One Day In Split – Fun Family Itinerary Of Top Things To Do


The Best Way To Spend A Day In Split

Spending a full day in Split, Croatia is easy and fun because there are so many wonderful activities to do that are perfect for anyone! If your Croatia travels call for some time in Split you can be sure to enjoy a variety of sights even if you only plan a day on your itinerary. It might be better to spend 2 or 3 days in Split but we can give you some additional bonus ideas to plan if you end up staying a bit longer! You may just want to!

Split is a beautiful city in Croatia, and it's one that offers plenty of activities to enjoy. Split offers an endless amount of things to do that will keep you busy for days on end! You can explore the famous Diocletian Palace, take a boat ride around the ancient walls of the city and visit many monuments and sights! No matter what your interests are, there is something for everyone in this historic place!

Trg Republike & Prokurative Split - things to see
What Your Day In Split Should Include:
-Exploring Old Town
-Hiking Marjan Forest Hill
-Relax at the beach
-Night out at the Riva

Split Old Town

Split is a very historical city which makes it incredibly interesting to explore. Split's Diocletian Palace, for example, was built in the early fourth century and today Split uses this palace as a center of attraction.

Walking around an emperor's old residence is an exhilarating experience to say the least. The ancient palace, that's more like a small city, is now the Old Town of Split where visitors can roam through the inside the fortress-like walls and try to imagine how it may have been when it was built in the turn of the 4th century.

That may be a bit hard to do considering how much it has changed with the addition of shops and eateries that occupy the lower levels of the ancient buildings. However, the structures are so magnificent that they demand attention even through all of the distractions and walking tourists. 

Deocletian Palace - Split things to see

Here are some of the most popular spots to check out while you are visiting Split Old Town. 

  • Saint Domnius Cathedral - This is known as the oldest Catholic cathedral that is still being used in it's original structure.
    • The Crypt -  Split has a number of interesting crypts, but this one is perhaps the most important. It's located under the Saint Domnius Cathedral. Split's patron saint, Saint Dujam or Domnius was buried here in the fourth century.  The crypt is still used for religious services today, so it's necessary to be respectful of this when you visit. 
    • The Vestibule is a large open space in the Saint Domnius Cathedral. It has a high dome ceiling with spire windows. It is one of Croatia’s most famous architectural feature.
    • The Podrum - Under the Vestibule you will walk through an arched underground market that is a perfect place for some souvenir shopping
  • Jupiter's Temple - A roman temple dedicated to the Ancient Roman god Jupite. You will notice an Egyptian sphinx at the entrance. This is just one of the 12 that Dioceltian purchased and had delivered from Exypt for his palace decor.
  • Voćni trg (Fruit square) actually has the official name of Trg Braće Radić  which means Square of the Radić brothers. The square is highlighted by an octagonal Venetian tower and a statue of the Croatian poet Marko Marulić.
  • Pazar farmers market: this outdoor market is a great place for some local souvenirs as well as delicious fruits and snacks!
  • Stroll in the Park Josipa Jurja Strossmayera - this park provides a getaway from the hsssle and bussle and is quite peaceful especially in the early morning hours.
  • Trg Republike & Prokurative- Republic Square is a spacious, open square surrounded on three sides by the Prokurative which are a collection of elaborate neo-Renaissance buildings inspired by 19th century architecture in Venice. If you stand in the center of the square you will be presented with a lovely view of the harbor on the southern side.
the Podrum in Split Old Town

Marjan Forest Hill Hike

After exploring the Old Town of Split you'll want to grab a heart y snack for the hill hike. We suggest trying the local burek at St. Burek right inside the old city walls. Once you've had this delicious dish, you'll be energized to hike up the 314 steps that lead to the top of Marjan Hill.

Marjan Hill hike in Split

The path's entrance is pretty much at the end of the Riva as you walk towards Marjan Hill. We happened to take the back way up which started more on the northern side of the hill. It was a bit more "naturey" and gave us views of the other side of the water. Having said that, you should know that there is more than one way up. The paths do link up so if you feel adventurous you can go off the main path.

It can take two and a half hours to do the hike up, so prepare for your time up. It's not a very difficult hike and you have opportunities along the way to rest and take in the views.

Beaches Of Split To Enjoy

Hitting the beach was one of the first things we did upon arrival in Split. One suggestion we have for visitng the beach is to go in the morning or in the afternoon. This was a tip given to us by a local and it was pretty smart.

After your Marjan Hill hike, you'll want to relax those leg muscles either by laying out under the sun or splashing into the sea. Either way, there are a couple of beaches to suit your needs.

Split Croatia Itinerary Activity: beach

You can enjoy some sun and splash in the sea at Bacvice Beach. This beach is popular with both tourists and locals. Bacvice Beach is located on the west end of Split, Croatia. It's about a 20 minute walk from Diocletian palace or you can take the Split bus number 12 from Split to Bacvice Beach.

The walking track is a bit rough for those not used to walking on gravel and sand, so we suggest having water shoes on. Bacvice Beach is a good size, not too big but still enough people that it feels lively and fun.

Just to the east of Bacvice is Firule Beach. You can actually walk there via the pathway along the water. This is a pebble beach and has a restaurant and changing stations.

Some things to note about the beaches in Split: 

  • There are lots of restaurants on the beach
  • There is some sand but mostly pebbles and even cement along the water. You will see people laying on towels on the cement but some bring cushioned mats.
  • There are places you can jump off of into the water
  • Chaise lounges and umbrellas are available to rent

The Riva - Promenade Nightlife

After relaxing on the beach and recharging, it's time to hit the Riva in the evening. The promenade alon the harbor becomes alive at night. People tend to eat dinner pretty late so don't worry if you show up around 8 or 9pm. 

There are tons of restaurant to choose from in the promenade. You might want to eat at some of the other local restaurants we'll mention below if you don't want to have overpriced touristy-type food along the Riva. However, the Riva is a great place for drinks and people watching during the summer. There are also some great gelaterias for dessert if you want to just grab a snack and enjoy it on the benches lined by palm trees along the water's edge.

Riva Promenade in Split, Croatia - one day guide

Top Restaurants in Split

This is a list of our favorite eateries in Split based on quality of food and fair prices, not to mention, exceptional service! We only wrote the one thing that stands out at each location aside from the above mentioned qualities.

Nevera Tavern - Best seafood

Dvor - Most beautiful views

Pizzeria Bokamorra - Best pizza

Apetit - location Inside Old Town

seafood restaurants to try when visiting Split

Here's where you should stay:

What should I do in 2 days in Split?

This is a trip that has it all! 

A visit to the fort in Split where you can see some of the season 7 filming locations for Game of Thrones is a must if you have an extra day. The Klis Fortress, Tvrđava Klis, is a medieval fortress situated just outside of the city with gorgeous views to say the least.

what to do in Split in a day

Visiting islands like Broc with crystal clear water and beaches can also be a great added itinerary for the second day in Split. You can easily ferry over (even take a rental car) from the harbor and have a quick island getaway!  

Exploring Krka Waterfall on one of Croatia’s most popular day trips. If this sounds like something you would enjoy, go ahead and book your tour tickets now!

Tips for visiting Split


Split is one of the most popular destinations in all of Croatia because it's home to some incredible sites. But, you can't visit any place for just 1 day and expect to see everything worth seeing. However, 1 day in Split can be enough if you plan it right. We tried to do our best to give you a few ideas on how to spend your time wisely when visiting this beautiful city! If you're only spending 24 hours here, make sure that these attractions are on your itinerary. This way, you'll be able to get the best out of Split without feeling like there wasn't enough time (or money) spent exploring this wonderful destination!

Park Josipa Jurja Strossmayera in Split


Split, Croatia's second largest city and the country’s unofficial capital of culture, is one of Europe’s most welcoming cities, so it is certainly worth visiting. The old town offers a plethora of attractions for visitors to explore and enjoy, and there are plenty more activities in the surrounding area that will keep you busy all day long. If your time in Split is limited or if you're not sure what to do when visiting this thriving coastal metropolis we recommend using our itinerary above as inspiration!

One question that might be on your mind if you are deciding whether to visit Split or Dubrovnik is which one would be better. It's hard to really pick one or the other. But one thing to note is that Dubrovnik is a better city to only spend a day in because there is not as much to do there. Though there is more to do in Split it does offer a much more variety of activities so you have more choices on how to spend your time.

Croatia (for the most part) isn't off the beaten path so you can expect it to be quite busy in Split with tourists, especially during the summer season. That being said, you know it's not going to be a low budget destination, but it also doesn't have to be super expensive either. Staying outside the Old Town and Riva will get you reasonable priced restaurants and hotels. Another thing to nots is that it's easy to shop for things you may need at the small grocery stores and markets so no need to pack too much!

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Taiss Nowrouzi

About the Author

Taiss Nowrouzi

Hi! I'm just a California girl addicted to travel and adventure with a passion for art and dance on the side. Born in Iran, but I consider myself a citizen of Earth, adhering to the belief that "The world is but one country and mankind its citizen." I strive to make a positive impact on everyone I meet and learn as much as possible from them. My degree out of college is in Marketing. However, I entered the hospitality business at an early age and worked my way up to hotel management. After about 13 years in that industry (5 of which I was a hotel assistant manager), I made the decision to move to Thailand and leave the 9 to 5 grind behind. My husband and I set off for a life of living abroad and hopes to continue traveling the world, just 3 months after our wedding. It all started with the two of us, along with our cat, together in Thailand. Can't wait to see where life takes us next!

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