Hailed as the ‘Pearl of the Adriatic,’ Split is the second largest city of Croatia and boasts a beguiling blend of ancient history and modern life. Nestled on a central peninsula on the Dalmatian coast, the city is home to the sprawling Roman Diocletian’s Palace, which is over 1,700 years old, along with other ruins dating to the Roman Empire and exudes an Old-World ambiance. The city also has a bustling, vibrant waterfront lined with palm trees and buzzing restaurants and bars where fresh seafood can be enjoyed against a backdrop of beautiful harbor views. The city features a labyrinth of winding cobblestone streets with tucked-away shops, boutiques, galleries and museums, and some of the best restaurants in the country. CDC information for travelers. Hours/availability may have changed.
1.Ivan Meštrovic Gallery
The Ivan Meštrovic Gallery is an art museum dedicated to the work of the 20th-century sculptor, Ivan Meštrovic, showcasing his most significant works in permanent and rotating exhibitions. The gallery is based in a historic marble villa that was designed and built in the 1930s by the artist himself and features over 200 sculptures, as well as sketches, architectural plans, and furniture pieces, making it the largest collection of his works in the world. In addition to the extraordinary collection inside the gallery, which spans from ancient Greek sculpture and folk art to modernism, and there is an extensive outdoor sculpture garden showcasing his large-scale works.
Šetalište Ivana Meštrovica 46, 21000, Split, Croatia, Phone: +385-21-34-08-00
Bacvice is a beautiful natural sandy beach in the heart of the city, next to the city port, that can comfortably accommodate thousands of bathers. Bacvice is packed in summer, becoming Split's own Copacabana where beach football and the game called ‘picigin’ – Split’s version of beach rugby – is played. The beach has a promenade running along the seashore, which draws strollers of all ages, and there are a few cafés, beach bars, and restaurants serving drinks and food, and the area comes alive at night.
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Located in the Diocletian's Palace, the Ethnographic Museum explores the old ways of life in Split and the surrounding regions through exceptional collections of pottery, wood carvings, jewelry, regional costumes, knitting, weapons, and other various handmade artifacts. Founded in 1910 and located next to the Peristyle - the central square of the Palace - the museum is housed in a beautiful building that is of vital architectural, cultural and historical significance that guards the entrance to the top of the Vestibul, which offers spectacular views of the sea, the Old Town, and Vestibul below.
Ul. Iza Vestibula 4, 21000, Split, Croatia, Phone: +385-21-34-41-64
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Dominating the heart of the Old Town of Split, Diocletian’s Palace is an ancient palace that was built for the Roman Emperor Diocletian in 305 AD. The beautifully preserved 4th-century citadel and UNESCO World Heritage Site rests at the center of the city and is bisected by Roman streets with original paving stones. Built as a combination of a luxury summer villa and a Roman military camp (castrum), the palace is divided into four sections with two main streets and contains residential buildings and military garrison quarters. While the interiors of the castle have been adapted throughout the centuries to accommodate the growing city around it, the outlines of the Imperial Palace are still visible.
Dioklecijanova ul. 1, 21000, Split, Croatia, Phone: +385-9-77-79-07-19
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5.Academia Ghetto Club
© Academia Ghetto Club
Located in the Diocletian's Palace, Academia Club Ghetto is a unique bar and club on the edges of the palace walls in the city center that draws a cult following and is a fantastic spot to have a drink and watch some of Split’s more colorful characters in action. Nestled in a cozy courtyard with a spectacular green terrace on Dosud Street, the Club exudes a slightly grungy, underground feel and often hosts art exhibitions, local and visiting DJs, live performances, and other events.
Dosud ulica 10, 21000, Split, Croatia, Phone: +385-9-11-97-77-90
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6.Cathedral of Saint Domnius
Located in the Mausoleum of the Roman Emperor Diocletian in the Diocletian's Palace, the Cathedral of Saint Domnius, locally known as the Sveti Dujam, is the city’s main Catholic cathedral and the seat of the Archdiocese of Split-Makarska. Built in the 7th century AD, St. Domnius Cathedral is the oldest Catholic cathedral in the world and blends ancient pagan, Christian Medieval and modern heritage. The Cathedral has a stunning interior with red granite Corinthian pillars, reliefs of hunting erots, masks, and human heads, and a cupola lined with glittering mosaics. The Cathedral’s 190-foot bell tower was added in the 13th century, and visitors can climb to the top for breathtaking views over the city.
Ul. Kraj Svetog Duje 5, 21000, Split, Croatia
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Located on Sustipan Cliff at the foot of Marjan Hill, Restaurant Adriatic Grašo is perfectly positioned to take in spectacular views of the city, the Adriatic Sea, and the surrounding islands of the archipelago. Established over 20 years ago, the restaurant is renowned for its traditional and regional Dalmatian cuisine, including fresh seafood and catch-of-the-day fish, Dalmatian cured meats, and fresh salads and vegetables. The restaurant’s terrace has plenty of seating for alfresco dining in the warmers months, but reservations are essential in the high season, and the full service bar serves a variety of local and imported beers, wines, and spirits, as well as handcrafted cocktails. Restaurant Adriatic Grašo is open for lunch and dinner, seven days a week.
Uvala Baluni b.b., Splitsko-dalmatinska županija HR, Phone: +385-21-39-85-60
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Set in a beautifully preserved historic 1900s villa tucked away in the winding backstreets of Split’s Old Town, Perivoj is a charming garden restaurant with beautiful Art Deco surroundings that serves award-winning Croatian cuisine. Surrounded by one of the city’s oldest pleasure gardens, the serene restaurant offers a tranquil escape from the hustle and bustle of the Old Town with both indoor and outdoor garden seating, tinkling fountains, and an intimate and romantic ambiance. The menu boasts typically Croatian dishes with a focus on mouthwatering desserts such as Slatko o’ medulla (almond and citrus cake), and an impressive wine list features an excellent selection of wines from the region and Europe, as well as top-shelf spirits, and signature cocktails. Perivoj is open for breakfast, lunch, and dinner, seven days a week.
Slaviceva Ul. 44, 21000, Split, Croatia, Phone: +385-21-78-75-85
9.Zinfandel Food & Wine
© Zinfandel Food & Wine
Zinfandel Food & Wine is a contemporary restaurant with exposed brick walls and floor-to-ceiling windows in the heart of the Old Town that promises an exceptional Dalmatian dining experience. Diners can select dishes from the tapas and small platter menu, off the á la carte menu, or go for a five-course tasting menu, both of which feature signature Dalmatian dishes such as roasted Adriatic octopus salad, saffron risotto, oxtail ravioli, filet mignon with sweet potato, and ricotta-stuffed calamari. The exquisite cuisine is paired with over 100 Croatian and international wines that can be enjoyed by the bottle or the glass, as well as local beers and handcrafted cocktails. Zinfandel Food & Wine is open for breakfast, lunch, and dinner, Monday through Saturday.
2 Maruliceva Ulica, Split, Splitsko-dalmatinska županija, 21000, Croatia, Phone: +385-21-35-51-35
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© Konoba Matejuska
Based on the ground of an old Dalmatian house dating back to the 19th century, Konoba Matejuska is a cozy, family-run restaurant with a rustic ambiance that specializes in traditional Dalmatian seafood and catch-of-the-day fish. The tiny tavern only boasts five or six tables squeezed into the below street-level dining room, creating an intimate atmosphere in which diners can tuck into mouthwatering black risotto, fresh calamari, and heaving fish platters for two featuring everything from squid to sea bass. The bar serves a variety of local and imported beers, casual Croatian and European wines, and spirits, as well as handcrafted cocktails, and the restaurant is open for lunch and dinner, seven days a week.
Ulica Tomica stine 3, Splitsko-dalmatinska županija HR, Phone: +385-9-59-09-91-31
11.Cafe Restaurant Dvor
© Café Restaurant Dvor
Located a stone’s throw away from the coastal path down to Bacvice Beach, Café Restaurant Dvor is a casual café-bar that serves Mediterranean and traditional Dalmatian cuisine against a backdrop of breathtaking sea views. The elegant fine-dining restaurant has charming appeal and serves a contemporary Dalmatian menu with innovative flair featuring dishes of fresh seafood and fish, prime meats such as Dalmatian ham and filet steak, fresh salads, and vegetarian dishes, and dreamy desserts. Knowledgeable and professional staff pair dishes with excellent Croatian and international wines, and the bar offers handcrafted cocktails made with high-end spirits. Café Restaurant Dvor is open for breakfast, lunch, and dinner, seven days a week.
Put Firula 14, 21000, Split, Croatia, Phone: +385-21-57-15-13
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© Buffet Fife
Located in the vibrant Veli Varos neighborhood, which is historically known for being home to the city’s fishing folk, Buffet Fife is a long-standing dining institution that serves traditional Croatian cuisine and casual wine in a bustling, crowded setting. Daily specials include everything from lamb meatballs with boiled potatoes and black cuttlefish risotto to fried sardines and chicken hot-pot, all of which are prepared using fresh, locally sourced ingredients, catch-of-the-day seafood, and Mediterranean herbs and spices. The bar serves a variety of local and imported beers, casual Croatian and European wines, and spirits, as well as handcrafted cocktails, and the restaurant is open for lunch and dinner, seven days a week.
Trumbiceva obala 11, 21000, Split, Croatia, Phone: +385-21-34-52-23
Nestled within the walls of the 15th-century Papaliceva palace in the heart of the Old Town overlooking a gleaming marble palazzo, Apetit is an elegant restaurant devoted to culinary excellence. The contemporary eatery is adorned with beautiful, medieval stonework and an array of awe-inspiring oil paintings and serves a creative menu of traditional Croatian fare with signature dishes like octopus carpaccio, zucchini risotto, beef fillets in Istrian truffle sauce, and a large selection of freshly caught fish, which can be enjoyed for one or two on heaving platters. The world-class cuisine is paired with an array of Croatian and international wines that can be enjoyed by the bottle or the glass, as well as local beers and handcrafted cocktails. Apetit is open for lunch and dinner, seven days a week during the season.
5 Ulica Pavla Šubica, Split, Splitsko-dalmatinska županija, 21000, Croatia, Phone: +385-21-33-25-49
14.Uje Oil Bar
© Uje Oil Bar
Uje Oil Bar is an elegant tapas-style restaurant in the heart of Split that focuses on high-quality Mediterranean cuisine. Established by local olive oil retailers and delicatessen specialists, the contemporary restaurant-bar has a friendly farmhouse kitchen that produces delectable dishes using locally sourced ingredients, catch-of-the-day seafood, and Mediterranean herbs and spices. Seasonally changing menus feature traditional Croatian dishes of local soups, smoked meats, marinated fish and vegetarian plates, and aromatic olive oils are served with freshly baked bread. The bar serves a variety of local and imported beers, casual Croatian and European wines, and spirits, as well as handcrafted cocktails, and the restaurant is open for lunch and dinner, seven days a week.
3 Dominisova Ulica, Split, Splitsko-dalmatinska županija, 21000, Croatia, Phone: +385-9-52-00-80-08
© Veljko Komlenic/stock.adobe.com
Konoba Varoš is a long-standing, unpretentious restaurant that specializes in fresh seafood, catch-of-the-day, and other delights from the Adriatic Sea. A favorite among locals for decades, the restaurant offers a menu of mouthwatering dishes such as the signature fried calamari served with garlic mayonnaise, shrimp tagliatelle, black risotto, an array of fresh fish, ranging from monkfish to tuna, and fresh salads. The bar serves a variety of local and imported beers, casual Croatian and European wines, and spirits, as well as handcrafted cocktails, and the restaurant is open for lunch and dinner, seven days a week.
9 Ulica ban Mladenova, Split, Splitsko-dalmatinska županija, 21000, Croatia, Phone: +385-21-39-61-38
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© Pizzeria Galija
Boasting vintage 1980s-style interiors with porcelain tile artwork, dark wooden seating, antique amphora, and a warm and welcoming atmosphere, Pizzeria Galija is a no-frills pizza institution in the center of town that serves hot, wood-fired Italian-style pizzas with a variety of toppings. Drawing inspiration from their Italian neighbor across the sea, Dalmatia is known for excellent pizza and this family-friendly spot if the place to get them. The menu also features a range of meat, fresh fish, and vegetable dishes, as well as handmade pasta and desserts made with fresh, locally sourced ingredients and prepared from scratch.
Tonciceva ul. 12, Split, Croatia, Phone: +385-21-34-79-32
16 Best Things to Do in Split, Croatia
- Ivan Meštrovic Gallery, Photo: jelena990/stock.adobe.com
- Bacvice Beach, Photo: TellyVision/stock.adobe.com
- Ethnographic Museum, Photo: arvernho/stock.adobe.com
- Diocletian’s Palace, Photo: niyazz/stock.adobe.com
- Academia Ghetto Club, Photo: Academia Ghetto Club
- Cathedral of Saint Domnius, Photo: dreamer4787/stock.adobe.com
- Adriatic Graso, Photo: WavebreakMediaMicro/stock.adobe.com
- Perivoj, Photo: Perivoj
- Zinfandel Food & Wine, Photo: Zinfandel Food & Wine
- Konoba Matejuska, Photo: Konoba Matejuska
- Cafe Restaurant Dvor, Photo: Café Restaurant Dvor
- Buffet Fife, Photo: Buffet Fife
- Apetit, Photo: Apetit
- Uje Oil Bar, Photo: Uje Oil Bar
- Konoba Varos, Photo: Veljko Komlenic/stock.adobe.com
- Pizzeria Galija, Photo: Pizzeria Galija
- Cover Photo: Jurand/stock.adobe.com
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