It is believed that the first inhabitant of Split was the Roman emperor Diocletian who built his palace in this bay around 300 AD as his place of retirement, where he lived until his death in 316. During the following turbulent years palace became the city first populated by the citizens of the nearby ruined city of Salona, who were escaping before Avars and Slavs.The town overgrew the walls of the palace and its authorities kept changing – from Croatian kings in 10th century, Hungarian and Venetian administration, to French rulers and Austro-Hungarian monarchy.
Today Split is by far the largest Dalmatian city and the second-largest city of Croatia with population of 180,000 citizens, and it is the third largest passenger port in the Mediterranean.
Diocletian palace remains the historical center and the heart of the city. This unique ancient monument is a valuable historical and archeological complex protected by UNESCO.
Peristyle was and remains the central part of the palace. Because of its unique beauty and specific acoustics, Peristyle is used for theater productions. While you are there, we warmly recommend you to take a break at the Luxor caffe where you can see the remains of the Temple of Venus, and enjoy the view at the beautiful Romanesque style bell tower of the Saint Dominus Cathedral. In the cathedral, you can find the cathedral’s treasury which contains relics of Saint Dominus and Saint Anastasius. In front of the cathedral you will see a 3500 year old granite sphinxes, the guardians of the palace.
After the break take a walk towards the north Golden gate where you will see a magnificent bronze statue of Gregory of Nin. Rubbing the statue’s toe is said to bring good luck.
Don’t miss out on the walk through the fascinating Diocletian Palace Basements. You can enter through either a staircase from Peristyle or through the Bronze Gate from the waterfront . At this place tourists usually start their sightseeing , imagining the place where Diocletian boat would enter the Palace from its only seaside entrance.
The Basements are still alive today. Art exhibitions and theater plays are regularly held there, and especially interesting is the traditional International Flower Fair.
At the waterfront, Riva is among the most special promenades in the Adriatic, it is the city’s melting pot where daily social events take place and a pedestrian heaven for locals. It offers a spectacular view of the port and the islands while you’re sipping your coffee.
If you fancy a walk, don’t miss out on the walk from Riva through the city port that will take you to Bačvice, a sandy beach at the heart of the city. It’s a favorite spot for both young and old, which at night becomes a buzzing nightlife center.
If you start your walk from Riva towards the new glamorous West coast Riva, you will pass by a Franciscan monastery in Matejuška. Matejuška used to be a fishing region of the city – nowadays pretty much the only remaining reminder of a once bustling fishing trade in Split. Your walk will take you to ACI Marina, and further on to popular beaches Jadran, Obojena, Kaštelet and Kašjuni.
However, if you go from the Franciscan monastery up the hill after a 10-minute walk you will reach to the first observatory point on Marjan hill, where you can enjoy the unforgettable view of the city and the nearby islands. If you take a walk around Marjan, you can do plenty of things – enjoy its peace and quiet, see numerous small churches, find natural jogging paths and numerous natural beaches.

The Fish market is also one the sights worth seeing in Split; it was built in white stone and with Secession style ironworks. Interesting thing about it that this is the only fish market not bothered by the flies, because of the smell of the sulfur springs nearby.