Top things to do in Split Croatia in 2020

Want to know what to do in Split? 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.

Things To Do in Split Croatia, Illustration
Things To Do in Split Croatia, Illustration

As the largest Dalmatian town, Split offers 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 42 things to do in Split.

What to do in Split, Croatia

Unique old town squeezed within the walls of the ancient Roman palace, esplanade 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 sought after destinations in Croatia.

NO TIME TO READ THE ENTIRE POST? HERE ARE THE MOST POPULAR DAY TOURS AND ACTIVITIES!

For one reason or the other, we visit Split often. We have compiled this long list of things to do in Split, and we often update it when new things pop up.

If you are looking for what to do in Split during your stay, this is the place to start planning your activities!

The 42 best things to do in Split

Explore the Split old town

Visiting the old town is one of the first things to do in Split. The oldest part of Split is set in the Roman palace dating back to the early 4th century. Roman emperor Diocletian has built the palace, supposedly as his retirement home. Originally, the palace measured 170 by 200 m, with 20 m high outer walls. While the palace is one enormous historical site, it is also the center of Split’s everyday life. If you like history, check Encyclopaedia Britannica for more info.

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.

Panorama of Split, Croatia
Photo credit: DS-Foto & Pixabay

Contemplate 1700 years of history at the Peristyle

Peristyle represents the very heart of Split, and a place you’ll hardly miss even if you try to. As its name implies, it is a court turned town square surrounded by a row of columns. In Roman times, peristyle was right in the middle of the Diocletian’s Palace, at the crossings of two main streets: Decumanus and Cardo. It was a place that leas into Emperor’s Diocletian’s private quarters. In the middle ages, it became the religious center. The Jupiter Temple got a bell tower and was turned into a baptistery.

Peristyle buzzes with people, and it is an amazing place to witness the centuries embedded in the history of Split.

Today here you will find prothyron, vestibule, the entrance into the basements, the Cathedral, sphinx statues (not surprised that the bar at the Peristyle bears name Luxor!), medieval chapels, Renaissance and Gothic palaces.

Get there early in the morning or late at night in order to avoid crowds.

Climb the Bell Tower

If you want to experience the best panorama of Split, you ought to climb the Split bell tower.

Built between the 13th and 16th centuries and later reconstructed in 1908, the tower is 59 m high, and it takes about 200 stairs to climb up. However, the view is 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 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.

Check the world's oldest Cathedral

Constructed in the 7th century on what originally was the emperor Diocletian’s mausoleum, the Cathedral of St. Domnius is the oldest Cathedral in the world to be in continuous use and maintained in its original form. The Cathedral is small but very interesting, especially for all history lovers out there.

The exterior has an octagonal shape and it is encircled by 24 marble columns.

The main entrance door, made of walnut tree wood, showcases Christ’s life in 28 squares carved by Andrija Buvina back in the 13th century.

Domed interior features lots of gilded details, and wonderful carvings including the altar of St. Anastasius from the 15th century carved by Juraj Dalmatinac, one of the most famous sculptors of its time.

The Cathedral is pretty small and thus the crowds of tourists feel even heavier than elsewhere. Come early in the morning to enjoy quiet time. The ticket costs 20 Kn for the Cathedral alone or 35 Kn with a visit to the Baptistry.

The majority of visitors visit the Cathedral on a self-guided tour. However, there aren’t too many explanations inside given to the visitors. If you like to know more about the Cathedral it is worth taking a guided tour.

Pass through all four of the town's gates

There are four town gates, each on one side of the palace: The Golden, Silver, Bronze, and Iron Gate.

The northern gate, better known as the Golden gate, is the main entrance to the town. It was built as the double entrance with space in-between the two measuring 9 m by 9 m. The invaders who would succeed to sneak in would be easily captured here with nowhere to hide. Try to ring the bell of the convent next door and if you are lucky the nuns might let you visit a tiny St. Martin’s chapel dating back to the 5th century.

Located on the eastern wall of the Palace, the Silver Gate is next to the Pazar, Split’s green market, and it leads directly to the Peristyle.

The smallest of all gates, the Bronze Gate connects Peristyle with the seafront and it passes through the palace’s basements.

Giving directly to the Pjaca Square, the Iron Gate is the most cluttered of all. And their today’s look is a witness of various historic events, architectural styles, and ruling powers present in Split throughout history. Above the gate, you’ll find the church built in the 6th century, first dedicated to St. Theodor, and later renamed into the Church of Our Lady of the Bell Tower.

Visit the Temple of Jupiter

When taking a look at the Split's Cathedral, don't miss a visit to the baptistry. It was originally built in the 3rd century as a Roman temple dedicated to Jupiter, a king of Gods but was transformed into the Baptistery in the 6th century. Today the structure is almost intact. The carving on the barrel-vaulted ceiling features a relief with 64 different facial expressions. It's interesting to gaze at all those faces showing different emotions.

The decorative door is also interesting, and so is the headless granite sphinx that Romans brought from Egypt. The early Christians destroyed the sphinx head because for them it was a pagan symbol.

The entrance fee is 10 Kn, but you can also purchase a combo ticket for the Cathedral, the treasury, the crypt, and the baptistry.

Visit the cellars of the Diocletian's Palace

Cellars are a must-visit sight in Split, especially if you are into history and architecture. Throughout the centuries various buildings and architecture styles were integrated within the Roman palace. However, these massive cellars, being underground, stayed almost intact. Today, they help more than anything else to perceive the size of the palace.

The entrance fee is 40 Kn.

Rub the tow of the Gregory of Nin statue

Just out of the Golden gate, you’ll find the Gregory of Nin (Grgur Ninski) statue, the work of renowned Croatian sculptor Ivan Mestrovic. Rub Gregory’s tow for the plenitude of good luck.

Explore Split’s squares and palaces

Piazza, or People’s Square, became the town’s central point, in the 14th century. The square features a few interesting landmarks and buildings, and it’s always alive with people.

Vocni Trg, or Fruit Square, owes its name to the fruit market that once took place here daily. Today, it boasts few cafes, shops, Venetian Octagonal Tower from the 15th centuries; the 17th century baroque Palace Milesi; and a statue of Marko Marulic, a 15th-century poet, and a father of Croatian literature. The statue is a work of famed Croatian sculptor – Ivan Mestrovic.

We’ve covered only a fragment of landmarks, and historical buildings to find in old town Split. Don’t limit yourself to these few. Just explore this magnificent town, and discover it for yourself.

Take a guided tour of Split

If you would like to take a guided tour of the town, check this Split Walking Tour, or if you are budget-minded, forget the lunch, and just book this 1.5-hour evening walking tour.

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).

Discover Split's neighborhood

Things To Do In Split Croatia | Discover Split's Neighbourghood
What To Do In Split Croatia | Discover Split's Neighborhoods | Photo credit: neufal54 & Pixabay

On your quest for things to do in Split, don't dismiss discovering other Split's neighborhoods. Because, out of the palace walls, Split has other neighborhoods worth discovering. The four oldest neighborhoods are Varos, Dobri, Lucac and Manus.

These neighborhoods developed in the 16th century around the town walls. Peasants and fishermen used to inhabit these neighborhoods.

They are all charming. They resemble a typical Dalmatian village, with their narrow, winding streets, small stone houses, taverns, inside courts, and green window shutters.

A small fishing and leisure boat port, Matejuska is located at the west end of Riva, Split's waterfront promenade. It’s a lovely little port and a place where locals, especially youth, like to hang around.

Bacvice is Split’s neighborhood of beach, picigin {local water sport, where a small ball is thrown between players in the shallow water}, sport, and cafes.

Spinut, a residential area of Split, is home to Split's stadium – Poljud. Hajduk, a soccer club from Split, is the oldest soccer club in Croatia and an integral part of the identity of any Dalmatian. Visit the stadium during your stay in Split. Or, even better, go and see the soccer game and cheer the local club.

Visit Marjan Hill

A road going up to the top of Marjan Hill in Split
Photo credit: leiris202& Flickr

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).

Up, at the summit, there is a café bar Vidilica, perched atop the hill, where you can chill out, and enjoy a view over the town and the sea.

Explore churches on Marjan Hill

A small chapel on Marjan Hill
Photo credit: leiris202& Flickr

Hey, when you are already hiking Marjan Hill, don’t miss to explore numerous small churches, and chapels scattered throughout the area.

St. Jere Church was built in the 15th century. We like this church because of a nearby hermitage site, carved into the hill rocks.

Located on the southeast slopes of Marjan, a church of St. Nicolas the Traveler was built in the early 13th century.

A church of Our Lady of Good Counsel was built in 1513, within the Capogrosso Castle. It contains woodcuts by Croatian sculptor Ivan Mestrovic, showing the life of Christ.

A church of Our Lady of Seven Sorrows is located in the area of Kasjuni. It was built in the mid -14th century. It contains a relief from the 17th century, believed to be a work of Juraj Dalmatinac, a great sculptor and architect from the time of the Venetian Republic.

Other churches on the Marjan Hill include Our Lady of Bethlehem, St. George, St. Benedict, Our Lady of Spinut, St. Magdalene of the Poor, etc.

More info at Split's Tourist Board website.

Visit Split Museums

Display at the Archaeological Museum in Split
Things To Do In Split Croatia | Visit Split Museums | Photo credit: Carole Raddato & Wikimedia

Since the entire old town of Split is like a large open-air museum, one might feel less tempted to visit actual museums.  Museums in Split aren’t of the size, or importance of famed European museums, like Florence’s Uffizi, or Naples’ Archaeological Museum. However, if you are in a town for a couple of days or more, visit some of the museums of Split.

Browse through the Town Museum

Split Town Museum, located in the 15th-century Gothic palace, is small and you’ll get through it quickly. It gives a good overview of the town’s history and its development through the times.

Visit the Archaeological Museum

Archaeological Museum of Split is the oldest museum in Croatia and it displays artifacts from Greek, Roman, early-Christian, medieval, and prehistoric times. It is located 15 min walk from the old town.

Stop by the Ethnographic Museum

Ethnographic Museum of Split displays pottery, traditional clothing, furniture, jewelry and other artifacts from the life of Split inhabitants throughout history. It is located in the old town and the entrance fee is very affordable (less than 2€).

Enjoy the performance at the Split Live Museum

Split Live Museum was first open in 2015. It is located in the old town, not far from the Golden Gate. It showcases the everyday life of Romans, back in times when they inhabited these areas. The actors are dressed in ancient costumes, and they give interesting performances, each one not lasting more than 15 minutes.

Learn about Split's maritime history in the Maritime Museum

Not too many tourists wander in this part of the town and even less visit the Maritime Museum. However, the museum is well worth a visit, and it is also just a 10-minute walk from the old town.

The museum isn't big but it has quite interesting displays in both, the military and civil maritime sections. Also, the courtyard displays of old boats and WWII weapons are pretty interesting.

However, the highlight of the visit is the museum's torpedo collection including the first torpedo ever made.

The entrance ticket is only 10 Kn, and you can easily spend one hour there.

Have fun at the Museum of Senses

The museum of senses offers 50 attractions divided into five zones, each dedicated to one of the five senses: sight, hearing, touch, smell, and balance.

Interesting installations and interactive displays like an upside-down room, rotating light tunnel, ball pit room, and a mirror maze, guarantee lots of fun, laughs, and a startling adventure.

There are also ample opportunities to take fun photos!

The ticket costs 70 Kn per adult, and 50 Kn per child (5 to 15). Admission fo the children below 5 is free of charge. A family ticket that is valid for a max of 4 persons costs 180 Kn.

More info at their website.

Visit the house of the renown Croatian sculptor Ivan Mestrovic

Things To Do In Split Croatia | Visit Split Art Galleries
Things To Do In Split Croatia | Visit Split Art Galleries | Photo credit: David Clay & Flickr

Ivan Mestrovic, the most renowned 20th-century Croatian sculptor of international reputation, lived and worked in Split at his younger age. He spent many summers in his holiday home in Split. He designed the house himself, and it was built between 1931 and 1939. In 1952, Mestrovic donated his property, along with over 100 of his artwork to the state. Today, it houses Ivan Mestrovic Gallery.

The Mestrovic Gallery has many works of the sculptor on permanent display. His works are displayed through two floors of the building, as well as in the front garden. Besides sculptures, the house itself is interesting to see.

Admire the works of Jaksic family

Jaksic Gallery is a family-run gallery that displays the artwork of various Jaksic family members. They open their first gallery in Donji Humac on the island of Brac, back in 2008, and in 2015 they followed with this exhibition room in Split. You’ll find on display here Lovro Jaksic sculptures, Dina Jaksic paintings, or Ida Stipcic Jaksic jewelry.

Check the art shop Naranca

Studio Naranca is a family-run three-story art shop, and gallery, located near the Golden Gate, on the northern side of the old town. The interior is lovely, resembling an interior of a boat. Here you can purchase original souvenirs, like paintings, handmade jewelry, various arts, and crafts, painted grocery bags, t-shirts, and graphics.

Cheer up with colorful paintings at the Jaman Gallery

Jaman Gallery displays the work of local painter – Danijel Jaman. His paintings are flashy, colorful, and imaginative. The gallery also offers various prints, postcards, and phone cases.

Hit the beach

Sandy Bacvice Beach in Split, Croatia
Sandy Bacvice Beach in Split, Croatia | Photo credit: annaspies & Flickr

Don't forget that Split is actually located by the sea. So, on a hot summer day, take some downtime to chill out on one of the town’s popular beaches.

If you like crowds, water sports, and stylish cafes, head to Bacvice beach. Bacvice is the most popular local beach, the only sandy beach in the town, and it’s closest to the old town. From Bacvice, further southeast, you’ll find other popular Split beaches like Ovcice, Firule, Trstenik, and Znjan.

At the foot of Marjan Hill, you’ll find various beaches, less crowded than beaches to the southeast of the old town.

The most popular ones are Jezinac, Bene, and Kasjuni beach. Bene beach still has lots of trees and shadow and the water is clean. Kasjuni has been recently arranged, with a lounge bar offering sunbeds, and umbrellas to rent.

Stroll along Split seafront promenade (Riva)

Things To Do In Split Croatia | Stroll along seafront promenade
Things To Do In Split Croatia | Stroll along the seafront promenade

Split's waterfront, Riva, is the heart of the town, and the pride of every person from Split.

People of Split demonstrated in 2007, after Riva’s renovation, 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. People-watch is the local sport here.

Haggle at the Split green and fish market

Split’s legendary green market, called Pazar, is the soul of the city. Wander between the stalls, enjoy the smells and colors of the fresh produce. Bargain with the old ladies.

You can spend over an hour just walking around. If you are looking for a bargain, your best shot is to come after the midday, when the market is about to close down for a day.

The fish market is as exciting to me, as Split’s green market. But surprisingly, they aren’t adjacent one to another. Quite opposite! They are laid on opposite sides of the old town: green market to the east, and fish market to the west.

We love examining the daily catch and get particularly excited by small, bluefish, like anchovies, and sardines. This kind of fish is typical for the Adriatic and was a staple of Dalmatian cuisine for centuries.

Wine & Dine in Split

Interior of the Bokeria restaurant in Split
Interior of the Bokeria restaurant in Split

Split has many charming restaurants, wine, and olive oil bars. After your evening stroll at the seafront promenade, go for an aperitif and a plate of small bites at Paradox, Zinfandel, or Uje Oil Bar.

Proceed with an enjoyable Dalmatian-style meal, finest seafood, or juiciest steaks, in one of the Split restaurants.

After the dinner, barhop in and around the Palace. Grab a pillow at Luxor, sit on the stairs, and relax with a glass of wine while listening to live music.

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 undersea.

Contacts | Ban Mladenova 1, Split | t: +385 98 177 6162 | Facebook

Get a breakfast

Just a few years ago, no restaurants in Split really focused on breakfast. The only way to eat a proper breakfast (meaning something more than a croissant) was to have it in any of the town's hotels, whether you were staying there or not.

Fortunately, this has changed since, and now you have 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.

Sea Kayaking

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 the 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 the bus station no. 12 in front of the St. Francis Church, 30 minutes before the start.

Tours are offered daily from April through September.

If interested, you might check this SEA KAYAKING TOUR.

Poljud Stadium Tour

Poljud Stadium
Poljud Stadium | Photo credit: Ballota & Wikimedia

If you have a chance to drive along the Dalmatian coast, in every village you’ll notice a mural dedicated to Hajduk, a soccer club from Split. Hajduk is the love and pride of every Dalmatian.

So if you really want to understand this devotion, you should take a tour of the Poljud stadium. On this tour, you can learn about the history of Hajduk, the oldest soccer club in Croatia, founded in 1911.

Hajduk’s stadium, Poljudska ljepotica, or simply Poljud, is located in Spinut neighborhood. It was built in 1979 for the Mediterranean games and has been a home field of Hajduk ever since.

This tour is available daily. Tour costs 35 Kn (approx. 5 euro) per adult and 20 Kn (approx. 3 euro) per child 6 to 12 years of age.

More info on Hajduk Split website.

Play a game of picigin with locals

Picigin is a local ball game, super-popular all over Dalmatia, but particularly in Split, and even more precisely, particularly at the Bacvice beach.

This ball game is apparently older than soccer, and it’s been playing in Split since 1908.

The game is played with an old, stripped off a tennis ball, in shallow water. The idea is to have a ball in the air for as long as possible. There aren’t winners in picigin. Normally it’s played by five players, each standing 6 to 7 meters one from another. The main idea is to throw the ball to other payers in a way that makes them do attractive jumps and acrobatic moves. Players can only hit the ball with their palms.

Picigin is an integral part of Split identity. And if you visit Bacvice beach (any time of the year), you should see locals playing this fun game.

If you have a chance, join in with locals to try your luck at picigin.

Rock climbing

A man climbing the rock on Marjan Hill
Photo credit: Unsplash & Pixabay

Marjan crag was one of the first sites in Dalmatia where organized sport climbing took place back in 1986. It’s not very common to find such a great climbing site right in the heart of the city. Split alpinists trained at Marjan for various climbing expeditions around the world.

The sport climbing area is known as Santine Stine, 40 m high south-facing cliffs, located at the westernmost part of Marjan, just above Kasjuni beach.

The area counts 77 mostly vertical routes, with difficulty level from 4c to 8a. The most interesting routes are in the range of 5c to 7a.

The area around Marjan Hill also offers few sites to take on deep water solo. This can be a good alternative to classical rock climbing, on hot summer days, when more serious and demanding climbing routes can be out of reach due to high air temperatures. Two popular sites for deep water solo are Kasjuni Beach and Sustipan.

Recommended tours:

ROCK CLIMBING IN SPLIT

DEEP WATER SOLO & CLIFF JUMPING IN SPLIT

If you are still not sure what to expect, you can go and read fellow blogger Jessie Festa’s first-hand experience on rock-climbing Marjan Hill.

Roomescape Experience

On our last visit to Split, our friends booked us on a Roomescape experience in Split. You’ve perhaps already heard about this fun game, where you get locked in and need to find your way out following clues around you.

The Roomescape offers two scenarios: Prison puts you behind the bars, and you need to escape from the jail; in another one, you have to escape the “Cold War Bunker”.

We played Prison. But, we can’t really reveal much, because that would ruin the game. The game was fun, and we manage to escape just on time.

You have an hour to find your way out. Otherwise, the moderator gives you the clues, helps you solve the mystery, and gets you out.

This one is unfortunately closed, but there are other ones in Split with similar rules and as much fun.

Escape Room Split offers Jack the Ripper and Emperor Diocletian scenarios.

Number of players: 2-6
Price per game: 350 Kn – 450 Kn (75-175 Kn per person)

More info on the Roomescape website.

Learn to cook like a Dalmatian

If I want to get a quick idea of a place I’m visiting, I always do two things. I visit a local supermarket. And I try to taste an authentic local dish.

In my opinion, supermarkets reveal a lot about culture and habits. How clean are they? What kind of items, especially food, do they have on display? How expensive are groceries? I am guilty of drawing some conclusions about the country on this simple visit.

And local dishes can tell me even more about people than any guide book. I take them as a sneak-peek into habits and a lifestyle of people who created them.

My wife is Dalmatian, and I can tell you that Dalmatian food is really tasty, but yet unpretentious, and clean. Dalmatian has a typical Mediterranean diet, filled with fish, especially bluefish, and veggies, particularly green veggies, like Swiss chard, kale, spinach, and alike. Then, they have succulent stews that normally cook for hours, like yummy pasticada, a baby beef stew, or brujet, a spicy fish stew.

I get hungry just thinking of it.

You can use your time in Split to learn about and try your hand at some of the typical Dalmatian dishes.

Check this Split Cooking Class!

We haven’t tried it personally, but fellow blogger Tricia Mitchell did. Read about her experience here.

Cycling

Panorama of Split from the sea
Photo credit: Mariamichelle & Pixabay

Split isn't really a cycling-friendly town. The old town is cramped. And even if bicycles are allowed within the old town (not sure!), believe me, it’s a hustle to walk through, not to mention cycling through the old town.

The rest of the town has heavy car traffic and no bike trails.

However, there are sites within the town that are still good for cycling.

Marjan Hill first comes to mind. You can rent a bike, and then explore the hill by bicycle. If you ride along the coast, just below Marjan Hill, you’ll pass Mestrovic Gallery, and Kastelet, where you can stop to enjoy the works of this famed Croatian sculptor. Continue along the main road until beach Kasjuni. Here you can stop for a swim or a refreshment. After the beach, you’ll reach a car-free zone. The gravel road will take you up the hill all the way to Telegrin, the highest peak of Marjan. You can also head back down to the town earlier, without reaching the top.

Beaches to the southeast of the old town are also a good choice for in-town cycling. You can cycle from the old town, all the way to Znjan Beach, and back. This route is mostly flat, but the cycling is mostly on the main car road.

Many companies rent bikes, including electric ones. City bikes go from 3 euro for two-hour rent, to 12 euro for daily rent. Mountain bikes go from 6 euro for a two-hour rent, to 20 euro for a daily rental. Electric bikes cost around 35 euros a day.

Find more info about cycling in Split here. Trailforks have detailed Marjan cycling maps.

BOOK SPLIT BIKE TOUR HERE!

Pub crawl

If you are looking for a good night out in Split, then you should consider joining a pub crawl tour. This is the easiest way to meet fellow travelers, and locals, all while getting a taste of Split’s nightlife.

You know the drill: at least 100 minutes of power hour with all you can drink formula in a hidden bar in Split, followed by pub crawl where your group gets discounted prices on all drinks, and ending a night in a local club where you dance through wee hours.

There are a couple of agencies offering pub crawl tour, like Tower Pub Crawl, and Ziggy Star Pub Crawl.

Expect to pay around 25 euro per person.

Try local craft beers

A pricelist in front of the To Je To Caffe
Taste local craft beer | Photo credit: To Je To Caffe

Just a couple of years ago, you couldn’t find a decent local beer in Croatia. Sure, there were guys home brewing their beer, but it wasn’t available to the general public. But things changed a lot recently, and now Croatia offers a very exciting and dynamic craft beer scene.

Two local microbreweries are LAB, and Mandrill Nano Brewing CO. LAB offers two labels: Barba ALE, and Barba Englez (English Pale Ale). Mandrill Nano, on the other hand, among other beers and pizzas, offers three of their craft beer on tap in this brewpub.

Our favorite Croatian craft beers are Prvo Visko Pivo Saison, Vuneotovo’s Black IPA – Aljaski Mrgud, and Nova Runda APA.

The best 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.

BOOK THIS 3H BREWERY & BEER TASTING TOUR!

Try your hand at SUP

We’ve tried to do stand up paddle in our little village, a couple of years ago. A German tourist turned out in our village with a board and a paddle. That was new to us.

The way he was paddling around made us think that SUP was super simple. But when we tried it, it was another story. We kept falling into water way too many times.

Anyways, since that first time, we became true fans of stand up paddle and would recommend it to anybody.

With the right instructor, you actually get to learn paddling techniques quickly. Once you do that, I promise you’ll enjoy this activity fully.

SUP tours from Split include an in-town tour around Marjan Hill, and out-of-town tours in Brela, and in Blue Lake near Imotski. If you have time, we recommend a Blue Lake Tour.

First, paddling on a lake is easier than in the sea, for the simple reason that waters are normally calmer.

Second, this tour will give you a chance to discover the countryside, and stumble upon villages you normally wouldn’t see.

Third, this tour normally includes a traditional Dalmatian lunch at the end of the paddling.

If you don’t have enough time to spend paddling then opt for a tour in Split. It’s the most convenient time-wise, and the cheapest of all.

Prices start at 35 € per person for the Split SUP tour, to 80 € per person for Blue Lake SUP tour.

Adventure Dalmatia organizes stand up paddle tours to all three locations. Find more info at their website.

MORE INFO ON STAND UP PADDLE BOARD TOUR IN SPLIT!

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.

On a day tour from Split, you can easily reach as far north as Plitvice lakes, or as south as Dubrovnik.

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 Cetina River. If that's not enough adrenaline rush for you, try your hand at canyoning through Cetina River.

Things To Do In Split, Illustration for pinterest
Pin me for later!

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, best places to eat in Split, bars, events, beaches, and more.

For a complete Split travel guide, head here.

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

Best Hotels In Croatia|Heritage Hotel Judita Palace in Split

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.

CHECK PRICES AND AVAILABILITY HERE!

Hotel Park

Best Hotels In Croatia|Hotel Park in Split

Renovated in 2015, this 5-star boutique hotel is located just steps away from Split’s famed Bacvice Beach. Rooms are spacious, and nicely decorated, with a sitting area. Very few rooms have a balcony, but it’s definitely worth paying extra to get one. Other facilities include an outdoor swimming pool, an onsite restaurant, a small wellness center, and a gym.

CLICK HERE FOR THE LATEST PRICES AND AVAILABILITY

Radisson Blu

Best Hotels In Croatia|Hotel Radisson Blu in Split

With 250 rooms, Radisson Blu Split is rather a large hotel. Located in a residential area of Split, 20 minutes walk from the old town, Radisson Blu offers a private pebble beach for hotel guests, indoor and outdoor swimming pools, onsite restaurants, and the largest spa center in Split. Book a contemporary designed Deluxe room with a sea view.

BOOK NOW AND SAVE!

Bepo studio collection

Bepo Studio Collection in Split Croatia

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.

MORE INFO HERE!

Hostel Dvor

Best Hostels In Croatia| Hostel Dvor in Split

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.

CLICK HERE FOR MORE INFO!

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.

Kod Hvaranina

This little eatery 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.

More info on Tripadvisor!

Nikola Stobrec

A family-run restaurant in Stobrec, just a 15-minute drive from Split, Nikola offers one of the finest seafood and fish dishes in the area. The interior is cozy, staff and owners are friendly, and ingredients are super fresh. Highly recommended for true seafood and fish aficionados.

Read reviews here

Villa Spiza

Another family-run restaurant in Split’s old town, Villa Spiza is a small and cozy place offering yummy Dalmatian comfort food. Reservation needed.

Read reviews here or read about our visit to Villa Spiza years ago.

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.

Check other reviews here!

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. 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.

Uje Wine Bar: Uje Wine Bar is an extension of the already established Uje Oil Bar. The same company, in the same corner of Split old town, offers three establishments: Uje Oil Bar, a nice restaurant serving typical Dalmatian dishes, then Pikulece, Dalmatian style tapas bar, and finally Uje Wine Bar.

… 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.

Luka ice cream & cakes: Luka is a Polish guy and a pastry chef, who after visiting Split in 2013, found out that Split lacks pastry shop showcasing the true tastes of Dalmatia. He was back in Split in 2014 with a dedication to creating the best ice creams and cakes in Split. Today, his tiny ice cream and cake shop is indeed the best in Split. Don't miss his lavender or yogurt and rosemary ice cream.

Events in Split

Split half marathon: Held every year in February for 17 consecutive years, Split half marathon takes off from Riva, through the old town, to the Poljud stadium, and then around Marjan Hill back to Riva. If you are in Split in February, join locals on this traditional race. There is also a short 5 km race for those who aren't ready just yet for the half marathon.

Saint Domnius Day: Split's saint patron, Saint Dominus is celebrated on the 7th of May every year. The celebration includes various theater and film programs, art exhibitions, sports tournaments, food, and wine events. On the 7th, there is an open-air concert and fireworks on Split's seafront promenade.

Ultra Europe Festival: The largest festival of electronic music in Europe, Ultra Europe has been held in Split and the nearby island of Hvar since 2013. It started as a 2-day festival, but it grew to 7 days of fun and music with the main venue at the Poljud Stadium, but also with the various boat, and beach parties on the island of Hvar.

Split Beach Festival: This festival takes place on Bacvice beach over the first weekend in August. The festival features over 40 live bands playing drum&bass, soul, funk, and pop music at an open-air beach venue. Previous years line-up included Rudimental, La Fiesta, and DJ Julian Jordan.

Gastro Get Festival: Throughout December, restaurants from the old town's Get neighborhood, organize various food and entertainment events. Restaurants offer thematic weekly menus by popular Croatian chefs: the first week it is fish, then meat, young olive oil, codfish, and finally craft beer. Visitors can also enjoy tasty street food, mulled wine, and music.

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. 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: Unfortunately, Split taxis are expensive. And, you should only use them if you travel with a group that can split the cost. But, not everything is somber. UberX is available in Split but Uber in Split isn't as cheap as you might expect. However, it is still 20% cheaper than other Split taxis.
  • 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.

Further reading

Sharing is caring!



Frankaboutcroatia.com is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com and affiliated sites. This post might also contain affiliate links to other sites, like accommodation or activities. And if you purchase anything using these links, we earn a little commission with no extra costs for you. Thank you for supporting our blog! Read full disclaimer here.


44 thoughts on “Top things to do in Split Croatia in 2020”

  1. Thanks for all the info! Is everything still up to date (seeing comments dating back to 2014) regarding bars, restaurants, etc.? Will be visiting Trogir and Split next month and really looking forward to it.

    Reply
  2. Wonderful!

    Its an amazing to note the versatile nature of Split…I was looking for an off beat location in Europe…and I have found it.

    Love from India

    Rohit

    Reply
  3. GREAT SITE FRANK, thanks.
    April 2018, I am coming from ljubinjana, slovinia. do you know if the buses would arrive in the main bus station please?? ONE BUS STATION ?? I will be going onward to dubrovnik after Split. Thanks again

    Reply
  4. Hello Frank, my husband and I are from western Canada and we are in Split at the moment! What a great place! Went to Leopold’s to try some local beers and they were great. Then, we ate at Hvaranin Tavern for a nice dinner and we were looking for To Je To to have a few drinks but it does not exist anymore. Thank you for the great suggestions! Next stop, Dubrovnik and we will definitely look at your recommendations!

    Reply
  5. Hi there.
    Found your blog before coming to Croatia. Here for a 20 th anniversary trip. We are Americans living in Hungary and we’re able to drive here, which made traveling the coast fantastic! But just wanted to say we really like this site. The style and the information. I appreciated it is not a typical 20 something backpacker just passing through. It’s more sophisticated, yet tastefully budget aware. We referred to it all week for Zagreb, Dubrovnik, split and Trogir, and it definitely contributed to our enjoyment. ?We plan on returning to Croatia again soon. Your information will be part of our travel plans. So thanks for all your efforts! ? Croatia!

    Reply
  6. I’m a fellow Canadian visiting Split for the first time (can’t wait!) Thank you for putting together this very comprehensive guide!

    Reply
  7. Hi Frank, thank you so much for your great posts on Split and Dubrovnik. My wife and I are visiting for 2 weeks from mid next week – Split (3d), sailing (7d), Dubrovnik (3d) before a quick sojourn to Kotor. You have given us so many ideas I think we’ll have to come back! Thank you again. All the best, Chris & Sally

    Reply
  8. Hi Frank,
    We are in Split for 3 days. Don’t want to waste anytime making choices . Please could you give us the 3 best restaurants and bars to go to. Other than the places listed are there insider tips you can provide.
    Thank you in advance ,
    Deepa

    Reply
  9. Hi Frank,

    Thanks for the very comprehensive description of things you can do in and around split. My family and I will be in Split for 3 days. Plan to go to Hvar on one of the days. Based on the research I have done, it looks like doing private tours is the best way to visit Hvar as the Ferries/Catamarans are meant for locals who commute between the islands and hence are not very frequent nor do they give you enough time on the islands themselves. Is that correct ?
    The downside to joining a tour is you are on the clock which can make it feel a bit rushed.
    Also can I do Hvar in the morning and potentially do something else close by like Trogir on the same day ?

    Thanks

    Suyog

    Reply
  10. Great list about Croatia ! I have learned so many new and amazing things from your writing. Thanks dear for sharing with us. What you guys think would be the cheapest city to stay in Croatia ?

    Reply
  11. Thank you for your beautiful post and all those amazing photos of my home country. I’ve lived in Canada for 25 years now and can’t wait to go back for a visit next summer. You’ve brought tears to my eyes!!
    Thank you :)

    Reply
    • Hi Tania,
      thanks for reading :). Croatia is great, I’ve moved here over 10 years ago, and loving it. What part of Croatia your family comes from?

  12. Hi!
    Thanks for a great side. We are 4 girls in the 30s travelling this weekend to split. We want to see the best of the town. We arrive Friday around 1400 pm and want to eat the best local seafood in the city. Maby in the old town? Where do we go? Saturday we are thinking about a win-yard trip to Umotski. Is that a good idea?. Saturday night we need another good restaurant, and a fancy nightclub. Sunday we talked about walking to Marjan hill many? Do you have any good ideas? Thanks upfront!

    Reply
  13. Beautiful pictures. Thank you for sharing. We will be in Split on Oct 7th. I have wanted to visit Croatia for quite awhile so very excited. Can you recommend a walking tour of the old town?

    Reply
    • Hi Scotti, thanks for stopping by. October is a great time to visit Split. It shouldn’t be very hot, and there will be fewer crowds. As for walking tours, check http://www.splitwalkingtour.com/. They even organize free walking tours, but also have some specific tours with a focus on certain cultural, historical, or interest areas. Let us know if we can help with anything else.

  14. Hello Frank!
    I have enjoyed your website a lot. Thanks. Me and My girlfriend are Flying To Split may 1st. We Are wondering that should we book accommodation via internet now before trip or can we just get it from the Split Airport or bus station? We Are planning To stay in Split for a few days and then we Are heading To Island Hvar. I think that we Will find an accommodation from Hvar when we Are there. Is that the best way To make best deals?
    Do You have some super tips for our trip To Split and near areas in early may?

    Thanks already,
    Aatu

    Reply
    • Hi Aatu, sory for this late reply. But I think I had you covered over at twitter. Just book in advance as the rates at this time of the year are great, and there is lots of accommodation to choose from.

  15. Happy to say I did just about all of these when I was in Split over the summer, and had a freaking awesome time. I think you need to add the natural history museum to your museum list (I think that is what it was called?). It’s going down as one of my favourite museums for all the wrong reasons… It had a cave which was decorated with brown paper stuck to the walls… like something out of a nursery play. It was oddly amusing.

    Reply
    • Thanks for stopping by, and for the tip, Anastasia. I haven’t visited the natural history museum. But will check it out and add to the list. Like your “wrong” reasons… :-)

  16. Okay, now I REALLY want to explore Old Town. Looks so incredibly beautiful! Those streets literally shine. And “Let Me Pass” street? How cool is that?

    Reply
    • Thanks, Samantha! I don’t think it means anything. But I was sad the day I realise that Banana Split wasn’t really named after the town of Split :)

  17. I have always wanted to visit Croatia and the pictures of Split are very enticing. It looks like there is a good mixture of things to visit, places to relax and a great selection of food and drink to choose from – sounds like my ideal place. I hope to be able to visit one day soon. Thanks for sharing more reasons for us to explore Croatia :)

    Reply
  18. Interesting post Frank – Croatia’s a place I’d like to go and appreciate the above. The Old town and Klis fortress look particularly interesting and you’ve got some great photos!
    Frank (bbqboy)

    Reply

Leave a Comment