The Very Best Things to Do in Split, Croatia
With Roman ruins and a great big pine-forest hill, you'll have a fantastic time in Split.
Before continuing, we’d just like to apologise on behalf of everyone at the Plum Guide about the poor pun for Split in Croatia. We were a little split about it, and now acknowledge it isn’t exactly side-splitting, as far as puns go. It is, however, important to get the Split jokes out the way. So, known as the most beautiful city in the world (by locals, so… they would say that), this gorgeous gem lies on the eastern shore of the Adriatic Sea, right across the water from Italy. And it is pretty beautiful, we must say, with its uniform layout of white, historic vestiges and murals of football and donkeys. That’s right, the donkey is somewhat venerated round these parts due to its role in its agricultural development. And why shouldn’t the donkey finally get some respect? It’s been taking hits on all sides since A. A. Milne created Eeyore.
The so-called Mediterranean Flower (another nickname for the city) has all sorts of intriguing attractions, with the St. Duje bell tower taking pride of place on all the postcards and souvenirs and things you’re likely to take home with you. We have all sorts of exclusive homes in this majestic city, so read on for the Plum Guide’s look at things to do in Split.
Take a cruise
Oh, you weren’t expecting that were you? But remember, Split is right on the Adriatic Coast and often makes for an important stop on cruises. Climb aboard and admire the gorgeous views of the mountainous coast and the deep blue of the Mediterranean Sea around you. Dock up (if that’s not already a ship-related expression, it ruddy well should be) in the harbour and admire the luxury yachts surrounding you, before making your way into the Old Town.
Explore the Old Town
Well, we’re on land now, we might as well take a look around. When it comes to things to do in Croatia, you can't not mention the country's many historical Old Towns. As it goes, the Old Town district of Split is an absolute gem, and much of it has been constructed around the ruins of the Diocletian’s Palace, which is a prestigious UNESCO world heritage site, don’t ya know? Wander along its preserved Roman streets and imagine what it must have looked like a couple of thousand years ago. See the jumble of gothic and renaissance frontages of the buildings that line these Roman alleyways and try to gloat to those in your party about your architectural knowledge. The highlights of the complex are its four gates.
Don’t forget the aforementioned St. Duje’s Cathedral, which dates back to the fourth century. The complex is a mixture of a Roman temple with a Catholic church. Climb to the top of that iconic bell tower for some of the best views of the city centre of Split. Other top attractions include the Jupiter’s Temple, the Archaeological Museum and the Peristil Square.
Split has yet another nickname: The Sportiest City in the World. Again, it might be something of an embellishment or a gloat, even, but the city has produced a lot of the country’s biggest sports stars. We won’t mention them here for fear of you never having heard of them. But you can go see Hajduk, whose colours pervade the entire city in murals and decorations (those would be dark red and blue). If you’re brave enough, head on down to the Stadion Poljud for a game. The arena seats 36,000 spectators, including some of the die-hard fans in the cheapest seats at the northern ends (maybe buy tickets for another part of the stadium). There's one thing for sure: Split is where to stay in Croatia for sports fans.
Stroll down the main street
The promenade of Riva is the central avenue that runs down through the core of Split. You could say it splits it down the middle. (Sorry). This is the beating heart of the modern side of the city, with most of the restaurants and bars. Stay here until late, knocking back barrels of vodka with the locals. On a sunny summer’s day, wander between the palm trees and drop in at the cafés, with seats spilling out onto the boulevard. See the lights transform the street for the Christmas market in winter.
If you're looking for outdoorsy things to do in Split, climb to the top of the Marjan Hill, whose dense pine forest runs across the top of the peninsula. Take the nature trails that meander between the trees and enjoy a picnic in the shade. Despite being right in the heart of the city, it brings about a totally different leafy setting that’ll make you forget the city.
Now you know the top things to do in Split, have you thought about where to stay? We have some spectacular homes on the islands adjacent to the city. Each of our homes have been thoroughly vetted by our professional home critics, so whether you'd like to enjoy the ocean view at Ad Infinitum or the spacious pool at Shadow Artist, you know you've made a great choice when booking a home with Plum Guide.