Get lost amidst the narrow winding cobbled streets of Croatia’s second city and spend your summer break getting to know Split. In the city where every stone has a story to tell, you’ll be spoilt for choice. Travel back in time and explore the hidden treasures buried behind the palace walls, dip a toe in the turquoise sea and get closer to nature by hiking in the hills. Whatever it is you choose to do, you’ll be greeted with welcomes as warm as the local temperatures. Here’s how to spend 48 hours in Split.
Listed in the top 100 hotels in the world, Hotel Vestibule Palace is the place to stay when visiting Split. Located right in the heart of Diocletian’s Palace, the luxury boutique hotel has seven bedrooms each with a spectacular view over the old settlement. Sitting between the emperor’s chambers and “Peristile”, you have tons of restaurants, shops and ancient architecture on your doorstep. A timeless mixture of tradition and modernity, the interiors are based around remains of the old palace walls and create a homely, historic feel. Wake up to the sounds of a quartet singing in the Vestibule and fall asleep to the gentle hum of the city’s buzzing nightlife scene on the promenade. With a restaurant and courtyard lined with rustic white wrought iron tables, you’ll get that holiday feeling as soon as you step over the threshold.
Hotel Vestibule Palace – Iza Vestibula 4
Diocletian’s Palace – Dioklecijanova ul. 1
Built for the Roman Emperor after whom its named, the palace forms the beating heart of the old city and is a must-see when visiting Split. A main tourist attraction of the area, the palace remains are some of the most valuable surviving buildings from the Roman era. Covering around 30,000 square metres, the labyrinth of winding streets houses restaurants, cafes, shops and apartments. Featuring marble, white stone, columns and Egyptian sphinxes, the palace really is a sight for sore eyes.
Stretching the length of the old town, the Riva is Split’s pedestrianised waterfront and one of the most important public spaces in the city. Backed by the façade of the breath-taking Diocletian’s Palace, the walkway is lined on one side with restaurants and bars and on the other, with tropical palm trees. A venue for sporting, cultural and entertainment events throughout the year, the space is always alive. Grab a drink, sit back and watch the sun go down over the busy marina.
Just west of the Riva past Marmontova, Republic Square is another highlight of Split’s architecture. Surrounded on three sides by Prokurative, an elaborate red neo-classical Renaissance building, this section of the city was inspired by Italian architecture of the 19th century. Another stage for cultural events in the town, the square plays host to festivals including a pop music festival and is a hive of activity all year round. Fronted by a neo-classical fountain, the open south side offer the most breath-taking views of the harbour and neighbouring islands on a clear day.
The city’s main urban beach is alive 24 hours a day during the summer season and is the ideal location to escape the heat of the city streets whilst continuing the party. The sandy shores and shallow, crystal clear waters attract thousands of swimmers and sunbathers every season. A stone’s throw away from the railway station and island ferry port, the beach boasts some of the best nightlife in the city. Claim a deckchair, soak up the hot Croatian sun and spend the day relaxing next to some of the bluest ocean you’ll ever see.
Mestrovic Gallery – Setaliste Ivana Mestrovica 46
Dedicated to the work of Split’s most famous sculptor, the Mestrovic Gallery is housed in an impressive marble villa at the foot of Marjan Hill. Preserving and presenting the most captivating works of Ivan Mestrovic, the exhibition space features 192 sculptures, several paintings and hundreds of drawings by the artist. Most notable for producing the famous Grgur Niski statue at the gates of the palace, Mestrovic’s individual style can be seen both in the artworks and in the exquisite villa which he also designed. Well-worth a visit, the gallery should definitely be added to your list of what to do in Split.
Saint Dominus Cathedral – Ul. Kraj Svetog Duje 5
Known by locals as Sveti Dujam, Split’s Catholic octagonal cathedral was originally built as mausoleum for Diocletian and is one of the best preserved Roman buildings still standing. Visit the imposing structure and venture down in to the crypt as well as the treasury and baptistery. An eye catching feature of this structure is its tall Romanesque bell tower built in the 13th and 16th century. Entrance fees are separate for this part of the cathedral but the views over the rooftops of the old town are worth the extra pennies.
Kat’s Kitchen – Antuna Mihanovica 33
A vegan paradise, Kat’s Kitchen is the ultimate soul food spot. A little off the beaten track, work up an appetite with a peaceful morning walk and indulge in organic, seasonal dishes that change weekly. Pick up a cold press juice to go and start your day feeling energised and full up in the best way possible.
Bokeria Kitchen & Wine Bar – Domaldova 8
Beautifully set amongst the ancient walls of the palace, Bokeria is bringing a taste of the Med to the Adriatic coast. Sip wine and dig into seasonal dishes made with local produce as you watch the streets of the old town come alive with people. Housed in an old hardware store, the atmosphere in this place is as good as the deliciously tasty food.
Brasserie no. 7 – Obala Hvratskog narodnog preporoda 7
Dinner with a view takes on a whole new meaning at Brasserie no. 7. With its prime location right in the middle of The Riva, enjoy fine dining accompanied by a spectacular sunset over the marina. Using the principles of French cooking to shine a light on Croatian cuisine, you’re in for a treat at this ultra-chic waterfront spot.
Planning a trip to Split soon? Be sure to tag us in your photos of what to do in Split using the hashtag #ryanairstories, for the chance to be featured on Ryanair’s Instagram feed.
Flights to Split
- Lucy Norris