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Bucket list destination:

Split

  • Split, Dalmatia, Croatia

Last updated: 15 June, 2024
Expert travel writer: Jane Foster

Split is a dream destination for those looking to combine cultural sightseeing with outdoor pursuits, or culinary adventures with a seaside chill-out.

Split’s main attraction is its UNESCO World Heritage-listed Old Town, centred on the ancient palace built by Roman Emperor Diocletian, and the Gothic, Renaissance and Baroque buildings that grew up inside and around it.

Beyond the city, the Marjan Peninsula offers mellow footpaths and stunning sea views, while nearby excursions include island-hopping along the coast, rafting and canyoning in the Cetina valley, hiking on Mount Biokovo and soaking up some rays on the Makarska riviera.

Orientation

Split is Croatia’s principal port for ferries to the Dalmatian islands and Italy. Based around Diocletian’s Palace (295 AD), the old town is the main attraction, with several boutique hotels and plenty of bars, restaurants and cafés.

West of here lies the picturesque village of Varoš (home to the Meštrović Gallery) and the tip of the Marjan Peninsula, with Mount Biokovo to the south east.

Tours, tickets & transfers

12

Our selection of the best Viator tours of this destination, plus helpful tickets and transfers

  • Split

Take a walk through Split's 1,700 years of history, accompanied by a local guide who will bring the past to life. Among the sights on this 90min tour are Diocletian's Palace, the Cathedral of Saint Domnius, Riva Harbour, and the Golden Gate.  The meeting point is the Golden Gate, look for a guide with a blue umbrella!

Price €14

Min age 7

Rating 4.86 / 5 [673 ratings]

Tour supplied by:

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  • Split

This is a walking tour of Split with a local historian! Your guide Toni (the owner of Dioclespot Tours) will take you through all of the relevant sites in the center of Split logically following the city's development through time. Toni has a Master's degree in history, so he can provide much more knowledge than what is learned in a tour guide course. He has years of study and passion for history behind him and he is really trying to carry that forward. Also, Toni is a local, born and still living in Split! He combines that with the expertise and education gained as a teacher to make his tours a true learning experience! Toni speaks fluent English and enforces dialogue as much as possible during the tour since it provides much more personal contact with the guide and it's easier and more enjoyable to learn that way. He will present you with 3D reconstructions of the sites, which are a result of his own work and dedication, in order to bring the past to life for the visitor!

Price €27

Min age 1

Rating 4.99 / 5 [665 ratings]

Tour supplied by:

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  • Split

Our Electric Rickshaw tour through the city of Split is unique in many ways and here are a few reasons: • Our TOUR is designed so that guests can relax and enjoy the comfort of our electric rickshaws, while at the same time enjoying the beauty of the city. • Our GUIDES are excellent connoisseurs of Split and are always ready to share their knowledge about the history and culture of the city with guests, and their desire for guests to enjoy the tour will surely leave an indelible impression. •Our TOUR offers an amazing experience for all the senses. In addition to seeing the most beautiful sights of Split, you will also enjoy the fresh air and sounds of the city. The beauties of Split are indescribable, and our tour allows guests to see them in the best possible way. From charming alleys to beautiful parks, our tour covers the best that Split has to offer. DON'T MISS out on this unforgettable adventure - BOOK YOUR TOUR TODAY! Riksa tour Split

Price €40

Min age 0

Rating 4.95 / 5 [310 ratings]

Tour supplied by:

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  • Split

Enjoy a guided bike tour as you discover the history, culture and the nature of this Mediterranean pearl by cycling through the streets of downtown Split. You will cycle through 1700 years buildings such as Diocletian palace. Safety is key, so you will be provided with a high quality bike and helmet.

Price €45

Min age 0

Rating 4.92 / 5 [268 ratings]

Tour supplied by:

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  • Split

PRIVATE WALKING TOUR OF SPLIT WITH THE DIOCLETIAN'S PALACE Discover the Old Town of Split with all the delightful little secrets and anecdotes of this gorgeous Mediterranean city. We kick-off in style with the magnificent Diocletian's Palace in the heart of the Old Town and travel back to the ancient Roman Empire. We take a step into the rich cultural heritage of this vibrant city with its numerous palaces, quirky narrow streets and lively markets. Learn more about this UNESCO World Heritage site while taking a relaxing walk through the streets, squares and the grandiose Diocletian's Palace. As we stroll further along, hear stories of not only the past, but equally contemporary Split. Really absorb what makes this atmospheric and exciting city kick. Discover how the city's inhabitants lead a feel-good outdoor lifestyle throughout the year spending time at numerous squares, or on the main waterfront Riva.

Price €150

Min age 1

Rating 4.98 / 5 [262 ratings]

Tour supplied by:

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Travel advice

When to go

High season (July-Aug) sees the old town hot and crowded, with many people passing through to take ferries to the islands; on the plus side, the Split Summer Festival creates a vibrant nightlife.

The shoulder season (May-June, September-October) is possibly the loveliest time to visit – the weather is dry and sunny, the sea warm enough to swim, and the old town busy but not packed.

During low season (November-April), Split is far quieter and the weather somewhat unreliable. However, this can also be a rewarding time to visit as the locals will have more time for you.

Getting there and away

Split International Airport is located near Kastela, 25km west of the Old Town. The cheapest way into town is to catch the airport bus that meets all incoming flights, dropping passengers at the end of Split’s seafront promenade, directly in front of Diocletian’s Palace and just a five-minute walk from the ferry port.

Taxis are also readily available and several car-hire companies are based at the airport if you’re planning on exploring beyond Split.

Getting around

If you’re staying in Split’s car-free Old Town you can explore everything on foot. The only city bus most visitors will need is the no.12, which runs west along the coast to Bene, on the tip of the Marjan peninsula, passing the Meštrović Gallery en-route.

Car rental is readily available for day trips; alternatively, frequent local and inter-regional buses run down the coast to Omis and Makarska.

Where to stay

Visitors coming to Split primarily to explore its cultural attractions should base themselves in the magnificent, car-free Old Town, which is home to several boutique hotels as well as plenty of bars and restaurants.

Where to eat or drink

In Split’s car-free Old Town, there’s a plethora of eateries serving traditional Dalmatian cooking with an emphasis on seafood, as well as plenty of busy cafés and small romantic bars – most have outdoor tables.

Along the coast, you’ll find more modern restaurants with an international slant serving contemporary Mediterranean cuisine – some have impressive sea-view terraces. For noise reasons, Split’s half-dozen late-night clubs are also on the coast, outside the historic centre.

Where to shop

The Old Town is packed with small boutiques selling shoes and clothes (mainly imported from Italy, though Croatian designers are making their mark), plus foodie treats such as wine and olive oil.

For handmade jewellery and etchings of Split’s old town, head for the stalls in the podrum (underground chambers) between the Peristil and the seafront. The pazar (open-air market), selling fruit, cheese, cured meat and bread, is the place to stock up for picnics.