I’ve just got back from an incredible city break to Split in Croatia. Come and find out all the best things to do, including where to catch the best views, where to eat, day trips and more in my handy Split travel guide!
People often ask me what my favourite countries are, and Croatia is ALWAYS in my top 5. I just love it there. Why do I think it’s so special? For starters, the colour of the water, the incredible landscapes, the ancient cities, the islands… and so much more. It’s no wonder I’ve been every year for the past four years.
I’ve visited Split once before, but only had a day there. This time I visited for three nights and enjoyed a city break with the perfect balance of adventure and relaxation.
Check out my video, then scroll down to find out all about planning the perfect Split city break!
Why Visit Split, Croatia?
With its stunning old town AND a pretty coastline peppered with picturesque islands, Split makes the perfect holiday for those wanting a mix of city and beach. The city itself is one of the most historic in all of Croatia, with Diocletian’s Palace dating back to the 4th Century. Plus, the food scene is great too, with fresh Mediterranean produce, and delicacies including Istrian truffles on menus across the city.
While tourists and cruisers flock to the city in the summer months, it’s worth considering visiting Split in September – October or spring. The weather is still warm and sunny, plus prices are considerably lower.
To help you plan your trip, it’s time for me to reveal a few of my favourite places and top things to do in Split.
Before you go: Don’t forget to take out travel insurance. It’s important to be covered in case of a medical emergency, or losing items during your trip.
Split, Croatia: Top Things To Do In The City For The Best Holiday Ever!
Explore The City On Foot
Split is a very walkable city, so I’d recommend spending a morning exploring the beautiful old town. No doubt you’ll get lost in the skinny streets, but sometimes that’s when you discover something really special!
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Along with historic architecture, ancient ruins and pretty houses, there are cafes, restaurants and shops tucked away. Grab some sweets from pirate-themed Candy Treasures, shop for Croatian delicacies including olive oil, truffles and cheese, and don’t forget to buy a few souvenirs to take home too.
The Riva is Split’s waterfront promenade, and another stunning area to explore. With huge palm trees, smart restaurants with outdoor seating and boats bobbing on the water, it’s one of the prettiest places in Split.
Climb Marjan Hill For The Best Views Of Split
Whooaaaa isn’t Split photogenic?! I could barely walk more than ten paces before reaching for my camera. For me though, the views from Marjan Hill are the best in the city.
It’s a steep, tiring climb up, but 900% worth the effort. Head towards the giant flag on top of the castle-like platform at the top. There’s a café on a terrace about half way up, but I’d save that as your reward on the way down!
The climb to the top of Marjan Hill is without doubt one of the best free things to do in Split!
Top tip: I wouldn’t recommend climbing mid-morning (although that’s exactly when I went!) The sun was in a slightly awkward position, making photography trickier. I’m guessing late afternoon would be the best time, with the warm glow of the sun illuminating the city’s old town.
Visit Nearby Islands On A Boat Trip From Split
If you fancy a day trip from Split, then I’d recommend hopping on a boat tour and exploring some of the nearby islands. I booked a half-day boat trip from Split, which took us to the stunning island of Šolta, The Blue Lagoon and the medieval town of Trogir.
Šolta is SO charming, it felt like we’d turned back the clock. The island’s tranquil promenades and tiny beaches felt like a huge contrast to the buzz of Split. Where we docked there were a few cafes and restaurants, a small fishing harbour with a handful of boats, and the most turquoise water I’d seen in a long time!
The Blue Lagoon is one of the most popular swimming spots in the region. In the summer, lots of boats stop there, giving passengers the chance to swim in the bright azure waters. It looked very inviting!
As we ventured through Trogir’s skinny streets, it felt a bit like a mini version of Split. We were lucky enough to arrive around sunset, enjoying gelato by the water with views of the medieval city walls and the 13th-century Cathedral of St. Lawrence.
Read More: The Best Day Trips From Split
Enjoy Split’s Food Scene
With so many tourists visiting Split each year, you can find pretty much every cuisine imaginable. Definitely visit a konoba (small traditional restaurant) and enjoy some truffle pasta or peka (dish of baked meat and vegetables), washed down with Croatian vino.
Fancy something different? I’d recommend BEPA, a lovely restaurant in one of Split’s main squares, serving tasty and creative dishes, packed full of delicious ingredients. The sesame tuna salad was incredible!
I also loved Maka Maka Split, a casual restaurant specialising in two items – acai bowls and poke bowls. How millennial?! The salmon and tuna poke bowl I had was SO yummy, perfect for a quick lunch! The smoothies and juices were also delicious.
For a bit of naughtiness, head to Yummy and order a bubble waffle. I filled mine with Nutella, cream and topped it with Oreos. Mmmm I could eat one of those right now!
Top tip: While a lot of the restaurants on The Riva look lovely, they tend to be more expensive than the restaurants tucked away a few streets back. It’s definitely worth checking a few menus and reviews before you decide where to go. In high season, try to book one day in advance.
Climb Up Split’s Bell Tower For Stunning Views Of The City
So you’ve already climbed up Marjan Hill? Now it’s time to see the city in a totally new way! The bell tower of the Cathedral of Saint Domnius dates back to the 13th Century, and is the icon of Split. In fact, you can see it from miles away.
After clambering up a few chunky stone steps, it’s a steep climb up several metal staircases to the top of the tower. Views from there are absolutely mesmerising, with rows of orange roofs, epic mountains and the azure of the Adriatic making up the epic panorama. For me, this is easily one of the best things to do in Split!
Top tips: You’ll need to pay in cash to climb the bell tower in Split, but it’s a total bargain at 20 kn (approx. £2.40) a ticket! Also, if you’re looking for the best view of the bell tower itself, head next door to the Ethnographic Museum where you’ll pay 5 kn to climb up to the vestibule terrace.
Enjoy Sunset Cocktails By The Water
The best way to unwind in Split? With a cocktail, watching the sunset. One of my favourite bars is F-Marine, around five minutes walk from the main promenade.
From there you’ll be able to watch as the sun turns the old town a beautiful shade of gold. And yes, it’s even better with a drink in your hand!
Top tip: Arrive early if you want to claim front row seats during high season! Or if you’re on a budget, grab a drink from a convenience store and sit out on the promenade.
Where To Stay In Split, Croatia
There are plenty of hotels and apartments right in the heart of Split. However, space is at a premium, so forget swimming pools and huge bedrooms!
If you fancy something more luxurious, check out one of Thomas Cook’s own brand hotels, Sentido Bluesun Berulia, a luxurious hotel set on a hillside a little way from Split, with some of the best views you’ll ever wake up to! There are two huge swimming pools, a restaurant, bar and a beach just a few steps away.
I hope you find my Split travel guide helpful for planning your adventures in Croatia! Let me know if you have any questions in the comments below!
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