Croatia’s second largest city has the prefect blend of beaches, historic sights, museums and scenic spots to wander, making this destination somewhere you will want to come back to again and again. Combine that with great food, a buzzing waterfront promenade, and an Old Town oozing charm, and you have Split. Only have 24 hours to take it all in? That’s okay; our local Split tour guides have put together a streamlined itinerary that makes the most of a short visit.
Wake up early and start your visit to Split with some exploration of the Old Town, which will get busier as the day goes on — the early hours of the day are the best time to explore. You’ll be spending more time here throughout your visit, but the morning is great for some dedicated sightseeing, especially sprawling Diocletian’s Palace. This is one of the best-preserved monuments of the Roman architecture in the world and much more than a standalone attraction. Lace up your walking shoes and stroll the labyrinthine streets filled with history.
Right in the Old Town you’ll find Luxor Kavana, an Egyptian-themed cafe where you can go for a traditional Croatian breakfast. This restaurant is in the heart of Diocletian’s Palace at Peristil Square. There’s free wifi here and delicious local food.
After your meal, take a cup of coffee with you to the steps outside, where in the summer, cushions are laid out for guests to relax on, and from where you can admire breathtaking views of Peristil Square while gearing up for the rest of your day in Split.
Split’s market (pazar) lines the eastern side of Diocletian’s Palace and makes for a good place to browse local goods while you’re in the area. From there, Riva, Split’s seafront promenade, runs the length of the Old Town. The pretty promenade is lined with palm trees, benches and cafes. A good spot to enjoy some lunch by the water is Brasserie on 7, with a prime location overlooking the Adriatic. Have a relaxed meal and a glass of local wine or a cocktail.
After lunch it’s about a 15 to 20-minute walk down to popular Bacvice Beach, a central stretch of sand where you can watch locals playing picigin (a traditional game where the goal is to keep a small ball from dropping into the water), soak up some sun from a beach chair (available for rent), swim, or just people-watch from the sand. Once you’re done on the beach, there are bars and restaurants aplenty for a pre-dinner drink or snack before heading back the Old Town for dinner.
Take an evening stroll around Old Town before dinner to see how the atmosphere shifts in the evening. When it comes to where to eat, your options are seemingly endless since the area is filled with bars and restaurants. Either walk until something piques your interest, or opt for one of our top recommendations.
Our favorite restaurants include Zinfandel Food & Wine Bar, known as one of the best wine bars in the city with a menu of seasonal dishes to match; Bokeria, serving up Mediterranean cuisine with local ingredients; and Paradox, where you can fill up on local and international cheeses paired with great wine. You can see how part of the city is going to sleep and the other part starts its nightlife.
For travellers on a short visit, we recommend having a layover that will allow you to spend two hours in the city centre, and another hour for travelling to and from the airport.
The best way to get from the airport to the sites is by taking the bus. Pleso Prijevoz buses pick you up right in front of the main terminal and run according to arrival times of flights, dropping passengers at the main bus station, just next to the Old Town. You can check the timetable here. The trip takes around 40 minutes and a ticket costs HRK 30.
If you want to see Split in two hours in the morning or afternoon, make your way to Split’s picturesque waterfront, the Riva. Here you’ll find many open-air cafes to choose from after walking along the seafront promenade.
If you’re in Split for an evening or nighttime layover, head straight for the Old Town to enjoy the sights by night and stop by one of the numerous bars and restaurants before you head home.