The deceivingly populous and sprawling city of Split on the Dalmatian coast is a location that should not be missed when visiting Croatia. In fact, it is one of the country’s largest cities and second only in population to Zagreb. Home to just under 200,000 people, the city’s ‘close’ feel is part of its charm and born out of spider’s web of streets and maze-like layout of the city. There are always alleys and side streets that you can explore and use as a way of escaping the hustle and bustle of the main areas. Because of this, there are many hidden gems that are often untouched by visitors, here’s just a few for you to explore!
Walk to Marjan
An immediate escape from the bustle, this wooded trail that leads up to the top of a hill will reward visitors with views across the harbour and the city. Along the way, there are benches for resting so there’s no rush to reach the top! Marjan is located to the west of the city in the park and garden region and along the way you can find two small churches, St. Jerome and St. Nicholas, both of which are worth venturing into to admire the fabulous interior decoration.
Saint Domnius’ Cathedral
Known locally as Sveti Duje, the cathedral is located at the heart of the city, close to the southern port. Currently, the seat of Archbishop Marin Barišić, the cathedral’s history is a long one, dating back to roughly 305 AD. It is constructed of two main parts, the Roman mausoleum and the grand bell tower next to it. It is a charged entry for going in, however, you’ll be treated to experiencing the beautiful architecture on display along with the almost silent crypt.
Perhaps heading to the cinema isn’t the first thing that springs to mind when you think of heading to Croatia, however, for the experience alone this one is worth it! An old-style establishment that is set in Diocletian’s Palace, you’ll need to walk through one of the most historic parts of the city to reach it which is a pleasure in itself. They only have one screen and serve popcorn from a trolley, but this will only add to the authentic cinema experience.
Croatian National Theatre
After having a day of relaxation, why not dress up smart and head to the Croatian National Theatre, located in the historical region of the city, close by to the Kino Karaman. The theatre is set in a grand building, dating back to 1898 making it one of the oldest surviving theatres of the Dalmatian coast. Regular performances include ballet, opera and live music, with many attendees dressing to impress.
Visit the Hajduk Split Stadium
Perhaps not so much of a hidden gem, the stadium is where local football team Hajduk Split plays their home games. The team (at time of writing) are in the first division of Croatian football and regularly attract attendances of 15,000 or more. The stadium itself is a work of art and would make for some great holiday snaps. It’s not something that one typically does while on holiday, therefore, we’re including it in the list!
If you’ve ventured out to the Marjan peninsula, you’ll want to visit this beautiful, secluded gem of a beach while you’re there. Crystal clear waters backed by a densely wooded area make for a picture perfect place of relaxation. Bring a towel and relax by the sea, or take a dip to cool off from the hot weather. Another benefit of the beach is the distinct lack of human-made structures, allowing for the natural beauty of the beach to shine through.
We would be remiss not to mention the iconic attraction in Split that is Froggyland. A marvel of taxidermy and intricate detail, Froggyland is a museum/exhibition that displays taxidermied frogs going about their day to day ‘human’ lives. You can see frogs playing tennis, playing in a band, in court and doing construction. A pre-warning: this is not one for the faint-hearted.
If you’re heading to Split this year and are looking to explore outside of the city, why not check out our five day trips from Split blog article? We also have a fantastic range of luxury holiday villas in Croatia!