Split is second-largest city in Croatia, Split (‘Spalato’ in Italian) is more exciting than relaxing. Free form mass tourism and always buzzing, this city has just the right balance of tradition and modernity. Step inside remarkable Diocletian’s Palace (a World Heritage site and one of the world`s most impressive Roman monuments) and you`ll see dozens of bars, restaurants and shops thriving amid the atmospheric old walls where Split life has been going on for thousands of years. Split`s unique setting and exuberant nature make it one of the most delectable cities in Europe.
Split is often seen mainly as a transport hub to the hip nearby islands (which, indeed, it is), but the city has been sprucing itself up and attracting attention by renovating the old Riva (seafront) and replacing the former cement strolling ground with a new marble look. The entire western end of town is a vast, wooded mountain park with beaches below and pathways above. A refurbished harbourside promenade lined with cafés makes for a pleasant stroll, and the high coastal mountains set against the blue Adriatic provide a striking frame, best appreciated as your ferry heads into or out of the port.
Riva promenade is your best central reference point in Split. Most of the large hotels and the restaurants, nightlife and beaches lie east of the harbour along Bačvice, Firule, Zenta and Trstenik Bays. The wooden Marjan Hill dominates the western tip of the city and has many beaches at its foothills.
Facing the harbour, Diocletian`s palace is one of the most imposing Roman ruins in existence and the place you`ll spend most of your time while in Split. Don`t expect a palace though, not a museum – this is the living heart of the city.
Cathedral of St Domnius
Split`s cathedral was built as Diocletian`s mausoleum. The original octagonal form of the mausoleum, encircled by 24 columns, has been almost completely preserved.
Temple of Jupiter
The headless sphinx in black granite guarding the entrance was imported from Egypt at the time of temple`s construction in the 5th century. Beneath the temple of Jupiter is a crypt, which was once used as church.
Although mostly empty, basement halls save an exhibit or two, the rooms and corridors underneath the Diocletian`s palace exude a haunting timelessness that is well worth the price of a ticket.
Gregorius of Nin
Sculpture of the 10th century Croatian bishop Gregorius of Nin fought for the right to us old Croatian liturgical services. His left big toe has been polished to a shine – it`s said that rubbing the toe brings good luck and guarantees that you`ll come back to Split.
FESTIVALS & EVENTS
This traditional February event sees locals dressing up and dancing in the streets for two very fun days.
Feast of St Duje
Otherwise known as Split Day, this 7 May feast involves much singing and dancing all around the city.
World Championship in Picigin
For the last seven years, locals have been shoving off their picigin skills competitively at this fun early June event in Bačvice beach.
Festival Pop Music
Four days of music held around the end of June or early July.
Split Summer, Jazz and film festival
From mid July to mid August Split summer festival will provide all features like opera, where Split comes alive with jazz in venues around town. Movie festival focus on new international films and screens lots of art-house movies; held in mid September.
Is the most popular beach, awarded with a Blue Flag eco label. This sandy beach with good swimming and lively ambience is where you`ll find picigin games. There are other beaches further east where you can enjoy in local atmosphere.
For an afternoon away from the city buzz, Marjan (178m) is the perfect destination, considered the lungs of city, this hilly nature reserve offers trails through fragment pine forests, scenic lookouts and ancient chapels.
Seafront of Marjan
Another lovely walk to the beach is along the seafront of Marjan, entering at ACI Marina in the Meje neighbourhood, continuing on the Sustipan peninsula on the southwestern point of Split`s harbour.
NIGHT CLUBS & BARS
An absolute MUST do, is to spend one evening hanging out in the old town, you would love the ambient of the bars Puls, Ghetto and Gaga just to mention a few, prices are fairly decent 20 kuna for a beer or long drink and 35 – 40 kuna for a good cocktail. Once you finish in the old town, you might want to continue the party in one of Splits discotheques, at Bačvice you have Club Tropic and Club Bačvice which is for the younger audience, close to Stadium you have Hemmingway and Vanilla, especially Vanilla is a great looking place.
RESTAURANTS & FOOD
Top restaurants in town with best cuisine that represent the true Mediterranean food with fair price and big meals will fill any empty stomach in these top restaurants:
FIFE, BISTRO TOĆ, GALIJA, ŠPERUN, PERUN, BOBAN AND VELO MISTO.
Best meals that every visitor need to try are following: grill fish (Tuna, Orada, Srdela ), squid-ink risotto, octopus salad and brujet (fish or seafood stew with wine, onions and herbs, served with polenta). Dalmatian pašticada (beef stew with wine and spices), squid with shrimp or with white risotto and rožata (Croatian crème brulee).