Forget about Zagreb; move over, Split!
Today, it’s all about Split. As Croatia’s second-largest city and the focal point of the stunning Dalmatia region, this Adriatic gem is climbing the tourist charts with every passing year. Still, despite its increasing popularity, compared to the overrun tourist hubs of Western Europe, Split remains serene, relatively quiet, and rarely crowded.
If you’re on the hunt for the most fun things to do in Split (or the best things to do in Croatia, in general), then look no further. From adrenaline-pumping rafting, hiking, and canyoning activities to an Old City exploding with cultural and architectural history, not to mention all the nightclubs and Game of Thrones fanfare, the sun-kissed city of Split boasts something for every kind of traveler.
Ready to see what Croatia’s Adriatic metropolis-by-the-sea has to offer?
1 – Stroll through the historic Old Town
Walk along cobblestoned streets; explore the 1700-year-old Diocletian’s palace, and step inside the oldest Catholic cathedral in the world (Cathedral of Saint Domnius), all within the confines of Split’s charming Old Town. In between visiting the landmarks, take a break at one of many tourist-adored restaurants, cafes, and bars.
2 – Step back in time at the Diocletian’s Palace
Dating back to 293 AD, Diocletian’s Palace is one of the most historically significant buildings in Croatia, and therefore a non-negotiable addition to any history or architecture buff’s list of things to do in Split. The Roman icon can be explored as a standalone attraction, however, many visitors choose to combine it with a guided Old Town walking tour.
3 – Witness the sparkling hues of the Blue Cave
Cameras at the ready, people! Over on the east side of the tiny island of Biševo, the unequivocally stunning Blue Cave awaits — its radiant tones making for the perfect backdrop of any Dalmatian coast selfie. While the most popular grotto in the area, it’s far from the only; 25 additional caves scatter Biševo, and the majority of tours will admire at least a handful of them.
4 – Surround yourself with nature in Marjan Forest Park
Dubbed the “lungs of the city”, the 123-meter-high Marjan hill is a beautiful natural preserve overgrown with trees and entirely surrounded by built-up city life. Explore its waterways by kayak or paddleboard, and its trails by eco-car or electric bike — for the most popular, calorie-burning option, tackle one of the many scenic hiking routes.
5 – Walk in the shoes of Daenerys Targaryen in the Diocletian’s cellars
Game of Thrones fans, this one’s for you!
While the walled city of Dubrovnik might get all the GOT attention, Split also boasts a number of immediately recognizable locations. Remember when Daenerys was locked up in the cellar? And remember where she trained her dragons? All that took place in the historic Diocletian’s Palace, which doubles in the show as the former slave city of Meereen.
6 – Snorkel in the Blue Lagoon
As the divider between three small islands, the Blue Lagoon is a marine haven regarded as Split’s ultimate swimming and snorkeling location. Most journeys out to its bright waters also include a stop at the medieval town of Trogir — the perfect back-to-back itinerary for a day outside of mainland Split.
Rent a private speedboat or combine the trip with an onboard wine-tasting experience for that extra special touch.
7 – Admire the Saint Domnius Cathedral & Bell Tower
While its bell tower was added in the 12th century, the main structure of Saint Domnius Cathedral dates back all the way to the year 3 AD, making it the oldest Catholic cathedral in the world that remains in use.
Tickets to this Croatian icon offer access to the Cathedral, Bell Tower, Crypt, Treasury, Baptistery, and more, usually keeping visitors intrigued a good hour or two.
8 – Go rafting on the Cetina River
Combine picturesque scenery with high-octane thrills and non-stop action by cannoning down the Cetina River’s whitewater. The Class 2 and Class 3 rapids provide the perfect balance of intensity and relaxation, making this outdoor activity ideal for the whole family.
After tackling the rapids, riders are greeted with a delicious lunch to recharge the batteries.
9 – Hike through the beautiful Krka National Park
Home to some of the most breathtaking waterfalls and forestry in Europe, Krka National Park is one of Croatia’s best-kept secrets. Ditch the crowds of the city — hike, raft, cruise, swim, or jump into Krka’s crystal clear waters instead! For the final cherry on top, tours often include a free wine or spirit tasting, sourced from local vineyards.
10 – Explore the island of Hvar
A popular summer resort home to pristine beaches, lavender fields, 13th-century history, a hilltop fortress, and endless more, the island of Hvar screams out as one of Split’s most inviting destinations.
Some tourists prefer to take the ferry and explore at their own pace, however, the most efficient way to tick off multiple attractions is a locally-led tour that also visits Trogir and the Blue Cave.
11 – Visit the Plitvice Lakes National Park
Looking like something straight out of a fairytale, Plitvice is a slice of nature beckoning tourists towards its enchanting waters and vast greenery. For photographers, nature lovers, and hikers, it’s heaven on Earth — for everyone else, it’s still one of the best things to do near Split, without a doubt.
12 – Sunbake on Brač Island
While less popular than the likes of Hvar and Korcula, the peaceful, beautiful island of Brac is not to be underestimated. Make sure to spend a couple of hours sunbaking at the horseshoe-shaped Supetar beach, next to the island’s vibrant main town.
Hikers, don’t miss Vidova Gora, the highest peak in the Adriatic islands.
13 – Take a luxury catamaran cruise
For one of the most fun things to do in Split, it’s hard to go past a relaxing day on the Adriatic’s warm waters, wading between islands on a luxury catamaran. Choose from a standalone cruise, focusing on tanning and rejuvenating, or make a day of it with stops at places like Hvar, the Blue Cave, Bol, Brac, or Solta — there’s a customizable itinerary for everyone.
14 – Spend an afternoon at Firule Beach
Thanks to its calm, shallow waters, Firule Beach has emerged as a local favorite for parents and families alike; for first-time visitors to Split, its crystal-clear water, natural shade, and proximity to the main tourist draws make Firule equally enticing. On the sizzling summer days, this pebbled oasis promises a much-needed dose of relaxation.
15 – Learn about bygone centuries at the Archaeological Museum
Dating back to 1820, Split’s Archeological Museum proudly boasts the title of the oldest museum institution in Croatia — impressively, its artifacts date back long before then, focusing on local culture during the Middle Ages, between the 7th and 15th centuries.
The educational exhibitions sit within a looming estate-like building, complemented by a charming garden.
16 – Feel the rumble on an ATV safari
Adventure isn’t typically the first word that comes to mind when we picture Split, which is exactly why so many adrenaline junkies jump for joy when they discover the city’s phenomenal off-roading opportunities. The thrilling, guided ATV tours explore the valleys, hills, and hidden trails of places like Dalmatia Island and Ciovo Island, regularly leaving guests chuffed.
17 – Go canyoning on the Cetina River
The canyon walls of the Cetina River soar up to 180 meters high and continue to be shaped by millions of years of crashing whitewater. But this is no outdoor museum, folks — this is a thrill-seeker’s paradise. Visitors with nerves of hardened steel abseil down the cliffs and wade through the rapids on the almost 3-kilometer-long crusade. Adventure enthusiasts, lock this one in!
18 – Do shots of Rakija on a bar-hopping extravaganza
You’re on vacation, after all, so why not let out your wild side and spend a night out on the town? With so many unique bars, pubs, and clubs, choosing the best spots can be a little tricky (especially when you’re three beers down). Take the easy route: let the experts plan your party, with VIP access and unlimited drinks sure to liven up any night!
It’s one of the easiest ways to meet fellow travelers and step outside your comfort zone.
19 – Zipline in the Kozjak Mountains
Boasting six ziplines combining for over 2500 meters worth of high-speed thrills, plus a 90-meter-long suspension bridge (hold on tight!), the Kozjak Mountains are an outdoor adventure utopia! Besides the obvious adventure draws, the mountains also dish up stellar views of Split and the sparkling sea beyond.
20 – Hop between the Pakleni Islands
Just below Hvar, the Pakleni Islands are picture-perfect destinations booming with fantastic restaurants, secluded beaches, and eclectic beach bars. However, jumping between them independently can be tricky (unless you’re willing to hire a private boat). Most travelers choose to simplify the adventure by joining a tour and relaxing on the bow of a smooth-sailing catamaran instead.
21 – Marvlvs Library Jazz Bar
“Unbelievably charming and blissfully relaxing” — that’s the common reaction to the Marvlvs Library Jazz Bar, a historic watering hole nestled inside’s the famous Diocletian’s Palace. With soft jazz echoing through the room, a wide selection of specialty Croatian liqueurs to taste (or just a cup of coffee), and shelves of unusual books to peruse, Marvlvs is a must-visit.
22 – Embark on a bike tour
Ditch the crowds of tourists! Explore the history, nature, and culture of the Mediterranean pearl on two wheels instead, traversing through lesser-known locales with stops at underrated landmarks. Slow-paced tours operate throughout the city’s islands, historic mainland, and along the picturesque coasts, often including tastings at a winery, ice creamery, or brewery too.
23 – Spend a day at Mostar and the Kravica waterfalls
Just a two-hour drive from Split sits one of Central Europe’s most underrated small cities: Mostar, home to the iconic Old Bridge and the gateway to Bosnia and Herzegovina’s breathtaking Kravica Waterfall.
Resembling a condensed version of Plitvice, without all the obnoxious crowds, Kravica remains one of the continent’s best-kept natural secrets.
24 – Check out giant torpedoes at the Croatian Maritime Museum
Sitting within a 17th-century fort, the Croatian Maritime Museum presents centuries worth of Adriatic marine heritage, with exhibits and artifacts spanning the prehistoric era to WW2, all the way up to modern times. The submarine section is notably impressive, likewise the torpedo display and the sublime views of Split from the deck.
25 – Visit the Klis Fortress (‘Meereen’ in Game of Thrones)
Another intriguing Game of Thrones location (Meereen), this medieval fortress towers 360 meters above the town of Klis, boasting a breathtaking contrast of city and sea. A number of GOT-themed tours operate throughout the Split region, allowing keen fans to tick off all of the film sets in just one hassle-free afternoon.
26 – Walk along the Riva Waterfront
One of the best things to do in Split, especially on a toasty summer’s day, is to stroll down the vibrant and lively Riva promenade. The walkway — which offers up never-ending views of Croatia’s idyllic coastline — runs the entire length of Old Town, lined with some of Split’s most celebrated restaurants, cafes, and nightlife destinations.
27 – See ancient ruins at Salona
Overflowing with Roman and Medieval history, ancient ruins, and remarkable stories of creation and destruction, Salona is an easy, worthwhile day trip from Split. The Amphitheater, which was rumored to formerly host 20,000 spectators, plus the Hollow Church, are merely two of the countless ancient landmarks spread across this notable city.
28 – Go slow on Šolta Island
A relatively untouched island so close to Split that it’s basically considered a suburb, Solta — a coastal oasis packed with a handful of charming villages — provides a go-slow approach to Mediterranean life and a visible change of pace compared to the mainland.
Maslinica is a sailing town worthy of a postcard, while Stomorska boasts a promenade full of restaurants, cafes, and shops.
29 – Make your way over to Vis Island
If you’re planning an island-hopping adventure in Split (which you absolutely should), Vis — a little-known natural paradise for swimming, snorkeling, fishing, and hiking — is an essential addition to the itinerary. Choose a tour that combines Vis with Hvar and the Blue Cave for a truly unforgettable day.
30 – Fight dragons at the Game of Thrones Museum
For film and TV fans, a visit to the Game of Thrones Museum should be high atop any bucket list of things to do in Split. Stroll through the exhibits admiring real costumes, genuine props, and even a giant dragon’s head!
Far from your regular museum, this one uses lighting, music, and scents to create an eerie, unique atmosphere — you’ll feel like you’ve been transported straight to Westeros.
31 – Go sea kayaking on the Adriatic!
With allocated time for cliff jumping, snorkeling, and unwinding along the way, a kayaking adventure between the Adriatic Islands promises to be a wonderful day in the sun for travelers of all ages. Whether your journey takes you through the Marjan forest, Bacina lakes, Cetina River, or along the Makarska Riviera, expect nothing but amazing memories!
32 – Admire sculptures at the Mestrovic Gallery
Dedicated to the collections of the famous 20th-century sculptor, Ivan Meštrović, this gallery consistently ranks as one of the top five things to do in Split. Besides its indoor exhibitions, the sculpture-lined gardens are a work of art in their own right.
Make sure to head to the gallery’s terrace — the incredible ocean views won’t disappoint.
33 – Relax and unwind at Kasjuni Beach
Nestled in the bay on Split’s southern coast, the pebbled Kasjuni Beach provides a calm atmosphere to admire the sun’s rays as they bounce off the crystal clear Adriatic waters. After perfecting the tan and sipping a drink at Joe’s Bar, grab an ice cream and head up Marjan hill for a pleasant stroll through the lush greenery.
34 – Sample a delicious pizza at Basta Bar
Widely considered one of, if not the best pizza joint in the city, Basta Bar is adored by locals and tourists alike. But it’s not just about the pizza; this restaurant is situated right on the cliffside, offering sublime views of the ocean at sunset.
Foodies, trust us: add Basta to the bucket list.
35 – Grab dinner with a view at Dvor
If you’re after a mouth-watering meal at a decent price, Dvor has got you covered. Just a pleasant 20-minute stroll from Old Town, this restaurant-meets-cafe dishes up exquisite Mediterranean mains and scrumptious desserts, capped off with a terrific view of the sea from the sun-kissed garden.
36 – Wet your whistle at the Academia Club Ghetto
An artistic locale tucked just a few streets away from Split’s main Old Town attractions, Academia Club Ghetto is as bohemian a bar as they come. The music’s always jammin’, the drinks are always flowin’, the mural-lined theme is oddly erotic, and you can be sure that there’s never a shortage of interesting and eccentric people at the bar.
37 – Party the night away at Vanilla Club
Party-goers, take note. With a huge terrace ideal for summer nights, (relatively) cheap drinks, and an exciting blend of locals and tourists, there’s arguably no better venue for dancing into the wee hours of the morning than Vanilla Club. The club often welcomes famous DJs, with four fully-stocked bars ensuring that the liquid courage never runs dry.
38 – Ride glowing stand-up paddleboards at night
Stand-up paddleboarding during the day is calming; stand-up paddleboarding under the moonlight is magical! Thanks to the board-mounted LED lights, not only is your path illuminated by enchanting colors, but you’ll also be able to spot vibrant fish skirting beneath the surface as you slowly glide across the Split’s charming waterfront.
39 – Take a day trip from Split to Trogir
An always-popular day trip from Split, the medieval town of Trogir blends oceanside beauty with intriguing architectural history. With so many of its original buildings still standing — including Hellenistic structures, Romanesque churches, and the stone city walls — it’s no surprise that Trogir’s been declared a UNESCO World Heritage Centre.
40 – Check out Froggyland, one of the wackiest museums on Earth
Amphibians, meet humans. Humans, meet amphibians. Of all the fun things to do in Split, Froggyland is categorically the most bizarre. The fascinating attraction displays a collection of over 500 stuffed, weirdly-cute frogs living their lives as pretend humans, attending courtrooms, ribbitting into musical instruments, and so much more.