Split is situated in the warmest region of the northern Mediterranean coast. 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”. Because of its…
Split is situated in the warmest region of the northern Mediterranean coast. 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”.
Because of its central location and a history that spans more than 1,700 years, Split has a rich variety of cultural, archeological and historical monuments. The crown jewel is The Roman Emperor Diocletian’s Palace.
In the year 295 AD, the Roman emperor Diocletian began building his retirement palace right on the main harbour and was finally completed after 10 years. The palace, built using white stone from the island of Brač, marble from Italy & Greece, and columns and sphinx from Egypt, which measures approxiamtely 215 metersby 180 meters within walls 2m thick and 25m high.
This palace is today the heart of the inner-city of Split where all the most important historical buildings can be found. The importance of Diocletian’s Palace far transcends local significance because of its level of preservation and the buildings of succeeding historical periods, stretching from Roman times onwards, which form the very tissue of old Split. The Palace is one of the most famous and integral architectural and cultural constructs on the Croatian Adriatic coast and holds an outstanding place in the Mediterranean, European and world heritage.
In November 1979 UNESCO, in line with the international convention concerning the cultural and natural heritage, adopted a proposal that the historic Split inner city, built around the Palace, should be included in the register of the World Cultural Heritage.
Just outside the northern gate of the Palace is sculptor Ivan Mestrovic’s famous monumental statue of Grgur Ninski where you can join the millions of travellers who come here to have their photo taken and have rub his toe for “good luck”.
What to see in Split?
Take a tour within and around Diocletian’s palace and see:
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.
Statue of Gregorius of Nin – don’t forget to touch his toe for good luck!
Visit the other museums in Split
– Archaeological Museum – it is a modernized structure built in 1976 that houses 3,000 pieces of sculpture, weapons, tools, and other pieces mostly from the Medieval period.
– City museum – The City museum is situated in the Papulic palace. It has a collection of weapons, some artworks from Medieval period through the 18th century, and some pictures and books of the city history, in addition to the city statue, coins and seals
– Mestrović Gallery – Ivan Mestrovic was widely considered one of the most important sculptors of the 20th century.
– Ethnographic Museum – The museum is easy to reach: jest behind the Vestibule (on Persitil square) one can easily see the sign. It moved there only recently. The ethnography of the whole of Dalmatia is represented. The most typical costumes of all the Dalmatian regions are on dislay: the clothing from Ravni Kotari, Knin, Vrlika, Imotski, Poljica… Dalmatian (and Croatian in general) traditional costumes are extremely intricate and unique in design and sharing a lot with the very ancient traditions of pre-christian cultures: both Slavic and Illyrian.
Explore Marjan Hill (a nature reserve 3.5 km long overlooking the city center)
– Take a stroll or jog around the many trails across Marjan, bike rental also available
– Climb to Telegrin and get a panaromic view of surroundings
Go to the beach
Sunbathe and swim on the beach at Bačvice. 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. 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.
Split Airport 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. Airport buses run from the terminal to the city and stop at the eastern end of ‘Riva’. 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. Taxis will also take you into town.
Split train station is right in the city centre, it is a few minutes walk from the port and from the old town. Trains run between Split and Zagreb, Split and Perković (where you can change for Šibenik).
Frequent buses run to and from Zagreb, Dubrovnik, Šibenik, Zadar, Rijeka etc. You can get detailed information on AK Split about departure and arrival times.
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 Brač, Hvar, Šolta, Vis, Korčula 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.
From Split to the sea and islands
When you’d like to explore outside the city, you can take a ferry to the beautiful islands of Brač, Hvar, Korčula, Vis and Šolta. Their rich cultural and historic heritage dates back to pre-historic times.
Bol on the island of Brač is where you can find the well-known Zlatni rat (Golden Cape) beach, whose shape changes depending on the direction of the wind and waves. Composed primarily of limestone and dolomite, the quarries of the island of Brac have been a source of stone for building decorative stonework for centuries.
Island of Hvar is consider to be one of the 10 most beautiful islands in the world with its vast fields of lavender, ancient olive trees and vineyards, in pristine harmony between man and nature.
Further more to the south you can explore Marko Polo’s island of Korčula (the world’s famous seafarer and adventurer), with its cultural and historical heritage , crystal clear sea and preserved customs such as Moreska sword dance which symbolizes a battle between Christians and Moslems.
The island of Vis is know for its beautiful limpid waters and a protected submarine world rich with sunken ships and magic images that have existed for centuries. Sail out to nameless bays, to Biševo, to the Blue Cave, famous for its unique reflection of shades of blue and silver.
Šolta island produces one of the best honies in Europe, made from locally-grown rosemary.
From Split to mainland
Only 10kms from Split are the ruins of Salona, the one-time capital of Roman Dalmatia where more than 60 000 citizens lived; and the craggy-top fortress of Klis, an Ottoman bastion for 150 years.
The beautiful mediaeval town of Trogir is a very popular tourist destination and its cathedral is one of the most beautiful in Croatia and the winding streets bordered by tall stone houses are breath taking. Trogir is listed in the register of UNESCO’s World Cultural Heritage sites, but is by no means a museum town.
South of Split rising directly above beautiful beaches is the massif of Biokovo Nature Park of which it is said that “its feet are in the sea, and its forehead in lightning.” Its peak of Sveti Juraj (St. George), standing 1762 metres above sea level, offers a clear view on sunny days to the most distant islands on the open sea.
The old pirate city of Omiš, along with Cetina river and its canyon of magnificent beauty is an unforgettable experience. The city is know as the best place for rafting in all of Dalmatia.
The small city of Sinj and the district of Cetina, bordered by Svilaja and Kamesnica is rich with waters, woods and fertile soil. In memory of glorious Croatian victory over Turkish troops, the people of Sinj have celebrated festival every first Sunday of August for almost three centuries called the Alka. Young riders in period costumes remember their brave ancestors with a chivalrous horse-riding and skills competition.