Split is the second-largest city in Croatia, located on the Adriatic coast, at the foot of the Mosor Mountains. Modern Split is a city museum with a 17-century history. Getting into its Old Town, you seem to travel through time – moving from the palace of the Roman emperor to the medieval cathedral, next to which stands the ancient temple of Jupiter. Around the old quarters, life is in full swing – the locals are proud of the Hajduk football club no less than the Roman heritage. They know a lot about gastronomy and fun holidays. We will tell you what to do and where to go in Split so that the trip will be remembered for a long time.
1. Travel through time in the Old Town
The entire historical center of Split is included in the UNESCO World Heritage List and reminds of the city’s former greatness. Here are perfectly preserved the palace of Emperor Diocletian and the temple of Jupiter, built in the 3rd century. On the Roman square Peristyle, surrounded by columns, life is in full swing – concerts and fairs are constantly held here, meetings are scheduled, and excursions start. The architecture of all styles and eras complements each other: the Roman mausoleum, a Gothic cathedral, stands next to the Renaissance palace. They are surrounded by bars and restaurants.
2. Try the freshest seafood
Split is famous for fish and seafood dishes – they are bought in the early morning from sailors, in the market next to the mausoleum of Diocletian. We advise you to go to one of the small family restaurants and try fish soup, risotto with cuttlefish ink, and octopus salad. As well as the traditional stew “Ferments” – it is prepared from a dozen types of fish and seafood, which are stewed in red wine with spicy spices. And if you do not like fish, then order smoked Dalmatian ham “prosciutto,” which is served with onions and olives, spicy sheep cheese Page, and Slave cake.
3. Relax and have fun on the city’s beaches
All city beaches are free (including sunbeds with umbrellas), the water is warm and transparent, the entrance to the sea is gentle. On the central beaches, you can rent a jet ski, sit in a cafe and play in shallow water in “pichigin” – this is a fun game with a small ball and not strict rules. Pine forests surround more remote beaches. On the most popular beach, “Bačvice” regularly holds themed parties and concerts. There is also one of the best nightclubs in the city, Ropic club.
4. Go down to the imperial mausoleum and climb the bell tower of St. Douai
The Cathedral of St. Douai is the oldest active cathedral in the world. The basis of the cathedral is the mausoleum of Diocletian, who, during his reign, mercilessly persecuted Christians. The emperor’s tomb was destroyed in the 7th century, but the columns, sculptures, and bas-reliefs are perfectly preserved. After the tomb, inspect the cathedral – it is famous for the Gothic altar, carved doors, and manuscripts. And from the bell tower of the cathedral, you will have the best view of the Old Town of Split.
5. Explore the wreck
The surroundings of Split are an ideal place for diving. There are diving courses and schools, equipment rental points and crystal clear sea. 10-15 kilometers from Split is a sunken fishing vessel (Ribolovac) and the ship Patio (Patio), where divers of any level of training dive. In the east of the island of Brac is another favorite place of drivers – the huge underwater cave Lućice (Lućice). There at a depth of 30-40 meters, there are rare fish.
6. Visit the Villa Museum of Ivan Meštrović
Ivan Meštrović is one of the best Croatian sculptors. At the beginning of the 20th century, he studied in Vienna and Paris, was friends with Rodin, became famous, but was forced to flee the country when the Second World War began. Shortly before leaving, in 1939, he built a villa on Marjan Hill. He bequeathed a villa with a workshop, all drawings, and sculptures to the city. Now his museum is located there. In addition to the Meštrović Museum, on the Marjan Hill, there is a zoo, a museum of natural history, and caves where hermit monks lived in the 15th century. The best view from the hill to the city opens from the terrace of café Vidalia.
7. Visit the islands of Hvar and Brac
Off the coast of Croatia – more than a thousand islands, and one of the most beautiful – Hvar. On the island, there is untouched nature – rare flowers, many songbirds. There are excellent sandy beaches, lavender and pink oleanders grow everywhere, which bloom in early summer. In addition to lavender and beaches, the island has the oldest public theatre in Europe and a Renaissance cathedral. On the island of Brac grow vineyards and olive groves, and in the quarries extract ivory limestone. Brac attracts tourists with excellent rosé wine, View Mountain – the highest in Croatia and water sports (water skiing, sailing, windsurfing, diving).