How to spend a week in Split

If you’re thinking about a holiday to Croatia, keep the beautiful city of Split in mind. Although the Croatian capital of Dubrovnik certainly deserves your attention, Split is Croatia’s second largest city and has plenty of features we think you’re going to love. In fact, with our short list of things to do for a whole week in Split, much of the planning has already been done for you.

Monday is fun day

You might feel bowled over by the amount there is to do in Split, so settle in by heading to Bacvice Beach.

Tucked in the southeast of the city, it’s the main public beach and is eternally blessed with blazing Adriatic sunshine. Bacvice Beach benefits from shallow water in a sheltered bay, while you can also dine out at restaurants nearby to cap off your first evening here.

Tuesday and Wednesday make food for thought

Boasting an impressive history, Split has been touched by the empires of the Ottomans, the Byzantines, the Romans and the explorers of Ancient Greece. There are lots of museums in which to catch up on that history, but first thing’s first – make a beeline for the Diocletian’s Palace.

This stunning complex of arches, columns and ancient stonework dates back to the Roman era, yet it’s remained at the heart of Split for centuries. Even today, it has upmarket shops and stylish bars rubbing shoulders with ancient architecture. The whole place was built in the 4th century by order of Diocletian himself, in a process lasting over 10 years. Diocletian was one of the greatest emperors of the Roman Empire, and the first to ever retire from office voluntarily. Indeed, he saw out his golden years right here in his namesake palace.

Once you’ve soaked in the full majesty of the Diocletian’s Palace and its neighbouring Cathedral of Saint Dominus, dedicate some time to the museums. The Museum of Croatia is located in Split, while the Maritime Museum gives a wonderful glimpse into life out on the Adriatic Sea. If that’s not quite eccentric enough for you though, head to Froggyland, Split’s offbeat museum of stuffed frogs sailing on little boats, enjoying painting classes and taking tiny photographs. It has to be seen to be believed.

Thursday lets you get back to nature

Split is in a sublime location and serves as a good springboard to adventures elsewhere, for a start you can take a short bus ride to the Krka Waterfalls and the surrounding beauty of Sibenik National Park. Others find their comforts close to home, spending their day atop Marjan Hill and taking in the view of the city before heading down for a laid-back evening in the sleepy neighbourhood of Matejuska.

Friday and Saturday are party time

Like many other Mediterranean hotspots, Split’s locals love some cafe culture. Days are spent lazing and chatting in cafe terraces under the sun, while evenings are a chance to bar-hop. When in Split, do as the Splicani do and explore some of the most happening places in town as the weekend approaches.

While plenty of tourist-friendly bars are dotted across Split for that purpose, a few local favourites have become like hidden treasures. For instance, the boho chic of Academia Ghetto Club in the city centre entices artistic types, while those of you preferring a beachfront cocktail will adore the lively decor of Zbirac.

Sunday is all about the souvenirs

Split has a reputation as one of the hippest shopping destinations in Croatia. There’s plenty to back up that claim, such as GetGetGet, where local independent designers sell their clothes and artists show off their work, or vegan’s paradise bio&bio, where organic food and ethical lifestyle products are sold.

However, the most traditional way to shop in Split is the daily market east of the Diocletian’s Palace. Bring your top haggling skills to this sprawling mix of stands and stalls, where fresh fruit and veg can be found alongside handmade clothing, toys, food and drink and some delicious wines.

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