As the largest city on the Croatian coast, Split may not be the only place where the party is at, but it is definitely where the party starts. Here you can immerse yourself in the balmy Mediterranean climate and the inviting, vibrant crowds of one of the Adriatic’s hottest destinations for music and nightlife. There is so much to see and do just within Old Town alone that we recommend showing up at least a day early to make sure that you have a chance to enjoy all that Split has to offer.
Every visit to Split is going to be unique. This is a city where spontaneity and serendipity thrive, leading to unforgettable life experiences. Still, planning ahead will ensure that you get a chance to check out the best nightlife, sports and activities. Following are a few must-see destinations and activities to add to your bucket list.
1. Visit Split’s lively nightclubs.
Split has a number of dynamic nightclubs, but of all of them, the one we recommend most highly is Central Club Split.
You’ll find Central Club Split at the site of a legendary movie theater right near the walls of Diocletian’s palace—you can’t miss it. This club can pack 1,000 revelers into 2 floors, 4 bars, a dance floor and 3 VIP zones. Dazzling lighting effects, stunning dancers and acrobats, and nightly club themes make this an atmospheric and energetic environment that could easily compete with the trendiest clubs in Ibiza or NYC.
In fact, Split is a top destination for electronic music lovers—more on that in a bit.
2. Eat out in a konoba.
Split is a paradise for foodies, especially those who like to discover hole-in-the-wall local restaurants. In fact, one type of restaurant which is specific to Croatia is what is known as a “konoba.” These are traditional family-run restaurants, typically featuring homey, rustic décor. At a konoba, you can taste authentic Croatian / Dalmatian cuisine such as crni rižot, a black risotto dish made from cuttlefish. Another delicious choice is pašticada, which is a famous beef dish marinated for 24 hours in a garlic wine sauce with herbs.
Wherever you end up eating in Split, you are going to dream of these mouthwatering cuisine of Croatia for years to come.
We would recommend you try any of these Konobas in Split. They are all excellent!
Follow our blog for detailed review of these 3 "Konoba"!
3. Go cliff jumping and kayaking in Marjan.
Ready for some adventure? Head to Marjan and hop in a kayak to explore the coastline’s hidden beaches. Your kayaking tour will provide you with an astonishing view of the mountains while you discover more about the history and natural beauty of Marjan Park Forest and the surrounding area.
After you step out of your kayak, prepare for another adventure: rock climbing! Both beginning and advanced climbing trails are available, and once you reach the top, you can experience the ultimate thrill that the Croatian coast has to offer: cliff jumping! For all adventure sports in Split we recommend you try Split Adventure agency.
4. Picnic at Split’s amazing beaches.
After your cliff jumping and kayaking adventure, you probably will want to take a break and relax. You will find some of the most beautiful, idyllic beaches on the planet right near Split. So pack a picnic lunch and head out to the beach to take in the sun and sand.
5. Watch (or better yet, play) a game of Picigin.
Here is an experience unique to Croatia … watching a game of Split’s traditional ball game, Picigin. The game has been in existence since 1908, and is played on the beach in shallow water. Players form a small circle and use their hands to bat a small ball around. The goal is to keep the ball in the air for as long as possible.
There are no opposing teams in this sport; it is completely cooperative. Anything goes so long as you manage to keep the ball out of the water!
6. Visit Marjan Hill.
Another beautiful outdoor destination which is perfect for picnicking, hiking, or simply relaxing is Marjan Hill, located 178 meters above sea level. You will find this park west of Split. As you might guess, it offers a spectacular view of the city and peninsula.
7. Tour Diocletian’s Palace.
The most iconic sight in all of Split is inarguably Diocletian’s Palace. This Roman ruin is magnificently preserved and dates back an astonishing 1,700 years. The structure hasn’t been renovated since the Middle Ages, but it is kept up beautifully and plays an important role in modern Croatian life. You will find the palace surrounded by shops, restaurants and nightclubs (including the previously discussed Central Club Split). It is in fact the beating heart of Split.
The Diocletian’s Palace Walking Tour won’t run you a lot of money, and is an excellent way to ensure that you don’t miss any of the amazing history that the palace has to offer. Explore the Four Gates, the Temple of Jupiter, the Cathedral of Saint Domnius, the Cellar, and the Synagogue while learning more about Diocletian and the history of Split.
8. Head to the Ultra Europe Music Festival.
Finally, we highly recommend that you visit Split in July, especially if you are an electronic music fan! The Ultra Europe Music Festival takes place in Split each year in mid-July. As an “Ultranaut,” you can immerse yourself in a euphoric, out-of-this-world journey of state-of-the-art sound, lighting effects and fireworks while dancing the night away to music by world class DJs.
Now you know why you need at least a couple of days to explore Split!
Between cliff diving, kayaking, clubbing and picnicking on the beach, there is so much to see and do in Croatia’s largest coastal city.
Next, read onto Day 2 of our 7 Day Active Sailing Itinerary: Brač!