How to spend a few days in Split, Croatia

We visited Croatia for a summer holiday and kicked off our two weeks in one of the country's largest cities, Split. (For our full two week itinerary, see here)

Due to how well connected Split is (with excellent train, air, bus and ferry links), it is often considered as just a location to pass through, but it has so much more to offer than just a transit hub.

You could easily pass the time with a couple of days just wandering through Split’s pedestrianised streets, admiring the Roman-Venetian architecture, walking around the marina, hitting the shops or taking it slow and spending a couple of hours with a long lunch.

Split is also perfectly suited as a destination to base yourself if you want to explore further afield - the travel links in Split make day-tripping really easy. From Split, you can explore the town of Trogir and Krka National park, as well as the islands of Hvar and Brac.

Here’s my top recommendations for things to do whilst in Split:

Visit the Historic Sights of the city

Split is full of gorgeous Roman-Venetian Architecture and most of the sights are close together, in easy walking distance from one another. If you want to learn a little more about the history of the buildings and the city, there are several walking tours you can book onto, however it’s just as pleasant to go it alone, as we did.

Diocletian’s Palace Complex

The palace, which was once inhabited by a Roman emperor, sits within a large complex of the same name in the centre of the city and the impressive buildings that make up the palace complex are still the focal point of the city today, with many businesses operating both within and around the complex. In the square outside the palace itself, there is often live music playing at night, which is a great way to spend an evening.

Diocletian's Palace in Split

The square outside Diocletian's Palace

Golden Gate - This 4th century gate made out of Roman stone is the main entrance to Diocletian's Palace. In front of the gate is Park Jospia, a small park with a bandstand where live music is played on the weekends. There are also market stalls which line the edge of the park.

People's square (Pjaca) - There are so many restaurants and businesses surrounding this square, as well as impressive historical buildings. One of the main buildings is the 15th town hall which is now used as a museum.

Golden Gate and People's Square

Other important buildings within the palace complex are:

Diocletian’s palace cellars - explore the cellars of the palace, where some local businesses have stalls in the archways.

Saint Domnius Cathedral - a 4th century roman cathedral with a bell tower

Jupiter’s temple - a 3rd century roman temple which houses an Egyptian sphinx.

You could spend a day walking through the city, down little alleyways and admiring the buildings, and visiting the cafes along the way.

Diocletian's Palace Cellars and wandering through the streets of the palace complex

Riva and The Marina

The waterfront boardwalk is lively all day and all night. There are Market stalls on the waterfront and restaurants line the main boardwalk - perfect for watching the world go by.

Further along the Riva boardwalk is the Marina. The restaurants and bars near the marina are slightly quieter and more spread out than along the main boardwalk.

The view from Split Marina across to the main Riva at night

The view from the Marina across to the main Riva

Marjan Hill

The Marjan forest park sits on the edge of Split, stretching out for 3km, surrounded by the sea. The best way to explore the forest park is on foot. You can either just walk up to the Marjan Hill Telegrin lookout point or spend several hours exploring the whole forest. To start the walk to Marjan hill, follow the main boardwalk towards the marina, along the main road, then take the small pedestrian road of Solurat Ul. This road will take you to the bottom of the Marjan stairs, which is signposted.

You’ll first reach an observation deck, which is a great place to catch your first glimpse of the view over the marina. Continue up until you reach The church of St Nicholas, where you’ll be able to take a rest and take in more of the view.

Walking up more steps to St Nicolas Church!

From St Nicholas church, it is more of a hike to reach the Telegrin lookout, but the view from the top is worth it! After you’ve caught your breath and taken in the 360 degree view, you can either retrace your steps back down to the city or explore the forest park a little more, which is what we did.

The view from the Telegrin lookout in Split's Marjan Forest Park

The view across Split and the mountain range is gorgeous

Leaving Telegrin, we followed the main road through the park, using the hiking trails parallel to the road until we reached St Jereome Church, and sitting behind the church are Hermitage caves, (small cave-dwellings built into the cliffside).

From here, we made our way towards to waterfront to Kasjuni beach and after spending a few hours relaxing here, followed the main road back through the upscale residential area of Meje, to the marina.

The Marjan forest park is a gem within Split, where the hustle and bustle of the city feels miles away. I would definitely recommend spending some time here whilst your in Split.

Visit Split’s beaches

Bacvice beach

Located on the other side of the ferry and cruise port, this beach is closer to the city and therefore more accessible, but definitely not as pretty as Kasjuni beach. The other draw with this beach is that it is a sandy beach and the water is shallow. There are also several bars and restaurants that line the far edge of the waterfront, past the beach.

Firule beach

You can walk from Bacvice beach, along the waterfront, past the lively bars to Firule beach. This sandy beach is much quieter than Bacvice beach and has just a low-key cafe on the edge.

Kasjuni beach

Kasjuni beach is in the affluent neighbourhood of Meje, surrounded by the Marjan forest Park. We walked to Kasjuni beach from Marjan Hill, but you can drive or take a bus from Split. The pebble beach is very popular and the car park did get very busy, so bear that in mind if you are driving. At the entrance to the beach, there are a couple of lounge bars where you can grab some lunch or drinks, but there are no shops nearby. The beach was very busy but we managed to find a little spot to relax and spend a couple of hours. The water was so crystal clear, it was beautiful, although the pebbles that make up the beach here are almost like rocks, so if you have water shoes, I would highly recommend!

Kasjuni Beach in the Meje Neighbourhood of Split

Kasjuni Beach in the Meje Neighbourhood of Split

Day trips from Split

As I mentioned at the start, Split is very well connected for travel to and from the city, by bus, rail, air and boat. This means that it is a great place to base yourself to explore the surrounding area with day trips.


Hvar is one of Croatia’s most popular tourist islands and the proximity from Split makes it perfect for a day trip. There are a couple of different companies that run crossings from Split to Hvar - we went with Jadrolinija as it was slightly cheaper and only 10 minutes longer, at just over an hour each way. The ferries run regularly throughout the day, with the last one leaving Hvar at 9.30pm back to split, meaning you can spend the entire day here. Read my blog post on spending a day in Hvar Town.

The view across Hvar bay from the Spanish Fortress in Hvar Town

The view across Hvar bay from the Spanish Fortress in Hvar Town


Another of Croatia’s most popular islands, Brac can be easily reached by Jadrolinija ferries. One of Brac’s most well-known features is Zlatni Rat, a horn shaped golden sand beach close to the tourist resort of Bol. However, this is located on the other side of the Island, so it may be difficult to visit this in a day trip from Split. The ferry from Split will take you to Supetar on Brac Island, which is a small resort town set around a pretty harbour.


The town of Trogir was designated a UNESCO heritage site due to the number of historical sites. It is only 17 miles from Split and can be reached by taxi, car or bus. It’s perfect for a day out wandering the town and enjoying a lazy lunch by the waterfront boardwalk.

Krka National Park

This national park is only 1 hour 30 minutes from Split, so it can be reached as a day trip if you book onto an excursion. Though, we hired a car for a few days, so we drove to Krka and spent the day here on our way to Zadar. Read about our experience at Krka National park, here.

Swim in the waterfall at Krka National Park

Take a trip to Krka National Park from Split

Split really does have a lot to offer - with historical buildings, beaches, a forest park and within easy reach to other places of interest, I loved it. If you're planning a trip to Croatia, and have read this, hopefully it has inspired you to spend a couple of days enjoying Split, rather than just passing through.

All links on this website are my own recommendations or sites I found useful when planning and are not affiliated. I do not receive any commission from including these links within this blog.

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