1 Day in Split in Croatia: What to See & What to Do

Best things to see in Split Croatia in one day

You are cruising the Croatian coast and have time for only 1 day in Split Croatia.

Are you pondering now what to see in Split Croatia in one day and what to do in 24 hours in Split Croatia?! One day in Split Croatia seems so short for this lovely Mediterranean town.

Are you contemplating over the itinerary for a day in Split Croatia questioning is it possible to see top attractions in Split Croatia in one day?!

Please put your mind at ease. It is possible to visit Split in one day and enjoy it. Here are the top things to see in Split Croatia and the top things to do in Split Croatia!

THIS POST MAY CONTAIN COMPENSATED LINKS. PLEASE READ MY DISCLAIMER FOR MORE INFO. 

WHAT TO SEE IN 1 DAY IN SPLIT CROATIA & WHAT TO DO IN 1 DAY IN SPLIT CROATIA 

Split is the largest Croatian city on the Adriatic coast and the capital of Dalmatia region in Croatia.

It is one of the most beautiful towns in Croatia along with Dubrovnik, Korčula, Hvar, Trogir, Zadar, and Rovinj to name a few.

Split is an ancient city with a rich history dating back to Greek and Roman era, Byzantine and Venetian period, Napoleonic era, Habsburg Monarchy, Austria-Hungary, Italy,, and ex Yugoslavia times which are evident on every step visitor take in Split.

But nevertheless, Split is widely known as the hometown of Roman Emperor Diocletian and the place where he retired after the abdication of the throne of Rome to enjoy his last days living in peace and growing vegetables under the Mediterranean sun.

There is an interesting historical anecdote with Diocletian when Maximinus’ ambassador begged Diocletian to come back to the throne of Rome from Split and become the Roman Emperor for the second time. Diocletian apparently answered:

'If you could show the cabbage I planted with my own hands to your emperor, he definitely wouldn't dare suggest I replace the peace and happiness of this place with the storms of a never-satisfied greed.' DiocletianClick To Tweet

Split and Diocletian’s Palace are inseparable. When you think of Split, you think of the Diocletian’s Place and vice versa.

The Diocletian’s Palace is a 30.000 square meter complex built in the 4th century AD. The complex encompassed a luxurious emperor’s villa and a military camp in the past. The palace was made of local white limestone, high-quality marble from the nearby island Brač, as well as Greek and Italian marble, and decorated with Egyptian granite columns and sphinxes from Luxor.

what to see in Split Croatia in one day
Street mural with the Diocletian Palace and St. Domnius

The core of the old town of Split is Diocletian’s Place with the Peristyle square, cellars, temples, vestibule, fortes, four towers and four gates on every side and thick net of narrow old Roman pedestrian-only alleys.

Today the palace is melted into the city of Split and it is the heart of contemporary Split. In Diocletian’s times, the Palace was home to more than 9.000 people. Today over 3.000 people live within the ancient palace walls.

But, what to do in Split Croatia? Even more, what to do in Split in one day?!

MUST VISIT PLACES IN 1 DAY IN SPLIT CROATIA 

Things to do in 1 day in Split Croatia: 

Thinking of 10 best things to do in Split? Well, let’s not talk about top ten things to do in Split. Instead, let’s do 12 best things in Split.

The best places to visit in Split Croatia, and must do things in Split:

1. Peristyle

what to see in Split Croatia in one day
Peristyle, the main square of Diocletian’s Palace in Split in Croatia

What to see in Split Croatia in one day: Peristyle is the central square of Diocletian’s Place and the northern access to the imperial apartments.

It is an open colonnade ceremonial court made of white stone from the island Brač and decorated with Italian marble and Egyptian Sienite (from Assuan) columns on the sides.

what to see in Split in one day
Egyptian Sphinx from Luxor on the Peristyle

Diocletian imported twelve Egyptian sphinxes from Egypt to decorate his residence. One of them is still on the Peristyle.

During summer the place hosts many cultural and musical events. In summer you can meet even “Roman gladiators” in the Peristyle square.

On one side of the Peristyle is St. Dominus Cathedral. Opposite the Cathedral in a small cobbled alley, you will find the Jupiter’s temple and the narrowest alley in Split called ‘Let me Pass‘ just next to the temple.

2. St. Domnius Cathedral

what to see in Split Croatia in one day
Belltower of the Cathedral of St. Domnius

What to do in Split Croatia in one day:  Climb the bell tower of St. Domnius Cathedral on the Peristyle and enjoy magnificent panoramic views of Split

what to see in Split Croatia in one day
View of the Adriatic sea from the St. Domnius tower

St. Domnius is the patron saint of Split. He was the first bishop of Roman province Dalmatia.

Cathedral of St. Domnius was originally the Diocletian’s mausoleum built in the 4th century AD. Later, in the 7th century, the mausoleum was converted to the Cathedral.

Ironically, St. Domnius as a Christian was beheaded in one of the persecutions of Christians by Emperor Diocletian.

The bell tower of St. Domnius Cathedral was built in the 12th century in the Romanesque style.

Climbing the bell town of the cathedral is Split is a must do in Split Croatia!

3. Jupiter’s Temple

what to see in Split Croatia in one day

What to see in Split Croatia in one dayJupiter’s temple, located just a few steps from the Peristyle

Jupiter’s temple was built in the 4th century AD honoring the cult of Jupiter.

Diocletian as a Roman Emperor was believed to be the reincarnation of Jupiter, the Roman highest god, and the god of the sky, thunder, and lightning. Hence, Diocletian was worshiped as a god.

In front of the temple stands an Egyptian sphinx as the temple’s keeper and a renaissance sarcophagus from the 16th century.

In the 6th century AD, the temple was converted into St. John’s  Baptistery. Nowadays it is open just one day in the year, on 24th June, the Day of St. John the Baptist.

4. Narrow old Roman alleys 

What to do in Split Croatia in one day: Walk the old Roman cobbled alleys in Split as the old Romans did!

what to see in Split Croatia in one day
I in ‘Let me pass’ street in Split

Let me pass’ street (or ‘Pusti me proć‘ in Croatian) is the narrowest street in Split. It is just next to Jupiter’s Temple.

5. Vestibule

what to see in Split Croatia in one day
Vestibule

What to see in Split Croatia in one day: Vestibule,  the entrance to Diocletian Palace 

The vestibule is the antechamber to the residential part of the Diocletian’s Palace. Once the niches of the antechamber were full of statues and it was covered with a large cupola.

The vestibule in the Diocletian Palace in Split is a site with great acoustics. There you can meet and hear some great street musicians and a cappella Dalmatian Klapa singers.

6. Homes and businesses within the walls of Diocletian’s Palace

What to see in Split Croatia in one day: contemporary life in Split within old Palace walls.

The Diocletian’s Palace is the only World Heritage site in the world where people still live within the original walls of the palace!

Within the walls of the historic palace, you can find small shops, coffee and wine bars, restaurants, and bistros.

7. People’s Square

what to see in Split Croatia in one day
Peoples Square in Split in Croatia

What to do in Split Croatia in one dayVisit the People’s square

People’s Square (or Narodni Trg in Croatian, also known as Pjaca among the locals), is a place with a long tradition of people’s gathering.

The most prominent square’s buildings are a Romanesque clock, medieval sundial, the City Cafe, and baroque Milesi palace.

what to see in Split Croatia in one day
People’s Square (Place) and the City Cafe (Gradska Kavana)

8. Fruit Square

what to see in Split Croatia in one day
Fruit Square (or Voćni Trg in Croatian) in Split

What to do in Split Croatia in one day: Mingle with local people at the Fruit Square.

Fruit Square is a square in Split with the octagonal Venetian tower and statue of Marko Marulić, a Renaissance poet from the 15th century and the father of Croatian literature. Once a bustling fruit market is now one of the most popular gathering places in Split.

9. Golden Gate

what to see in Split Croatia in one day
Doors of the Golden Gate

What to see in Split Croatia in one day: The Golden Gate in Split

The Diocletian’s Palace has forth gates named by materials: The Golden (Northern), Silver (Eastern), Iron (Western), and Bronze (Southern) Gate.

what to see in Split Croatia in one day
Golden Gate in Split

The Golden Gate, constructed as double doors in defending military purpose, was the main entrance to the palace. On the 1st June 305 AD, Emperor Diocletian walked through the gate, officially entering the palace.

10. Statue of Bishop Gregory of Nin

what to see in Split Croatia in one day
Statue of Bishop Gregory of Nin (Grgur Ninski in Croatian)

What to do in Split Croatia in one day: Make a wish and rub the thumb of Bishop Gregory of Nin.

In the 1oth century, Bishop Gregory of Nin was a huge advocate of using the Old Slavonic language and Glagolitic script.

Famous Croatian-born American sculptor Ivan Meštrović made the 6 feet (183 cm) tall statue of Bishop Gregory which stands just in front of the Golden Gate. Rubbing the bishop’s thumb is believed to make the wish come true.

what to see in Split Croatia in one day
I took my chance and rubbed the thumb

11. Riva

what to see in Split Croatia in one day
Riva, the seafront promenade, in Split in Croatia

What to do in Split Croatia in one day: Have a cup of coffee like local people and enjoy people watching on the seafront promenade in Split. Trust me, it is one of the best things to do in Split Croatia!

Riva is the seafront promenade in Split. If the Diocletian’s palace is the heart of Split, then Riva is the soul of Split.

The waterfront promenade is the town’s living room, the most popular meeting point, and the main place in Split for social and cultural events.

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Waterfront promenade in Split

12. Prokurative square

what to see in Split Croatia in one day
Prokurative square, or Republic square in Split

What to see in Split Croatia in one day: Prokurative square in the neo-renaissance Italian style

Prokurative is a square from the mid 19th century, inspired by Italian architecture and St. Mark’s square in Venice. The square got its name Prokurative for the red neo-renaissance Italian structure in architecture.

The square is surrounded by buildings on the three sides and is open to the harbor from the southern side. The Prokurative square has been a great open stage for numerous famous concerts, cultural events, and festivals for many years.

WHERE TO STAY IN SPLIT CROATIA

Do you like this one-day Split itinerary? I bet when you see all these must-see sites in Split, you will wish to stay in Split for a few days. Split is not only one of the most beautiful places in Croatia, but also one of the most beautiful towns in all Mediterranean. Roman Emperor Diocletian loved Split more than Rome. He gave up the throne of Rome to enjoy Split. Don’t be surprised if you fall in love with Split too.

RECOMMENDED STAY IN SPLIT IN CROATIA: 

BUDGET STAY: Hostel Dvor, Boutique Hostel Posteya, Gravitas Hostel

MID-RANGE: Central Split apartments and rooms Paese, Hotel Cvita, Luxury Rooms Floramye, Apartmani Split L&A, Sailor Boutique Rooms

LUXURY: Palace Suites Heritage Hotel, Royal Piazza, Pietra Rossa, Grisogono Palace Luxury Apartment, Radisson Blu Resort & SpaPriska Luxury Rooms

Best things to do in Split in one day I | Croatia Travel Guide | Croatia Itinerary |

STEPS AND TRAVEL RESOURCES FOR YOUR PERFECT TRIP

1. Find and book your flight: Skyscanner
2. Find and book your stay: Booking.comHotelsCombined.com
3. Find and book the best car rentals: Discover Car Hire
4. Get travel insurance (insure yourself against any accident, sickness, theft, and canceled flight): WorldNomads.com
5. Find and book great guided day tours: GetYourGuideViator

EXPLORE SPLIT IN A DIFFERENT WAY

Discover Split in 1 Day in a distinctive way

Split by Segway 

Split by Hop-On Hop-Off Bus 

INSIDER AND OFF-THE-BEATEN TRACK SPLIT IN CROATIA

Spend 1 Day in Split Croatia in a unique way

Game of Thrones Tour in Split 

Secrets of Split 3-Hour Walking Tour 

2.5-Hour Culinary Tour in Split 

Culinary and Wine Tasting Tour in Split

BEST DAY TRIPS FROM SPLIT IN CROATIA 

What to do near split Croatia? Plan your next trip from Split :

Plitvice Lakes Day Tour From Split

Krka Waterfalls and Šibenik From Split

Half-Day Tour Cetina Rafting

Dubrovnik Day Tour From Split

Mostar and Medjugorje Day Tour From Split

Full-Day Catamaran Cruise to Hvar and Pakleni Islands

Blue Cave and 5 Islands Day Trip From Split 

Perfect one day itinerary for Split Croatia
Best things to do in Split in one day

Do you want to explore more of the Balkans?

Maybe you should check out Sarajevo in Bosnia or Ohrid in Macedonia?! 

what to see in Split Croatia in one day

 

THIS POST MAY CONTAIN COMPENSATED LINKS. PLEASE CLICK HERE TO READ MY DISCLAIMER FOR MORE INFO.

45 comments

  1. What a beautiful and picture perfect city. We have added it to our travel list after seeing your pictures and reading your information. We have never been and your post makes it so inviting. Loved it!

  2. I would love to go to Split! Thanks for sharing the background of this city, I love hearing the history of places. This is a great list I definitely want to keep all these locations in mind if I ever go here!

  3. I’ve been dying to see Croatia and its beautiful pieces of history like Jupiter’s Temple. Thanks for sharing these tips I’m pinning them for later!

  4. What stunning photos and a great blog post. I have heard that Split is amazing, but I’ve never been there. Your post has made me want to go there right NOW. I’ll be pinning this for later 🙂

  5. Split looks amazing! I’d love to visit it one day – I’d definitely take a look at the palace, the church, and all that beautiful architecture!

  6. wow when I am thinking about Croatia I can only need nice sandy beaches. I knew about the city but I didn’t realised how much of a history is there! Now I wanna visit even more!

  7. Croatia has been on my list for quite some time now! Funny name for a place, but I love all the architectural details! That green door is amazing! I will definitely have to go sometime soon!

  8. I usually hate to do a city in a day. It always feels too rushed and you can’t really absorb the culture. That being said sometimes it is just impossible because of time constraints. That is where tips like these become extremely useful. Lovely article and awesome photographs!

  9. Having visited Dubrovnik for a family wedding a couple of years back I am really keen to see more of Croatia and Split is high on the list. I really loved all of your beautiful photos and learning more about the history of Emperor Diocletian and his architectural legacy in Split.

  10. Great round up! I loved my time in Croatia, and Split was probably my favorite city – highly underrated in my opinion, there’s so much beautiful and fascinating history and cultural heritage … and so wonderfully preserved 🙂

  11. I loved Split – Much of it is so Venetian in style and Diocletian’s Palace is just amazing. I was told that the Emperor lived in one half with a few close family members – and his servants and soldiers live in the other half – over 2,000 of them!

  12. I haven’t been to Croatia yet, and had no idea Split was so beautiful. Thanks for the wonderful photos to tickle the wanderlust. Officially bookmarked for future travel.

  13. Split is just lovely! We also did a great little day trip to two islands right from the Riva that we loved. It was gorgeous being out on the water and having a bit of time for swimming.

  14. I had no idea Split was such a beautiful city. You did see a lot in just a day. The view from the bell tower is breathtaking. I would definitely climb up there.

  15. Such an incredible city that you’ve captured so well! This seriously takes me back to my time there 🙂 You uncovered a few treasures I didn’t get a chance to see, so looks like I’ll have to double back soon. Love the views from the top!

  16. Split looks gorgeous! I would love to just spend a day wandering around the alleys and the squares. The Vestibule and Golden Gate look amazing too, and everything on your list definitely looks like it’s worth a stop. Thanks for the great suggestions!

  17. Great tips and a wonderful roundup of how to see so much in a day – I love articles like this one. I will have to keep this for the next time we return to Croatia.

  18. Split seems like a wonderful place to visit! I love Roman history, so I would die to see so many Roman artifacts. Imagine actually living in Diocletian’s Palace! And that huge statue of Bishop Gregory is insane. I can’t wait to go to Croatia some day!

  19. You have nicely compiled all the historical places which one must visit in a Split. The Diocletian palace looks great and that view from Bell tower is cool. The statue of Bishop is so huge and neat and liked that picture too.

  20. I can see why a person would want to retire there. Diocletian must have been a clever man. You look so tiny compared to Gregory’s toe, what a giant statue! Marvelous images of a really intriguing place.

  21. Your pictures are absolutely stunning. I cannot get enough of the architecture! Split looks completely breathtaking. I just added this to my travel to wish list!

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