Split harbour depicting Diocletian's palace, by night, Croatia
Half it your Way in this Palatial City
Commercialism? Not here. Excessively priced? Nope. Chock filled with culture and history? Indeed. Welcome to Split, Croatia, where you'll pay little to see incredible riches. And it's a bit over five and a half hours away from Zagreb by train. Along the way you will be able to view and photograph the spectacular scenery all around you!
Split beholds a 1700-year old tradition, and holds a wealth of archaeological, historical and cultural monuments. Tourism actually goes back to 1894, when the first detailed tourist guide of Split and its surroundings was published. Europeans have visited for a century – and now it's time for the rest of the world to discover this gem of the Adriatic.
The highlight of Split is the Diocletian Palace, a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 1979. Even the historic city center is built around its remains. What may be the best-preserved Roman palace in the world, the structure was built by the Roman emporor Diocletian at the turn of the 4 th century. Built in preparation for his retirement in the year 305 AD, the palace is crafted of limestone quarried from neighboring Brac, in a compendium of styles including classical and medieval. The locations is spectacular too, lying in a bay on the southside of a short peninsula jutting from the Dalmatian Coast.
After the Romans abandoned the site, the Palace remained empty for several centuries. In the 7th century, the residents fled to the walled palace to escape invading barbarians. Today, the palace is a commercial and residential center. Even the basement retains a strong sense of grandeur in spite of the many stalls selling local jewelry and crafts.
Originally built as a mausoleum for Diocletian, the St. Duje's Cathedral is comprised of three sections from three different ages. Besides the mausoleum, the building includes a Roman temple and a Catholic church. It also has a beautiful bell tower, which provides you with a panoramic view of Split, the nearby islands and Marjan hill. Considered the “lungs of Split,” Marjan is a nature oasis. Locals come for long walks, and its south cliffs are popular with mountain climbers. Get to the top of the near-600-foot peak of Telegrin and find a stunning view. Take a deep breath and revel in your decision to go off the well-worn traveler path in Europe.
From Split, you can literally split to the sea. The Dalmatian Coast is home to incredible island resorts. A day trip by boat to Hvar Island is not to be missed. Home to some of the world's finest lavender, the scent emanates all around. Beautiful beaches and yachts line the harbor. The island of Brac is less touristy and just on the other side of the water. Rent a bike and explore this island that helped build Diocletian's Palace.
Get a Eurail Croatia Pass, and journey into the rest of this country that's becoming a full-fledged tourist destination. A secret no longer, the Dalmatian Coast is ready to show off its spots.
Contributed by: Amiee, Affiliate Marketing Manager, has traveled to 15 countries and over 45 European cities by rail, including Warsaw, where she attempted to find relatives!