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Split Travel Guide

About Split

Overlooking the Adriatic Sea and backed by the rugged Dinaric Mountains, the splendid Dalmatian city of Split is a living, breathing museum.

Built upon a 1,700-year-old palace, Ancient Roman architecture forms a backdrop to modern-day life here, with fashionable boutiques and quaint cafés interspersed with the ruins of the imperial fortress.

The former holiday home of the Roman Emperor Diocletian remains popular with modern day tourists too – thanks in no small part to his architectural efforts almost 2000 years ago.

At the heart of the old city lies the ancient and roughly square fortifications of Diocletian's Palace, along with several museum housing the artefacts discovered inside.

But there’s more to Split than Roman ruins and in the Riva, the city has its very own glitzy harbour promenade. Home to festivals, celebrations and political rallies by day, it becomes increasingly glamorous as darkness falls and is a good spot for a sundowner ahead of dinner at one of the city’s many excellent seafood supper joints.

Not that the party ends there. Nightlife is a big deal for locals and tourists alike, and clubs remain packed until the early hours no matter what day of the week.

Most do their recovering the next day on the beach – usually at Bacvice where you can watch locals playing picigin, a Dalmatian sport similar to volleyball where a small rubber ball is bounced between players in the sea’s shallows.

When you want to escape the city, climb to the summit of Marjan Hill, which soars 180m (590ft) above the Adriatic, with lovely views out to the islands.

Split is the gateway to most of these central Dalmatian Islands, including Brač, Hvar and Šolta, as well as the more distant Vis, Korčula and Lastovo. It is also becoming a major cruise ship destination, although if you avoid the old town by day, you would never know it.

Key facts

Population:
178192
Latitude:
43.501659
Longitude:
16.439233

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Hotel Slavija

The owners claim that the Slavija is the oldest hotel in Split and it may well be. A recent makeover has really improved things and the location is second to none right in the heart of the palace surrounded by bars and restaurants. There are 25 rooms with singles, doubles and triples available.

Hotel Adriana

Hotel Adriana is ideal for those looking to really be in the heart of the action. With a perfect location on the Riva waterfront, guests can wake to the smell of the sea. Extras include the decent on-site restaurant and the café-bar out on the Riva, one of the most popular on this pedestrianised boulevard.

Hotel Peristil

Within the palace walls, behind the cathedral, this characterful boutique hotel has 12 quite basic but comfortable rooms. Pick room 204 or 304 if you want to caress exposed stones of the 1,700-year-old Roman palace at no extra cost. Another one of the hotel's finest features is Tifani Restaurant on the ground floor.

Le Méridien Lav

This 365-room ultra-luxurious resort boasts top-notch bars, restaurants and leisure facilities that more than offset the 15-minute taxi ride south of Split. It also boasts 17 sea view suites and a beautiful on-site marina which looks great, even if you don't own a boat.

Palace Judita Heritage Hotel

Housed in a stunning ancient building, which draws influences from the Romanesque, gothic and renaissance periods, this is an upmarket central option with spectacular views over the city from its balconies. Renowned service, beautiful rooms and meticulous attention to detail keep Palace Judita popular.

Villa Varoš

One of the few accommodation options in the warren of old streets that make up the historic Varoš district on the edge of Split's city centre, Villa Varoš is also one of the cheapest hotels in the city. It boasts singles, doubles and a couple of apartments that come with their own kitchens.