The story of Split is at least 1700 years in the making, ever since the Roman emperor Diocletian had decided to build his palace on the peninsula near ancient Salona to spend his remaining years in peace. Around the Palace, the city of Split, as we know it today, slowly started to form. Its allure rests on its rich tradition, glorious history and beautiful cultural heritage, which continues to draw in people from around the world.
Diocletian’s palace and the whole historical center of the city have been on UNESCO’s world heritage list since 1979. To this day, the palace still stands strong as a vital and vibrant part of the city. The ancient palace retains all its historical layers, still visible after countless centuries. Walking through the ancient city of Split, time seems to have stopped in its tracks, as ancient architecture emerges in the form of Diocletian’s Palace, Romanesque and Gothic churches, Renaissance portals and Baroque facades... A cursory glance at our environment brings us back to the present, as we start to notice modern buildings tastefully blend with ancient edifices.
Daily life in modern day Split reflects its cosmopolitan disposition of old. Local residents sit in the same cafés and restaurants and shop in the same stores with tourists, giving the impression that by coming to Split, outsiders become an integral part of the city and its rhythm. The marketplace has been bustling the same way for generations. A cup of coffee on the waterfront, coupled with basking in the sun, is a way of life the locals will cherish now and always. Split is, and always will be, the perfect place to wind down.
Split boasts world renowned wine and fine dining, film and theatre festivals, exhibitions and concerts. In recent years, it has become one of the top clubbing destinations in the world thanks to the Ultra Europe festival which draws numerous young people from hundreds of countries around the globe. With a host of Olympic medals and other sporting accolades, Split is unparalleled when it comes to athletic achievements.
When you get tired of downtown Split, retreat to Marjan hill. Abundant with forests, hiking, cycling and running trails, recreation parks and ancient churches, it is a place where the old inhabitants of Split sought spiritual peace. Another highlight of Split is its beaches. Numerous and with clear sea, they stretch from the famous sands of Bačvice to the stony oasis around Marjan. With so many things to experience in Split, it comes as no surprise that its people proudly claim – “There is no city like Split!”
Split is the largest city in Dalmatia, the second largest in Croatia. According to the last census conducted in 2011, the population of Split is close to 180,000 inhabitants. It is the second largest cargo port in Croatia and one of the leading passenger ports in the Mediterranean.
Split is situated on the Marjan peninsula in the Dalmatia region. It is surrounded by the Adriatic Sea and mountains Mosor in the northeast, Kozjak in the northwest and Marjan hill, one of the most important symbols of the city, on the west side of the peninsula, near the old town. Nearby islands include Brač, Hvar, Šolta and Čiovo.
The climate of Split is primarily Mediterranean, characterized by dry and hot summers and mild and wet winters. The average temperature at the height of summer is higher than 22 °C, and at the height of winter higher than 4 °C.
Split through the seasons
Split during winter
Thanks to its Mediterranean climate, winters are mild in Split, running from December to March, but it actually only gets cold in February. Due to 2,700 hours of sunshine a year, you can enjoy all the comforts that Split provides throughout the better part of winter, from touring Diocletian’s Palace, tasting delicious delicacies in restaurants, to the Christmas Fair on the waterfront, which lasts throughout December. It is not so unusual to spend sunny winter mornings sitting on the terraces of cafes.
Split during spring
Spring in Split lasts from March to June and is one of the best times to visit. The average temperature is an ideal 20 °C, and prolonged periods of sunshine make for pleasant walks on Marjan, field trips and even swimming in the sea. This is the season when Split’s streets and squares awaken.
Split during summer
Summer lasts from June to September and is marked by high temperatures, sometimes over 35 °C. The Adriatic Sea offers respite from the heat, so daily trips to the city beaches or nearby islands are recommended. Summer evenings are always a joy - Days of Diocletian, Split Summer Festival and many other events turn the city into a veritable Mediterranean hub, where everyone can find something for themselves.
Split during autumn
Autumn in Split lasts from September to December. Some may not see it as their favourite time of year, but in many ways it’s the most beautiful time to visit Split, especially at the end of September and in October. It’s the season when the temperature of the sea is ideal, the summer heat wanes, yet the city is still teeming with life.