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Marjan Hill is a top attraction in Split, Croatia. Just a stone’s throw from the Split Old Town, Marjan Forest Park features stunning viewpoints, abundant nature and ancient sites.
Marjan Hill Split, Croatia: Why Travelers Should Go
We are completely enamored by the historic cities along the Adriatic Coast. While they each have their unique story, they are – to a degree – similar in architecture and culture: cobblestone streets, narrow alleyways and wide squares…and not a whole lot of green space.
Split, Croatia, however, boasts historic lanes and parks – with Marjan Hill Park ranking as the most spectacular. Just steps from Old Town Split, Croatia, Marjan Hill is an expansive nature retreat.
Travelers interested in epic views, serene nature or intriguing history can find it on Marjan Hill. Plus, the park is ideal for casual hikers and families with kids.
We are outlining the best Marjan Hill hikes – plus top destinations in and around the park!
Best Hikes on Marjan Hill in Split, Croatia
Marjan Park Split covers the peninsula to the west of the historic Split, Old Town city center. The area – often called the Lungs of Split – is lush with trees, scenic viewpoints and paths for those who want to enjoy Split hiking and wonderful nature in Croatia.
It’s best to hike Marjan Split, Croatia when the sun is shining, the sea is shimmering and the heavy scent of pine and fresh earth is in the air. Following the paths into Marjan Forest Park, visitors can take a break from Split sightseeing and become immersed in nature.
Listen to the birds chirping; chase butterflies floating on a breeze; watch caterpillars make their long trek to…wherever it is they are headed. Whether you are looking for a Split city scenic viewpoint, a full dose of nature or a day at the beach, Marjan Hill is the place to go!
Marjan Split, Croatia Hiking Destinations
Marjan Hill is the best place for hiking in Split, Croatia – and there are several trails that lead to destinations in the park. Visitors could spend an entire day at Marjan Hill Park exploring the different trails, seeing the sights and finding unique vantage points. We are highlighting a few of the best things to see on Marjan Hill – and then detail how to get to each destination.
Marjan Park Entrance Viewpoint
This lookout point is located above the Varos Neighborhood, next to a café at the entrance to Marjan Hill Park. It offers the most sublime views of Old Town Split and the harbor.
The main Marjan Hill trailhead that leads to several destinations within the park leads up directly opposite the viewpoint. This is the starting point for all of our recommended Marjan Hill hikes.
Marjan Observation Deck and Tower
Perched toward the west end of the peninsula is the Vidikovac Marjan Observation Deck that offers astounding views over the Adriatic Sea to the south and west. It is the site of a recently renovated tower and the expanded Observation Deck may still be under construction.
Cave Dwellings and Marjan Cliffs
On the western south-facing slope of Marjan Hill are dramatic vertical cliffs, called the Santine Rocks. While the Marjan ridge is beautiful on it’s own, even more intriguing are the cave dwellings that mark the side of the sheer cliff wall. Two old stone churches are also found in the area – and it’s a popular spot for rock climbing in Split.
Bene Beach Split
A beautiful west-facing beach on the north shore of Marjan Hill, Bene Beach has long been a favorite spot for soaking in the sun and splashing in the sea. Trekkers can hike over the top of Marjan to get to it (but it is also possible to reach the beach by taking the shoreline path or even hopping on a bus).
Marjan Hill Telegrin Viewing Platform
The Telegrin Viewpoint is, by far, the most popular destination on Marjan Hill – as it sits on the highest peak and offers 360-degree views. The spot is marked by the Croatian flag that flies above the forest trees on one end and a giant stone cross on the other. You can’t miss it! There are two ways to get to the top: climbing a steep set of staircases or taking a gradually inclining trail through the forest. We detail both options below.
How To Get To Marjan Hill from Old Town Split
Before you can set off on hikes on Marjan Hill, you have to get to the main trailhead. Travelers who only want to see the first Marjan Hill Lookout should also use these directions.
On foot, there are three ways to easily get to Marjan Hill from the Riva in Split. Outlined below are step-by-step directions to begin your Marjan Hill hike from the Old Town, as well as a map link for each route. These routes take visitors to the Marjan Park entrance and most beautiful Split viewpoint.
Direct Route Through Varos Neighborhood with Stairs
From the west end of the Riva in Split Old Town, cross through the square with the large fountain to the St. Frane Church and Monastery. The lane to the right of the church leads uphill; you will find one of the Marjan Park signs at the beginning of the street on the right side.
Follow the street into the Varos Neighborhood, which leads to a sloping staircase. At the top of the stairs is the Marjan Hill café, the Old Jewish Cemetery and the first Marjan Hill lookout point. Use this link to Google Maps for walking directions to the platform (and plan on it taking 15-20 minutes).
Gradual Climb Through Varos Neighborhood
For another picturesque stroll, we recommend winding through a different narrow street in the Varos Neighborhood that gradually climbs to Marjan Hill Park.
From the west end of the Riva (marked by the large fountain), turn right (north) into the pink, arched Republic Square. At the northwest corner, there is an alley; walk through and directly across the street and continue walking uphill, named Krizeva Ulica. Note: Google Maps directs walkers to use the street to the west of Republic Square, Bana Josipa Jelacica; both routes go to the same place.
As you walk up the narrow street it changes names to Miliceva and intersects with Prilaz Vladimira Nazora. Turn left (south) on Prilaz Vladimira Nazora and follow it to Marjan Hill Park. Use this link to Google Maps for directions.
Staircase from Matejuska Fisherman’s Port
The third way to get to Marjan Hill is via a steep staircase off Marasovica Ulica, which is past the Fisherman’s Port, Matejuska.
From the Split Riva, follow the harbor past Matejuska. Detour away from the water before the curve (at Fife Restaurant) onto Solurat Ulica. Walk to the staircase (on your right) that leads all the way up to the first lookout point. Use this link for walking directions – or search for “Marjan Hill Stairs” on Google Maps.
Bonus: Marjan Hill by Vehicle
We wrote this guide for Split, Croatia hiking on Marjan Hill – but there is a way to get up Marjan Hill by vehicle, as well. In fact, travelers can drive their own car, take a taxi, hop on a bus or take the Marjan Hill train for tourists.
Visitors with a car can actually drive to the first Marjan viewpoint, although it’s all street parking and (like in all of Split) there’s usually Hunger Games-style maneuvering taking place for any available asphalt. See driving directions here.
Visitors without a car could grab an Uber or Taxi to the viewpoint, as well. While we doubt either method would save time if venturing up Marjan Hill from the Split Old Town, it is definitely the least strenuous for scorching hot summer days.
Marjan Hill Bus and Train
There are roads within Marjan Forest Park that are only open to certain vehicles – like the bus and train for tourists. Visitors can use these transport methods to get all the way to the top of Marjan Hill and the Telegrin viewing platform. Inquire at the Split Tourist Information Center for departure times and cost.
Marjan Split Lookout Point
At the informal entrance to Marjan Park at the top of the Varos Neighborhood, is the outdoor Marjan Hill restaurant and café, Vidilica – and, more importantly, a small lookout point. From the Split Marjan Park Viewpoint, the views of the city are stunning.
The rising bell tower of the Split Cathedral stands out among the orange rooftops that wrap around the deep teal bay. The rocky Dalmatian mountains that pierce the sky offer the perfect backdrop.
This Marjan Hill viewpoint provides the best views of the city. Even if you aren’t interested in hiking in Split, Croatia to the highest peak in Marjan Park, make the effort to get to this viewpoint!
More Marjan Hill Attractions Nearby
The Marjan Hill Split Viewpoint is reason enough to hike up the hillside. However, trekkers who want to enjoy a refreshment should look for an open seat at the outdoor café.
Interested visitors can also explore the Old Jewish Cemetery. The cemetery was established in 1573 as burial grounds for Split’s Jewish population. More than 700 grave markers still stand, with the oldest dating to the early 1700s. Visitors can access the cemetery through the gate to the right of the café. If the gate is locked, ask for the keys at the café.
After taking in the Split city views, having a quick rest or visiting the cemetery, embark on a hike through Marjan Hill Park.
Split, Croatia Hiking Trails at Marjan Forest Park
For all of the hikes that we outline in this Guide to Marjan Hill, trekkers will begin on the main trailhead, which is just opposite the first viewpoint platform.
Begin hiking Marjan Hill Split up the steep incline on the wide, paved path. Benches line the way and just over the treetops you can catch a glimpse of the sea. Large American Agave plants grow alongside the trail – and, although they are not native, they are a signature of the park’s flora. Joggers, dog walkers, families, cyclists, locals, tourists and those just out for a stroll all share the path.
About 300 meters into Park Forest Marjan, is the small stone Church of St. Nicholas, one of many Catholic churches in Split, Croatia. The church dates to the year 1219 and, of all the churches in Split Park Marjan, it is the oldest.
Unfortunately, we have never seen the little Marjan Croatia church open – but they do celebrate mass at the church on December 6 to mark the Feast of St. Nicholas.
All hiking routes on our list go as far as the St. Nicholas Church – and some trekkers opt to only hike to this point. For each destination past the church, however, we detail the Marjan Hiking route in the next section.
Pro Tip: Stop at St. Nicholas for a moment to catch your breath or refill your water bottle from the fountain next to the church. It’s clean, potable water!
Marjan Hill Trails
There are many trails that crisscross Marjan Hill Park; outlined below are a few of our favorites that lead to the best destinations. If you are planning on spending an entire day in Marjan Park Split, there is no need to rush to the top. Explore the many trails of the nature reserve and enjoy your Marjan Hill walk!
Trail to the Observation Deck and Marjan Tower
To get to the Observation Deck Tower Viewpoint from St. Nicholas Church, continue following the main path toward the end of Marjan peninsula. Although there are options to break off onto other paths along the Marjan Hill walking route, stay on the main path to the Saddle (identifiable at an intersection with a small parking lot; map coordinates).
Continue walking straight along the road. Once past the parking lot, the main road veers to the left and there is a trail on the right (called Baba Marta Trail that leads down to the western shoreline of Marjan Peninsula), but an inclined road (looks more like a driveway) leads steeply up, then curves to the left (and passes a house). Follow it up as it curves left to the top of the incline and you will find the lookout point and observation deck.
This marks our favorite spot for a Marjan Hill sunset.
Update: During our last visit, the Observation Deck was still under construction. Entering the area is at your own risk.
Pro Tip: After visiting the Vidikovac Observation Deck, trekkers can use Baba Marta’s Trail to descend to the most western point of Marjan Peninsula. The dirt trail leads through thick forest and is lined by old dry stone walls. While this is a pretty hike, it’s not our preferred route – as we like to loop back around to the highest peak (which we detail in a bit).
Trail to Cave Dwellings and Rock Climbing Split, Croatia
The route through Marjan Park to the cliff dwellings is a wonderful trek marked with intriguing historic sites.
To get to the Marjan Park dwellings built into the side of the cliffs, again follow the main trail to the Saddle intersection and parking lot (map coordinates); this time following the road to the left.
The paved road leads downhill slightly, passing the quaint Church of Our Lady of Bethlehem. There is a sea view lookout point on the opposite side.
Continue walking on the road to the hairpin turn. There, continue straight off the road onto the path that leads to St. Jerome Church and the hermitage caves. The rock cave dwellings are called Karepić’s Tower. The rock dwelling was built in the 1500s. However, be aware that there is no access to the interior of the dwellings.
The sheer cliff wall next to the cave dwellings is a popular spot for rock climbing Split, Croatia.
Pro Tip: You can book a tour for Split Rock Climbing!
Trail to Marjan Beach Bene
The Marjan Bene Beach is the most popular Marjan beach in Split – and it makes a fun destination for hiking on Marjan Hill.
Make your way to the same location via the main path to the Saddle parking lot and intersection (map coordinates). However, don’t go through the parking lot; instead, turn right onto Marjanski Put. Look on your left for Bene signs (marked on rocks on the ground). Follow the Bene signs onto trails through the forest that lead down to the water.
Pro Tip: There are many Marjan Split beaches, not just Bene! Rather than climbing up Marjan Hill, you can follow the coastline of the Marjan Peninsula to a multitude of beaches (or take the city bus!).
Marjan Hill 360-Degree Viewing Platform Telegrin
The top Marjan sight, Telegrin, is a fantastic destination for a good hike in Marjan Hill Park. In fact, it is the most popular destination for tourists and locals alike.
The views from the hilltop perch are amazing – encompassing islands, mountains and the city below. The platform is the highest point on Marjan Hill at 178 meters. In addition to the views, the platform is marked by the large white Marjan Hill cross and giant Croatian flag.
Getting to the Telegrin platform at the top of Marjan Hill can be done two ways. From St. Nicholas, trekkers have a choice; either continue up the gradual path, which is the same route as the other Marjan hiking paths, or march up a steep set of stairs that led to the 360-degree viewing platform.
Stairs to Marjan Hill Viewing Platform
The shortest (but perhaps not easiest!) route is a steep staircase located behind the small Church of St. Nicholas (the first church that hikers come to from the café/viewpoint entrance).
After refilling your water bottle, climb up the stairs next to the church. Turn left at the path that leads to the Marjan Zoo – you may see a donkey grazing in the field next to it. (We talk more about the Split, Croatia Zoo in the next section.) Turn left past the playground area and follow that path to the steep stairs on the right that leads to the Marjan platform.
Forest Path to Platform
The alternate hiking trail is a less-direct route to the viewing platform, but one that we actually prefer.
Instead of taking the stairs by the church, continue walking straight on the main trail through the park all the way to the Saddle and parking lot toward the west end of the park (map coordinates).
Before crossing through the parking lot, turn right onto Marjanski Put (the same direction to Marjan Bene Beach). Immediately on your right, there is a bench and five stone steps that lead to a dirt trail, called Girometta’s Trail (although, it is not marked as such).
Hop on Girometta trail; it leads through the Marjan Park forest in the highest peak on the center of the peninsula. The path passes through beautiful nature, along more Marjan lookout points, a monument to Professor Girometta and past old stone structures, eventually, to the Telegrin.
Marjan Hill Platform Loop Route
We prefer to hike in loops, rather than out-and-back. With two access points to the Marjan Platform, it’s easy to complete the hike in a loop. To be honest, we think this route is the absolute best Hike on Marjan Hill Split.
Start the hike by following the longer (but easier) route to the Telegrin platform via the forest trail. From the top of the Telegrin platform, simply take the stairs back down, completing the loop back to St. Nicholas Church. Then continue on the downhill path to the main entrance of the park.
How Long to Climb Marjan Hill Platform Loop Route
Many travelers want to know, How long is the walk up Marjan Hill to complete the loop route? – which is a tough question to answer! Many factors will contribute to how long it takes to hike Marjan Park – including fitness level, weather and how many stops to admire the views.
Round trip from the center of the Split Old Town, we can complete the Marjan Loop Hike in about an hour. However, we think most travelers will want to savor the views – so it’s best to allow at least two hours for your Marjan Hill hike.
Split Marjan Hill Map
Click here for a link to the Marjan Hill Split, Croatia Map on Google.
More Things To Do on Marjan Hill Croatia
Hiking is our favorite activity at Forest Park Suma Marjan Split. However, there are a few more reasons why visitors might want to head out to the Marjan Peninsula.
The Split Zoo, which first opened in 1926, is located on Marjan Hill. Most of the animals at the zoo are traditional Croatia farm animals – including several of the country’s beloved donkeys. Zoo visitors are invited to purchase a bag of food to feed the friendly animals.
The building next to the zoo was the Natural History Museum – and at the end of the short lane is the historic Marjan Weather Station. Built in the 1920s, the Marjan Weather Tower and Meteorological Observatory is historically significant.
Pro Tip: The fountain across from the zoo (and next to the Weather Tower) can be used to refill your water bottle!
Marjan Playground and Viewpoints
The playground next to the zoo is a top destination for families with young kids. The recently upgraded playground sits under the shade of tall trees.
The viewpoint platforms across from the playground offer nice Adriatic Sea views.
Museums near Marjan Hill
There are 3 museums that sit on the Marjan Peninsula, which are fun to visit before or after hiking to the Marjan viewpoints.
The Croatian Archaeological Monuments Museum displays relics from the Middle Ages, including stone carvings, jewelry and weaponry.
Nearby is the Mestrovic Gallery displays the artworks of famed sculptor Ivan Mestrovic. A second sea-facing dwelling, which was Mestrovic’s mansion, can be visited using the same ticket.
The beach coves on Marjan Peninsula are some of the best in Split! We highlighted how to get to Bene Beach on a Marjan Hill hike, but there are several other beaches you can reach (on foot or by bus) without hiking to the top of Marjan Hill. Read our complete Guide to Split Beaches for top tips and info.
More Great Hikes in Croatia
With soaring mountains, there are many opportunities for hiking in Croatia. Some of the best hikes in Croatia are in top destinations – and some can be reached on Day Trips from Split, Croatia.
- Hike to Stari Grad Fortress in Omis
- Trek up Vidova Gora on island of Brac
- Climb up Biokovo in Makarska
- Hike to Napoleon Fortress in Hvar Town
- Walk up Mt. Srd in Dubrovnik
Planning Your Trip to Split, Croatia
Split is one of the top destinations in Croatia – and you can easily plan your Split vacation with our top tips and travel advice.
Pro Tip: We recommend using a travel planner – like our Printable Travel Planner – to keep track of all your trip details!
Travelers planning a Croatian Island Hopping trip will find that Split is an excellent jumping off point. Get ready for amazing scenery with incredible food and drink on the islands of Hvar, Vis and Korcula!
For more Croatia travel tips for planning your trip, use our Complete Guide to Planning a Croatia Vacation!
See The Best of Croatia with our 2 Week Croatia Itinerary!
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