Sitting pretty on the sparkling shores of the Adriatic Sea, Split impresses in more ways than one. Having grown out of the palace complex built here by the Roman Emperor Diocletian in 295 AD, this Croatian gem combines its imperial past with a buzzing urban attitude that comes to fruition when strolling the cosmopolitan, palm-lined Riva waterfront. At the same time, Split manages to retain a relaxed and slow-paced feel typical of a Mediterranean coastal town. Between wandering the streets of the Old Town, sunbathing on the beach and enjoying an exquisite meal on the waterfront, Split is filled with simple and spontaneous pleasures that don’t need to be premeditated.
Where to Stay
Heritage Hotel 19 is a centuries-old property that’s been completely transformed into an exclusive boutique hotel with chic interior design. The building combines its original rustic features like stone walls and exposed beams with elegant touches that include retro-style lamps, classical accents and soft linens. Every room contains a handful of books by famous Croatian authors, which add a personal artistic touch that goes beyond your generic hotel experience. Around the property, there’s a peaceful courtyard and terrace where you can sit back and unwind, as well as an on-site bar. When it comes to location, Heritage Hotel 19 is tucked away into a quiet cobblestone street in Split’s Old Town that lies just a block away from the seaside promenade. Be sure to take a look at our Luxury Hotel Guide to Split for the complete breakdown of recommended accommodation.
Where to Eat
Located on the shores of Podstrana, a picturesque coastal town just outside of Spit, the wonderful 7 Palms Restaurant offers an exquisite take on the traditional Adriatic repertoire of grilled fish, grilled squid and seafood plates. Led by the talented Chef Sebastian Scholten, the refined menu is built around Dalmatian culinary traditions and incorporates local ingredients, sustainable food techniques and a “less is more” philosophy. Surrounded by lush palm trees on the beachfront, this renovated venue looks directly out at sea and makes for the perfect setting to enjoy the selection of succulent steaks and seafood. Whether you come for a light lunch under the sun or a romantic dinner during sunset, 7 Palms sure knows how to set the mood with live beach music and the sounds of the sea. Check out our Restaurant Guide to Split for an expanded list of the city’s top culinary adventures.
What to Do
Dating back to the 4th century, the outstanding Diocletian’s Palace lies at the heart of the Old Town and remains one of the most extraordinary remains of the ancient Roman Empire that’s still in existence today. Although it was built as a military fortress, imperial residence and fortified town, it’s no longer used as a palace or even a museum, but rather full of sprawling restaurants, bars, shops, hotels and people within its white stone walls. You can also visit for the annual Summer Festival, which takes place between mid-July and August, where the palace’s magnificent courtyard is transformed into an open-air stage.
History is all around you when exploring the maze of alleyways and cobblestone streets that make up Split’s Old Town with well-preserved monuments like the Cathedral of St. Domnius or the Temple of Jupiter. Venture deep into the nooks and crannies and you’ll find fashionable boutiques, hip galleries, atmospheric cafes and Roman ruins around every corner. Rising from Split’s western side is the Marjan Hill, a nature reserve that offers spectacular views of the city and surrounding island. Bačvice Beach, the city’s central beach, is located just a short 10-minute walk from the Old Town with sunbeds and parasols, whereas the Riva seafront promenade is undoubtedly the most popular place in town.