Solin is a small, slightly inland town in Central Dalmatia, just 5km away from Split. Solin (or Salona) is rather famous for having been the birthplace of Roman Emperor Diocletian in the 3rd century and also the capital of Dalmatia in Roman times.
As such a prominent settlement in Roman times, you can imagine that Solin is home to some impressive Roman structures – and indeed it is! If you are visiting Solin, you will find the amazing remains of a Roman amphitheatre.
Solin is certainly a lovely place to spend a day in, and given its location and impressive sights, very suitable as a day trip from Split.
Getting to Solin
You can use one of the Split city buses to reach Solin. Bus line number 1 travels from the Croatian National Theatre (close to the Diocletian’s Palace area) to Solin whilst number 35 travels from the local bus terminal, Sukoisan, to Solin and then on to Dugopolje. You can see timetables of these bus on the Promet Split website. Journey time is about 30 minutes, and you can buy a ticket from the driver when boarding.
If you have your own car, then Solin is obviously an easy drive away from Split and should only take you about 20 minutes. If you happen to be driving from elsewhere in Croatia, Solin is only about 15 minutes from the A1 motorway; take the Dugopolje exit.
What to See and Do in Solin
The amphitheatre is believed to be from the second century and was built to accommodate an impressive 15,000 spectators. By and large, it is the lower sections of the walls and structure of the amphitheatre that can be visited today, although it is still possible to get a sense of what this sporting arena once must have been like.
The amphitheatre can be visited year round (reduced opening hours in winter).
The Jadro River that runs through Solin was once the strongest such waterway in this part of Dalmatia, and hence a number of mills were built around this location. Farmers from the whole region – including from the islands – would travel to these mills to mill their grain. This mill, one of the few preserved ones left on this river, was constructed in the early 18th century and worked – to a lesser extent – up until the 1960s. After being closed and following a period of disrepair, the mill was restored and reopened to visitors in 2008. The mill can be visited daily.
Gospin Otok, St Mary’s Church and St Stephen’s Church
In the centre of the town is Gopsin Otok (Our Lady’s Islet), a small islet on which stands St Mary’s Church, which was built in 1880. This site was the location for the youth gathering held during the visit of Pope John Paul II to Solin in October 1998. Under the grass on this islet is the remains of St Stephen’s Church which was built in the 10th century – this Church, in turn, is believed to have been built on top of Roman ruins. St Stephen’s Church was the burial place of a number of Croatian kings of long ago.
The park in front of St Mary’s Church is a pleasant place to spend some time, enjoying the atmosphere of the town and the river and watching the ducks go about their business.
Hollow Church (Suplja crkva in Croatian) is the remains of a church from the 11th century, which was in fact built within a basilica from the 6th century. The River Jadro flows close to this church, often flooding parts of the site.
New Antiquities Stone Park
Just outside the town, this park features modern works by sculptor Ivan Tokic. All the items in this park can be fully interacted with!
Events in Solin
Solin hosts a cultural summer each year with live concerts, theatre, dance events and more. Check locally for listings.
Solin celebrates its Town Day every year on 8th September. This day is also the Feast of the Nativity of the Virgin Mary. Expect religious and entertainment activities as well as a town fair.
Eating in Solin
Most restaurants in Solin serve pretty similar fare – typically Croatian southern Mediterranean (pizzas and pastas) food and here are a couple of options for you:
Konoba Pizzeria River is in a central and pretty location overlooking the River Jadro. Enjoy pizzas and meat dishes.
Konoba Pizzeria Gurman is a good option for a hearty lunch, expect soups, pizzas, pasta and meat dishes.
Accommodation in Solin
Solin is home to two very fine hotels, the four-star Hotel Solin Palace and the five-star Hotel President Solin. Both hotels feature outdoor pools and restaurants, as well as fitness and wellness centres.
There is also a number of villas and apartments you can stay in here. Take a look at Accommodation in Solin on Booking.com.
More information about the town can be found on the Solin Tourist Board website.