Sun-washed Sidewalks in Split, Croatia

Whether staying for a week, or just a day before boarding your cruise chip, Split has so much to offer on your Croatian itinerary. Top sights, top eats, it’s all here!

Continuing on our road trip in Croatia, our next stop is Split. A gorgeous coastal city, we spent one day here, but if you have more, here is a good 2 day Split itinerary. At the height of its glory, Diocletian’s palace must have been an amazing sight–built right on the water’s edge. During the fourth century it was all one massive complex of temples, palaces, walls, gates, baths, and everything else you would expect to find in a Roman Emperor’s palace.

Three scenes from Split old town.

Today, however, you will need to explore the old town of Split through its labyrinthine, cobbled passageways, to discover the remains that are sprinkled about as hidden treasures. Most, of course, are easy to find, just follow the constant stream of tourists freshly disembarked from the many cruise ships that call on this worthy port.

Vaulted marble walkway in Split.

Don’t let the throngs dismay you, the underground halls of the palace, the temple of Jupiter, the Peristil, and the cathedral of St. Domnius are all not to be missed. But if you have the time, we recommend getting off that heavily trodden track, just poke and peer around, down the side streets, and away from the tourists to really discover the beauty of this coastal town.

Split statue and bell tower.

Strolling through the quieter streets we came across the market where the fishmonger wives were peddling the day’s catch. Where were their fishermen husbands? We came across them in drunken revelry down at the port, easily working through the 5th bottle of wine, playing guitars, singing and dancing in the glorious sunshine; it must have been a great catch judging by their celebration. Then again, in such a beautiful locale, maybe everyday is cause for al fresco parties.

Check out these photo worthy spots to visit in Split!

A capella singers in Split.
Medieval town house in Split.

Down another street, and around another corner we discovered a singing group giving a preview for the night’s planned concert. They had picked a picturesque alcove just inside the Golden gate for their a cappella  performance. It was mesmerizing! Too bad we wouldn’t be in town that evening; I’m sure we would have found a way to get the full show.

Fishermen's wives sell the daily catch in Split.
Small boat harbor in Split.

Our stroll took us into the quieter backstreets of the neighborhoods climbing the hill away from the palace. It was a beautiful day but only a few kids were out playing, laundry was gently drying in the sea breeze, and some early spring arrivals were perfuming the air but there weren’t many people out and about.

Outdoor cafes along the harbor in Split.

Nevertheless, we enjoyed the walk and somehow managed to come out of these quiet streets back down at the water front where we discovered where all of the residents could be found. It seemed the entire city had come out to walk along the promenade, enjoy a cup of coffee in an open air café, or just sit in the sun and enjoy the rays.

Split bell tower.

We couldn’t resist joining in, so we found a table and sampled some gelato, a few cold refreshments, and of course, a good dose of people watching as the crowds continued to flow around us.

Have you been to Split?  Did you enjoy the gelato and the people watching?

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Split, Croatia bell tower.

29 thoughts on “Sun-washed Sidewalks in Split, Croatia”

  1. We did enjoy Split. It is different things to different people. The young love the party life and travellers love the island connections, but the vibe around town was great, as was the gelato.

  2. Ah, you make me so jealous, Corinne! You get to see all these gorgeous places in Europe while I’m stuck here in California reading about them in your posts. Not fair. I lived a few hundred miles away from Croatia and never got to cross the border to visit it. Now this is a far-away land and I’ll have to cross the Atlantic to see it… and pay around $1,400 for a plane ticket!

  3. I haven’t been to Split, but I’ve read a lot of blog post about it over the past year. It definitely intrigues me. I love the architecture, and singing in the streets wins me over every time. That brings back memories of Prague and their street music scene. I will eat gelato and people watch anywhere, any time :)

  4. Great photos – of a fantastic city. After exploring the heart of the old town, Diocletian’s Palace, market and all four city gates, I wandered along the Riva, around the marina and eventually up to the top of Marjan Hill via the Ivan Meštrović art and sculpture gallery.
    After a brief stopover in Cafe Bar Vidilica, near the top of the hill, it was down the steps and a well earned meal in Buffet Fife.
    Exhausted, I then jumped on the (every half hour) bus back to wonderful Trogir, where I was based.
    Barely scratched the surface, but loved every second of my visit :)

  5. Split is a terrific city! And the best view is from Marjan Hill, just outside (and uphill from) the city walls, where you really appreciate what this city is all about. Nice post.

  6. Yes, we have visited Split! And we enjoyed everything about it – the gelato, people watching, narrow streets and even a classical concert (a quartet) performed in an historic church (which was lovely!). Thanks for bringing back great memories :-). (We’ve also written about Split and Diocletian’s Palace on our blog in this post: “Diocletian’s Palace in Split a walled wonder”)

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