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Bucket list experience:

Dancers on stage hold a pose

Last updated: 29 May, 2023
Expert travel writer: Jane Foster

Staged each summer between mid-July and mid-August, this festival sees Croatian and foreign artists performing opera, drama, ballet and music concerts.

What makes this festival so memorable and atmospheric, however, is the often stunning open-air venues, including the 19th-century Prokurative Square in the old town and the Mestrovic Gallery overlooking the sea.

Price: Free
Minimum age: Any
Age suitable: 18+
Frequency: annually
When: July-August
Duration: 1 month

Getting there & doing it

You can buy tickets online through the festival website or from the HNK Split (Croatian National Theatre) box office.

For a pre- or post-performance dinner, reserve a table at the highly regarded Konoba Varos, situated close to Prokurative Square, one of the main festival venues.

When to do it

The festival takes place from mid-July to mid-August.

Our writer’s picks of the best places to stay near this experience, closest first

Hotel Vestibul Palace

Split, Dalmatia, Croatia[0 miles]

Small, luxurious boutique hotel with an elegant fine-dining restaurant, tucked away within the ancient walls of Diocletian’s Palace.

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Hotel Peristil

Split, Dalmatia, Croatia[0.1 miles]

Cosy welcoming old-fashioned hotel and restaurant, located within Diocletian’s Palace, between the cathedral and open-air market.

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Hotel Marmont Heritage

Split, Dalmatia, Croatia[0.2 miles]

Slick, comfortable hotel with a popular restaurant in the heart of Split’s glorious old town. The perfect base to explore the city. Adults only.

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Divota Apartment Hotel

Split, Dalmatia, Croatia[0.6 miles]

Hip aparthotel in a cluster of old stone cottages with minimalist interiors, plus a garden spa offering Oriental wellness activities

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Destination guides including or relevant to this experience

Dalmatian Islands

Dalmatia, Croatia

A magical, unspoilt archipelago of a thousand-plus islands stretching along Croatia’s southern coast. A heady mix of sea, mountains, adventure sports and medieval buildings

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Split

Dalmatia, Croatia

With ancient architecture, Adriatic island-hopping and adventure sports galore, Split makes a superb seaside base.

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Our writer’s recommendations of other bucket list experiences our writer says you must do in this destination, closest first

Diocletian’s Palace

Split, Dalmatia, Croatia[0.1 miles]

A vast 3rd-century AD palace was Roman emperor Diocletian’s retirement home that forms the core of Split’s stunning, UNESCO-listed historic centre.

Best for ages: 18+ | Free

Hvar’s Old Town

Hvar, Dalmatia, Croatia[37.3 miles]

A character-filled, Venetian-era old town, with a picturesque main square, a lattice of historic streets, and cultural treasures galore.

Best for ages: 13+ | Free

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Other worthwhile experiences near this experience if you have time or interest..

Split’s best food & drink

Split, Dalmatia, Croatia[0 miles]

A blend of Italian and Middle European cuisine, with plenty of fresh fish and seafood, dominates Split’s fresh and delicious cuisine – with traditional dishes served in konobas (tavern), and pizzerias and gelaterias on every street.

Best for ages: 13+ | Free

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Split’s Fish Market
Experience

Split’s Fish Market

Split, Dalmatia, Croatia[0.2 miles]

A handsome covered peskarija, popular with the locals, where marble stalls display mounds of freshly caught seafood. Sample the fare at one of the many surrounding cafes and restaurants. Open daily.

Best for ages: 18+ | Free

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Bacvice Beach
Experience

Bacvice Beach

Split, Dalmatia, Croatia[0.8 miles]

A Blue-Flag, sandy beach in a sheltered bay just a ten-minute walk from Diocletian’s Palace. Locals come here to drink morning coffee at the seafront cafés and play picigin, a bizarre ball game unique to Split.

Best for ages: Any | Free

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Classical gallery stands on hill
Experience

Mestrovic Gallery

Split, Dalmatia, Croatia[1.8 miles]

Gallery of Croatia’s best-known 20th-century sculptor Ivan Mestrovic – whose work has been compared to that of Rodin and Michelangelo – exhibits 200 of his works. It’s set in a splendid neo-classical villa, his former summer home, with a lovely café overlooking the sea.

Best for ages: 18+ | £6

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Overview >