As the launching point for the stunning towns and villages you’ll find splattered about the Adriatic Coast, any trip to Croatia is almost certainly going to include Split. It’s a chunky, coastal city constructed entirely around the protective Diocletian Palace, an ancient Roman refuge point. Much like a walk around Rome without the major attractions, drifting around Split will take you through Roman relics still poking through the modern day façade.
Walking around the Palace is certainly an essential experience (you can also get a close up by heading down to the excavated basement), but you’ll find traces from other empires, too. Diocletian bought two huge Egyptian Sphinxes across the water, which now sit outside the old Jupiter Palace. You’ll also find the oldest cathedral in the world, St Duje’s, which dates back to the 4th century, and Salona, which is home to a well-preserved amphitheatre and plenty of other old Roman relics.
You probably didn’t come all this way just for the mammoth Roman influence, though, and there are plenty of other things to explore, too. In the summer, Bacvice Beach is one of the busiest spots in Croatia, but also the ideal place to slurp on an ice cream and get a real taste of the local population. Split is also the ideal launching spot for an Adriatic boating trip, with plenty of charter companies are eager to offer you just a boat or a full on crew for a luxury experience.
If you prefer to keep things downbeat, Green Market makes an enjoyable local excursion, while the reams of lively cafes found along the seafront, out of town trips along the coast to Dubrovnik, or one of the offshore islands complete with petite but beautiful towns all offer attractive alternatives.
Split might not jump out as the destination to visit in Croatia, and most are surprised to find a city so beautiful, but the array of Roman ruins and friendly locals make the city a place you might hang around for longer than you planned to.
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