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Split, Croatia is a fantastic city teeming with sights, history and delicious local cuisine. Creating the perfect Split Itinerary that squeezes in the top attractions and activities allows travelers to experience the best of the city. We are helping by sharing our top tips for the absolute best way to spend 3 Days in Split, Croatia!
Create the Best Split, Croatia Itinerary
The very first time we stepped foot in Croatia, it was in the city of Split. Even bleary-eyed and cranky after a long red-eye flight, we were still smitten by the Dalmatian capital and its long waterfront Riva lined with cafes.
As Kris sipped a beer and watched the steady stream of ferries come and go, I slipped through a narrow passage to explore the remains of Diocletian’s Palace. However, not having properly researched the Best Things To Do in Split, I only got a peek of the Split Old Town…and completely missed the palace!
We only had a few hours in Split – as we were catching a catamaran to Croatia Island-Hop down the coast to Dubrovnik – but our quick look was enough to whet our appetite. As we sailed away, we already knew we’d be back to Split, Croatia for a future visit.
In the years that have passed since our first glimpse of Split, Croatia, we have returned many, many times. Whether traveling on our own for month-long stays or showing off the city to our friends on quick jaunts, we have become more enamored by Split with each trip.
How Many Days in Split, Croatia
We are fascinated by Split; it’s one of our favorite Cities in Croatia to Visit. In fact, on a recent trip to Split, we stayed for 10 weeks! Travelers visiting Croatia on vacation, however, will need to determine how many days to spend in Split.
There are a few factors to consider – like interests and overall time allotted for your trip to Croatia.
While a Split highlights tour can be completed in a couple of hours, it would be a shame to breeze through like we did our first time. A longer stay allows visitors to really soak up the Dalmatian atmosphere.
Therefore, we think three days in Split is the perfect amount of time for a first-time trip to the city. There is plenty of time for seeing the sights, exploring the neighborhoods and feasting on the local Dalmatian fare – all of which is outlined in our plan for what to do in Split in 3 days.
We know, however, that not all travelers will spend 3 days in Split. To help visitors with more or less time, we have created additional sample Split itineraries, which you will find at the end of the article.
Plan a Trip to Split, Croatia
With so many Split things to do, planning a trip can be overwhelming. While our Split Itinerary will certainly help you format a schedule for your stay, our tips for Planning a Trip to Croatia and advice for Vacationing in Europe will also incredible useful.
Whether you are planning three hours, three days or three weeks in Split, organization is key. Keep all of the details of your trip sorted with our printable Travel Planner.
SPLIT ITINERARY: 3 Days in Split, Croatia
To help fellow travelers, we’ve devised a 3-Day Split Itinerary that incorporates sea, mountains, history, and cuisine – which is the best way to experience Split. But we will warn you, a 3 day trip to Split will most likely leave you wanting more!
On a recent trip, we were interested not only in retracing our steps to our favorite spots, but in discovering new Split experiences, as well. With the help of Adiona Travel, experts for local insight and adventures in Split and all of Dalmatia, we created this fabulous Split trip.
Save, Bookmark or Pin our Split Itinerary for your vacation to Croatia!
DAY 1 – Must-See Split
After getting checked into your Split apartment, get acquainted with the city by immersing yourself in the Old Town and strolling the waterfront Riva.
Take a Split Walking Tour
Get an introduction to Split with a tour of the Old Town and Diocletian’s Palace. The palace was built in the 4th century as a seaside residence for Roman Emperor Diocletian. Through the centuries, the interior of the structure has transformed into a maze of lanes and a cluster of apartments, leaving little more than the shell of the palace intact.
Learn how the palace and Split Old Town have survived and evolved – and note how historical elements have been preserved amidst modernization. Walk down the narrowest street, wander through the Jewish Quarter and marvel at the Venetian courtyards.
Eat Lunch at Uje Oil Bar
While learning the history of Split, you have likely worked up an appetite! There are an incredible number of restaurants in Split where you can dine – but we recommend indulging in a few of the local specialties at Uje Oil Bar.
Featuring Dalmatian comfort food at its finest, Uje Oil Bar uses locally sourced ingredients and classic regional recipes. Naturally, the mid-day meal is best paired with a local Croatian wine!
Visit the Sights in Diocletian’s Palace
After your feast-worthy lunch, explore more of the palace on your own. Some of the best places to see in Split are nestled within the UNESCO World Heritage Site.
While wandering the lanes inside the palace is free, there are a few ticketed sights that are not to be missed.
Start by visiting the palace basement, which is where archaeologists have made many discoveries about the history of Diocletian’s Palace. Guests can also obtain a better understanding of the history of the people of Split at the Ethnographic Museum.
Saint Dominus Cathedral – which was built as a mausoleum for Emperor Diocletian – is another must see Split sight. Of course, for the best view in the palace, we recommend climbing the Split church bell tower.
Top Tip: Find details and tips in our dedicated Diocletian’s Palace article.
Walk the Split Riva to Sustipan Park
Emerge from the confines of the palace walls onto the spacious Split waterfront. The Riva, lined with cafes and palm trees, is an idyllic pedestrian promenade.
Walk along the water’s edge (in the opposite direction of the ferry port). Pass by the fisherman’s port, Matejuska, and continue walking toward the Split Marina past the cafes that line the water with great harbor views.
Beyond the marina is Sustipan Park – a former graveyard with a small church, gazebo and broad views. Get a good look of the gorgeous Adriatic Sea in one direction and then see the sprawling city and towering mountains in the other.
Spend the Afternoon at the Mestrovic Gallery
Ivan Mestrovic is Croatia’s most famous sculpturer – and visitors can tour his famous estate in Split. Located on the Marjan Peninsula, the Mestrovic estate was built in the 1930s.
The mansion was donated to the city of Split and has been redesigned to accommodate some of his most cherished works of art.
Eat Dinner in Diocletian’s Palace
Split dining varies from traditional cuisine to international fare. Being on the sea, fresh fish is a staple on most Split, Croatia restaurant menus. The delectable pasta dishes and pizza offerings can be attributed to the Italian influence, but with a flare that is distinctly Dalmatian.
To get the best taste of Split, we recommend sampling both traditional and contemporary cuisine – and Mazzgoon is a one of the best places to do it.
Located within the palace walls, Mazzgoon is a charming Split restaurant that proudly proclaims to be “Stubbornly Different”. Featuring modern Croatian cuisine along side classic Mediterranean dishes, Mazzgoon pleases an array of palettes!
Sip After-dinner Drinks
After dinner, saunter through the stone streets of Diocletian’s Palace and the adjacent Old Town, making your way to the café and bar rich Majstora Jurja and Petar Kruzica streets (that run along the northern interior of the town walls).
Teak Bar is our top choice for an after-dinner rakija (try the sweet Medica honey liquor) or a local Split craft beer. In the summer, tables take up every bit of outdoor space – and in winter, patrons cozy up inside the warm interior.
We love the local atmosphere of Teak, but Sanctuary, Marvlvs Library Jazz Bar, NOOR Spirit & Cocktails and Leopold’s Craft Beer Bar are some of our other favorite spots in Split to grab drinks. If you are looking for the young, backpacker scene, however, head for Charlie’s Bar.
DAY 2 – Split Like a Local
Although Split is a popular tourist destination, locals live, work and play in the center of Croatia’s second largest city. Join them in the markets, in nature and for a traditional meal!
Coffee at a Split Riva Café
Start your day like most Split locals and sip coffee in a café. There is no rush to the morning routine; rather, the experience is a relaxing one meant to be savored. At the cafes on the Riva, you get a first-hand look at Split waking up; children off to school, parents off to work and also a parade of people disembarking the newly arrived cruise ships.
Pro Tip: Coffee in Croatian is kava. For an American-style coffee, order an Americano. For something similar to a latte, order bijela kava; for less milk than a latte, order a macchiato; for a strong coffee, order espresso.
Morning Shopping at Split Fresh Markets
In the heart of Split are two vibrant markets: the Green Market and the Fish Market.
At the Green Market, which is located outside the eastern Diocletian Palace walls, shoppers can peruse the tables piled high with in-season produce, flowers, clothes and souvenirs. Small shops line the produce stalls selling meat (raw, dried and cooked), cheese and bread – making it a one-stop Split shopping experience.
The Fish Market can be found on the west side of the Old Town (just follow the scent from the Riva up Marmontova Street). The day’s fresh catch is openly displayed and quickly sold.
Most vendors (at both markets) use traditional weight and balance scales, an old school method we haven’t seen used much outside of the Balkans.
Pro Tip: At the Split Green Market, gather simple items for a picnic lunch, like Dalmatian Prsut (dried ham), sheep’s cheese and seasonal fruit – and plan to eat outdoors at the next stop on our Split Itinerary!
Hike Marjan Hill, Split
Many residents refer to Marjan Hill as the ‘Lungs of Split.’ In addition to the ample hiking (and biking) trails, the forested peninsula features spectacular viewpoints, secluded beaches, ancient churches, a Jewish cemetery and unique dwellings built into the sheer cliff walls.
Marjan Hill is most frequently accessed via the stairstep path up in the Varos neighborhood. Although slightly strenuous, hikers are rewarded at the top with breath-taking views of Split, the harbor and the surrounding mountains.
The main path through Marjan begins behind the viewpoint – with several smaller paths breaking off from the main trail along the way. Read our detailed tips – including how to get to the highest Split viewpoint platform – in our post, Hiking Marjan Hill.
Swim at a Split, Croatia Beach
Split may be known as a harbor town, but that doesn’t mean there aren’t beaches for swimming! As a matter of fact, in the summer months, the Best Split Beaches are top attractions. Visitors can opt to swim at the beaches around the Marjan Peninsula – or go to the east side for the most famous Split beach.
Beaches East of the Split City Center
Within an easy stroll from the Old Town (and just beyond the Split bus terminal) is Bacvice Beach, Split’s most popular beach. The shallow cove has a tiny sandy shore that is otherwise surrounded by concrete and lively beach bars.
A quieter Split beach, Ovcice, is a short shoreline walk further to the east. Continuing past the Zenta Marina, there are even more Split beaches with varying facilities and different vibes. Go on a Split beach crawl and find the one that best suits your mood!
Beaches West of the Split City Center
Around the base of Marjan Hill are several beach coves for swimming. Kasjuni Beach and Bene Beach are well-known spots – and Bus #12, which originates at St. Frane Church at the west end of the Riva, transports beach-goers to both.
Drinks and Views from Matejuska
In the early evening, stop at one of the cafes along the water for a pre-dinner drink – or, for a unique Split experience, join the beer drinking crew on Matejuska pier.
Matejuska is the fisherman’s port and the long pier is a fun place to hang out, drink a beer and take in the views of Split bathed in late afternoon sunshine.
While there are no bars or cafes on the Matejuska Pier, visitors can grab a beer to go from the small shop, aptly named Little Beer Shop, that sells a wide array of chilled beverages – including many Croatian craft brews. It’s inconspicuously located between Restaurant Fife and Dujkin Dvor. There is a clean public toilet – for a fee – at the base of the pier (behind the rowdy locals who are likely just peeing in the harbor).
Savor a Seafood Dinner at Konoba Fetivi
Fresh fish from the Adriatic Sea is a Split specialty – and an absolute must for your Split itinerary!
For dinner on your second night in the city, dine at Konoba Fetivi in the quaint Varos neighborhood. The eatery excels at creating simple fish dishes using traditional recipes. In fact, the restaurant has earned a Michelin Bib Gourmand award for their authentic Dalmatian dishes.
We recommend going all in with the Seafood Platter for Two – and share an order of the Black Risotto with Cuttlefish as a starter.
Pro Tip: Konoba Fetivi is incredibly popular – so make reservations in advance!
Wine at MoNIKas
Dalmatia is also well known for their wine production and there are many places to get a taste of it. That said, if you want a formal introduction to the local wine, then stop by MoNIKas Wine Bar for a tasting or a glass.
If you are unsure what to order, ask the bartender for advice – they are incredibly knowledgeable and friendly!
Alternate Day 2 Option: Support Hajduk Split Football Club
Around Split (and all of Dalmatia, for that matter) wall murals depict the red and white checkerboard logo of Hajduk Split, the city’s beloved soccer/football club. The history of Hajduk Split dates to the early 1900s.
The team plays home games in Poljud Stadium, built for the 1979 Mediterranean Games and within walking distance from the Split Old Town.
Cheering on Hajduk – and listening to the deafening chants and watching the surprisingly robust pyrotechnic capabilities of it’s hardcore supporters (called Torcida) – is one of the most local experiences we’ve had in Split.
Pro Tip: Tickets are not expensive, but the cheapest ones will likely land you a seat near the supporters’ Torcida zone, which as we mentioned, is loud, rowdy and combustible.
DAY 3 – Take a Tour from Split, Croatia
Discover the region surrounding Split with a day trip and spend the evening having a traditional Dalmatian meal.
Go on a Day Trip from Split
One of the things that makes Split such a fantastic destination is the prime location that puts day tours within easy reach. The Dalmatia Region boasts a sea dotted with islands, mountain peaks offering viewpoints, towns steeped in history and parks streaming with waterfalls.
We highlight all the recommended excursions and tours in our article, Best Day Trips from Split – but we are sharing a few tips here to get you started.
Krka Waterfalls Day Trip
Croatia boasts two outstanding waterfall parks – Krka National Park and Plitvice Lakes National Park – that can be reached on day trips. Of the two, Krka Waterfalls is closer and a day trip is often combined with other sightseeing adventures, like the city of Sibenik and the town of Skradin.
That said, Plitvice Lakes is the top nature destination in Croatia, but makes for a very long day trip from Split.
Visitors can also organize a Split day trip to Mostar in Bosnia Herzegovina to see the famous Stari Most Bridge and the nearby Kravice Waterfalls.
Active Split Day Tour
Travelers looking for an active adventure can take a tour to Omis for rafting, canyoning, ziplining or hiking.
Other hiking day trips from Split are to Vidova Gora on the Island of Brac – or in the mountains near Split, like Mosor Mountain or Kozjak (which was a highlight for us by indulging in local cuisine at a mountain hut).
Dalmatian Island Day Tour from Split
Local Tour Agency in Split
Choosing a reliable, client-minded tour company, like Adiona Travel, can make all the difference in a tour from Split! We appreciated Emanuel and Iva’s attention to detail, local knowledge and ability to organize. Their inviting and relaxed personalities made us instantly feel like we were visiting old friends, rather than working with an agency.
Don’t only take our word for it – check out their TripAdvisor Reviews! And be sure to tell them that the JetSettingFools say hello!
Indulge in Traditional Croatian Cuisine for Dinner
One of the best Dalmatia dishes is Peka. Often referred to as the meal ‘under the bell,’ Peka is a platter of meat (often veal, lamb or octopus) and vegetables (potatoes, carrots and peppers) slow cooked under a dome covered with embers in a wood-fire stove.
Many of the traditional Split restaurants – called konobas – serve Peka, but we recommend seeking out Konoba Kod Joze. The intimate interior pairs perfectly with a memorable meal.
Pro Tip: Peka is a big meal, which serves 4 people, so make sure you have a small group to enjoy the experience. Also, because it takes hours to cook Peka, it is necessary to notify the restaurant a day in advance – so visit or call ahead the day before to put in your Peka order!
How Many Days in Split Croatia?
We think three days in Split, Croatia is the perfect amount of time to spend on a first-time trip – which is why we have outlined a 3-Day Split Itinerary.
However, for travelers still deciding how many days in Split, we have compiled sample Split itineraries to help in your trip planning.
Split Itinerary 1 Day
Travelers limited to spending just one day in Split will want to make the most of their time in the city! We recommend following Day 1 of our above Split trip plan – and consider adding in one outdoor activity (like hiking Marjan Hill or swimming in the sea) if time allows.
Split Itinerary 2 Days
With 2 days in Split, travelers can really get a good feel for the city. To create a perfect 2-Day Split Itinerary, we suggest using Days 1 and 2 from our above trip plan.
4 Days Split Itinerary
Spending 4 days in Split allows visitors to discover even more of the city! Use our outline for what to do in Split for 3 days – then on the last day visit one (or more!) of the museums or quirky sights (like Froggyland).
Pro Tip: Use our list of Split Things To Do to find activities that appeal to you!
Split Itinerary 5 Days
With 5 days in Split, travelers have enough time for two different day trips. Use the above 4-day Split itinerary and then on the last day, add another day tour to your trip plan.
Split Itinerary 7 Days
Spending 1 week in Split really allows visitors to get to know the city and region. For a one-week Split Itinerary, use our recommendations for what to do in Split for 5 days, then spend your last two days exploring like a local.
On Day 6, travel by bus to the UNESCO protected town of Trogir or discover the Roman ruins in nearby Solin. Then, on the last day, revisit some of your favorite places in Split or expand your discovery by traveling beyond the Split Old Town center.
Also have a peek at our Croatia 1 Week Itinerary and see why we think Split is an excellent base for a Dalmatian vacation!
More Split Itineraries
Many travelers who plan on visiting Split add a second overnight destination to their Croatia trip plan. We are highlighting a few popular options, but travelers looking for a complete Croatia Itinerary can use our tips and recommendations in our detailed 2-Week Croatia Itinerary.
Split and Hvar Itinerary
Hvar Island is just a ferry ride away from Split – so it’s easy to create a Hvar and Split Itinerary. When determining how many days in Split and Hvar Island, we recommend staying at least 3 days in Split and 2 days in Hvar Town.
That said, travelers who also want to stay in Stari Grad on Hvar Island could easily create a weeklong itinerary (Split for 3 days, Hvar Town for 2 days and Stari Grad for 2 days).
Zadar and Split Itinerary
The town of Zadar is well-connected to Split via bus – and staying in both cities opens options for the best day trips. In fact, Plitvice Lakes is much easier to get to from Zadar then from Split. Use our tips for Exploring Zadar – and the Best Zadar Day Trips.
Split and Dubrovnik Itinerary
Dubrovnik and Split are the two top destinations on the Dalmatian Coast – and many travelers create an itinerary that includes both. To get between the two cities, travelers can use the local bus, private transport or ferry boats.
Top Tips For Your Trip to Split, Croatia
We have outlined the best itinerary for Split, but we have a few more tips for your holiday to Croatia!
Getting To Split, Croatia
Well-connected by plane, boat and bus, Split is a logical stop on any trip to Croatia.
The Split Airport (SPU) is located outside the city and is served by major European airlines and low-cost carriers (although, fewer flights come and go in the off-season). There is a frequent Split airport shuttle bus that transports visitors to the convenient main bus station in Split – or private transfers can be booked through reliable agencies, like Adiona Travel.
For boat connections, check the Jadrolinija and Krilo ferry schedules for Split. If traveling by bus in Croatia, we check Bus Croatia and again at the local bus station for the most current schedules.
Where To Stay in Split
There are many places to stay in Split – from hotels to holiday apartments to hostels. On short trips we like to stay near the city center – like in this great Airbnb Apartment offered by Adiona Travel. (Not already a member of Airbnb? You can also book this apartment on Booking.com).
Stay Connected in Croatia
When you are traveling and want to stay connected, a wifi hotspot is the way to go. With a personal mobile Wi-Fi hotspot, you to easily connect to the internet from multiple devices wherever you are!
What To Pack for Your Split, Croatia Trip
Now that you have your Split itinerary squared away, it’s time to think about what to pack. Before you travel to Croatia, make sure you have these items in your luggage (and find more of our tips on our dedicated Packing Page!).
Comfortable, Slip-Resistant Shoes
Don’t forget to pack a pair of lightweight and comfortable travel shoes with good soles – the stone streets of Split are slippery! I am most comfortable in my travel sneakers and Kris prefers wearing these shoes by Merrell.
A DSLR Camera
We’re certain you’ll be snapping tons of photos during your Croatia trip. Rather than relying on your mobile phone to capture the sights, upgrade to an actual camera for high quality photos. We always travel with our Canon Rebel which takes amazing photos, is a fantastic value and one of the best budget cameras out there.
Croatia Map and Guidebook for Split
On long days of sightseeing, you will want to make sure you bring a good day bag for your everyday essentials. We often wear small backpacks to carry all of our essentials, but we share more tips in our post, The Best Day Packs for Travel.
Croatia Travel Insurance
If you haven’t already obtained travel insurance for your trip to Croatia, consider traveling protected with World Nomads.
Visiting other Top Destinations in Croatia?
- Sights to See in Dubrovnik
- Things To Do in Zagreb
- What To See in Rovinj
- Things To Do in Makarska
- Visit Osijek, Croatia
- What To Do in Sibenik
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