1. The gorgeous, never ending 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 Bačvice Beach and on down to Žnjan on the edge of Split without missing a meter of the sea.
2. Pazar farmer’s market
Just outside the Silver Gate is Stari 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 and poop stuck to them.
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 giant iPads. If you’re not getting trampled or trapped 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 majesty of the palace while you’re dodging tourists on the way to get things accomplished or meet a friend.
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.
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 pretty 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.
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.