Nicknamed by locals as the “Mediterranean flower”, Split is a vibrant city on the coast of the Adriatic that has blossomed over the years to become the popular tourist destination that it is today, living up to its nickname. For those who seek a holiday immersing themselves in a city’s culture and heritage whilst exploring winding medieval streets, Split is without a doubt the spot for you.
This capital of Dalmatia boasts a fascinating heritage, with an infectious spirit that can be witnessed within its streets and amongst its residents. Its vibrant and varied historic timeline, areas of unrivalled natural beauty, and buzzing city centre are but a few of its appealing features that have gained it its reputation as one of the most beautiful places in Croatia, and we can’t say we disagree.
Whether you seek to indulge in the city’s wondrous history or to experience its natural sights in all of their splendour, as one of the most popular places in Croatia, you won’t be short of things to do or places to go in Split that will give you a glimpse into why this jewel in the Adriatic is so loved by all who visit it.
And to make it easy for you, we’ve rounded up the best places to go in Split to ensure you can experience a variety of its most phenomenal sights and breathtaking local areas that will without a doubt leave you breathless and longing for more.
Located a mere half an hour walk from the centre of Split, or less than 10 minutes by taxi or bus, you’ll find Marjan – a steep 170-metre hill towering over the Adriatic Sea that is well worth a visit when considering the best places to go in Split.
The hill is densely packed with Mediterranean pine trees and verdant forest, a pristine location with a backdrop of Split’s populated city scape. For those who seek the fresh and crisp Mediterranean air during their stay, Marjan is one of the most ideally located places to go in Split that attracts many visitors in search of a bit of peace away from its bustling city walls.
Expect phenomenal views across the Adriatic, and to even uncover some history whilst you’re paying a visit. You’ll find a Jewish cemetery on the East of the hill, with tombstones dating back to the 1700s and a number of churches to visit, including St Bethlehem, St Jerome, and St Nicholas. These sights are set within the wildlife and will give you a glimpse into Croatia’s religious history on top of this green oasis.
An iconic sight that attracts many a tourist annually for its regal and impressive appearance, Klis Fortress looks like it’s stepped straight out of a fantasy or adventure series, so it’s probably no surprise to hear that the fortress has appeared in the iconic HBO Series ‘Game of Thrones’.
Klis Fortress possesses a significant past, having been the seat of Croatian kings during the medieval period and used in defense of Split against the Ottomans in the 16th and 17th centuries. Originally built and settled in by the Illyrians, over two and a half millennia the structure has offered a sanctuary to those who have visited it.
Those who visit the medieval castle today can enjoy the fantastic views from the fort’s advantageous position in the mountains over the Croatian countryside and the Adriatic Sea.
Located roughly 30 minutes away by bus, or 25 minutes by car, from the centre of Split, visitors can admire this impressive greystone structure set within the lush hillside. There is local parking nearby, and tickets cost 60 Croatian Kuna (£6.73) for adults and 20 Kunas (£2.24) for children.
If you’re a lover of immersing yourself in a destination and soaking up the scenery, one of the best places to go in Split for you would be Riva Promenade.
The harbour of Split and gateway to the Adriatic, the huge pedestrianised walkway is lined with towering palm trees and colourful buildings with views of the sea until it meets the horizon.
Meander along the promenade at your own pace and soak in all that is going on in one of Split’s buzzing inner city hubs. Perch on one of its shady benches as you simply watch locals pass by and the waves roll along at this scenic location. Try visiting the promenade during the evening, when Split’s iconic nightlife begins to awaken so that you can experience the city’s authentic buzz during its prime time. Stop by at any one of the delectable eateries lining the Riva for dinner and drinks as you watch the sunset across the Croatian horizon for the perfect end to a day.
Riva promenade is hard to miss. Located in the heart of Split along its seafront, it’s only a short walk away from some of Split’s most popular sights and attractions, including the Diocletian’s Palace.
Krka National Park
Despite being located further out from the city centre of Split than any of our other recommendations, Krka National Park is one of the must see places in Croatia.
Roughly 1 and a half hours drive away from Split, which can be reached either by car or by bus from Split bus station, the national park makes for a picturesque day trip outside of the city’s walls.
Located along the Krka River, which is famed for its verdant, luscious vegetation, landscape, and it’s cascading waterfalls. At every twist and turn in this wilderness location, you’ll have exquisite views of thriving wildlife, beautiful turquoise pools, and scenic forest walks for a back-to-nature day-out.
The most popular and well-known spot in the park is Stradinski Buk Falls, a large natural pool situated below plunging waterfalls stretching upwards along its hillside and cascading downwards. Bathe and swim in this emerald pool with nothing but the sound of wildlife and rushing water lulling you into a peaceful state of relaxation.
Lastly, but certainly not least, Bačvice beach is a much-loved local seaside destination that offers an inviting atmosphere to soak up the Mediterranean sun.
Only 10 minutes away on foot from Split’s main bus station, the crescent beach offers a picturesque stretch of shoreline lined with bars and clubs overlooking the Adriatic. For those visiting in the height of summer and considering places to go in Split, a trip to Bačvice beach will give you the opportunity to cool down in the crisp Adriatic and top up your tan on its golden shoreline.
Bačvice is the birthplace of the iconic Croatian game Picigin, a popular UNESCO non-material heritage activity involving players keeping a small ball from touching the water. The beach’s shallow stretches of shoreline make for the ideal destination to play Picigin and try your hand at this local amateur sport for yourself.
There are plenty of restaurants and beach bars nearby, so you have everything you could possibly need during a day out at Bačvice beach. Returning at night will have you experiencing the vibrant nightlife that Split is so well known for, making it one of the best places to go in Split all day round.
Live out your wildest Mediterranean fantasies during your stay in Split. Explore the beautiful wilderness in open national parks, or venture through its cobbled streets and promenades to get an authentic feel for the city. It’s without a doubt that Split is worthy of its reputation as one of the most beautiful places in Croatia and will not disappoint when it comes to offering some exceptional places to visit during your stay.
With a prime position along the Dalmatia coast and offering a little bit of everything to captivate and intrigue everyone, we hope that our guide gave you the inspiration you needed to decide the best places to go in Split for you to enjoy your holiday to the full.
If you are planning a trip to Split and need accommodation for your visit, Vida Villas offer a stunning selection of rental properties around the island, which you can browse here. Alternatively, you can contact our team, who will be happy to provide any help or information you may need.