Visiting Split, the second-largest city in Croatia, is rarely a bad idea. With the stunning Roman ruins of Diocletian's Palace, the UNESCO World Heritage Site of Split Old Town and its iconic bell tower, stunning beaches on the nearby islands, and some major national parks close to the city, you'll have far more options for things to do than you can possibly fit into just a few days.
But if you only have three days in Split, you can at least get a taste of what makes this popular town so special. This Split itinerary is by no means set in stone, but it will give you some ideas of the best sights to see in and around the city when you only have a short time to see it all. Drop off your bags at a luggage locker when you visit Split, and you'll find it much easier to get around the Split city center and enjoy everything the city has to offer. Use this Split itinerary to make the most out of your trip, and if nothing else, you'll have some great ideas for what to do on your next, longer visit.
With only a few days in Split, you're going to have to maximize your time with the perfect Split itinerary. And you can't see this famous city without exploring the old town. Start your first morning in Split with a walk along the seaside promenade, perhaps stopping for an early lunch at one of the restaurants on Riva. You should also have time in the morning to visit the city's famous bell tower and climb to the top for a stunning view over the city that will help you get your bearings. While there, don't forget to check out the attached Cathedral of St. Domnius, which started its life as a Roman temple before becoming a church that is now one of the oldest in the world.
Located on the edge of the Old Town, the Green Market is an excellent place both to shop for souvenirs and to try local delicacies and the best street food in Split. Once you've refreshed yourself, it's time to explore another of Split's most important historical monuments, Diocletian's Palace. The palace was built in AD 305 and served as the retirement home of Roman emperor Diocletian, who had been one of the best-known emperors of Rome. These days, the palace is an impressive sight with its stone walls and courtyards, and it's surrounded by a town that has grown up right outside the walls. Because of this, the palace is sometimes called "the living monument," as it's still in use today. You can explore the inside of the palace on a guided tour or on your own, and you should also make time to walk around the town that has grown up outside its walls.
After all that exploring, you're sure to be a bit hungry. You should head back to Riva for dinner and maybe even some live music before turning in for the night.
You'll want to get an early start on your second morning in Split, as there's quite a lot of ground to cover today. There's much more to see in the Old Town, and if you're a major history fan, you may want to stay and explore Split more through the ancient sites around Diocletian's Palace. But if you prefer to enjoy something more natural, you could focus your second day in Split, Croatia, on exploring the Dalmatian coast.
Split and the area around this beautiful city is home to some truly incredible places to enjoy sun and surf. Bačvice Beach functions as the main city beach and is easy to get to, but if you're willing to travel a little, you can find incredible secluded beaches beneath swaying palm trees that are perfect for enjoying during the summer months. You could even embark on a boat tour that will take you to the iconic Green Cave, the Blue Cave, and nearby historic towns such as Hvar town. If you'd prefer to stay even more active, a sea kayaking tour will take you to the best of Split's beaches while giving you a great workout.
After burning off so much energy, you'll be more than ready for lunch. You can combine sightseeing with delicious local cuisine by taking a walking tour of the best restaurants in the city. Many operators offer food tours in Split that will give you a deeper understanding of the country's produce and traditions. You'll get to try dishes you may never have heard of before, and may well end up with some new favorites.
After such an active morning, it's probably a good idea to take things a little bit easier for the rest of the day. This is a great time to go shopping, as Split has some fantastic boutiques and stores where you can buy unique gifts to take back home. And if you need some guidance on the best shopping in Split, we have a guide for that.
If you're in need of a bit more downtime after spending so much time exploring the city's many ancient monuments, there are quite a few museums around Split that will teach you about the history of this fascinating place. The most popular museum in Split is the Archeological Museum, which has an impressive collection of artifacts from ancient Greece and Rome as well as many other cultures around the world. This museum is a great option if you want to learn more about the history of Split and the surrounding area.
Before heading back to your hotel for a good night's sleep, you should take some time to relax and unwind at one of the city's many spas. Whether you want the simple pleasures of a sauna and a massage or a more elaborate spa experience with Roman-style steam baths, there are plenty for you to choose from in Split. This traditional Dalmatian activity goes right back to the days of Diocletian and even before, so it's a truly authentic thing to do while visiting Split and enjoying the city like an emperor.
If the spa isn't your thing, you'll find plenty of live music in Split Old Town and in the area around Diocletian's palace walls. The traditional bars and restaurants in the city centre often provide entertainment for visitors, and you could easily spend a fun evening checking out one bar after another and mixing with tourists and locals alike as you explore the cultural life of this ancient city.
There are so many great things to do in Split itself that you can easily spend three or more days in Split without leaving the Old Town. However, one of the most notable things about the city is how close it is to more than one incredible national park. Visiting at least one national park belongs on any Split itinerary, no matter how short. So consider a day trip to one of Croatia's most stunning natural areas while you visit Split.
Krka National Park is only an hour from the Old Town, but it feels like a very long way away. This sprawling park covers over 42 mi.²/109 km², and is a wonderful place to spend a day if you're looking for something more peaceful and natural. This amazing national park is home to lush green landscapes, beautiful waterfalls, and incredible wildlife. Whether you'd prefer to hike through the woodlands or enjoy a boat ride around the lakes, there are plenty of ways to experience this magical place.
The park is known for its seven waterfalls, which make it the perfect place for photos of Krka National Park. The area around the waterfalls is also known for having one of the highest densities of lavender plants in all of Europe, so if you visit Split in spring when the flowers are blooming, you'll have a photo opportunity like no other. The park is also home to some incredible wildlife, including hundreds of species of birds, making this day trip a great way to reconnect with nature and recharge your batteries while you spend a few days in Split. You won't be sorry you added Krka national park to your Split itinerary when you see how much it has to offer.
Krka National Park is big enough and beautiful enough that you could easily spend the entire day there and not really do it justice. But as incredible as this national park is, it isn't the most famous in Croatia. That honor goes to Plitvice Lakes National Park, and although this park is further from the city, it can still be reached on a day trip from the main Split bus station or Split Airport.
Plitvice Lakes simply has to be seen to be believed. Covering 114 mi.², this colossal park is known for its 16 lakes all linked to one another that combine to create a natural paradise in the Croatian mountains. The emerald forests and turquoise lakes of this astounding park barely look real, and you won't be able to stop taking photos of this paradise. You can hike miles of trails through the forests, or take a boat ride over the lakes and see one of Croatia's natural wonders up close. This park is so beautiful that it's worth making the effort to get here even if you only have a few days in Split and definitely earns its place on any Split itinerary.
After exploring one or both of the incredible national parks on this Split itinerary, you'll probably want to spend your last night in the city relaxing. However, if you do have any energy left, it's worth taking one last look at this incredible city on the Dalmatian Coast. Set out on a sunset cruise for a few hours to wind up your eventful 3 days in Split. You'll get to see the glittering lights of Old Town and its bell tower, plus explore nearby islands and the stunning Croatian coastline. There are few better ways to cap off 3 days in Split than by seeing the city from the water, making it the perfect end to your packed Split itinerary.
In a city like Split, Croatia, it can be hard not to overdo it. There's so much to do here that it's tempting to try and cram everything into 3 days in Split to see as much as possible. But sometimes, it's better to focus on just a few great activities rather than trying to cram everything into the perfect Split itinerary.
If you're a fan of history, Split's Old Town will easily keep you busy for at least a day. Likewise, while you could squeeze in Krka and Plitvice Lakes National Parks in a single day, you'll probably get more out of the experience if you spend the whole day in just one. And with so many beautiful beaches to explore, there's nothing wrong with spending one of your 3 days in Split enjoying the sand in the sun.
However you choose to spend your time, don't forget to drop off your bags at a Split suitcase storage. Traveling light will make it much easier to fit in everything you want to see and get the most out of this incredible city.