Many sailors to Croatia arrive and depart from Split, and in doing so, find themselves with a full day and night to spend exploring the city and surroundings. Whether you want to explore ancient streets, take in local art or hike through stunning parks and idyllic countryside, these are our top sights for a day and a night in Split.
At its heart the Diocletian’s Palace is something of a town centre, or a living museum made up of a warren of interconnected alleyways, vibrant piazzas and grand monuments. Inside you’ll walk along ancient streets filled with modern bars and restaurants, each lined with 1700 year old cobble-stones. Stroll around the residential backstreets to see daily life inside the palace, then follow the streets to one of the many monuments from the Temple of Jupiter and the Roman Peristyle in the west to the substructures beneath that house ancient oil and wine presses alongside local art exhibitions. It’s an incredible subterranean structure that has remained unchanged since the days of Emperor Diocletian.
Split’s iconic promenade stretches along the seafront and is lined with palms spaced to allow a small but delightful collection of restaurants a view out to sea. Either take a seat at one and watch the world go by for a couple of hours while sampling a delicious glass of Croatian wine, or take a pre-sail stroll along the promenade towards the marina.
A Day Trip To Krka Falls
If you have a full day to spare then a trip to the idyllic Krka Waterfalls National Park is not to be missed. The scenery here is nothing short of heavenly, with 7 waterfalls cascading into deep pools of perfectly clear emerald water. Although the falls are generally for your viewing pleasure only, it’s possible to swim in the pool under the Skradinski Buk waterfall, so take along your swimsuit if you fancy a dip.
Croatians are big coffee fans and the quality of cofee they serve is (generally!) fantastic. Split has a fast-developing café culture, with small independents popping up at a rate of knots. D16 Coffee and 4coffee Soul Food are our favouites with friendly baristas and coffee well worth making a detour for.
Views From The Bell Tower of Saint Domnius
The Saint Domnius Cathedral, or ‘sveti duje‘ as the locals call it, is one of Split’s most recognisable landmarks, gracing many a postcard and photograph. However, it’s the 57-metre high bell tower that is of particular interest. Clamber up its 137 steps to the top and you’ll have stunning views of the rooftops of Split and the nearby Dalmatian Islands to whet your sailing appetite.
Marjan Hill & Varos
If you’d prefer to take in an extended vista of the region, then take a walk up to the top of the lushly wooded Marjan Hill – the lungs of the city. From here you can see deep into Dalmatia and across miles of gorgeous Adriatic – all uninterrupted and especially dreamy on a mild spring afternoon. If you have the time, start your walk at the foot of the mountain in quaint Varos which is one of the oldest quarters in Split and filled with tiny stone houses and quiet medieval streets, once the modest homes of fishermen and farmers.
A Half Day Trip To Trogir
Like Split, Trogir sits on its own slice of Dalmatian coastline surrounded by dramatic hilly landscapes and lovely stretches of beach, with its old town poking out into the sea on a separate keyhole-shaped island. Half a day is more than enough time to see much of Trogir, including the Cathedral of St. Lawrence, which has a well-preserved Romanesque portal carved by a local sculptor (Radovan) in the 13th century, and the epic Kamerlengo castle, built by the Venetians in response to the lingering threat of an Ottoman attack in the 1200s. The castle has been popularised as a tourist attraction by its starring role in the Game of Thrones as the trading harbour of Qarth, or “The Greatest City that Ever Was or Will Be”. Take either a taxi or the Bura Line ferry and you’ll arrive within the hour.