City guide: Split, Croatia | Private jet charter
Split is Croatia’s second largest city, located on the dazzling Dalmatian Coast. Game of Thrones fans will already recognise Split as a backdrop to the series, including the Klis Fortress. There are even Game of Thrones tours and a dedicated Game of Thrones museum.
Croatia’s history spans thousands of years with occupation by Romans, French, Venetians and Austrians. Their legacy includes a beautifully preserved Old Town – home to the UNESCO listed Diocletian’s Palace – delightful walks along the Riva waterfront, an eclectic gourmet scene, superb beaches and coves to explore and the Ivan Meštrović Gallery.
Top five must-see sights and attractions
Riva waterfront promenade
Enjoy stunning Adriatic views from the pedestrianised Riva waterfront – Split’s most popular meeting place, where locals and visitors have gathered for centuries to chat, eat and simply watch the world go by. Stop for coffee at Caffe Bar Fro, before heading west along this scenic palm-fringed promenade towards the city harbour, and discover the delicious seafood restaurants offering the day’s catch, and enjoy an aperitif in one of the many bars.
In addition, the Riva waterfront is blessed with historical attractions, including the south façade of the Diocletian’s Palace, the Franciscan Monastery, and the Bajamonti-Dešković Palace. At night, the waterfront is especially lively. Visit the tourist information office here for suggestions on Split’s many great attractions.
With its strategic position on Split’s harbourside, the grand white-stoned Diocletian’s Palace – formerly the 4th century fortress home of a Roman emperor – is Split’s most famous tourist attraction. Explore the Palace’s myriad alleyways and courtyards that include the Peristil with a Sphinx brought from Egypt in 1,500BC.
The impressive Diocletian’s Palace is much more than a museum, it’s also home to many local businesses, bars, shops and restaurants. It would take you a few days to explore the large complex with 220 buildings inside the palace alone – and home to 3,000 locals. Follow the road between the eastern and western gates – it divides the palace into north and south sides. The north is where the soldiers and servants lived, while the imperial residence was located on the south side. Intriguingly, each gate in the wall is named after a precious metal: Gold, Bronze, Silver and Iron.
Marjan Forest Park
Head west off Split’s Old Town and you’ll be climbing 178m into its green lung – the beautiful Marjan Forest Park, and the perfect destination to avoid the crowds. The walk to the top takes you through aromatic pine forests, lookouts and even a Jewish cemetery. The 360-degree views from the top across Split, the mountains and its islands are stunning.
Relax and recharge over an aperitif at the café. For a full day’s walk, descend to Kašjuni beach near the end of the headland and cool off with a beer and a dip before returning to Split.
Split Pazar market and fish market
Split’s most popular daily market – Pazar market – is located on the eastern side of the Diocletian’s Palace near the ferry wharf. Stallholders usually arrive before dawn and close around 1:30pm each day. Among the fruit and vegetables, you will find perfect souvenirs such as home-made honeys and chutneys, olive oils and even home-made spirits. Household goods are also in plentiful supply as well as electronica and beach towels. Many locals come from surrounding villages to sell their wares.
A visit to Split’s fish market is also a must. Known as the Peškarija by locals, arrive early at this open air and inside market to watch the hard bargaining for squid, shellfish, barracudas and more. The market opens from 8am to 10am daily.
Ivan Meštrović museum
Arguably Croatia’s most famous modern artist/sculptor, this museum was actually Meštrović’s former home that he had built in the 1930s with a view to retiring in the area. There’s an impressive collection of Meštrović’s drawings, furniture and sculptures here across two floors and in the garden of his former studio and exhibition space. Meštrović gave the villa and studios to the Croatian nation after his death.
The admission price also includes entry to the nearby fortress of Kaštilac – home to further works by the artist and nestled in a charming olive grove.
Most historic sites in Split are contained within the old city walls, which are pedestrianised, so bring good walking shoes. Taxis are plentiful and can be booked from your hotel, on the street in front of the Pazar, or at the far end of the Riva waterfront. If you are venturing beyond the city then hiring a car is the best way for travel outside of Split.
Best time to visit
Spring: April to June is a lovely season to visit Split. Temperatures vary between 15C and 21C and there are plenty of festivals to enjoy, including the Festival of Flowers and St Domnius Day in May.
Summer: Peak season with weather and crowds. The Split Summer Festival held in the Old Town is unmissable with Verdi’s Aida performed in the Peristil – the central square of the Diocletian’s Palace.
Autumn: September and October are probably the best months to visit Split. The sea is still warm enough to swim in and the crowds are significantly smaller. Average temperatures range from 15C to 21C. An added bonus is the Split Film Festival that is held in September.
Winter: November through to March is the shoulder season in Split. Temperatures tend to be lower but still sunny. Split Carnival in February is a popular tourist attraction.
Split offers visitors much history and glamour, and is just 230km north of Dubrovnik, so you can combine both destinations in a single trip.
Split boasts an eclectic cultural scene and is a favourite with artists and musicians. Its rich cultural and historical legacy is unsurpassed, and the city offers a vibrant nightlife with a superb selection of cafes and restaurants along the Riva waterfront.
Go island hopping in nearby Vis, Hvar and Brač, and visit the beautiful Plitvice Lakes National Park.
Contact us today to arrange your private jet charter to Split.