How to spend an amazing weekend in Split

With so many beautiful places in Croatia, you might find yourself having only a weekend to squeeze in a visit to Split. If you’re wondering whether it’s worth it, my vote is a hands-down yes. In fact, you’ll even have time to take a day trip. Admittedly, I spent more than two days in Split. However, if you’re wondering what to do in Split, Croatia for 2 days, I’ll walk you through some of its must-see sights.

Wander around a Roman palace

Diocletian’s Palace is a Roman complex completed in the 4th century that takes up a large portion of Split’s historical center.

Unlike most palaces in Europe, you can wander around the grounds of Diocletian’s Palace and its courtyard, called the Peristyle, for free. You can also go inside the buildings by paying an entrance fee.

Eat ice cream on the Riva promenade 

Bordering Split’s harbor, the Riva promenade offers a wide stretch of space for you to admire views of the Adriatic Sea and Split’s historical center.

Loads of souvenir and tour stands line this promenade, making it a great place for people-watching. Make sure to keep an eye on the water, for jellyfish sometimes make an appearance.

Climb up the Saint Domnius bell tower

You might need more than walking to work off the ice cream you ate on the Riva promenade, so head over to the 13th century Saint Domnius bell tower. There, you can put your thighs to work climbing 57 meters, where you’ll be rewarded with Instagram-worthy views of Split and the Adriatic Sea. 

Go souvenir shopping at the Podrum market

Even if you already have your bags packed full of souvenirs, visiting the Podrum market is a unique opportunity to see inside Diocletian’s Palace without paying an entrance fee—it’s located in the palace’s underground chambers, which were formerly a prison and storehouse.

If you’re more of a fruit and veggies market shopper, head above ground to the nearby Green market.

Soak up the sun at Bačvice Beach

The Adriatic Sea is known for its turquoise water and rocky shore. But at Bačvice Beach, you’ll get to enjoy a rare patch of sandy beach. You can access this beach on foot from downtown Split, as it’s located around the corner from the port. Once there, you’ll have access to plenty of bars, restaurants, and entertainment watching people play sports.

Spend time with Mother Nature at Marjan Hill

The historic center of Split gets crowded during the high season, so for a little break, hike up Marjan Hill. There are many paths you can take to arrive at its tallest point, called Telegrin. Regardless of the route you take, be prepared for stairs—you’ll likely climb over 300 of them!

The views from Marjan Hill are equally more removed and more panoramic than the Saint Domnius bell tower since this park sits to the far side of Split. 

Take a day trip

Split is a stunning city, but it’s small enough so you can explore all the places I discussed above in a day. So, taking a Split day trip is an excellent option for making the most of your second weekend day. Below are five choices for you to consider.

1. Climb the castle walls in Trogir

Trogir is your best day trip option in terms of travel time—the one-way journey from Trogir to Split takes a mere 30 minutes, and you can go by bus, ferry, minivan, or car. Once you arrive in Trogir, don’t miss the opportunity to walk along the Kamerlengo Castle’s walls, climb to the top of the Cathedral of St. Lawrence’s bell tower, and lounge on Pantan Beach’s shore.

2. Get your fill of lavender in Hvar

Hvar is a resort island dotted with stone houses and famous for its lavender production. Located only about an hour away by ferry, taking the Krilo ferry from Split to Hvar is a wonderful way to spend a day.

Ferries operate frequently during the high season, so it’s easy to catch a ride from Hvar to Split once you explore Hvar’s old town and lounge on its pine tree-framed beaches.

3. Sip wine in Korcula

Korcula is a small, narrow island located about 2.5 hours by ferry from Split. Spend time exploring its historic center, then head to one of Korcula’s many vineyards for a winery tour. Ferry departures between Korcula and Split are typically limited to two departures per day during the high season, so book your ticket in advance to avoid getting stranded.

4. Explore the Game of Thrones filming sites in Dubrovnik  

Dubrovnik is on many tourists’ bucket lists. But since the Dubrovnik to Split ferry takes around five hours, it’s too long for a day trip. Therefore, if you’re dying to see where the walk of shame took place in the Game of Thrones, or you’re itching to explore Dubrovnik’s city walls, I recommend taking a minivan or car from Dubrovnik to Split, as you’ll save time—the trip will take three hours each way.

5. Visit the Museum of Broken Relationships in Zagreb

Zagreb is another destination that’s tricky, but not impossible, to do as a day trip from Split. Since it’ll take at least four hours to arrive by vehicle, I recommend doing your Zagreb to Split day trip by flight. Croatia Airlines runs multiple direct flights with departures from Split as early as 6:30 am and a flight time of only 50 minutes.

Once you arrive in Zagreb’s old town, nearly all sites of tourist interest are within walking distance, including the must-see Museum of Broken Relationships.

Last but not least: Work up an appetite

It wouldn’t be right to talk about a weekend break in Split, Croatia without mentioning its food. From classy Michelin-star restaurants like Kadena to traditional Dalmatian meals, your tastebuds will love you. After stuffing yourself full of black risotto and mussels in wine broth, head over to Uje Oil Bar to try their ice cream made with olive oil. That alone will make you want to extend your weekend stay in Split!

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