Why visit Split?
Split is a unique city, filled with various types of fun, explore Split gastronomy culture and heritage! It suitable for literally everyone. Split is known as a child-friendly city so families with children are very welcome. Young people who just want to have fun have a great number of night clubs to go to, and not to forget the Ultra Europe festival that is held in the first weekend of July. Seniors who are exploring and traveling the world looking for great heritage and new experiences can find everything they are looking for right here in Split. For those with a bit of adventure spirit Split and its surrounding have a rich offer of active holiday programs. And for those who want a quite holiday with just chilling and enjoying the sun and the beaches, Split has a lot to offer. Many diverse beaches, from ones that are in touch with nature like those in the Forrest park Marjan (yes, Split has it’s own Forrest park inside!) , to the ones that are like urban beaches with bars and children playgrounds on them. The common thing for both of them is that once you get there you can enjoy the peace and tranquility without even noticing that you are a few steps from the center of this big city. From all of those things that are said you can conclude that Split is much more than glorious architectural scenery and vacation destination. It is also great starting point for exploring Croatia thanks to its good connection with the inland and the islands.
The citizens of Split often say that “There is no place like Split” which we have to agree with.
Which tourist attractions to visit?
You are planning your trip and are wondering what attractions you can see in Split? Here is a list of fascinating things you can visit.
HOW OLD IS DIOCLETIAN PALACE IN SPLIT?
A walk through the ancient city can take you through time, so prepare yourselves to go to fourth century AD. The Diocletian’s palace is among the best preserved monuments of the Roman building heritage in the world. Today, after 1700 years, the remains of the palace are part of the historic core of Split, which in 1979 was listed by UNESCO as a World Heritage Site. A thing you can’t find anywhere in the world is a fact that people still live and work inside the palace. The citizens of Split over centuries have been keeping the tradition of living the life inside the palace, adapting it a bit to modern life needs, but the outlines of the palace remained untouched. The outside architecture of the palace with its stone walls is consisted of sixteen towers projecting form every side of the palace. Inside the palace you can see the emperors apartments, living space, squares, churches, museums, shops, restaurants, etc. Do not miss out the chance to visit the Cellars of the Diocletian’s Palace, and to take a walk trough the filming locations of the Game of Thrones series.
Which SACRAL FACILITIES are in Split?
Croatians are Catolics. Country has a great heritage of sacral facilities. Therefore Split as a second largest city in modern Croatia and one of the oldest cities in Europe takes a big pride in its sacral heritage. Many of its churches and monastery’s are located in reach of the city center.
Church and Monastery of St. Francis is built in the old early Christian site located on the Western part of the Riva, just a few steps from the outside walls of the Diocletian’s palace. In the 13th century the Little brothers of St Francis inhabit the Church and have been living and serving there since then. In the Church and the Monastery are located the thumbs of prominent citizens of Split, like the father of Croatian literature Marko Marulić, and one of the greatest Croatian politicians Ante Trumbić, whose sarcophagus is the work of famous Croatian sculpturer Ivan Meštović.
Franciscan Church and Monastery of St. Anthony is built in the 11th century on the north side of the Split peninsula. A cloister with a square tower on the west side was a part of defense complex protecting the church and the monastery from the Turkish invasion. In the 18th century bell tower was added on the south side of the church. This complex is home to many valuable artworks and historic documents, among which is an image made by Venetian master Girolama de Santa Crocea in 1549 showing the city as it lays in the hands of its patron St. Domnius. Maybe an even more interesting thing is a rare description of Islamic prophet Muhammad, whose character should not be shown according to Koran.
Church of Holy Trinity is situated near the above mentioned Franciscan Church, at the proximity of Poljud stadium. This is a small but adorable church built between the 8th and 11th century. It is a six foil type of building with semicircular arches lined around an irregular circle. This church has been added into the register of the most valuable Croatian Cultural Heritage, of the highest category.
Church of St. Philip Neri A pastor of Split and a Bishop of Makarska together decided in 1672 to establish a Philippine congregation and build a church dedicated to St. Philip Neri. They decided to build it on the site of the Papalić house, which was donated by the nobleman Frane Soppe Papalić, together with another two houses bought beside it. The building of the church began in 1679 and was finished the year after. This is a modest, simple church, but very sacral and peaceful.
Church of St. Martin is in the northern part of the Diocletian Palace, within the wall over the Golden Gate. The Church today is a replica of an early Christian Church from the 6th century, with a pre-romanesque altar partition from the 11th century. This smallest and one of the oldest churches in Split is only 1.64m wide and 10m long, and is considered the most preserved sacral monument. Its location was originally used as a passageway for the guards guarding the northern entrance to the Diocletian Palace and later was converted to church.
Small Churches on the Marjan Hill
If there is anything determining Marjan, hill-symbol on the west side of the Split peninsula, just as much as its dense pine forest, countless trails and recreational facilities, is a series of Marjan small churches and chapels. Built during the time when Marjan was a spiritual haven for the citizens of Split who expressed their faith by going on a pilgrimage to their holly hill. Those sometimes miniature churches were one of the most important witnesses of the way life developed in Split. For those fond of taking nature walks, tour of this spiritual circle can be a great opportunity for sightseeing Marjan and enjoying the peace offered by this hill to the citizens of Split and their guests.
Which are famous SQUARES in Split?
Since medieval time squares have been a place where people get together, socialize and go to buy their needed groceries. That culture in Split hasn’t vanished, people still get together there, drink coffee, go shopping. Some of the most magnificent squares here are Prokurative, Pjaca and Vocni Trg (Fruits square). They are all well preserved and reflect the ancient spirit that was once there.
Prokurative is a square located west of the Riva. Name of this square comes from its neo-Renaissance buildings surrounding the square on tree sides. It is built on the idea to resemble Venice St. Marks Square. The square is only open on the south side providing a beautiful view of the harbor and the waterfront. It is a beautiful place to drink coffee, have lunch, relax and to take photos!
Pjaca or People’s Square is first mentioned in 13th century as first inhabited part of Split outside the Diocletian Palace, leaning to its western wall. On the outskirts of the Pjaca lived the noble families of Split. Already for centuries the Pjaca is the central stage of the city life. There in the Gothic building of the Old Town Hall, today an exhibition center, was the seat of the city’s authority, and is still beautiful and preserved. The city clock has been ticking for centuries on Pjaca, unique by his 24 instead of 12 digits. In the surrounding cafes, restaurants and bars the citizens of Split could always find a place to rest, meet, be seen and see others, go through the most important events of the city. Every building on Pjaca has its story, each is a witness of history and the spirit of the city.
Voćni trg (Fruit square) is maybe the most beautiful one in the city. It got its name by the colorful market where women from surrounding villages came to sell their fruit. There are several landmarks decorating this not so large square. The biggest is definitely the Venetian tower, the leftover of the former fortress built in 15th century. Surrounding facades built in Baroque style give a picturesque sense of the old times. The statue of Marko Marulić in the center of square celebrates the most important Croatian philosopher and intellectual of 15th century. Square is thriving with city life in bars, restaurants and exclusive shops.
Riva is definitely a must see, or even better said, a must experience in Split. This promenade is a heart and soul of Split. You must have heard a well known sentence “All roads lead to Rome”, well, the citizens of Split often say that all roads lead to Riva. In any hour of the day you will always find people sitting, drinking coffee, dining, relaxing. In the evening it converts to a great location for spending a night out with your friends. It is a center and a great starting point to explore city’s offer. Located on the entrance to the Diocletian Palace it is a venue for numerous cultural and entertainment events. The time when Riva and the whole city reaches all of its glory is definitely Sudamja, a celebration dedicated to St. Dominius, the patron saint of Split. It is celebrated in the beginning of May, and if you are planning your trip to Croatia in off season we recommend visiting Split at this time.
Which NATURAL BEAUTIES are in SPLIT?
Split is a city of natural beauty! If you are wondering how one urban big city can be filled with natural and well preserved surrounding, you can find an answer right here in Split.
Marjan, the hill that overlooks the city has always been the most impressive part of Split imagery. Such a harmony between natural and urban is rarely found; on one side the densely populated city in all of its glory, and on the other a peninsula of almost pristine nature, a protected Forrest park. A climb up to Marjan is easily accessible from Riva and is easy to get to. You can go by foot or by a car, but take in mind if you are going by car you can have problems finding a parking space and the road takes you only half way to the peak. If you are going on foot, it is an easy walk up the well arranged walkway among which there are few sceneries overlooking the city and the nearby islands Brač, Hvar, Šolta.
Marjan offers to its visitors peace and tranquility, recreation and entertainment with natural beaches, pathways and trim-trails among which are many sacral churches and secular architecture.
If you are looking for a place from which Split can be seen in all of its glory, but you also want to experience entirely different side of this densely populated and tourism oriented city, visit Marjan.
Sustipan, the first Split’s cemetery at that time, is located on the southwest cape of the Split harbor. Do not be frightened by the fact that it was a cemetery because in the past it was demolished and turned into a glorious park, a little green oasis in proximity of Marjan. The reefs of Sustipan meet the sea giving you a breathtaking view towards deep sea and the islands in front of Split.
Where are THE BEACHES in SPLIT?
Split as an urban city has a surprising clean sea and diverse beaches in its offer. If you are seeking quiet and natural ones try out Bene or Kašjuni beaches. Both are located on the Marjan hill, a protected Forrest park which reeks of fresh air and smell of century old pines. Get away from the city rush and enjoy the peace.
Bene is a beach very suitable for families because of its offer. It is filled with numerous additional facilities; a restaurant, tennis courts, playgrounds for children, showers, changing cabins, etc. Next to the beach is a part adapted for disabled, including a lift aiding the disabled on their way into the sea.
Kašjuni located on the west part of the Marjan hill is popular for families with children. The beach has a shallow waters, small pebble stones, a coffee shop and a changing cabins.
If you want to go to the beach that is not far from the urban part, we recommend you to try beaches Bačvice, Firule and Žnjan. Regardless to its distance to the livable part of the city, once you get there you won’t even have feeling that you are in approximate intermediate of the city.
Bačvice is a phenomenon of nature, a sandy beach at the heart of the city, in the vicinity of the city harbor. It can accommodate over ten thousand people and often it is called a Split version of Copacabana. Bačvice today represents a best known promenade for all generations, and during night it is a favorite center of nightlife.
Firule with its fine sand and natural shelter have always proven to be especially interesting for families with young children. A recreational side of Firule grew more popular as the tennis center was organized here. Many of popular Croatian tennis players like Goran Ivanišević and Mario Ančić learned their first serves here.
Žnjan became very popular among the citizens of Split with the arrival of John Paul II to Split in 1998. In that year it was well landscaped for his arrival and to this day is well maintained.
Besides being an ideal promenade and a leisure destination for the citizens of Split, it thrives with restaurants, bars, coffee shops, playgrounds, trampolines for children and other facilities.
What is GASTRONOMY offer of Split?
Split is the symbol of dalmatian cuisine combined all together. Olive oil, fresh fish dishes, prosciutto, delicious cheese and fine wine represent the core of the dalmatian cuisine. A specific thing about Dalmatia is the simple and warm hearted welcome by your host, the cheerful and noisy nature of the people and the desire to offer their guests the best of everything. Split with its fish market and green market offer daily fresh groceries which you can buy. If you don’t want to trouble yourselves with cooking, try out some of the many exquisite restaurants and taverns Split and its surrounding can offer. Keep in mind that this is a treasure which cannot be packed in a suitcase when returning home, but it will fill your soul until your next visit in the heart of Adriatic.