10 Spots Every First Timer in Split Should Visit
Not so long ago we were first timers in Split, too. TBH, first two days were not the greatest. We arrived to Split with no plan and got lost a few times. If only we had a travel guide for first timers… Seriously guys, these things are helpful. If you don’t believe us, keep reading. You’ll thank us later. Split is one really amazing city and it would be a shame to miss some of the great places. Breathtaking old town, relaxing spots on Marjan hill and crystal clear blue sea is all one needs on a vacation. Here are top 10 spots every first timer in Split should visit.
So, let’s talk some serious first timers Split talking…
Diocletian’s Palace – Where Dragons are Kept
A spot that you cannot miss even if you are a first-timer and you don’t have a travel guide is Diocletian’s Palace. It is 1,700 years old Roman Palace that lies in the heart of the city. Whatever gate you chose (Gold, Silver, Brass or Iron) you will get to its center – the Peristil square where you can enjoy a coffee. It is also a popular site for concerts. As you are already guessing, the Palace is not abandoned and ruined. A place where Emperor Diocletian used to sleep is now home to more than 3000 locals. Yes – they are living in a castle. How cool is that?
In case you were wondering where are those dragons let me tell you: The mother of dragons raised her babies in the Palace’s basement – it is where some episodes of your favorite show Game of Thrones were filmed.
Visit the Cathedral of St Domnius
If you loved Diocletian’s Palace be sure to visit the Cathedral of St Domnius. It is one of the best preserved ancient Roman buildings, dating back to the 4th century. Climb on the top of the cathedral’s 57 meter-high bell tower. You will experience glorious views of Split.
Taste the Adriatic at the Fish Market
We bet you are hungry from all the walking around the old town. If you are looking for a nice meal there are many local restaurants that serve fresh Mediterranean food. You have to try delicious freshly made fish caught by local fishermen.
If you can and want to cook your own food while on vacation you definitely have to visit one of the local markets. There are two that we’ve I found the most interesting. One of them is Peškarija – local fish market where you can find all kinds of fish, from the tiniest fish to the biggest lobsters. If you visit Pazar – the green market you will have everything you need for truly amazing meal. I’m pretty sure you’re not in the mood for cooking when you can wander around the city but you can at least check-out these markets and get yourself some refreshing fruits.
© Vasilisa Poselkova / CC BY-SA 3.0
Sense the City Spirit at Matejuška
In case you are wondering how the fish that you tried is caught you can take a walk to Matejuška, a small traditional fishing port. Apparently the port is older than the city itself. Even today there are dozens of boats tied up there, their nets drying, bait being prepared, with a monument dedicated to fishermen – a big fish hook.
© Kaiser87 / CC BY-SA 3.0
Lounge by the Sea on the Promenade
If you want to experience true spirit of this city and feel like a local, strolling down the famous Riva (Promenade) is a must. Sit in one of the cafes and meditate while watching the sea or people-watch as the locals do. Perfect for first morning coffee and for a walk in the evening, a place where you can chill all day – all night. Riva is also the main spot for New Year’s celebrations, concerts and other interesting events.
In case you are visiting Split in February, there is an event that will bring you joy for sure. It’s the famous Carnival. That is when the center of Split becomes more alive through many events related to carnival, such as various circus, dance and creative workshops, concerts etc. Don’t miss it!
© SchiDD/ CC BY-SA 4.0
Discover the Historical Flair of Varoš
If you are a fan of old quarters you have to walk through Varoš and its narrow and steep streets. Earlier it was a place where fishermen lived. Today there are many luxurious apartments and rooms for rent. But the breathtaking medieval architecture is still there.
© Martin Brož / CC BY-SA 3.0
Relax in Marjan Forest Park, the City Oasis
Since the Varoš is set in foothills of Marjan the next logical step is to climb up the hill. Green and beautiful relaxing spot is the one you cannot miss. Marjan hill offers you different activities. If you are an early bird that loooves to jog in the morning that is going to be your favorite place in Split. Or you can go for an easy walk. Or if you are more extreme than that you can do rock and mountain climbing. Whatever activity you choose when you climb up to the top you will be amazed. You can relax in cafe Vidilica and have a cup of coffee while enjoying the stunning view and take some cool photos.
Enjoy Art at Gallery Meštrović
If you are an art lover you can visit Gallery Meštrović while you are still on Marjan hill. This amazing place was Ivan Meštrović’s choice for living. Now it is the place where you can see Ivan’s collection of works which includes sculptures in bronze, wood and stone as well as drawings, paintings and sketches. He was no fool when choosing the place for his residence, don’t you think?
© SchiDD/ CC BY-SA 4.0
Play a Special Game at Bačvice
© SchiDD/ CC BY-SA 2.0
After a walk on Marjan hill, it is time to relax on the beach among the locals. One of the most popular beaches is Bačvice. Sandy beach where the sea is always warm and pleasant. You can chill in the sunshine or take a swim. In case you haven’t had enough of activities you can join the locals while they are playing their favorite (and most popular) game called Picigin. It’s a game played with a small ball in shallow water and the objective is to keep it from touching the water. Believe it or not, Picigin is more popular than football here in Split.
Feel the Sports Magic at Poljud Stadium
Even though Picigin is the most popular game, locals are very passionate about football, too. Check out the history of Hajduk, Split’s football club, its wins, losses, pride and pain, during a tour of Poljud Football Stadium. The Stadium is pretty impressive. Its design was considered as one of the sports architecture breakthroughs and has influenced stadium design in Asia. Thanks to 630 lights, it is also one of the best-lit stadiums. Even if you are not a football fan it is worth visiting.
© MaGa / CC BY-SA 4.0
We listed the top 10 spots every first timer in Split should visit so you have a much-needed guide through this lovely Dalmatian city. Be sure to download our Cultural Places App and find an audio guide for first timers so you can easily navigate through beautiful Split.