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Split is Croatia’s second largest city with a population of more than 200,000. More relaxed than its bigger brother Zagreb thanks to its seaside vibe, the city is filled with history that dates back to the 1st century.

Expect Roman architecture, beautiful cobbled streets and a bustling café culture.

Visit the Diocletian Palace on Brac island

Built by the Roman emperor Diocletian about 1700 years ago, the Diocletian Palace was constructed out of white limestone from the quarries on the island Brac, and housed everything from temples to private apartments to baths.

Many of Split’s historical buildings are found within the palace boundaries, while about 3000 people live within the palace walls.

Climb the Split belltower

Climbing the bell tower, one of the city’s finest landmarks, promises an excellent panoramic view of Split. Inside the cathedral there are intricate wooden sculptures of biblical characters, while an eerie crypt is located underneath the building.

The Peristyle is a courtyard within Diocletian’s Palace. Surrounded by impressive columns, it forms the entrance to the imperial quarters.
chow down

You’ll find Mediterranean dishes, such as pizza and pasta, while an antipasto of cured meats and cheeses are a national favourite. Seafood in all forms is usually top quality.

At the sprawling Pazar, fruit and vegetable stalls drift into meat and confectionery and up the road is a fish market, fly-free thanks to the sulphurous spring beneath the city.

Try the local Croatian beer

Enjoy a local beer, such as Karlovacko and Ozujsko. If you get friendly with the locals, you’ll probably be offered some home-made alcohol of some persuasion, be it wine or brandy.

The white wine is pretty strong and it’s not rude to ask to top it up with mineral water. Thick, black Turkish coffee is also popular in Split, but it isn’t for the faint-hearted.

Explore the Roman ruins of Salona

The Roman ruins of Salona were part of an ancient town home to 60,000 people in the 1st century.

The ruins include an amphitheatre, which held about 20,000 people. Salona is 5km from Split and accessible by bus.

Go and see Hajduk Split play football

The sporting passions of the Splicani lie firmly with their football team Hajduk Split, which should explain the red, white and blue graffiti around the city.

Join the Torcida (as the fans are called) at Poljud Stadium and improve your Croatian slang in the process.

What you need to know about Split

When to go The most popular time to visit is June to August, when temperatures average 30˚C.
Getting there EasyJet flies direct to Split from Gatwick. Hop on one of the coaches from the airport to Split harbour for only 30 kuna.
Visas South Africans need a visa.
Currency Kuna. 1 GBP = 8.22 HRK.
Language Croatian.
Getting around See Split on foot. Buses run to Marjan (a hill to the west of Split) and taxis are parked at either end of the Riva, the city’s main promenade.
Going out A pint of beer costs about 12 kuna.
Accommodation Dorms cost from £11, while hotel rooms cost from £25.

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