Have you already been to Split? Not yet?
Well, let me tell you why you should put it on your bucket list and visit it 😉
You see, the people of Split are very specific. Because of the always crowded coffee shops, other citizens of Croatia think that none of us work and that we are lazy, but that’s not really the case. We just know how to balance it all, and to enjoy life.
As a local, let me give you some recommendations on what to visit, where exactly to go and make the most of your trip. Let me learn you enjoy life as we do!
Split is a unique blend of modern and antique and anyone can find something for itself.
To prove I’m not lying, here is a list of 10 things to do in Split, and maybe I encourage you to come sooner you planned😉
1. Diocletian’s Palace
The heart of our city! This palace was founded more than 1700 years ago by the Roman emperor Diocletian who abdicated and came to Split to spent his last days of retirement. Want to know a cool thing? You don’t have to pay any entrance ticket for the palace because there are people who still live inside. More than 3000 people! Inside the palace there are shops, restaurants and bars where you can spend all day long!
Your first stop should definitely be the main square Peristil. The Peristil square was a place where citizens had the opportunity to see their emperor where they approached him kneeling and kissing his cloak. Today at this important square, you can sit at the famous white steps of the square and have a cup of coffee enjoying the view at the Saint Domnius Cathedral.
You have the opportunity to walk the path once used to walk emperor Diocletian himself! Imagine how cool is that!
The palace never closes so you can discover its charms by day as by night.
Don’t miss to visit the Substructures which are situated underneath the palace. Usually, this part of the palace served as a place to store food and Dalmatian wine which Diocletian loved to drink. As the emperor was very concerned that someone will kill him, the acoustics of the Substructures were perfect so in case the assassins enter the palace, everyone would hear them.
Does this part of the palace look familiar to you as if you saw it on TV? Well, maybe because some dragons were captured here? That’s right! Game of Thrones was filmed here! For GOT fans this is a real treat. You can even try to recreate scenes from the series. For a complete experience, we recommend you our Walking tour where our guide will reveal to you all the secrets and mysteries this palace hold for centuries.
2. Saint Domnius Cathedral
Here is another reason why you should come to Split ASAP! Did you know that Saint Domnius cathedral is the oldest Catholic cathedral in the world? One simply can not escape the irony that accompanies this cathedral. Namely, in the city that Diocletian built and himself was known as one of the greatest persecutors of Christians, today in his city is situated the oldest Christian cathedral.
At first, it was built as a mausoleum for Diocletian but long after his death in the 7th century it was rebuilt as a cathedral of Saint Domnius our city patron. The patron of the city of Split is celebrated on the 7th of May. If you’re around Split in May, don’t miss coming!
Also, we highly recommend you to climb the 57 meters high bell tower which is a part of the cathedral complex and treat yourself to a great view of the city and Marjan hill, and of course, make your friends jealous with a new fantastic pic on social media 😉
3. Temple of Jupiter
The founder of the city we call today Split, Diocletian, was a religious man. He worshiped as he said, his „Divine father“ Jupiter, and built a temple in his honor. As he abdicated and came earlier to Split, the construction of the temple stopped and was never finished as planned.
Many people say this monument is one of the most beautiful in this part of Europe. Centuries later, as Catholicism conquered these lands, the temple was turned into a baptistery named after St. John the Baptist.
Why not check it?
4. Riva Promenade
The living room of Split citizens. The place where we all drink coffee and spend more hours than in our homes. You will most often see this promenade on city postcards. No one comes to Split without passing through the Riva. This promenade means very much to all of us who live in Split. As children we drove bikes all day long, as teenagers we experienced our first love, and now that we are older we like to have fun with friends and family.
There are always some events at the Riva, from concerts, dance classes, organizing some small tournaments. At a time of some great celebrations, the Riva is full of stalls with wonderful souvenirs, jewelry, homemade products and food.
Experience a touch of Dalmatian culture with just one walk across the Riva. Join us on the stage of Split’s city life and allow yourself to fall in love as we did.
5. Prokurative Square
Also one of the main symbols of Split. Looking very alike to Venetians St. Mark’s square. Located just near the Diocletian’s palace with a beautiful view at the Riva and Adriatic sea.
Underneath the square is situated our famous fountain Bajamontuša which is named by the mayor Antonio Bajamonti which initiated the construction of the square.
In this square are held many cultural, and popular events as local music festivals. When there are no festivals, we also like to drink coffee or have lunch in one of our traditional restaurants and enjoy in the sun with and a light breeze from the sea.
Photo credit: Vladimir Franolić
6. Marjan Hill
Ah…Marjan…or as we like to call them, the lungs of our city!
Marjan hill is a park-forest where we love to jog, riding bikes, or go for a walk. You can even take a bath at its bays from the northern side that are hidden from the forest, or at the beaches located on the south side of the hill.
If this is to calm for you, we recommend you our Sea kayaking tour around the Marjan hill, or you can climb the famous Marjan stairs to the Vidilica which is considered one of the best views of Split. Pause for a moment and enjoy that beauty. In case of a longer stay, you can relax in a restaurant/cafe bar right on Vidilica, where you can drink coffee during the day and enjoy the view of the illuminated city in the evening with a good glass of wine.
Certainly adventurous or not, there are many things to be found for everyone.
Sustipan is a peninsula very near the old city, just 15 min walk from the city center. In the Middle ages, there was a church, Benedictine monastery, and a cemetery which in the 19th century was named one of the most beautiful cemeteries in Croatia.
The church is still there, but the monastery and cemetery were removed in the 20th century. Even though long ago was a cemetery, today is one of the most romantic sites in Split with a spectacular view to the nearest islands like Brač, Čiovo, and Šolta from one side, and from another side, you have a view to the old city of Split.
If you wish for calm and peace, you can spend the day on Sustipan and even go for a picnic.
Vamos a la playa! Let’s go to the beach!
The most famous beach in Split and adored by all citizens is Bačvice. It’s a sandy beach and great to go with little kids! Of course, it is surrounded by bars and restaurants because coffee means all in our lives 😊The best location for taking a siesta or as we like to say fjaka.
From the city center to Bačvice it takes 5 min walking. While you drink your coffee, take a look at those guys who are playing a very funny game in the shallows. It is called Picigin. It’s an old traditional ball game from Split invented in WWI. The object of the game is to keep the ball from touching the water even if it means you need to perform acrobatics in the air. But don’t worry, no one will get hurt because the sand is pretty soft and ideal for this purpose.
If you would like to try it, just ask them to join and they will warmly welcome you!
For football fans, this will be a real treat! Come and see the breakthrough of the sports architecture after he Olympic stadium in Munich, our Poljud beauty. Learn about the legendary football club Hajduk, and get acquainted with the history of this club, which famous players played in this great club, what famous and important matches were played here and many other interesting things.
Also, take the opportunity and experience the unique experience that only this stadium offers in the whole world-skywalk! Contact us with no hesitation for more info about this tour 😉
If the stadium seems familiar to you, maybe is it’s because you attended the Ultra Music Festival these past years. Split is very proud to have the opportunity to host one of the world’s biggest DJs and organize the biggest party in Europe. Let’s hope we’ll organize it again so we can welcome you one more time to our beautiful city and precious stadium.
10. Gregory of Nin
This 8,5m (28 ft) statue is another symbol of our city. You just can’t see it and not bypass it.
Gregory was a bishop of Nin who in his time vehemently opposed the pope and introduced the Croatian language into religious services. One of the greatest croatian sculptors, Ivan Meštrović, made this statue.
This statue is very specific like everything in this city, and that is that it has a golden thumb! That’s right! You can actually touch this statue, and it’s actually recommendable.
You have to rub his toe and legend says it will bring you good luck. What are you waiting? Rub, rub, rub!
After rubbing the toe, you can chill at the park near the statue. It is called Strossmayer’s park, but no one calls it that way, we call it Đardin.
You can have a picnic, or lay at the grass and listen the peaceful sound of the birds. Often concerts and festival are held in this park and the ambience is great.
Tips & tricks
For blending more and feel like a real dalmatian, here are some tips and tricks on how to blend and look like a local 😉
We always, but literaly always wear sunglasses! If it’s sunny we wear them on the nose, if it’s cloudy or rainy we wear them at least on the head. Sunglasses are one of our symbols and a way how to recognize a dalmatian.
2. Drinking coffee
This is hard to explain to someone. Coffee is sacred in Split. You must have time at least for one coffee a day. If not, you will get a headache and people will think that something is wrong with you. They’ll start measuring your temperature thinking you are sick. No matter what time of the day is, someone will always invite you to have coffee even if you intend to have a regular drink. If you agree to have a coffee, count on spending at least an hour and a half with that person, which brings us to our next concept-fjaka.
Fjaka is already mentioned in the previous paragraphs. It’s something similar like the spanish „siesta“. It’s a way of life, we could even say like „Hakuna Matata“. Someone would even say we act like we don’t care, or that we are lazy. In fact it is quite the opposite. We are very responsable but we balance it very well. We always find time for work, friends, family, and having a cup of coffee…
When the parallels are drawn, „fjaka“ and „pomalo“ are very similar. It’s just that „fjaka“ it’s a psycho-physical condition and „pomalo“ is a simple saying that accompanies the same condition. Pomalo doesn’t have a real translation, but we could explain it as a junction between „take it easy“ and „don’t rush“. Also it could be used wheen greeting someone goodbye.
5. Loud speaking
Some people would say we are very loud. In fact, it is true. But not because we are angry or something like that. Shouting is our way to express ourselfs. As the Italians do the thing with the hands, we like to shout. Maybe sometimes it seems someone is having a big fight, but the louder you are, the friendlier the chat between people is.
6. ‘Ko ovo more platit’
You can’t leave Split without posting a picture with description „Ko ovo more platit“ or in english „This is priceless“. We often like to sit in our favourite caffe, taka a sip of coffee, open the newspapers, set the sunglasses on right position and say the already mentioned sentence. When we say that, you know we are in paradise.
7. We know everything
Also, we know everything about everything. Split is full of doctors, football coaches, constructors, presidents etc…Everyone could give you and advice about anything! But no one is licensed or ever educated for it. We are also never satisfied. Even if some problem is fixed, it could always be better. We like to be pretty critical about everything except for ourselves, because we always know better.
8. Weather forecast
Now that we are talking about dissatisfaction. Very similar happens with the weather forecast. We are people who like to talk about the weather a lot even though we are not really that interested. But the prognosis is never as it should be. In winter we cry and long for a beautiful spring sun. When spring comes then we curse that sun because it is too hot and look for rain. When the rain finally falls we are angry because it is cold and because we cannot outside. Whichever way you turn it, time is never right.
9. Hajduk, one eternal love
Hajduk, our football club is sacred as coffee. We are very proud to have a club like that.
Hajduk was founded in 1911 and is one of the oldest clubs in Europe.
The fan group-Torcida is showing its truly love since 1950. All thoose stories, experiences, goals, cheering are pased from generation to generation.
You can see in almost every corner of the city some symbols of Hajduk. There are countless songs written to Hajduk in his honor. Little children mostly first learn to sing Hajduk songs and then learn how to talk.
Many fan groups of other clubs are impressed on matches on how Torcida is organized and full of love. Pictures, transparents, choreography, songs…
10. Split, the most beautiful city in the world
Don’t try to convince us in the opposite. We adore our city and it’s the best for us. The beauty of Split is sung in many songs, and those are legendary songs for us. We are very sociable people who like to hang out, travel, discover new destinations, but Split is Split and no one can replace it for us.
As you can see, there are plenty of things what to do and what to see while in Split.
Split would embrace you as his child and won’t let you be dissapointed.
I told you almost all the tips and tricks and for the rest – you have to visit us and then we’ll tell you, and after you taste our way of life, you’ll become one of us! 😉
So, are you ready now to finally come to Split?
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