What to do in Split?
A full list of things to do and do not miss to do whilst in Split … and some other you should never do! :))
#1 Fall in love at first sight
Walk up to the first belvedere point on the Marjan hill (#vidilica), have a cup of coffee or a drink and enjoy one of the best panoramas of Split: The view over the city harbour, Diocletian’s Palace and Split old town, the main city promenade (#riva), the islands and mountains surrounding Split. If you didn’t fall in love after that, give yourself a second chance …
Love is in the air?!
#2 Give yourself a second chance
Climb the stairs and from the peak of St. Domnius tower bell enjoy another great panorama of Split: the city harbour, red roofs of the stone houses of the old town, the medieval Veli Varoš quarter and Marjan hill …
… still not feeling love?! So sorry, our relationship is definitely broken, please visit the “Museum of broken relationships” in Zagreb.
Your second and last chance!
#3 Play P
Still here. Feeling love? That’s great! Let’s do some jumping & dumping at Bacvice … the sandy beach in the heart of Split, #Bacvice, is just few steps away from the city center. In every period of the year, you will find some people there playing something with the small ball. That’s PICIGIN! A leisure sport invented in Split more than 100 years ago. All you need is a completely peeled tennis ball and some company (as you can’t play picigin alone) …you don’t have to be an athlete to play this game, picigin is for everybody, younger or older you are, you will love it. If you don’t want to play it, just watch it, it is also amusing. And please remember, it is called picigin (p-tsi-ghin) … not pi…pi…something!
#4 Touch the thumb
Touch the thumb of Grgur Ninski. You will notice that Grgur’s thumb is of a different colour than the rest of the figure, Why? It’s because everybody is touching it … Why? Because it brings luck. Simple as that! Touch the thumb and be lucky! Where will I find this guy? His statue is located in front of the Golden gate of Diocletian’s Palace. And … whose finger am I touching? You don’t have to know everything …
Polishing the foot of the big guy.
#5 Be lazy
Be a Splitian for one day! Do not wake up early in the morning. Go to the promenade #riva to have your coffee. Go to Vjeko’s place (“U Vjeke”, cafe bar Ars, Obala Hrvatskog narodnog preporoda 5), that’s where Splitians go. Don’t be lazy with your tongue: chat, discuss, talk! After 2-3 hours, when you have finished your last coffee, and when you are completely excited, cross your hands behind your back and go for a walk. Keep talking, even if you are alone. Say hello to everybody, no matter if you do or do not know him or her very well. Make frequent stops and drink something (beer, wine, rakija, other spirits). Don’t forget to keep your mouth open, talking or drinking! Hungry, eat! Turn back home and have a couple of hours nap … wake up and repeat everything! You must have been exhausted after that, go to sleep! Hard life.
Hard life in Split.
#6 Journey to the center of the Earth
What the hell??? Didn’t you tell me to be lazy and to do nothing?! Well, yes, but I have told you to be lazy just for one day and, after all, this is just a short journey … To the center of the Earth? Yes, that is so … the old #Peristyle square is just few steps away from you and according to the Splitians, it is and it has always been, “the center of Split and of the entire World”. What should I do here? Be lazy again. Take a coffee or drink at café Luxor and have your seat at the square. Just observe. And you can keep on talking if you wish … just don’t wake up the sleeping lion! At the entrance to St. Domnius cathedral there is an Egyptian sphinx, please do not touch her, She is very precious to us! And she doesn’t like to be touched … if you need to touch something, touch the Grgur’s thumb … or you already had, haven’t you?! You can also see the next paragraph, so you can also touch the sky, or moon …
The center of the Earth
If you don’t like crowd, as per definition, a large number of people gathered together in a disorganized or unruly way … you should come here (again) in the evening. Again, take a drink at Luxor, have your seat and observe, +in the evening, usually you can listen to some relaxing live music here, generally classic or jazz, which makes a perfect ambient at the center of the Earth. Why don’t they play another type of music? Because Venus, Jupiter, Cybele &co, who sleep in the nearby temples, don’t like other kinds of music …
The center of the Earth by night.
#7 Touch the sky
7 seconds away from Peristyle, just 8 steps (yes, I have counted them) up the square, enter inside the big cupola, place yourself at the center of #Vestibule and look up in the sky, you will feel like you can touch it. And, if you pass by here in the evening, you will probably be able to touch also the Moon!
“Touching the sky in my house”, Gaius Aurelius Valerius Diocletianus Augustus, 20th of November, Anno Domini 284.
#8 See the light at the end of the tunnel
Instead going up to the Vestibule, enter the tunnel at the bottom of Peristyle and make few steps down (I haven’t counted these, but there are no so many …). You are inside the Diocletian’s cellars, #dioklecijanovipodrumi, the substructure halls of Diocletian’s palace. As soon as you enter, you will see the light at the end of the tunnel. Just head there, you will arrive at the main promenade, #riva. You are safe again.
The light of salvation.
#9 Let me Pass
From the center of the Earth, enter in a narrow dark street on the West and go up to the temple of Jupiter. It's the house of the guy who doesn't like any kind of music rather than jazz and classic; his home is open during the day and you can pay the entrance ticket to see some decorations he made ... Too classic? Yes, yes, I understand you completely ... However, when you get out from god's place, turn right and you will immediatelly face the "Let me pass" street (Pusti me proć), the narrowest street in the World (and probably the shortest one). If you want to pass there you will need to wait until the others pass from the opposite direction ...
Let me pass.
#10 Get Lost
You think you have already seen everything and don’t know what to do next? Get lost inside the Diocletian’s Palace: walking through the narrow streets of the palace you will certainly discover some hidden corners, mysterious courtyards, dead ends, modern clothes dryers, old local grandmothers snitching on you behind the curtains … great entertainment to “kill some time” in Split.
#11 Find the way out
This should be another “get lost” but they thought me not to repeat myself, though I love to do it … after all, “the repetition is the mother of all learning!” So, get lost again. A short walking distance from the old town (and there are no steps, though I don't promise!), enter to discover the medieval quarter of Veli Varoš from Krizeva street (Križeva ul.): Just walk up the street, turn left & right, go up & down and lose yourself wondering. Veli Varoš is the most authentic of all Split quarters and this is the best way to feel it and to discover its narrow streets, stone houses, picturesque courtyards, red roofs … and great food. Veli Varoš is probably the best area to eat in Split. Some of the best-rated traditional restaurants, #konoba, are located here: Konoba Varoš, Ulica Ban Mladenova 9; Konoba Fetivi, Tomića stine 4, Konoba Matejuška, Tomića stine 3, Konoba Marjan, Senjska 1.
Did I say no stairs?
#12 Colour yourself
You like colours, freshness, fragrances … if you do, go to the Green market #pazar; the colourful bazar in Split is the right place to buy some fresh fruit, vegetables, cheese, meat, herbs, bread, … feel the ambient and find out who is selling better than others … loud voices work best here!
United colors of Benetton.
#13 Catch the gold fish
No, no, no … you don’t have to go fishing the goldfish! If you like eating fish and seafood, go to the fish market, #peskarija, and reckon yourself fishing among the stands. The best time to buy fish? Upon closure, but if you want to catch your goldfish you should go much earlier! And if you don’t want to cook yourself, next to the fish market there is a good place to eat sea food at reasonable price in Split: it is called “The gold small fish”, Buffet Zlatna ribica, Kraj Sv. Marije 8. And please note that buffet doesn’t mean that the place has a buffet style offer; it is an old style Croatian denomination for bistrot …
Searching the treasure.
#14 Close your eyes
A rocky peninsula, enclosing the city harbour from the West, is called #Sustipan (after the church of St. Stephen’s). A small park with pine threes is the perfect spot to enjoy the best sunset in Split: close your eyes, spread your wings and fly. Just don’t close your eyes seating on the wall; The cliffs are high there, though the sea is deep underneath …
#15 Excite your senses
If you have already passed through all my previous topics, you certainly deserve to be awarded: a slice of homemade prosciutto (#dalmatinskipršut, air-dried ham from the hinterland of Dalmatia), a piece of sheep cheese from the island of Pag (#paškisir) and a glass of a local table red wine (#plavacmali). For brunch, lunch, in the morning or in the afternoon, doesn’t matter, the best time is whenever you decide to excite your senses with these three super powerful local ingredients. Where to? At “Tri Volta”, Zalogajnica Dioklecijan, Dosud ulica 9. It is definitely the best prosciutto you can eat in the city. Elsewhere? In almost every restaurant and konoba in Split.
Marendaj. Literally, have a #marenda meal! Breakfast, snack, brunch, lunch? Neither of them. Though, it can be described as a kind of brunch, at least as for the time being (marenda is usually around 11 a.m. / or at any time in-between the breakfast and lunch). Contrary to brunch, which is time and weight saving, marenda is timeless and weight gaining. Timeless because you can start in the morning and finish whenever you want it. Weight gaining as you eat & drink a lot. What do you usually eat and drink for marenda? Everything! Meat, fish, soups, beans, goulash, stews, …wine, beer, spirits, … Where? Mainly at #konoba. And please note that marenda has probably been invented as a genius excuse to get out of the house and stay in company with friends, to eat, chat and drink, so most likely you will meet many male locals at the places you go to “marendat” (to have a marenda).
Priceless. Marenda with our friends from Italy in one konoba in Split.
#17 Eat like Zeus
There are great number & variety of local dishes you can taste in Split, but, if you really want to eat like Zeus, you should definitely taste peka. #Peka is a traditional Dalmatian way of preparing food: usually veal, lamb, chicken or octopus, prepared under an iron lid with vegetables, roasted to perfection! Usually served with this meal is also a brad, made in the same way, under the lid, "kruv ispod peke".
In the Master’s chambers …
The preparation of #peka, the most authentic Dalmatian way of cooking meat and seafood, simply delicious! The best peka is made in the hinterland of Split, in traditional restaurants in Sinj and Trilj, small cities located in the hinterland, some 35 km North of Split. Where can we taste peka in the city of Split? Two best places to eat peka in Split: Restaurant Lučica, Lučica 7 & Konoba Varoš, Ban Mladenova 9. The reservations are usually required, at least 24 hours prior to lunch or dinner. And do not take starters or else, eat just peka and some mixed salads, you don’t want to ruin the taste of this, Zeus’s favourite meal!
… stab with your steely knives …
#18 Banana Split
I am not going to give you the recipe for the banana split. This is just to let you know that banana split ice cream-based dessert, invented by an American guy, David Evans Strickler, has nothing to do with the city of Split. Though you can eat a great banana split in Split, you should taste our authentic dessert, #rozata, a custard local pudding similar to crème brûlée.
Not banana split.
#19 Discover your secret soul
In the heart of Split, just a stone’s throw away from the old town, there is a picturesque place where you can discover your secret soul. The small fishermen’s harbour #Matejuška is our town’s secret soul and the place where you can discover your own one. Just seat on the dock and waste some of your time watching sea, boats, ships … and imagine yourself being in Otis Redding’s masterpiece song … “Sittin’ On the Dock of the Bay”, in the mornin’ sun or when the evening comes, watch the ships roll in and watch’em roll away again! Feeling like time has stopped, you will have your own time split to be at peace with yourself.
… What do you mean? Can you please translate the last sentence! Just take some beers and seat on the dock! And watch! After a beer or two you will have to be able to discover something … probably that you are drunk already … but, feeling like time has stopped, you will have your own time split to be at peace with yourself!
Sittin' on the dock of the bay.
#20 Ask yourself
Walking up (or down) the #marmontovaulica, Marmont’s street, the main street in the center of Split, you will certainly notice an unusual fountain. Just take a closer look at it and ask yourself: What the fuck (Can I say fuck?! Ooh, in this case, yes I can!) did the author want to say? Well, no one knows, but if you have an idea, please share your thoughts with us …
#21 Visit the Hall of fame
A must do for all sport lovers and enthusiasts. Visit Poljud stadium and Hajduk Trophy Room and find out why Hajduk is considered the greatest Croatian national club and among the most unique ones in the World. Poljud Stadium, 8 Mediternaskih igara 2.
Did you know that Split has the largest number of Olympic medallists per capita in the World?! Did you know that Toni Kukoć, Goran Ivanišević, Ratko Rudić and Dino Rađa (just to mention few of the most famous), are from Split? Visit the Hall of Fame of Split sports and discover more … Kuća slave splitskog sporta (Hall of Fame), Osječka ulica 11.
#22 Do me a favour!
Visit the Emanuel Vidovic gallery. Even if you don’t like art and paintings, you must visit IT because Emanuel was my great-grandfather. His home studio, the Painter's Room, was inside the apartment where I live now; you can see it in the gallery ... Art lovers or not, just do me a favour! Gallery Emanuel Vidovic, Poljana kraljice Jelene 1.
My ex living room.
#23 And when the sun falls down …
Split is beautiful during the day and even more fascinating in the evening. Before the sun falls down completely, you can actually watch the sun falling down into the sea. Start your night tour from St. Stephen’s cape (#Sustipan) at the sunset. Next, take a taxi (recommended, Uber) to #vidilica, the belvedere spot where we fell in love at first sight, and enjoy a great panorama of Split by night. You can arrive here also walking, but it will take you some time meanwhile the taxi drive should not cost you more than 5 EUR and should save you some time to discover more. And time to have dinner with peace in mind …
Strengthening our relationship.
Next, walk down the hill passing through Veli Varoš quarter to the small fishermen’s harbour of #Matejuška (on the Western side of the promenade, #riva, where you got drunk discovering your secret soul). From here, you can enjoy another great panorama of Split by night: the view of the old town’s facade, St. Domnius tower bell, the promenade and the harbour.
Black & white in colour!
Next, walk along the promenade and enter in the old town from the Fruit Square (#Voćnitrg). Up the street to the main square (#Pjaca) and then enter in Diocletian’s Palace from the Iron gate (#Željeznavrata). Up the street (the antique Decumanus street, today, Ulica kralja Petra Krešimira IV) to the center of the Earth, Peristyle square. 8 steps up to #Vestibul to touch the Moon, proceed and stay at your left side, a selfie with St. Domnius cathedral and tower bell from the backyard, then find yourself way out to Poljana Kraljice Jelene (the best view of St. Domnius and of the Silver gate). Next and finally, turn back at the Center and take the narrow street on North (antique Cardo street, today Dioklecijanova Ulica) up to the Golden gate (#Zlatnavrata). In front, finish polishing the thumb of the big guy (#Grgurninski).
#24 Night hawking
Nightlife lovers, I have great news for you: Split is a great place to have fun all day long but especially in the evening! In the city center, mainly inside the old town of Split, you will find a great variety of bars and pubs to start your night with a good beer, glass of wine or cocktail. There are so many of them to choose from but among the most popular ones are: Fluid, Gaga and Figa (miscellaneous, inside the old town), Cafe bar Ars (miscellaneous, at the promenade), Pivarij Pecado, Jazzbina and Leopold’s Delicatessen bar (for beers, all in the city center), Fabrique (bbq pub, at the promenade), Ghetto (arty and alternative, in the old town) and Paradox (wine & cheese tasting). All the bars in the city center are usually open until midnight – 2 a.m. If you wish to proceed your night, you can do it in Central Club in the city center or in one of the night bars and pubs outside the center of the town, yet close enough to get there by foot or in a short taxi ride: Vanilla (near the Poljud stadium), Tropic (at Bacvice beach, a bay away from the port of Split), Night club & beach bar Zenta (two bays away from the main city harbour), Judino drvo (Judas tree, for concerts, Kopilica Ulica).
Are you ready to rumble?!