SPLIT - THE BEST STARTING POINT FOR SAILING HOLIDAYS IN CROATIA

Located in the central Dalmatia region on a small peninsula between mountains and sea Split is the second-largest city in Croatia and the largest on the Adriatic coast. A typical Mediterranean city with a small town vibe Split offers the right balance of tradition and modernity.  Once considered as just the gateway to the islands it is deservedly becoming a destination in its own right.  Besides the city’s main landmark – Diocletian palace – there are so much more to see and to do in Split, it all depends on your personal likings and the length of your stay.


Its central location on the Eastern Adriatic coast makes Split the best starting point for sailing holidays in Croatia since from Split you can go either to the south or to the north choosing amongst the numerous possible sailing routes and it is also easily accessible by any means of transport: plane, car, ferry, train, bus.
Once that you have booked your sailing holidays from Split organize your schedule in the way that you will have at least a few hours for a visit to this remarkable city since it is surely worth it.

split optimizirano za web ivo biocina
SPLIT, AUTHOR: IVO BIOČINA, SOURCE: HTZ, CROATIAN TOURIST BOARDWWW.CROATIA.HR

THE MOST IMPORTANT LANDMARKS OF SPLIT

Diocletian Palace

1700 years ago the Roman Emperor Diocletian gave up the throne and decided to build a palace on the peninsula just next to the Roman city of Salona to spend his retirement there. During the course of the years, the Palace turned into a city, the city of Split. The Palace and the entire historical centre have been on UNESCO’s list since 1979 not only for the Palace being one of the best preserved Roman monuments in the world but also because it continues to live, it is full of shops, restaurants, cafes, museums, bars, apartments ….There are about 3,000 people residing in this part of the town.

diocletian palace original look  diocletian palace todays look
DIOCLETIAN PALACE, SOURCE: commons.wikimedia.org                                              DIOCLETIAN PALACE REMAINS, SOURCE: commons.wikimedia.org 

The Four Gates

Diocletian’s palace can be entered through four gates, all named after four different metals: Bronze gate, Golden gate, Silver gate and Iron gate.

Diocletian palace golden gate              SILVER GATE DIOCLETIANS PLACE SPLIT CROATIA
GOLDEN GATE, SPLIT, CROATIA                    SILVER GATE, SPLIT, CROATIA
SOURCE: flickr.com                                            SOURCE: commons.wikimedia.com

Cathedral of Saint Domnius

Saint Duje, as the Saint is locally known, is the Patron Saint of Split. Today’s Cathedral of Saint Dominus was originally built to be Diocletian’s mausoleum. It holds the record for being the oldest Catholic cathedral in the world that remains in use in its original structure. Make sure to climb the Bell Tower for a stunning view of the entire city and the central Dalmatian islands.

st dominus cathedral split
ST DOMINUS CATHEDRAL SPLIT, SOURCE: flickr.com

Peristyle

Colonnaded ancient Roman courtyard (or peristyle) is the central square of the Palace. It is placed in front of the Cathedral of Saint Dominus (ex Diocletian’s Mausoleum) and it used to be a place where Diocletian would appear to be worshipped as the son of Jupiter and it was at the entrance to the Emperor’s living quarters.  Today it is the favourite place of both the citizens of Split and tourists for a break over a cup of coffee on the stairs encircling the square.  Thanks to its unique acoustics, the Peristyle is used for theatre performances during the summer.

Peristyle Square Split
PERISTYLE SQUARE SPLIT, SOURCE. commons.wikimedia.org

Statue of Gregory of Nin (Grgur Ninski)

Imposing 6 feet tall statue created by famous Croatian sculptor Ivan Meštrović is placed just our of the Golden gate. Rub his thumb for good luck and realization of desires. 

Gregory of Nin statue Split
GREGORY OF NIN STATUE, SOURCE. commons.wikimedia.org

People’s Square or Piazza

It is the main square in Split but it is not inside the walls of Diocletian Palace, but just outside of it, you reach it passing through the Iron gate, one of the four gates of the Palace. One of the stunning buildings on Piazza is the first town hall. Many restaurants and cafes with outdoor seating are to be found on Piazza nowadays.

people's square piazza Split
PEOPLE'S SQUARE - PIAZZA, SPLIT, SOURCE: flickr.com

Fruit Square

Or officially Square of Radić brothers derives its name from the fact that in the past the women from the surrounding villages sold their fruit there. This small square is full of life in its cafes, restaurants and shops. In the central part of the square is placed the monument to the “father” of Croatian literature Marko Marulić.

fruit square split

Prokurative

Large square situated west of Riva promenade with the fountain in front of it is officially called the Republic Square and it was designed as a replica of St.Mark’s Square in Venice. The square got its popular name Prokurative from the porticoes that it is surrounded with.   

Varoš

An old Split borough situated at the foot of Marjan hill, west of the Palace’s walls. Characteristic for its typical Mediterranean stone houses and steep narrow streets, Varoš once was the settlement of Split fishermen and farmers while today it is the place of modern tourist accommodation, fancy restaurants and shops.

Veli Varoš Split      
VAROŠ SPLIT, SOURCE: commons.wikimedia.org              

MUSEUMS AND GALLERIES

Split City Museum

While the permanent museum exhibition relates to the growth and development of Split over the centuries many will find the home to Split City Museum itself, the splendid gothic palace – Papalić Palace,  built by native master Juraj Dalmatinac more interesting to pay a visit than a museum itself. The museum also contains a gallery of Emanuel Vidovic, one of the most important Split painters of the 20th century.

Archaeological Museum

The Archaeological Museum of Split founded in 1820. is the oldest museum in Croatia. It is the house to intriguing archaeological objects from different periods of colonization in the Dalmatia area. Greek, Roman, Medieval Ages and Early Christian artefacts are preserved and displayed, many of which come from Salona.

Mestrovic Gallery

Ivan Mestrovic is the best known modern sculptor of Croatia. What is now the gallery dedicated to him was his residence in the period from 1931 to 1939. The gallery houses many of his great pieces.

Meštrović gallery SplitMEŠTROVIĆ GALLERY SPLIT, SOURCE: commons.wikimedia.org  

Ethnographic Museum

Ethnographic Museum is located next to Peristyle, the central square of the Palace. Exhibited are extremely valuable ethnographic collections presenting how the citizens of Split, the Islanders and the peasants of Dalmatian hinterland used to live.

THINGS TO DO DO

Shop On Green Market – “Pazar” & Fish Market – “Peškarija”

The two markets in Split are not adjacent, they are placed on the opposite sides of the old town of Split – Green Market on the east and Fish one on the west but both are worths visiting whether or not you need to buy anything. On Green Market offer is very wide from the fresh veggies and fruits, olive oil, grappas, cheeses, bacon, prosciutto to clothes, tools, electronics and similar.

The Fish Market is limited to the fish and seafood offered by local fishermen. While Green Market is an outdoor market, Fish Market is partially indoor, located in an architecturally interesting building built in Secession style.   

green market split    fish market split
GREEN MARKET SPLIT, SOURCE: commons.wikimedia.org FISH MARKET SPLIT, SOURCE: commons.wikimedia.org

Climb The Marjan Hill

Marjan, nicknamed “the lungs of Split”, one of the best-known symbols of Split is wooded hill which dominates the centre of Split and waterfront promenade. It can be reached from various sides but if you are looking for the best view of Split and surrounding area take the way from the city centre to “Prva Vidilica” .

Pogled s marjanske vidilice
VIEW FROM MARJAN SPLIT - VIDILICA , SOURCE: commons.wikimedia.com

Walk The Promenade – “Riva”

Palm-lined waterfront promenade called “Riva” is the iconic place in Split, it’s the place to see and be seen. It is the stage for all the happenings in Split: New Eve celebration, protests, strikes, concerts. Riva is the place where citizens of a Split stroll, meet, interact and take a coffee in one of the many cafes that the Riva is flanked with.

Palm trees along the harbors promenade

ONE DAY TRIPS FROM SPLIT

TROGIR

UNESCO protected the old town of Trogir is located on an island and connected with the bridges with the mainland and the Čiovo island. This city–museum is known for the well-preserved buildings of Renaissance, baroque and Romanesque style. The best-known sites include the Cathedral of St. Lawrence, Cipiko Palace, Kamerlengo Castle and St. Mark's Tower,  the City Gates: Land Gate and The Clock Tower and City Loggia.

TrogirTROGIR, SOURCE: coomins.wikimedia.org

SOLIN – ANTIQUE SALONA RUINS

In Roman time Salona was the administrative centre of Roman province of Dalmatia. With 60.000 inhabitants it was the 4th largest town in Roman Empire destroyed in the 7th century by the attacks of Avars and Slavs. Today the remains of the monumental buildings like amphitheatre and forums, temples and thermae witness of those great times of Salona. Salona remains are located in the city of Solin.     

salonaANTIQUE SALONA RUINS, SOURCE: commons.wikimedia.com

KLIS FORTRESS

A medieval fortress situated on a mountain pass between Mosor and Kozjak Mountains, some 15 km from Split. In the last years it has become popular as Game of Thrones filming spot but in the past, it had the significant defensive role and it is an excellent example of fortification architecture in Dalmatia. From Klis fortress, you can also enjoy spectacular views over Split and the islands.

Klis fortress
KLIS FORTRESS, SOURCE: commons.wikimedia.com

KRKA FALLS

One of the Croatian most beautiful national parks encompasses the area along the course of the Krka River, which flows through a picturesque canyon for over 75 km and creates roaring waterfalls. Unlike most of the other national parks of this kind you are allowed to swim in the Krka river and the various waterfalls, including the most famous waterfall Skradinski Buk.

 krka falls
KRKA FALLS NATIONAL PARK, SOURCE: pixabay.com 

WHERE TO EAT IN SPLIT?

The gastro scene in Split has gone through the real revolution in the recent years. Diverse eateries have been opening on the almost daily basis. The offer is huge and where to go depends on what kind of food you are looking for. Generally, most restaurants in Split stick to tried local dishes that include grill, stew, risotto and pasta, but as everywhere else there are always those who stand out, those who don’t compromise with the ingredients and quality of service and efficiently incorporate modern culinary trends into the traditional Dalmatian cuisine.

Fine dining

Zrno Soli – in ACI marina Split – Fair Wind’s base marina, details - recommended by Michelin in 2018. guide
Dvor – 20 minutes from centre,details - recommended by Michelin in 2018. guide
Kadena – 30 minutes from centre, details - recommended by Michelin in 2018. guide
Zoi -
Diocletian palace next to the entrance to basements on Riva waterfront - recommended by Michelin in 2018. guide 
Augubio Congo – in the city center, close to Peristyle, details
Konoba Nikola – in Stobreč, 10 km from Split, details
Para di šoto - city center, details

Mid – scale

Portofino – city center, details
Articok – city center, details
Kasa Bar & Grill – in Stobreč. 10 km from Split, detalis
Chops Grill Steak & Seafood – city center, details

Food & Wine bars

Paradox Wine & Cheese bar – city centre, details
Zinfandel Food & Wine bar – city center, details 
Bokeria Kitchen & Wine – city center, details

Local taverns – “konobas”

Konoba Fetivi ex Matejuška - city center, details - recommended by Michelin in 2018. guide
Vila Spiza
– city center, details
Konoba Marjan - city center, details
Konoba Matoni - city center, details
Konoba kod Hvaranina - city center

Cheap Eats

Kantun Paulina – the best “čevapčići” in Split, details 
Zlatna ribica – fresh inexpensive sea food, details
Fife - inexpensive local dishes, fish and meat, details
Sexy cow - fast food - burgers, wraps… , details
Toto’s burger bar – city center, details
To je Tako – Mexican, details

Vegetarian

Macrovega – city center, details

Patisserie

Oš kolač - citc center, details 

ACCOMMODATION IN SPLIT

In recent years Split has witnessed a rapid increase of accommodation offer, mostly private apartments but many new charming hotels and hostels have been opened as well. Although all of them are either on booking.com or Airbnb.com but with this abundance of accommodation, it’s not always easy to choose the right place to stay.  We offer you here a few recommendations:    

Boutique hotels

Palace Judita Heritage Hotel - city center, details 
Hotel Vestibul Palace - Diocletian palace, details 
Villa Split - Diocletian palace, details

5-stars

Hotel Park - close to center, details 
Hotel Radissonblu -  close to the beach, details

4-stars

Hotel Marmont - city cente, details 
 Hotel Marul - city center , details  
Hotel Cornaro - city center, details 

3-stars

Villa Diana - 5 minutes from center, details  
Hotle Peristil - Diocletian palace, details 

Private accomodation – apartments & rooms

Kastel Split - Diocletian palace, details   
InThePalace - Diocletian palace, details 
Divota - Varoš, city center, details 
Meje apartments - close to marina, details 
Piano apartment - close to marina, details
Solin apartment - suburb of Split, large, good price, parking, garden, close to the shopping center Mall of Solin , details , contact