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Split Cruise Port Guide, Croatia


Modified: December 27, 2023

by Nike Dillard



Welcome to the beautiful coastal city of Split, Croatia! Nestled along the crystal-clear waters of the Adriatic Sea, Split is a vibrant and historic destination that offers something for every traveler. As one of the most popular cruise ports in the Mediterranean, Split provides a gateway to explore the stunning Dalmatian Coast and its many treasures. Whether you’re a history buff, a beach lover, or a food enthusiast, Split has it all.


Split is known for its rich history, as it was originally built around the ancient Roman palace of Emperor Diocletian. Today, this UNESCO World Heritage Site serves as the heart of the city, inviting visitors to wander through its ancient walls and marvel at its well-preserved architecture. But Split is not just a city frozen in the past – it is a vibrant and cosmopolitan destination that seamlessly blends old-world charm with modern amenities.


One of the highlights of a visit to Split is exploring the vibrant Old Town, a maze of narrow streets filled with shops, cafes, and historical sites. Lose yourself in the labyrinthine streets, stumble upon hidden courtyards, and discover the stories of a bygone era. From the imposing Cathedral of Saint Domnius to the bustling Peristyle Square, there are endless wonders to uncover.


If you’re looking for a little adventure, Split offers convenient access to a variety of day trip options. Discover the natural beauty of the nearby Krka National Park, with its stunning waterfalls and lush landscapes. Take a boat ride to the picturesque island of Šolta, known for its untouched beauty and charming fishing villages. Or venture further to the iconic city of Dubrovnik, with its medieval walls and breathtaking views.


When you need a break from sightseeing, head to one of Split’s beautiful beaches and soak up the sun. From the lively Bacvice Beach, known for its vibrant atmosphere and beach bars, to the secluded Kasuni Beach, with its tranquil setting and crystal-clear waters, there’s a beach for every preference. And when hunger strikes, indulge in the local cuisine at one of Split’s many restaurants, where you can savor fresh seafood dishes and traditional Dalmatian specialties.


As the sun sets, Split comes to life with its vibrant nightlife scene. Explore the lively bars and clubs in the city center, or enjoy a romantic sunset walk along the picturesque Riva promenade. With its lively atmosphere and stunning views, Split offers a perfect blend of relaxation and excitement.


Whether you’re visiting Split for a few hours on a cruise stop or planning a longer stay, this comprehensive guide will help you make the most of your time in this stunning Croatian city. From top attractions to practical tips for cruise passengers, we’ve got you covered. So pack your bags, get ready to explore, and let Split enchant you with its charm and beauty.


Split Cruise Port Overview

Located on the scenic Dalmatian Coast, Split is renowned for its stunning natural landscapes, rich history, and vibrant culture. As a popular cruise port in Croatia, it welcomes thousands of visitors each year who are eager to explore all that this charming city has to offer.


Split Cruise Port is conveniently situated in the heart of the city, making it easy for passengers to disembark and immediately immerse themselves in the beauty and history of Split. The port offers excellent facilities and services to ensure a smooth and enjoyable experience for all cruise passengers.


Upon arrival at the port, you will find a range of amenities, including information desks, currency exchange offices, and tourist information centers, where friendly staff can assist you with any queries or information you may need. The port area is well-organized and easily accessible, allowing you to navigate your way to your desired destinations with ease.


One of the advantages of visiting Split via a cruise is the opportunity to explore the city’s historical center, which is conveniently located within walking distance from the port. The historic center is centered around the magnificent Diocletian’s Palace, a UNESCO World Heritage Site that dates back to the 4th century. This sprawling complex is an impressive blend of ancient Roman architecture, medieval structures, and vibrant shops and restaurants.


In addition to the Diocletian’s Palace, the city of Split is home to numerous other attractions that showcase its rich history and culture. Visit the Cathedral of Saint Domnius, a stunning example of Romanesque architecture, and climb the bell tower for breathtaking views of the city. Explore the labyrinthine streets of the Varoš neighborhood, filled with charming stone houses, quaint cafes, and art galleries. And don’t miss the opportunity to stroll along the lively waterfront promenade, known as the Riva, lined with palm trees, cafes, and shops.


For those looking to venture beyond the city, Split is a gateway to numerous day trip options. Take a ferry ride to the idyllic island of Hvar, known for its lavender fields, crystal-clear waters, and vibrant nightlife. Explore the historic town of Trogir, another UNESCO World Heritage Site, with its well-preserved Romanesque and Renaissance buildings. Or embark on an adventure to the stunning Plitvice Lakes National Park, a true natural wonderland with cascading waterfalls and emerald lakes.


Split Cruise Port offers excellent transportation options to help you explore the region. Rent a car, hire a taxi, or join organized tours to nearby attractions. Additionally, public buses and ferries provide convenient connections to various destinations along the Dalmatian Coast, allowing you to easily explore the surrounding areas at your own pace.


As you disembark at Split Cruise Port, be prepared to embark on an unforgettable journey through history, culture, and natural beauty. Whether you choose to soak up the sun on the stunning beaches, explore the historical sites, or indulge in the local cuisine, Split is sure to captivate and leave a lasting impression.


Top Attractions in Split

Split is a city rich in historical and cultural treasures, offering a myriad of attractions that are sure to captivate visitors. From ancient Roman ruins to picturesque waterfront promenades, there is no shortage of things to see and do in this bustling Croatian city. Here are some of the top attractions you shouldn’t miss during your visit to Split.


1. Diocletian’s Palace: Start your exploration of Split at the iconic Diocletian’s Palace, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. This ancient Roman palace complex, built in the 4th century, is an architectural marvel, featuring stunning columns, courtyards, and underground cellars. Wander through its labyrinthine streets, visit the Peristyle Square, and marvel at the Cathedral of Saint Domnius, which was originally built as a mausoleum for Emperor Diocletian.


2. Riva Promenade: Take a leisurely stroll along the Riva, Split’s bustling waterfront promenade. Lined with palm trees, cafes, and restaurants, it offers stunning views of the Adriatic Sea and nearby islands. The Riva is the perfect place to relax, people-watch, or enjoy a refreshing drink while soaking up the lively atmosphere.


3. Cathedral of Saint Domnius: Visit the Cathedral of Saint Domnius, a magnificent Romanesque-style structure located within Diocletian’s Palace. Climb the bell tower for panoramic views of the city and surrounding areas. Don’t miss the opportunity to explore the crypt, which houses the remains of the city’s patron saint, Saint Domnius.


4. Marjan Hill: Escape the bustling city and enjoy the natural beauty of Marjan Hill. This forested park is a popular spot for hiking, jogging, and picnicking. Follow the trails to reach the top, where you will be rewarded with stunning panoramic views of Split and the Adriatic Sea.


5. Archaeological Museum: Delve into Split’s rich history at the Archaeological Museum, located within the walls of Diocletian’s Palace. The museum houses a wide range of artifacts, including ancient Roman sculptures, pottery, and jewelry, providing insight into the city’s past.


6. Ivan Meštrović Gallery: Art enthusiasts should not miss a visit to the Ivan Meštrović Gallery. Set in a beautiful villa surrounded by gardens, this museum showcases the works of Croatia’s most famous sculptor, Ivan Meštrović. Admire his intricate sculptures and explore the stunning collection of art on display.


7. Varoš: Take a stroll through Varoš, one of the oldest neighborhoods in Split. This charming area is known for its narrow, stone-paved streets, traditional houses, and colorful flowers adorning balconies. Explore the local shops, cafes, and art galleries, and soak up the authentic atmosphere of old-world Split.


These are just a few of the many attractions that await you in Split. Whether you’re a history enthusiast, a nature lover, or an art aficionado, this enchanting city has something to satisfy every traveler’s interests and ignite a sense of wonder and exploration.


Exploring the Split Old Town

The Split Old Town, located within the walls of the magnificent Diocletian’s Palace, is a treasure trove of history and charm. Exploring this ancient part of the city is like stepping back in time, with its narrow streets, historical landmarks, and bustling atmosphere. Here’s a guide to help you make the most of your visit to the Split Old Town.


Start your exploration at the Peristyle Square, the central square of the palace. Surrounded by stunning columns and ancient buildings, this square is the beating heart of the Old Town. Admire the grand architecture and soak up the lively atmosphere while street performers entertain visitors with their talents.


Next, make your way to the Cathedral of Saint Domnius, one of the highlights of the Old Town. This magnificent Romanesque-style cathedral was originally built as a mausoleum for Emperor Diocletian and is dedicated to the city’s patron saint, Saint Domnius. Step inside to admire the stunning interior, including the ornate altar and beautifully preserved artwork. Don’t forget to climb the bell tower for panoramic views of the Old Town and beyond.


As you wander through the narrow streets of the Old Town, you’ll come across numerous charming squares, such as the Pjaca Square and the Fruit Square. These bustling squares are lined with cafes, shops, and historical buildings, offering the perfect opportunity to take a break and soak in the local ambiance.


While exploring the Old Town, be sure to visit the Temple of Jupiter, a fascinating Roman temple that has been transformed into a Baptistery. Admire the well-preserved stonework and marvel at the intricate details of this ancient structure.


One of the highlights of the Old Town is the underground vaults and cellars of the Diocletian’s Palace. Descend into this underground world and explore the tunnels and chambers that have been remarkably preserved. These vaults offer a unique glimpse into the history and construction of the palace, showcasing the intricate architecture and engineering skills of the ancient Romans.


To fully immerse yourself in the local culture, visit the lively Green Market (Pazar). This vibrant market is filled with stalls selling fresh produce, local delicacies, and handmade crafts. Stroll through the market, interact with the friendly vendors, and sample some of the delicious local fruits and vegetables.


As you explore the Old Town, you’ll likely stumble upon hidden courtyards and charming alleyways. Take your time to get lost in these narrow streets and discover the hidden gems scattered throughout. From quaint boutiques to traditional restaurants, there’s always something new and exciting to be found.


Exploring the Split Old Town is a journey through history, culture, and architectural marvels. The narrow streets, ancient buildings, and vibrant atmosphere create an enchanting experience that will transport you back in time. So grab a map, put on your walking shoes, and get ready to discover the magic of the Split Old Town.


Day Trip Options from Split

While Split itself offers a wealth of attractions and activities, it also serves as an excellent base for exploring the stunning surroundings of the Dalmatian Coast. From picturesque islands to historical towns and natural wonders, there are plenty of day trip options that allow you to venture beyond the city and discover the beauty of Croatia. Here are some of the top day trip options from Split.


1. Hvar: Take a ferry ride to the island of Hvar, known for its beautiful beaches, crystal-clear waters, and vibrant nightlife. Explore the charming town of Hvar, with its cobblestone streets and charming squares, or relax on one of the island’s stunning beaches. Don’t miss the chance to visit the medieval fortress, Fortica, which offers panoramic views of the surrounding area.


2. Trogir: Just a short drive from Split, you’ll find the charming town of Trogir, another UNESCO World Heritage Site. Explore the well-preserved medieval old town, with its narrow streets, elegant palaces, and stunning cathedral. Trogir is a true gem of the Dalmatian Coast and offers a perfect blend of history and charm.


3. Plitvice Lakes National Park: Embark on a breathtaking adventure to the Plitvice Lakes National Park, a UNESCO World Heritage Site famous for its cascading waterfalls and turquoise lakes. Take a leisurely walk along the wooden pathways and immerse yourself in the pristine beauty of the park. Admire the stunning natural landscapes and marvel at the vibrant colors of the lakes.


4. Šibenik: Visit the historical city of Šibenik, located on the banks of the Krka River. Explore the UNESCO-listed St. James Cathedral, an architectural masterpiece, and stroll through the charming streets of the old town. Šibenik also offers easy access to the nearby Krka National Park, where you can witness the breathtaking beauty of its waterfalls and lush nature.


5. Brac: Take a ferry ride to the island of Brac, known for its stunning beaches and crystal-clear waters. Visit the famous Zlatni Rat (Golden Horn) beach, a unique stretch of white pebbles that changes shape with the tide. Explore the town of Bol, with its charming streets, traditional stone houses, and lively waterfront promenade.


6. Mostar: Venture into neighboring Bosnia and Herzegovina and visit the historic city of Mostar. Marvel at the iconic Stari Most (Old Bridge), a symbol of the city, and explore the UNESCO-listed old town with its cobblestone streets and Ottoman-era architecture. Immerse yourself in the rich cultural heritage of this vibrant city.


These are just a few options for day trips from Split, but the possibilities are endless. Whether you’re seeking natural beauty, historical sites, or cultural experiences, the Dalmatian Coast has it all. So plan your itinerary, hop on a ferry or join an organized tour, and get ready for unforgettable day trips that will showcase the best of what Croatia has to offer.


Best Beaches near Split

With its stunning coastline and crystal-clear waters, it’s no wonder that the beaches near Split are some of the most sought-after in Croatia. Whether you prefer sandy stretches, pebbly coves, or hidden bays, the Dalmatian Coast offers a diverse range of beach experiences. Here are some of the best beaches near Split that are worth a visit.


1. Bacvice Beach: Located just a short walk from the city center, Bacvice Beach is the most popular and lively beach in Split. This sandy beach is known for its shallow waters, making it ideal for families and swimmers of all ages. The beach is lined with beach bars, restaurants, and recreational facilities, making it a perfect spot for a fun-filled beach day.


2. Kasuni Beach: Situated on the southern slopes of Marjan Hill, Kasuni Beach is a hidden gem that offers a tranquil escape from the crowds. This pebbly beach boasts crystal-clear waters and a serene atmosphere, perfect for those seeking relaxation and natural beauty. Surrounded by pine trees and olive groves, Kasuni Beach offers a true slice of paradise.


3. Zlatni Rat Beach: Although not directly near Split, Zlatni Rat, also known as the Golden Horn, is worth the trip. Located on the island of Brac, this iconic beach is famous for its unique shape that changes with the tide and winds. The beach stretches out like a long horn, offering panoramic views of the surrounding turquoise waters. With its fine pebbles and clear waters, Zlatni Rat is a true paradise for sunbathers and water sports enthusiasts.


4. Duce Beach: Situated in the town of Dugi Rat, just a short distance from Split, Duce Beach is a long stretch of sandy coastline with shallow waters. This family-friendly beach is well-equipped with amenities, including beach bars, restaurants, and water sports facilities. With its fine sand and warm, calm waters, Duce Beach is perfect for relaxation and fun activities.


5. Kaštelet Beach: Located beneath the Marjan Hill and close to the city center, Kaštelet Beach offers a peaceful and secluded spot for beach lovers. This pebbly beach is surrounded by lush vegetation and picturesque cliffs, creating a serene and idyllic atmosphere. Enjoy the tranquility and soak up the stunning natural beauty of this hidden gem.


6. Bene Beach: Situated on the northern slopes of Marjan Hill, Bene Beach is a popular choice for both locals and visitors. This rocky beach offers clear waters for swimming and is surrounded by a pine forest, providing shade and a refreshing escape from the summer heat. Bene Beach also offers various amenities, including beach volleyball courts and cafes.


These are just a few examples of the incredible beaches near Split. Whether you’re seeking a lively and vibrant atmosphere or a peaceful and secluded spot, the Dalmatian Coast has a beach to suit every preference. So grab your towel, sunscreen, and beach essentials, and prepare to bask in the beauty of Croatia’s stunning coastal landscapes.


Shopping and Dining in Split

When it comes to shopping and dining, Split has something to please every palate and satisfy every shopaholic. The city offers a diverse array of options, ranging from bustling open-air markets and local boutiques to trendy restaurants and traditional taverns. Here’s a guide to help you make the most of your shopping and dining experiences in Split.


Split is home to a number of vibrant and bustling markets, where you can immerse yourself in the lively atmosphere and find an array of local products. The Green Market (Pazar) is a must-visit, offering an abundance of fresh fruits, vegetables, and traditional Croatian delicacies. Browse the stalls, sample the delicious local produce, and chat with the friendly vendors as you shop for ingredients to prepare your own meals or indulge in a picnic.


If you’re looking for unique souvenirs and locally made crafts, head to the Old Town. The narrow streets are lined with shops and boutiques, offering everything from traditional handmade products to contemporary fashion and accessories. Explore the local designer stores and browse the selection of artwork, jewelry, and ceramics made by local artisans. Don’t forget to pick up a bottle of local olive oil or a jar of homemade lavender products as a reminder of your visit to Croatia.


When it comes to dining in Split, the city boasts a vibrant food scene that caters to every taste and budget. From elegant fine dining establishments to casual seaside taverns, you’ll find a range of options to tickle your taste buds. Sample the local cuisine, which is characterized by fresh seafood, Mediterranean flavors, and an abundance of local produce. Try traditional dishes such as black risotto, Dalmatian smoked ham, or peka, a slow-cooked meat dish prepared under a bell-shaped lid.


For a truly authentic dining experience, seek out the konobas, traditional Dalmatian taverns, which offer a rustic ambiance and hearty home-cooked meals. Indulge in dishes such as grilled fish, roasted lamb, or octopus salad, paired with a glass of local wine or a cold Croatian beer.


If you prefer international cuisine or trendy eateries, the city also offers a wide range of options. From Italian pasta and pizza to Asian fusion and contemporary European cuisine, you’ll find a variety of flavors to satisfy your cravings. Many restaurants in Split also feature outdoor seating, allowing you to enjoy your meal while soaking up the lively atmosphere of the city streets.


To accompany your dining experience, be sure to explore the local wine scene. Croatia has a rich tradition of winemaking, and the Dalmatian Coast is known for producing high-quality wines. Pair your meal with a glass of the local red Plavac Mali or the crisp white Pošip, and toast to the flavors of the region.


Shopping and dining in Split are experiences not to be missed. Whether you’re hunting for unique souvenirs, exploring local markets, or indulging in the diverse culinary delights, you’ll find that Split offers a vibrant and diverse scene that will leave you with lasting memories of your time in Croatia.


Nightlife in Split

Split is not only a beautiful and historic city, but it also offers a vibrant and lively nightlife scene. From trendy bars and nightclubs to rooftop lounges and beachside parties, Split has something to satisfy every night owl. Whether you’re looking for a laid-back evening with friends or an unforgettable night of dancing, the city’s nightlife won’t disappoint.


Start your evening with a leisurely stroll along the Riva promenade, where you can enjoy the stunning views of the sea at sunset. Take a seat at one of the charming cafes or bars that line the promenade, sip on a refreshing cocktail, and soak up the atmosphere as the city comes alive.


If you’re in the mood for live music, Split has a variety of venues that showcase local talent and international acts. Head to one of the city’s music clubs or music festivals to enjoy a night filled with energetic performances and eclectic music genres, ranging from jazz and rock to electronic and contemporary. These venues often feature a vibrant atmosphere and attract a diverse crowd of music enthusiasts.


For those who prefer a more laid-back and intimate setting, Split offers a wide selection of cozy wine bars and lounges. Sample a variety of local wines, accompanied by a selection of cheese and charcuterie, as you unwind and immerse yourself in the stylish ambiance of these venues. Some wine bars also feature live music or DJ performances, adding to the relaxed yet spirited atmosphere.


If dancing until the early hours of the morning is your idea of a good time, you won’t be disappointed with Split’s nightclub scene. The city boasts a range of nightclubs and dance venues that cater to different musical tastes and preferences. From pulsating beats of electronic music to commercial hits, you’ll find a party atmosphere that suits your style. Many nightclubs offer outdoor terraces and stunning views, allowing you to dance under the starry sky.


During the summer months, beach parties are a popular choice among locals and visitors alike. Some of the city’s beaches transform into vibrant party spots, featuring live DJs, themed events, and performances. Dance to the rhythm of electronic beats, sip on refreshing cocktails, and enjoy the beachside atmosphere as you dance the night away.


It’s important to note that Split’s nightlife scene may have different vibes depending on the season. During the summer months, the city comes alive with a bustling atmosphere, as tourists from around the world flock to enjoy the vibrant nightlife. In the quieter winter months, the scene shifts to a more relaxed and cozy ambiance, with locals and a smaller crowd of visitors enjoying the city’s bars and clubs.


Whether you’re into live music, intimate wine bars, vibrant nightclubs, or beachside parties, Split offers a diverse and exciting nightlife experience. So put on your dancing shoes, gather your friends, and get ready to experience the vibrant energy of Split after dark.


Practical Information for Cruise Passengers

If you’re visiting Split as a cruise passenger, it’s important to have some practical information to ensure a smooth and enjoyable experience. Here are some tips and guidelines to help you make the most of your time in Split.


1. Port Location: The cruise port in Split is conveniently located within walking distance of the city center and the main attractions. Once you disembark from your cruise ship, you can easily explore the city on foot without the need for transportation.


2. Currency: The official currency in Croatia is the Croatian Kuna (HRK). While most establishments accept major credit cards, it’s always advisable to carry some cash for small purchases or when visiting local markets. There are currency exchange offices available near the port and in the city center.


3. Language: The official language in Croatia is Croatian. While English is widely spoken, it’s always helpful to learn a few basic Croatian phrases or carry a phrasebook to assist with communication.


4. Transportation: Split is a walkable city, and most of the major attractions are easily accessible on foot from the cruise port. However, if you prefer to explore further or have limited mobility, there are taxis and public transportation options available. Consider purchasing a transportation pass for unlimited travel on buses and ferries within Split and the surrounding area.


5. Wi-Fi: Many cafes, restaurants, and public spaces in Split offer free Wi-Fi, allowing you to easily stay connected during your visit. Some cruise ships also provide Wi-Fi services, but it’s advisable to check with your cruise company for availability and charges.


6. Local Customs and Etiquette: Croatians are known for their warm hospitality and friendliness. It’s always appreciated to greet locals with a friendly “Dobar dan” (Good day) or “Hvala” (Thank you). When visiting churches or religious sites, dress modestly and adhere to any specific guidelines or rules.


7. Time Zone: Split follows Central European Time (CET), which is UTC+1 during standard time. However, during daylight saving time, it switches to Central European Summer Time (CEST), which is UTC+2. It’s advisable to check the local time before planning your activities or returning to your cruise ship.


8. Safety: Split is generally a safe city for travelers, but it’s always wise to take basic precautions. Keep your valuables secure, be mindful of your surroundings, and avoid walking alone in poorly lit areas at night.


9. Emergency Numbers: In case of any emergency, dial 112 for immediate assistance. This number applies throughout Europe and connects you to the appropriate emergency services.


By keeping these practical tips in mind, you’ll be well-prepared to navigate the city, communicate with locals, and make the most of your time in Split as a cruise passenger. Enjoy your visit and create lasting memories of this beautiful Croatian destination.



Split, Croatia’s vibrant coastal city, offers a captivating blend of historical richness, natural beauty, and energetic charm. From the ancient ruins of Diocletian’s Palace to the stunning beaches and lively nightlife, Split has something to delight every traveler. As a cruise passenger, you have the opportunity to immerse yourself in the city’s fascinating history, explore its vibrant Old Town, embark on exciting day trips, relax on beautiful beaches, indulge in the local cuisine, and experience an unforgettable nightlife scene.


The proximity of the cruise port to the city center makes it easy for you to navigate Split and discover its unique attractions. Be sure to explore the ancient streets of the Split Old Town, where historical landmarks and hidden gems await at every turn. Venture beyond the city with day trips to nearby islands, national parks, and charming towns, immersing yourself in the natural beauty and cultural heritage of the Dalmatian Coast.


When it comes to shopping and dining, Split offers a diverse array of options. Whether you’re browsing local markets for fresh produce and unique souvenirs or indulging in the local cuisine at traditional taverns or elegant restaurants, you’ll be treated to an unforgettable gastronomic experience.


As the sun sets, the nightlife in Split comes alive. Dance the night away in trendy nightclubs, enjoy live music performances, or sip cocktails in stylish lounges. The vibrant energy of Split’s nightlife scene guarantees a memorable evening.


With practical information for cruise passengers, you’ll have everything you need to navigate the city with ease. From knowing the port location and currency to transportation options and local customs, you’ll be well-prepared to make the most of your time in Split.


So whether you’re visiting Split for a few hours or planning a longer stay, this coastal gem will captivate you with its history, charm, and natural beauty. Explore the ancient streets, relax on the beautiful beaches, savor the local cuisine, and immerse yourself in the vibrant atmosphere. Split is waiting to enchant you and leave you with lasting memories of your Croatian adventure.