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Views of Split from Marjan Park in Croatia

3 Days in Split Itinerary For First Time Visitors

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If you want to visit Croatia and explore an ancient city, spend time in nature and embark on an unforgettable day trip, then our 3 days in Split itinerary is perfect for you.

In that time, you can see many of the top attractions in Split itself and even tick off a bucket list adventure! Read on to find out how.

3 Days in Split Itinerary For First Time Visitors

Please note that this 3 day Split itinerary assumes you have three full days to explore the city. I hope you find the itinerary helpful and inspiring.

Day 1 – Explore Split Old Town & Diocletian’s Palace

Split Old Town & Diocletian’s Palace

The ‘Old Town’ of Split dates back to the fourth century AD and follows the blueprints of what was once Diocletian’s Palace. 

Diocletian was a Roman Emperor. The palace was situated within the Illyrian province of Rome and served as Diocletian’s retirement home. There was also a military aspect to the fortress-like structure.

Today, you can wander through Split’s Old Town and see much of the palace and ancient Roman architecture for free. 

Diocletian's Palace - Split, Croatia
Diocletian's Palace in Split, Croatia

You’ll find historic buildings nestled among bustling shops and restaurants, which adds to the unique vibe of this beautiful Croatian city.

If you want to explore this side of Split even further, then it’s also well worth seeing inside Diocletian’s Palace (well, the parts open to the public anyway).

Inside Diocletian’s Palace

If you’re interested in seeing inside parts of Diocletian’s Palace, then you can save money with a “combo” ticket. You should see information about which option is best for you at the official ticket office.

The Cellars

The Cellars of Diocletian's Palace in Split, Croatia

The Cellars of Diocletian’s Palace (sometimes also called the Basement Halls) are some of the best-preserved parts of the entire palace.

The cellars also appeared in Game of Thrones as Kaleesi kept her dragons there.

Temple of Jupiter

The Temple of Jupiter dates back to around 305 AD. It was a dedication to the Roman God, Jupiter. Later (in the sixth century) the temple was turned into a Baptistery of St. John the Baptist. 

Today, you can see a bronze statue of St. John, a sarcophagus containing the remains of two ancient Archbishops of Split, a sphinx outside the entrance and multiple ancient Roman engravings.

Cathedral of Saint Domnius

The Cathedral of Saint Domnius, dating back to the seventh century AD, is described as the oldest Catholic cathedral in the world. The church is dedicated to the Virgin Mary and the bell tower to Saint Domnius.

Inside the church, you’ll see an opulent marvel of gold furnishings and intricate carvings. It’s certainly well worth seeing.

Just around the corner from the cathedral entrance, you can also enter the cellars, which are home to a religious artefact and what appears to be a “wishing well”.

St Mary Statue in Split, Croatia

Gregory of Nin Statue

Gregory of Nin statue in Split, Croatia

While you’re in the Old Town, you might also want to see the Gregory of Nin statue.

Gregory of Nin was a religious leader in the middle ages who strongly opposed the pope and introduced the Croatian language to religious services. 

Today, it’s said to be good luck if you rub Gregory’s toe.

Gregory of Nin's lucky toe in Split, Croatia

Day 2 – Spend Time in Nature

While your first day involved ancient architecture and the hustle and bustle of the Old Town, today is all about spending time in nature. Here’s what we suggest.

Marjan Park

Let’s start the day at Marjan Park – a forest park overlooking the city.

You’ll need to climb over 300 steps to get to the top, but it’ll be worth it as you’ll see such stunning views across Split on your way up and when you arrive at the top.

Views of Split from Marjan Park in Croatia

Kasjuni Beach

Kasjuni Beach is nestled at the foot of Marjan Park, which means you can walk down to the beach once you’re finished exploring the forested areas.

This beach is beautiful and sandy, and because it’s in a sheltered cove, the water is calm enough for swimming in.

Kasjuni Beach in Split, Croatia

The Riva Promenade

If you like walking then you can walk back to the main part of Split from Kasjuni Beach.

Much of the walk is along the Riva Promenade, which affords fabulous views of super yachts and the city lights of Split (especially if you’re walking along it in the evening).

Day 3 – Have An Exciting Day Trip

On your final full day in Split, you might like to head out on an epic day trip. There are three – in particular – we’d highly recommend choosing from:

  • Five Islands Boat Trip
  • Krka National Park
  • Plitvice Lakes

There’s more on these day trips below to help you choose which one is best for you.

Five Islands Boat Trip

Milna Harbour, Croatia

There are more than a thousand islands dotted along Croatia’s coastline.

And you can see several of these islands, including Hvar, Biševo, Vis, Ravnik and Budikovac by boat as a day trip from Split.

Whether you like swimming and snorkelling, eating ice cream or lazing on the beach, you’ll love this day out!

Views from Hvar fortress in Croatia

While some visitors choose to charter their own boats, you can head out on various tours from the Port of Split itself. Some of them even take you to the Blue Cave on the island of Biševo.

On sunny days, the sunlight passes through an underwater opening inside the cave, creating a luminous silver-blue light, which is both eerie and mesmerising. 

This stunning natural phenomenon was once only accessible through scuba diving, but since 1884, you can now access it on a small boat (providing the waves aren’t too big or strong on the day).

Check out these tour options from Get Your Guide >>

Krka National Park

Skradinski buk in Krka National Park Croatia

Krka National Park is one of Croatia’s most famous attractions – and it’s only about an hour away from Split.

Within this 55-square-mile park, you’ll find cascading waterfalls and clear lakes. Unfortunately, you’re not permitted to swim here anymore.

Our tour guide told us this was because too many people jumped from the top of the waterfall and got seriously hurt. *sigh*

Krka National Park in Croatia

Your entrance ticket also includes a boat trip through the park so you can see even more than you would on foot.

There are plenty of tours to take you to Krka from Split, which usually last for around 9-11 hours. 

Our recommendation is to find a tour that offers you free time to explore. Some even include free time within Skradin so you can marvel at the medieval buildings here too. Here’s a great tour option!

Or check out even more tours to Krka on Get Your Guide >>

Plitvice Lakes

Plitvice Lakes in Croatia

The stunning UNESCO World Heritage Site, Plitvice Lakes is one of Croatia’s most popular tourist destinations – and it’s easy to see why.

Within this 115-square-mile park lies sixteen sprawling lakes linked by cascading waterfalls, wooden walkways and various hiking trails.

Although Plitvice is 150 miles north of Split, it’s possible to experience some of it as a day trip – albeit you’ll need to get up early as it takes around 2.5 hours to drive there. 

Alternatively, Split is a popular starting point for day tours, which usually last for 10-12 hours in total. Our advice would be to find a tour like this one that allows for plenty of free time (say five hours) at Plitvice Lakes so you can explore at your own pace.

Check out these tour options from Get Your Guide >>

RELATED: Plitvice Lakes Or Krka National Park: Which Waterfalls To Visit In Croatia

BONUS: 5 Days in Split Itinerary

If all of these day trips sound amazing, then why not extend your 3 day Split itinerary to 5 days instead?

This means you can make time for everything mentioned above and make your trip even more memorable.

Here’s a quick look at how you might like to approach a 5 day Split itinerary:

  • Day 1: Split Old Town & Diocletian’s Palace
  • Day 2: Plitvice Lakes
  • Day 3: Five Islands Boat Trip
  • Day 4: Krka National Park
  • Day 5: Marjan Park & Kasjuni Beach

The itinerary above allows for a more relaxed start and end to your trip (when you’re most likely to be tired) and ample time for the exciting day trips in the middle (when you’re likely to have more energy).

RELATED: 7 Days in Croatia Itinerary For First Time Visitors

Where To Stay For Your 3 Days in Split Itinerary

Whether you’re staying in Split for 3 days or longer, you’ll find it most convenient to stay in or close to the Old Town. From here, you can explore plenty of sights on foot and you’ll be close to most tour pickup points.

Here are some B&Bs and hotels you might like in this area of Split:

  • Horizon Luxury Suites: Stunning 3.5-star guest house within walking distance of the Port of Split. Some rooms have sea views while a free buffet breakfast is available every day. Check Prices
  • Hotel Peristil: Charming 3-star hotel with a restaurant on site. It’s close to Diocletian’s Palace, so it’s an ideal base for sightseeing. Check Prices
  • St Luke Heritage Hotel: Rustic 3-star hotel within walking distance of the Riva Promenade, so it’s also an ideal base for sightseeing. Check Prices

Find more Split hotels and B&Bs on Booking.com >>


I hope you found our 3 days in Split itinerary helpful. If you have any questions about your upcoming trip, then please feel free to drop us a comment below and we’ll reply asap…

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3 Days in Split Itinerary For First Time Visitors
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