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How to Spend 48 Hours in Split: An Itinerary to Copy

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Split is a charming old city on the Dalmatian coast of Croatia. Not only is it the country’s second-largest city, but it’s also the country’s cultural center, making it the perfect place for a weekend visit. The city is filled with history and architecture, as well as beautiful views of the Dalmatian coast.

An equally great base for your other Croatian day trips, Split has it all. The locals are friendly and welcoming, so you’re sure to have a wonderful time during your stay.

Known for its stunning beaches, crystal-clear Adriatic waters, and many historical sites, Split has plenty to do within 48 hours. From exploring the historical Diocletian’s Palace to a day trip to Krka Waterfalls to lounging on one of the many beautiful beaches, you’ll never be bored visiting Split.

If you’re lucky enough to spend 48 hours in Split, you’ll need a serious plan to see even half of what’s on offer.

Having been lucky to spend time in this gorgeous city, I’ve done the hard work for you. If you wonder if Split is worth it, you may be convinced after my travel experiences.

How to Get to Split

KLM blue airplane at Split Airport during sunset
Kyle Kroeger / ViaTravelers

The best way to get to Split is by plane, but you can also reach the city via ferry or bus. There are daily flights into Split International Airport from cities all around Europe, so check out Going (Formerly Scott’s Cheap Flights) for the best deals on airfare.

You can take a shuttle bus from Split Airport into the city center, taking you about 30 minutes. If you’re coming from another Croatian city like Zadar or Dubrovnik, ferry and bus connections are also from the central ferry terminal and main Split bus station. Another even more scenic way of getting to Split is by train.

Tips for Planning a Trip to Split

Aerial View of Split Old Town
Kyle Kroeger / ViaTravelers

Planning is never easy, but it’s especially difficult when you don’t know the area. Here are a few tips to help you plan the perfect trip:

Learn about the city and its culture before you visit.

Statue in Old Town Split, Croatia - Historic Mediterranean landmark amidst ancient architecture
Kyle Kroeger / ViaTravelers

This will make it easier for you to explore once you arrive. Croatia is part of the EU, so check the visa requirements if you’re coming from outside Europe.

In January 2023, Croatia officially joined the Schengen Zone, meaning those already traveling within the EU will have an easier time. On the contrary, you may need a visa, depending on your origin or nationality.

Have some cash handy! While most places in Split accept cards, it’s always useful to have some cash handy for small purchases. Since January 2023, Croatia’s national currency has been the euro. Make sure to switch your old kunas accordingly.

Book your accommodation.

It’s best to book your hotel or hostel in advance, as Split is a popular city and can get crowded. You can also look into home rentals if you want more privacy.

Consider your budget.

Split is a fairly affordable city, but it still pays to plan and set aside money for activities and experiences. Book accommodation in advance as prices can skyrocket during peak season in July and August.

We recommend using Booking.com to find hotels and vacation rentals. Meanwhile, if you are on a budget, use HostelWorld to find cheap hostels.

Book your activities in advance.

Booking activities or day trips in advance is essential to maximize your trip. From boat trips and historic sites to restaurants and city tours, plenty of experiences are available in Split. Book them as soon as possible for guaranteed availability by using GetYourGuide.

Book your transport to Split.

Split is easy to get to, with plenty of travel options. The Split airport offers flights from many European cities, and you can also take the train or bus from the capital city, Zagreb, or anywhere in Croatia.

Stay safe

As with any city, there are certain areas you should avoid if you don’t feel safe. Make sure to stay in well-lit and populated areas, especially at night. Use SafetyWing to ensure your trip is secure by locking in travel insurance. If you want a custom quote, use TravelInsurance.com to find a plan that fits your needs.

Pack accordingly

Bring plenty of sunscreen and comfortable clothes that keep you cool in the summer heat. The average temperature during the summer months is around 28°C, so pack light clothing like shorts and T-shirts for your stay.

What to Bring on a Trip to Split, Croatia

Split town viewed from above

The first thing on anyone’s list has sadly got to be packing. Although it isn’t all that exciting, it is necessary, and doing it right will save you heaps of time in the long run.

Split has a wonderful Mediterranean climate, sweltering summers, and chilly winters. You’re best visiting between April and September when the weather is reliably above 18 degrees.

Lightweight clothing is a must, as are strong sunscreen and a hat for the middle of the day. This 48 hours in Split will be jam-packed, so shoes you can walk comfortably in are also essential.

Other than clothes, you shouldn’t be without some special items. When I travel anywhere, I like to find myself a book about the area, and there just so happens to be a brilliant one set in Split.

Chasing a Croatian Girl is not at all about chasing a Croatian girl as the title suggests, but is rather a hilarious, self-deprecating account of falling in love with a Croatian woman and moving to Split with her.

Describing the setting and the people will help you fall in love with the city before you even step off the plane. The final item you must have in your suitcase is a mask and snorkel, or at the very least, some goggles. Split’s warm waters are home to spectacular sea life; it would be a shame to miss it.

For experienced snorkelers, a separate mask and snorkel will allow you to dive deeper with a little more freedom in the water. However, less confident snorkelers may find an all-in-one option that feels safer.

Another nice perk of full-face snorkel masks is that they often have camera holders, so you can capture your underwater experience hands-free.

Where to Stay in Split

Hotel Plaza Marchi in Split, Croatia
Kyle Kroeger / ViaTravelers

Split, Croatia, has a thriving tourism industry, meaning there are plenty of options for places to stay. Keep reading as we take you through the top picks for a short stay.

Old Town

Enchanting Alleyway in Old Town Split, Croatia - Historic cobbled street with green shutters and red sculpture.
Kyle Kroeger / ViaTravelers

For first-timers, we recommend staying close to the Old Town for easy access to the nearby city attractions. The Split Hostel Booze & Snooze offers a modest room in the center of town. It’s the perfect budget option if you aren’t afraid of late nights and a rowdy crowd. This hostel is ideal for those who want to meet lots of young people, have loads of fun, and aren’t into early mornings.

For something more relaxing in the Old Town, this VRBO rental home is a great option. It’s near Diocletian’s Palace and other attractions, providing privacy and air-conditioning! Plus, you get the bonus of beautiful city views.

For an all-out experience, the Heritage Hotel Cardo is a beautiful place in the center of the historic Old Town, which boasts gorgeous architecture and a luxurious terrace. The Hotel Cardo is the perfect place to maximize your 48 hours in Split.

Bačvice Beach

Staying close to popular Bačvice Beach is a great option for those who want to explore the city during the day while retiring to the beach in the evening. If you’d like a more relaxing stay, then there are several options available. There are plenty of guest houses near Bačvice, which range in price considerably.

For budget-conscious travelers, Beach Apartment Demi is an affordable studio option, only 200m from the beach! Another great option within walking distance of the beach is Boban Luxury Suites. These catered apartments have an onsite pool, perfect for relaxing after a long day of sightseeing.

If you want to splash out, then Hotel Park Split is the perfect option. This five-star hotel has had guests since 1921 and offers exceptional rooms with unparalleled views of the sea and gardens.

Žnjan Beach (jin-yan)

For those who want to stay away from the hustle and bustle of the city, then Žnjan (jin-yan) is a great option. This small village is located on the outskirts of Split’s city center but is still within easy reach of the town. This area is an excellent alternative with many shopping options and a beach nearby.

Dioklecijan Delux is a very budget-friendly hostel for those just needing a place to spend the night. It is very no-frills but still close enough to the beach and can be an excellent base for your days out.

For something right on the shore, Hotel Elu Iris is a gorgeous option, boasting sea views, comfortable rooms, and an onsite pool!

For the ultimate stay, Radisson Blu Resort Split offers its guests spectacular views of the sea and all modern amenities. This hotel also has two outdoor pools surrounded by luscious Mediterranean gardens and is a great spot to relax after sightseeing.

These are just some options for those who want to stay in Split, Croatia. With something for every budget and taste, you’re sure to find the perfect spot for you.

See Related: Ways to Book the Cheapest First-Class Flights

2 Days in Split Itinerary

Sunset Over the Harbour in Split, Croatia
Kyle Kroeger / ViaTravelers

Now that you’re all settled into your room, it’s time to start exploring the rest of the town. There is far more than you could fit into just two days, but there are some things that you absolutely shouldn’t miss. Keep reading for the perfect Split itinerary.

Day 1 of Your Split Itinerary

Golden Gate entrance to Diocletian's Palace, Split, Croatia - UNESCO World Heritage Site
Kyle Kroeger / ViaTravelers

The importance of a good breakfast can never be underestimated, especially when there’s so much sightseeing to do. So, either tuck in at your hotel or head straight to Dvor. This gorgeous restaurant has a terrace that looks right out over Firule Beach, with views of the islands of Brac and Solta in the distance.

Treat yourself to the set breakfast and enjoy a fluffy omelet, fresh juice, a fruit salad, and possibly the best coffee in the city. It is a little pricier, but the food is regularly featured in the Michelin guide, and the view takes some beating. After that, it’s time to walk off all that breakfast.

Diocletian’s Palace

Bell Tower of Diocletian's Palace in Split
Kyle Kroeger / ViaTravelers

Start your day early in the Old Town by visiting Diocletian’s Palace in Split’s ancient center. This UNESCO World Heritage site is the heart of Split and offers plenty to explore, including its hidden courtyards, narrow alleyways, markets, and ruins.

Look out for the Temple of Jupiter and Peristyle Square, two of its most impressive sights. The history of this place dates back to the 4th Century when Roman Emperor Diocletian built it, and is a great place to get a feel of what Split used to be like.

Towering above the city and offering some of the best views, the Bell Tower is an absolute must-see. The Bell Tower of Saint Domnius, located in Diocletian’s Palace, is one of the city’s most iconic landmarks and dates back to the Middle Ages. Climb to the top for a panoramic view of the city!

The Palace is composed of the following components: the Outer Walls, East Gate, West Gate, South Gate, and North Gate. Inside the walls, you can find St. Stephen’s Square, the Tower of St. Lawrence, Peristyle Square, and the Cathedral of Saint Domnius. All of these attractions are within a short stroll of each other, so it is easy to take it all in.

See if you can find both Syphnx as you travel around the Diocletian Palace! Emperor Diocletian admired the Egyptian tradition of having sphinxes as guardians of holier grounds.

Sphynx in Split
See if you can find both Syphnx as you travel around the Diocletian Palace. (Kyle Kroeger / ViaTravelers)

The Peristyle Square is a large courtyard surrounded by Roman columns, and you can easily spend hours people-watching here. Take a few moments to sit in the shadows of the pillars and just take everything in.

After Diocletian’s Palace, meander to the Gregory of Nin Statue before the Peristyle. This 9th-century bronze statue symbolizes Split and is dedicated to Gregory of Nin, a Croatian Bishop who fought to use the Croatian language instead of Latin. Rumour says you will be granted good luck by rubbing his toe!

guided tour is a great way to ensure you get all the highlights and interesting stories. Once you’ve seen all the attractions Diocletian’s Palace has to offer, it’s time to head out into the rest of the Old Town.

Split Old Town

Mestrovic's Gregory of Nin Status
Kyle Kroeger / ViaTravelers

One of the best things to do in Split is to get a good look around the Old Town. The Golden Gate of the Diocletian’s Palace is the perfect place to start and the starting point for most historical tours. This Unesco World Heritage Site is the ultimate must-see and should be added to any Split itinerary!

Wander around its cobblestone streets as you search for souvenirs and interesting places to eat. Make sure to visit Prokurative Square, a lively area with great cafes, bars, and restaurants. It’s the perfect coffee spot to fuel your short trip. If you feel like getting the gist of the town quickly, then a tour is a great place to begin.

You should be able to cover most historic buildings in an hour and a half. However, if you prefer to explore at your own pace, here are the bits of the huge fortified palace you must visit. 

As mentioned, the palace entrance, Golden Gate, is a good starting point for the rest of your Split itinerary. At midday, there’s a display put on by the guards here that’s worth catching. From here, make your way to the basement halls; you can peruse the stalls selling locally made wares or pay a small fee to view some of the historical artifacts in the lower-down ruins.

Another must-see spot in the Old Town is Pjaca or People’s Square. Dating back to the 16th century, this is one of the most lively areas in Split and offers plenty of cafés, shops, and street performers. Pjaca is a great place to spend some time watching the locals go about their day-to-day lives or take in the atmosphere.

Take a moment to stop and watch some of the performances here before continuing your journey. Remember to check out the Pjaca Clock Tower, which stands proudly within the square.

Discover Dragons and Castles

View from Klis Fortress
Kyle Kroeger / ViaTravelers

If you haven’t heard of Game of Thrones yet, where have you been for the last decade? Whether you’re a fan or not, some buildings in Split were used for filming some of the series- it deserves a visit! These places include Trogir Castle, the Klis Fortress, and Diocletian’s Palace.

Klis Fortress is a short bus ride away from Split and offers some great views of the surroundings. It’s one of the best day trips from Split by far. It was used in Game of Thrones as the filming location for Meereen, one of the main cities controlled by Daenerys Targaryen. However, with only 48 hours in Split, you might have to save this for a longer trip.

Some tours offer a comprehensive guide to every street location filmed on, which is perfect for die-hard fans. Having a tour guide further gives you an insight into the history of these places and all the secrets they hold. 

Die-hard fans can even visit the Game of Thrones museum! Located in the Old Town, this museum offers a unique insight into the world of Westeros, with costumes, props, and even dragons! Book your ticket in advance, as slots can fill quickly in summer.

Grab some lunch

Outdoor dining at Bepa restaurant in Split, Croatia, showcasing the allure of historic city dining.
Kyle Kroeger / ViaTravelers

With all this exploring, you’ve probably worked up an appetite! The Old Town is full of restaurants serving up local olive oils, spices, fresh seafood, and unique wines. Whatever you decide to eat, take your time; the locals here are all about enjoying their food with friends and family.

Head to a local bakery and try the famous burek for a quick lunch. Filled with cheese, spinach, or meat, this is a great snack to have on the go. It also tastes amazing when it’s hot.

Once you’ve finished exploring the Old Town, it’s time to head to the waterfront. The Split waterfront is a promenade with plenty of restaurants and bars, perfect for a beachside meal or drinks. This is also the best summer swimming place – check out the tides first! Speaking of swimming…

See Related: Best Vacations with Minimal Walking

Hit the beach!

Bačvice Beach in Split, Croatia
Source: Adobe Stock

When the sun is out, and it’s time for a break from sightseeing, there’s no better place to be than Bačvice Beach. This stunning stretch of sand has been awarded Blue Flag status for its clear waters and cleanliness, so you can take a dip without any worries.

If you’re feeling adventurous, why not try windsurfing or kitesurfing? The beach is well set up for these activities, and you can rent the equipment you need from one of the many nearby stores. When evening draws nearer, head over to the sandlots before Bačvice Beach. Here, you’ll find people playing “picigin,” a traditional Croatian ball game set in the sea’s shallow waters.

The beach can be quite crowded in the summer, so if you’re looking for a more tranquil experience, head to nearby Firule Beach.

Located in the shadow of Marjan Hill, this beach is much quieter and provides stunning views of the city skyline from across the bay. Firule Beach is also a great spot for swimming and snorkeling, as the waters are generally calmer than Bačvice’s.

After a few hours soaking up the sun at Firule, why not climb up Marjan Hill? It’s a little paradise with plenty of secluded coves, trekking paths, and breathtaking views of Split City below. Climb to the top for some spectacular panoramic photos of the Dalmatian Coast.

Bačvice Beach is just one option; wandering around Marjan Hill and its surrounding area is another great way to experience Split.

See Related: World Nomads Insurance Review

Dinner

Enchanting Alfresco Dining Experience at Mazzgoon, Split, Croatia - Mediterranean restaurant ambiance with historic charm and warm lighting.
Kyle Kroeger / ViaTravelers

We can’t even begin to think about how to plan a Split itinerary without thinking about what to do at night. For your 2 days in Split itinerary, a fair chunk of it will be after dark, which is great because that’s when this city truly comes alive.

Konoba Kod Joze is the place to be for dinner this evening. This quaint little tavern has been providing tourists and locals alike with delicious Dalmatian cuisine for more than 30 years.

It’s right in the Old Town but a little tricky to find as it’s down a windy street. Pop in the location on your phone to ensure you find it easily!

Although the menu is simple and fresh traditional, some standout dishes include cured ham and local cheese, grilled catch of the day, or the black squid risotto. If traveling during the right season, the game stew is a delicious option caught by the owner himself.

After-Dinner

Night view of People's Square in Split, Croatia with illuminated historical buildings and outdoor dining.
Kyle Kroeger / ViaTravelers

We want you to save some wiggle room on your Split itinerary for after-hour festivities! Once your dinner has gone down, it’s time for a drink and a dance. The big clubs are outside town, so if you have yet to plan to be up in the morning, grab a taxi. Otherwise, there are plenty of lively bars in the old town.

Ghetto Club is a great place to start. It’s a bar and art gallery hybrid, which offers affordable drinks, interesting works to look at, and an ever-changing, always eclectic playlist.

The courtyard is brilliantly atmospheric, with flaming torches and room for dancing. Walk upstairs to the music room, where you’ll find a grand piano and great views over the courtyard below. From here, it’s up to you where the night takes you, but plenty of local people make Ghetto Club their start and endpoint!

Day 2 of Your Split Itinerary

Get up early to chase some waterfalls

Falls in Krka National Park

If you aren’t too tired from yesterday’s festivities, we recommend getting up early enough to take a day tour of the infamous Krka National Park. This is one of Croatia’s most popular and well-known national parks, with several breathtaking waterfalls and serene lakes to explore. Day trips are offered daily in any season, so don’t worry if you can’t make it in peak season.

You’ll need at least 3 or 4 hours to make the most of this place, so plan your visit carefully if you want to fit it into your 48-hour stay. Guided tours are an excellent option for getting there, taking the hassle of planning (and driving) out of the way.

Most tours leave early and spend about 7 hours at the National Park. Krka National Park is known for its lush vegetation, serene rivers and lakes, and spectacular waterfalls. So make sure you bring your camera!

Once you get to Krka National Park, check out the stunning Skradinski Buk waterfall – it’s the longest in Europe and a must-see. The park has beautiful cascades, but this is the most impressive. Other top spots include Visovac Island, Roški Slap, and Krka Monastery.

Most tours will end the day in the nearby town of Skrodin, where you can relax and grab a bite to eat before heading back to Split. They may even offer optional olive oil and wine tasting, which I definitely opt to do! You want to take advantage of your 48 hours, right?

After you tour Krka National Park, you’ll be ready to head back to Split for some much-needed rest. With most day trips, you’ll be back by 5 pm, with plenty of time to take in the rest of the night.

After returning to your accommodation for an optional nap, you’ll still have time to catch the sunset.

Sunset Cruise

Maritime activity at Split Harbor, Croatia, with boats, ferry, and cruise ship
Kyle Kroeger / ViaTravelers

One of the highlights of my trip to Split was a sunset cruise. So grab your camera, snacks, and drinks, and head out with the crew!

These sunset cruises are great for couples as you enjoy an evening on the crystal clear Adriatic sea while watching the sun dip below into a beautiful orange horizon.

Most tours will offer a complimentary drink but still welcome you to BYOB on board. What better way to start the evening than with a bottle of bubbles underneath the setting sun?

The sunset cruise takes around two hours, and there is plenty of time to relax before returning to Split in the evening.

Golden sunset over Split Harbor and Riva Promenade, Croatia
Kyle Kroeger / ViaTravelers

After getting dropped off near the city’s ferry terminal, you’ll be near the infamous Riva Promenade. This buzzing area is great for people-watching, drinks, or even dinner.

Hit the Riva Promenade

Bustling Day at the Historic Split Riva Promenade, Croatia: Vibrant coastal lifestyle scene with Mediterranean architecture, palm trees, and historic buildings.
Kyle Kroeger / ViaTravelers

The Riva Promenade is the epicenter of Split’s nightlife and a great place to grab a bite to eat and people-watch as locals socialize. Look out for local boat trips from here, or stroll along the seafront to get an up-close view of Diocletian’s Palace and the nearby Bell Tower.

As night falls, why not end your trip to Split by visiting some of the excellent bars and restaurants that line the Riva Promenade? Whether you’re looking for a lively pub crawl or an intimate dinner, Split has something to offer everyone. Brasserie on 7 is an excellent choice, offering delicious seafood and Croatian delicacies.

Once the sun goes down, Riva Promenade is the place to be. You’ll find some of the city’s finest restaurants, bars, and clubs alongside a bustling strip of shops and markets here. However, plenty of other restaurants are nearby if nothing seems to tick your fancy.

See Related: Things To Do On Brač Island, Croatia

Final Dinner

Enchanting Evening in Old Town Split, Croatia: Cobblestone paths, historic architecture, and nightlife under a starlit sky.
Kyle Kroeger / ViaTravelers

If you couldn’t find anything on the promenade, head to the Old Town for the last dinner on your Split itinerary. There, you’ll find many traditional restaurants offering delicious Croatian dishes such as Dalmatian-style black risotto, stuffed squid, or čevapi with fries.

End your final night in Split on a fantastic note by enjoying some delicious local cuisine at one of the top restaurants in the Old Town. One of our favorites is Restaurant Apetit, a cozy little spot serving up some of the best Croatian dishes in town. This delicious spot tends to fill up quickly, so make a reservation on their website to guarantee a table.

End your 48 hours in Split with a local gelato to satisfy your sweet tooth! Plenty of places along the promenade offer delicious Italian-style ice cream in various flavors.

FAQs

How many days do you need in Split?

You will need at least two days to explore Split and some surrounding areas. A 48-hour Split itinerary will allow you to experience this beautiful city’s best, from sightseeing to sampling local cuisine and nightlife experiences.

However, for the ultimate experience, you should stay longer to take a couple of day trips to other nearby attractions like the Blue Cave or Plitvice National Park. Plenty of activities and attractions in Split will keep you occupied for days. For example, if you have extra time, you could visit the nearby islands or take a day trip to Krka National Park.

Is Split, Croatia, worth visiting?

Absolutely! Split is a beautiful city filled with exciting things to see and do. It’s an excellent destination for families and couples alike, as there are plenty of cultural experiences, outdoor activities, lively bars, and restaurants to explore. Plus, the stunning Adriatic coast gives visitors the perfect backdrop to enjoy while they take in the sights.

What are the top tourist attractions in Split, Croatia?

A few top tourist attractions in Split, Croatia, include Diocletian’s Palace and its famous Bell Tower, Marjan Hill Park, and Bacvice Beach. Additionally, don’t forget to explore the wonders of Split Old Town.

Are two days enough in Split, Croatia?

Yes, two days are enough to experience the best that Split has to offer. In just 48 hours, you can visit popular attractions such as UNESCO World Heritage site Diocletian’s Palace and Marjan Hill while sampling local cuisine and taking in the city’s nightlife scene.

You can explore nearby islands or take a day trip to Krka National Park if you have the time. Ultimately, two days of visiting Split will give you an excellent overview of what the city offers- especially if you follow our handy Split itinerary!

What is the best way to spend 48 hours in Split, Croatia?

The best way to spend 48 hours in Split is by taking your time and ensuring you experience everything the city has to offer. Start with a tour of Diocletian’s Palace and the Split Old Town, climb up the famous bell tower, then head to Riva Promenade for shopping and people-watching. Afterward, you can sample traditional Dalmatian dishes at a local tavern, followed by drinks and dancing at the Ghetto Club or other bars.

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