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How many days do you need to explore Split?

A charming coastal city with an extensive history and a vibrant atmosphere. Found on the eastern shore of the Adriatic Sea, Split is the second-largest city in Croatia.

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You’ve arrived in the beautiful city of Split and you can’t wait to look around and explore, but you’re not sure how much time you want to be here for. The length of your stay depends on your interests, travel preferences, and the pace at which you like to explore so here are some general guidelines for what to expect to see and do for different durations.

Riva Promenade, Split

Short Visit (1 day):

If you can only fit in a day in Split, don't worry, you'll be able to include the main highlights of the city. During your stay you will have ample time to discover them all. You can visit the main attractions that Split has to offer including the Diocletian's Palace (the alluring Old Town) and the Riva Promenade. Read on to learn more about some of the main attractions you can see in a short visit.

Explore Diocletian’s Palace

A UNESCO World Heritage site since 1979, this famous attraction will amaze even non-historical lovers. Built by Emperor Diocletian as a retirement residence at the beginning of the 4th century, this is not just a historical site but the heart of the city. Over time, the palace has been modified for different purposes but today it is the home to some residential buildings, shops, restaurants, and museums. With walls and defence towers, the palace is divided into four main sections. The imperial apartments, the Temple of Jupiter, the mausoleum, and a residential area for the military, all of which are accessible and worth a visit.

Diocletian's Palace, Split
Cathedral of St Domnius

Located just outside the main square in Diocletian’s palace is the Cathedral of Saint Domnius. It’s the oldest Catholic cathedral in the world that remains in use in its original structure, and is an important religious and cultural site that was once the mausoleum of Emperor Diocletian (a native of this part of Croatia). If you’re not afraid of heights, you can also climb the cathedral's bell tower for panoramic views of the city.

Riva Promenade

Often referred to as simply ‘Riva’, the Riva Promenade is a picturesque palm tree-lined waterfront. Found just outside of the Old Town, it's home to numerous cafes, restaurants, and bars offering a variety of local and international food where you’ll be spoilt for choice to find a place to enjoy a meal or a drink. The Riva is also where cultural events and gatherings take place. Throughout the year, various festivals, concerts, and other events are held along the promenade, contributing to the vibrant atmosphere of Split.

Riva Promenade, Split
Gregory of Nin Statue

Gregory of Nin was a key figure in the development of the Croatian language and culture. He is best known for his opposition to the Pope and his efforts to introduce the use of the Slavic language instead of the Latin that the Romans were using. One of the most recognizable landmarks in Split, is a large statue of him located near the Golden Gate of Diocletian's Palace. This statue in particular is famous for a tradition where visitors touch the statue's toe, as it is believed to bring you good luck which over time has turned golden due to decades of human touch.

Moderate Visit (2-4 days):

With 2 to 4 days, it allows you to dive deeper into the city's attractions, allowing time to visit the main attractions along with some of the many museums and galleries Split has to offer. You can even take a leisurely walk up Marjan Hill or perhaps book a day trip to a nearby island or town. For more information on the other attractions Split has to offer you in a 2-4 day visit, read on.

Split's Museums and Galleries

The Old Town is home to several museums and galleries, including the Split City Museum, a place that covers a wide range of topics from artefacts, artworks, and maritime history. There is also the Gallery of Fine Arts where you’ll get the opportunity to see Croatian and international art dating back to the 14th century. Last but not least, there is the Archaeological Museum. Located in a former church, this museum focuses on archaeological finds from the medieval period in Croatia. The collection showcases artefacts like stone sculptures and jewellery as well as giving a deep insight into the history of the city.

Marjan Hill

Marjan Hill, often referred to as simply Marjan, is a forested and hilly area located on the western end of the Split Peninsula. A large recreational site, that provides locals and visitors an escape from the urban hustle of the city where you can peacefully walk and explore. There are many beaches in the surrounding area including Bene Beach. A popular pebble beach located on the north of the park. You will also be able to find several religious buildings including the Church of St Nicholas which dates back to the 13th century and can be found at the summit where you’ll be rewarded with breath-taking panoramic views of the Adriatic Sea and neighbouring islands.

Marjan Hill and Riva Promenade, Split
Visit a Nearby Town or Island

Split is well-situated on the coast, making it the perfect place to explore other nearby towns. Located just 30 kilometres west of Split is the historic town of Trogir. This small town is well known for its preserved medieval architecture, which in 1997, earned it a spot on the UNESCO World Heritage List. The charming town is only 28 acres but can take visitors back in time as you wander the medieval streets and appreciate the traditional architecture. Trogir is easily accessible from Split, by hopping on a ferry or bus, or take a taxi.

Trogir - a small fisherman's town near Split

Relatively close by is the island of Solta. Less than an hour’s ferry ride from Split this picturesque island sits west of its neighbour Brac and is also part of the central Dalmatian archipelago. Solta is a comparatively small island that only covers an area of 52 square kilometres. The population is spread out amongst the several quaint villages, the main one being Grohote in the centre of the island. The island features a variety of beaches including the popular Livka, Sesula, and Necujam beaches. The island's crystal clear waters make perfect conditions for swimming and snorkelling and you can even explore several shipwrecks that are dotted around the coast. Solta is very well known for its olive groves and vineyards creating its share in Croatia's Wine and olive oil speciality. The island is also home to numerous bays and secluded coves, making it an ideal destination for those seeking a more relaxed and peaceful atmosphere.

Maslinica Town, Solta Island, Split

This break provides a more extensive experience of Split, mixing historical exploration, cultural activities, and the chance to relax at the local beaches.

Extended Stay (5 or more days):

If you want to fully immerse yourself in the local culture, then 5 or more days would be worthwhile. You can take several day trips to the nearby islands of Hvar, Brac or Korcula, or visit the stunning Krka National Park taking in the mesmerising waterfalls. This stay allows you to enjoy a more relaxed visit giving you the time to embrace the lifestyle found in Split and its neighbouring islands. This length of stay is great for those who want to explore not only the city but also the surrounding coast and historical sites at a more leisurely pace. Read on to learn more about the nearby islands and national parks you can visit whilst in Split.

Hvar Island

Hvar is one of the larger islands in the Adriatic and is known for its amazing landscapes, classic vineyards, vibrant nightlife and calming lavender fields. The main town, which is also named Hvar, is a historic and charming place with a medieval influence. You can wander the cobblestone streets, visit historic buildings, and stroll the bustling waterfront. Hvar town is known for its vibrant nightlife, attracting both locals and international visitors. The town's bars, clubs and beach parties make for a lively atmosphere, particularly during the summer months. Just off the coast of Hvar are the Pakleni Islands. These are a group of islets with secluded coves and crystal-clear waters. They are a popular destination for sailing, swimming, and relaxation if you want to escape the hustle and bustle of the town. The island is also known for its lavender production, and visitors can enjoy the sight and fragrance of the lavender field and even book onto a guided tour. Another notable town on the island is Stari Grad, which is one of the oldest settlements in Europe. It features a well-preserved Old Town with historic architecture and a charming harbour with an array of cafes, restaurants, and bars where you can enjoy a morning coffee or an evening meal. Hvar is easily accessible by ferry from the mainland, with good connections from Split and other surrounding islands making it very easy to get to and from the island with the ferry journey taking around an hour.

View of Hvar Town Port from Hvar's Fortress
Brac Island

Brac, pronounced “Brach” is an island located north of Hvar. It’s the third largest island in the Adriatic and one of the most popular destinations among the Dalmatian islands. The island has a beautiful range of landscapes from olive groves to pine forests. Brac also has plenty of history of which visitors can explore important historical sites such as the Blaca Hermitage, a former monastery that’s carved into a cliff. You can also take a trip to an Olive Oil Museum, which showcases the traditional methods the locals used to make olive oil and if you’re lucky enough you might get to try a tasting platter. You should also pay a visit to the town of Pucisca. A beautiful small coastal village that’s famous for its white limestone, which was used in the construction of the White House no less. To learn more about this stone, you can also visit the stone masonry school which is open for visitors in the morning during summer. Brac has many beautiful beaches along its coast but none quite like Zlatni Rat. Often referred to as the Golden Horn or Golden Cape, this beach is probably the most famous in Croatia. Known for its unique shape and excellent wind and kitesurfing conditions, this beach is well worth a visit if you’re looking to have a nice relaxing day by the sea. The island hosts several cultural events and festivals throughout the year including the Bol Summer Festival, which is held from June to October. The visually stunning 'Graffiti na Gradele' is a must-see street art festival that’s held in August. Ferries and catamarans connect Brac to the mainland and to other nearby islands too so you will have no trouble in getting to and from this island from Split with the ferry taking roughly 1 hour.

Zlatni Rat Beach, Brac Island
Korcula Island

Pronounced “Kor-chula”, this island situated south of Hvar is known for its beautiful architecture and stunning landscapes. The population is spread across several towns and villages, with the main town being Korcula Town which you can find on the east coast of the island. This historic town is the island's main settlement and is also called "Little Dubrovnik" due to its medieval architecture and layout that’s similar to that of the city of Dubrovnik. The old town is known for its city walls, narrow streets, and historic buildings. Korcula is also the alleged birthplace of the famous explorer Marco Polo and there is a museum where you can learn about his life and how he introduced Europeans to China and Central Asia. Korcula boasts a diverse range of beaches, from sandy to pebbly shores. Some popular beaches include Vela Przina, a sandy beach near the town of Lumbarda and Pupnatska Luka, a pebble beach nestled in a valley on the south coast of the island. The old town also hosts various events and festivals that celebrate local traditions, music, and the arts. The Moreska sword dance, is a notable traditional performance which depicts a battle between the Red King and the Black King. Well known for its wine production, Korcula is home to where they produce white wine varieties such as Pošip and Grk which are indigenous to the island. If this is something that piques your interest, you could book a day trip that takes you to several vineyards and wineries where you’ll get the opportunity to take part in a tasting session. Ferries and catamarans connect Korcula to Split well, making it easily accessible for those wanting to go for a day trip. It is important to note that the ferry takes around 2 and a half hours so to ensure you get a full day's worth of exploring try to make sure you depart Split early in the morning.

Korcula's Old Town and Port
Krka National Park

Famous for its picturesque waterfalls, untouched lakes, and diverse lush landscapes, Krka National Park is a stunning natural area that offers a mix of natural beauty and cultural heritage. The park is located just over an hour's drive from Split. Boasting 17 separate waterfalls, you will get the opportunity walk the trails that weave through the park. You can take the 5-minute boat ride to Visovac island, the home to a Franciscan monastery and church during your trip and soak in the cultural and history that this National Park offers. Why not wander through the museum to learn more about the area. Read books and manuscripts in the library or gaze upon 17th-century paintings held in the church. Previously visitors were allowed to swim in designated areas such as Skradinski Buk, however more recently this has been stopped to help keep the waterfall and the park in pristine condition.

Krka National Park

As we mentioned at the start, the ideal duration of your stay varies on your individual preferences. Some people prefer a quick visit to get a glimpse of the city, while others want to take their time to get fully engrossed in the local culture and surroundings. Whatever your interests and preferences, we hope that this guide has helped you in planning your visit to the amazing city of Split.

If you have any questions or queries, please do not hesitate to get in contact with our team who are more than happy to help.

Split, Croatia
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