It wasn’t so long ago that the city of Split was merely thought of as a transit point – you might fly into the airport and transfer out to your hotel somewhere else along the Dalmatian coast. Or get a bus into the train station and then hop on a ferry or catamaran at the port next door and sail out to one of the Dalmatian islands. But Split has so much to offer visitors these days that I’d highly recommend staying here. Here’s Visit Croatia’s guide to two days in Split to help you make the most of the city.
Two Days in Split Itinerary
Day 1 AM – Explore on foot
Where better to start your exploration of Split than in the heart of the city – the Diocletian’s Palace area. A fine entrance into the “Palace” would be through the Golden Gate at the north point – but make sure you rub the golden big toe of the Gregory of Nine statue that’s just outside the Gate. Head straight down this street and you will come directly to the Peristil what was once the central square of the Palace with its wonderfully ornate columns. Here you can really marvel at what the Palace was once like and the amazing materials used to build it.
Located just here is Saint Domnius Cathedral which is the second oldest Christian Cathedral still in use, built as it was in the 4th century. It’s the 12th-century belltower that delights (or possibly frights) most visitors – climb up the winding stairs for truly excellent views over this part of Split and out to sea.
Once you’ve come back down to earth, it would be hard to resist a rewarding coffee at Kavana Lvxor on the Peristil steps.
Continue in a southerly direction (take a peek at the 3,000-year-old Sphinx as you pass it) and you’ll reach the circular vestibule. Once topped with a dome, this used to be an official entrance hall in the Palace. These days, you may be lucky to catch a klapa (vocal) group performing here.
Circle back to the intersection before you reach the Peristil – if you head westwards you’ll come to the Iron Gate of the Palace and beyond that, the vibrant Pjaca (or Narodni Trg – People’s Square) with its gleaming white marble floor tiles and multiple cafes and restaurants. Here you’ll find the Old Town Hall and the striking City Clock.
I’d suggest heading to the edge of the Palace area and then making your way back eastwards through one/several of the other little cobbled streets (it’s rather fun to lose yourself down these little alleyways!). On the eastern side you’ll come across the Silver Gate. Beyond that, Split’s Main Market is an interesting place to peruse for its fresh fruit, veg, meat and fish and other little trinkets.
End this part of the itinerary by heading out to the Riva by making your way through Diocletian’s cellars. Marvel at this below ground portion of the Palace which was largely used to storage in Roman times (and later part of it may have seen residential use after the Roman era) and dawdle a little to look at the crafts on sale. Now’s the time to pick up a souvenir or two.
Note: You can also pay an entrance fee to see a further area of the labyrinthine cellars if you still want to do a bit more Palace investigating before lunch.
Day 1 Lunchtime
Pizza in Croatia is an excellent lunchtime choice and Pizzeria Galija‘s menu comes with an amazing amount of choice for their incredibly tasty pizzas. (I’m know sitting here daydreaming about them!) A must for a lunchtime in Split.
After lunch, head to Bobis – Riva (just off the Riva) to pick up a tasty ice cream and then to walk off some of your lunchtime indulgences, take a stroll down the main harbourside promenade, the Riva, and then park yourself up on one of the benches under a palm tree and gaze out over the twinkling sea, watching the boats and ferries go past.
Day 1 PM – Take a hike (of sorts) and enjoy some beach time
You’ve got two splendid options for exploring further in the city on foot.
Option 1: The first option would be to head eastwards from the Diocletian’s Palace area towards Bacvice Beach. This is a famous beach in Split and is very popular with the locals – you’re sure to spot them here, sunbathing, paddling about and indulging in a game of Picigin. Perhaps you might even like to join in?!
But I’d recommend heading out further along the seaside path towards the Firule area of the city and to Firule Beach itself. Firule Beach is – like Bacvice – also a partly sandy beach but this one gives off a bit more of a chilled vibe. The walk to it is very pleasant indeed as you’ll be walking right by the Adriatic but away from the super busy and bustling part of the city. There’s some cafes along the way to stop for refreshment, or just head direct to Firule Beach for the beach bars here. Don’t forget to bring a towel and your swimming gear!
Option 2: This one’s a bit more labour-intensive. Are you ready for the challenge? Head west from the Diocletian’s Palace are towards Marjan Hill, the hill that kind of looms of Split. The start of the stairs up the Hill is a short walk from the centre. It’s only about 1 hour to a gorgeous viewpoint but the stairs are middlingly strenuous (so not suitable for everyone) but it’s absolutely worth the climb if you can make it. Of course, you can spend more time meandering the paths of Marjan Forest that’s on the hill. It’s a peaceful place.
Option 3 (which could be a continuation of option 2…if you have the energy!): Kasjuni Beach is at the base of Marjan Hill which would make a fine relaxation point after a hard afternoon’s climb up the hill. Or just a relaxing afternoon of sunbathing and swimming if you’ve skipped the climb! It’s a popular local beach with plenty of shade from pine trees, there are a couple of cafes here for an afternoon treat.
Day 1 PM – Dinner and Drinks
For dinner a bit more on the lighter side – but absolutely no less delicious – head to the renowned Paradox Wine and Cheese Bar. It’s the perfect place to try some of Croatia’s excellent wines (they do of course have a wide-ranging menu) accompanied by cheese and charcuterie platters.
Post-dinner, head to Marvlvs Library Jazz Bar, a cosy and somewhat eclectic place that serves up good cocktails alongside live music.
Day 2 AM – Let’s head out of the city!
Split is of course a wonderful place…but one of its big plusses is that there are so many interesting places to explore just a short hop away. (So much so that I’m going to run out of room explaining them all here!)
My top tip would be to make the short journey over to the truly gorgeous town of Trogir. This town has a number of interesting sights, not least its 13th-century Cathedral of St Lawrence and Kamerlengo Fortress which once served as a defensive structure for Trogir. Both of these buildings can be climbed to get an elevated view! You absolutely must stroll down Trogir’s Riva which will give you the special feel of the place and be sure to get lost in the town’s little cobbled streets.
One of the best things about visiting Trogir from Split is how easy it is to do. At just 30km up the coastline, you could easily get there by local bus or even a taxi/Uber/Bolt. But the best and most enjoyable way, I would say, is to take the Bura Line ferry for a lovely sailing. I’d recommend taking the 9.30am sailing from Split (the boat departs just by the Riva), enjoying quite a few hours and lunch in Trogir. You can then make the return journey at 2.30pm.
Alternative: Yes, we know, we know – you want to head to an island. Quite frankly, so do we! You can easily join an organised excursion (see below) but you can also make use of local ferries and catamarans. As we’re suggesting a half-day (-ish) trip, we need you to reign in your expectations of how far you can go given time and ferry timetable constraints. So I would suggest the wonderful little island of Solta for some off-the-beaten-track adventures. There’s a 9.15am catamaran from Split with KSC that would get you into Rogac on Solta at 10.15am; a suitable return would be the 1pm catamaran back to Split. This would give you enough time to do a little exploring as well as a harbourside coffee or lunch.
Alternatively, the awesome Hvar Town is very do-able as a morning excursion from Split because of the frequency of the catamarans. Kapentan Luka have a sailing at 9am which arrives at Hvar Town at 9.50am; again, I’d recommend the return sailing of 1.15pm (arrives at 2.05pm) to get you back to Split.
Note: these sailing times assume travel in mid or high-season.
If you did want to join an organised excursion, take a look at some of the boat/island excursions available with Get Your Guide:
Day 2 PM – Afternoon Sports or Culture
Time to see Split from a different viewpoint. Join a stand-up paddleboard tour to combine a bit of fun and exercise – and sightseeing – all in one.
Alternative: If you’re after a cultural fix, Split has many a fine museum. The City of Split Museum would be a fine way to spend an afternoon, learning more about where you are with displays and artefacts from prehistoric times to the present day.
If you’re after something a little more quirky, Split has that too. The Split Museum of Illusions is a super-fun place to enjoy with a friend with all manner of mind-altering exhibits to get your hands on (and yourself into). For something both highly modern and quite ancient, the Diocletian’s Dream Museum is a virtual reality experience that lets you step back in time to the days of the Roman Emperor. And I can’t forget the Game of Thrones Museum which will surely be a hit with all fans of the TV series.
Wait…how can I talk about museums in Split and not mention Froggyland? I’m not even going to write anything about it – I’ll just put the idea in your head and leave it to you to discover what it actually is!
Day 2 PM – Dinner and Drinks
The modern Restaurant Dvor would be a fitting place for your final night’s dinner with its excellent seaside location and pleasing ambience. After enjoying a steak or tasty fish/sea, make the short walk to the Tennis Bar to enjoy the end of your trip with some appropriate cocktails.
Two Days in Split – Where Should I Stay?
As befitting Croatia’s second-largest city, Split has a plethora of all types of accommodation from which you can choose. Many hotels, hostels and apartments are located very centrally indeed. Really, to make the most of your time and to help you navigate mostly by foot, staying in the Diocletian’s Palace area would be ideal.
Take a look at our Accommodation in Split page for full details.
Two Days in Split – Getting Around
Split is a very walkable city, really, and you’ll most likely do most of your sightseeing on foot. There are local buses which you can use to get a little further around should you wish to, and taxis, Uber and Bolt vehicles are readily available too.
You may well want to visit some of the local islands in which case a ferry or catamaran is the order of the day. Sailings to some destinations only take place once a day or at times that don’t work for a day trip – so be sure to check timetables before you set foot on a boat.
Two Days in Split – More Things to See
The Split Tourist Board website also offers plenty of helpful advice on visiting.