With its seafront cafes and ancient alley ways, shouting stallholders and travellers on the move, bustling, exuberant Split is one of the Mediterranean’s most compelling cities. It has a unique historical heritage too, having grown out of the palace built here by the Roman Emperor Diocletian in 295AD. The palace remains the city’s central ingredient, having been gradually transformed into a warren of houses, tenements, churches and chapels by the various people who came to live here after Diocletians time.
Peak season is obviously the busiest, when the city is throbbing and full of nightlife, which will appeal to some but not others. The shoulder months are quieter, but contain some great culture and festivals, such as that of Sv. Duje in May, and there is much more time and space to enjoy the city. And for from being dead in the winter, there is plenty going on right up to December 31, including the biggest dance festival in Europe for New Year with the Salsa Silvester Festival.
First place to visit is of course the Diocletian Palace. When in Palace go to Peristil , the main square of the Old Town. After photo shooting visit the Cathedral of St Domnius and climb the bell tower. The view will leave you breathless. Immediately west of the cathedral are massive steps leading down through the Protiron into the well-preserved vestibule and enjoy klapa singing in the mornings.
Such stratification is mirrored in everyday life of Split. Local inhabitants sit in the same cafes, restaurants, shop in the same stores as tourists, giving them the impression that, by arriving to Split, they became a part of the city and its rhythm. The vegetable market and the fish market represent the centre of each family’s life in Split, just as the entire social life of this city of 200 thousand reflects on the Riva (waterfront), where every guest should endeavour to have his coffee alongside noisy, temperamental folk of Split.
Split is much more than glorious architectural scenery. Split is also a venue for excellent gourmet and vine experiences, numerous cultural happenings like film and theatre festivals, exhibitions, excellent museums and concerts, a city which offers eclectic modes of entertainment starting with numerous clubs and bars, through street festivals to events such as Ultra Europe Festival visited each year by up to 100 thousand young people from around one hundred countries of the world. Split with its sport results is something only a handful of cities of similar size around the world can boast about as it is the home of a dozen Olympic medal winners as well as other sports medals.
When you tire of the city bustle, there’s Marjan, hill symbol over the city, with its forest, jogging trails, mountain climbing and biking, recreational terrains, but also the ancient churches where the late citizens of Split sought spiritual peace. Also very unusual to find in a city the size of Split are the numerous beaches with extraordinarily clean sea, from the well known Bačvice to the stone secluded oases’ all around Marjan.