This elegant Croatian waterfront city on the Dalmatian coast is compact (making it walkable), historic (being built around an ancient palace) and highly likeable (with a lovely climate from early Spring onwards). Go and explore a touch of ancient civilisation by the sea, rich in life and full of colour.
Aside from the Old Town’s boutiques and souvenir stalls (of which there are some great examples in the basement of the palace), the dedicated shopping area you’re most likely to come across is Split’s daily market. Located right next to the ferry wharf, it’s an enjoyable place to browse even if you’re not buying, with fresh produce for sale alongside clothes, knick-knacks and all manner of other ephemera. In terms of mall shopping, City Center One (Vukovarska 207) markets itself as the biggest in Dalmatia and houses everything from an Adidas store to an H&M. The new Mall of Split (Domovinskog Rata) is another fresh option.
Food & Drink
Italian food is a thick influence along much of Croatia’s coastline, and this is certainly felt in Split. Pasta, pizza and risotto are all commonplace, with seafood also a dominant presence on menus. Nostromo (Kraj Svete Marije 10), aptly located next to the fish market, is arguably the best place in town to sample traditional seafood recipes. Pizzeria Galija (Tončićeva 12) is an affordable option with good pizzas, while Trattoria Bajamont (Bajamontijeva 3) offers fish dishes, pasta and risotto. Elsewhere, Buffet Fife (Trumbićeva Obala 11) is something of an institution, renowned among locals for its Dalmatian home cooking.
Croatia Boat Show
Drawing the great and the good of the nautical world, this annual exhibition showcases some of the most advanced yachts and vessels on the market today. If you’re not a millionaire, it’s still fun to attend.
Festival of Street Performers
A gathering of buskers and entertainers spread over more than a fortnight, with performances and plays held each evening. It draws numerous international performers and uses many of the city’s squares and streets.
Split Summer Festival
Primarily dedicated to opera, this celebration of stage arts holds productions by hand-picked theatres from the international scene. Other events spring up around the festival, among them jazz concerts, exhibitions, plays and ballets.
Days of Diocletian
Essentially a mass mock-up of the days of the Roman Empire, this yearly happening sees participants dressing up in togas and tunics to bring a slice of living history to Diocletian’s Palace. Expect vintage carriages and staged re-enactments of classical scenes.
Split Film Festival
A week-long festival of new film, running since the mid-1990s and now established as a valuable platform for domestic and international filmmakers. Radical works are common – Lars von Trier is a previous guest.
The remains of Diocletian’s Palace are Split’s undisputed centrepiece, so proximity to this core attraction is always a selling point for hotels. Sitting just a minute away, Hotel Marmont (Zadarska 13) therefore draws plenty of attention, with each of its 21 rooms offering at least partial views of the palace. Also within Split’s UNESCO-listed Old Town is St Luke Residence (Kraj Svetog Luke 29), which offers rooms and self-catering apartments, while always notable for those on a budget is the funky Goli+Bosi Design Hostel (Morpurgova Poljana 2). Further out of town, the Radisson Blu Resort Split (Put Trstenika 19) is a classy seafront option.