Split has always been one of the favorite summer destinations for people all over the world. In the last 5 years, Split has become a destination for those looking for fun, exciting nightlife, and attractive day trips. Over 1 million tourists have visited Croatia so far in 2021, and Split is the leading destination. Your Split holiday will definitely not lack fun things to do, and you may actually knock off a few things off your bucket list while in Split!
Looking at the abundance of historical and natural sites in and near Split, rich offer of day trips, modern nightclubs, growing restaurant and street food scene, it is hard to make a list of only 10 best things to do in Split.
In saying that, one holiday will most likely not be enough to see it all, and you will have to pick and choose where to go.
The choice of places to visit and things to see is so broad, we decided to make a list of the top 10 things to do in Split in summer 2021 for you!
1. MAKE TIME FOR THE SPLIT OLD TOWN
It’s a Roman palace turned into a city! Roman emperor Diocletian built the impressive retirement home in the heart of today’s Split and decorated it with sphinxes from Egypt and amazing stone decorations. Today you will be sipping coffee right next to these ancient monuments and walk between 1700 years old palace walls to buy a souvenir or a t-shirt.
While walking the old town, don’t skip the Gregory of Nin statue! Not only for his glorious pose, and the fact that it was sculpted by famous Croatian sculptor Ivan Meštrović but for his famous toe! Rub the toe and make a wish or…wish upon a toe!
The easiest way to learn about the Perystile, St Dominus Cathedral, Prokurative square, and visit other must-see sites, is to take a two-hour guided Split Walking Tour and see it all in one evening.
2. MARJAN HILL VIEWPOINT
Although the view of the old town from the top of the St Dominus cathedral is spectacular, nothing beats the view from the top of the Marjan Hill. Its highest peak requires a 45-minute walk through the pine tree forest providing cooling shade during hot summer days. Once up there you will have the view of the whole Split old town and the Promenade, mountains covering the middle Dalmatian coast, little towns under the mountains, and numerous famous Croatian islands!
You can bike or hike through Marjan Hill and take a swim to cool down at some of the most beautiful beaches in Split.
3. VISIT KLIS FORTRESS-GAME OF THRONES SITE
Between mountains Kozjak and Mosor the Kliss Fortress stands proud, overlooking the whole Split area. Although it is most popular as the Game of Thrones City of Meereen filming scene, it has a great historical value for this area. With its position, the fortress served as a defense source in Dalmatia, especially against the Ottoman advance.
Today, tourists rush there to stand in the same place as the mother of dragons and to take pictures in the largest of the slaver cities of the popular Games of Thrones.
When you reach the top of the fortress, you will experience amazing views of the whole Split, surrounding mountains, and the islands.
It only takes about half an hour to get to the Kliss Fortress from Split, and it is not a demanding climb to get to this magnificent site.
4. FIND ZEN AT KRKA WATERFALLS OR PLITVICE LAKES
Located only a 1.5-hour drive from Split is the Krka Waterfalls, your nature escape. You don’t even need to take the whole day of your holiday to visit Krka Natural Park from Split, as with the organized Krka Tour you’ll be back in Split at 4 pm. Still plenty of time for other activities.
But if you are longing for the recharge, a day at Krka is an ideal escape and should be on your list of top 10 things to do in Split. The sound of the massive waterfalls, green walking paths, clear blue river water, and fresh air is what you will find there. The energy you get from a beautiful day in the park will stay with you for a long time!
If you wish to visit one of Europe’s most beautiful Parks, Plitvice lakes from Split, you can do that too in one day only. The best way to visit Plitvice from Split is to take an organized tour, so you can sit back and surrender to the beauty of nature.
5. HIT THE SPLIT BEACHES
You don’t have to go out of Split or to the islands for a fantastic beach experience. Split has some amazing beaches ranging from secluded bays on the northern side of Marjan Hill to pebble beaches with incredible beach bars on the southern side. Some of the most beautiful beaches in Split are around Marjan Hill.
The most popular beach in Split is Bačvice beach, located a 5-minute walk from the city center. This sandy beach is ideal for children and grownups who feel so. Make sure to go before noon so you can witness the Picigin game – a traditional ball game that people from Split play religiously every day, rain or shine. You will have a good laugh as the goal of the game is for the ball not to touch the ground, and people make the most incredible jumps in the water to avoid the ball falling in the sea.
6. COOL DOWN IN CETINA RIVER NEAR SPLIT
Cetina river is a place of stunning nature and adventure. If you need to cool down from the city buzz, and want to challenge yourself, it will only take half an hour to get to the Cetina river from Split.
You can try adrenaline-filled river rafting there, 8 lines of zip line over the river canyon or, if you wish to lift the game, try canyoning through the cool Cetina canyon. Whichever activity you choose, you will get to spend a day between high mountains and all shades of green and blue.
After the activity-filled day, take a stroll through Omiš to try the local seafood and feel the atmosphere of this old pirate town.
7. SEE THE MOVIE UNDER THE STARS IN SPLIT
The Bačvice open cinema dates from 1956 and is one of the most special cinemas on the whole Adriatic. The fragrant pine trees, the sound of the sea, the stars, the moon, and the ships passing by add to the stunning atmosphere of watching a movie in the authentic Mediterranean setting. The cinema is so popular, there is often a demand for an extra ticket, so people don’t mind setting up a picnic or sitting on the surrounding stone walls. It all adds up to the relaxed atmosphere of this beach cinema.
8. SAIL TO CROATIAN ISLANDS
The possibilities are endless! Would you like to swim at the secluded bays of Pakleni islands, walk the charming Hvar streets, swim at the iconic Golden Cape, snorkel at the famous Blue Lagoon, go inside the mystical Blue Cave? If you are in Split, you can do all this and more! Ferries are well connected and will take you to most of the places. But they take time to get to the islands, and your choice will narrow if you chose to go this way.
Day tours can take you to 5 different islands in one day, so this is the best option if you want to see as many of the island locations as possible. The Blue Cave tour takes you to 5 islands. The Blue lagoon tour will not only take you to the turquoise paradise but also to Trogir town, the unique town-museum. And Bol & Hvar tour will take you to two of the most popular Dalmatian locations including the truly amazing Golden Cape beach.
9. HAVE A COFFEE ON THE SPLIT RIVA PROMENADE
While in Split, don’t miss out on living like the locals do, at least during your morning coffee. Find a shady spot on the Riva promenade and observe the locals chatting, laughing, meeting up for coffee and daily gossip…and then walking to the Greenmarket and Fishmarket to find the fresh ingredients for an early lunch. If you wish to try the local specialties, feel free to follow them to the markets, and ask for suggestions. Locals will be happy to share their knowledge with you, and who knows – you might end up in a trattoria trying local seafood following their recommendations.
Coffee culture is very strong in Split. It’s not just about the coffee – it is a lifestyle. Add the charming cafes all alongside the Promenade, and the view of Brač and Šolta in the distance, the setting is pure Mediterranean style.
Also note, we eat sweets for breakfast: jam donuts, croissants, or even a piece of cake. Why not? A good start to the day is important, and what is not good about sweets! Visit Bobis, one of our oldest bakeries, and try it too!
10. TRY LOCAL FOOD & WINE
While in Split, make sure to explore the local gourmet scene. Try the seafood: black squid risotto, anchovies, tuna with ‘blitva’ (spinach), and ‘brudet’ (an incredibly tasty fish stew). Some of our favorite places are Konoba Varoš and Velum restaurant. Don’t stop there – there are some modern restaurants offering traditional food made modern way, such as Corto Maltese restaurant located right next to the Fishmarket.
For a sweet ending to the day, we recommend the delicious cakes at O’š kolač bakery – cakes filled with amazing flavors and fresh seasonal fruits of Mediterranean.
No meal is complete without a glass of good wine. Croatia has many incredible wines to offer, but the most interesting fact is that the famous Zinfandel originates from this area. Actually, from the Kozjak mountains nearby Split. There are tours you can take to visit the wineries and meet the local winemakers. But if you prefer to stay in the city, Zinfandel food and wine bar – just off the Riva promenade-is the place to go.