How to spend one day in Split, Croatia

Split has transformed from a stopover for tourists to a vibrant tourist destination and is now one of the most sought-after places to visit in Croatia. It is situated in the midst of the Dalmatian Coast. 


Split is a perfect base for exploring Croatia and is a crucial transport hub and port city. Located on the eastern coast of the Adriatic Sea, Split boasts mesmerizing views and stunning landscapes.


It is also famous for its beaches and ancient Roman ruins, particularly Diocletian’s Palace, which is located in the heart of the Old Town. 

Exploring the many treasures inside the palace is one of the most popular activities.


There are plenty of attractions to discover, from its rich history to the landmarks from Game of Thrones, which will make your visit even more exciting. 


This typical Mediterranean city exudes a small-town charm, with bustling streets and friendly locals.

Visiting Split under five hours

How to spend one day in Split,CroatiaWe arrived at our first stop during our cruise vacation and docked at 8 a.m. 

However, nothing onshore opened before 9-10 a.m., so we had to be back on the ship by 2 p.m. Fortunately, the market opened at 6:30 a.m. 


It took us 15-20 minutes to walk from the ship to the city town center. 

We then stopped at the Tourist Information Center to get a city map. The girl there was very friendly and helpful.


When visiting the charming city of Split, Croatia, you can experience a number of worthwhile attractions and activities in just under five hours. 


Split has a rich history dating back to the Roman Empire, and this is reflected in the many culturally rich sites you can explore during your visit. One such popular attraction is Diocletian’s Palace, an ancient palace built by the Roman emperor Diocletian himself and now a UNESCO World Heritage site. 


Other must-visit places include the Cathedral of Saint Domnius, the ancient city walls, and the Riva waterfront promenade. You can also experience the local culture and way of life by strolling through the bustling markets in the Old Town area, sampling delicious seafood and local wines in one of the many restaurants, or simply soaking up the sun on the beaches nearby. 


Whatever you choose to do, Split is sure to delight all of your senses in under five hours.


Table of Contents

8 Best Things to See In Split

The Green Market

As we headed towards the city center, we stumbled upon the “green market.” This vibrant outdoor market is a great way to immerse yourself in local life. 


You can find various fresh produce, including herbs, cheeses, meats, honey, and various Croatian delicacies. The market is a feast for the senses with its vibrant colours, alluring aromas, and rich flavours. 


In addition to the food stalls, there are also artisanal stalls selling souvenirs and trinkets. We even managed to find some good-quality linen clothes at a reasonable price.

The Old Town - The People's Square Or The Fruit Square 

To truly experience the old city, I recommend exploring on foot for at least a few hours. Start at Pjaca Square, where the old town hall overlooks a sophisticated plaza with shiny marble tiles and outdoor cafes. 


Fruit Square is another must-see spot, named after the market that used to be held there centuries ago. Plenty of beautiful Renaissance architecture here is a remnant of Split’s Venetian era. 


The buildings’ splendid Baroque architecture makes Fruit Square one of the most beautiful squares in the city and the entire region.


Fruit Square got its nickname because people from the surrounding villages used to sell their fruit and vegetables there. Although there are no more stalls, you can still enjoy a fruit salad or a smoothie made with fresh local produce.


The People’s Square, also known as Pjaca, is a buzzing central spot filled with places to rest, meet, and eat. A Romanesque clock overlooks the square and features charming cafeterias.


In front of the palace, you will find a statue of Marko Marulić, a 15th-century poet. The statue, created by Ivan Mestrovic, stands in the Fruit Square. Marulić was a Croatian national poet and Renaissance humanist. It is an image of preserved Croatia.

Split Ethnographic Museum

The historic Town Hall, a Gothic masterpiece, has been transformed into the Ethnographic Museum. As the oldest museum in Croatia, it holds a significant place in the history of Split, making it a must-visit for history enthusiasts and cultural explorers.


Situated inside the old palace, this museum is one of the most important and frequently visited in Split. It is conveniently located in the city’s heart, making it easily accessible for tourists. The collection of cultural and museum activities is associated with the Papalic palace, which houses the Museum of the City of Split. 


The Ethnographic Museum is a treasure trove of cultural artifacts from the Dalmatia region and beyond. Its valuable collections of folk costumes, jewelry, weapons, household items, and traditional handicrafts are a testament to the area’s rich cultural heritage. The embroidered costumes are displayed in reconstructed rooms of typical peasant houses, adding a touch of authenticity to the experience. 


Take advantage of the collection of medieval weaponry, and take some time to explore the dining room on the first floor, which is furnished just as it was a long time ago. This museum is worth a thorough visit.

**Museum 3 euros entrance

Peristil Square/Diocletian’s Palace/St. Duje's Cathedral

The architecture in old Split is truly enchanting. It’s fascinating to see how the ancient buildings have been repurposed. The most notable example is Split’s cathedral, originally Diocletian’s mausoleum. The central part of this structure dates back to 350 AD, making St. Duje’s the oldest cathedral building in the world. 


Additionally, check out the cathedral’s Romanesque wooden doors, which have remained unaltered since 1200.


The construction of the bell tower began in the first half of the 13th century, and it stands at a height of 60 meters. Be cautious of the slippery stone steps and low ceilings when climbing the bell tower. To make the most of your visit, start with the treasury, where you’ll find abundant information spread across three floors. 


Although this church, dating back to the fourth century, is smaller than other cathedrals, it is a remarkable architectural wonder in its own right.


It’s a fascinating place! It’s worth a visit, although I think it’s a bit overpriced at €15. The things you can see for free are just as impressive and exciting as the parts you must pay for.

Just a heads up, the Cathedral and the bell tower close around 7 p.m. Also, be careful when climbing the bell tower, as the stone steps tend to be rather slippery, and the ceiling is relatively low.

You cannot miss them. These three places are located in the same area.


DiocletPalacePalace is a unique and well-preserved 4th-century complex that combines Diocletian’s retirement villa with remnants of a large military camp. 

Palacepalace is so grand that it feels more like a citadel than a palace. You’ll find surprises around every corner, and you can even walk on the original Roman streets still paved with their original stones. Palacepalace is a UNESCO-listed site and a popular location for filming movies and TV shows, such as Game of Thrones. 


Peristil Square is a historic Roman court with impressive ancient architecture. The square has excellent acoustics, making it a perfect venue for theatre or opera performances during summer. Diocletian brought two 3,500-year-old Egyptian sphinxes to the city. 


The Peristyle is a spacious square that connects the northern and southern parts of the city. It’s an excellent example of how the palace was converted. The ancient pillars have facades of Romanesque, Gothic, Renaissance, and Baroque buildings and palaces embedded inside them.


A former octagonal imperial mausoleum has been turned into a cathedral, and it now has a Romanesque bell tower. 


Old Split is also worth exploring. It’s a beautiful medieval walled city with narrow streets and surprises around every corner.


Statue of Grgur Ninski

Upon exiting the Golden Gate of the old city, you will come across an impressive statue that is very important—the statue of Grgur Ninski, a 10th-century bishop who conducted religious services in the Croatian language, defying the pope.


Visitors to the statue often rub Ninski’s big toe for good luck! 


If you’re interested in taking a picture with soldiers, they will happily take any spare change you have and snap a photo with you – it’s a fun experience. I never did that before, lol… 

Exploring outside the gate

Going out the city gate and passing the  Grgur Ninski Statue, you will have shops and a restaurant.  This area is also home to several shops, a park, and restaurants, offering visitors a unique perspective of Split.

While exploring, we stumbled upon a restaurant named “Gallery” with excellent food and a reasonable price (12.20 euros for two people).

It was a beautiful day with a mix of sun, clouds, and a temperature between 20-22°C. Despite the stormy clouds, the day was lovely. We enjoy this lovely place.

Destinations On This Cruise



Brindisi, Greece

Mykonos, Greece

10 Responses

  1. Croatia is on my list to go to when my kids r a bit bigger. I love the the national park and I would love to do watersports there.

  2. I’ve always wanted to go to Croatia and I’ll definitely have to check Split out! Thank you for this great guide, the architecture and sites look incredible!

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