Things to do in Split, Croatia
With its small-town feel and warm community, it’s surprising that Split is the second-largest city in Croatia. As such, it’s packed with things to do; discover countless ancient buildings, art galleries, boutiques, fantastic bars, and restaurants. It’s also a good starting point to explore some of Croatia’s most famous spots.
The UNESCO Diocletian’s Palace is the gem of Split, widely known as the city’s most important landmark. The complex of impressive buildings sits at the heart of the oldest part of the city, reminding people of a long-forgotten Roman past. Although it resembles a fortress, it was actually built in the 4th century as the residence of the Roman Emporer, divided into living quarters and housing for armed troops.
Tip: The main courtyard is one of the top things to do in Split. It’s designed in a beautiful Peristyle format (a central square within the Palace).
Unsurprisingly, this mammoth structure was used as the setting for the filming of Game of Thrones, Croatia. These impressive stone cellars would have been used to store food and wine that was unloaded directly from the harbor. These days, there is an eerie silence, apart from the sound of water dripping, making for a great atmosphere and an undeniably good setting for Game of Thrones!
Opening Times and Tickets: Diocletian’s Palace is open 24/7 and is free entry. However, if you’d like to dive deeper and visit the famous Cellars, you’ll need to purchase a ticket for 7 EUR. Purchase your tickets in advance here.
2. Stroll Along the Riva Promenade
Discover the buzzing Riva promenade, a vibrant area adjacent to Split Harbor. Tourists and locals gather here for an evening stroll, a drink, or to eat dinner at one of the many outdoor restaurant terraces.
Lined with palm trees, and colorful flowers, the promenade is the perfect place to relax. As it’s such a popular spot, it’s regularly used as a space to host events and festivals, so there’s always something to see!
Tip: The Riva Promenade is where you’ll find most tour stands to book boat excursions to nearby islands. For example, Hvar or the famous Blue Cave (one of the top things to do in Split!).
3. Climb the Bell Tower of Split Cathedral
For unbeatable city views, head to the beautiful Split Cathedral and climb to the top of the Romanesque bell tower. Standing at a grand height of 187 feet, it’s a bit of a walk to the top — up 200+ steep steps (quite scary if you’re afraid of heights). However, it’s all worth it when you reach the top. Here, you’ll be rewarded with the most spectacular views over Split and the harbor.
Opening Times & Entrance Fee
A ticket to visit all the sights in and around the Cathedral costs €13. This includes entry to the Cathedral, Crypt, Baptistery (Temple of Jupiter), Treasury (Temple of Cybele), and Bell Tower.
Alternatively, you can purchase tickets for the Cathedral and Bell Tower only for 10 EUR. Please note you can buy your tickets on the opposite side of the square.
Open every day 7:30 AM – 6 PM except Sunday (12-6 PM).
4. Marjan Hill (Top Thing to do in Split, Croatia!)
Known by locals as ‘The lungs of Split’, Marjan Hill is a beautiful natural oasis where visitors can relax and breathe in the fresh air. Set amongst the luscious greenery of Marjan Forest Park, the hill sits very close to the center, with many walking trails leading away from the city.
If you’re feeling energetic, continue the hike via a steep but manageable pathway. On the way, you will pass lovely gardens, plenty of trees, and white benches for a much-needed rest before reaching the cross at the top, known as Telegrin Viewpoint. We recommend coming here at sunrise for the most beautiful golden views.
5. Kasjuni Beach
Not many cities have picture-perfect beaches just a bus ride away, and Split is one of them! Just 10 minutes drive from the Old Town is the beautiful Kasjuni Beach: a pebble beach with crystal clear water perfect for swimming. Unwind from city life, sip refreshing drinks at the beach bar, and enjoy fantastic views of the sea.
Bacvice Beach is also a popular choice, as it’s located right next to the city. However, expect it to be busier as a result.
Tip: For a great way to see the city and some nearby scenery, walk to Kasjuni Beach in 45 minutes instead of taking the bus.
6. Charming Split Old Town
Split’s Old Town is a maze of narrow historic alleys. These cobbled pathways lead to the majestic Diocletian’s Palace. Not far, the People’s Square (Pjaca) bustles with energy, its terraces brimming with chatter from both locals and travelers. Just around the corner, the Cyprian’s Palace stands as an emblem of the town’s beauty.
And Split Old Town proudly displays its Golden Gate – a grand entrance that once welcomed emperors and now invites travelers into a world of historical wonders.
7. Cafe Hopping in Split, Croatia!
One of the top things to do in Split is to enjoy ‘Fjaka’: the local tradition of taking a few hours over coffee with friends. There are plenty of cafes to put this tradition into practice, many of which are dotted throughout the picturesque Old Town. Grab a coffee at D16 Coffee, or have an epic brunch at Ciri Biri Bela.
8. Pazar Farmer’s Market
Looking for some local Croatian produce to take home? The Pazar Farmer’s Market is the place to go! This buzzing spot sells everything from fruits and vegetables to cured meats, olive oil, honey, and fresh flowers. You will also find clothing and trinkets, making it a great place to pick up your souvenirs.
Spend an hour or so taking in Dalmation life, watching elderly locals filling up their trolleys and bargaining for this week’s seasonal produce. Don’t forget to grab something for yourself for a lunchtime picnic! We recommend fresh cherries, strawberries, or peaches, which you can enjoy in the market square or take to Marjan Hill.
Straddling a mammoth ridge in the valley outside Split, discover the imposing Klis Fortress (the site of many historical battles). The fortress is known as the ‘Key to Dalmatia’ for its military position and importance. However, these days, the Fortress is most recognizable as the setting for many a scene in Game of Thrones, Croatia. Remember when Daenerys had the enslavers killed at Meereen? Yes, this is that exact spot!
Approach the rocky peak and pass through the 3 ancient gateways, scaling its walls for panoramic views over Split and the many Adriatic islands. The Fortress stays open until 10 PM, so we recommend visiting later in the day so you’re there for sunset. It’s one of the best things to do in Split!
Getting There: 20 to 40 minutes drive from the city center, depending on the type of transportation. You can get there by car, public bus, or with a guided tour.
Nearby to Klis Fortress is Stella Croatica, a family estate with an olive oil museum, Mediterranean gardens, and a traditional tavern that serves locally produced foods. If you want to master some local recipes, they offer Dalmatian cooking lessons (highly recommended as a thing to do in Split, Croatia!).
From Split, cross over to the small island where the town is situated, connected by two bridges to the mainland. In Trogir, you’ll find yourself in an ancient world of Romanesque and Renaissance architecture. Many quaint restaurants, cafes, and boutiques can be found in the narrow streets. Spend an afternoon exploring the Old Town and strolling on the lovely waterfront promenade or relaxing on the nearby beaches.
As Trogir is located only a 10-minute drive from the airport, it’s a great alternative to staying in Split, particularly if you’re looking for something a bit quieter. In fact, this UNESCO town is car-free, making it even more tranquil!
Getting there: There are coaches and local buses from Split bus station, or you can rent a car and drive. It is a 30-minute drive from Split and just a 10-minute drive from Split Airport. Alternatively, you can take a guided tour for more ease.
11. Day Trip to Krka National Park
Don’t miss seeing the breathtaking Krka National Park, one of the most naturally beautiful spots in all of Croatia! There are many different ways to explore the park itself, whether it’s by boat or on foot. However, all the trails and routes will lead you to a series of powerful waterfalls (7 that you can admire up close and personal).
Skradinski Buk and Roski Slap are the two most popular options, and there are wonderful hiking trails to get there. From wooden boardwalks, you can admire beautiful views of crystal clear streams, colorful fish, and magnificent flora and fauna.
Tip: If you’ve got a car, you can visit some of the more remote falls. Alternatively, a guided tour from Split is a great option, including return transportation and entrance into the park.
12. Island Hopping from Split, Croatia
Take a break from city life for a day out at sea! The coast off Split is home to many islands, lagoons, and caves, each one as beautiful as the next. From the famous Blue Cave, with its magical luminescent water, to the remote Island of Vis (the furthest inhabited island from Croatia’s mainland), there is so much to see and discover in the waters of Split!
You can find most of the island hopping boat stands down on the Riva Promenade. Alternatively, book your trip in advance online and get excited for a day of snorkeling, swimming, and adventure.
13. Hvar Island
Hvar Island has a well-deserved reputation as one of the most beautiful spots in Croatia, and it doesn’t disappoint! One of the best things to do in Split is to take a day trip to Hvar (via ferry) to explore the stunning terracotta-roofed town, its beaches, olive groves, and the UNESCO site of Stari Grad Plain.
Start in Hvar Town, allowing plenty of time to explore the many incredible cafes, restaurants, museums, and galleries. Then rent a motorbike to discover the charming countryside outside the city walls. In the afternoon, relax at the paradise pebble beaches on the island, with crystal clear water, before enjoying a sundowner on one of the sea-view restaurant terraces.
Tip: If you have time, we recommend staying at least a night in Hvar Town to enjoy the world-famous nightlife!
Getting There: Regular ferries leaving from Split to Hvar old town and Stari Grad, which take around 1-2 hours. It’s best to book ahead during the busy summer season. Alternatively, take a Split-guided tour, including all travel and experiences.
14. Brac Island (Alternative to Hvar)
For the ultimate island tranquility, head for the stunning shores of Brac: a quiet island with perfectly preserved nature under an hour’s ferry ride away from Split, Croatia. You’ll find the highest mountain peak here. It a great spot for walkers who come to make the most of the fantastic natural trails.
At the end of a day of exploration, head to one of the charming fishing villages that line the coast. Alternatively, relax on one of Croatia’s most revered spots: Zlatni Rat (Golden Horn), a breathtaking strip of sand that juts out from the island and is surrounded by rings of ever-changing turquoise waters.
Getting there: 50-minute ferry ride from Split to Bol (foot passengers) or Supetar (cars). Book your ferry tickets to Brac in advance here.
15. Outdoor Adventure in Split, Croatia
Get your adrenaline flowing with some outdoor adventure — one of the top things to do in Split, Croatia! With such fantastic landscapes right on your doorstep, there is a multitude of thrilling activities to choose from. Try river rafting in deep canyons, zip-lining across wide-open valleys, cliff-jumping off the rugged coastline, or SUP night glow tours. Choosing to explore the area around Split in one of these ways is unforgettable and gives you a totally unique perspective of the Croatian countryside.
Best Cafes & Restaurants in Split, Croatia
While the food in Split is mainly Mediterranean in style, you will also find traditional Dalmatian dishes like Pasticada, a local stew made from beef marinated in wine and prunes. In other cities, it can be harder to find veggie and vegan options. However, Split is a little bit different; the city is home to contemporary cafe culture, with plenty of vegan restaurants as well as crowd favorites like Italian, kebabs, and seafood.
- Ciri Biri Bela
- Fig Split
- D16 Coffee
- Pizzeria Portas
- Konoba Laganini
Tip: Split, Croatia, is the city of gelato! There are gelato shops everywhere you look, so always save some room for a sweet treat after your meal.
Where to Stay in Split
For first-time visitors, we recommend you stay in the Old Town around the Diocletian’s Palace. This beautiful area is home to some of the most fantastic buildings in the city and is close to all the best things to do in Split.
Alternatively, if you’d rather stay somewhere more tranquil, base yourself in nearby Trogir (close to the airport) and travel into Split during the days to sightsee and enjoy the delicious restaurants.
How Many Days in Split, Croatia?
One of the best things about Split is how small and walkable it is, which means you can see most of the top sights in one day. However, if you want to visit all the incredible neighboring islands, towns, and national parks, we recommend staying 3 days. You can visit these further away spots by yourself (you will need a car for those that are more remote) or on a guided tour.
How to Visit Split, Croatia
The international airport of Split is a 30-minute drive from the city center and just a 10-minute drive from the charming town of Trogir.
There are plenty of transport options from the airport into the city center, including the taxi apps Bolt and Uber, regular taxis, or public buses.
The city is very walkable, meaning you can reach most of the top things to do in Split on foot. In our opinion, this is always the best way to see the city (you never know what interesting shops, cafes, and bars you’ll find!).
If you want to explore outside the city, rent a car for more flexibility, or take public buses or a guided tour.
How Much Does Split Cost?
Although Split isn’t Croatia’s cheapest city, it caters to all budgets. For example, there are great restaurants where you can have a delicious dinner with a glass of wine for about 30 EUR per person. Or, if you’re looking for something cheaper, you can also opt for a takeaway pizza to enjoy in the park by Riva for a much lower price.
Best Time to Visit Split, Croatia
The beaches and islands of Split are best enjoyed in the prime summer months when everyone heads for the coast. However, this period is the most expensive and crowded (mainly because there are many festivals during this time).
For a good alternative, choose the shoulder seasons of Spring and Fall for lower prices, fewer people, and balmy temperatures, which are perfect for sightseeing.