Split is a city mentioned in the same breath, next to Dubrovnik when it comes to visiting Croatia. Associated mainly with the Diocletian’s Palace, but recently it is probably more famous, thanks to the famous series – “Game of Thrones”, which served as the background.
It impresses not only with the great weather prevailing for most of the year, but also with its picturesque location on the Adriatic shore and an atmosphere worthy of truly luxury resorts.
Tourist attractions of Split
Split is the capital of Dalmatia and the second largest city in Croatia. It is a large cultural and communication center. It is also a good base for exploring other parts of this country. Split attracts tourists with its recreational areas, interesting monuments, tourist attractions, as well as a rich night life.
It is an ideal place for holidays for people who like to spend time actively, sightseeing and walking
So let’s start exploring Split to see what attractions and interesting places and monuments this city hides.
Diocletian’s Palace of Split
The most important attractions of Split are located, as in most cities – in the old town. However, here the area of the old town is entirely the remains of Diocletian’s Palace. This building was large enough that the current streets are the former corridors of this huge estate. The emperor’s palace was not only his summer residence, but also served military (base for troops) and representative functions.
The whole has been inscribed on the UNESCO World Heritage List.
The size of Diocletian’s Palace is evidenced by the fact that it currently houses more than 200 buildings. No funds were spared for its construction, so the marbles were removed from Italy and Greece, while the columns and statues from Egypt. The whole was surrounded by a substantial defensive wall, together with 16 fortified towers. The remains of the former residence date back to the turn of the 3rd and 4th century.
Within Diocletian’s Palace it is worth visiting the peristyle, i.e. one of the inner courtyards. It is made of granite and decorated with a statue of a sphinx, brought here from Egypt and Corinthian columns connected by arches and decorated with a stone frieze. This is one of the most important squares that once witnessed important events and gatherings. Currently, concerts and theater performances are organized here.
See on the map of Split where this attraction is located:
In addition, it is also worth paying attention to the baptistery, which was previously the temple of Jupiter. Inside, you can admire the statue of John the Baptist, sarcophagi of archbishops and a baptismal font from the 11th century.
Another attraction within the Diocletian’s Palace are the undergrounds available to visitors. In the olden days they mainly served as warehouses and leveled the level of the northern and southern parts of the property. It was in the underground that some scenes from the “Game of Thrones” series were shot. Apparently, the layout of these rooms reflects the former arrangement of the chambers upstairs.
Also worth seeing are the four gates that lead to the palace.
And so on the north side is the main – Golden Gate, on the west side the Iron Gate, on the east side the Silver Gate, while on the south side the Bronze Gate. All their names came from the materials with which they were once decorated.
The big attraction of Split is also the Riva promenade, where the social life of this city takes place mainly. Planted with palm trees, with arranged benches and numerous gastronomic establishments, it teems with the bustle of tourists until late at night.
It is here that you can buy one of the locally organized trips and go on a cruise to one of the nearby islands, or to the sunset, or to the Blue Cave.
One of the attractions of Split are the beaches.
Although there are no beaches in the center, right next to the old town, there are places in Split and the area where you can spread a towel. The most popular of them is the Bačvice beach, less than a kilometer from the old town.
Unfortunately, its popularity affects a large number of people sitting here, but it must be noted that it is a sandy beach with full facilities and infrastructure. In addition, there are other pebble and rocky beaches nearby, such as: Ježinac, Kašjuni, Firule and Žnjan.
Sights in Split
The biggest monument in Split, of course, within the Diocletian’s Palace is the cathedral of St. Duje. It was built in the 4th century as the Diocletian’s mausoleum. Then it was rebuilt into a Christian temple.
See on the map of Split where the Cathedral of Saint Duje is located:
Currently, the cathedral has the shape of a fairly low rotunda and the towering bell tower adjacent to it. One enters through a door carved in a tree, decorated with scenes from the life of Christ. Inside, it is worth paying attention to three altars (including one St. Duje) and the remains of imperial times, such as Corinthian columns with friezes. In addition, in the cathedral of St. Duje can also visit the treasury, the crypt and the archive.
Right next to the cathedral of St. Duje is probably the most characteristic building in the old town of Split, i.e. the belfry. This soaring Romanesque building is almost 61 meters high.
Despite the really long construction time (13th to 17th century), in the 18th century it began to tilt disturbingly, so it was dismantled and erected again. Today it is one of the biggest attractions, because you can climb the bell towers and admire the panorama of the whole city.
Lions and black sphinx set at her entrance are also very impressive.
Statue of Grgur Ninski
Noteworthy monument in Split is also the monument of Grgur Ninski, who was the bishop of Nin. His main merit was the attempt to introduce the Croatian language to the church liturgy. Today, the giant sculpture of Grgur Ninski, by Ivan Meštrovic, stands just behind the Golden Gate. Rubbing his big toe from the left foot is said to bring good luck and health.
There are also quite a few museum objects to visit in Split. Among them can be distinguished Galeria Mestrović, where there are works of this local, albeit famous artist. The museum is located in his villa, which he and the sculptures he donated to the city after his death.
You can also visit the Croatian Maritime Museum in Split, showing the history of sailing on the Adriatic, from antiquity to the present. Including the city’s position as an important port on the coast. In the museum you can see models of various ships and sailing boats.
Another interesting museum object in Split is the City Museum. You can learn about the history of this city over the centuries, from the very beginning to the present. The museum is located in the old town, in the Papalić Palace, and the entire exhibition covers three floors.
It is also worth visiting the local Archaeological Museum, which is one of the oldest facilities of this type in general in Croatia. The collection includes tombstones, Greek ceramics and glassware from the old Romans. Exhibits exhibited here mainly include antiquity.
A similar object is the Museum of Croatian Archaeological Monuments, where, however, you can see items that date back to the Middle Ages. There are a lot of exhibits, such as jewelry and weapons, as well as fragments of gravestones and old altars.
No less interesting place to visit in Split is the Ethnographic Museum. It applies to life and customs, not only for the local population, but also for the whole of Dalmatia. Inside, you can admire traditional costumes, musical instruments, furniture and weapons that have been used by contemporary society over the years.
These are not the only monuments, attractions and interesting places in Split.
Interesting places of Split
An interesting place in Split just behind the Iron Gate is Narodni trg, which in the Middle Ages was the central square of the city. A characteristic building here is the clock tower, together with the sundial from the 15th century and the belfry. In addition, the square also houses the building of the former town hall, erected in 1443 in the Gothic style, where the Ethnographic Museum is now located.
An interesting building is also the Renaissance palace of the Karepić family from the 16th century and the 15th-century Gothic Cambij palace.
Marjan Hill in Split
Another interesting and at the same time scenic place in Split is the Marjan hill (178 m a.s.l.), covered with 168 hectares of pine forest. This is an excellent area that can serve as a shelter from the sun on hot days. There are numerous cross-country ski runs and walking trails.
Among the trees are hidden small churches and chapels, ruins of stone houses, as well as attractions for children. On the Marjan hill there is a botanical garden (somewhat neglected, but free), a small zoo (paid, with goats, ducks, sheep, etc.) and a playground with numerous wooden objects scattered around the area.
At the very top there is a viewpoint with a panoramic view of the entire Split area.
An interesting place in Split is also Froggyland. This, in turn, is an unusual museum dedicated to frogs. Only here stuffed figurines of these animals are depicted in typically human scenes. At sports competitions, at the pool or at the school bench, or at the church. Ferenc Mere gathered here over 500 frogs over 100 years ago. Froggyland is certainly one of the more peculiar attractions of Split.
What to see in the immediate vicinity of Split?
At a distance of about five kilometers from Split is the Klis Fortress. This is the former seat of the first Croatian prince Trpimir, who suffered greatly during the war. Currently, it is successively maintained, and in the summer concerts take place here. On site you can visit the Bembo bastion, the chapel of St. Wit and living quarters of the fortress commander. It is also a good vantage point, not only for the city of Split, but also for the entire area.
The ruins of the former Salon are also worth seeing. It is here that you can visit the remains of the ancient city-port, where we will see the remains of ancient buildings. These include the basilica, amphitheater, cemetery and bishop’s palace.
In addition, there are ruins of defensive walls and aqueducts, through which water was brought to Diocletian’s Palace.
If someone is still not enough, you can always go to the nearby city of Omis, about 20 kilometers away from Split. In this relatively small town, life is bustling in summer.
Tourists are attracted here by the rare sandy beaches in Croatia and shallows on the seafront, ideally suited for the play of small children. In addition, in July the famous Dalmatian Klap Festival takes place in Omis, and so-called kayaking with adrenaline is organized on the nearby Cetina River.
It is also worth visiting the official Split website where you will learn more about attractions, interesting places and monuments worth visiting.
What are Split’s favorite attractions? Which interesting places do you visit most often? We look forward to your comments in the forum.