Split will always hold a special place in my heart. Located on the Adriatic Coast, Croatia’s second-largest city is steeped in culture and history. There are lots of different things to do in Split and I’ve narrowed it down to a top 5 list.
1. Visit Diocletian’s Palace
Visiting the magnificent Diocletian’s Palace is definitely an essential part of any trip to Split. Completed on 1 May 305 AD for the Roman Emperor Diocletian, it’s protected by UNESCO and is a haven for those who admire stunning architecture.
It’s so magnificent, it didn’t escape the attention of HBO series Game of Thrones, who used it as a location for their fourth season. The Peristyle is filled with tourists, many of whom enjoy having photographs taken with Diocletian Guards.
The underground complex includes stalls selling jewellery, souvenirs and art. The palace walls extend to the Riva which is filled with bars and restaurants.
2. Walk up to Marjan Hill
It might seem mad to huff and puff your way up a hill in stifling evening heat without a bottle of water (trust me, you only forget once) but the view is worth it.
Marjan Hill is located at the top of the city. It’s the perfect location to walk, run and jog. There’s plenty to see from the various viewing points. It’s from the top that you can really admire the beauty of Split. You can see everything from Diocletian’s Palace to the surrounding Dinaric Alps.
It’s very relaxing to be away from the busier parts of Split and be surrounded by beautiful nature. There’s also a zoo at the top of the hill. I’ve been twice before but there’s not much to see inside. Many of the animals are old and could benefit from better care and attention.
3. Visit the local beaches
If you’re in Split, you’ll definitely want to spend some time on one of the local beaches. All of the beaches have very clean sea water and many have sheltered bays.
There are plenty of beaches to choose from, including the very popular Bačvice Beach and the quieter Firule Beach. Firule Beach is wonderful. It isn’t as busy as Bačvice Beach so you’re able to relax in peace and quiet and enjoy leisurely swimming.
Most of the beaches have nearby bars and cafes so you can enjoy refreshments throughout the day. I prefer to stay out of the sun as much as possible so I like to get to the beach early to reserve a spot in the shade. I know, I’m practically a vampire…
4. Buy traditional ice cream
You haven’t lived if you haven’t tried delicious ice cream from a traditional ice cream parlour in Split. I’ve been spending my summers in Split for four years now and it’s a happy coincidence that Slastičarna Riva Split has been open for the same amount of time.
The family run business is extremely popular with locals as well as tourists. The customer service is outstanding, everyone is very polite and friendly, which is exactly why I will only buy my ice cream from here.
I enjoy chatting to Kadi about the abysmal British weather (rain is practically unheard of in Split) and more recently, the football at Euro 2016. Everyone in Split agrees that Croatia was robbed of a place in the final. Alas, I digress…
Speaking of ice cream, their selection is UHMAZING. There’s everything from citrus fruit flavours (which are super thirst-quenching) to creamy pistachio, stracciatella and even dark chocolate! I adore rose but I still haven’t plucked up the courage to ask if they’d ever make rose ice cream. If they did, I’d probably have to take the entire tray with me. #sorrynotsorry
Slastičarna Riva Split: Obala Hrvatskog narodnog preporoda 21, 21000, Split, Croatia
5. Buy Filigree jewellery
There’s no excuse not to buy a piece of Filigree jewellery. You can find lots of traditional jewellers in Split, particularly around Diocletian’s Palace.
Filigree jewellery is very intricate and made from silver or gold and is finished with small beads which are soldered onto the top. It’s a specialised skill and many of the local businesses are family run.
You can choose between beautiful bracelets, earrings, necklaces and rings for a unique piece of jewellery that nobody else will have. I don’t think I’ll ever stop buying filigree jewellery!