Croatia Travel Tips

Top 5 Tourist Attractions in Split

Quick guide for planning a vacation in Split


Split is the second largest city in Croatia with just the right amount of tradition and modernity. Being a modern metropolitan area, life is in a constant state of flux and this fluidity is what gives Split so much of its energy. Modern bars and restaurants thrive in the vicinity of antique structures that have been a part of city life for hundreds of years, while the Adriatic Sea and the coastal mountains only increase the city’s attractiveness.

This amazing combination of old and new is what leaves first time visitors spellbound when they come to Split. It doesn’t matter if you are a history buff or not, or whether you’re familiar with different styles of architecture. Split is a great place to go regardless of your knowledge of the finer aspects; the memories you’ll collect here will last a lifetime.

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1) Diocletian’s Palace

Diocletian’s Palace is one of the city’s most prominent features: these ruins are the true heart and soul of the city. It is spread over 31,000 square meters and contains an entire fortified town, a fortress and an imperial residence. Built over a period of more than 10 years, which really shows in the architectural details involved in its construction, the palace is accessed by four major gates named after four metals: Gold, Silver, Bronze and Iron.

Diocletian’s Palace is a microcosm of life in Split and almost every tourist spends most of his/her time in and around the palace, as compared to the rest of the city.

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2) Cathedral of St Domnius

Split is an ancient city and the Cathedral of St Domnius is a good example of this. The octagonal cathedral was originally designed to be a mausoleum for Emperor Diocletian, but it was repurposed in the 13th-century and has been the city’s cathedral ever since. Scenes from the early life of Christ are engraved on the wooden doors; they serve to welcome both tourists and worshipers who enter here.

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3) Town Museum

The town museum is another popular site for tourists. It was built during the Middle Ages for a high-ranking nobleman. Also called the Papalić Palace, it is a prominent example of Gothic architecture. The inside of the original palace has been completely revamped to house the museum, whose three floors are filled with paintings, weapons from different ages in the country’s history and documents dating back to the 14th century.

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4) Temple of Jupiter

Built sometime in the 3rd century, the name Jupiter refers to the father of Diocletian who was considered the highest Roman god. The entry to the temple is protected by a headless sphinx that was carved around 1500 BC in Egypt and was imported to be installed at the temple’s entrance. The temple is in an elevated position because it hides a crypt underneath and, in a later period, it was converted into a monastery which left many visible signs.

5) Ivan Mestrovic Gallery

This art museum is dedicated to the celebrated 20th-century sculptor, Ivan Mestrovic. It preserves and presents to the public Mestrovic’s most significant works, and is in itself an art monument. The permanent collection includes works of sculpture, drawings, design objects, furniture and architecture. Holdings include the artist’s original plaster models, as well as finished works in bronze, marble and wood. The gallery building and grounds were based on original plans by Mestrović himself; here visitors can see the areas where the artist lived and worked, in addition to the exhibition spaces.

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This guest post is written by Frank Lee, he works at Rebates Zone.

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Select Croatia offers a wide range of full-day or half-day tours led by experienced English-speaking local guides who will be eager to share their culture, history, and cuisine. Our tours are both private and shared, and they cover all must-see attractions on the mainland and on the islands.

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