48 hours in Split
Many of our families who book our adventure holidays in Croatia often have a pre or post stay in the beautiful city of Split. It’s a truly stunning destination with lots to offer a family and even your ‘teenagers’.
In this article, we’ve tried our best to highlight the most useful and family friendly aspects that Split has to offer. If you have just 48 hours to enjoy this beautiful Unesco coastal city, then let us be your guide. The challenge is set, the clock is running so lets dive right into Croatia’s second biggest city.
If you’re flying in, you’ll touch down just a short distance from the city centre. Do look at our previous blog listing the airports that fly direct to Split from the UK. The transfer itself is normally around 40-minutes depending on the time of the day. There are airport buses that drop off passengers at the Split Ferry port. Everything is pretty much walking distance from the port area. A taxi from Split airport to Split will cost around 300 KUNA.
Must-sees in Split
What’s immediately noticeable is Split’s unique mixture of ancient and modern. Nowhere is this more noticeable than Splits enchanting Old Town, where narrow Roman streets sits harmoniously alongside modern shopping and café culture.
At the height of the Roman Empire, the Emperor Diocletian whobelieved himself to be the reincarnation of Jupiter, decided to build his ‘retirement getaway’ on this spot overlooking the Adriatic. So the first port of call for anyone visiting the city must be to explore Diocletian’s Palace. Once a vast 3rd Century monument to the grandiose wealth of the Emperor, it now shelters Split’s Old Town. Its perfectly preserved basement halls are now the setting for scenes from the infinitely popular Game of Thrones.
At the palace’s centre is the Peristil, the column lined central square, which is a popular meeting point and the heartbeat of the Old Town. From here it is easy to locate the Cathedral of St Domnius, with its spiralling bell tower, it’s perfect for enjoying sky-high views across the entire city. This is one of our favourite places to be with a coffee, as the sun begins to dip, we watch the world & shoppers whisk by.
But, there’s no time to sit idling and if you’re looking for some much needed beach time after exploring the city, there are few better options than Bacvice. This hot spot city beach boasts fine white sand, shallow waters and warm swimming. It can get crowded so the cafes and bars along its entire length offer respite whilst the younger members of the family work on their selfie skills.
Walk a little further around the bay and you soon come to The ACI Marina where you can ogle the super yachts moored up around the sailing club and admire the bravado of the youngsters diving into the sea from the rocky outcrops littering the seafront or join the sun worshipers who lay like seals on the rocks soaking up the vitamin D.
From the extravagance and luxurious surroundings of the marina, you may wish to change up and recharge your culture batteries by visiting the Meštrović Gallery,designed by the famous 20th-century sculptor whose works fill the interior and garden in the manor of a secretive and sun baked art retreat. You may also want to check out the Archeological museum with its mixture of Graeco-Hellenistic and Roman artifacts and stone epitaphs located within the palace walls.
After packing all this in, thoughts tend to turn to pleasures of the stomach, and you’ll be delighted by the range of food options both in the centre and around Split. Split is well known, even from Diocletian’s times for seafood specialties such as Dalmatian monkfish tailsserved with typically Mediterranean flair. When dining out in Split, it’s useful to consider avoiding the crowds and stepping outside the city walls and saving a few Kuna, only to spend it all anyway on one of the seemingly endless flavors of ice-cream available all across the city. The kaleidoscope of flavors will have you mesmerized from the moment you arrive and it is truly a sight to behold.
Insider top tip
During our family adventure holidays in Croatia we always strive to take you off the beaten track and immerse you in pristine nature. From rafting the cetina river to Sea-kayaking the gorgeous turquoise Adriatic seas. We are sure you will be thrilled and impressed by the activities but if your family is particularly active and you want more action its always possible.
Above Split is the beautiful tree covered Marjan hill and park. It’s a beautiful area to explore. For experienced cyclists its possible to rent bikes and cycle to the top [although in summer it can be very hot] or you can simply get a taxi and explore the area on foot. There are some lovely swimming spots as we as some lovely paths and trails to explore. Its also a great place to people watch in the early evening. Many of the beautiful Croatian locals head up when it is cooler to run, roller blade and train.
Under the cover of the pine forests Marjan offers respite from the heat and crowds of the city as well as spectacular view across the coast. It’s a top top for any nature lover and offers some great photo opportunities.
From Splits buzzing promenade called ‘Rive’ its also possible to book local boat tours and other more high octane watersports. From Split its also an easy day trip to Omis the Omis Riviera which as well as offering a seriously cool Zip-line network also encompasses some of the countries most well renowned vineyards. Potentially a good family negotiation yo be made…. Zip-line in the morning; wine-tasting for mum & dad in the afternoon; surely that’s fair!
Many of the local Konobas (restaurants) will serve a mixture of traditional and modern cuisine, however, you may not know that a variety of Gluten Free and Vegan options are becoming increasingly available, so travellers with dietary requirements wont have to miss out on the renowned Dalmatian cuisine. In addition to the Gluten free options you’ll find listed on the menu, the hospitality is first rate and speaking to your waiter is a sure way to get what you want wherever you are.
Here are our top 3 Gluten free Split highlights:
Galerija Food has a reputation for excellent gluten free dining and is found within the walls of the palace. Although its seasonal gluten free options constantly change, it is also a hot spot for vegetarian cuisine such as its sensational wok tofu.
Makrovega is a tried and tested vegetarian restaurant that also offers vegan, sugar free and for many is the essential restaurant for varied diets. http://www.makrovega.hr
Finally, Toto’s Burger Bar offers anything and everything from burgers to veggie noodles and is worth the visit for its range of lactose, sugar free and diary free desserts alone.
If you are staying in a self catering apartment then its also good to know there is now a Gluten free supermarket:
Shop name: Bezglutenski Svijet
Address: Kavanjinova 1, 21000 Split
Better page: https://www.facebook.com/BezglutenskiSvijet.Split/
Although we can’t promise you Tom Cruise and Elizabeth Shue we can promise you a great balance of glamour and rustic charm depending on what you prefer. Splits Rive promenade always offers an exciting atmosphere and is a great place to relax and people watch. The local Split crowd are always immaculately dressed and it sometimes feels like you are watching a Milan cat walk. It’s definitely worth having a coffee or a cocktail and enjoying the ambience.
Another place which is ideal for a sunset moment is the roof terrace bar at Hotel Dioklecijan. It’s a short taxi ride from Splits old town but it’s certainly worth it. The panoramic views are sensational and it’s also possible to dine up there too. Certainly a great way to end an exciting day of sightseeing in Split.
Finally Splits old town truly is a delight. It is a gorgeous labyrinth of cobbled stoned passage ways. An ideal place to lose yourself and find yourself again… cheesy but true! Life’s all about the moments… we hope you find yours in Split too!