A crumbling Roman palace with a backdrop of the Dinaric Alps, fringed by the Adriatic Sea’s turquoise waters and urban beaches – it’s hard to find a more sublime setting for a city break than Split. The largest city in Croatia’s Dalmatia historical region, it’s a maze of cobblestone streets that unfurl into charming alleyways. Taking time to appreciate the city’s history is a must-do on Split city breaks, whether it’s to wonder at the remains of Diocletian’s Palace (part of a Unesco World Heritage Site) or pore over classical sculptures and Palaeolithic artefacts at the Archaeological Museum.
A visit to Croatia’s second-largest city doesn’t have to be one long history lesson though, as Split is also home to some of the country’s best cuisine and atmospheric cocktail bars. The city’s haphazard layout makes for a fun bar crawl – but, be warned, you may not be able to find the same place again come the next day. City breaks to Split aren’t complete without a visit to Bačvice beach. Although you’ll find wilder beaches a short drive away, Bačvice is a great family spot. Want to explore further afield? Catch a boat to the islands of Hvar, Brač and Vis from Split’s ferry port. For a city break that combines seaside cool with a ancient charm, Split’s a sure-fire winner.
The palace walls
The Unesco-protected Diocletian’s Palace is a remarkable sight. Walk its lattice of cobbled streets, or drink a cup of coffee in one of its cute cafés.
Just north of the city are the historic ruins of Klis Fortress, which stand on a 360-metre-high hill. Spend time climbing over the fortifications before visiting its small museum.
Cathedral Sveti Duje
Set in the mausoleum of the Roman Emperor Diocletian, Cathedral Sveti Duje is a remarkable building. For a small fee, climb to the top of the bell tower and enjoy fabulous views.