SPLIT IN 4 DAYS
Updated: Nov 18, 2021
Split is a coastal city in Croatia you must visit no matter what. Even just for a day. Split was our third destination in Croatia and we chose it for many reasons. First of all, it was close to destinations we wanted to visit, so we used Split as our base and arranged two day trips from there. Similar to Dubrovnik, Split also offers multiple options of any type of tourism. Relaxing, swimming, culture and history, adventure tourism, great nightlife and cuisine etc. I must admit that I enjoyed my time in Split more than Dubrovnik. Not that Dubrovnik lacks anything, but I think due to the fact that Split is a big city, not everything has to do with tourism. So you get that real local experience feeling. My guess is that if you visit Dubrovnik in a non tourist season, you might get that same feeling.
Anyway, let's jump right into it.
Free Walking Tour Split
It seems like I cannot enter a city without doing a guided walking tour. Fortunately in a lot of cities in Croatia there are free walking tours. You can say that it is a small introduction of the old city of Split. Very informative and entertaining. The tour is short, lasting 1.15 hr and mostly covers the area within and around the enormous Diocletian’s Palace.
This place is the heart of the city, gathering locals working or visiting and tourists from all over the world. It is a huge rectangle structure, which includes several other medieval buildings within it. And of course you can also find several shops, cafes, bars, restaurants, museums and all kinds of places of interest. Each side of the Palace has a magnificent Gate where you can enter. We entered the Palace through the Golden Gate, and walked right in the Peristil, which is the central square. Around the square you can see Saint Domnius Cathedral, a Sphinx they brought from Egypt, the ancient columns in front of the Cathedral, the Vestibule and the Grisogono-Cipci Palace. Standing in Peristil Square in the middle of all these medieval architecture buildings feels amazing. You should DEFINITELY revisit this place during the night, where you can sit on the stairs in front of the Cathedral and enjoy the live music events every day in front of Lvxor Café.
Our guide gave a quick speech about the history of each place I mentioned above, and then the tour carried on outside the Palace through the Silver Gate, walked around it along the beautiful port of Split. The view of the port during the evening hours and especially while sunset is an experience you should enjoy.
The guide outside the Palace walls, gave us an understanding of the structure's significance. After that, we entered the Palace again through the Bronze Gate, inside a part of the Substructures which again...you must visit. There is an entrances fee to some of the substructures, so keep that in mind. That was the end of our walking tour. An hour and 15 minutes were perfectly spent.
Guys, all of the places I mentioned above are easy to walk and discover on your own, but the walking tour event, apart from the fact that it is free, is done by young locals and really gets you a better understanding of the old city and its history. I will repeat myself once again, although the walking tour is free of charge, make sure you tip.. we did, with pleasure. And make sure you ask as many questions about anything you want, any useful tips, about food etc. Local guides will not disappoint you. You can check here for more information about this free tour. There is more information about Diocletian's Palace here.
There are plenty of things to do in Split. Keep also in mind that Split is a good place to start a day trip. Tourist agencies based in Split offer various day trips and not only. You can find two full day trips that we did, below. I will not be getting into details on this ‘’discover’’ section, because this is mainly up to you, your time and interests. I will just name some options you have that we tried, enjoyed and we suggest.
Harbor / Marina. Walk from one side to the other.
Marjan park. Walk or bike if you have the time.
Game of Thrones Museum.
Flea Market just outside the Silver Gate.
Split City Museum
Museum of Fine Art
There are various options of great beaches in Split as it is in all seaside cities and villages in Croatia. The thing is, that you will need a ride to go to the beaches of Split, unless you wanna walk for half an hour. The easier way is to use the bus, which is what we did and I strongly suggest it.
We only had one day for swimming in Split, so we chose wisely. And then we missed the bus stop :) to Bay Jezinac. I cannot express how happy I was, after the bus left and saw hundreds of people squeezed in Jezinac beach. So, we waited, enjoyed the bus ride (around 15 minutes) and reached the last bus stop in Bene beach, and we just went for it. This place is Super, it’s beautiful, picturesque, it has crystal waters, and pine trees are so close to the beach, you think they are trying to dive in water.
The whole mood and scenery was more than satisfying and we had a blast. FYI the restaurant-bar isn't so good, so be prepared. You can take bus no.12 in front of the Trg dr. Franje Tuđmana (click here) which goes inside Marjan park with final stop Bene beach (which is actually part of Marjan park) and back.
Full day cruise by Catamaran
Relax, enjoy the views, swim in three different islands and feel the Adriatic sea, on an amazing full day cruise. You can find all sorts of cruises from Split, half days, full days, sailing, speed boats etc. We chose the full day Catamaran option, which is more relaxing and includes food and drinks.
Split to Hvar and Pakleni Islands by summer blue catamaran, costs €95 per person and includes snack, lunch, beer, cake, fruit etc. Cruise starts at 8:30 and arrives back at 18:30. It includes a tour and free time in the town Hvar of Hvar Island. If you’ve done your homework about travelling to Croatia you have probably read something about Hvar island, how you should visit this island etc.
As I mentioned above, there are many cruise options and we’ve only tried one. Nevertheless I didn't hesitate a bit, booking this cruise and there was not a single moment throughout the cruise that I doubted our decision.
The catamaran moves on an average speed which allows you to take a breath, observe and feel the whole vibe. The 3 swim breaks on hidden island bays are secluded and unique. There is enough break time to swim and reach the shore for some exploring if you wish. Either this cruise, or a different one, is a good option that combines swimming and exploring islands of the Adriatic sea. If you wanna know more about the catamaran tour from Split to Hvar and Pakleni Islands click here.
Krka National Park Day
From Split to Krka National Park Day Trip with Boat Ride. Firstly our option was Plitvice lakes which is also considered, same as Krka, a top natural attraction in Croatia. Anyway long story short, distance-wise Krka was the best option which gave us more time to enjoy the park.
We booked an organised 8 hour tour for €40 per person. This was during August where the rates are higher. The tour included bus pickup, a ticket to the park (to avoid buying the tickets separately on-trip) , short boat along the Krka River, optional short guided tour in the park and lots of free time to discover and enjoy the park. If you want more information about the tour click on ''getyourguide'' where we booked our tickets.
The park was an absolute delight. Don't get too worried about how to explore the park area. Although it is a big area, there is a walking route which will take you 1.5 - 2 hours to walk, which passes along the river, on top of pathway and observation decks, near waterfalls, ruins etc. We really really felt wonderful along the whole walking route,
Tip: Highlight of the park is Skradinski Buk waterfall, so save some time for photos there. There are a couple of spots where you can shoot this waterfall. Start searching :)
Info: You can do all the above on your own, without booking an organized tour. There are local buses from Split and other major big cities leading to Krka.
Food and Drinks
Food and drinks in Split, was a whole new and different experience than Dubrovnik. Bigger city, more locals, more local food. Check my suggestion list below.
Fife (local cuisine. This is a must)
Kantun Paulina (amazing tradition fast food)
Toro Grill Bar (try the burger)
Veg (tasteful vegan food)
Misto Street Food (THIS ONE IS A GEM. Went there twice. I prefer it for dinks)
Funky George (cocktails and dancing on the alley)
Marvlvs Library Jazz Bar (relaxing environment for drinks)
Lvxor Café & Restaurant - This one is a must too. Not that it is so great as a cafe, but it is in front of the Peristil Square, offers drinks while you sit on the stairs around the square, while you can enjoy the live music (every night during summer). The mood was so beautiful that at some moments the square was full of people dancing. An ancient dance floor with people from all over the world.
Tip: Try the ice cream. Is everywhere.
I don't have a specific suggestion as to the area you should choose. Just don’t go too far from the Diocletian's Palace which is in the middle of everything. Our room was amazing, and our host Marijana was perfect, kind, helpful and made us feel comfortable contacting if needed for information of any kind. We booked Mihael room from airbnb. Click here to check it out if you're interested. I suggest you do.
This was it, my friends. This was our experience in Split. Unforgettable city. I could easily go back, during a less touristy period, maybe even a different season, where the cuisine differs due to the cold, and where the weather allows more walking and exploring. I hope you enjoy my post and find this helpful. Leave a comment if you have a question or an opinion about it. Make sure you check you subscribe below if you like my posts and you haven't done it yet!
Until the next post .. Cheers!