8 things to do in Split

Split is one of the biggest cities of Croatia. Every year thousands of tourists visit this place, and while most of them go there to party, I went there to experience Croatia’s hospitality, great food and sunny beaches. Chances are your Croatian journey starts in this city, so why not make the best of it? Here are 8 things you have to do in Split.

 

Because even when you’re not a party person (like me) there are things to do in this – highly touristic – city! Is it a place to spend a week in? Personally I think not. But you can wander around for a day or 2, before visiting Dalmatia’s lovely islands or traveling on to another sunny destination on the Croatian coast. In this small guide I will give you some tips on where to go and how to avoid the biggest crowds.

 

8 THINGS TO DO IN SPLIT

 

1. Go to the Bacvice beach early in the morning

At night this beach is a place to party – and so for me a place to avoid –  but in the morning you can find a lot of locals going for a swim or tanning while discussing life with neighbors and friends. Bacvice beach is not one of the nicest beaches I have ever seen, but it is very close to the city center and by coming there early, you can actually relax without having to fear too many other tourists. A big plus is the fact this beach is artificial and therefore made of sand, a rare thing on the Croatian coast, which usually is more pebbly or even rocky!

 



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Late morning at Bacvice

 

Also you can find a lot of cheap restaurants and bars around the beach. I loved having coffee with a full Croatian breakfast at Karaka restaurant.

 

IMG_38282. Rush through the crowds at the Diocletian palace

Oh how much I hated all the people overcrowding this beautiful part of the historic center. I literally walked through this part in 5 minutes, but it was worth seeing. Besides, it brings you to other parts of the city center, which are more quiet. From there I strolled through the center of Split, seeing all the great buildings, walking the steep hills and stopping for coffee sometimes.

 

3. Visit froggyland

Froggyland is one of the coolest museums I have ever seen, all because it is so weird! Basically it comes down to this: a museum filled with more than 500  stuffed frogs doing human things, a life’s work for the owner of it all. Because it’s not that big, you can see it within 20 minutes. A must see for people who like quirky stuff!

 

The collection consists of 507 stuffed frogs of a common European frog species (lat. rana esculenta). The frogs have been stuffed in a very demanding way, using a taxidermy technique through the mouth, which is an extremely complex and time consuming process, so the exhibits are devoid of any external incisions. Comparing the Ferenc Mere’s collection with similar collections made by other authors, it is evident that Ferenc Mere was a master craftsman of taxidermy of small animals.

 

 

4. Take a stroll on the fish market

You like people screaming at you? Go to the market. All the fresh caught fish is displayed there for you to buy (or just look at). You can also find the tastiest fruit and veggies for great prices! The great amount of people on a tiny square and all the colorful items make it a must see.

 

5. Sit yourself down at the boulevard

People watching is the best! Sit yourself down on one of the benches on the boulevard or pick a cafe to have a drink while you stare into the blue Adriatic. Local and touristic life will pass by continiously and it’s great fun to watch.

 

6. Snack away!

Cevapi is a famous dish in the former Yugoslavian region and there’s no way you’re leaving without tasting it! The spicy, grilled meat rolls come in pita bread and are garnished with onions and avjar, a tasty paprika/eggplant spread. Delicious!

 

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A look at Marjan from the Riva

 

7. Walk up the Marjan hill

Take a walk on the Marjan hill for spectacular views on Split. It is a medium climb, so avoid doing it during the day time. Learn from my mistake and walk up in the evening to see the sun go down over the harbor. I did it in the afternoon, not a great choice in summer. They do have great cocktails at the top.


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8. Taste local food

After seeing Marjan why not eat at Marjan? Restaurant (or konoba) Marjan is one of the best places to eat Dalmatian food, like fresh grilled fish and other seafood. The big plus with this restaurant are the prices: so cheap! A must do for foodies!

Another great restaurant is Fife, where you share your table with other people. They serve wonderful – and affordable – Dalmatian and Croatian food, and as a bonus you’ll make new friends in no-time. Both staff and food are excellent!

You can reach both restaurants by walking to or from Marjan. They are located at the foot of the hill.

 

IMG_3854

The spectacular view from Marjan

 

Split was a great start to a summer holiday for me and although the place is quite touristic, big crowds are quite easy to avoid – when you know where to go! Do you have any recommendations for this city? Please leave a comment below!

 

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12 Comments

  • Reply
    Margherita @The Crowded Planet
    June 19, 2014 at 21:08

    Split looks great, Diocletian’s palace and Dalmatian food definitely sound worth a visit. But Froggyland… oh my goodness! I want to visit that museum right now. Thanks for sharing such a quirky sight!

  • Reply
    Elena
    June 20, 2014 at 07:49

    Im going o Croatia in a month so your post is very useful for me. Thanks for sharing!

  • Reply
    Brad Frankel
    June 20, 2014 at 07:53

    Froggyland looks interesting 😉 – I would love to go to Split, looks beautiful!

  • Reply
    The Brave Dame
    June 20, 2014 at 19:11

    Thanks for stopping by!

    @Elena Have fun there. I’m sure I’ll read about it 🙂

  • Reply
    Jules @Don't Forget To Move
    June 22, 2014 at 00:14

    This place sounds amazing! The beach looks really nice and that frog museum seems, uummm, interesting haha. Kind of freaky i think.

  • Reply
    Surya Bhattacharya
    June 22, 2014 at 05:17

    Oh nice post!! I didn’t do as much as you, but I did eat at Fife (and ended up with some amazing new friends thanks to the communal tables 😀 ). I stayed at the Diocletian’s Palace hostel, and I’m sure you can imagine how maddeningly crowded it was… But the location was beyond perfect! IN the palace!!

    • Reply
      The Brave Dame
      June 22, 2014 at 11:17

      Thank you Surya & Jules!

      Surya: Glad you liked Fife as much as I did. I think it’s a wonderful way to make new friends, especially when travelling solo! I was there with my boyfriend last year, but it’s still a very nice way to meet people, hear travel stories etc.

      Staying inside the palace sounds great! I really avoided that place since I don’t like large groups of tourists, but I can imagine staying inside the palace is worth it! If I ever go there again, I will make sure I try it out, thanks! 🙂

      Jules: It is a lovely place but don’t stay there too long. From Split you can take the catamaran to several islands (like Hvar or Korcula) and those are amazing! (with lot’s of great beaches as well!)

  • Reply
    Bianca @itsallbee
    June 24, 2014 at 08:49

    I loved Croatia when I visited and vowed to come back for Split but it hasnt happened yet. It looks beautiful so I hope next year!

    Floating in Israel’s Dead Sea

  • Reply
    Merrill
    November 15, 2015 at 00:15

    We are on a slow around the world trip and needed a place in the sun to cocoon for the month of November. We found an great apartment with a balcony that has a water view, and where we view terrific sunsets. The weather has been just perfect and there aren’t the crowds! It’s a great walkable city and we enjoy going out and slowly discovering the nooks and crannies of this city. I’m falling in love with Split.

    • Reply
      The Brave Dame
      November 15, 2015 at 15:23

      That sounds lovely, Merrill! I’d love to cocoon in Croatia one day!

  • Reply
    Jon Dunn
    September 16, 2016 at 08:37

    Don’t forget to rub the toe of the massive statue of Gregor of Nin outside the Golden Gate on the north edge of the Diocletians palace. It’s meant to bring you luck – though it did boogie all for me so far 🙁
    I also walked round the base of Marjan Hill, round the huge boat marina, to get to the Ivan Meštrović gallery, which if you were impressed with big Gregor, Meštrović is the sculptor responsible – and Croatia’s most famous. Continue after the gallery and there are a set of steps that led you up the (steep) hill back up Marjan hill from a different direction.
    Agree about buffet Fife, it’s quirky, great value with excellent food – and huge portions, so be aware of that!!

    • Reply
      The Brave Dame
      October 2, 2016 at 12:09

      Thanks for all the recommendations, Jon! I did rub his toe, had luck on all of my trips so far so that must be it 🙂 Fife is one of my faves! Huge portions indeed, but so fresh!

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