Want to know what to do in Split Croatia? Don't worry, we've got you covered! In this post, we share the best things to do in Split including top attractions, activities, and day tours.
Are you are finally visiting Split, one of the most exciting Croatian towns? Great! Split has a special atmosphere. The city is old, historic, also chaotic, sometimes wild, and often rebellious, but it is a city that leaves its mark on every visitor.
Oh, and it is the second largest town in Croatia, one of only 4 towns in Croatia with a population of over 100.000. Split offers to its visitors loads of things to do. Stroll along Split's seafront promenade, visit museums and art galleries, hike Marjan hill or just chill out at the beach.
Here is our list of the top things to do in Split.
What to do in Split, Croatia
Unique old town squeezed within the walls of the ancient Roman palace, seaside boardwalk buzzing with people night and day, numerous beaches, lively bars, and restaurants, and many islands that are just a short ferry ride away, make Split one of the most popular destinations in Croatia.
We visit Split at least two times a year, and often more. We love the town, the vibe fits us, and so do Split restaurants.
Regardless of how long you plan to stay in Split, whether you travel alone, as a couple, or family with kids, or what your budget is – this is the right place to start planning your activities in Split!
The 15 top things to do in Split
Explore the old town
Split old town is set within an ancient Roman palace dating back to the early 4th century (how cool is that!). The old town is easy to visit, although, in a maze of cobblestone streets, it is not always easy to find your way around. We, always get lost, no matter how well we know the old town. But, don't worry, this makes a visit even more interesting, and with so much history around, you always discover new details, alleyways, and passages.
The entire palace is one enormous historical site, but it is also the center of Split’s everyday life. This is where you will spend the majority of your time in Split, and where most of the attractions, restaurants, bars, shops, and people are.
Therefore, every visit to Split, short or long, inevitably focuses on wandering Split’s narrow, cobbled streets, discovering hidden alleyways, enjoying the beautiful architecture, and popular Split landmarks.
The Diocletian Palace is one of ten UNESCO World Heritage Sites in Croatia. The main landmarks include:
- the Peristyle, a court turned town square that is home to the town's Cathedral, the Bell Tower, the entrance into the palace's basements, prothyron, vestibule, and sphinx statues among other things
- the Cathedral, dating back to the 7th century
- the Bell Tower, offering great views over the town
- the town's gates: Golden, Silver, Bronze, and Iron Gate
- the Temple of Jupiter, that has been transformed into today's Baptistery in the 6th century
- the cellars of the Diocletian's Palace, where you can perceive the actual size of the palace
- Gregory of Nin (Grgur Ninski) statue (Rub Gregory’s tow for the plenitude of good luck)
- many squares and palaces, including Narodni Trg (People’s Square), and Vocni Trg (Fruits' Square), and Let me pass Street, Split's narrowest street
You can explore Split old town on your own. If you are in rush, don't worry, it won't take you more than an hour to visit it. However, it's full of charm, and if you have more time, it is certainly better. That way you can do it slowly, you can stop for a coffee, or a glass of wine, you can taste some of the great local dishes, or just sit and watch the world go by.
However, a guided tour can give you a good historical overview of the Diocletian Palace and make you understand better the town and its people.
Game of Thrones fans can look into this Game of Thrones walking tour. It's a great way to learn about Split history, explore the town, whilst discovering Game of Thrones filming locations.
You can also explore Split on the Segway tour (it's faster, more fun, and you get to see other neighborhoods, as well as Marjan Park).
Climb the Bell Tower
If you want to experience the best panorama of Split, climb to the top of the bell tower.
Built between the 13th and 16th centuries and later reconstructed in 1908 and in 2020, the tower is 59 m high, and it takes about 200 stairs to climb all the way up. However, the 360° panoramic views over Split are absolutely worth it.
The stairs are narrow at certain places. They start as steep stone stairs, just to quickly pass into suspended metal stairs. The staircase, as well as the entire interior, has been renovated in 2020, and the metal staircase in use now is super comfortable and safe. There are places where you can stop to rest, and while not very wide, they are wide enough for two persons to pass by one another.
The bell tower opens at 8 am and we recommend going there as soon as it opens to avoid the crowds.
The ticket costs 20 Kn.
Enjoy another viewpoint atop Marjan Hill
A 178 m high hill, set at the small peninsula, northwest of the old town, Marjan Hill is locals’ favorite recreational spot close to the city center.
The hill offers numerous footpaths and jogging trails, and it has always been a popular place for walking, jogging, rock-climbing, and mountain-biking (more about some of these activities below).
But, another reason, tourists and locals alike climb the hill is to get wonderful views of the town. And the best part for those who don't like to climb – you don't even need to climb all the way to the summit for the best views. The best panoramic views you get from the café bar Vidilica, way beneath the summit. The Vidilica is a lovely cafe bar perched atop the hill, where you can chill out, and enjoy a view over the town and the sea.
Have a dip in the Adriatic or just a stroll at Bacvice beach
Don't forget that Split is actually located by the sea. So, on a hot summer day, take some downtime to chill out on Split's most popular beach.
Bacvice is a legendary beach in Split. It may not be the most beautiful beach. The sea here perhaps isn't the cleanest, but this is a beach that you should visit to feel the soul of Split.
Bacvice is a sandy beach located just 10 minutes walk from the old town. Here you can witness a fierce party of picigin (a local ball game played with an old, stripped off a tennis ball, in shallow water), swim, sunbathe or relax in the nearby cafe Zbirac (our favorite day cafe in Split). Bacvice is also a popular place to party at night due to the few nightclubs that are nearby. Oh, and all these activities happen year-round!
Stroll along Split seafront promenade (Riva)
Split's waterfront, Riva, is the heart of the town, and the pride of every person from Split.
In 2007, after Riva’s renovation, the people of Split demonstrated how sensible they are to their waterfront. Riva's new, shiny look enraged locals so much that they protested for months demanding the old patina to be brought back. I think today everybody would agree that the new look is simply great.
The seafront promenade is lined with cafes, bars, eateries, and souvenir shops. On the east side, there is a green market, and on the west side, there is a Republic square, the church of St. Francis, and a nice fountain.
Enjoy a morning or evening stroll, have a drink in one of many bars, and feel the vibe of this magnificent city. A people-watch is the local sport here.
Taste local food in Villa Spiza
If you can only visit one restaurant in Split, choose Villa Spiza. This small hole-in-the-wall restaurant serves simple, traditional, yet tasty and affordable Dalmatian food.
The menu is short, and it changes daily. It's one of our favorite places to eat in Split.
Have an ice cream
Split has two really awesome ice cream parlors. Both places make their ice creams using only natural ingredients and whenever possible ingredients are also locally sourced. They both also offer vegan and sugar-free ice creams.
Tucked behind the theater building, Luka's Ice Cream and Cakes is already a well-known address in Split among ice cream aficionados. The Luka's hit a home run with its lavender-honey flavored ice cream, but we also like their vanilla and a triple chocolate ice cream. A scoop will set you back 10 Kn (1,4 €) to 15 Kn (2 €) depends on the flavor you choose.
Ela's Ice Cream & More opened its door in 2019 and won the hearts of locals and tourists alike with their yummy natural ice creams. At Ela's, you will find a great variety of classic and unique flavors, like vanilla and chocolate but also lemon-mint, orange-ginger, or vegan chocolate ice cream. The owner puts lots of emphasis on using local and seasonal ingredients, especially local fruits and herbs. Must-try if in Split.
Visit Os' Kolac to Satisfy your sweet tooth
Don't leave Split unless you tasted a cake at the Os' Kolac, our favorite pastry shop. Oh, my, cakes at Os' Kolac are divine and simply to die for. If I lived in Split permanently, Os' Kolac would be a serious threat to my wallet, blood sugar, and weight. I would perhaps tour it daily.
Anyways, the pastry shop is run by Tea Mamut, one of the most famous Croatian pastry chefs. Her cakes taste great, look great, and they also have fun names based on a play with a local dialect.
This is a must-have experience in Split.
Enjoy wine tasting at Monica’s wine bar
If you are interested in learning about Croatian wine, hop by Monica's wine bar. The owner-cum-sommelier, Monica, and her staff are super-friendly, warm, and knowledgeable. They will introduce you to the world of Croatian wine either through the wine produced at Monica's family's estate in the nearby Neretva region or through gems produced by other local winemakers.
This is also a great place to taste Coral Wines. These are the wines of various winemakers that aged under the sea.
Contacts | Ban Mladenova 1, Split | t: +385 98 177 6162 | Facebook
Get a breakfast
In Split, you'll find a variety of places offering all kinds of breakfasts you can imagine: continental, English, French, American, vegan, Hawaiian, you name it!
Our favorite places for breakfast in Split are Kat's Kitchen, a lovely little place serving delicious healthy breakfast, brunch, and lunch; Brasserie on 7, right amidst hustle and bustle of Split's Riva, offers traditional-style English breakfast but also freshly squeezed juices, French toast, and eggs Benedict; Fig keeps breakfast menu short but varied, and it is served until 1 pm. If you just feel to grab something on the go, stop by Kruscic bakery, the best bakery in all Split.
Hang out at Matejuska
Matejuska is a small harbor at the west end of Riva (a seafront promenade). This is a place where local youth hangs out. Just do as locals do: grab a drink from a nearby corner store, sit on the wall, and watch the world go by, enjoy the sunset, or simply relax with friends.
The Mali ducan, one of the best places to have a specialty beer in Split, is just across the street. It offers over 200 different local and international craft beers.
We find that sea kayaking is a great way to experience a different Split and to get active.
Many local agencies offer this tour. Usually, you can choose between two sea kayaking tours: morning, and sunset tours. Both tours take you paddling around Marjan Hill with organized swimming, snorkeling, and cliff jumping stops.
Each tour lasts four hours and includes 3 miles of paddling. The morning tour starts at 9.00 am, and the afternoon tour starts at 5 pm. The meeting point is at bus station no. 12 in front of the St. Francis Church, 30 minutes before the start.
Tours are offered daily from April through September.
Taste local craft beers
Two local microbreweries are LAB and Mandrill Nano Brewing CO.
LAB offers two main labels: Pale ALE Barba and Blonde ALE Punica. Other labels include their English Pale Ale – Barba Englez, and Simons Motor Oil Stout, Barba Imperial IPA, and many more. The LAB offers brewery tours if you are interested.
Mandrill Nano is a brewpub where you can taste their homebrewed craft beer on tap. But they also have food and other local craft beers on offer.
A great bar in Split to discover Croatian craft beers is Leopold’s Delicatessen Bar. They offer 4 to 5 tap beers and a good selection of bottled beers.
Try your hand at SUP
This is a fun thing to do in Split. When we did this tour, we had no previous experience, and it seemed to us quite simple. However, it's much trickier than we thought. The guide gave us instructions and after a shaky start, we actually managed the paddling techniques relatively fine.
We booked a night paddling tour on illuminated boards. It was really cool experience! Wear something light that dries quickly. Some people did get wet! You don't need to take a camera or a phone, the guide takes photos. So, you don't worry about your stuff getting wet.
Prices start at 35 € per person.
Take a day tour from Split
If you stay in Split for more than a day or two, we highly recommend that you take some of the day tours from Split. Actually, Split makes a great base to explore the entire Dalmatia, central Dalmatian islands like Hvar, Brac, or Vis, but also neighboring Bosnia & Herzegovina.
The most popular day tours from Split
Some of the most popular day tours include island hopping, where you can visit as many as 5 islands in a day. These islands include Hvar, Vis, Bisevo, Ravnik, and Budikovac. On this tour, you also get to visit the Blue Cave, a must-see natural attraction on the island of Bisevo. You can find more information here.
Two Croatian national parks, Plitvice Lakes and Krka Waterfalls are both easily reachable from Split, and not to be missed Croatian natural sights. You can book this tour to Plitvice Lakes as well as this small-group tour to Krka Waterfalls.
Dubrovnik is the most popular destination in Croatia and a must-visit for everybody visiting the country. If you are short on time and you don't plan to visit Dubrovnik on its own, then check this day tour to Dubrovnik from Split. If you plan to visit Dubrovnik on your own, then check our guide on how to get from Split to Dubrovnik.
For a change of scenery, take a day tour to the neighboring Bosnia and Herzegovina. UNESCO-protected Old Bridge, turrets, mosques, oriental shops, and restaurants, ottoman architecture make Mostar one of the most popular places to visit in Bosnia and Herzegovina. This day tour from Split takes you not only to Mostar but also to the Kravica Waterfalls.
Adventure seekers can zipline across the Cetina River Canyon, go white-water rafting, or canoeing on the Cetina River. If that's not enough adrenaline rush for you, try your hand at canyoning through the Cetina River.
A quick Split travel guide
Now that you've got an idea about things to do in Split, we would like to help you plan your entire stay in Split.
Here is our quick travel guide to Split where we share our tips on where to stay in Split, the best places to eat in Split, bars, events, beaches, and more.
Accommodation in Split
Split offers a wide range of accommodation for every type of traveler. We have written a detailed guide on where to stay in Split, including all popular neighborhoods, the best hotels in Split, lovely apartments, and fun hostels.
Below you will find a few recommendations.
Judita Palace – $$$$
Located at the Narodni Trg, at the heart of Split old town, this small, boutique hotel is set in a palace dating back to the 16th century. The hotel features 11 well-appointed rooms with exposed stone walls, hardwood floors, tasteful décor, city views, flat-screen TV, and free WiFi. The staff is friendly.
Hotel Cornaro – $$$
We love this hotel in Split! The Cornaro is well located, clean, offers good breakfast, friendly staff, spacious rooms with great walk-in shower, and affordable rates.
Hotel Slavija – $$
One of the oldest continuously operating hotels in Split, Hotel Slavija has recently been renovated. The location is second to none, the staff is accommodating, breakfast is copious, and the rooms are modern, clean, and comfy. What else can you possibly ask for? It's a 3-star property, and it offers competitive rates.
Bepo studio collection – $$
Lovely apartments in Split’s Varos neighborhood, Bepo studios are a great alternative to hotel stays. Studios can accommodate two persons. All studios are well-appointed and tastefully decorated. They all come with a kitchenette, a sitting area, a comfy bed, WiFi, flat-screen TV. Apartments on the lower floor also have a patio.
Hostel Dvor – $
This fun hostel is located just a few-minute walk from the old town. Hostel Dvor offers 3-, 4- and 6-bed dorms, as well as double rooms with private or shared bathrooms. Dorm rooms have bunk beds, each with a locker, lights, electric outlet, and a small shelf. Other amenities include WiFi, linen, towels, coffee, tea, fruit, and cookies, all free of charge.
Eating out in Split
We like restaurants in Split. We have dedicated an entire post to eating out in Split. Here we bring you just a couple of our favorite places to eat in Split.
A little eatery Kod Hvaranina is kind of an institution for the people of Split. Don't let worn-out decor discourage you from tasting fresh local dishes at Kod Hvaranina. Famed for its gregada, a fish stew typical for the Hvar Island, Hvaranin also prepares various traditional Dalmatian meat and fish dishes like veal or squid risotto, cod in white wine, and braised baby beef with gnocchi.
If you are looking into something finer, then konoba Nikola offers one of the finest seafood and fish dishes in the area. It's a 15-minute drive from Split, but well worth the effort. The interior is cozy, the staff and owners are friendly, and the ingredients are super fresh. Highly recommended for true seafood and fish aficionados.
We've already mentioned Villa Spiza in Split’s old town, a small and cozy place offering yummy Dalmatian comfort food. Don't miss it out.
And last, but not least – Ma:toni! Tasty food, friendly staff, and a cool cellar vibe make Ma:toni one of Split best addresses for dining out. Ma:Toni's menu offers enticing tapas, bistro-style dishes like yummy risotto or puttanesca pasta, but also good steaks, and even vegan options.
Best bars in Split
… for beer
Sanctuary Bar: A tiny bar with a large outdoor terrace, Sanctuary Bar has a good choice of Croatian craft beer, four on tap, and some more in bottles. The place is also popular for reasonably priced cocktails and a great choice of whiskeys. Both staff and patrons are friendly.
Leopold's Delicatessen Bar: Leopold's is the best bar in Split when it comes to craft beer. At Leopold's, you'll always find 4 to 5 beers on tap, and a choice of 30 bottled beers. The staff is knowledgeable and friendly, and are happy to explain different Croatian craft beers.
… for wine
Paradox Wine & Cheese Bar: A nice wine bar just out of the city walls, Paradox has an extensive list of Croatian, but also international wines, that they serve by the glass. They also offer cheese and charcuterie platters. The staff is friendly and knowledgeable. The prices are a bit high.
Zinfandel Food & Wine Bar: A nice contemporary bar in the heart of the old town, Zinfandel offers a variety of Croatian wines, over 30 of them served by the glass. They also serve food, including breakfast. Dishes are simple, showcasing typical Dalmatian dishes in a modern way.
… for coffee
Zbirac: For us, Zbirac is the best coffee bar in Split. Period. Not because Zbirac offers a variety of coffees or any particular coffee roast, it's because Zbirac has te best laid back atmosphere in Split. Located right at Bacvice beach, Zbirac doesn't even have a closed space. Instead, it has a lovely terrace overlooking the beach. Definitely locals' favorite spot to chill out and have a drink.
4coffee soul food: Back in 2015 three friends from Split decided to open a coffee shop that they judged was missing in Split. So they opened 4coffee soul food in what seems to be the tiniest coffee bar in all Split. 4 coffee soul food offers freshly roasted specialty coffees and a variety of smoothies.
Getting around Split
- Bus: You can get everywhere within Split, and also all the way to Trogir and Omis, with public transportation. Buses run every 30 minutes, from 5 am to midnight. Both night buses, no. 39 and no. 40, run after midnight, every 60 minutes. Tickets can be purchased at any kiosk, or on a bus. Check this Split bus map.
- Car: Car in Split can be handy only if you plan to do day trips, to some of the places suggested above in the chapter about things to do in Split. For this, we recommend that you rent a car for a day or two. Otherwise, a car can be a burden, as you need to think about parking, and heavy traffic. Check here for more info and the latest prices on car rental in Split.
- Taxi: UberX is available in Split, as well as few local companies, like Cammeo, Eko, Halo Taxi, etc. UberX and Cammeo have similar rates. The start is 5 Kn, every additional kilometer is 5 km, and waiting time costs 0.5 Kn per minute.
- Walk: You can walk everywhere in Split. The old town is very compact and it is car-free. Even if you stay out of the old town, you can reach almost every neighborhood within a 30-minute walk.
What are your favorite things to do in Split? Let us know in the comments below.
- Learn all Split essentials with our Split Travel Guide.
- If you plan to stay in Split, check a list of recommended accommodation in Split Croatia.
- Find out where to eat in Split with our post on the best restaurants in Split.
- Detailed info on Split beaches you’ll find here.
- A list of Split bars and clubs.
- Handy Guide on how to get from Split to Dubrovnik.