Our weeklong Croatian trip with Sail Croatia ended in the waterfront city of Split. We spent our last day of the sailing trip in Split and then WC and I stayed two extra nights in an apartment rental. Below are our suggestions of the best things to do in Split with just a couple days time.
Your Croatia Bucket List – Things to Do in Split:
Inside Diocletian’s Palace
- Tour Diocletian’s Palace – Touring Diocletian’s Palace should probably be at the top of your list of things to do in Split. A walking tour will help you learn the history of both Split and Roman emperor Diocletian. Our advice is to make sure you do the tour with a small group. We made the mistake of taking a tour that was too large and could barely hear anything the guide was saying!
- Cathedral of Saint Domnius & Bell Tower – For a small fee, you can enter the Cathedral of Saint Domnius inside Diocletian’s Palace and climb the bell tower. It’s about 200 steps to the top and worth it for the view of the city.
- Relax in the Peristyle – The Peristyle is the center courtyard of Diocletian’s Palace and the spot where you’d enter the cathedral. You can sit on the steps and order a coffee or cocktail while relaxing and watching the activity.
- See an Ancient Spinx – Diocletian brought 12 sphinxes to Split from Egypt during his rule but the only remaining one is located in the Peristyle. According to Visit Split, it is about 3500 years old.
- Photograph the Vestibule – The Vestibule (or Rotonda) was the former entrance to the residential area of the palace and is a popular photography spot. From one angle you just see the sky and from another angle you can see the top of the former church of St. Andrew.
- Visit the Basement – You may recognize the basement at Diocletian’s Palace as the Game of Thrones location where Daenerys Targaryen kept her dragons. (This is one of many GOT film locations in Croatia- we did a full walking tour in Dubrovnik!)
- Game of Thrones Museum & Store – Speaking of GOT, fans may want to stop in the Game of Thrones museum and store which is inside the palace walls.
- People’s Square – This square is in the heart of Diocletian’s Palace with lots of restaurants, bars, and shops. It is also home to the Renaissance clock tower.
Outside Diocletian’s Palace
- Stroll the Riva – The Riva is the promenade along the waterfront outside the front of Diocletian’s Palace and it is a bustling area with restaurants, shops, and vendors. It’s a great place to enjoy a coffee on one of the many benches with a great view of the harbor.
- Grgur Ninski’s Statue (Gregory of Nin) – You must touch the toe for good luck! That’s right- we said touch the toe. The statue of Bishop Grgur Ninski is just outside the north wall of Diocletian’s Palace and rubbing the toe as you walk by is supposed to bring good luck.
- Hike up Marjan Hill – To get to the top of Marjan Hill, with another great view of the city, you’ll walk up a long set of stairs (aptly named Marjan Stairs). It takes about 15-20 minutes to reach the top but you’re rewarded with a cafe that serves coffee and cocktails.
- Explore Marjan Park – We only walked up Marjan Hill to the viewpoint. But if you have time, the park is home to many walking/bicycling trails, several churches, and a 16th century Jewish cemetery.
- Meštrović Gallery & Other Art – This gallery is dedicated to the work of the 20th-century Croatian artist and sculptor, Ivan Meštrović. We didn’t have time to visit but we did see several other art galleries and shops in town. Our favorite shop was For Gas and we took home two prints that are now on our walls!
Food & Drink
- Leopold’s Craft Beer Bar – We stopped in Leopold’s to try a local beer and ended up staying for quite awhile during a rainstorm. This is a fun little spot with beer, wine, and cocktails tucked away in a corner inside Diocletian’s Palace. The outdoor seating area would be nice in good weather.
- Rooftop Drinks at Cornaro Hotel – Take the elevator to the rooftop of the Cornaro Hotel for a stunning view of the city and water. Note: The bar is closed during the winter season and reopens around April according to the website.
- Zinfandel Wine Bar – Zinfandel Wine Bar is highly rated and for good reason. We had dinner here on our last night in Croatia and it was simply fantastic. The waitress helped us make our selections for both wine and food and all her recommendations were spot on.
- Luka – This was our favorite gelato spot we tried in Croatia! The cakes and other pastries in the window also looked amazing.
- Outdoor Market – The outdoor market, known as Pazar, can be found next to the east wall of Diocletian’s Palace. You’ll find lots of produce and Dalmatian food items and flowers, as well as some souvenirs.
- Roman Ruins of Salona – A short Uber ride outside of downtown Split takes you to the Roman ruins of Salona. There is a small entrance fee which you pay inside the museum and then you can wander the grounds at your own pace.
- Klis Fortress – We didn’t have time to squeeze this in, but the fortress is only about 20 minutes from downtown. If you’re a Game of Thrones fan, the fortress is home to the town of Meeren in the show.
- Relax on the Beach – We didn’t visit any beaches in Split as we’d just spent seven days on our sailing trip with plenty of time in the water. But, if you’re looking for some beach time, there are a few to choose from. Bacvice Beach is probably the most popular. Visit Split also has a few other recommendations on its website.
Need more Croatia inspiration?
Check out these blog posts to help you plan your trip to Croatia:
- One Week with Sail Croatia: Day 1
- One Week with Sail Croatia: Day 2 – Mljet and Korcula
- One Week with Sail Croatia: Day 3 – Vela Luka
- One Week with Sail Croatia: Day 4 – Vis
- One Week with Sail Croatia: Day 5 – Hvar
- One Week with Sail Croatia: Day 6 – Stari Grad
- One Week with Sail Croatia: Day 7 – Split
- The Ultimate Dubrovnik Bucket List