Split is unquestionably one of the most picturesque and fascinating cities in Europe. With the historic town centre built within the walls of a Roman emperor’s former palace, Split can feel like one big outdoor museum.
The city’s charming streets and friendly locals will be familiar to anyone who has travelled in the Mediterranean. Still, few places in the world offer quite so dramatic a combination of natural beauty and extraordinary architecture.
Making a great base from which to explore Croatia further, Split is surrounded by many enchanting islands that offer pristine sandy beaches, secluded coves, and glimmering turquoise waters.
Join Rewind Dubrovnik as we offer our tips for getting the most out of your visit to Split and how to explore her neighbouring islands.
Also, be sure to check out our exciting range of Private Dubrovnik Boat Tours – no visit to Croatia is complete without seeing Dubrovnik, the pearl of the Adriatic.
The Best Time to Visit Split
Located in the heart of Dalmatia, Split experiences weather similar to that of southern Italy or Spain. The classic tourist season stretches from May until September.
The summer heat can be quite intense in July and August if you’re not used to such warm weather (the days will generally reach over 30°C or 86°F).
It is June, July, and August, though, that see the biggest crowds of visitors, so if you like the tourist atmosphere, this will be the time to plan your visit.
However, if you like to travel when things are a tad quieter, we recommend planning your holiday for September. You will still find typically dry, warm weather, but the bustling crowds will be absent.
In saying all this, Split has such an array of amazing cultural sites and wonderful places to eat or enjoy good coffee that it’s a great year-round vacation destination.
What to See in Split, Croatia
The possibilities in Split are endless. From spending time in nature to enjoying luxury spa treatments, exploring world-class historical sites, or just sipping coffee in one of the old town’s many charming cafes, Split offers plenty of choices.
Below, we pick some of our highlights.
The jewel in Split’s crown, Diocletian’s Palace is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and a backdrop for a town centre unlike any you’ve ever seen. In the centre of Split, local people go about their daily routines within the walls of what was once a military fortress/palace for the Roman emperor.
The emperor Diocletian was born in 284 AD in the nearby town of Salona, a capital city of the late-Roman empire. Judging by the amazingly well-preserved complex we see today, the palace would have been gigantic in its heyday.
The Riva Promenade
Wander the idyllic promenade around Split’s harbour. Here, you’ll be able to capture lots of wonderful pictures to make your friends back home jealous. Nothing screams vacation quite like the blue waters and white boats of a sun-soaked Mediterranean harbour.
Time spent around Split’s harbour will doubtlessly inspire you to climb aboard a board for some island-hopping.
Saint Domnius Cathedral
The oldest Catholic cathedral in the world, Saint Domnius Cathedral was consecrated in the 7th century.
Saint Domnius Cathedral is located within the walls of Diocletian’s Palace and was built on the site of an earlier pagan temple. Climb the cathedral’s bell tower for the best views over the emperor’s palace and the Old Town of Split.
For similarly epic views, walk to the top of Split’s Marjan Hill.
Fortress of Klis
Located just outside Split, this medieval, hillside fortress was originally built as a small stronghold by the ancient Illyrian tribe Dalmatae.
Through the centuries, the fortress has come under the control of Romans, Mongols, Croatian kings, and Templar Knights.
Recently, the atmospheric building was a filming location for the popular Game of Thrones TV series.
Visiting Islands from Split
Many terrific islands can be visited from Split. Here, we’ll choose some of our top pics.
The further inhabited Croatian island from the mainland, Vis’ tumultuous history has seen the island ruled by the Venetian Republic and Napoleon’s forces. Today, this small fishing island is unique for its other-worldly tranquillity. Walking around Vis, you will feel that nothing has changed here for decades, perhaps even centuries.
You can take a 4-hour ferry from Split or join a private boat tour for a faster trip. (If you’re island-hopping from Dubrovnik, you can book Rewind’s Transfers by Speed Boat from Dubrovnik.)
Just 30 minutes from Split by catamaran, Šolta is the quintessential Dalmatian paradise: sapphire waters, quiet beaches, and charming coastal towns. Foodies will want to sample the island’s freshly grown produce, locally made olive oil, and Dobričić wine.
Šolta should be your choice of island if you’re looking for quiet time away from the bustle of the city. On Šolta, you get an authentic taste of local Dalmatian life.
Our final recommendation of the island is Hvar. Reachable from Split in about 2 hours, Hvar is one of the most popular destinations in all of Croatia with international guests. Hvar offers a bit of everything, from its beautiful beaches to world-class cuisine and historic buildings.
The island’s main town offers a real buzz, with renowned restaurants and great nightlife. But if you want a calmer, more revitalising island adventure, you can escape from the crowds and head out to Hvar’s wine-producing region.
At Rewind, we offer speed boat transfer from Dubrovnik to Hvar, and vice versa. If you’re heading to Hvar from Split, why not book one of our transfers to take you on to Dubrovnik?
If you have any questions, please get in touch.