The second-largest city in Croatia, Split (Spalato in Italian) is a great place to see Dalmatian life as it’s really lived. Always buzzing, this exuberant city has just the right balance of tradition and modernity. Step inside Diocletian’s Palace (a Unesco World Heritage site and one of the world’s most impressive Roman monuments) and you’ll see dozens of bars, restaurants and shops thriving amid the atmospheric old walls where Split life has been going on for thousands of years. To top it off, Split has a unique setting. Its dramatic coastal mountains act as the perfect backdrop to the turquoise waters of the Adriatic. You’ll get a chance to appreciate this gorgeous cityscape when making a ferry journey to or from the city.
Split is often seen mainly as a transport hub to the hip nearby islands (which, indeed, it is), but the city has been sprucing itself up and attracting attention by renovating the old Riva (seafront) and replacing the former cement strolling ground with a marble look. Even though the modern transformation hasn’t pleased all the locals, the new Riva is a beauty. The growing tourist demand also means that Split’s city authorities are under pressure to expand the city’s transport resources, and there’s talk that in the near future the currently very handy bus station may be moved further out to make way for the harbour expansion and luxury hotels.
Europe's 8 best night trains
The midnight thump and clunk of railway carriages being uncoupled and shunted in a station somewhere in central Europe is not in itself romantic. But add in that this is the night train between Paris and Venice, and that you’re tucked up in bed six feet off the floor, and everything’s somehow more exciting. .
Top things to do in Split
Split destination guides
The road less travelled: 5 great alternative travel spots
While in Donegal, Ireland a few years back, my friends and I heard from locals about some impressive cliffs near the fishing port of Killybegs going by the strange name Slieve League, so we decided to take a look. Slieve League turned out to be spectacular.
Sailing Croatia - Dubrovnik to Split
Whether you're looking for relaxed afternoons lazing on the deck of a yacht or time to indulge in the nightlife, this Croatian cruise aims to please. Embark in lovely Dubrovnik and discover charming villages as you sail from island to stunning island on a small yacht.
Croatia Cycle Adventure
An island hopping cycle adventure along Croatia's magical Dalmatian coast
Five days in Croatia: day one
My mission is simple: I'm off to Croatia to witness the world's bluest water. I've heard that, seen from space, the water in Dalmatia is the most vivid on earth. That's enough to send me hot-footing it to Split, one of the most attractive cities on Croatia's southern coast.