Julie Croatia 38 Comments

Split, the second largest city in Croatia, is a mix of modern life and ancient history. With ruins dating back to the Roman Empire, a bustling waterfront, and fresh seafood served daily at many of the restaurants in town, Split is well worth a visit on a tour through Croatia.

If you are planning a trip to Croatia, here are our 10 best things to do in Split.

Best Things to do in Split

1. Diocletian’s Palace

Diocletian’s Palace was built in 305 AD for the Roman Emperor Diocletian. This massive retirement complex sits in the center of the Old Town of Split. Over the centuries, the city of Split has grown up around Diocletian’s Palace, and during this time, many of the Palace’s buildings have remained intact. Diocletian’s Palace is now a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

If you do one thing when you visit Split, you should explore Diocletian’s Palace.

Diocletian Palace Split | Best Things to Do in Split

Important sites within Diocletian’s Palace include the Peristyle (the center of the Palace), the Cardo (one of the main streets through the Palace), and the cellar. If you are a Game of Thrones fan, the cellar is a filming site. Daenerys kept her dragons here when she was in Meereen.

On this walking tour of the old town, visit Diocletian’s Palace, the Cathedral of Saint Domnius, and the Riva promenade.

Peristyle Split | Best Things to Do in Split

Peristyle | Best Things to Do in Split

2. Climb the Bell Tower of St. Domnius Cathedral

St. Domnius Cathedral is located within Diocletian’s Palace. This is the oldest Catholic cathedral in the world, completed in the 7th century AD.

For the best view over the city, climb the Bell Tower.

Best View of Split | Best Things to Do in Split

View from the bell tower | Best Things to Do in Split


Overlooking Split | Best Things to Do in Split

Bell Tower View

Inside the bell tower | Best Things to Do in Split

3. The Old Town

The Old Town of Split is the maze of streets and cobblestoned lanes that surround Diocletian’s Palace. People’s Square (Narodni Trg) is the heart of the Old Town. Cafes and restaurants spill out into the square and one of the highlights of a visit here is gazing up at the old town clock.

Main Square | Best Things to Do in Split

Old town of Split | Best Things to Do in Split


Split at Night | Best Things to Do in Split

Old town at night | Best Things to Do in Split


Split Old Town

Old Street | Best Things to Do in Split

Croatia Narrow Street

4. Stroll the Riva Promenade

The Riva is the harbor of Split. With palm trees, colorful buildings, and views out to the Adriatic Sea, this is a popular place for a stroll.

Riva Promenade | Best Things to Do in Split

Riva Promenade | Best Things to Do in Split


View of Riva

5. Climb Marjan Hill

The Marjan Peninsula sits just to the west of the Old Town. A series of trails crisscross their way over the peninsula. For another great view of the city, consider the stroll up Marjan Hill.

We assumed the best views would come at the top of the hill. But we were wrong. From the Vrh Marjana-Telegrin viewpoint we looked out over Split. Trees and other obstacles blocked the best of the view.

Marjan Hill View

I learned after our visit to Split that there is a better viewpoint (and it requires a lot less walking than what we did!). On Google Maps, the viewpoint is called Prva Vidilica Na Marjanu. To get here, walk up Sperun Ulica (this road starts just west of the Riva) to Senjska Ulica. Take the stairs up to the viewpoint.

You can also visit Marjan Hill on this walking tour of Split. Not only will you get to look out over the city from Marjan Hill but you will also tour the old town with a local guide. The tour is usually timed for the morning or evening hours, when the weather is cooler.

6. Visit Trogir

Trogir is a separate coastal city just 35 minutes away by car or bus and one hour by ferry. This is a gorgeous, tiny town to visit. The entire Old Town is located on an island. You can tour Trogir in just an hour or two, if you move super fast, but a half-day or longer is ideal.

Trogir Croatia



Trogir Square | Best Things to Do in Split

For full details on transportation options for getting to and from Trogir, click here. If you won’t have a rental car but are interested in visiting Trogir and places near Split, this full day small group tour includes your transportation from Split. Visit Trogir, Klis Fortress, and Salona, which was once one of the largest towns in the Roman Empire.

7. Putalj Winery

If you want to visit a Croatian winery, Putalj Winery is just 20 minutes outside of Split. The winery offers tours where transportation to and from your hotel is included. Reservations are required. Visit their website for more information.

8. Zinfandel Wine Bar

If making the short trip out to a winery does not fit into your plans but you still want to sample Croatian wine, visit the Zinfandel Wine Bar. Located in the Old Town, Tim and I loved this spot. Great food, great wine, and great ambience.


Zinfandel Wine Bar | Best Things to Do in Split

9. Klis Fortress

This ancient fortress has a long history, being the site of multiple battles with the Knights Templar, Ottomans, and the Mongols, just to name a few. Now, the ruins of the fortress sit high on the hillside, overlooking Split.

Not only does Klis Fortress offer panoramic views of Split and the Dalmatian Coast, but it is also the Game of Thrones filming location for Meereen.

Meereen Klis Fortress

Klis Fortress | Best Things to Do in Split


Klis Fortress | Best Things to Do in Split

View from Klis

10. Sample Croatian Food

There are numerous restaurants to try in Split. Seafood is very popular, with fish and crustaceans fresh from the sea making their way onto dinner plates nightly. We ate at two great spots that we highly recommend.

Villa Spiza, located just off the main square in the Old Town, is a really neat spot to try. This restaurant is tiny and waits can be long to get a table (they do not accept reservations). Every day the menu changes, depending on their daily supply of seafood. The menu is written out on sheets of paper attached to clipboards. Once the supply of a dish is sold out, that item is crossed off the list.

We couldn’t get a table until later in the evening, but it was worth the wait. The menu is creative and you get the chance to sample Croatian food cooked brilliantly.

Villa Spiza

Villa Spiza | Best Things to Do in Split

Konoba Marjan was excellent. This restaurant is located just outside of the Old Town, between the Riva and the Marjan Peninsula. We sat at a table outside and dined on fresh fish and seafood. Everything was delicious.

This restaurant can book up days in advance, so make sure you schedule your reservation before you arrive in Split, especially during the summer months. Visit their website for more information.

Konoba Marjan | Best Things to Do in Split

Seafood Dinner

Konoba Marjan | Best Things to Do in Split

Day Trips from Split

From Split, you can day trip to Krka National Park, which is similar to Plitvice Lakes, only you can swim under these waterfalls. If you want to visit some gorgeous waterfalls and don’t have enough time to make it to Plitvice Lakes, this is a great day trip idea from Split. 



Another day trip idea is to cruise the Adriatic Sea and visit five different islands, including Hvar, with a detour to the Blue Cave. 


How Much Time Do You Need in Split?

One day is just enough to see the main sites within Split. With an overnight stay, you will be able to stroll the labyrinth of old city streets after sunset. Two days or more gives you enough time for short trips to really cool spots near Split.

Where We Stayed

Our roomWe stayed at the Palace Judita Heritage Hotel. This four-star hotel is a bit of a spurge for us, but with its unbeatable location and fabulous customer service, it was worth it. Palace Judita is located on Narodni Trg, the main square in the Old Town. We had a rental car, which we had to park just outside of the Old Town. Hotel staff met us at our car, picking us up in a golf cart and driving the four of us and our luggage to the hotel. For one night we had had two rooms, with one of the rooms looking out over the main square. If you are looking for an upscale hotel in the center of town, consider Palace Judita.


View from our room

View from our room

Have a great time in Croatia! If you have any questions about the best things to do in Split, comment below!

More Information about Croatia

DUBROVNIK: For a list of the top experiences in Dubrovnik, read our article Best Things to Do in Dubrovnik. We also have a guide on Where to Eat in Dubrovnik and an article about how to walk the Dubrovnik Walls.

PLACES TO GO IN CROATIA: Along the Dalmatian Coast, the towns of Trogir and Dubrovnik are wonderful coastal towns to add to your Croatia itinerary. We also have information about how to visit the island of Brac, how to explore the amazing Plitvice Lakes, and visit the Istrian Peninsula.

VIDOVA GORA: Vidova Gora, which is located on the island of Brac, is the highest point on the Adriatic Islands. Learn how to hike to the top of Vidova Gora for a spectacular view over the Adriatic Sea and Zlatni Rat.

TRAVEL INSPIRATION: Here are 15 fairytale destinations to visit around the world. For more great travel destinations, check out our article 10 Cool Travel Spots to Put on Your Wish List.


Planning a trip to Croatia? Read all of our articles in our Croatia Travel Guide.


Split Croatia Best Things to do


Split Croatia 10 Best Things To Do

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Comments 38

  1. Avatar for Angela Zorc
  2. Avatar for Tory Wadford
    Tory Wadford

    Hi Julie,
    My husband and I are travelling to Croatia, Bosnia and Montenegro in July 2023. Currently planning to fly in and out of Split. We have never had issues renting a car in Europe, but have never crossed country borders with a car. I believe I read in your 10-day itinerary that you did not have an issue driving through these countries with a car? Is there a specific car rental company you recommend or anything special required at the country border when crossing? OR do you think that public transportation between Split – Mostar – Dubrovnik – Kotor, back to Split would be easier? Thanks so much!!!

    1. Avatar for Julie Post

      Hello Tory. We had a car for both visits to this area and haven’t used public transportation here, so I don’t know how easy or convenient it is. But from our experience, a car is the way to go. Just parking can be an issue in some of the towns. It probably makes it easier to rent a car, picking it up and dropping it off from the same place. We used Europcar for our trip to the 3 countries you mention (with Sarajevo our start and end point) so you could start with them, and check pricing and regulations with other major rental car companies. You will need a Green Card, which shows the car has insurance, and this should be provided by the rental car company at a small additional fee. We had no issues crossing the borders, but you will have to show your passport and there can sometimes be lines at the border crossings, so add on some extra time on days you drive across the borders. Cheers, Julie

  3. Avatar for Kate

    Hello, I am plannning a trip to Croatia and a couple of other countries in Europe for June/July 2023. It will be my first time traveling solo overseas so have to admit to some nerves. Do you have any tips/info particularly for renting cars to travel within Croatia? I definitely want to visit Plitvice and split, and hopefully Dubrovnik if I have time. I’ll be going for only about 5-7 days though. Any general advice is also appreciated with regard to how long I would need for each location. I’ve read your guides for a few different countries and they’ve been very helpful in building a picture of the country and what to do.

    1. Avatar for Julie Post

      Hello Kate. For renting a car, the first thing to think about is if you plan to rent a car and take it to multiple countries. Some rental car companies will not let you rent a car in one country and drop it in another, or in some cases, just drive it into another country. Plitvice needs a half to a full day and I think it is best to spend the night before your visit in a nearby town/hotel. It really helps to get in at opening time for the best experience, especially in the busy summer season. Plan on one day in Split and 2 days for Dubrovnik. It would be a long day, but the afternoon you visit Plitvice, you could drive to Split. Spend the day in Split (for a total of 2 nights here). The following morning, drive to Dubrovnik and spend that afternoon and the following day(s) there. You could do this by arriving in Zagreb and ending in Dubrovnik, since both cities have airports. Renting a car just to stay in Croatia should be easy. And driving is fine, the roads are very good, but parking in town can be tricky. Ask your hotels if they have parking or where they recommend you park (some have parking outside of the city center and you have to walk in with your luggage, or nicer hotels will pick you up in a golf cart). If you have any other questions let me know! Cheers, Julie

  4. Avatar for Brad Vivoda
    1. Avatar for Julie Post

      I’m glad you want to sign up for our newsletter but because of internet regulations, we cannot send you our newsletters without you going through the sign-up process. On the footer bar at the end of each article (the blue bar at the bottom of the page) there is a section where you can subscribe for updates. Enter your info here and then you will be signed up for our monthly newsletter. Cheers, Julie

  5. Avatar for Nancy Jones
    Nancy Jones

    Hi Julie,
    We will be in Croatia in June for 10 days from US. Wondering how many Kunas I should carry? Should I do the exchange at Zagreb airport? Also, is it customary to tip in Croatia? If so, how much??
    Would appreciate a reply.

    1. Avatar for Julie Post

      We typically carry the equivalent of $100 to $200 USD in local currency when we travel. For most things, credit cards are accepted, but at smaller restaurants only cash may be accepted. We withdraw the local currency from ATM’s as we need it (our bank card allows us to make withdrawals without an additional fee). As far as tipping, I found this article which explains where and how much you should tip. Cheers, Julie

      1. Avatar for Nancy Jones
        Nancy Jones

        Thanks Julie! Earth Trekkers has been my go to website when planning trips.
        Appreciate your prompt replies.

  6. Avatar for Kristijan
    1. Avatar for Julie Post
  7. Avatar for Belcore Deborah
    Belcore Deborah

    Love your way of blogging. You are my ‘go to’ travel source:-). Question regarding the ferries. How rough is the water? I can control sea-sickness to some extent with bonine – but not if the water is too wavy. Thank you.

    1. Avatar for Julie Post

      In our experience, we had no issues with seasickness (Kara, our daughter, gets seasick easily and had a rough time in Greece but not Croatia). However, the rides we took were very short and weather conditions were perfect, and since we did not head too far away from land, had no issues with swells or rocking that can cause seasickness. I think as long as you are doing quick ferry rides you should be fine. Anything longer, like an hour or more, that heads out farther into the Adriatic Sea, might be a problem, so make sure you bring along seasickness medication. Cheers, Julie

  8. Avatar for Rick Chollett
    Rick Chollett

    I’ve been to Split twice and loved it both times! If I had known it was so nice I would have stayed longer the first time. The second time we stayed in Castel Stari which is a few miles from Split. I now have friends in Split to go back and visit! As a history nut I could spend a month here!

    1. Avatar for Julie Post
      1. Avatar for Randall

        Hi Julie , read all your bloggs about Croatia. We are a group of 4 adults and 2 children (10 & 7) we will spend 3/4 nights in Croatia in our way to Sweden to met our grand son ( 1 year old) . We would like an advice from You . Shall we stay in Dubrovnik or Split. How far is one city from the other. Is it worth it to rent a Van or a Car from air port to Dubrovnik or to Split to spend 3 or 4 days then return to airport to our final destiny Stockholm ? If you reomend us to visit Split instead of Dubrovnic , can you recomend us a place with accomodation for 4 adults + 2 young kids well located. ? Thanks a lot

        1. Avatar for Julie Post

          If you only have a few days, I recommend putting all of your time in Dubrovnik, since it is close to the airport and there is a lot to do here. Two days is enough time to explore Dubrovnik. With your extra time you can take day trips. Korcula, Croatia and Mostar, Bosnia & Herzegovina are popular options. Or, just stay in Dubrovnik and thoroughly explore it. There are kayaking tours and Game of Throne Tours that you can take. On a return trip to Croatia, a trip to Split and Plitvice Lakes would be wonderful. You don’t need a car while in Dubrovnik, only if you want to take a day trip. You could take a shuttle or taxi from the airport to Dubrovnik, and even schedule a tour to Korcula or Mostar, so might not need to rent a car. It just depends if you would like to do these things on your own or on a tour. Cheers, Julie

  9. Avatar for Tim Neeble
    Tim Neeble

    it’s refreshing to read your blog.It contains so much useful information to start planning our next trip to Split! It is such a beautiful place.
    I also want to slowly explore Split and take in its beautiful streets, culture soon.

  10. Avatar for Michaela

    Hi, Split looks fantastic, we fly out there tomorrow and we just can’t wait, it looks stunning! We are spending 3 nights there before touring Croatia, it looks such a beautiful country .

    1. Avatar for Julie Post
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