From the centre of the Roman Palace of Diocletian, the old city of Split stretches it limbs out along the Dalmatian Coast. Although it has been ruled by various empires over the last couple of millennia, the city has always retained a strong sense of self. The deep roots of the place underscore what is today a vibrant holiday destination for thousands of annual visitors.
The second-largest city in Croatia, Split is located on a small peninsula, which is sheltered by the Adriatic islands of Solta and Brac. Start you exploration of the city from the beautiful UNESCO Heritage-listed Palace of Diocletian. The Old Town surrounding it is a warren of labyrinthine streets that weave in and out of each other. Gaze at the tower of the San Domino Cathedral, see the Temple of Jupiter and then let yourself be guided by the many shops and cafés that populate the cobbled streets. Stroll under the palm trees of the Riva Promenade, while looking at the luxurious yachts and cruise ships that glide gently into Split’s harbour. Grab a light lunch at one of the charming restaurants that surround the equally attractive Old City Hall, before leaving the Old Town through the medieval Zlatna vrata.
If you’re seeking cultural sites that are of a more modern nature, then immediately left of the of the old city gate, you’ll find the Museum of Fine Arts. Another artistic hub in Split is the Mestrovic Gallery. Overlooking the azure Adriatic and the islands in the distance, this museum is dedicated to one of Croatia’s most famous sculptors, Ivan Mestrovic. The gallery is located equidistantly between the Archaeological Museum, which houses numerous old Roman monuments and artefacts, and the local pride and joy, the Marjan Park. Forming the tip of Split’s peninsula, it offers a welcomed respite away from the city. Hike through the woodlands to the top of the park, Telegrin, from where you can get a panoramic view of the city and the coastline. Next, escape to Kasjuni Beach on the southern side of Marjan, for a dip in the sea and a bit of sunbathing.
For further quick escapes away from the bustle of Split’s centre, take a ferry to the nearby islands of Solta, Brac and Hvar. Only a short trip from the mainland, these islands offer idyllic landscapes, quaint villages and amazing local food. Sample the local delicacies of black risotto, Brodetto fish stew and Pasticada, and toast your day of exploring with a glass of delicious Croatian wine.
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