By getting more and more popular each year, especially in the summer, Split definitely earns a title of one the best destinations in Europe, and the top summer Mediteranean destination. It’s a connection city to many islands and smaller coastal cities, as well as some cities and villages inland. If you happen to spend one day in Split, it’s still enough time to check out the most interesting sights and attractions as well as some less touristy areas, spend some time at the beach, and get to know the local culture.
What’s the best time to visit Split?
Late spring or summer. It can get pretty crowded from 1st of July until the 1st of September, but on the other hand, it’s the time when there are much more activities to do and areas to explore due to the warm and sunny weather. Skip it in the winter.
What’s good to know about Split?
The city itself is a combination of a rich history and architecture, stunning natural surrounding and loads of nice beaches.
The core of the city is the Ancient Roman Palace – Diocletian’s Palace that’s built in the 4th century and continuously inhabited until today so you can witness the 17 centuries of the city history only by walking the stone narrow streets.
One Day in Split Itinerary
Top things to do in Split, Croatia
Follow this guide and make the best of your trip even if you’re short on time. These are the top sights and things to do on your one day in Split.
Visit the Old Town
Head to the Old Town right in the morning. (If you happen to visit the city during the peak season, it’s the only way to avoid some huge crowds.) Start your walking tour at the north entrance of the Palace near the Gregory of Nin Statue and make a wish by rubbing his golden toe. It will surely come true. If you’re into some morning coffee, there is a nice cafe bar terrace in the Gallery of Art (Galerija Umjetnina) just across the northern wall of the Palace. You can always check out the exhibition after you finsih your coffee.
Panoramic view from the Bell tower of the Cathedral of Saint Domnius
Wander through the narrow streets of the Old Town and finally find your way to the ancient square Peristil and the Cathedral of Saint Domnius. Visit the Cathedral and don’t forget to climb up the Bell tower for the most beautiful panoramic view of the city. It’s good to mention that the ticket will cost you only 20 kn (less than 3 euros).
Visit Substructions and Riva promenade
Continue your Diocletian’s Palace tour and go down to the Palace substructions. You can do the whole Substruction Tour at the price of 20 kn, or you can just visit the central part that’s free of charge. There, you can shop some souvenirs or jewelry in the underground market and continue your walk on the main promenade Riva.
Riva promenade is the most iconic outdoor place in Split and it’s the place where locals enjoy their coffee in the warm weather. Beside coffee shops there are some nice restaurants, but also some very delicious ice-cream shops. There are numerous benches where you can sungaze or relax in the shadows of the palm trees.
It’s the coffee time
Walk a bit to the west, and visit the newly renovated West Coast Promenade. There you can enjoy delicious espresso coffee and even more beautiful sea view. Do it in the relaxed mood like a locals do; one coffee shouldn’t last less than 1 hour.
It’s the lunch time
The suggestion is to try some of the Croatian specialities – Pašticada with gnocchi (stewed beef dish cooked in special sauce) or Lamb with peas. If you prefer the seafood go for mussels, black risotto or grilled fish. The restaurant Fife started as a local place with great traditional dishes and pretty fair prices. Although it can get a bit crowded in the peak season, it’s still a great place for tasting local cuisine.
Great view from the Marjan hill
Burn your lunch and climb hundreds of stairs up to the viewpoint Prva vidilica on Marjan hill. It’s a great place to admire the surrounding islands on one side and the stunning mountains on the other. The bar with the terrace overlooking the city is a nice place to grab a cup of coffee or some fresh orange juice.
Relax at the beach
Spend some afternoon time at the beach. Since the city is peninsula itself there are multiple choices to choose from. The sandy one, and most popular one is Bačvice, but there are dozens of great pebbly beaches under the hill on Marjan. Kašuni or Obojena could be your perfect choice.
Watch the beautiful sunset
The sunset in Split can get really magical as the sun sets behind the island of Čiovo. The perfect spot to watch that scenery are the Jadran beach and the Sustipan park. It’s also a nice place to chill after an exhausting day.
There are many nicely decorated, newly opened restaurants in the narrow streets of the Old City. Bokeria offers magnificent food with the mix of the modern and traditional flavours and the gorgeous interior. Villa Spiza is a little restaurant favored by the locals where they mostly serve Mediterranean and local dishes.
You should always check out some event sites to find out about what’s happening in Split that night. The nice bars are mostly located in/around the Old City. Check out the Ghetto bar for some cocktails and music or Bačvice beach for some beach clubs. In the off-season, clubs Judino Drvo and Central could be your best choices.
Where to stay in Split?
When it comes to Split, most of the sightseeing is walking distance from the city center or just in the very heart of the city. Therefore, the best option would be to stay around the city center.
Vida Boutique Hotel
Vida Boutique Hotel is a new charming hotel that combines tradition with the modern designs. It’s perfectly situated – even thought it’s super central it’s located in an old and quite neighborhood. You’re going to love their roof terrace!
The stylish Hotel Luxe in Split is just 5 minutes walk from the main city beach Bačvice, still super close to the Diocletian‘s Palace. Unique interior, magnificent views and facilities like sauna, jacuzzi and gym (free of charge) make it one of the top hotels in Split.
Hotel Marul is another hotel in a very heart of the city. It features an à la carte restaurant and a bar. Rooms are decorated in pastel tones, elegantly furnished. Some rooms offer a balcony with an amazing view.
Design Hostel Goli & Bosi
Design Hostel Goli & Bosi is an awarded hostel situated in a 19th century warehouse, designed by the famous Croatian architect and one of the most unique hostels all over the world. It’s only 2 minutes walking to the Diocletian’s palace and just a few meters to the sea and the main city promenade Riva.
Extra tips for visiting Split
– You should be prepared that the euro is not excepted in Croatia, so you should change your money upon your arrival.
– Even though the tips in the bars and restaurants are never included in the price, it is customary to tip at least 10%.
– Almost every coffee bar and restaurant has a free Wi-fi. If the password’s not written on the receipt just ask the waiter for one.
– Taxis in Split are cheap compared to most of the Europe, but Uber is definitely much cheaper option.
– If you just move a bit from the Old Town and the sea coast, the restaurant and bakery prices can go up to 50% cheaper.
– Make your trip to Split even more exciting! Check out Tripadvisor for all the activities and organized tours in Split or around the area. Make sure to purchase your tickets to all the attractions right away to skip the queues.
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