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

Visiting Marjan hill is one of the best things to do in Split in one day

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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. I compiled for you the 15 best things to see in Split Croatia and the 15 best things to do in Split Croatia.

one day in split croatia

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

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

One day in Split Croatia seems so short for visiting this lovely Mediterranean town. Exactly, it seems! Please put your mind at ease. It is possible to visit Split in one day and enjoy it.

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 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 period, the Napoleonic era, Habsburg Monarchy, Austria-Hungary, Italy, and ex-Yugoslavia times which are evident in every step visitors 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 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 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 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. 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?! Don’t worry. Croatia is my homeland, I’ve been numerous times in Split, and here is the 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.

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

1. See the 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 Croatian island Brač. It’s decorated with the finest Italian marble and beautiful Egyptian Sienite (from Assuan) columns on the sides.

Check out:
Split: 1.5-Hour Walking Tour and Diocletian’s Palace
Split: 1.5-Hour Diocletian’s Palace & Old Town Walking Tour

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

Believe it or not, 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 Peristyle square.

St. Dominus Cathedral stands on one side of the Peristyle. But, opposite the Cathedral in a small cobbled alley, you will find Jupiter’s temple and the narrowest alley in Split called ‘Let me Pass‘ (just next to the temple).

2. Climb the tower of the 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 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 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. 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.

An Egyptian sphinx stands in front of the temple. The sphinx serves 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 the 24th of June, the Day of St. John the Baptist.

4. Walk the ancient 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
Me 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. See the Vestibule

what to see in Split Croatia in one day
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 the Diocletian 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. 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!

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

7. Check out the 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 gathering.

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

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

8. Mingle with locals at 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 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, the 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
Doors of the Golden Gate

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

The Diocletian Palace has forth gates. They are 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 for defending military purposes, was the main entrance to the palace.
On the 1st June 305 AD, Emperor Diocletian walked through the 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 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 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.

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

11. Enjoy 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: Enjoy Split’s seafront promenade.

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 said to be 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.

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Waterfront promenade in Split

12. Visit the 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 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

Visiting Marjan hill is one of the best things to do in Split in one day
Marjan hill overlooks the entire city

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 provides serenity among outstanding Mediterranean nature. Besides, Marjan Hill overlooks Split and it provides the best views of Split. Needles to say, the best views of Split from Marjan are at sunset and sunrise.

There are 3 Marjan viewpoints: Prva Vidilica na Marjanu, Vrh Telegrin and Vidikovac.

Prva Vidilica na Marjanu 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 coffee with the most amazing views of Split.

Vrh Telegrin is at the highest peak of Marjan. It is an easy climb to Vrh Telegrin from Riva. Actually, it is only 10 min walk from the Diocletian Palace.
Vrh Telegrin provides exceptional views of Split, the Mosor mountain, the Kozjak mountain, the Kastel bay, and the islands.

But, the Vidikovac 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 to Vidikovac observation point.

If you are chasing scenic views, head to Marjan Hill.

14. Explore beaches in Split

Swimming in Kasjuni beach is one of the best things to do in one day in Split
Kašjuni Beach 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.

15. Visit Trogir

Visiting Trogir from Split is one of the best things to do in Split if you have an extra time
Trogir

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 Trgorir 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

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, Sailor Boutique Rooms
LUXURY: Palace Suites Heritage Hotel, Grisogono Palace Luxury Apartment, Radisson Blu Resort & Spa

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 

BEST DAY TRIPS FROM SPLIT IN CROATIA 

What to do near Split Croatia? Check out some day trips from Split:

1. PLITVICE LAKES DAY TRIP FROM SPLIT

Plitvice Lakes are a great  day trip from Split
Plitvice Lakes National Park in Croatia

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. There are 16 lakes within the park. The lakes are known for their mesmerizing colors (from sky blue and turquise to emerald green and grey). The park covers an area of about 30.000 ha.

Check out: Plitvice Lakes Day Tour From Split


2. KRKA WATERFALLS NATIONAL PARK DAY TRIP FROM SPLIT

Krka waterfalls are a great day trip from Split Croatia
Krka Waterfalls in Croatia

Krka Waterfalls are also a national park in Croatia.
It is named after Krka river. Skradinski Buk Falls is one of the most visited and photographed spots of 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 drive away from Split.

Check out: Krka Waterfalls and Šibenik From Split



3. 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:
From Split: Canyoning on the Cetina River
Half-Day Tour Cetina Rafting


4. DUBROVNIK DAY TRIP FROM SPLIT

Sunny Dubrovnik in winter
Dubrovnik, Croatia © World Travel Connector

Unargubly, Dubrovnik is the most visited city in Croatia.
The breathtaking Old Town of Dubrovnik is worldwide known for its stunning medival walls and architecture, terracotta rooftops, limestone streets, and as filming location of many movies, including Game of Thrones.
Dubrovnik is about 4 hour drive away from Split.

Check out: Dubrovnik Day Tour From Split

5. MOSTAR DAY TRIP FROM SPLIT

Mostar is a great day trip from Split Croatia
Visiting Mostar is a great day trip from Split Croatia

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 a great day trip from Split Croatia
Hvar island in Croatia

Hvar is one of the most beautiful islands in Croatia and the Mediterranean.
It 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 colour. 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.

Blue Cave and 5 Islands Day Trip From Split 

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

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. Ok so I knew nothing of Split before reading this article! Thank you for informing me. The churches and temples look so ancient and beautiful.

  4. 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!

  5. 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 🙂

  6. 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!

  7. 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!

  8. 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!

  9. 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!

  10. 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.

  11. 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 🙂

  12. 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!

  13. 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.

  14. 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.

  15. 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.

  16. 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!

  17. 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!

  18. 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.

  19. 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!

  20. 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.

  21. 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.

  22. 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!

  23. 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!!!

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