Plitvice Lakes National Park is of Croatia’s most popular natural attractions. Little wonder why it has visitors swooning: this UNESCO World Heritage Site is packed with enchanting forests, cascading waterfalls, and gem-toned lakes. Here are your options for exploring the park from Split.
Things to do in Split
Welcome to Split
Resting on the eastern coast of the Adriatic, Split is the largest and one of the oldest cities in the region of Croatia’s Dalmatia. Originally founded more than 2,300 years ago as a Greek colony, it became a Roman settlement 600 years later with the construction of Diocletian's Palace, now a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Indeed, the center of the town is built around the ruins of this ancient palace, which is one of the best preserved in the world. St. Duje's Cathedral and Peristil Square also add to the Roman charm of Split, and a time-saving walking tour will introduce you to these and other top attractions. Day tours from the city take visitors to the area’s natural wonders, such as Hvar island with its vivid Blue Caves. For those looking for sun, sea, and sand, the turquoise waters of the Blue Lagoon are just a speedboat ride away from Split; while the UNESCO-listed Plitvice Lakes National Park is one for the mountain hikers. Only a one-hour drive away and close to the town of Šibenik, the seven waterfalls in Krka National Park beg for a swim. Back in civilization, the UNESCO-listed Old Town of Trogir also boats plenty of attractions, especially its bell tower and the Venetian Cathedral of St. Lovro. Split is an ideal destination to connect with adventure: perhaps to Dubrovnik in the south, or just across the border to Mostar, the pearl of Bosnia and Herzegovina.
Top 10 attractions in Split
This palace right in the heart of Split, was used by Roman Emperor Diocletian and is one of the best preserved monuments of Roman architecture in the world. In 1979, it was declared -- with the historic city of Split -- a UNESCO World Heritage site. The ruins of the Palace can also be found throughout the city. A military fortress, imperial residence and fortified town, the palace covers over 31,000 square meters (334 square feet). Diocletian spared no expense in the building of the palace, importing marble from Italy and Greece, and columns and sphinxes from Egypt. Many of the buildings are made from local white limestone quarried on the nearby island of Brac. Each wall has a gate named after metals: the northern gate is the Golden Gate; the southern gate is the Bronze Gate; the eastern gate is the Silver Gate; and the western gate is the Iron Gate....
Croatia is gaining a reputation or its stunning coastlines and idyllic beaches. And while the tiny island of Budikovac is still relatively untouched, it is without a doubt, the perfect escape from the energy of the mainland. Travelers who find their way to the picturesque pebble beach, protected bay, shallow waters and relaxing lagoon that exist here will be overcome with a sense of natural beauty and pure peace. Visitors will quickly learn that only a single person lives on Budikovac Island. He is also responsible for the single restaurant that runs at this destination that attracts travelers looking to get off the beaten path and into incredible Croatia....
Peristil Square is Split's main square, the former entry hall in Diocletian's Palace. It is derived from a Roman architectural term called the peristyle, an open colonnade surrounding a court. The spacious central courtyard is flanked by marble columns topped with Corinthian capitals and richly ornamented cornices linked by arches. There are six columns on both the east and west sides, and four more at the south end, which mark the monumental entrance to the Vestibul. Most of the structure is made of white stone from the nearby island of Brač; however, the columns are made of Italian marble and siennite from Egypt. The Vestibul is a cavernous open dome above the ground floor passageway; a foyer that leads you into the emperor's residential quarters. The Vestibul provides great acoustics allowing klapa bands to perform traditional a capella songs there in the mornings....
Since the late 19th century, the bustling Republic Square (known by locals as Prokurative) has been serving as a gather place, people-watching spot, and town center for residents of Split. Its unique architecture-constructed as a nod to buildings in Venice-proves a remarkable departure from what is found in the rest of the city. Travelers will find dozens of quiet cafes, tasty restaurants and quiet shops located in close proximity to this central square. Epic views of the nearby harbor and easy access to the Riva Promenade make it an idea place to spend a perfect morning in the sun, or an afternoon or evening taking in the local character of Split....
A short walking distance from Diocletian's Palace, this hilly peninsula is a recreational park for both locals and visitors. A protected nature reserve since 1964, the park is dotted with pine trees and Mediterranean shrubs. Some of Split's best beaches are at the foot of Marjan hill and are easily reachable by bicycle which you can rent at the entrance. To enter the natural preserve, just follow the steps from the Veli Varos neighborhood. Keep climbing and you'll reach the Telegrin belvedere -- on a clear day you can see as far as Vis Island. You'll get some of the most spectacular views of the island and the Adriatic Sea from the top of the hill. There are many other cultural spots on the hill, including Split's most interesting museums, such as the Mestrovic Gallery and the Museum of Croatian Archaeological Monuments. Many churches are dotted on the site, including the Church of St George, situated on the western slopes, with the Oceanographic institute next door....
Travelers who are looking for the perfect way to spend an afternoon soaking up the beauty of Croatia’s idyllic coastline will find exactly what they’re after on the Riva Promenade. This incredible stretch of walkway runs the entire length of the old town and offers up incredible views of the surrounding harbor, European-style apartments and remote island’s are some of the city’s most picturesque. Visitors will find some of Split’s best restaurants, cafes and nightlife along the promenade, which is also near to the city’s largest port. The famed walkway is flanked by towering palms and lined with glazed white tiles that lend some serious European-flare to this coastal destination....
This Cathedral has two lives: its first life was as the Cathedral of St. Dominus, the mausoleum dedicated to Diocletian. Diocletian was known for his brutal persecution of Christians after a campaign to get rid of Christianity. Ironically, what Diocletian built to glorify his memory was used to remember his victims. His body was removed from the mausoleum in the 7th century, with no record of where his remains are now. Today, the cathedral is a popular meeting place because of its proximity to the Silver Gate at Diocletian's Palace (it leads to Hrjvojeva Street). The courtyard is the location for Split's Summer Festival in July and August. Its second life is now as the Cathedral of St Duje, a shrine to St Dominus. St Duje was the patron saint of Split, who was a 3rd-century Bishop of Salona in Dalmatia....
Top activities in Split
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- Five Island Speedboat Tour Featuring the Blue Cave and Hvar
- Plitvice Lakes National Park Small-Group Day Trip from Split
- Full-Day Catamaran Cruise to Hvar & Pakleni Islands with Food and free Drinks
- Krka Waterfalls and Sibenik Day Trip Including Wine Tasting from Split
- Exclusive: 'Game of Thrones' Tour in Split
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Things to do near Split
- Things to do in Dalmatia
- Things to do in Hvar
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