Friday, 4 January 2019

Top 5 Split: Things to do in Dalmatian Capital (If You Haven't Already)

January 5, 2019 - No matter the time of year, you will find that Split is full of compelling options - though you may need to dig a bit deeper to explore them in the offseason months. 

Seasons aside, we’re here to tell you that there is so much more to do in Split than parking on the Riva to people watch with a coffee in hand (though we do agree, this should be checked off your Split list). 

Yes, you haven’t seen Split at all if you didn’t delve into the vibrant history of Diocletian’s Palace, climb to the top of the Sveti Duje, or hike Marjan for the view (and the drink). 

We encourage you to get lost in the Old Town’s mystifying alleyways, we want you to hit all of your favorite Game of Thrones filming locations, and by all means, please take a dip at one of our beaches - though we’ll push you away from swimming at the popular Bačvice city beach, to somewhere more enticing… like Marjan.

While narrowing it down to five of our favorite things is never easy, everything considered, make an effort to check at least one of these off your Split list. 

Get a dose of art, history, and culture 

While Diocletian’s Palace itself is a living and breathing museum, the City of Split boasts many captivating museums and galleries that’ll have you hooked. The setting at Ivan Meštrović Gallery, for example, is worth the visit alone. Though you really should go inside to check out the work of the 20th-century sculptor. The Split City Museum is located within a Gothic Palace once owned by the Papalić family who settled in Split in the early 14th century. The contents inside tell the story of Split’s history, through paintings, sculptures, documents and more. And did you know that Split’s Archaeological Museum was founded in 1820 and is the oldest museum in the country? 

If you’re more into frogs, Split even has an option for you at Froggyland, where you can find a unique collection of 507 taxidermy frogs depicting the everyday life of humans. 

See a show at HNK Split (Croatian National Theater of Split)

HNK, as the locals call it, first opened back in 1893 and is known as one of the oldest surviving theatres in Dalmatia. At the time of its completion, the theater could hold 1,000 people, making it the largest theater in Southeastern Europe at the time. HNK has seen it all - from many names to the great operas and operettas of Ivo Tijardović, the Italian occupation during WWII, to almost complete destruction from a fire in 1970. Today, HNK Split puts on hundreds of performances a year - from ballets and operas to plays, orchestra concerts and festivals. If you have the chance to visit the theater for an event, you won’t be sorry. Here is the full schedule of events.

Spend an early morning at Split’s markets

If a Split local tells you to wake up early and head to the best markets in the city - listen. Split’s Green Market and Fish Market are not only symbols of the city, but they are a way of life. The smells, whether it’s freshly picked onions or the table of sardines, the people (who you will get to know by bartering for your bundle of fruit), and the overall experience will have you humbled. While farm to table is a trend in other parts of the world, it is a way of surviving in Croatia. Skip the grocery store produce and instead taste the fruits of Croatia’s hardworking laborers - we promise you’ll be even more satisfied with every bite. 

Because ‘Only God and Hajduk Live Forever’, catch a game at Poljud Stadium

While there are a handful of ways you can really dig deep into Split’s local life, partaking in the events of Split’s beloved football club, Hajduk, is certainly one of them. A game at Poljud stadium, which was built in the late 1970s for the Mediterranean Games, will not be your ordinary football experience, however. Thanks to Hajduk’s loyal and fanatical supporters, Torcida, the games at Poljud are a spectacle you’ll remember for a lifetime. From the flares to the songs and organized choreography, you just might become a Hajduk fan forever. The best games to catch are the derbies against Dinamo, Rijeka, and Osijek - and if there aren’t any games going on while you’re in town, you could always take a tour of the stadium instead. 

Speaking of tours, did you know there are a lot of unique ways you can explore Split?

Whatever your interests, the City of Split probably offers a tour that’ll suit you and what you want to learn. Are you interested in the underground and Split's alternative side? You can learn all about the graffiti of the city, the artists behind the artwork, and how the art has evolved with Split over time. Are you a foodie looking to taste Split’s best olive oil, wine, and local delicacies? There’s a tour for you, too. And don’t worry, dear adventurers, you could be rock climbing, kayaking, and hiking around Split in a heartbeat. 

To find out more about Split, follow TCN’s dedicated page

Thursday, 22 February 2018

Things to Do in Croatia: Top 5 Game of Thrones Tours

'Summer is coming' has never been a more appropriate choice of words. Continuing our series Things to Do in Croatia, we turn to a massively popular niche: Game of Thrones

Tuesday, 15 July 2014

Top 10 Things To Do In Split For Free

Split is a tourist city, and as such mostly profit-oriented, especially during the summer season. Still, there are ways to enjoy it for free. This is our selection of freebies, maybe someone else would include some others. Here are alphabetically ordered suggestions.

Main rule is this: there are no private beaches in Split, except partly the one in front of Radisson Blu hotel, and the one in Le Meridien Lav Hotel. There are those under concession, where it's possible to rent a seabed and/or parasol. But, if you want to lay down your towel, you can do it wherever you want. And have in mind that Split has about 15 kilometers of seashore line, and most of it - except city port - is suitable for swimming.


Unlike some other cities with similar historical heritage, pretty much all churches in Split have free admittance, no matter how precious are some artifacts inside. The only exception is the Cathedral of Saint Domnius, where it's required to buy a ticket for sightseeing of the church itself, treasure and the bell tower. Of course, entrance is free on holly mass, but it's required to respect the service and worshipers. Beside cathedral, our favourite churches are Saint Francis, tiny Saint Martin, and legend-filled Saint Anthony monastery.

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Diocletian's Palace
Centerpiece of Split is its biggest landmark, ancient Diocletian's Palace, not only the foundation of the city, but city itself. Many tourists arriving to Split believe they will find actual palace, a building remained from the Roman times. Of course, it's not so. Browse around the Palace, and enjoy it's hidden corners, tiny squares, alleys and witness centuries-long life within its walls. That's probably the best way to sense the pulse of the city.


Diocletian's Salute
For some, it can be pure tourist-oriented kitsch, or just a bait for those interested only in commercial interpretation of history. However, during the season every day at noon Peristil is packed full with tourist expecting to see actors playing roles of emperor Diocletian, his wife Prisca and imperial guard and saluting visitors to the Palace. And it's fun, check out this video.

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All Split museums require paid admission, with different discount rules, but in the same time all art galleries and temporary exhibitions are free of charge. That's the case even when such exhibitions are placed in museum venues. There are several very busy, and attractive galleries, like Milesi Palace, Salon Galic, Photography Gallery, Gallery of the Fine Arts, Gallery Kula, Gallery of Split City Museum, etc. Especially during the Split Summer Festival, there are lots of interesting exhibitions around the city.


Green and fish market
Word market means that something is on sale there, but nobody will twist your arm if you just browse around the stalls on picturesque Split Green Market (locally "pazar") and 120 years old Fish Market (locally "peškarija"). Every morning dozens of sellers offer everything good of food Dalmatia has to offer, and some of those from beyond local area. Of course, buying some fresh fruit, vegetables or seafood is an investment into your health, so consider this free medical advice.

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Marjan - hiking, walking, jogging, cycling, swimming, worshiping
That green hill overlooking Split is one of its main symbols, but also its biggest recreational area. There are no many cities with such diversed piece of nature almost in the city center. Unless you rent a bike, everything you want to do on Marjan is free of any charge, but not free of careful behaving, according to the natural and historical treasures it offers. As an introduction and collection of advices, check our series on Marjan (links to previous chapters are at the end of the article).

Marjan 1

Mingling at Matejuška
There are many popular bars and clubs in Split, but there is also Matejuška. This old fishermen's cove is one of the busiest night-gathering places, where young tourists can meet their local counterparts, and just make friends with them, and chat while sitting on a long wall in the middle of the city port. In case you still need a drink, there are several stores around where you can buy a beer or three, much cheaper than in bars, and just enjoy in sipping it open-air.


Seaside promenading
Paris has its Seine, Florence has Arno, Cannes has Croisette, and Split has Riva. Excellent choice for evening stroll, before or after the dinner, for enjoying sunset and observing people around you. Promenade doesn't include only main Riva, in front of the Diocletian's Palace, but also newly renovated Western Riva and whole strip from ACI marina to Bačvice beach.


Self-service sightseeing
There are dozens of travel agencies in Split, and maybe even more guidance services. However, those more adventurous self-learning leaning visitors can decide to have a sightseeing tour by themselves, like we recently described here. It's easy, and it's - of course - free. Just follow City light panels around the city center, and all the way to Marjan viewing point, there are 16 of them, map is available here. Good additional assistance can be found in two Tourist Board's Information Centers placed on Riva and Peristil.