Are you cruising the Croatian coast and have time for only 1 day in Split Croatia?! Wondering what to see in Split Croatia in one day and what to do in 24 hours in Split Croatia?!
Stay calm. As a Croatian and a native of Dalmatia, I’ve been to Split a zillion times. And here is my guide to the best things to do in Split in one day.
THIS POST MAY CONTAIN COMPENSATED LINKS. PLEASE READ MY DISCLAIMER FOR MORE INFO
One day in Split Croatia might seem too short for a visit to this lovely Mediterranean city.
Exactly, it seems!
As a Croatian from the region of Dalmatia, I’ve been to Split countless times.
I have been visiting Split all my life.
My earliest memories of Split go back to my childhood. My grandpa had an apartment in Split. And, I enjoyed my family trips to Split as a kid enormously.
My grandpa passed away many years ago, and the apartment has been sold. But I’ve been keeping visiting my friends and relatives in Split as often as I can.
So, let me help you plan your visit to Split. Especially if you are visiting Split for only one day.
Don’t worry, it is possible to see Split in one day and enjoy it without a rush.
The center of Split is small in size and walkable, and the top tourist attractions in Split are in the downtown Split.
To make the most of your time in Split, I have compiled the evergreen 15 best things to do in Split in one day (regardless of the season you are visiting Split).
- WHAT TO DO IN ONE DAY IN SPLIT CROATIA: What to See in One Day in Split
- MUST-VISIT PLACES IN 1 DAY IN SPLIT CROATIA
- 1. Go to the Peristyle
- 2. Climb the tower of the St. Domnius Cathedral
- 3. See Jupiter’s Temple
- 4. Walk the ancient Roman alleys in Split
- 5. See the Vestibule
- 6. Observe homes and businesses within the walls of Diocletian’s Palace
- 7. Check out the People’s Square
- 8. Mingle with locals at Fruit Square
- 9. Walk through the Golden Gate
- 10. Rub the tomb of Bishop Gregory of Nin
- 11. Enjoy Riva
- 12. Visit the Prokurative square
- 13. Explore Marjan Hill viewpoints at the sunset
- 14. Explore beaches in Split
- 15. Try local delicacies
- WHERE TO STAY IN SPLIT CROATIA
- VISIT SPLIT IN ONE DAY: Tourist attractions in Split Croatia
- EXPLORE SPLIT IN A DIFFERENT WAY
- INSIDER AND OFF-THE-BEATEN-TRACK SPLIT IN CROATIA
- BEST DAY TRIPS FROM SPLIT IN CROATIA
- STEPS AND TRAVEL RESOURCES FOR YOUR PERFECT TRIP
WHAT TO DO IN ONE DAY IN SPLIT CROATIA: What to See in One Day in Split
Split is the largest Croatian city on the Adriatic coast and the capital of the 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 the Greek and Roman era, the Byzantine and Venetian periods, the Napoleonic era, Habsburg Monarchy, Austria-Hungary Empire, Italy, and ex-Yugoslavia times which are evident in every step visitors take in Split.
But the person who left the most significant mark on Split was Roman Emperor Diocletian.
The city of Split was his hometown 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 about 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.’Diocletian
Split and Diocletian’s Palace are inseparable. When you think of Split, you think of Diocletian Place and vice versa.
The Diocletian 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 Croatian island of Brač, as well as Greek and Italian marble, and decorated with Egyptian granite columns and sphinxes from Luxor.
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 a 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. The palace was home to more than 9.000 people in Diocletian times. 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?! Don’t worry.
Croatia is my homeland, and the city of Split is the capital of my native region. So, here I am to help you to have the best possible time of one day in Split. Here is my ultimate guide to one day in Split.
MUST-VISIT PLACES IN 1 DAY IN SPLIT CROATIA
Things to do in 1 day in Split Croatia:
Thinking of the 10 best things to do in Split?
Well, let’s not talk about the top ten things to do in Split. Instead, let’s do the 15 best things in Split in one day.
The best places to visit in Split Croatia, and must-do things in Split in one day:
1. Go to the Peristyle
What to see in Split in one day:
The 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 Croatian island Brač. The square is decorated with the finest Italian marble and beautiful Egyptian Sienite (from Assuan) columns on the sides.
Believe it or not, mighty Diocletian imported twelve Egyptian sphinxes from Egypt to decorate his residence. One of them is still on the Peristyle.
During summer Peristyle Square hosts many cultural and musical events. You can meet even “Roman gladiators” in Peristyle Square in summer.
The St. Dominus Cathedral stands on one side of Peristyle Square. And, Jupiter’s temple and the narrowest alley in Split called ‘Let Me Pass‘ (just next to the temple) are opposite the Cathedral.
To learn more about the history of Diocletian Palace and the Peristyle, I suggest taking a guided one-hour walking tour. Check out Split: 1.5-Hour Diocletian’s Palace & Old Town Walking Tour (Get Your Guide) !
2. Climb the tower of the St. Domnius Cathedral
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.
St. Domnius is the patron saint of Split. He was the first bishop of the Roman province of Dalmatia.
The Cathedral of St. Domnius was originally a Diocletian mausoleum built in the 4th century AD. Later, in the 7th century, the mausoleum was converted into a cathedral.
Ironically, St. Domnius as a Christian was beheaded in one of the persecutions of Christians ordered 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 in Split is a must-do in Split Croatia!
3. See Jupiter’s Temple
What to see in Split Croatia in one day: Jupiter’s temple, located at the Peristyle
Jupiter’s temple in Split 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.
An Egyptian sphinx stands in front of the temple and a Renaissance sarcophagus from the 16th century. The sphinx serves as the temple’s keeper.
The Jupiter temple was converted into St. John’s Baptistery in the 6th century AD. Nowadays the baptistery is open just one day in the year, on the 24th of June (the Feast Day of St. John the Baptist).
4. Walk the ancient Roman alleys in Split
What to do in Split Croatia in one day: Walk the old Roman cobbled alleys in Split as the old Romans did!
‘Let me pass’ street (or ‘Pusti me proć‘ in Croatian) is the narrowest street in Split. The alley is so narrow that only one person can walk it at once. It is not possible for two people to walk it simultaneously.
Pusti Me Proć street is next to Jupiter’s Temple.
5. See the Vestibule
What to see in Split Croatia in one day: See Vestibule, the entrance to Diocletian Palace
The vestibule is the antechamber to the residential part of Diocletian Palace. Niches of the antechamber were full of statues once and it was covered with a large dome.
The vestibule in Diocletian Palace in Split is a site with great acoustics. Therefore, it is a place where musicians gather, sing, and play. You can hear some great street musicians and a cappella Dalmatian Klapa singers in the vestibule.
6. Observe homes and businesses within the walls of Diocletian’s Palace
What to see in Split Croatia in one day: witness contemporary life in Split within the old Palace walls.
The Diocletian Palace is the only World Heritage Site in the world where people still live within the original walls of the palace!
You can find homes, small shops, coffee and wine bars, restaurants, and bistros within the walls of the historic palace.
7. Check out the People’s Square
What to do in Split Croatia in one day: Visit 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 gathering.
The most prominent buildings on the square are a Romanesque clock, a medieval sundial, the City Cafe, and a Baroque Milesi palace.
8. Mingle with locals at Fruit Square
What to do in Split Croatia in one day: Mingle with local people at Fruit Square.
Fruit Square is a square in Split with the octagonal Venetian tower and a statue of Marko Marulić, a Renaissance poet from the 15th century and the father of Croatian literature.
Once a bustling fruit market, Fruit Square is now one of the most popular gathering places in Split.
Check out: Split: Historical & Gastro Treasures Tour with Green Market
9. Walk through the Golden Gate
What to see in Split Croatia in one day: See the Golden Gate, the main gate to Diocletian palace
The Diocletian palace has fourth gates. They are named by materials: The Golden (Northern), Silver (Eastern), Iron (Western), and Bronze (Southern) Gate.
The Golden Gate, constructed as double doors for defending military purposes, was the main entrance to the palace.
On June 1, 305 AD, Emperor Diocletian walked through this gate, officially entering the palace.
This historic Gate is a must-see in Split.
10. Rub the tomb of Bishop Gregory of Nin
What to do in Split Croatia in one day: Make a wish and rub the thumb of Bishop Gregory of Nin.
In the 10th 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.
11. Enjoy Riva
What to do in Split Croatia in one day: Enjoy Split’s seafront promenade.
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’. Riva is the most popular meeting point and the main place for social and cultural events in Split.
Croatians love good coffee and basking in the sun. And Split’s Riva is the most famous place in Croatia for sipping coffee in the sun!
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!
12. Visit the Prokurative square
What to see in Split Croatia in one day: Head to the Prokurative square made in the Neo-Renaissance Italian style
This beautiful square was inspired by Italian architecture and St. Mark’s Square in Venice.
The Prokurative square dates back to the mid-19th century. The square got its name Prokurative for the red neo-renaissance Italian structure in architecture.
The square is surrounded by buildings on 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.
13. Explore Marjan Hill viewpoints at the sunset
Marjan Hill is a forested park and a protected area in Split.
It is also a prized recreational area. Marjan Hill is a favorite place of locals for outdoor activities (jogging, cycling, climbing, hiking, or just walking).
Gorgeous Marjan is a place of serenity among lovely Mediterranean nature. Besides that, Marjan Hill overlooks Split and it provides the best views of Split. Needless to say, the best views of Split from Marjan are at sunset and sunrise.
There are 3 Marjan viewpoints: Prva Vidilica na Marjanu (the First Viewpoint on Marjan Hill), Vrh Telegrin (Telegrin peak), and Vidikovac (Marjan Hill Viewpoint)
Prva Vidilica na Marjanu (the First Viewpoint) is a fabulous Split viewpoint on Marjan hill.
It is easily reachable from Riva. You just need to climb St Mary’s stairs (next to St Francis monastery on Riva) to get to Vidilica. There is even a coffee bar on the top to have a cup of coffee with the most amazing views of Split.
Vrh Telegrin (Telegrin peak) is at the highest peak of Marjan. It is an easy climb to Vrh Telegrin from Riva. Actually, it is only a 10 min walk from the Diocletian Palace. (PS: Have I told you that is possible to visit Split in one day?)
Vrh Telegrin provides exceptional views of Split, Mosor mountain, Kozjak mountain, Kaštel Bay, and the neighboring islands.
But, the Vidikovac (Marjan Hill Viewpoint) observation point arguably offers the best views of Split. If you would like to check out the views from Vidikovac, walk for about 30 min from Prva Vidilica na Marjanu (the First Viewpoint) to the Vidikovac observation point (Marjan Hill Viewpoint).
If you are chasing scenic views, head to Marjan Hill.
14. Explore beaches in Split
If you are visiting Split in the summertime, exploring Split beaches is a must-do in Split.
Bačvice Beach, Ježinac Beach, Žnjan City Beach, Firule Beach, Kasjuni Beach, Obojena public beach, Kaštelet Beach, and Ovčice Beach are some of the most popular beaches in Split.
But, Bačvice Beach is the most iconic beach in Split. It is a small beach with a sandy area and shallow water. Bačvice Beach is in the city center and it is usually overcrowded.
But if you are having only one day in Split on your itinerary, Bačvice Beach in the city center is the most convenient beach to take a swim in Split.
Can you see it?! Even some beach time is possible in Split in one day!
15. Try local delicacies
Split is the capital of Dalmatia, the coastal region in Croatia. Dalmatian cuisine is based on fish and seafood with lots of vegetables.
If you are a foodie who enjoys local cuisines on your travels, I would suggest trying traditional Dalmatian dishes like octopus salad, traditional Dalmatian octopus peka dish, prawns buzara, or mussels buzara in Split.
Fantažija kitchen and wine restaurant is a top restaurant in Split with an excellent selection of Croatian and Mediterranean dishes. The restaurant has a great offer for vegans, vegetarians, pescatarians, and omnivores.
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 -is a superb hostel near Diocletian Palace and Bačvice Beach in the heart of Split.
MID-RANGE: Hotel Cvita – is a 4-star hotel with an outdoor swimming pool, a spa, and a wellness center. It is located in the heart of Split and within a 15 min walk from the Diocletian Palace.
LUXURY: Grisogono Palace Heritage Residence -is a 4-star stylish apartment in the medieval home of the noble family Grisogno. The building is a part of the Diocletian Palace and it is under UNESCO’s protection.
VISIT SPLIT IN ONE DAY: Tourist attractions in Split Croatia
Are you still wondering if it is possible to see the main attractions in Split in one day? If so, here’s a map of all must-see sites in Split in one day!
Yes, there are so close to each other!
EXPLORE SPLIT IN A DIFFERENT WAY
Discover Split in One Day in a distinctive way: Explore Split by Segway, or 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
BEST DAY TRIPS FROM SPLIT IN CROATIA
I wouldn’t be surprised if you decide to spend some more time in Split.
In this case and if you are wondering what to do near Split Croatia, I’ve compiled a list of the best trips from Split:
1. Trogir from Split
Beautiful Trogir is a small town next to Split.
Trogir is one of the most picturesque towns in Croatia. The historic center of Trogir with its Romanesque churches and Baroque buildings is a UNESCO World Heritage site.
Luckily, Trogir is only 35 min away from Split and it acts as a suburban area of Split. So, it is easy to visit Trogir from Split.
In addition, Trogir can be explored in only 2 hours. So, if you have some extra time, pay a visit to Trogir.
Check out: From Split: Split & Trogir Tour
2. Plitvice Lakes day trip from Split
Plitvice Lakes National Park is a must-see in Croatia.
It is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The park is famous for its cascading lakes and waterfalls. There are 16 large lakes and 30 waterfalls within the park. The lakes are known for their mesmerizing colors (from sky blue and turquoise to emerald green and grey).
The park covers an area of about 30.000 ha. Plitvice Lakes NP is a popular day trip from Split. Check out: Plitvice Lakes Day Tour From Split
More about Plitvice Lakes National Park, you can read: How to visit Plitvice Lakes National Park
3. Krka Waterfalls National Park day trip from Split
Krka Waterfalls are also a national park in Croatia.
The falls and the park are named after the Krka River. Skradinski Buk Falls is one of the most visited and photographed spots in the park.
The park is one of the most visited places in Croatia, along with above mentioned Plitvice Lakes. Visiting Krka Waterfalls NP is one of the best day trips from Split. Krka Waterfalls NP is about an hour’s drive away from Split. Check out: Krka Waterfalls and Šibenik From Split
4. Rafting or canyoning on the Cetina River from Split
If you need a quick adrenaline fix, check out rafting on the Cetina Rivera. Cetina rafting is one of the best adventure activities in the Split area to take.
Check out these awesome tours: From Split: Canyoning on the Cetina River, and Half-Day Tour Cetina Rafting
5. Dubrovnik day trip from Split
Unarguably, Dubrovnik is the most visited city in Croatia.
The breathtaking Old Town of Dubrovnik is worldwide known for its stunning medieval walls and architecture, terracotta rooftops, limestone streets, and as the filming location of many movies, including Game of Thrones.
Dubrovnik is about 4 hour’s drive away from Split. Check out: Dubrovnik Day Tour From Split
6. Mostar day trip from Split
Mostar is one of the most beautiful places in the Balkans.
The Old Town is famous for its gripping history, architecture, and the Old Bridge (Stari Most), a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
Visiting Mostar is one of the top day trips from Split. Check out: Mostar and Medjugorje Day Tour From Split
7. Hvar island day trip from Split
Hvar is one of the most beautiful islands in Croatia and the Mediterranean.
The island of Hvar is the most visited Croatian island. Hvar is especially liked among celebrities. Beautiful Hvar town is the most visited place on Hvar island.
Hvar is easily reachable from Split. A journey to Hvar from Split takes 2 hours max. A day trip from Split to Hvar is a must in the summertime. Check out: Full-Day Catamaran Cruise to Hvar and Pakleni Islands
8. Blue Cave day trip from Split
The Blue Cave on the island of Biševo is famous for its mesmerizing blue color. The cave is naturally shaped by the sea. It is one of the most unique geomorphological natural sites in the world.
Visiting Blue Cave is one of the most popular day trips from Split. So, expect crowds in the cave in the summertime. Check out Blue Cave and 5 Islands Day Trip From Split
STEPS AND TRAVEL RESOURCES FOR YOUR PERFECT TRIP
1. Find and book your flight: Skyscanner
2. Find and book your stay: Booking.com, HotelsCombined.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: GetYourGuide, Viator
Do you want to explore more of the Balkans?
Maybe you should check out Sarajevo in Bosnia or Ohrid in Macedonia?!
Friday 10th of February 2017
Great guide. Thank you for putting this together.
Friday 10th of February 2017
Love your photos. Looks like a sunny place full of history. Gotta be one jam-packed day to fit all that in. Put on your running shoes!
Tuesday 7th of February 2017
Its totally my kinda place. Esp that its historic centre is under the heritage sites list of UNESCO! I'd love to visit this place. That's for the itinerary!!!
Stephanie A Bills
Monday 6th of February 2017
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!
Monday 6th of February 2017
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.