An absolute coastal gem, and often overlooked in preference to its country counterpart Dubrovnik, Split should be on everyone’s must-visit list when it comes to exploring the stunning Dalmatian Coast. The second largest city in Croatia offers a window into local life, while showcasing some of the best historical sites in the region. So, if you’re wanting to know exactly what the best things to do in Split are, and how to make the most of your holiday in Split, then we have created the ideal 2 days in Split itinerary!
But, if you’re potentially wanting to stay slightly longer in the city or maybe want to also spend some time exploring the surrounding area, then we’ve packed in loads of other bonus activities and attractions to further flesh out your Split itinerary.
And if you’re heading further afield and on to the Adriatic islands, then to Dubrovnik, we’ve also got a great Dubrovnik city guide to help you set up the perfect Croatia holiday. Regardless of your agenda, if you need any further advice or ideas, just drop us a comment below or get in touch with us here.
The perfect 2 days in Split itinerary
We have been to Split several times, including visiting for music festivals, as a city break and as part of larger Croatia itineraries. And, over our times in Split, we’ve checked out all of the major attractions and quite a few more of the unusual ones, and think that we’ve now created the best way to spend 2 days in Split.
- Day 1 – Old Town walking tour, hike Marjan Forest Park and drinks on Kasjuni Beach
- Day 2 – Krka National Park, Klis Fortress and drinks on the Riva
Why go to Split?
We imagine that if you’ve reached this article that you’ve already got your heart set on a trip to Split, but just in case you’re not 100% sure if Split should be on your Croatia itinerary, we break down exactly why you should be spending at least a couple of days in Split.
- The largest Croatian city on the Dalmatian coast, Split is a great transport hub – so whether you’re wanting to get out and explore the region or spend time island-hopping the Adriatic Islands, then this is a great place to start your holiday
- Add to this that it’s highly accessible on low-cost carriers, and you can get some really great accommodation deals, which won’t cost you an arm and a leg
- The city has a wonderful Old Town to explore, perhaps not quite to the same scale as Dubrovnik but, in our opinion, well worth spending at least a day exploring it…
- In and around Split there are some great beaches, so even if you’re not interested in the island-hopping, you still have superb sandy shores to explore
- The peak season shoulder months of May, June and September, October provide lovely warm weather, less crowds and so would provide the perfect short break destination for those able to pop over to this little European gem.
Is 2 days in Split enough?
We think that 2 days in Split is pretty much the perfect amount of time for exploring the city, and a couple of major tourist attractions and Croatia landmarks in and around it. So, whether that’s visiting on a long weekend, or to add it as part of a wider itinerary, we’ve got your covered.
In 2 days in Split, you’ll see all the sights but probably just about be ready to head off to explore some of those famous Adriatic Islands or head on down towards Dubrovnik.
Getting to Split
As mentioned above, there are a number of low-cost carriers that operate to Split, so travel to the city isn’t hugely expensive.
If you’re looking for flights, we suggest you check out the latest flights deals with Skyscanner.
If you’re travelling around the Dalmatian Coast to Zadar or Dubrovnik, want to take day trips around the region to visit neighbouring Bosnia & Herzegovina and Montenegro, or even are planning a much larger Croatia itinerary and want to drive as far as Zagreb, then it’s definitely worth considering a rental car during your trip. It definitely makes your holiday easier, and in our opinion having that freedom, much more enjoyable.
We’d recommend that you check out the latest deals with RentalCars.
If you’re coming from Dubrovnik, or even planning to hop around the Adriatic Islands, then you’ll want to book your ferry tickets well in advance – especially in peak season!
Check out the latest ferry prices on Bookaway. They have awesome 24-hour support, which is so important when you travel.
Travel Insurance for your Croatia holiday
Got your travel insurance booked? We promise to never push a brand or product we don’t personally use, and the travel cover from Safety Wing is a policy we don’t just use, but we highly recommend. They offer some of the most flexible policies, amazing customer service and are affordable too.
Check out the latest travel insurance prices with Safety Wing here.
Day 1 in Split
Old Town Walking Tour
Now if you’ve read any of our other city guides, you’ll know that we are huge advocates of exploring a new destination by pounding those streets. And Split is definitely no exception to this rule – the Split Old Town is perfect for wandering around. Don’t fret if you are there in peak summer and it’s pretty warm as there are plenty of great places to stop and grab a refreshing drink on our suggested walking route.
So, start your 2 days in Split itinerary by visiting the most famous attraction in the city: Diocletian’s Palace.
Probably now most famous as the former slave city of Meereen in Game of Thrones, the palace was originally built as a retirement home for the Roman Emperor Diocletian at the start of the 4th century.
The huge palace complex and UNESCO World Heritage site is a fascinating monument and you can really spend a huge amount of the day visiting various sections of it…
A few of the must-visit parts of the palace include the Peristyle (the main hall – probably the most famous and photographed part), the Vestibule, the city gates (of which there are four) the walls and for us the most interesting, the Palace Cellars.
You can enter the Palace Cellars at one end of the Peristyle, where you’ll find a number of market stalls in the the Podrum Underground Market, selling locally-made jewellery, art and the usual touristy knick-knacks.
Location: Dioklecijanova ul. 1, 21000, Split
Open: Open 24 hours a day!
Saint Domnius Cathedral and Bell Tower
Within Diocletian’s Palace, and right next to the Peristyle you’ll find one of the oldest Catholic cathedrals in the world: the Cathedral of Saint Domnius (or Sveti Duje to the locals). Turned into a cathedral in around the 7th century, it sits on the original mausoleum of Diocletian.
But the real attraction, and another must-visit on your Split itinerary is the adjoining bell tower. A later addition from the 1200s (but also rebuilt since), you can climb to the top of the bell tower, which offers beautiful panoramic views of Split.
There is a combo ticket for visiting the Cathedral Crypt, Treasury and Bell Tower which we think is a bit of a steal at 25 KN per person (3.85 USD/3.00 GBP).
Location: Ul. Kraj Svetog Duje 5, 21000, Split
Open: Daily from 7.00am to 9.00pm
Statue of Grgur Ninski
While visiting the North Gate (Golden Gate) of Diocletian’s Palace, you have to take a detour just outside to visit the huge bronze statue of Gregory of Nin.
The statue is an impressive 8.5m tall and honours the medieval Croatian bishop, who was responsible for integrating the national language, Croatian, into his church services.
Originally placed in the Peristyle, the statue was moved to its present place in the 1950s. And of course, you have to give the statue’s giant toe a good rub – it’s meant to bring good luck!
Location: Ul. kralja Tomislava 12, 21000, Splitska, Croatia
Wander Old Split
And after picking out these main attractions, the rest of the morning should be spent getting lost in some of the quaint old town marbled streets that make up the majority of Old Town Split.
This really is a beautiful town to get lost in – you’ll find cute little alleys and buildings to explore. Make sure you head to the Old Town Hall and People’s Square at a minimum.
Top tip: There are also a couple of markets in the area to visit, including the Fish Market and Green Market. The Fish Market is fun to visit first thing in the morning, a real hub of Split life, and the Green Market is where you can pick up fresh fruit and veg!
Split Walking Tour Map
If you aren’t much of a fan of doing the walking tour by yourself, then why not check out this Split Old Town guided tour option on Get Your Guide? It has excellent reviews and is a great way to find out more about the history of Split.
Hike up Marjan Forest Park
After you’ve grabbed some well-deserved lunch (some options for that further on…) and had enough of exploring the Split Old Town, this afternoon you should head up for the best views of Split in the Marjan Forest Park.
Marjan Hill, to the west of Split’s city center is a wonderful natural oasis on the edge of the city. And although a little bit of a hike to get up to the summit of the 178m hill, well worth the effort for the Marjan viewpoint alone.
There are a number of trails that lead up to Marjan Hill, although the main stairs up is a really brilliant hike. The hill offers an escape from the heat of the city, and out the other side are some of the best beaches in Split…
Location: Obala Hrvatskog narodnog preporoda 25, 21000, Split
Top tip: Make sure you take some water and a hat on the hike, even though you’re out of the city it can get really hot!
Drinks on Kasjuni Beach
And after all that strenuous (well not really that tough) exercise, it’s time to spend some time soaking in some of that Mediterranean sun on what we think is the best beach in and around Split, on Kasjuni Beach.
It can get really vibey in the afternoon on the beach, and you should definitely head to Joe’s Beach Lounge and Bar for a couple of afternoon drinks, there’s no better place to watch the sunset… it will dip down over Ciovo island (more on that later).
Location: Kasjuni Beach
Day 2 in Split
Krka National Park
It’s worth starting your second day in Split relatively early and heading out to one of the biggest attractions near Split, the beautiful Krka National Park.
The park is around 80km from Split and with it being such an incredible place, try and get there as early as you can to avoid the crowds.
You’ll want to try and get out on the first bus, generally it departs Split at around 7.00am and gets to Krka (well Skradin) at around 8.15am. The bus costs 75 KN (11.50 USD/9.15 GBP).
You then need to purchase a boat ticket to take the ferry to Skradinski Buk (the main waterfall). Here is a link to the ferry departure times. The ferry ride to and from the main area of the park is a great experience too.
The national park is huge, so you can explore for days, but the common trip is to this iconic waterfall. While there you can take a stroll along the wooden walkways winding through the forest – it’s an amazing experience skipping across the walkways and taking in the lush vegetation, little dragonflies and butterflies flitting around. The walkways will help lead you to a small village near the waterfall which you can tour – there is an old school watermill and even a blacksmith working their magic.
Some people, and we can see why, spend the whole day at Krka National Park, but we found that it got a bit too busy, so headed back towards Split by early afternoon. And with limited time in Split, we’d recommend that as part of this itinerary you do the same.
Tickets for the National Park cost varies depending on the season, from 30 KN over winter months, right up to 200 KN at peak times (4.65 to 30 USD/3.65 to 24.25 GBP).
Ferry to Krka Location: Obala Bana Pavla Subica 2, 22222, Bićine, Croatia
Open: 8.00am to 8.00pm during peak months, times change in Spring, Autumn and Winter. Check out all times here.
If you don’t have your own transport, we’d recommend that you check out this tour to Krka National Park.
On the way back from Krka is your next stop for the day, to visit the Klis Fortress, which you may well know from HBO’s Game of Thrones – where it was also used (alongside Diocletian’s Palace) as to the town of Meereen.
The fortress has been an important stronghold for more than a couple of thousand years, from being sieged by the Romans, to the seat of countless Croatian Kings, home to some Knights Templars, through to the Venetians battling the Ottoman Empire.
The views of the area from the Klis Fortress are absolutely stunning, and well worth the visit for those alone, never mind the history, both ancient and modern that accompany it.
Now it may be easier to actually rent a car for today to visit Krka, as Klis is on the way back to Split, or you’ll have to head back into town before out again to Klis.
Photo credit: Sergei Gussev / Flickr
Tickets for adults are 60 KN (9.25 USD/7.25 GBP).
Location: Kliška tvrđava, 21231, Klis
Open: Daily from 9.00am to 10.00pm
Drinks and dinner on the Riva
And to celebrate your final evening in Split, what better way than heading to the beautiful Riva harbour and waterfront to grab some drinks and dinner? There are a number of great restaurants dotted along the water’s edge – from the humble Adriatic Grašo to the more upmarket Brasserie 7.
Interactive 2 days in Split itinerary Map
Bonus activities to add to your Split itinerary
Didn’t love the Split itinerary we put together? Swap out some of our activities for one of these other cracking pursuits:
If you’re a gallery-going art lover, then make sure the Mestrovic is on your Split itinerary.
Dedicated to sculptor Ivan Mestrovic, the museum has a captivating collection of drawings, designs and sculptures, and not to mention that the gallery itself is a beautiful building and at the base of Marjan Hill, in a phenomenal setting.
Location: Šetalište Ivana Meštrovića 46, 21000, Split, Croatia
Open: Tues to Sun – 9.00am to 5.00pm, Mondays – closed!
Museum of Fine Art
Not sure on the Mestrovic Gallery, but still keen for that corner of culture? Definitely check out the Split Museum of Fine Art.
Located close to the statue of Gregory of Nin (and the Golden Gate) in Park Josipa Jurja Strossmayera, which is also worth a visit we might add, this former hospital is home to numerous works of art from the 1500s to the present.
And given its location, it’s an easy add into Day 1 of your 2 day Split itinerary!
Location: Ul. kralja Tomislava 15, 21000, Split
Open: Tues to Sun – 10.00am to 6.00pm, Mondays – closed!
So maybe this one could actually be in the day trips section, but for all you adrenaline junkies, Cetina is one of the best places to try out white water rafting, tubing or kayaking in the region!
The 11km route will take you on Grade 2 and 3 rapids, so a really fun thing to do with the family, and a fantastic activity to keep you cool if it’s really hot when you’re in Split.
Around 50km from Split itself, a trip to the Cetina river with the rafting will take up around half a day.
Check out the white-water rafting tour options here.
We had to include this one as it’s undoubtedly one of the weirder experiences in Split! Froggyland, as you may be able to guess from the name is relatively obscure museum that is dedicated to taxidermied frogs.
The frogs, over 500 of them, are arranged in a number of settings, from river scene to classroom. We won’t lie to you, it’s a little bizarre but pretty fascinating.
The works were created by 20th century Hungarian taxidermist Ference Mere, so we have him to thank for this curious place.
Location: Ul. kralja Tomislava 5, 21000, Split
Open: 10.00am to 10.00pm daily
So, we’ve already mentioned one of our favourite beaches, Kasjuni Beach in our itinerary, and given you a little time to relax on this beach. But just in case you’re a total beach bum, and really fancy a day relaxing and working on the tan, then there are a couple of other beaches in Split to consider.
Kaštelet: Given its location only a short walk from the centre (and handily right in front of the Meštrović Gallery), we are huge fans of Kastelet beach. There are some beach bars, fun atmosphere and the water is lovely…
Trstenik: Alternatively check out the Trstenik beach, which is definitely up there with best beach in Split.
The Temple of Jupiter, built by Diocletian in his palace around the turn of the 4th century, is a beautiful example of a Roman temple, dedicated to the God Jupiter.
Converted to a church, it has a unique mixture of both Roman and Christian artefacts… and if you have time on your walking tour of the Old Town, it’s definitely another worthwhile addition to add to your Split itinerary.
Photo credit: Carole Raddato / Flickr
Location: Ul. Kraj Svetog Ivana 2, Split
Open: Daily from 8.00am to 7.00pm
This darling town is out by the airport, so it’s the perfect place to pop into on your way to/from the airport if timings allow for it.
The historic centre of Trogir is a UNESCO World Heritage site and has some of the best examples of Venetian architecture on the Dalmatian Coast! It easily rivals Dubrovnik in its beauty… so definitely squeeze it into your 2 days in Split itinerary if you can!
It’s also connected to Ciovo island (yes, the same that you viewed from Kasjuni beach on Day 1) by a couple of bridges, so if you want to make more of a day trip, then these two combined are an ideal little addition.
Where to stay in Split
The great news is that there are a load of great Split hotels and self-catering options to suit most budgets in Split. Here are a few that we’d recommend you look at:
Budget: Set right in the middle of the old town, the apartment rental Studios Aurelia Palace offers amazing luxury at really affordable prices…
Mid-range: If you have slightly more budget to play with, then check out the beautifully appointed Split Oasis Studio Apartments, for the price point it’s one of the best on offer in the centre of Split.
Luxury: If you’re looking for something a little more special, then it has to be the Heritage Hotel 19. This 4* hotel offers amazing rooms, but still at relatively reasonable rates.
Best places to eat in Split
Mediterranean cuisine is probably some of the best in the world (in our opinion), and across Croatia you are spoilt for choice on the number of great eateries to choose from. Just in case you need a little inspiration, here are a few we’d recommend.
Best secret spot: Konoba Fratelli – a small family run restaurant serving up delicious Italian and Mediterranean dishes. So good we ate here 2 nights in a row…
Best for pizza: Pizzeria Gust – in our opinion it’s the best pizza place in Split, so if you’re a pizza lover this is the spot for you.
Best high-end restaurant: Konoba Nikola – don’t believe us, just check out the reviews. Although good to note that it’s quite far out of the city centre, so you’ll need a taxi there and back!
Best breakfast: Bajamina – personally we enjoyed the delicious pancakes from this place after a very long night, and with a terrible hangover. It was ideal soul food, with the most more-ish fillings on offer!
Getting around Split
All of the Old Town is pretty much a car free zone, so be ready to pound those streets!
If you’re looking to explore a little further outside of the Old Town or are even staying outside the city centre, then you should make the most of the local buses to get about. A ticket will cost you around 11 KN (1.70 USD/1.30 GBP) for a trip.
Alternatively, if you’re not keen to explore the local buses, then you can also jump in a taxi or even order an Uber. But it’s good to note that taxis are quite pricey in Croatia.
Getting from Split Airport into Split City Centre
Located around 25km west of Split (and actually very close to the beautiful Trogir) is Split International Airport, and the good news is that it’s very easy to get from the airport into town! Here are a few of the best options:
Yes, you read that right! You can take the ferry directly from the airport into town, not only is it the coolest way to start a holiday, it’s also pretty fast taking only around 25 minutes to make the journey!
Operated by Catamaran Line, there are 6 ferries running each day and tickets cost 45 KN per person (7.00 USD/5.50 GBP). Check out the departure times here to see if this might suit your travel.
Ok, so not as cool as arriving by ferry, the airport shuttle buses takes you from Split Airport to the main bus station in Split in around 35 minutes and will only set you back 40 KN (6.15 USD/4.85 GBP). Pretty handy.
You can also look into local buses, but although a bit cheaper and so a way to save money, we’re not sure worth the added hassle straight off a flight. But just in case you’re interested, here is some more information on that option too.
The most convenient way to get from the airport to the city centre, but unsurprisingly the most expensive (and quite expensive at that), is to jump in a taxi.
The journey will take you around 30 minutes but will set you back around 250 KN (38.50 USD/30.50 GBP). So, unless you are arriving late at night, or have cash to burn, then we don’t think it’s really worth it.
When is the best time to travel to Split?
The warmest and driest months of the year are July and August, but with these also coinciding with peak holiday season, tourist attractions will be at their busiest and you will be paying a premium for travel and accommodation.
Our favourite months are the shoulder months either side of this, in May, June and September, October. And if you’re a fan of swimming in the sea, then we’d definitely plump for September, with the warm summer sun having nicely warmed the waters around Split.
Great day trips from Split
Blue Cave Tour
You may well have seen the famous photos of the Blue Cave, located on the island of Bisevo. Getting to this iconic landmark will take you around 90 minutes on speedboat, but very much worth the trip.
Many of the operators taking you to the Blue Cave will also stop at Stiniva, another stunning island just off Vis. And the Blue Lagoon, a crystal-clear bay which is an ideal place to stop for some swimming.
Check out this Blue Cave and islands tour that gets great reviews.
Photo credit: Dronepicr / Flickr
Around about 3.5 hours away from Split, so at the far end of a day trip, is one of the most beautiful spots in Croatia: the world-famous Plitvice Lakes.
The Plitvice Lakes National Park is renowned for it’s turquoise lakes and cascading waterfalls. Think Krka National Park on steroids.
There are winding paths through the 16 lakes which really are totally out of this world…
Book your day trip to the stunning Plitvice Lakes here.
Often overlooked for Hvar, Brac was somewhere that we fell in love with when we were in Croatia. It just feels much more authentic than the other islands around.
And with that, you get less tourists and cheaper prices – so in our eyes a total win-win.
Definitely one for a longer stint if you can, but if not, the good news is that it’s a short ride from Split, given that it’s one of the closest islands.
Book a ferry to Brac for a day trip here.
The jewel of the Adriatic Islands crown, Hvar is the most famous of all the islands in the central Dalmatian area, and for good reason – it is a stunning place.
If you can spend a day on the island, try and check out the Spanish Fortress for the best views on the island, the Stari Grad and of course you have to visit some of the beaches…
Why not cruise to Hvar and other magical Adriatic Islands on this Catamaran day trip.
As you may know, it’s our favourite spot in Croatia, and if you’re going to spend time on any of the Adriatic Islands, then we really would push for Korcula to be number one on your list.
If you only have a fleeting visit, book a ferry out to Korcula for the day, wander the stunning old town, and then head back to Split in the afternoon.
When you’re on Korcula, make sure you check out the Cathedral of St Mark, and head to Massimo’s for a unique cocktail experience.
Book your ferry ticket to Korcula with Bookaway here. It’s only a couple of hours on the boat, but well worth it.
A couple of hours away from Split, and just over the border in Bosnia and Herzegovina, Mostar has become one of the places to visit in recent years, and that’s in part thanks to the magnificent Instagram-worthy bridge at it’s centre.
It’s worth a trip over to Mostar to visit the Stari Most (the full name of the bridge) on its own. You may even spot some crazy locals diving off the bridge… nutters.
What camera equipment and other gear do we use?
We’re living proof that you don’t need the most expensive gear to travel the world and take good photos. Here are some of our must have items that make it into the packing list for all our travels.
- Main Camera: Panasonic Lumix FZ1000
- Drone: DJI Mavic Air – Fly More Combo
- GoPro: Hero 7 Black
- GoPro Dive Case: Go Pro Housing
- GoPro Case: Smatree GoPro Carry Case – Small
- Packing Cubes: Eagle Creek Packing case
- Backpack: Osprey Farpoint 70
- Powerbank: Anker Powercore
- Phone: Xiaomi Mi 9
- Hard drive: Transcend Slim Storejet 2TB
- Laptop: Lenovo IdeaPad 720s
- Headphones: Bose Quiet Comfort 35
- Wifi Hotspot: GlocalMe G4
Frequently Asked Questions
What currency is used in Croatia?
The Croatian Kuna is the currency used in Croatia, its official abbreviation is KN or kn.
How long do you need in Split?
Two days in Split is just about long enough for your trip. That gives you time to explore the best attractions in and around the city. Of course, if you can extend that a little longer then that’s great!
Is Dubrovnik or Split a better tourist destination?
That’s a really difficult question, as both have great attractions, and offer something a little different. Dubrovnik is probably a little more focused on the ancient Old Town, whereas Split has a few more natural attractions to explore. We’d rate the beaches slightly better in Split and of course those famous Adriatic Islands are just that little bit closer.
We’d suggest that you look to incorporate both cities, along with some island-hopping for your Croatia holiday!
What are the best things to do in Split?
We’ve definitely covered all the best things to do in Split in our 2 days in Split itinerary. These include visiting the Old Town, especially Diocletian’s Palace and St Domnius Cathedral, as well as some beach time, Krka National Park and the Game of Thrones filming location of Klis Fortress.
So, what did you think of our Split city guide? Let us know in the comments below if you found this useful or any changes you would make… we will definitely be heading back to Split one day soon.
However you spend your couple of days in Split, we hope you find this Split itinerary super helpful.
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