Split is the largest city on the Dalmatian coast and Croatia's second biggest city. It is famous for the well-preserved Diocletian Palace, a Roman Emperor's retirement palace dating from the 4th century AD which still forms the city center. Split also has wonderful beaches and an exemplary cafe life.
In front of the palace walls along the waterfront is the Riva, which is lined by outdoor cafes and always teeming. During summer, Split becomes a focus for music and dance festivals. The city is also a major ferry port for the popular nearby islands such as Hvar, Brač and Vis.
How to Get to Split
Smaller ships will dock near the ferry terminals, larger ships will anchor offshore and provide tender transport. From the ferry terminal it is an easy walk around to the city center along the waterfront to the Riva. The city center is tucked in behind the palace walls and there are plenty of gates and entrances leading you inside. If you would rather beach than history, turn right from the ferry terminal and follow the crowds to Bačvice, the main city beach which also has cafes and restaurants.
One Day in Split
The historic center of Split is small and easy to explore on foot in a few hours. Head into the Diocletian Palace and wander the marble streets which are lined with all the major shops and lots of cafes, restaurants, souvenir shops and churches. Don't miss the Cathedral and if you have a head for heights, climb the bell tower for wonderful views over the city to the islands. A small musuem inside the cathedral is worth a visit.
Across the middle square, the Peristil, and down a small passage is Jupiter's Temple – don't miss it. From the Peristil head up to the archaeological museum and wander around and behind it to fully explore the palace remains and how people still live there today. The main street is Marmontova, a wide pedestrian-only strip of shops.
If you like art, don't miss the Meštrović Gallery on Marjan hill, dedicated to the work Croatia’s most famous sculptor, Ivan Meštrović (a taxi is your easiest way). Below this is another lovely beach. Just outside the city walls is the market where you’ll find hats, sunglasses, clothing and lots of souvenirs.
Split is a tender port so allow transfer times. The language is Croatian but nearly everyone speaks excellent English and most menus are in Croatian, English and Italian, some also German. The currency is the kuna but many places also accept euro. Taxis are easily found between the port and the city center.