boards and reflections in blue sea.

Pack a picnic for Marjan Park

From Split harbour you can climb the 170 shady steps up the hill into Marjan Park.  Lush with pine and Cyprus trees, Marjan Park offers hiking trails, a small playground and a botanical garden.

You’ll also find two churches on the hill, as well as the ancient Jewish cemetry.

Marjan Park also has one of the best viewpoints in Split.  You can get sweeping views over the city of Split.  Plus, it’s a perfect picnic spot!

Hit the beach

Bacvice Beach is a sandy beach, with clear waters, only 10 minutes’ walk from Split’s city centre.  Alternatively,  you could head to the pebble beach of Kasjuni near Marjan.

Amuse yourself at Froggyland

One of the most unique things to do in Split is a visit to Froggyland, Croatia’s only Frog museum.

Froggyland is a rather exceptional museum exhibiting over 500 stuffed frogs!  You’ll find it hidden in the back alleys of the city centre.

The artist preserved his extraordinary collection of amphibians using a complex method of taxidermy through the mouth.  He then positioned the frogs in scenes representing real-life situations – a school, circus, carpenter shop etc.

It’s not a big museum, but it’s worth a visit to Froggyland just for the sheer uniqueness of the exhibits.

Froggyland Museum, Split, Croatia

Fall in love with Krka National Park

No visit to Split would be complete without a visit to Krka National Park.

Krka National Park is one of Croatia’s most beautiful natural beauty spots.  The park is about 1 hour’s drive from Split.  It is easy to take an organised tour, a bus or a taxi.

There are 5 official entrances to Krka National Park, but we entered via Skradin.

From Skradin we took a river cruise to Skradinski Buk.  The boat ride takes 25 minutes and is included in the admission price.  Once inside, follow the trails around lakes and woods and admire the grandeur of the 7 waterfalls.  The scenery is stunning and this day trip makes a great excursion from Split.

The walking trails are reasonably short and very accessible.  There are boardwalks around the lakes, so would be fine for children of all ages.

Views of river on journey to Krka National Park, Croatia
Skradinski Buk Waterfall, Krka National Park, Split, Croatia

Take a dip at the Skradinski Buk Waterfall

The most popular attraction in Krka National Park is the impressive Skradinski Buk Waterfall.  It’s a large natural pool, fed by a network of cascades and waterfalls.  It’s a popular spot for swimming, though the water is very cold.

Top Tip:  Take some water shoes, as it is quite rocky underfoot.

Practicalities

Getting to Split

We travelled from London to Split with Easy Jet and the flight took 2 h 25 mins.  Split airport is 25km west of Split city centre.  There are regular bus services or you could take an integrated bus and train service.  It takes about 30 minutes.

If you are flying with Easy Jet, watch out for the latest hand luggage restrictions.  Your basic allowance now only includes an under seat flight bag.  I bought this new bag from 5 cities on Amazon, which meets the maximum allowance.

Accommodation in Split

We stayed at the Luxury Villa Luminosa in Split.  It is an extremely contemporary villa with plenty of outdoor space and a swimming pool. The kids loved it, especially the pool.  It is about 15 minutes from the city centre, but the host will arrange transport.

You’ll find plenty of other accommodation nearer to Split City Centre, but not many have a pool.  See below for current prices and availability on Booking. com.

Currency in Croatia

The official currency of Croatia is the Croatian Kuna (HRK).

We hope you enjoyed our post on the best things to do in Split.  We’d love to hear your comments below.

*Disclaimer: This post contains affiliate links – any purchases you make are unaffected but I may receive a small commission. (Read our full Disclosure Policy)

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