For many people, Split, Croatia is a transportation hub – a city to breeze through on the way to other parts of the country. It was for us during our first trip to Croatia in 2011. However, since then, we’ve revisited the city multiple times with much longer stays. The main sights to see in Split, Croatia could be easily covered in a day, but more thoroughly enjoyed with more time.
The remains of Diocletian’s Palace are the biggest draw, as the palace has aided in defining Split as a city. As fascinating as the history is inside Diocletian’s Palace, however, there are more sights to see in Split, Croatia. Just outside the palace walls are vibrant markets, squares and cafes. The marina, park, hill and quaint neighborhoods are within sight and a short walk away. We filled many days with discovering life both inside and outside the walls, which was highlighted by spectacular people watching, café sipping and general lounging around the harbor.
Sights to See in Split, Croatia
#1: Diocletian’s Palace
Without a doubt, Diocletian’s Palace is one of the best sights to see in Split, Croatia. Whether simply wandering within the walls and taking in the history or entering into the sights, Diocletian’s Palace is certainly impressive. Although not preserved as a palace, remains from the 4th century structure are evident. With just a bit of imagination, we could visualize what the palace looked like in its splendor.
#2: Old Town
Split’s Old Town encompasses more are than just Diocletian’s Palace – it also includes the adjoining labyrinth of streets and squares that were built when Diocletian resided in the palace. Exiting through the western Iron Gate of Diocletian’s Palace leads into People’s Square, the center of historic Split.
#3: The Riva
The long stretch of trendy cafes between the Old Town and water is The Riva, which even in the winter is packed as long as the sun is shining. For those not wanting to sip on cappuccinos at a café, there are a plethora of benches for sitting, napping, chatting, drinking cold ones with friends or just enjoying the view.
#4 & #5: The Markets – Green and Fish
There are two happening markets in Split: the Green Market and Fish Market. The Green Market outside the east gate has produce, flowers, clothing and souvenir stalls. There are also permanent meat and cheese shops, so it’s a one-stop shopping experience (and great for picnic shopping!). The Fish Market on the west side of the old town is brought to life when the day’s fresh catch arrives. The smell is pungent, the crowd is exuberant and the floor is slippery.
#6 & #7: Matejuska and Varos Neighborhoods
At the west end of the Riva is Matejuska, the fisherman’s port, which is a popular hangout spot for fisherman, both young and old, and for bench-sitting, day-drinking crowds of all types. Behind it, streets crawl into the Varos neighborhood that feel more authentic than the old town and has several family run restaurants along the lanes.
#8: Marjan Hill
Following the steep path up through the Varos Neighborhood leads to Marjan Hill. At the top of the neighborhood is a cafe and Split city lookout point, but taking the paths into the forested area lead to cliffside dwellings, sea views, beaches and a hilltop viewing platform.
#9 & #10: The Marina and Park
Continuing west along the waterfront, there are modern, glass-walled cafes that seem perhaps a little too posh having just passed by the fisherman’s port. The walkway eventually leads to the marina with rentable yachts. Beyond the marina is a seaside park on the Sustipan Peninsula (which was once a cemetery; destroyed in World War II, it has since been relocated). There are views across the marina back to the city as well as a panoramic look out to the Adriatic Sea.
Tips for Sightseeing in Split, Croatia
Where To Stay
During our visits to Split, we have stayed in two awesome Airbnb Apartments – one inside Diocletian’s Palace and one on Marmontova, the popular pedestrian street, both of which were fabulous. (Not already a member of Airbnb? Use this link to create an account and save money on your first stay!) However, for those who prefer staying in traditional accommodations, there are many hotels to choose from in – or close to – the city center. Check out these top-rated hotels (based on guest reviews!) for your upcoming trip:
Or These Hostels:
Before You Go: Our top tips for your trip
- Don’t forget to pack a pair of lightweight and comfortable walking shoes. I (Sarah) have traveled with these shoes by Columbia, Skechers and Reef. Kris prefers wearing these shoes by Merrell and Sanuk.
- We’re certain you’ll be snapping tons of photos during your trip. Rather than relying on your mobile phone to capture the sights, upgrade to an actual camera for higher quality photos. We travel with a Canon Rebel (which takes amazing photos, but can be a bit clunky) and a Canon PowerShot ELPH (which takes beautiful pictures, is slim and lightweight – and the new models are wifi enabled so you can share your trip pics to social media in real time!).
- It’s easy to get turned around or lost in any new city! Be sure to have a good city map and/or guidebook prior to arriving.
- We think travel insurance is essential! If you haven’t already obtained travel insurance for your trip, travel protected with World Nomads.
We want to know: What is on your list of sights to see in Split, Croatia? Let us know what else you would add in the comments!
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