Long ago, Romans settled alongside the beautiful coasts of what is known today as Croatia. The parcel of land changed territorial hands several times between then and now, each era shaping the culture that pulses through the country. Croatia is among the top tourist destinations worldwide, offering visitors the opportunity to witness modern life operating alongside hundreds of years of fascinating history.
The Dalmatian city of Split sits on a peninsula overlooking the Adriatic Sea, its streets a spectacular mix of modern comforts and antiquity. Travelers have no shortage of attractions to make their trip one of the most memorable of their lifetimes. Nature lovers, history buffs, and foodies from every corner of the world flock to these scenic Split locations to enjoy a city dedicated to both its storied past and prosperous future.
11 Diocletian's Palace
Even if someone had no plans before going to Split, it would be impossible not to end up in Diocletian's Palace. After giving up his title as the Emperor of Rome, Diocletian built the most luxurious retirement village in existence and spent the rest of his days enjoying life in his seaside estate.
Thousands of residents and eager tourists find their modern place in the remodeled apartments and hotel rooms in the heart of the historic palace. There are several noteworthy attractions at the UNESCO world heritage site, including the cellars where Daenerys Targaryen housed her dragons on HBO's Game of Thrones.
10 Marjan Forest Park
There's more than meets the eye at Marjan Forest Park. Shaded forest trails hugged by lush vegetation carry visitors through a natural paradise brimming with historical sights. Several old chapels and renaissance-era hermit dwellings built into the rock add interest to the trek. From the top of Marjan Hill, travelers will have a panoramic view of Split, its orange roofs and white facades complemented by the azure Adriatic waters. Marjan Forest Park is an ideal place for visitors who need a break from the hustle and bustle of the city.
9 Klis Fortress
Although Klis Fortress isn't in Split proper, it's close enough to warrant a visit. Travelers may once again recognize it from Game of Thrones, but the structure's real-life history is more impressive than a television show. Situated atop a hill high above the surrounding lands, Klis Fortress's rocky foundation blends with the natural scenery. The structure overlooks the city of Split and the Adriatic Sea. The medieval stronghold was used for over 2,000 years as Croatia changed territorial hands. Today, the historical spot is open daily to the public, and visitors can walk the castle at their leisure to admire the impressive craftsmanship.
What better way to get comfortable in a place than by visiting its strangest attraction? Froggyland is a small Split museum featuring hundred-year-old taxidermied frogs doing everything from ballroom dancing and aerobics to rowing and visiting the dentist. The one-of-a-kind spectacle is sure to produce some conversation-starting photos when travelers get back from their trips.
7 Split Island Tours
Its seaside location makes Split the perfect port to travel to the islands off the coast of Croatia. Visitors should set aside a day to take a guided tour, of which there are plenty to choose from. A speedboat, captained by a knowledgeable guide, coasts over the waters, basking tourgoers with a healthy dose of sun and fresh ocean air. The island of Hvar features perfectly purple and fragrant lavender fields, and Bisevo is home to a cave that glows a calming, dreamlike blue.
5 Trstenik Žnjan Beach
For those who'd like to enjoy the water without getting on a boat, look no further than Trstenik Žnjan Beach. While there are several beaches in Split, they are often crowded with tourists, which can make finding a secluded spot to set up a challenge. Though visitors will have to contend with a pebbled shoreline over sand, the views and relative isolation more than make up for it. Calm, crystalline waters shine a breathtaking spectrum of rich greens and blues, and the temperature is perfect for cooling off on a hot day.
4 Ivan Meštrović Gallery
The Ivan Meštrović Gallery displays the extensive works of the famous sculpture artist in a beautiful natural setting. The vibrant lawns give life to Meštrović's masterpieces in the sculpture garden. The interior exhibits more sculptures, as well as a collection of Meštrović's drawings and furniture. With such a gorgeous working space in such a magnificent city, it's no wonder the artist never lost his inspiration.
3 St. Domnius Cathedral
The belltower at St. Domnius Cathedral reaches higher than all the surrounding buildings, coloring Split's skyline in history. The church has been remodeled and added to over the years, underscoring the city's evolution and dedication to preserving the past. The oldest part of the cathedral is Diocletian's mausoleum, a shining white limestone crypt holding the emperor's remains. Guests can roam the church and climb the stairs to the top of the belltower to enjoy panoramic views of the coastal city in all its glory.
2 Republic Square
Visitors to Split should head to Republic Square for a relaxing afternoon of people-watching and lighthearted fun. The curved archways and windows of the colorful neo-Renaissance buildings hugging the square give Venetian vibes. The popular gathering spot has cafes, restaurants, and shops worth checking out. The modern local spirit hangs in the air, and guests will feel like a part of it all while they nurse a cup of Croatian coffee and watch the day go by.
1 Riva Promenade
The Riva Promenade is easily accessible from Republic Square, so after that cup of coffee, travelers can get moving by strolling down the picturesque sidewalks. Palm trees line the seaside boardwalk that runs the length of Split's historic Old Town. The refreshing coastal breeze washes over pedestrians as they take in stunning views of the Adriatic Sea. Riva Promenade is the venue for several events, including the Sudamja Fest, a week-long celebration of Split's patron saint, Domnius.