Split is a city in Central Dalmatia, Croatia. The city was originally built around the Diocletian palace (a palace/fort built for the retired Roman emperor Diocletian) where the locals sought refuge centuries ago. Wandering the historic centre of Split you can still clearly see the Roman walls, squares, and temples.
Because of its ideal climate, with 2,800 hours of sunlight each year, local people have a few nicknames for Split: “The most beautiful city in the world” and “Mediterranean flower”. Many famous Croatian sports people are born in Split, so locals often nicknamed their city as “The sportiest city in the world”. The most popular sport institution is the football club Hajduk. The whole city is painted with the club’s colors and logo. This is done by Torcida, the oldest supporters group in Europe, established in 1950. Beside bell tower of St. Duje, the symbols of city are the Dalmatian dog and a donkey. Locals have a high place for the donkey because of its past indispensable place in field work and transport across Dalmatian mountains.
Winters in Split are generally mild, with temperatures above 0°C, but despite the popular saying that the city experiences snowfall once every 30 years, there is actually at least one snowy day nearly every winter, usually in January or early February. If you find yourself in Split on a day with significant snowfall, expect serious traffic disruption.
How To Get Here
Split Airport (IATA: SPU) (ICAO: LDSP) is, after Zagreb Airport, the most important in Croatia. Scheduled services fly to major European cities, with summer charter flights from more. The airport is about 25 km west from Split, near the city of Trogir. It has free WiFi internet. Airport buses run from the terminal to the city and stop at the eastern end of ‘Riva’. A single ticket costs 30 kn. Local buses run from the road outside the terminal — walk through the parking lot and go to the bus stop on the other side of the road.
Bus number 37 runs about every 30 min and costs 16 kn (tickets are bought from the bus driver). Bus 37 does not take you all the way to the historical centre and you need to switch to bus 9 or 10, or just walk about a kilometre along the major road that runs by the bus stop (stops for buses 9 and 10 are also by this road). In addition, a small fraction of the departures from Split main bus station to Trogir on work days use the road next to the airport. In the on-line timetablessearch for ZRA?NA L.-AIRPORT (but take into account that the timetable is not necessarily 100% correct). Going to the airport, onboard the bus tell the conductor that you want a stop at the airport.
A shuttle bus run by Pleso Transport Company operates between the airport and the city centre. If you ask locals for directions they will automatically point you towards this bus, but beware if you are travelling with another airline then this bus schedule is a bit irrelevant. It appears as if the shuttle bus meets all scheduled arriving flights even those not from Croatia Airlines. When exiting the terminal go to your right and you should see the buses.
Taxis will also take you into town. A taxi to Split centre (ferry port or Diocletian’s Palace) takes a bit over 30 min and costs about 270 kn on the meter, though most drivers will agree on 220 if asked in advance. If your transfering to a ferry tell the driver the ferry departure time so he can rush if neccesary.
If leaving Split by plane, be careful to plan the journey to the airport in advance, as local buses don’t run before 5 AM or after midnight.
Flights to and from Belgrade, Serbia were reintroduced in June 2012 after a 21-year hiatus. As of July there are four flights per week. As expected, there is massive demand for these planes, so book with Croatia Airlines or Jat Airways well in advance in order to get a cheaper ticket. If you are seated next to the window, you can catch a magnificent glimpse of Sarajevo from 21,000 feet.
Split train station is right in the city centre, it is a few minutes walk from the port and from the old town. Expect very friendly grannies to be waiting with signs saying “Sobe” (rooms) at all arrivals and they will jump on anyone with a backpack. The train station is rather basic, because train travel is not much used to Split.
Trains run between Split and Zagreb, Split and Perkovi? (where you can change for Šibenik). Timetables can be found from Croatian Railways website. Trains are generally slower but slightly cheaper than buses in all of Croatia.
Trains to Perkovi? through the picturesque valley/village of Primorski Dolac depart 5 times a day and stop in every station taking 1 hr exactly to do the journey. This is a very picturesque journey to make, and although Perkovi? is simply a collection of houses you could get off and have a coffee or go for a walk in the hills before returning to Split. Connecting Trains leave Perkovi? for Šibenik several times a day, and should be marked on the timetable in Split station.
Frequent buses run to and from Zagreb, Dubrovnik, Sibenik, Zadar, Rijeka etc. There are also regular buses to and from Mostar and Sarajevo (Bosnia and Herzegovina) (210 kn), Belgrade (Serbia), Trieste (Italy) and major cities of Germany and Austria. You can get detailed information on [AK Split] about departure and arrival times.
In the summer season there are more lines then off-season, for example in June-July-August, daily night buses to Banja Luka and Gradiska, north of Bosnia, as well as buses to Niš, Serbia twice a week.
On most intercity buses you pay a fee for luggage. This fee of about €0.5-€1 per piece of luggage is paid to the driver upon boarding. Some drivers are rather picky about being paid in exact change in the correct currency (sometimes a local currency, at other instances requesting to be paid in Euros) and sometimes also refuse to be paid in too small coins. So keep some change ready.
Local buses run to and from Trogir and Solin.
Ferries run three times a week across the Adriatic to and from Ancona and Pescara (Italy). There is also a large ferry that runs twice a week up and down the coast between Dubrovnik and Rijeka, stopping off at a couple of islands along the way.
Split is the main hub for local boats and hydrofoils in Central Dalmatia. Several a day run to and from Brac, Hvar, Solta, Vis, Kor?ula and Lastovo.
- Jadrolinija. State-owned sea shipping company. They have regular lines to Croatian islands and with Italy.
- SNAV. Italian sea shipping company with lines to and from Split.
- Blue Line International. Sea shipping company that operates between Croatia and Italy.
- Split Rent Agency Taxi boat. Fast transfer from Split airport to Split and surrounding islands.
- Split to Hvar Taxi boat transfers ? +385 99 20 099 20. Transfer from Hvar and other Dalmatia islands to Split and Split airport.
- Speed taxi boat service ? +385 98 702 250.24 hr service from Split and Split airport to all Dalmatian islands.
Harbour, bus terminal, and train station
Central Split is quite compact and most sights can be easily seen and best experienced on foot, but there are frequent local buses to outlying attractions and the airport.
- Rent-a-car Split Nova Split, Obala kneza Domagoja bb ? +385 98 983 69 50. Car rental, transfers and chauffer drive.
- Split Rent AgencySplit, Obala Lazareta bb. ? +385 91 57 86 072. Car, van, scooter, bicycle boat rental, transfer, taxi boat.
- Taxi Split Split, Kranjceviceva 32. ?+385 91 534 1679. Taxi transfers, car rental, hire car driver.
- Split Taxi serviceSplit, Velebitska 27. ? +385 98 974 06 07. Split taxi transfers.ž
- Car Hire SplitSplit, Obala Lazareta 3. ? +385 91 3333548. Car Hire Split.
Public transit is organized by Promet. Most of the city buses in Split are new, but some are very old and dilapidated. Tickets can be bought at kiosks or from the bus driver. Only single-journey tickets can be bought in buses.
- Single ticket (bought in bus) – 10 kn
- Single ticket (bought at kiosk) – 8 kn
- Ticket for two journeys (‘Pojedina?na karta za dva putovanja’) – 16 kn
- Set of five double tickets (‘Pretplatna Karnet karta’) – 75 kn
- Monthly ticket (‘mjese?na pokazna karta’) – 260 kn
When you board the bus you must validate your ticket in the yellow machine or give it to the driver for validation.
Rent a bike and enjoy beautiful biking along Split’s waterfront (Riva), continue to Marjan hill (approximately 7 km), climb to the top of the hill for great view on the Split town and surrounding islands. You can bike to the east side, along the coast to nearby village of Stobrec. Another great option from Split is to take a day tour to nearby islands of Solta, Brac, Hvar or Vis. You can take the bike on a regular ferry (they leave approximately every couple of hours in the summer season) and bike along quite roads and charming villages, explore great beaches and restaurants and return in the evening to Split!
Older but rideable mountain bikes are available for 15 kn/hour (March 2012) at the northern entrance to Marjan hill (near Mandalinski put).
Things To See
- Diocletian’s Palace (UNESCO heritage site) – The historic centre of Split is built around the remains of this Roman palace. You only need to wander around to experience it but you can also pay to visit the excavated remains of the basement of the palace. The palace has well preserved main streets cardo and decumanus. Roman palace is enriched with some gothic and reinassance buildings which makes a perfect match. Palace has 4 monumental gates Porta Aurea (Zlatna vrata, Golden gate), Porta Argenta (Srebrna vrata, Silver gate), Porta Ferrea (Željezna vrata, Iron gate) and Porta Aenea (Mjedena vrata). It is probably the best preserved Roman palace in general.
- St. Duje’s cathedral – Originally built around 305 AD as a mausoleum of Roman emperor Diocletian’s (the oldest cathedral building in the world). Cathedral is also a very beautiful mixture of Roman temple and Catholic church. It also has a beautiful belltower which provides you a great panoramic view of Split, nearby islands and Marjan hill.
- Peristil square (Peristylium) – Main square of Diocletian’s palace with well preserved Roman architecture.
- Jupiter’s temple – Ancient Roman temple which became St. John’s church.
- Two original Egyptian sphinxes- One is located on Peristil square, and the other in front of Jupiter’s temple or St. John’s church. They were brought from Egypt by Roman emperor Diocletian.
- Riva is the main city promenade. Since 2007. Riva has a new, “modern” look, which is not accepted by most of the people.
- Marjan – a hill situated on the west of Split. Marjan is an oasis for many people who look for a natural stress relief, a great place for long walks, jogging, and bike rides. Marjan’s peak, Telegrin is 174 m high and gives a wonderful panoramic view of Split. South cliffs are popular within alpine climbers. St. Nicholas church is situated on the east of Marjan, on it’s south side are beautiful St. Jeronimus church and “Gospe od Betlema” church (Madonna of Betlehem). House building is strictly forbidden in order to save Marjan – the lungs of Split.
- Varoš – one of the oldest parts of town. A place where lived most of the city peasants and fishermen. Charming streets and and beautiful small houses.
- Galerija Meštrovi? – gallery contains works of Ivan Meštrovi?, famous Croatian sculptor.
- Archaeological Museum – the oldest museum in Croatia(1820.), about 20 min walk north of the old town (entry 20 kn). Many artefacts and monuments from Roman colonies Salona and Narona.
- Poljud stadium. Poljud stadium known to locals as “Poljudska Ljepotica” (Poljud Beauty”)is a second largest stadium in Croatia and has a capacity of 36,000 people. The stadium was originally constructed by the Yugoslavian government as part of the facilites for the 1979 Mediterannean Games and was oficially opened by Josip Broz Tito, who was avowed fan of the team who play their home games in Poljud HNK Hajduk Split. By far the most important and revered sports team in Dalmatia, a dedicatet fanbase around the world has followed Hajduk throughout the team’s history. There are numerous anecdotes about Hajduk never played without at least some of their loyal fans in the stands, the Torcida. It is the oldest supporters group in Europe. If you are going to visit some match do not go on north part, which is the cheapest one, that part is reserved for Torcida.
- Getski vrtal, Dominisova street (Diocletian palace). is the smallest park in Split, situated in the Diocletian’s palace, Dominisova street (Marko Antonio De Dominis street. In that park are beautiful traditional Dalmatian tiramolas. During the summer these are full of clothes drying in the sunshine. In every guidebook about Split you have pictures from the Getski vrtal. It is the location of a 500 yr old stone house which was destroyed during World War II.
- Old graveyards. Sustipan and old Jewish cemetery
Things To Do
- Sunbathe and swim on the beach at Ba?vice. To reach this beach walk south along the waterfront from the bus station ant then follow the road that crosses the railway line. There are many cafes and places to eat ice cream. This is certainly not the best beach in Croatia (it is packed solid most of summer), but it will give you a feeling of ‘real’ Croatia as the vast majority of people who go there are from Split. There are also beaches around hill Marjan. Most popular are Kaštelet, Kašjuni and beautiful pine forest beach Bene. On Bene beach there is a restaurant and a recreation centre. Bus No. 12 travels there.
- Climb the campanile bell tower next to the palace mausoleum. The stairs cling to the inside of the tower, and in places the steps cross the large open window spaces. The ascent is certainly not for those with vertigo, but the views from the top are marvelous. It costs only 10 kn to go up the bell tower.
- The historic core of Split with Diocletian palace is among the first urban complexes to enter the list of the UNESCO world heritage in year 1979. Most probably this one of a kind Imperial Palace was built from 298-305 AD and is one of the most significant original structures of the period mostly because so much of it has been preserved. Later this Palace contributed to the broadening of the town because as the city evolved beyond its walls. The unique substructure halls were newley explored and each year more of them are opened to the public. Some have fascinating artefacts on display. May – Oct 10AM-12 noon-7PM (?). Nov-Apr, opens at 11AM, duration 90 min. In English language. Starts in front of the tourist info centre, please arrive 15 min before tour is due to commence.
- Snorkelling Experience. Snorkelling and diving Experience by boat from Split harbour. Licenced PADI diving center.
- Green Market (Pazar). Split’s Pazar is the place to go for a variety of wares such as fruits and veggies, clothing and other odds and ends. Lots of local colour and excitement.
- Picigin, Ba?vice. Traditional beach game with a small ball (Ba?vice beach). In summer every year there is a world championship in picigin.
- Grgur Ninski. It is said that if you touch the big toe of the statue and make a wish your wish will come true.
- Bike tour, ? +385 21388951 . Day tour with hybrid, road or e-bike. Explore the old town of Split and Marjan hill. You can also just rent a bike (some also available at northern entrance to Marjan hill) and explore the city on your own.
There are lots of companies running boats, such as Busabout, Topdeck and Contiki.
The majority of sailing charters start from the city of Split. There are many charter agencies where you can charter a sailing or motor yacht which are based in Split. Most of them operate from ACI marina Split, marina Zenta or marina Spinut. There are also many charter agencies based in marina Kastela which is based in the vicinity of Split.
When you charter a yacht through a charter agency and arrive to the designated marina there are a few things that need to be done.
The most important thing is the yacht check in (usually Saturday around 4PM). Take your time doing yacht check in. Familiarise yourself with the chartered yacht and with the yacht equipment. The rule of thumb is the more time you take for the yacht check in, the less time you will need for the yacht check out.
After that you have to do the shopping for the charter vacation. Don’t neglect the groceries shopping because the sea is unpredictable and you don’t want to get stuck on the boat without sufficient provisions of food and drink.
You can do the shopping in a marina although the prices are usually much higher there, or you can order from yacht provisioning services who usually deliver the products to the marina at no extra fee. In Jam Yacht Supply offer an online provisioning catalogue and you can order from a large selection of groceries and other products months in advance, everything you order awaits for you at the marina.
- Daily sailing tours, ? +385 21 717 813. Daily sailing tours from Split to Brac, Hvar and other nearby destinations.
- Marmontova. Shopping street in the centre.
- Pazar, Stari Pazar 2. Green market with fruit, vegetables and more. The best time to visit the market is Saturday morning.
- Ribarnica, Obrov 2. Fish market.
- Kerum. Supermarket chain that is owned by current Mayor of Split Željko Kerum.
- Konzum. Croatia’s largest supermarket chain.
- Profil, Algoritam and VBZ. Bookshops with some English-language titles.
- City Center One, Vukovarska 207. daily 9AM-9PM, cinema and caffe bars 9AM-11PM. Opened in 2010. 3 floors (5 garage levels) and Cineplexx cinema.
- Joker Put Brodarice 6. Opened in 2007. 50 shops on 4 floors with Kerum supermarket, DM, Hervis sports shop, Deichmann and a McDonalds. 15-20 min walk from the city center with buses stopping near the front of the centre. There is a cinema on the first floor. The top floor has fitness club, restaurant and a sky bar with an outdoor swimming pool.
The most famous local delicates is Soparnik. It originates from nearby Poljica region (formerly known as Polji?ka Republika or Republic of Poljica). It is a dough filled with mangold vegetable and baked on fireplace. On top comes olive oil and garlic. You can find it on Pazar (green market).
Italian influences dominate on Croatia’s coast, amongst the best are; Risotto with tender white scampi or black calamari, a dish beloved by all Croatians. A wide selection of salumi, magnificent Istrian and Dalmatian hams (Dalmatinski pršut – comparable to Parma or Speck) and cheese from the island of Pag, are well worth trying, as are the large varieties of excellent Croatian wines and beers.
Do not miss Dalmatian pašticada s njokama (Gnocchi).
Please note; in a world suffocating under the weight of processed foods, Croatia’s coastal cuisine is unique in that most of its produce is organic.
?evapi or ?evap?i?i (diminutive), are small grilled rolls of minced beef, pork, or lamb, or a combination of any of these three. Usually served with chopped onions, Kajmak (similar to clotted cream) or Ajvar (a relish made from bell peppers, aubergines, garlic and chilli). ?evapi are traditional Bosnian dish and they are popular across the Balkans.
Split’s eateries are to be found in a variety of settings, ranging from the romantic to the vibrant. It isn’t difficult to enjoy superb food and wine in a classical environment with good friends and/or family.
Plenty of fast food joints between the Old Town and the bus station.
- Nostromo, Kraj Svete Marije 10 (just off Marmontova). Good seafood and salad in a rather smoky ambience with friendly service. Main dish 60-200 kn.
- Picaferaj, Popovica 2 (a block W from Trg Republike). Varied menu, a couple of outside tables Main dish 55-150 kn.
- Cetina, Radunica 16, ? +385 21 482 243. Varied menu including local specialities, good value, friendly service (English spoken), no credit cards. Main dish 50-100 kn.
- Kod Joze, Sredmanuska 4, ? +385 21 347 397. The traditional family-run konoba serves tasty dishes in style. Prices very reasonable considering the quality and atmosphere. Mains 50-120 kn.
- Panchos, Nepotova 3. Good mexican place in the land of cevapcici. Staff is friendly, the place is nice, but a bit small. Mains 20-40 kn.
- Buffet Picaferaj, popovica 2. Small side street restaurant run by a young married couple, incredible food at a very fair price. Pasta with prawns and mussels is 70 kn.
- Fino Friško, ?uli?a dvori 2. Because of its proximity to school, this bakery always has fresh and tasty food.
- Mala ku?a, Domovinskog rata 27d, Put firula 39. daily 9AM-12 midnight. Fast food with delicious marinated chicken grill sandwich (20 kn).
- Popaj, Pojišanska b.b., Šetalište Ivana Meštrovi?a b.b. Mo-Th winter 8AM-12 midnight, summer 8AM-1AM, Fr-Sa winter 8AM-1PM, summer 8AM-2PM, Su winter 3PM-12 midnight, summer 3PM-1AM. The most popular fast food in Split with great pizzeta (small pizza, 10 kn) and very big ham sandwich (14 kn).
- Hajduk, Matoši?a 4. The best ice cream in town with big selection of flavours. Yogurt icecreams 7 kn.
- Pizzeria Bakra, Radovanova 2. 10AM-11PM. Definitely one of the best Pizza in town, baked on fireplace.
- Biser Orijenta, Biha?ka 2a (top floor of Lav?evi? building). 11:30AM-midnight. Good “European Chinese” cuisine. Not too popular among the locals, but the prices are fair and the service is friendly. Mains 50-70 kn, duck and seafood dishes up to 120 kn.
- Konoba Marjan, Senjska, 1, ? +385 98 9346848. Risottos, pasticada (marinaded veal cooked in sauce), and excellent fish. Prices are very reasonable and the staff very friendly. English spoken.
Dalmatia is well known for its world class wines, but when in Split it is a must to try soda drinks called Pipi and Orela, produced by local beverage manufacturer Dalmacijavino.
Lots of outdoor cafés are to be found along the Riva seafront.
- St Rita, (Riva seafront). Has an upper story that overlooks the promenade. 20 kn a pint.
- Shook, Mihovilova sirina 4 (In the heart of Old Town). Chill out cafe/bar with electronic beat in a busy passageway. 15 kn a pint.
- Gaga Bar, (tucked away in a corner, just off Narodni Trg). Cosy atmosphere, long list of cocktails, latin music. Ask for a bill, because one round is 100 kn, and then second one (the same one) may be 150 kn. Atmosphere is nice, but the waiters are not. More tourists than locals. Pint 20 kn, cocktails 20-35 kn.
- Tonik Juice Bar, Ban Mladenova 5 (one block west of Riva’s end). Fresh made juices, smoothies and coffee. Smoothie 30 kn.
- Buffet Picaferaj, Popovica 2. A small restaurant on a side street that serves fresh seafood dishes. Run by a young married couple. Pasta with fresh prawns and mussels is 70 kn (about €11).
- Na kantunu, Dominisova 9 (within the Diocletian palace). After 3 rounds waiter will bring traditional rakija with honey (medica)-nice and strong. Supporters of Hajduk Split are there, so when there is a match in Split it may become too crowded. It is probable the smallest bar in Split with just 8 tables inside in a 15 m² space. Great atmosphere and a cappuccino is 8 kn. In front of the cafe bar there are few tables where you can sit if the weather is nice. Karlova?ko beer only 12 kn (about €1.7) a pint, Velebitsko beer is 15 kn a pint.
There are many clubs on Ba?vice beach.
- Imperium | restaurant & lounge bar, Gat Sv Duje bb (Ferry terminal), ? +385 21 338 555. Nice high-end interior with acceptable prices and spectacular view on old town of Split. House music, world known DJs and parties.
- O´Hara, Uvala Zenta 3. Rock and pop music on two floors.
- Vanilla Club, Poljudsko šetalište b.b. Fancy place by the swimming pool with popular domestic and foreign music.
- Hemingway Bar, VIII Mediteranskih igara 5. Extremely fancy club.
- Quasimodo, Gunduli?eva 26. Rock and Underground music. Mostly full with local alternatives.
- Salona – ancient Roman colony, one of the biggest towns of Roman Empire. It had a population of nearly 60,000 people. It was a capital of Roman province Dalmatia. Well preserved amphitheater, theater, basilica, cemetery and many other Roman buildings. Situated near town of Solin, 10-20 min bus ride from Split.
- Hvar – A day trip by boat to this island is well worth the effort. Boats leave five times a day in peak season (July–August), three times a day outside this period (a single trip cost about 42 kn to Stari Grad on Hvar). Hvar town is small but extremely attractive, with numerous large yachts moored in the harbour. If using the left luggage service ensure you thoroughly check the prices and conditions of use.
- Bra? – An alternative could be the boat to the island of Bra? which is just the other side of the water. Boats leave up to 10 times daily and it takes you 1 hr to Supetar. The last ferry back to Split leaves at 10:45PM.
Try renting a bike or scooter for exploring the island. When renting, take into account that the rental service normally closes rather early but when you ask for it, they are quite flexible as most people are in Split. A return ferry ticket should cost about 70 kn and has no time restrictions within the same day.
- Krka National Park- one of eight national parks in Croatia. Enjoy in beautiful waterfalls and visit old monastery on the island Visovac.
- Omiš – this little town is situated on the mouth of Cetina river and its magnificent canyon. It is ideal place for rafting and canyoning.
- Horse Club- in village called Donje Ogorje you can ride a horse in the nature. It will cost you 100 kn (13 €) for one hour. There is also an option for riding and sleeping in the nature for several days.
- Makarska – a popular resort town with beautiful beaches, 60 km southeast of Split. Frequent buses (price 40-50 kn one way).
- Bosnia and Herzegovina – possible day trips by regular scheduled bus include Mostar, Me?ugorje, Livno, Bugojno, Ljubuški, Travnik and even Zenica.
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