Insider’s Guide on what to do in Split, Croatia
If you are planning a visit to the Split region you may be wondering what the best things to see and do in Croatia’s second biggest city are. We have compiled an Insider’s travel guide giving you our top 10 places to visit in Split.
Split is a charming, fun and vibrant Mediterranean town offering visitors lots of things to do. From museums, fish markets & old town visits, to canyoning and exploring the 7 Kastela villages, one of which has featured in the hit TV show Game of Thrones. Continue reading to discover the 10 activities you will not want to miss out on in Split.
The Old Town and Market
The Old Town is one of the most historic parts of Split and dates back to as early as the 4th century. It was during the 4th century that Diocletian had the Roman palace built as a place of retirement, allegedly. Even though the palace serves as a huge historical site and has the honour of being among ten UNESCO World Heritage Sites in the country, it is still the centre of everyday life in the town.
During your Croatian villa holiday, no matter how long or short your stay might be, you will inevitably find yourself wandering around the beautifully nostalgic narrow cobbled streets of the Old Town.
Riddled with famous landmarks, hidden alleyways and heart-warming architecture, the local market is an absolute delight. With colourful fish, fresh seasonal vegetables and fruits, and equally colourful and fun “characters”. The legendary green market known as Pazar is hailed by many as the “soul of the city” – a place to bargain with the old ladies.
Visit the Fish Market and have lunch at Nostromo restaurant
If you are awake early why not take a walk over to the western side of Split and follow your nose to the local fresh fish market.
Enjoy taking an up-close look at the daily catch and take in the atmosphere of the loud busy marketplace. Particularly appetizing to buy are the sardines, anchovies, lobsters, red-scorpion fish and seashells. Sardines and anchovies, in particular, have been a hallmark of Dalmatian cuisine for hundreds of years.
While in the area why not have lunch at the renowned Nostromo restaurant, a haven for seafood lovers. The market transforms in the evening to become an outdoor seating area for the exquisite seafood restaurant.
Much like Pazar, the fish market is among the key highlights of city life, with Secession architecture that goes back more than 120 years.
Visit the 7 Kastela Villages
Kastela is a gorgeous city sandwiched between Trogir and Split and consists of seven “smaller Kastelas”. They are Novi, Stari, Stafilic, Kambelovac, Sucurac, Gomilica and Luksic.
With around 40,000 inhabitants, the city stretches 17 kilometres along the coast, with lovely beaches, excellent marina, plenty of places to eat and a thriving nightlife. There’s also a bit of history in Fort Kastilac, which served as a set for Game of Thrones. Fans of the iconic show can take part in an organised tour to learn more about how the location lent itself to the TV series. This is an excellent experience that any devoted GoT fan wouldn’t want to miss out on.
Peristil Square and the underground market
The Diocletian’s Palace is 1700 years old and is protected as a UNESCO World Heritage site. Under the Palace, you will find a vast underground market with souvenirs and artisanal products, a really peculiar and historical site for a market!
Outside the palace, you have the Peristil Square. The central square of the palace with surrounding columns was considered a religious centre for the emperor, where he would majestically appear before his subjects. To really appreciate and take in the local heritage, enjoy a coffee on the steps outside Peristil at Luxor Café for a fantastic view where one can admire the intersection of all those historical palaces.
Rafting and Canyoning in Cetina River
If you’re the type of person who loves indulging in an adrenaline rush during your Croatian villa holiday, then why not take a short drive from Split to try your hand at canyoning in Cetina River. This is a highly popular activity among both locals and tourists alike.
After you’ve received a safety brief, experienced guides will take you to where it all starts. You will be abseiling down a cliff into the Cetina River! The tour is not just about canyoning and offers a generous mix of cliff jumping, rope lowering, hiking and swimming.
For a change of pace, jump in a raft and tear down the cool Cetina River while white water rafting. This is something which is not only exciting but will also help you beat the heat during those warm summer months. The total trip combines about three hours of relaxing and adventurous moments, as the river has calm and quiet parts, as well as third-grade rapids.
If you are looking for a Croatian villa that has activities on site or nearby take a look at these villas here.
Krka National Park
The Krka National Park is one of the places that you must have on your list of things to see. Here you can hike between turquoise and cascading Croatian waterfalls on wooden boardwalks and enjoy a preview of Paradise.
On your trek, appreciate the stunning views of Split coastal towns while you relax and enjoy the enchanting calls of the rare native birds. The alluring Skrandinski Buk is the park’s largest waterfall and is, in fact, considered by many to be the most mesmerising waterfall in all of Europe.
Marjan Hill viewpoint
The Marjan Hill viewpoint will give you one of the most breathtaking unique views available in the whole of the Dalmatian Coast.
From here you will be able to see the port, the Riva (Split’s waterfront), the historical palace and the Split tower bell which stand out from the crowd of buildings in the city centre. Nicknamed the lungs of the city for the abundance of different plants, a one-day walking tour is a must to discover the peace of this area, its view and cultural monuments from a different point of view.
The terrace of the Vidilica Caffe, just next to the main viewpoint, deserves a mention because during the hot months it is the perfect place for refreshments with its simply stunning panoramic view.
Thank you to all the contributors for their pictures