Split - Croatian Mediterranean paradise
Split, the second biggest Croatian city, is known for ancient sights, sandy beaches and rich nightlife. Being in the center of attention for many potential visitors, it has become popular tourist destination.
Continue reading to find out main beauties of Split that attract so many people every year.
Split sea beauty
- What to visit in Split
- Diocletian's palace
- Golden gate (Porta aurea)
- Papalic's palace
- Riva in Split
- Prokurative and Marmont's street
- Spit Piazza (Split Market)
- What to visit first
- Split beaches
- Culture and tradition
- Safety and money
- How to get in Split
- Map and location
- Photo Gallery
What to visit in Split
Being located in the narrow center of Split, the palace is must see attraction for every visitor. It contains a lot of originally preserved ancient sites that include streets, squares and churches. It was called a palace, but it was more like big fortress surrounded by walls and towers.
The Split Peristyle, a square located at the eastern part of the palace, is considered as the most beautiful in the city.
The Split Peristyle full of people
The statue of Gregory of Nin (Grgur Ninski), located just near the entrance, reveals master craftsmanship of Ivan Meštrović, the most famous Croatian sculpturer.
Gregory of Nin, known as Croatian national hero, was medieval bishop and proponent of Slavic worship.
Golden gate - main entrance to the palace
Gregory of Nin - sculpture made by Ivan Meštrović
Riva is also place of romantic walks, love and socializing. Looking around yourself, you see people feeling pretty relaxed and having a great time. There is special Mediterranean atmosphere out there.
While walking on the Riva, take an ice cream or pancakes. Sit in caffe bar and enjoy coffee and the sun.
The biggest party in Split is held every year in Riva on May 7, when the patron of the city St. Duje is celebrated. The celebration is held throughout the day, from morning mass to evening concerts.
There are many events and festivals held in Prokurative such as the Split Festival of Pop music (original Festival Zabavne Glazbe). The festival gathers the most famous Croatian singers.
Croatian National theater Split
Today, there is a beautiful small forest park ideal for socializing and romantic walks.
Olive oil, characterized by exceptional and unique taste, is one of the most delicious Mediterranean specialties.
Many of Dalmatian wines are famous, for example red wine Babic from Primosten is widely known.
Dalmatian prosciutto and cheese are also worth tasting.
Homemade cheese and dried meat on Split market
Homemade bread, olive oil and honey
Nowdays, it is a place for recreation, sports, family vacation, swimming and romantic walks.
Marjan bike and pedestrian path
Besides Hajduk, stadium Poljud is famous for Ultra Europe Festival, which is held there every year in July.
Poljud- stadium that hosts Ultra Europe Festival
It is worth to mention beautiful 15th century Franciscan monastery and Romanesque church of Holy Trinity, both located near the stadium.
franciscan monastery poljud
Beaches are jewels of Split. The following are the most famous.
Bars with good cocktail offer are located right next to the beach.
Bacvice beach full of people
Popular Firule beach
Kasjuni are much more popular due to easier access, big pebble part and free parking space located just near the beach.
To find out more information about beaches in Split, visit our Split beaches page.Beach Kasjuni beauty
What to visit first
If your time in Split is limited to one day or less, then I advice you to visit Diocletian's palace first. The visit includes walking throught the old city, sightseeing
of squares and buildings like Split Peristyle, Piazza, Museum of Split, Golden Gate etc.
Next thing I would do is walking on Split Riva and enjoying its Mediterranean atmosphere.
It would be great idea to just sit for a coffee in Riva's bars and enjoy the atmosphere together with domestic people.
Anothe attraction that should be visited is some of Split beaches, preferably Bacvice. You could try playing picigin there for a while.
At the end, I would visit Marjan attractions like Marjan forest park or top of Marjan hill.
Culture and tradition
Getting to know culture of Split is an essential part of travel experience.
People in Split are pretty relaxed all the time. That's the way of life in Split. "Nema žurbe" (no hurry) - is well known saying among people. I believe you will feel that vibe when you get there.
Split is a city with many cafe bars. Socializing in bars is a characteristic of the culture. Split is among the cities with the highest rate of average time spent in cafes in Croatia. Common topics are football club Hajduk and politics.
Population of Split is a mix of indigenous citizens, newcomers from nearby islands (called boduli) and newcomers from the hinterland (called vlaji) and Herzegovina (region from nearby country). Boduli are emotionally connected with the sea. That's why they engage in sea activities like fishing and diving.
Another interesting characteristic of culture is the care of own appearance. Many of men hit the gym. It is socially expected for them to be strong and fit. Similar is for women. They are expected to take special care of their looks.
Just like whole Croatian culture, Split culture is mix of Balkan and Western culture. It can be easily noticed by the type of music being played in clubs. Some nightclubs play balkan turbo-folk music. while others play current popular Western music. During summer season most of clubs play the latter because it is favourite among visitors.
Safety and money
Split, considered as safe city, has low crime rate, meaning that people can feel free to move anywhere they want.
Although considered as safe, I wouldn't recommend walking alone during night because there may be drunk people around.
Most of the people in Split are hospitable and ready to help if needed. However, there are a few things to pay attention to.
The first one is to request a bill wherever you go. Every shop or bar must issue a bill for each service or product they sell. There are some shops that may request more money if they notice buyer is a foreigner.
Another thing is taking care of personal stuff when on the beach. I would not recommend taking too much money with yourself. Take only enough money for an ice cream and cocktail.
Being official Croatian currency, kuna (HRK) is one and only way of payment. If some seller says that he accepts euros, it probably means he is trying to illegaly charge you more money than real cost of his product.
ATM cash machines and currency exchange offices are everywhere around the city, so you can easily take money.
The nightlife offer in Split is rich. This is especially true during the summer season when most of the nightclubs work every night. That period includes second half of May and whole months June, July and August.
Split Riva During Summer night
Club Inbox is usually a first destination of night out. It is is outdoor nightclub located two hundred meters away from main bus station in Spit. People gather around 10 pm, when DJ starts to play music, and they leave around 1.30 am, when the club is closing.
Prices in club Inbox are little higher than average in Split; for a small beer you may pay around 4 euros.
Bar Inbox full of people
Another option is Fabrique pub located in the center of the city, between West Coast and Marmont's street. It's also a restaurant with a great food choice. It is favourite among middle age population, most people being in 21+ age range.
The club closes at 2 am. Atmosphere in Fabrique pub
Many people decide not to enter clubs before 1 am. Instead they just have fun and enjoy drinking on places of socializing. Many of these are beaches like Bacvice, Ovcice and Firule.
Bars Bacvice and Tropic are located few hundred meters away from club Inbox, near beach Bacvice. They open at 11 pm, but people gather there around 1 am. These clubs are usually second night out destination. Entrance to the clubs is free.
Club Tropic is little more fancy than Bacvice, so if you plan to go there, you need to take care of dress code. On the other hand, atmosphere in club Bacvice is more relaxed with no special dress code.
The prices are average for Split. If you take a small beer in Bacvice, you will pay less than 3 euros.
Bar Bacvice at 1 am
Club Central is located near Croatian National Theater, in the center of the city. It is known as most fancy club in Split, so if you want to go there, take special care of dress code. Entrance is usually free for women, and men need to pay around 10 euros. Entrance fee is higher if there is a special DJ guest having performance. The club opens at 00:30 am.
Zenta is a favourite among locals club located near beach Firule,. It's two floor nightclub, with each floor playing different type of music. Usually, on the first floor there is house and Hip Hop music being played, and on the second floor Croatian trash music.
If you want to join a group when going for a night out, Pub Crawl may be for you. It has became common in Split during recent years. Two most famous ones are Tower Pub Crawl and Pub Crawl Ziggy Star.
To find out more, read our page about nightlife in Split.
Split Summer Festival (Splitsko ljeto) is manifestation held during July and August in Split.
It is held on various locations, including Croatian National Theater, peninsula Sustipan, Split Peristyle and others. The manifestation consists of theatre plays, concerts and exhibitions.
Find full program on Split Summer festival's website and tickets on National Theater's website.
Ultra Europe Festival is one of the most famous european music manifestations that is held in Split, on stadium Poljud in July every year. It gathers together world's best DJs.
2018. edition included performances of David Guetta, Tiesto, Hardwell and others. 2019. edition will be held on July 12, 13 and 14.
Solin Summer Festival is manifestation held in Solin, a small city near Split. It is similar to Split Summer Festival, with advantages of cheaper tickets and many free events.
Find full program on Solin's website.
There are few open-air cinemas working in Split during summer months. The most famous ones are Bacvice and Golden Gate. Entrance fee for Bacvice is 25 kuna, which is around 3.5 euros. Some of the movies being played are recent date, yet some are older. Most of the movies are Hollywood ones with Croatian subtitles. There are also a few Croatian movies with English subtitles.
You can find program of Bacvice cinema here.
Climate in Split is mild with Mediterranean characteristics. Summers are hot, with average temperature of 30 degrees Celsius. Winters are mild with only a few snowy days during year (if any). Temeprature rarely goes below zero.
The sea is warm enough for swimming in June - September period and sometimes in May.
Other than being popular tourist destinaion, Split is also a great place for shopping. We will list the most important shopping centers in Split.
Mall of Split is the largest shopping center in Split. It's all in one place for shopping. If your shopping time is limited (and it should be because there are so many other things to do in Split), then you don't need to look for another shopping place except this one. It can be easily reached by car. There is large garage with free parking space. Other option is to reach it by local bus.
More info can be found here.
City Center One is another shopping place located few kilometers away from Mall of Split.
Shopping center Joker is located few kilometers away from Poljud. It's main advantage is location. It is shopping center closest to the center of city.
Mall of Solin is located in nearby city called Solin.
Mall of Solin
How to get in Split
The easiest way to reach Split is by car. You can take A1 highway and exit in Dugopolje, which is only a few kilometers away from Split.
Another option is to take a bus. Many european cities have direct bus lines to Split, especially during summer season. Others do have lines to Rijeka or Zagreb, which are very well connected to Split.
Trains are little bit worse option than buses due to less train lines, longer travel time and more expensive tickets. On the other hand, travelling by train could be more comfortable.
The busiest train line is Zagreb-Split, driven by tilting train. Usually, there are three to four departures a day from Zagreb to Split and vice versa.
Next option to reach Split is by plane. Split Airport is located 24 kilometers away from the center of the city. The distance can be traversed by bus, taxi (including Uber) or private transfer. Another option is to rent a car.
Map and location
Split is located in Dalmatia on the Adriatic coast, between cities Zadar and Dubrovnik. The attractiveness of its location lies in the beautiful Adriatic coast and the naturally preserved Marjan hill.
The most common accommodation type in Split is accommodation in private apartments.
The price depends on location and season. The most expensive apartments are located in the center of the city, and in city areas close to the beaches like Bacvice, Znjan and Meje.
If you are going to Split by car, be sure to check if a parking space is provided. Areas of city which are not close to the center mostly have enough free parking spaces on the street, but in the wider city center it is not a case.
Other option is hotel accommodation. There is famous hotel Park located near beach Bacvice. Hotel Marjan, located at the West Coast, is in a process of reconstruction and should be ready to receive guests in 2019.
Booking.com is the most used platform for finding accomodation in Split and Croatia. Check out first minute and last minute offers because those may be cheaper than standard ones. It is advised to pay attention to review scores and number of reviews.