Diocletian’s Palace is one of Croatia’s most popular tourist sites and a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Unlike many historic sites, the palace in the Port of Split is more a city than a structure. Part fort and part villa, the palace includes a myriad of forms and structures that reflect foreign influences like Sphinx-like figures outside the Temple of Jupiter. The palace area also contains a domed mausoleum, a Vestibule, and circular temples to Cybele and Venus. Since residents made their homes on the property over the centuries, the palace grounds are an amazing collection of granite columns, medieval buildings, chapels, and operating shops. At night, it becomes a romantic oasis.
The Port of Split’s St. Duje’s Cathedral was built in 305 AD as Diocletian’s mausoleum, making it one of the world’s oldest cathedrals. It is a wonderful mix of Catholic church and Roman temple with an impressive belltower offering panoramic views of the Port of Split and Marjan Hill.
Located west of the Port of Split, Marjan Hill is a wonderful natural setting for walking, running, and bike riding. Its peak, Telegrin, is 174 meters high, and its south cliffs are a favorite spot of Alpine climbers. Several beautiful churches are located on the south side of the hill.
The Varos neighborhood in the Port of Split is one of the town’s oldest sections. With quaint streets and small beautiful homes, it was once the home of the city’s fishermen and peasants.
The 1820 Archaeological Museum contains many monuments and artifacts from old Split and the Roman colonies of Salona and Narona.
Visitor will want to take the 10-minute bus ride from the Port of Split to Salona, one of the biggest Roman colonies and capital of Rome’s Dalmatia province. It still houses a well-preserved amphitheater, basilica, cemetery, theater, and many other ancient buildings.
The Port of Split’s beach at Bacvice is lined with cafes and ice cream stands. While it’s not the country’s nicest beach, its summer crowds offer visitors a taste of the “real” Croatia.
Travelers who want to visit the Port of Split and southern Croatia by sea can find a list of scheduled cruises on the Cruise Critic website.