24 Hours In Split: 3 Options For 1 Day In Split

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Post author SJ

Written by our local expert SJ

Sarah-Jane has lived in Croatia for 10+ years. SJ, as she is known, has been traveling the Balkans & beyond since 2000. She now shares her passion for traveling with her husband & kids.

I have been a regular visitor to Split, Croatia, for more than 20 years. It’s an everchanging place and one that should not be missed.

Are you trying to decide how to enjoy one day in Split? There are hundreds of ways how to spend 24 hours in Split; here are three ways I suggest.

What to do in Croatia_How to Spend 24 Hours in Split_Croatia Travel Blog_PIN2

Split is Croatia’s second-largest city and also the central transportation hub in Dalmatia. Boats, trains, buses, and planes connect in Split, making it super-easily reached.

The downside of this—if there is one—is that many people consider Split a transit destination. Waiting for their connection, they spend only a few hours in the city.

That’s a real pity, of course. A large city in the middle of the Dalmatian coast must have something more to offer, right? And Split does, indeed. Split has LOADS of things to do.

This wonderfully historic city is filled with centuries- and sometimes even millennia-old architecture, home to one of the Adriatic’s greatest waterfronts. Split belongs on any Balkan travel itinerary, to say the least.

If you’re planning on visiting Split, don’t just rush through. Take your time. Slow down. Set aside at least 24 hours in Split to get to know this magnificent city more intimately. We also recommend visiting in spring, before the summer crowds arrive.

24 Hours In Split  – Idea Number 1

Balkan Trip: One Month In The Balkans Itinerary - Marjan Hill overlooking Split Riva


  • Explore Diocletian’s Palace:
    • Visit the Peristyle, the Cathedral of Saint Domnius, and the Cellars
  • Riva Promenade:
    • Enjoy a coffee or breakfast and absorb the early morning ambiance

Mid-Morning to Afternoon

  • Marjan Hill:
    • Hike up for panoramic views of Split and its surroundings
    • Explore the trails, chapels, and hermitage caves
  • Beaches:
    • Choose a beach, perhaps Bacvice or Jezinac, to relax, swim, or sunbathe
  • Lunch:
    • Enjoy Dalmatian cuisine in one of the restaurants in the old town

Afternoon to Evening

  • Mestrovic Gallery:
    • Appreciate the works of the renowned Croatian sculptor Ivan Mestrovic
  • Varos:
    • Stroll through this historic neighborhood, noticing its stone streets and old houses
  • Dinner:
    • Choose a konoba (tavern) for a traditional peka dish or fresh seafood

Evening to Night

  • Nightlife:
    • Consider a pre-drink at a bar around the Palace or Riva
    • Explore nightclubs or bars for late-night entertainment
    • Or opt for a calmer evening walking along the Riva, enjoying the sea breeze

My Suggestions To Make It Better For You

  • Flexibility: keep some flexibility for spontaneous decisions or a leisurely pace
  • Travel Mode: consider walking to nearby attractions to see even more

Brands We Use And Trust


24 Hours In Split  – Idea Number 2

Solta Island Croatia


  • Market Visit:
    • Explore Pazar Market for fresh local produce and souvenirs
    • Have a light breakfast of fresh fruits or local snacks from the market stalls
  • Split Archaeological Museum:
    • Dive into the rich history of the region, exploring artifacts from different eras

Mid-Morning to Afternoon

  • Ferry to Solta Island:
    • Take a ferry to Solta Island (usually around a 1-hour journey)
    • Explore the tranquil island, perhaps visiting the olive oil or honey producers
  • Beach Time on Solta:
    • Relax on one of its serene beaches or explore the small villages
  • Lunch on Solta:
    • Choose a cozy, local eatery for a leisurely lunch

Afternoon to Evening

  • Return to Split:
    • Take a ferry back to the mainland in the late afternoon
  • Veli Varos Walk:
    • Explore the Veli Varos neighborhood, known for its charming narrow lanes and traditional Dalmatian architecture
  • Dinner in Split:
    • Opt for a restaurant offering a different style of cuisine, perhaps something international or modern Croatian

Evening to Night

  • Split’s Art Scene:
    • Check out any ongoing events, exhibitions, or performances in the city
  • Evening Walk:
    • Visit Sustipan Park, with its peaceful ambiance and beautiful sunset views
  • Nightcap:
    • End the day at a wine bar, sampling some Croatian wines, perhaps choosing a venue that offers a wine-tasting experience

My Suggestions To Make It Better For You

  • Prioritize Comfort: ensure you have comfortable footwear as this itinerary involves various terrains
  • Stay Hydrated: carry a water bottle, particularly when venturing to Solta, to stay refreshed
  • Ferry Times: be mindful of the ferry schedules to and from Solta to ensure timely returns

24 Hours In Split  – Idea Number 3

Zadar Or Split - Split Croatia Old Town architecture
Split, Croatia Old Town

Split has enough to offer to keep you (very )busy for more than 24 hours. It’s a vast city, but all places of interest are located around the City Harbor.

Just up from the harbor lies Stari Grad, the Old Town. This Old Town has a domino shape and consists of two square-shaped areas—Diocletian’s Palace to the east and the medieval part, which developed beside it, to the west.

Split’s iconic waterfront promenade between the Harbor and Old Town lies the Riva. Numerous open-air cafés, bars, and palm trees line this wide pedestrian walkway. When spending 24 hours in Split, you’ll get to see all of this at a pleasant, unrushed pace.

One Day In Split: Morning

Sandy Beaches in Croatia_Bacvice Beach Split

Protected as World Heritage by UNESCO, this place is exceptional because it’s both where Split was founded and still the city’s beating heart. Split’s number one attraction is Diocletian’s Palace, essentially an enormous retirement home built for Roman Emperor Diocletian.

The city evolved in and around this ancient complex—people still live in some of these buildings, while other structures now house shops, restaurants, bars, and even museums.

You’ll need at least a whole morning to explore Diocletian’s Palace. There’s more to it than you might think. The Palace has four huge gates surrounded by massive walls—the Golden, Silver, Brass, and Iron Gates.

You shouldn’t miss Diocletian’s Cellars, now housing souvenir stands and art galleries, the Peristil, the Entry Vestibule, and the Cathedral of St. Dominus.

Don’t forget to pick up a map at the visitor center—you’ll need it to navigate this busy area. What’s so beautiful about Diocletian’s Palace is that it still feels so alive besides being completely free to visit. There’s always activity going on.

In fact, it’s no stretch to say that the Palace is probably busier now than it ever was, even during Diocletian’s time when it was primarily a private residence. It’s more than impressive that a vast complex like this has been so well preserved.

One Day In Split: Afternoon

How to Get from Split to Zadar Croatia

You’ll need a place to let that abundance of cultural wealth and historical facts sink in. So, grab a seat at one of Old Town’s plentiful restaurants and coffee bars. Make sure not to order dessert because you’ll want to get some gelato later on while wandering the Old Town’s alleys.

Spend the rest of the afternoon simply, spontaneously, exploring the Old Town at your own pace. There’s plenty of shopping to be done (head to BreakTime Nautical and tell them we sent you) there, and it’s just a bunch of fun wandering through this charming maze of cobbled streets.

If you’re after some more culture, you may want to visit the Meštrović Gallery. This marvelous art museum dedicated to Croatia’s most influential artist lies a short bus or taxi ride west of the Old Town.

One Day In Split: Evening

Game of Thrones Croatia - Klis Fortress

The top evening activity in Split is promenading on the Riva. Locals do it every night; many tourists join them on their strolls.

There are some food carts, street performers, a wonderful sea breeze, and a lovely sunset if you’re lucky. Wander along the Riva, keeping your eyes peeled for a place for dinner. A good choice would be Restaurant Bajamonti, situated on Trg Republike just west of the Riva.

If you’d like to extend the evening a bit longer after dinner, head back to the Old Town for a cocktail at one of the open-air bars. In Diocletian’s Palace, Lvxor Café has an incredibly atmospheric outdoor seating area, literally on the steps of the Peristil. Surrounded by ancient Roman columns, this is probably the most historic patio you’ll ever sit on. Another great place to eat (or get coffee and cake) is Brassiere on 7 – located right on the Riva, so you have fantastic views that come with impeccable service. 

If you would like to spend more than just 24 hours in Split, consider staying another day and going on a day trip to one of the other great destinations in the area, places like Trogir and Klis Fortress.

As mentioned at the top of this post, Split is a central transportation hub and makes the perfect base to explore many of Croatia’s best islands and a few of the lesser-known islands like Šolta.

You can get anywhere from Split, with various means of transportation. Consider a day trip to neighboring Trogir, the waterfalls of Krka National Park, which are relatively easy to reach, or a Dalmatian island like Hvar or Brač, for example. Plus, here are a bunch of other day trip suggestions from Split.

How To Get To Split

Split Or Zadar - Split Croatia at sunrise
Split, Croatia

This is just one of a hundred ways how to spend 24 hours in Split. Let us know how you’d do it in the comments below.

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