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 a great family holiday destination, as there are lots 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 ideal choice.

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

Marvel at the historic ruins of Split's Old City

Diocletian's Palace, Split, Croatia

In the heart of Split’s Old Town is Diocletian’s Palace, an ancient palace built for the Roman emperor at the turn of the 4th Century. This impressive monument is a fine example of some of the best- preserved architecture in the world and is one of the most visited sights in Split.

Of course, 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.

Take time out to people watch

The rest of the Split, with its Romanesque churches and baroque architecture, makes up this protected UNESCO World Heritage Site.  It is a very photogenic city.

Split has a maze of alleys and backstreets, with twists and turns, which add to its classical charm.

If you need a break, People’s Square, with its lively cafés and restaurants is great for watching the world go by.  This is also one of the best places to stop for an ice-cream.

Opposite is the Old Town Hall, which is one of the many museums in Split and will often host visiting art exhibitions.

People's Square, Split, Croatia

Rub Gregory’s lucky toe

Statue of Gregory's Lucky Toe, Split, Croatia

If you stumble across the 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 Gold Gate of Diocletian’s Palace.

Amuse yourself at Froggyland

As you work your way around the back alleys of Split’s old town, you will stumble across Froggyland. This is a rather exceptional museum exhibiting over 500 stuffed frogs!

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.  It’s certainly one of the more unique things to do in Split for families.

Froggyland Museum, Split, Croatia

Saunter along The Riva

Now, if you’ve had your fill of Split’s wonderful  historic buildings, head across to The Riva on the waterfront. This French style promenade has palm trees, cafés and restaurants overlooking the Adriatic water.

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

We entered the park from Split harbour and ascended the 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.

There is also a viewpoint where you can get sweeping views over the city of Split. A perfect picnic spot!

Head for 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.

Fall in love with Krka National Park

If you’re looking for places to visit near Split, you should go to Krka National Park (about 1 hour’s drive from Split).  Here, you will be find one of the most instagrammable places near Split.  You cannot fail to be impressed by the natural beauty of this national park.

There are 5 official entrances, but we went in by Skradin.  From here we took a boat ride to the beautiful Skradinski Buk Waterfall.

The boat ride takes about 25 minutes and is included in the ticket 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 trails are reasonably short and very accessible.  There are boardwalks around the lakes, so would be fine for kids of any age.

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

Admire Skradinski Buk Waterfall

If they don’t mind the cold, the children will love taking a dip in the pool of the impressive Skradinski Buk Waterfall.

I kindly offered to look after the bags whilst the others braved the icy plunge pool!

Top Tip:  It is worth bringing water shoes, as it can be a bit rocky underfoot.

Practicalities

How we got to Split:

We travelled from London to Split with Easy Jet and the flight took 2 h 25 mins.

Accommodation in Split:

We stayed at the Luxury Villa Luminosa in Split, which we booked through booking.com. The accommodation was very contemporary and had lots of outdoor space and facilities. The kids loved it, especially the pool.

How we got around Split:

Although the villa and pool were lovely, it was a bit far out of Split for my liking.  The friendly host was always available to take us to Split’s city centre when we needed (at a charge).  However, I prefer to be able to walk somewhere from the villa and felt restricted by the lack of independence.

Luckily, once we were in Split city centre, it is a really easy place to get around.  We were able to see all of the main sights of Split on foot.

Currency in Croatia:-

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

Thank you for reading

Thank you for reading our post on the best things to do in Split.  Have you made plans to go to Split or Croatia yet?  Which cities in Croatia will you visit?  Please feel free to comment below.

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