Split is without a doubt one of the best places to visit in Croatia, and a city break here is even a strong contender for one of the best places things to do in Europe. It’s also one of the cheapest places to visit in Europe, meaning that despite all the fun things to do in Split and beautiful places to visit in Split and the surrounding area, you can spend a weekend here without breaking the bank!
Split is Croatia‘s second-largest city and the largest city in the Dalmatia region. It’s located on the eastern shore of the Adriatic Sea, across a peninsula and the surrounding area. Split is one of the most popular holiday and tourist destinations in Europe. Famous for its stunning old town (which is a UNESCO world heritage site), crystal clear water, and as a Game of Thrones filming location and central transport hub in Croatia, it’s no wonder than so many people want to visit Split in 2021.
Exploring the Old Town and joining a Game of Thrones tour are just some of the best things to do in Split, but there are so many more! From sea kayaking around the peninsula to hiking Marjan Hill or climbing the Saint Domnius Bell Tower, in this blog post I’m going to share the best things to do in Split and the best places to visit in Split. All of these should be added to your Croatia bucket list!
Other blog posts you might be interested in…
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- My complete guide to exploring Split
- My complete guide to exploring Dubrovnik
- The best things to do in Dubrovnik, Croatia
- An 8-day itinerary for Croatia
- My guide to exploring the islands in Croatia: Hvar, Vis & Brac
- 21 cheap places to visit in Europe
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- Europe: the ultimate travel guide
If you’re the type of traveller that seeks stunning architecture, dramatic sea views, and plenty of adventure, these things to do in Split are going to be right up your street. And the weather here certainly helps! The weather in Split is very Mediterranean, with hot, dry summers and mild, wet winters. The weather is best for exploring in the summer season (May-October), but you have have a great time in Split in winter too!
In terms of how to get to Split, there is an international airport which you can fly into, and then take a shuttle bus service into the city centre. You can also get to Split by ferry if you’re coming from other places or islands in Croatia, such as Dubrovnik and Hvar.
In this Split travel guide I am going to share with you the best things to do in Split, the best places to visit in Split, and my favourite adventures so far. Get your pen and paper ready to create the ultimate Split bucket list!
Looking for a more comprehensive guide to planning your trip to Split in 2021? Check out my complete guide to Split here.
The best things to do in Split, Croatia...
1. Hike up Marjan Hill.
One of my favourite things to do in Split is the hike up Marjan Hill. Walking through Marjan Forest Park is a great way to escape the city and get back to nature. It takes around one hour to hike gently up to the top (but you can definitely do it quicker if you want). Enjoy the 360 degree lookout point and then head back down.
If you’re feeling keen, Marjan Hill is one of the best places to see the sunrise in Split, so you could set off really early. If you want more of a lie in, make sure you set off around 9am to avoid it being too busy and too hot. There is a cafe near the top, so you can stop and enjoy the views from the terrace on your way up or down!
2. Wander the streets of Split's Old Town.
Split’s Old Town and historical centre is a UNESCO World Heritage site and one of the best things to do in Split is to spend some time meandering in and out of the streets, stopping in independent shops and cafes, and admiring the architecture. You could even take a guided walking tour in Split to learn more about it’s history. Make sure you don’t miss seeing Diocletian’s Palace (including the Golden Gate & Gregory of Nin Statue, Podrumi, Vestibule & Peristyle), the cathedral and bell tower of St. Domnius (Sveti Duje), Jupiter Temple, Fruit Square (Voćni trg), the Riva (waterfront), Pjaca Square and Republic Square, which are some of the best places to visit in Split.
One thing I can definitely recommend is exploring the Old Town with an ice cream from Luka in hand! Hands down, the best ice cream in Split!
3. Try water sports in Split.
For an alternative perspective of this famous Croatian city, one of the best things to do in Split is to go kayaking or stand-up paddleboarding around the peninsula. Stop off for a dip in the water and a snorkel… you won’t want to miss the opportunity to jump into the crystal clear waters that Croatia has to offer. If you’re feeling brave and you’re looking for day trips from Split, there’s also the zip line across the Cetina canyon!
If you’re looking for a watersport in Split that won’t break the bank, one of the best free things to do in Split is to go rock jumping. If you walk along the Riva towards the right, you will come across some rocks that lots of people like to jump off of into the deep blue.
4. Admire the views from the Riva at sunset or sunrise.
One of the best places to visit in Split for amazing views is the Riva, or the waterfront. A walk along the promenade will find you amongst cosy cafes, palm-lined streets, and wonderful views of the harbour and fishing boats. The Riva is one of the best places in Split to see the sunrise, and one of the best places in Split to see the sunset! And why not make a picnic out of it!?
If you’re going to the Riva for sunrise, it will be a lot less crowded than it is during the day. Watch the sunrise over the peninsula and then treat yourself to a coffee from D16 and an acai bowl from Maka Maka as you slowly watch the town wake up and come to life. (PS, Maka Maka also have a city centre location with great poke bowls for lunch!).
At sunset, the Riva is busier, but it’s worth the crowds for some of the best sunset views in Split. When we watch the sunset on the Riva in Split, we got takeaway burritos from Vege Fast Food which were amazing!
5. Take part in a Game of Thrones tour in Split.
One of the most popular things to do in Split for Game Of Thrones fans is to visit the filming locations. Maybe you won’t see any dragons or whitewalkers as you are exploring this beautiful city, but you can use your imagination to see yourself in and amongst the action. Some of the most famous Game of Thrones filming locations in Split include:
- Diocletian’s Palace (Daenerys’ Throne Room)
- Klis Fortress (City of Meereen)
6. Explore the markets in Split, including Split' famous underground market.
One of the best things to do in Split is to visit the Underground Market in Diocletian’s Palace, where you can pick up all sorts of unique souvenirs to take home with you. But, there are also other great markets in Split that you should visit!
The Pazar Green Market is located at the eastern side of the Diocletian Palace in front of Silver Gate, and offers all the fruit and vegetables you’ll need, but also plenty of other commodities, such as clothes, shoes and souvenirs.
If you love seafood, make sure you check out the fish market (Ribarnica), which is only round teh block from Marmont street, a popular shopping area in Split. It’s outdoors in summer and indoors in winter.
7. Climb the Bell Tower of Saint Domnius.
One of the best things to do in Split has to be climbing the Bell Tower of Saint Domnius. Here you will get some of the best views across Split, as you’ll have a 360-degree view of the entire Split region.
The entrance fee for the bell tower is 25kn, and it takes about ten minutes to climb the spiral staircase to the top. It can get really busy here, so I’d recommend going as early as possible to avoid the crowds!
Top tip: If you’re looking for unique things to do in Split in the evening, there is live music and dancing in the square under the Bell Tower!
8. Hit the beach in Split.
The crystal clear waters in Croatia are absolutely wonderful for swimming, snorkelling and scuba diving in… and even rock/cliff jumping!
All the beaches in the country are beautiful, and there are even beaches close to the city of Split. If you’re looking for places to visit in Split and you want a bit of chill time, kick back and relax on the beach. Some of the best beaches in Split include:
- Bavice beach
- Zvoncac beach
- Kasjuni beach
- Ovicice beach
- Firule beach
Grab your swim suit and dive in!
9. Try some Croatian wine and go wine tasting in Split.
Croatia isn’t somewhere that I immediately think of when it comes to famous wine, but when I was there, the homemade, local wine was pretty good! One of the best things to do in Split in the evening is to hit up one of Split’s many wine bars and try the Croatian wine for yourself. Dingač is said to be Croatia’s best red wine, so definitely try a glass of that!
There is also the Putalj winery if you are looking for places to go wine tasting in Split or vineyards in Split. If you’re looking for unique things to do in Split, don’t forget dancing under the Bell Tower to live music in the evening with a glass of Croatian wine in hand!
10. Take a day trip from Split to another island or elsewhere in Croatia!
Split is surrounded by wonderful places to go on day trips. Whether you want to go on a day trip to other islands or to another place to visit in Croatia, there are lots of places to go on day trips from Split.
Some of the best places for a day trip from Split include:
- Krka Waterfalls (pictured below).
- Plitvice Lakes
- Blue Lagoon
- Klis Fortress
What are your favourite things to do in Split?
Where are your favourite places to visit in Split? Anything you’d add?
Love as always and happy adventuring,
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