5 things I love about Split

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1. The gorgeous, neverending coastline

Split has a completely walkable coastline that runs the perimeter of the entire city. Starting by Poljud Stadium on the north side, you can walk around the edge of Marjan Forest through the palace center past Bacvice Beach and on down to Znjan on the edge of Split without missing an inch of the sea.

Bacvice Beach, Split, Croatia

2. Pazar farmer's market

Just outside the Silver Gate is Pazar, a bustling daily market. Not only can you get seasonal produce from farms of all sizes, but it functions as a hub for bakers, butchers, florists, cheesemongers and dairy sellers. It is here at Pazar that I can get local goat's milk and eggs so fresh, they still have feathers stuck to them.

Split's Pazar market

3. Diocletian's Palace in winter

During July and August, Diocletian's Palace is not where I want to be. It's pure chaos as tourists from all over pack the palace corridors moving at the speed of cattle as they record every moment with their cameras. If you're not getting trampled by a walking tour, you're baking from the outside in as the stone walls becomes a bread oven in the oppressive summer heat. It makes it impossible to see the magesty of the palace while you're dodging tourists on the way to the market. 

In winter, it's completely different. The palace is a ghost town. I love sitting on the steps of the Peristil and having it all to myself, sharing it only with the bored Luxor server. It gets quiet. So quiet, the only sound is your footsteps on the cobblestones. The palace, once again, becomes a place to explore slowly, reminding me why I live here in the first place. 

split-croatia-peristil

4. Marjan Forest

On the edge of the Split city center is the protected Marjan Forest. Thick canopies of pine trees cover the entire peninsula with beaches circling its edge. Hiking the many trails that weave through the forest make you forget that you're anywhere close to a city. During the summer, it's one of the coolest places in Split, as the shade of the pine trees keeps out the heat. There are very few roads that allow cars within Marjan making it a truly peaceful escape within the city.

Marjan Forest in Split, Croatia

5. Easy access to the islands

From Split, it's super easy to hop a ferry to Brač, Korčula, Vis, Hvar and Šolta with little to no planning. Just show up, buy a ticket and go. In addition to the islands, ferries travel to other parts of Croatia and even Italy.

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Sara is an American expat based in Split. After globetrotting between New York, Amsterdam and California, she moved to Croatia in 2012. Sara's blog Expat in Croatia is a guide for foreigners living and traveling in Croatia.

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