The ancient Romans built the seaside Croatian town of Split more than 1,700 years ago, and much of it has survived. Sign up for a guided walking tour or simply wander through the Old Town’s labyrinth of cobblestoned streets that wind past churches, ancient temples, and town squares. The Riva, Split’s waterfront promenade, is best for views, or walk to the lush Marjan Hill and discover several ancient churches, including the 8th-century St. Jure.
What We Love
Meštrović Museum: Many consider sculptor Ivan Meštrović Croatia’s own Michelangelo. This sea-facing museum is housed in his former residence, and his public works include two life-sized statues just outside the palace gates.
Cravats: Croatia is the birthplace of the elegant neck scarves worn by 17th-century Croatian soldiers and adopted by the fashion-forward French who still fancy them; you can buy them in shops all over town.
Best Known For
The Fortified Mini City: In the late 3rd century, Roman Emperor Diocletian built a grand royal compound by the sea for his retirement years. The entire complex of ancient temples and colonnaded courtyards is now a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
Climbing the Saint Domnius Bell Tower. Take the stairs all the way to the top of the 12th-century, 187-foot-high bell tower of the Cathedral of Saint Domnius and you’ll be rewarded with amazing views of the city and the Dalmatian Coast.
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Who It's Best For
History Buffs: The city’s layered history is exposed through Split’s eclectic mix of Romanesque, Gothic, Renaissance, and Baroque architecture. It’s impossible to see it all in one day, but you’ll have fun trying.
Families: Old Town Split is like a giant interactive museum, where kids can be fortified with pizza and gelato while learning about the ancient Romans.
Don't Say We Didn't Warn You
Summer Crush: If you travel to Split in July and August, it’s going to be hot and crowded with lots of other visitors jostling to keep up with their flag-waving tour guides.
Heidi Sarna is a Singapore-based contributor to ShermansCruise who has also written for Condé Nast Traveler and USA Today.