Croatia’s second largest city is a synthesis of an ancient city with a rich tradition, glorious history & modern architecture merged in the splendid heritage. Story of this city is more than 1700 years old and started at the time when Roman Emperor Diocletian has fallen in love with this area and decided to retire and build the Palace for himself. The legend has it that at some point he got a call to rejoin an army again and he refused it with this explanation: “If you could show the cabbage that I planted with my own hands to your emperor, he definitely wouldn’t dare suggest that I replace the peace and happiness of this place with the storms of a never-satisfied greed.”
Split is The Palace, and the Palace is Split. Things to see in Split start in the old town. Stroll through Diocletian’s palace – one of the best preserved and most impressive Roman monuments in Europe. The city’s historical center is part of the UNESCO World Heritage List from 1979. Visit People’s & Fruit square (Narodni & Voćni Trg), pass the “Let me pass” street and admire the Temple of Jupiter, exit at central imperial square Perystile and get captivated by Saint Domnius Cathedral – intentionally built as Diocletian’s mausoleum later turned to a Cathedral of Split’s city patron – Saint Domnius – considered one of the oldest Christian buildings in the world. On Perystile you can also see the Sfing, although there were 13 of them brought from Egypt, this is the only one completely preserved. Don’t forget to proceed to Vestibul and the Cellurals beneath the Palace which were the filming location of the Game of Thrones. Head to the Golden Gate – entrance to the Palace that only Diocletian and his family were allowed to use and admire one of the most recognizable statues in the Town – Statue of Gregory of Nin, the masterpiece of great Croatian sculptor – Ivan Meštrović.
No, you’re not done with Split, yet. Beside the Old Town, there is a lot more left to be discovered. Walk to the sandy Bačvice beach which is a definite “must do” in Split. Play Picigin (local game) with locals or your family and friends. Picigin is a simple game played in the shallow water of Bačvice beach with a peeled tennis ball with the aim of ball not touching the sea surface. Split sightseeing should also include a Sports Walk of Fame on the West Coast. To get there you’ll pass next to Prokurative – a marvelous square built to resemble Venetian Saint Mark’s Square and Matejuška – old fishing port today used only by local fishermen’s and a place where young locals gather. If you look around, you’ll see Varoš – a neighborhood made for poor people between 14th and 17th century to keep them away from the Palace. Nowadays, Varoš takes you straight back at the time of narrow streets, medieval churches and stone houses that are mostly very well preserved and it is a place to get lost from vivacious city life and take a moment for yourself. Slightly above Varoš there is Marjan Hill – the lungs and the heart of this city and definitely the place well – worth exploring.
Another thing you must be aware of when in Split – a lot of crowd is to be expected during Ultra Europe Festival Split that is being held a few years in a row at Poljud Stadium and is visited by more than 120,000 party-goers from more than 100 countries who enjoy over 86 hours of electronic music.
Extra Tip: Poljud stadium is the historical city stadium of HNK Hajduk – local football club. You can take a tour or go to the Stadium to watch the match live. You’ll feel the unique atmosphere of a city living for its Club that is now more than a hundred years old (established in 1911).
Take a break in park called “Đardin” or turn back to “Riva” – the promenade to get familiar with “Fjaka” – the art of enjoying your spare time in large quantities, usually every day, and a a cup of coffee with your friends. In the Old Town you can also visit world’s third oldest Synagogue still working in Europe (The Oldest One is in Dubrovnik and second is in Prague).
No matter if you are in Split for a one day, city – break or one week holiday, you will hardly ever get bored. Split is a city of history, culture, sports, music, leisure lifestyle, traditional food & crystal clear sea with beautiful beaches. So, do yourself a favour and let yourself be amused by this vivid city.
If you want to get familiarized with its history and culture go on the Split Walking Tour with a licensed local guide who will offer you the best experience of Split on foot.
In case you are interested in the “bigger picture”, you can take a Panoramic Split Tour and enjoy top city’s sights such as Bačvice beach, Vidilica (sightseeing point on Marjan Hill), Poljud stadium & The Church of the Holy Trinity.
If you feel you could really use a dose of adrenaline rush during your holidays, we got you covered. Split Sea Kayaking Tour is likely to introduce you to Split from different perspective and reveal you some hidden beaches while soaking up sun rays on crystal clear sea.
If you want to see underneath the surface, or you simply enjoy being on board, you can go Diving around nearby islands. If you are amazed and attracted to Dalmatian Islands you can take a one day boat tour from Split to Blue Cave and discover 5 magnificent islands.
You found a perfect place. Traditional Dalmatian & Mediterranean Cuisine is a perfect mixture of fresh fruit & vegetables, aromatic herbs, a lot of fish and extra virgin olive oil which also incorporates elements of Dalmatian hinterland & Croatia in general. Diocletian’s Palace treasures many charming local restaurants like Diocletian’s Wine House where you can Taste traditional Dalmatian dishes like Peka or Sea Teća.
Pair it with great Croatian Wine Labels to make your experience complete and unique. Not sure which wine to go with? No problem – Wine Tasting can be arranged where a professional sommeliere will be at your service.
Would you like to join the guided tour which includes Green Market “Pazar” and Fish Market “Peškarija”, choose fresh ingredients by yourself and let the Chef prepare a tasty meal for you? – No worries. Just take the Split Culinary Tour and enjoy the taste of the local cuisine.