Cobblestone alley in Split Croatia

Split Croatia: Everything You Need to Know About Exploring the Old Town

Planning Your Trip To Split Croatia? Do not miss the chance to wander the city exploring the historic Old Town of Split Croatia. Split, is a vibrant city filled with a mix of medieval, baroque and renaissance architecture. Shops, cafes and restaurants line the vibrant cobblestone alleyways. The waterfront promenade (Riva) is the perfect place for an evening meal or drink. Split is a UNESCO world heritage site that can be your starting point for exploring the rest of Dalmatia.

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History of Split Croatia’s Old Town

Originally settled by the Greek colony of Aspálathos, Split’s rise to fame came in the 3rd century when the Roman Emperor Diocletian ordered his retirement home be built here. Measuring over 30,000 m2 it would remain a palace and/or military fortress until the fall of the Western Roman Empire. In the 7th century during the invasion of the Slavs and Avars, local residents in the surrounding areas used it for refuge, bringing new life into the old palace. It has been inhabited ever since. While exploring the old town of Split Croatia, you can sense the history around every corner!

Where to Stay When Visiting Split Croatia

While exploring the Old Town of Split you can find accommodations for all budgets of travel, right near the sites

  • Luxury Accommodations Murum Heritage Hotel – Excellent hospitality with an on site restaurant nestled Diocletian’s palace
  • Mid Range Accommodations – Hotel Luxe – 400 metres from Diocletians palace and 500 metres from the beach. Great rooms with the option for a view of the Adriatic
  • Budget Accommodations – Antares Luxury Rooms – 600 Metres from Diocletian’s palace and only 250 metres from the beach

For more places to stay , you can check the latest prices below

How to get to Split Croatia

Flights are abundant in and out of Split (SPU). The airport is located 12km from the Old Town. It’s a short bus or taxi ride to get there. You can check the best prices for flights in the customizable box below.

Alternatively, if you are already in Croatia, planes, buses and trains are readily available with frequent departures from many cities within Croatia.

What to See and Do while Exploring the Old Town in Split Croatia

The Entire Old Town of Split Croatia is Diocletian’s former palace. It’s worth spending a few days exploring the Old Town of Split Croatia to soak up the amazing vibes in this magical city. Diocletian’s old stomping grounds contain many points of interest of that you should definitely see.

Cathedral of St. Domnius

St Domnius Cathedral is the oldest Catholic cathedral in the world which remains in use in its original structure. Built as a tomb for the emperor Diocletian it was later converted into a cathedral. Diocletian was not too kind to Christians during his lifetime, so instead of destroying his tomb, the early Chrisitians thought there to be no better revenge than to turn his tomb into a cathedral. The neighbouring bell tower was constructed in the 12th century to add a little more salt to the wound. You will get sweeping views of Split and the surrounding Islands if you make the climb all the way up to the top.

St. Dominus Cathedral Entrance Fees and Operating Hours

  • Entrance fee to the Cathedral, bell tower and the treasury – Approximately $10 USD (This will most likely change due to Croatia’s conversion to the Euro)
  • Summer opening hours (June 1 – October 30): 08:00 – 20:00 / Sunday: 12:00 – 18:00
  • Winter opening hours (November 1 – June 1): 09:00 – 17:00 / Sunday: 12:00 – 18:00
  • Ticket office is open until 30 minutes before closing.
  • Closed on religious and public holidays.

The Riva

Take a walk along the waterfront promenade called the ‘Riva’ for stunning views of the Adriatic both day and night. Lined with cafes and restaurants this is a perfect place to just hang out. Food and drink options are a bit “touristy” but well worth it for the views and the vibe.

Basements of Diocletian’s Palace

Not a very large area but here is where the Romans once stored their wine and supplies. After the fall of the empire it was used as a garbage dump and latrine by those who settled there after escaping the invasions. Vendors of all kinds call this area of the palace home today. Shop for the local red coral jewelry, souvenirs and trinkets to bring back home.

Statue of Gregory of Nin

Gregory of Nin was a medieval Bishop. He opposed the Catholic church’s rule that stated that masses could only be conducted in Latin. He performed religious services in the Croatian language, so that everyone could understand the teachings. Today the bronze on his left big toe is highly polished as locals believe a rub of the toe brings good luck.

Split Peristyle

Outside of the cathedral you will find an open air square called the Peristyle. Here you you can a 3500 year old Egyptian Sphinx, brought to Split by Diocletians army. Visit in the evening for a night of live music and drinks as local performers belt out popular pop music and Croatian classics.

Get Lost in Countless Alleyways

With an endless amount of narrow side streets and open air plazas, Split is a site to behold. These thoroughfares have everything one could possibly want. Gadgets, clothing, food, drinks and even a place to rest your head.

Looking for excursions from Split? Check out some of these great deals

What to expect in Split Croatia (Old Town)

We travel on a full time basis and I can honestly say that Split Croatia is one of my favourite cities in the world. The people of Split are some of the friendliest you will ever meet. The food is out of this world delicious. The history of the city is mesmerizing. You may just find a city to fall in love with.

Usually when you visit old Roman ruins, they are barren, empty and preserved from another time. In Split, the people live within the remains of the Roman buildings. The cobblestones are worn down by centuries of footsteps and you can feel the history all around.

Best Time to Visit Split Croatia

We have visited Split in the spring, summer and fall. Although it’s lovely anytime of year, spring and fall would be your best bets. It’s not unbearably hot and the crowds don’t usually show up until the summer. Aim for April to late May or mid September to the end of October.

If you’re planning a visit to Croatia, check out more destinations and tips here!

Have you ever been to Split? Do you have other tips or tricks for visiting this amazing location? Leave a comment down below and let us know and help other travellers who are thinking of visiting.

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