Sightseeing in Split - Diocletian's Palace

It’s relatively easy to get around when sightseeing in Split, as many of the top sights (listed below) are within easy walking distance of each other – mostly in or near the Diocletian’s Palace area!

If you’re interested in an organised tour, then renowned tour company GetYourGuide have several options for you. These include the 1.5-hour small group Walking Tour Split or the 2-hour Private walking tour of Split.

If you’re visiting Split from a cruise ship, then you might also be interested in the 4-hour Private Split and Klis Fortress Shore Excursion that includes guided tours in Split and Klis as well as transport between the two.

There’s other ways of taking a Split tour that doesn’t involve walking – what about the Split 3-Hour Guided Bike Tour, the 2-hour Split: City Highlights Electric Tuk-Tuk Tour or the 2.5-hour Split: Illuminated Evening Guided Kayaking Tour.

Sightseeing in Split – Top Sights

The Diocletian’s Palace complex is obviously the most important sight in Split. Get a locally published guide in English which describes this monument in great detail to fully take in all its nooks and crannies. Do not miss the Peristyle (peristil in Croatian) which is the main open space in the palace and is surrounded by a colonnade of six columns to the eastern and western sides and an arch, decorated with garlands, in the centre.

Split Photos - Peristyle
The columns of the Peristyle

As you walk through the whole area, pay special attention to the mix of old and new, and marvel at how the locals have managed to evolve and live within the Palace footprint in the many centuries since the Palace was constructed.

Split Photos - Split Cathedral
The Cathedral of Saint Domnius (Sveti Duje)

The Cathedral of St Domnius (Katedrala Sveti Duje) is on the eastern side of the Peristyle. Originally built – at the same time as the palace – as a mausoleum for Emperor Diocletian (who died in 313 AD), his remains vanished a few centuries later. In the 7th century, those who had fled to nearby Salona (Solin) after it was attacked turned the mausoleum into a cathedral – and placed in it the bones of their Bishop, Domnius, whose execution had been ordered by Diocletian himself.

The bell tower of the Cathedral is well worth climbing for gorgeous views over Split, both out to sea and inland. Admittedly, the staircase up the centre of the tower does have a bit of a rickety feel to it, so this activity is perhaps not best advised for people with a fear of heights! Those who brave it will be well rewarded at the top.

Sightseeing in Split - Belltower
The Belltower, complete with a Croatian flag at top

On the western side of the Palace is the People’s Square (Narodni trg – also known as Pjaca). On this square is the old town hall which was built in the 15th century. The town hall now houses an ethnographic museum (worth visiting) which was established in 1910.

Sightseeing in Split - People's Square
Narodni trg (People’s Square), also known as Pjaca in Split
Photos of Split - Grgur Ninski
Close-up of Gregory of Nin

The remarkable statue of Gregory of Nin (Grgur Ninski) – by famous Croatian sculptor Ivan Mestrovic – is one of the most visited sights in Split. Grgur Ninski was a Croatian religious leader from the 10th century. The big toe on the statue’s left foot is shiny gold, having been rubbed by many people over the years. Rubbing it is said to bring good luck! (Be sure to give it a go!)

The Mestrovic Gallery is housed in a villa that was completed in 1939. It was designed by Ivan Mestrovic himself, to use as his summer residence. The Mestrovic Gallery was opened in 1952 and houses over 200 of Mestrovic’s works.

Sightseeing in Split – Museums

Museums in Split include the Maritime Museum; the Museum of Croatian Archaeological Monuments; and the Museum of Croatia.

If you want to learn more about the city, check out the Split City Museum, near Narodni Trg.

Sightseeing Activities in Split

For something a little different, how about the Skywalk Poljud? This is an opportunity to walk the roof (yes, really!) of the famous Poljud Stadium in Split. And before you think it’s only for the very brave, it’s actually suitable for all ages from 3 to 103! Harnesses and hardhats are provided, and participants are led by two guides on an adventure that lasts 1.5 hours. Those of you that are very brave can do a 70m rope swing over the pitch!