A fascinating history, surprising beach scene, glamorous dining experiences and unique shopping – introducing Croatia’s second-largest city, Split. Not sure what this city is all about? I’ve broken it down for you…
Culture and history
Split has a Croatia-meets-Italy feel about it. Roman ruins are very prominent in the old town, where ancient columns sit effortlessly alongside modern boutiques and restaurants. Most are contained within the walled Diocletian’s Palace, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The palace dates back 1,700 years and has a pretty impressive spot overlooking Split’s harbour.
Must-sees within the palace are the 13th -century Cathedral of St. Duje and the Peristyle square. In the summer months, the square buzzes with people snapping photos and strolling along with iced coffees.
Wining and dining
The seafront promenade is, of course, a hotspot, lined with restaurants and cafes, all with al fresco seating. There’s not one that doesn’t offer a view of the Adriatic Sea – coupled with the bustling promenade, they make the perfect people-watching opportunity.
There are some pretty cool bars and cafes if you wander the streets just off the seafront, too. The Academia Ghetto Club has a cosy courtyard and an enviable wine list. If jazz music is your thing, head to Marvlvs Library Jazz Bar. Pull up a pew, listen to local music and soak up the history – rumour has it, the house (now the bar) was the birthplace of famous Renaissance writer Marko Marulic.
Head over to the Marina and Zrno Soli one lunch time. The menu is reasonably priced, especially when you consider the stunning view you get looking back over Split. I would recommend the squid-ink risotto and a glass of Malvazija white wine.
Like most great cities, the shopping scene in Split is exciting. You have shopping malls for those serious shoppers, souvenir stalls for picking up a little memento, boutiques for those thinking of loved ones back at home (or yourselves), and markets selling fruit, veg and local products.
You will find most of Split’s shops in the heart of its historic town. Remember those Roman ruins that rub shoulders with modern Croatia? This is it – the cobbled streets are lined with boutiques and designer shops.
Where to stay
Located next to Split’s old town, the Cornaro Hotel is the perfect location for exploring the city. If you are a foodie, you’ll enjoy the hotel’s use of local products and homemade wine. Evenings can be spent at the rooftop bar, watching the sunset.
Alternatively, the Hotel Park Split offers a special kind of stay. The gorgeous hotel dates back to 1921 and still maintains its impressive Art Deco style. The hotel is also a stone’s throw from the Bacvice beach, so you can spend your morning wandering the old town, before resting your feet on the sand.
Is Split next on your holiday agenda?