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Splendid Split

Split is sleek, sexy and enough to make any history-fiend positively drool with desire. One of the gems along Croatia’s Dalmatian Coast, Split is bursting with centuries-old architecture, sparkling waters and chic shopping nooks. Move over Dubrovnik, Split is it!

Get your Split adventure underway with some history. Explore Peristil Square, the ancient heart of the city, for Roman architecture, and gaze upon fourth-century remnants at Jupiter’s Temple. Don’t forget to trawl the streets of one the oldest areas in town, Varos, for an antidote to the horrendously ugly apartment blocks surrounding the city. With the cultural stuff done and dusted (for a day, at least), it’s time for some shopping and munchies. Hit up Split’s Pazar for great market finds, kitschy souvenirs and the best cevapi in town.

Split’s Top 10

10. Mestrovic Gallery Plenty of cool sculptures to look at. Ivan Mestrovic is pretty famous round these parts…

5. Riva Split’s harbour area is pretty damn spesh. Come here for fresh seafood, pretty views and a nice tan.

9. Adriatic Islands Feel like a cruise? Hop on a ferry and get out to these pretty islands.

4. Bacvice Beach A stunning beach that majorly packs out in summer. Get there early to tan in peace.

8. Marmontova The place for designer labels, snooty locals and overpriced restaurants. But if you can stand that, enjoy!

3. St Duje Cathedral Pretty, old (and pretty old) and dedicated to the beloved patron saint of the city, St Duje.

7. Museum of Croatian Archaeological Monuments You can find over 20,000 of the city’s oldest artefacts here. Set aside a whole morning – you’ll need it.

2. City Museum of Split Located within palace grounds and a veritable treasure trove of ancient goodies.

6. Marjan Hike to the top of this green hill for the best view of the city and its sparkling harbour.

1. Diocletian’s Palace Discover Split’s Roman roots at this amazing third-century palace. It’s crumbly, but cool!

Split History

  • Diocletian’s Palace – This was once the residence of Emperor Diocletian, protected with stonewalls and gates made of silver, gold and brass.
  • Silver Gate – The eastern gate of the Diocletian Palace and dedicated to Saint Apollinaire.
  • Golden Gate Palace – Built in the late 15th century with medieval architecture, this palace is now a restaurant.
  • Tvrdava Gripe – A fortress from the middle ages in Split once used as a refuge from the Ottoman invasions and is now hosts cultural festivals.
  • Kamerlengo Castle & St Mark’s Tower – A limestone castle that was once a defence system against sieges designed with a renaissance flair.

Split Art & Culture

  • Spaladium Arena – A 12,000-seat entertainment venue that hosts concerts, sport competitions, conferences, operas,and other events.
  • Museum of Croatian Archaeological Monuments – Established in 1893, this museum showcases monuments that illustrate Croatian language and history.
  • Peristil – A square that was once the ceremonial court and currently hosts cultural events.
  • Foto Klub Split – Established in 1911 and is host to national and international photography exhibits.
  • Gradsko Kazaliste Mladih – City youth theatre in Split offering performances by kids and acting, singing and dancing workshops.

Split Shopping

  • Joker Centre – Popular shopping mall with more than 50 shops, skating rink, cinema and a McDonald's.
  • Stari Pazar – An outdoor market in Split that sells fresh food, fast food, clothes and many other items.
  • Marmontova – A street next to the palace that’s a very popular shopping venue in the city.
  • Basement Halls of Diocletian’s Palace – Here you will find various stalls selling souvenirs, jewellery and crafts made by local artists.
  • International Bookshop – The place to find magazines, periodicals and books in various languages.

Split Gay & Lesbian

  • Duilovo Beach – Very popular gay beach with woods that are conducive to cruising.
  • qSport – A sports organization in Split for gay and lesbian athletes and sports enthusiasts.
  • Academia Ghetto Club – A multilevel art gallery and bar in the Diocletian Palace owned by a lesbian couple.
  • Bacvice Neighbourhood – The hottest cruising place for those who do not like the bar and club scene.
  • Gay Cruise – Seven days of sailing on the Adriatic Sea for gay passengers only and a crew that is gay friendly.

Split Outdoor

  • Hvar Island – A Mediterranean-style island accessible by ferry, with a winery and charming little villages.
  • Andautonia Archaeological Park – A 400-year-old ancient Roman town that is still being excavated but is open to visitors.
  • Riva – Seaside promenade in Split with restaurants, bars and cafes and the venue for festivals and concerts.
  • Brela Beach – One of Croatia’s more popular beaches with hideaway coves and lined with pine trees.
  • Croatia Boat Show – Eight-day boat show held each April with hundreds of yachts, sailboats and speedboats on display.

Split Sport

  • Bike or jog on the forest trails of Marjan.
  • Watch the local football team play at Poljud Stadium.
  • Hike along the Fortis Trail.
  • Rock climb the many excellent crags around Split.
  • Go white-water canoeing on the Cetina River.

Split Events

Any Croatian pop fans out there? The Split Pop Music Festival is held every February and is a mega-feast of teenybopper treats – even if you don’t understand a word.

Split’s summer is already a three-month party, but when the Split Summer Festival comes to town in July/August, it gets even buzzier. Celebrate the city with a bunch of concerts, plus various dance shows, theatre and parades.

The International Festival of New Film in September presents some rather experimental films in every single genre you can think of, from horror to drama. Expect a lot of weirdo movie peeps and hipsters.

If you’re a boat fanatic, you can’t miss April’s Croatia Boat Show. Hundreds of boats congregate at Diocletian Palace to show off their shininess to the jet-setting elite.

When To Go

  • Split has a warm, dry summer and a wet, chilly winter. Max temps for summertime sit at around 28ºC (83ºF) and around 7ºC (45ºF) in winter.
  • November takes the title of rainiest month.
  • January is the peak of winter, while summer brings the crowds from June to August.

Getting Around

  • Buses are Split’s only mode of public transport. They’re a little pricey, but convenient and efficient.
  • Hiring a car is probably the best way to move around Split if you don’t mind forking out for parking.
  • Taxis are the go after midnight and before 5 a.m., when there are no buses running.

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