Get to know all the things to do in Split in two days, a city that invites you to lose yourself in the old town’s narrow cobbled streets and enjoy the lively atmosphere.
Split has a privileged location on the Adriatic Sea. That is why it has become one of the most important ports in Croatia, both for the shipping and fishing industry, as well as for tourism. Big cruise ships arrive at its shores, which sail the Mediterranean Sea loaded with tourists, and ferries take you to the most paradisiacal islands of the country.
Because of its antiquity, Split is also relevant to the history and culture of the country itself and of Europe. In the 3rd century, the Roman emperor Diocletian chose this place to build his “resting residence” and it is the ruins of this palace that can still be visited today. Its historic centre has been declared a World Heritage Site by Unesco.
🔘 Check out the rest of the World Heritage Sites we have visited.
Below, we will discover the main things to do in Split in 2 days.
Where to stay in Split
There are plenty of hotels and apartments in the city centre. If you arrive by boat in the harbour, people who live in the city will be waiting for you to offer you rooms and flats at a good price. Our recommendations for accommodation in Split:
- Malena Palace: run by the owners, it is right in the old town, just a few metres from Diocletian’s Palace. Rooms are not luxurious but clean and comfortable.
- Ćiri Biri Bela boutique: stylish hostel in the centre. Shared rooms with new facilities, good atmosphere and a terrace for a drink.
- Guest House Maris: housed in an old stone house, a five-minute walk from the centre. Accommodation with all facilities and a lot of comfort. Very good value for money.
Need more options? Check these hotels in Split.
📌 What is a sobe? In Croatia it is very common to be offered “sobes” for accommodation, i.e. rooms in the locals’ own houses that are set up to receive tourists. You will notice that the houses have a sign next to the door indicating that they have a “sobe”. They may have modernized by offering rooms on platforms such as Airbnb, but they themselves are usually waiting for unreserved travelers at the bus or ferry station. You will identify them because they have their brochures in hand with photographs and maps of their accommodations. It’s best to agree on the price at that moment (you will notice that it is cheaper than a traditional hotel, and some include breakfast).
📜 TABLE OF CONTENTS
Things to do in Split in 2 days
Although Split is the second largest city in Croatia, its historic centre is quite small and cosy, allowing you to visit it in just a couple of days. If you want to enjoy the beaches, which are a bit of a drive away, or take excursions from the city to other islands, it’s worth staying a little longer.
1) Diocletian’s Palace
This palace, commissioned by Emperor Diocletian after he abdicated his crown, is one of Split’s main attractions.
Although it is known as a “palace”, it is not a palace as such. It is like a mini fortified city, surrounded by high walls and with 4 gates. Walking through the narrow cobbled streets inside you can see cafes, bars, restaurants, souvenir shops and even private houses. It may seem unbelievable, but they say that about 3000 people live there.
Apart from enjoying this unique atmosphere, you cannot miss the following sights inside:
- The 4 access gates:
- the Golden Gate to the north: where the statue of Gregorio de Nin is located,
- the Silver Gate to the east,
- the Bronze one to the south: which leads to the Riva and from where you can access the underground galleries, and
- the Iron Gate to the west.
- The Temple of Jupiter, today converted into a baptistery,
- The Cathedral of Split or St. Domnius, which houses the mausoleum of Diocletian and its bell tower (see below).
- The Peristyle: this is the central square of the palace, a monumental courtyard surrounded by columns connecting the different sections of the palace.
- Underground Galleries.
You can take a map to explore all these sights, but then put them aside to get lost in the narrow streets of this palace, as you will be surprised to find places where there are no tourists and hardly any noise.
🎥 Game of Thrones fan? Diocletian’s Palace was used as a location for the filming of the fourth season. If you’ve seen the series, the underground galleries (where Daenerys locks up her dragons) or Papalićeva Street will be familiar to you. There is even a Game of Thrones Museum that has models of cities, costumes and objects that make reference to the series.
🚩 Admission fee to the Diocletian’s Palace is free of charge, although there are areas that have to be paid for. For example, to the Cathedral, mausoleum, climbing the bell tower and the Temple of Jupiter. There is also a section of the underground galleries, which are paid.
2) Cathedral of St Domnius
Originally the mausoleum of Diocletian, it later became the city’s cathedral. The building has an octagonal structure, to which the bell tower in Gothic style was later added.
It is one of the main things to do in Split as it is considered the oldest catholic cathedral in the world that still maintains its original structure, i.e. without later modifications.
As you enter, take a look at the wooden doors carved with scenes from the life of Christ. It is one of the examples of Romanesque sculpture in Croatia. The interior is not very large, but the highlights are the dome, the hexagonal pulpit, the high altar under an arch and the chapels of St. Anastasius and St. Duje on either side, which contain two sarcophagi.
You can also visit the Cathedral Treasury, which includes the relics of St. Duje, and the crypt of St. Lucia.
Furthermore, it is also possible to climb the 12th-century bell tower to get a bird’s-eye view of Split.
The baptistery, formerly the Temple of Jupiter, is located almost opposite the Cathedral and can be visited quickly. Inside stand out the carved figures of various Roman gods, the vaulted ceiling and the sarcophagi of two Split archbishops.
🚩 Admission fee to the Cathedral of Split: Each part of the Cathedral (treasury, crypt, belfry and baptistery) can be visited separately and each has its own entrance ticket. However, you can also buy a combined ticket for around 10 euros.
3) Statue of Gregorius of Nin
At the exit of the Golden Gate, there is a statue of Gregory of Nin, a bishop who lived in the 10th century. He confronted the church that imposed that masses had to be given in Latin, which was not understood by the local population, so that it could be given in Croatian.
The 8.5 meter statue was made by local artist Ivan Meštrović in 1929 and, according to tradition, you have to touch his big toe to get luck.
We found the statue under renovation, but the toe was outside the scaffolding structure. Whether to return to Split or for luck, we touched the foot!
4) Get lost in Split Old Town
Compared to the size of the city, the old town is small and easy to walk around. It is the perfect plan to do Split in 2 days. However, its labyrinthine streets invite you to walk aimlessly from being surrounded by tourists to find beautiful secluded corners.
5) Walk along the “riva” – things to do in Split in 2 days
The “riva” is the renovated waterfront of Split, very lively both during the day and at night. Although it turns out to be a place of passage, it is worth to sit comfortably watching the sea, either on one of the terraces of restaurants and bars or on the benches of the promenade.
It is common to find street shows, stalls selling handicrafts and street food. We tried fritule karamel, a kind of sweet fritters with sauce that are very tasty.
6) Walk up to the Marjan Viewpoint
Marjan is a large park located on a hill at the western tip of the Split peninsula. About 340 hectares full of trees, trails, hidden beaches and some attractions, such as chapels, hermitages, museums, scientific institutions and even a Jewish cemetery.
But if you only have two days to visit Split, the minimum is to climb up to the Marjan Viewpoint next to Café Vidilica, being one of the best times to do it at sunset.
7) Strolling along the West Coast of Split
Walking along the waterfront in the opposite direction to the ferry port, we reach the West Coast, a promenade of almost 700 meters that leads to the marina.
It is one of the new meeting points for locals, as there are bars and restaurants located next to large luxury yachts and incredible views of the historic center. That is why it is one of the places you have to see in Split if you have two days in the city.
In addition, on the ground, there are plaques in honor of Split’s Olympic medalists of all times. This Croatian city is considered the metropolis of Croatian sport, especially because of the large number of participants in the Olympic Games who are from this city and who, above all, have won a medal.
8) Bacvice beach or any of the other beaches in Split
If you want to do some beach during your stay in Split, the Bacvice beach is the most central of the city, and the good thing is that it is sandy. If you walk from the center, you have to pass the port area to get there.
Although it is not one of the most paradisaical of Croatia, the water is clean and transparent, so you can take a bath without problems. Of course, go early because it gets crowded.
9) Visiting the Croatian Islands from Split
Split is one of the most visited cities in Croatia, not only because of its great attractions, but also because it is one of the departure ports for travellers who want to visit the famous Croatian islands. Some of them are Korčula, Hvar, Brač, Solta, Pakleni, Mljet… and if you are looking for party, head to Hvar and Brač.
Check some day-trip tours here:
10) Other excursions to do from Split in 2 days or more
- Trogir: a small World Heritage city just 27 km from Split.
- Krka Waterfalls: nature reserve with cascades. If you don’t have time to go to Plitvice Lakes, this park is an excellent option to visit.
- Plitvice Lakes: another World Heritage site as they are the most spectacular lakes in Croatia and almost Eastern Europe. Turquoise-colored lakes at different levels of height that form waterfalls between them. Beautiful!
Useful information to visit Split
Buy your travel insurance and travel safe!
🚑 Take a look at these tips to choose the best travel insurance (updated to 2022) according to the type of traveler you are and, in addition, it will help you clear up the most common doubts. Travel safe!
– Getting to Split
Getting to Split is very easy because of its location and because it is a city of great importance, it has excellent connections with the islands, the rest of the country and Europe. Although it should be noted that there are more frequencies in summer than during the rest of the year.
The ferry terminal and the train and bus station are within walking distance of each other, but also with respect to the historic center. It is easy to walk.
Split airport is 25 km to the west. If you are traveling on a tight budget, bus line 37 takes you from Sukoišan bus station (north of the old town) to the airport and takes about 50 minutes. The bus does not drop you off inside the airport but on the road outside.
🚐 If you want to hire a transfer from/to Split airport for more comfort, check here.
Map -things to do in Split in two days
Discounts and useful resources to save on your trip
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