10 Things To Do In Split With Kids
Split is the second-largest city in Croatia and the largest city in Dalmatia. It was founded by the Roman Emperor Diocletian, and gets its name from the Latin word 'spalatum', meaning 'palace'. The Palace of Diocletian is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and one of the most popular tourist attractions in all of Croatia. The city is home to a number of museums, galleries, and historical sites, as well as a vibrant nightlife scene, although this might not be exactly what you're looking for if you're traveling with kids.
Split is located on the Adriatic Sea coast, making it a popular destination for beach lovers and water sports enthusiasts. The city is also a popular gateway to the scenic Croatian islands, with many ferry and catamaran services departing from Split's port. Split is an increasingly popular tourist destination, with a growing number of hotels, restaurants, and bars catering to visitors from all over the world. The right time to visit Split with kids is definitely now!
Before you embark on a memorable family vacation full of beaches, history, and nature, take your bags to a Bounce luggage storage in Split and let us take care of the luggage while you focus on enjoying yourself. There are convenient locations throughout the city, including Split Airport, which is where most tourists arrive.
Now, lets get into the best things to do in Split with kids:
As its UNESCO World Heritage List status would suggest, Diocletian's Palace is one of the main attractions in Split and it is definitely worth a visit with kids. The palace is huge and there are plenty of things to see and do. The best way to explore the palace is to take a guided tour, which will give you plenty of information about the history of the palace and its many features. Hit up the Gregorius of Nin statue if you're at all superstitious, and even if you're not, it something fun to do with the kids. It's said that if you rub the statue's big toe, you'll have good luck. Can't hurt to try, right?
Built at the beginning of the fourth century AD for the emperor Diocletian, this ancient palace's golden gate is a memorable way to enter the palace grounds. The palace area covers a large surface area in the city center and resembles a large fortress rather than a typical palace. Make sure the entire family has sensible shoes so you can see every bit of this historic landmark's complex.
Krka National Park
The edge of Krka National Park is only about an hour by car from Split and is a great way to get out and explore the wonders of nature that Croatia is known for. While Plitvice Lakes National Park is another of Croatia's outdoor gems, it's well over two hours away, so it may not squeeze as easily into a trip to Split with kids.
Krka National Park is located along the Krka River in central Dalmatia. The park was established in 1985 and covers an area of 55 square miles. Krka National Park is home to a number of waterfalls, including the Seven Falls of Krka, which is the largest waterfall in the park. The park also contains a number of caves and other geological features that are sure to fascinate both young and old. Other attractions include the Krka Monastery, the Visovac Island, and the Skradinski Buk waterfall.
This picturesque natural playground is one of the most popular tourist destinations in Croatia and receives over one million visitors each year. As a result, even if you haven't rented a car for your time in Split, tour companies will organize you the perfect day trip to the area.
Marjan Forest Park
Within walking distance of the city center, Marjan Forest Park is another easy way to get out into nature with the kids. Once here, expect wonderful views of the Adriatic Coast from Marjan Hill, plenty of hiking trails, and centuries-old tiny chapels scattered throughout the park. If you're traveling in the peak season of summer, this park is the perfect escape from the crowds and chaos of Split. It's also one of the best free things to do in Split with kids.
The Marjan Forest Park is an excellent spot for bird watching, as there are over 150 different species of birds that can be found in the park. The park is also home to a number of small mammals, such as rabbits, foxes, and squirrels. And, if you're really lucky, your path might bring you to meet one of the park's resident donkeys. Now, that is certainly something the kids will remember.
Don't visit this park without climbing to the top of Marjan Hill. Aside from the fantastic views, the walk itself is very rewarding. Look out for wildlife and stop by the various lookout points along the way. Just being in the forest dubbed the "lungs of Split" for all the oxygen the 1,000-hectare park pumps into the city center is a refreshing change of pace.
Visit the Blue Cave
If your family vacation needs some adventure, look no further than the stunning Blue Cave. This breathtaking natural wonder is located on the small island of Bisevo and can only be accessed by boat. But, another plus side to visiting the Blue Cave is that you also get a boat ride, which is something many kids enjoy. Once inside, you will be mesmerized by the bright blue waters and stunning rock formations. Be sure to bring your camera to capture it all, and a snorkel doesn't hurt either!
Various companies run daily Blue Cave tours that typically leave in the morning and travel to a few other islands on the route. Since this is one of the main tourist attractions in town, book your tickets early and research the best itinerary that's sure to please all the family.
Hit the beach
A trip to the beach with kids in Split doesn't have to be an epic journey. If you don't have a beachfront hotel, don't worry. Bacvice Beach is one of the most popular beaches in town, mostly due to its sandy beach, which is rare on Croatia's rocky coastline. This beach has it all: shallow water for wading, plenty of sand for building castles, and stunning views of the Adriatic Sea.
Have kids that don't love the water? No problem. The soccer field and playground can entertain the young masses. Plus, there are plenty of restaurants and cafes nearby if you need to take a break from the sun. Trust us, your kids will love it at Bacvice Beach. And, you get all this just a 15-minute walk from Diocletian's Palace.
Just a few words of caution if you plan to add Bacvice Beach to your itinerary: the beach gets busy. Go early and if you prefer to sunbathe in peace, this might not be the best spot for you. Jezinac Beach is another beautiful spot that's not as busy. But, there are stairs to access the beaches and although there is sand, the beach has many large and small rocks that may not be as kid-friendly as you'd like. On the plus side, Jezinac has old canons for the kids to explore so that might sway your decision.
A trip to Split, Croatia isn't complete without a visit to the Klis Fortress. Set atop a hill with amazing views of the city, this historic site offers over 2,000 years of history just three miles from the main tourist attractions of Split. The fortress is technically in the small village of Klis, and the surrounding olive groves and vineyards certainly add to the charm.
This is a great spot for the whole family. Even if the kids aren't as interested in the history of Klis Fortress, they're sure to have a good time letting loose on the grounds. There are tons of structures to climb on and open spaces to run around.
Zvonac Park and Sustipan Park
Zvonac Park is one of the best things to do in Split with kids, especially if you have younger children. The large dinosaur-themed play area is a hit with most kids and the park is easily accessed from the heart of the Old Town. This park pairs well with a tour of the Split waterfront, Marina, and a few other parks.
Next, head to Sustipan Park. It has large expanses of grass that are perfect for burning off some energy or enjoying a leisurely picnic lunch. The views of the water are impressive and the palm trees definitely add a vacation-feel to the area.
Take a Walking Tour
A great way to explore the city on foot and gain some knowledge along the way is to do a walking tour. You can go with one run by a local guide or download one and see the city on your own. Many tours focus on the areas of Old Town Split and Diocletian's Palace, which is the epicenter of Split's main tourist attractions.
Depending on how long you're spending in town, a walking tour can be a great way to get your bearings. You can then come back and further explore individual sites that have a greater interest to your family.
For lovers of everything whimsical, a trip to Froggyland is in order. Located just steps from Diocletian's Palace, Froggyland is a frog-centric taxidermy museum with a twist. The twist is that over 500 frogs are posed in various exhibits looking like they are enjoying typically human activities. From camping to gymnastics to card games, these frogs are quite busy. While this may not appeal to everyone, many kids will get a kick out of the odd and quirky museum. When you tell your kids you're going to a museum for the day, they're definitely not going to expect this!
Split Archaeological Museum
For a more typical museum experience, and one of the best museums in Split, head to the Archaeological Museum. This site is one of the best places to learn about the history and culture of the region. The museum houses a collection of artifacts from the prehistoric, Roman, and medieval periods. Established in 1820, it's one of the oldest museums in the country and visitors can explore everything from Roman glass to stone inscriptions from Salona to bones to ancient clay lamps. There's bound to be something that will appeal to kids in here, especially any interested in archaeology and history. It'll certainly be more fun for kids to learn through seeing the objects themselves, rather than reading about their significance and stories in books.
Split is a lovely Croatian city to visit with kids that is still somewhat off the beaten path. Although, it is gaining in popularity every year and it's not hard to see why. It's the ideal destination for families for its abundance of natural attractions, like beaches and National Parks, but also offers amazing culture and history. This combination can be a hard one to find.
When visiting Split with kids, your days will be full of great (and quirky) museums, historic palaces, city parks, beaches, and so much more. Just make sure you have enough time to do it all. And if you didn't tick everything off your list, just start planning your next trip to this beautiful part of the world.