40+ Unique and fun things to do in Split, Croatia (from someone who actually lives here!)

Everyone loves a hidden gem or a unique activity on holiday, right?

I moved to Split, Croatia with my partner in early 2022 and while I think sharing a Split itinerary is helpful to some people, I know that it can be more useful to provide people with fun and unusual things to do in Split, Croatia for their trip.

There are countless unique things to do in Split which get missed by most visitors who understandably want to see the main sights like the Old Town, the Riva and the Cathedral, or head to one of the nearby beaches.

So having lived here through the off season and seen the city come alive into the summer tourist season, I wanted to share 40+ ideas for unique things to do in Croatia’s second largest city.

skyline of Split Old Town with stone bell tower and orange rooftops with the harbour in the foreground

Split Old Town and the Riva

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40 Unique things to do in Split, Croatia

view of a beach sand bar through the trees

Kasjuni Beach

Marjan Peninsula

The Marjan Peninsula isn't necessarily unique but it's so often missed by visitors despite being right next to the Old Town.

Lying to the right hand side of the harbour, this beautiful lush green area is full of hiking trails, beautiful beaches and cycling routes.

Take a 10 minute bus (line 12) from Split Old Town or walk up the Marjan Hill from the start of the trail in the Old town (see details a little further below).

Head over to Kasjuni Beach where you'll find Joe's Beach Bar and further around the Cove is the city's only nudist beach in Split!

 

UNESCO SPAR

Yes, you read that right.

Split is home to the only UNESCO Heritage Site SPAR store in the world.

I’ll admit this is a bit of a jokey one, but seriously if you happen to stop by the SPAR in the old town to grab a snack or a drink, you’re shopping in a UNESCO protected supermarket.

This happened through a technicality due to the age of the building where the SPAR is situated. But still, it’s a pretty random and fun fact about Split to tell people!

 
inside a cave which is glowing in eerie blue light, off Split Croatia

Inside the Blue Cave

Blue Cave

This is one of the most popular attractions to visit on a boat ride from Split, and for good reason!

The Blue Cave really is as spectacular and as blue as the pictures make it seem! I’ve never seen such an otherworldly glow like that!

The blue light is created by the sunlight shining through caves below the water and reflecting off the white sand on the seabed. 

You can no longer swim inside the cave, but instead a small boat can take you inside. .

I visited as part of this day tour from Split - you can read my full review of the tour on my Split day tours guide.

The cave was also used in the movie the Hitman’s Wife’s Bodyguard when Ryan Reynolds and Salma Hayek swim into the cave to escape

 
view of Split, Croatia from the top of Marjan hill

View from Marjan Hill

Marjan Hill

No doubt you’ll see the lush, green Marjan Hill jutting out from Split city centre - this is the peninsula that lies to the right hand side of the harbour as you leave Split. 

This lush parkland area is full of walking trails and its shores are full of popular beaches with beach clubs, crystal clear blue water and shallow bays to swim in.

However Marjan Hill itself has a great short hike that starts from the city centre and takes you to the top of Marjan Hill for epic views of Split old town, the harbour and the surrounding sea and parkland area.

The walk starts at the steps in the turn of the road next to Pizzeria Bokamorra, find them labelled ‘Marjan Hill Stairs’ on Google Maps.

The walk is paved the whole way and clearly labelled. It will take around 45 minutes to reach the top. There is a cafe halfway up and an old zoo at the top too which has donkeys!

 

Nighttime SUP tour

paddleboards lined up on the beach at dusk with neon lights underneath them

Nighttime glow paddle boarding in Split

If you're looking for cool things to do in Split, this is without a doubt one of the best activities in Split and everyone who sees my photos or books on it from my recommendation says it's the best thing they did!

Head over to Stobrec Beach at sunset for a sea paddle boarding tour where the paddleboards are lit underneath with LED lights!

You'll glow magically as you float on the sea and paddle your way down an estuary before taking a dip in the sea if you fancy- during the summer the sea is so warm, it's a really unique opportunity to have!

 

Sustipan at sunset

This hidden gem is one of the alternative things to do in Split because it’s so easy to miss.

Tucked away behind the boat yard and past the Riva into the Varos area of Split, you’ll find the Sustipan park behind the Skipper Pizzeria on the edge of Split’s cliffs with spectacular coastal views.

This quiet park area was once a religious site with a monastery dating from the early Middle Ages. A cemetery was then built here in the 19th century. After World War II, the cemetery was relocated and Sustipan was turned into a small park area with charming walkways and the most spectacular views of the Adriatic coast and the Marjan Hill.

I highly recommend getting a takeout pizza from Skipper around the corner and eating it with a drink or two here at sunset.

sunset view over the water seen from a cliff with a bar down below

View from Sustipan

 

Froggyland

This is one of the most well-known attractions in Split, Croatia, so it’s no hidden gem. However it is definitely one of the most unique things to do in Split!

Froggyland is a bizarre museum attraction which houses a collection of stuffed frogs posed in human-like activities.

Yes, it is as weird as it sounds! 

Kids love it apparently and I’ve only heard good things about how weird and wonderful it is, however I’m a bit terrified of taxidermy, so you’ll have to decide if it’s one for you to visit yourself!

 

Vranjic Village

flower arch that reads Vranjic

Village flower display

This is one of those things to do around Split, Croatia that you’ll miss unless you know it’s there.

Vranjic is a tiny island village situated between Split and Solin, close to the mouth of the Jadro River. Because of its unique location and beauty, it was nicknamed Little Venice and also holds religious significance.

It’s a tiny place and you can drive around it in about 2 minutes, but if you’re looking for alternative things to do in Split and off the beaten path places to explore, this is one of them.

 

Enjoy the view above the Riva rather than on the Riva

people walking along the promenade at Split Riva

Split Riva

Of course the Riva is no secret in Split, it’s the most popular area of the city for visitors to eat, drink and enjoy the view.

But there’s a balcony bar situated above the Riva that most people miss, even in peak season it’s never full as most people sit outside on the terraces.

So if you’re looking to escape the crowd (but maybe people watch!) head to the St Riva Caffe Bar and just inside the entrance on the left you’ll see a set of stairs up to the balcony where you can enjoy a drink with a view!

 
drone image of a fortress on a mountain just outside of Split, Croatia

Klis Fortress

Visit Klis Fortress

Just 10 minutes outside of Split is the Klis Fortress, you might see it located high on a rocky hill overlooking the city.

Used as the city of Meereen, this is a Game of Thrones filming location in Split but even as someone who doesn't watch the TV show, I loved the history and the dramatic location of the Fortress.

Tickets cost 75 kuna / 10 euro for adults and 20 kuna / 4 euros for children.

Learn about the real life history of the game for the throne in this region and explore the Fortress. This is a great afternoon activity from Split.

 

Olive Oil Tasting

When you visit Split, things to do involving food are pretty easy to find, but did you know that the area is also famous for its olive oil production?

In fact you’ll see olive groves everywhere if you drive around the countryside and many wine vineyards will also produce olive oil as another product to export.

My top tip, if you want to try olive oil and learn about the process, is to visit the Klis Fortress and the ticket for the fortress also includes a visit to the ethno-agro park - Stella Croatica. Here you’ll find an Olive Museum, their locally produced products and the option to book a tour with them too.

Stella Croatica is just a 6 minute drive from the Klis Fortress.

 

Visit Solin

Solin is the ancient capital of Dalmatia. Although it’s technically a separate city from Split, the two have expanded enough that they have sort of merged together!

You can visit the Roman City Ruins, Manastirine, Gradina Solin or the Salona Amphitheatre, all are ancient historical sites with ruins to explore and of archaeological significance.

 

Kayaking on the Cetina River

girl in red life jacket paddling in a kayak on a river

Cetina River kayaking

This is one of those unique activities to do in Split that I honestly never expected to find myself doing while living in a beach city.

I went kayaking as part of a hen party with some friends and it was so much fun!

Some people are put off my kayaking, thinking that it's a white water activity but it's not at all, especially in the summer when water levels are so low, the Cetina River flows so slowly and most of the time the depth wasn't even up to my waist (yes I did get in the check!)

We were taken to a start point then paddled slowly down the river for around 2.5 hours and it was such a fun afternoon!

Perfect for a fun group activity in Split.

 
cabanas with white curtains and blue sky in Split at a beach club

Joe’s Beach Club

Head to Joe’s Beach Club

Most people prefer the beach clubs at Znjan, but Joe's Beach Club is my favourite, located on Kasjuni Beach on the Marjan Peninsula, the crowds are never quite as overwhelming there during the summer as they are at other beaches in the city.

Located right on the water, there's covered seating as well as cabanas and sun loungers for hire. I also prefer this beach club because they don't have a minimum spend, unlike some other clubs elsewhere on the city's beaches.

 

Split Virtual Reality Experience

Frequently voted the best activity on Tripadvisor, if you're looking for cool stuff to do in Split, this is it!

A VR recreation of the city's Old Town, as it would have been when it was the fully intact Diocletian Palace in the 4th Century AD.

Explore the Old town as the Roman Emperor Diocletian lived in it and the people of the time in this Palace Fortress city.

More details here.

 

Split food tour

If you're like me and always feel spoiled for choice when it comes to picking where to eat, make sure to book a food tour on Split!

Discover one of the oldest restaurants in Split, try the freshest seafood and discover hidden gem restaurants that only locals know about.

As one restaurant owner explained, "my restaurant is where all the tour bus drivers go while they wait for the tourists to come back". This is the kind of place that's authentic Croatian food, atmosphere and culture through and through.

Your tour hosts are fantastic too and so knowledgeable about the city, the history and the food! It's been one of my best experiences in Split to date.

Book your tour here. 

two people standing behind big red letters that read 'Split'

Split city sign on the food tour

 

Ride on a Pirate Boat

wooden pirate boat docked in a harbour

The pirate ship and where it docks

Honestly, I always felt like this kind of thing was super gimmicky but after seeing it was only £25 per person, we couldn't resist!

Starting from the harbour (you can't miss the boat!) they take you along the coast, around Marjan, into the bay and back again.

It lasts around 1 hour, is very chilled, includes some (cheap!) wine or beer but it's a family run business and they were all so lovely and friendly telling facts about Split as well as the history of the boat.

You’ll find the Pirate Boat panoramic tour docked at the corner of the Riva in front of the Rooftop 68 bar.

 

See the Ballet

Did you know you could see the Ballet in Split?

The beautiful National Theatre of Split is a baroque style yellow building at the end of Marmontova Ulica on the edge of the Old Town.

They have regular concerts, opera, ballet and dramatic performances throughout the year which are a great way to have a unique experience in Split or a romantic evening out during your stay.

Visit their website for details of upcoming shows and performances.

 

Skywalk at Poljud Football Stadium

Football is a huge part of Croatian culture, you’ll see graffiti and street art saying ‘1950’, ‘Hajduk’ and ‘Torcida’ everywhere in Split because the supporters club (Torcida) is the oldest supporters club in Europe for their team (Hajduk), the Split city team.

So an experience at the famous Poljud football stadium is a must if you’re a football fan!

Get your adrenaline flowing as you walk over the rooftop of the stadium and go on a 70-metre rope swing suspended over the football pitch!

 
truffle products on a shelf in a shop

Truffle products

Buy truffle from a Guinness World Record holding store

While Croatia is known for its truffle production, one of the more unexpected and unusual things to do is visit the truffle store owned by a Guinness World Record holder for the largest truffle ever found!

Located in the Old town, Zigante Tartufi is the shop you need, you can buy anything from truffle salt to truffle chocolate and truffle oils.

 

Go truffle hunting

If you’re a big truffle fan then why not go and find truffles of your own with a truffle hunting trip to the nearby countryside?

This tour is family run along with their truffle hunting dogs, you’ll head into the Dalmatian countryside in search of truffles. The duration is 3-4 hours and also includes a knowledgeable tour guide, education on hunting and techniques as well as a traditional meal prepared and served in the forest.

Details here.

 

Play Picigin at Split’s only sand beach

Bacvice is the city's only sand beach, as you might know, most beaches in Croatia are pebble.

So the sandy beach is perfect for playing a local Croatian game called Picigin where you try to keep a ball out of the water at all costs.

If you walk by the beach, you'll often see people diving to catch a ball, belly flopping into the water or jumping through the air in spectacular efforts to keep the ball out of the water!

At Bacvice, you'll also find plenty of great beach bars and cafes including my favourite, Kavala Beach Bar.

sandy beach and blue sky with people enjoying the sun

Bacvice Beach

 

Visit the Museum of Illusions

Perfect if you’re looking for cool things to do in Split on a rainy day, the Museum of Illusions is a fun sensory experience with tricks of the eye, interactive displays, exhibitions and even games for all ages to enjoy.

Located just outside the old town, it’s easy to reach and tickets are only 70 kuna / 10 euro.

 
wooden cruise boat with masts docked in port

Sunset cruise boat

Do a sunset cruise with live music

I will caveat this by saying this is NOT a party cruise (if that's what you're looking for, I suggest this one)

But I did this cruise with my partner and my parents and it was perfect, lasted about 2.5 hours with unlimited drinks included (yes we did get tipsy) and the live music is a small band and a singer covering popular well-known songs that everyone was dancing on deck to by the time we arrived back to Split after dark.

The boat leaves from the harbour at varying times during the year depending on sunset time, but it was the perfect activity for our last night in Split with my parents and I definitely recommend it if you're looking for a chilled boat trip or things to do in Split for couples as it's super romantic too.

The boat is a traditional wooden boat that looks a bit like a historic steamer, but without the turbines! Overall a beautiful evening out in Split and a really memorable activity in Croatia.

the sun disappearing behind mountains in the distance, taken from the water on a boat on the sea

View from the boat at sunset

 

Enjoy the beaches at Podstrana or Stobrec

If you want to escape the crowds in Split but still enjoy some beaches nearby, the beaches in Podstrana and Stobrec are just a short 15 minute drive or taxi trip outside the city.

These beaches are more popular with locals and long term residents so while you’re less likely to find beach clubs and other popular tourist fixtures, these beaches will have small local cafes nearby and much more space to enjoy the beach and the water.

 

Climb the Diocletian Palace Bell Tower

While this isn’t the most unique thing to do in Split, I do think it’s a must see in Split, Croatia.

The ticket to climb the Bell Tower at the Diocletian Palace can be bought on its own or included in a ticket to visit the other surrounding attractions such as the Palace, Cathedral and Treasury.

But I do think the view from the top of the tower is one of the best things to see in Split, Croatia because you really get a perspective of the ancient historical palace that now holds the Old Town, as well as spectacular views of the city, the harbour and Marjan hill.

You can get tickets from the tourist office in the Diocletian Palace square directly opposite the cathedral entrance.

aerial view of Split, Croatia on a cloudy day from the Bell Tower

View from the top of the Bell Tower

 

Snorkel over a shipwreck

Located in a bay on the island of Solta is the shipwreck of Kontesa. There are boat trips that will take you out to the wreck on an island day trip or half day trip so you can snorkel over the wreck.

The wreck is very shallow on the water so it’s easy to see when you’re snorkelling over it, no need for diving!

Make a full day of it by visiting the island of Solta, the shipwreck and the blue lagoon, with lunch and drinks included.

 
girl sitting at a wine barrel table holding glass of wine

Sampling the wines on the terrace

Visit a local winery for Split wine tasting

I loved this winery tour so much that I’ve been twice! 

Dalmatia is famous for producing Zinfandel wine and the Dalmatian grapes produced here around Kastela are part of that heritage.

There are many small wineries around Split and I was honestly put off by the prices of some of them, mostly because I’m not a wine connoisseur. I enjoy wine but don’t drink it often so I didn’t want to spend 100 euros on many of the local tours on offer.

Fortunately I found a wine tasting at a winery for just 35 euros at a local family-owned winery that produces only for restaurants and locations in Split, not exporting.

There is no vineyard tour (if that’s what you’re looking for). But for 35 euros you see their small family facility, try 3 wines and they come with a platter of meats, cheeses, olives and pickles produced locally. Then you’ll also get to try their dessert wine or Rakija afterwards which they also produce.

They have a beautiful vine-covered terrace for outdoor seating and they pick up and drop off from Split Old town - all included in the price.

Details and book here.

 

Hike Mosor Mountain 

Although Split is famous for its coastline and water activities in Split, the city is actually surrounded by mountains - which completely surprised me when I first arrived and makes it great for hiking in Split!

If you’re planning to hike in Split, I wouldn’t recommend it at the height of summer when temperatures are dangerously high, but between October - May is a great time to find some of the local hikes in the area.

Mosor Mountain is a fairly easy route for most people of average fitness level, you can either do the route yourself starting from the trailhead (search for ‘Hikers Parking Vrk Mosor’ in Google maps for the car park and starting location). 

Or you can go as part of a guided tour from Split where transport to and from the start point is included. More details here to book.

landscape view from a mountain with green slopes and city in the distance

Hiking views

 

Go sea kayaking

Sea kayaking is such a fun activity in Split and a great way to see the coastline if you prefer to have a more active water experience rather than a boat tour.

There are countless kayak rental places and kayak tours, whether you want to rent privately or go on a tour during the day time, or even sunset kayak tours!

Check out this kayak tour or this sunset option - both well-reviewed if you’d like to go as part of a group.

 
girl sitting on a rock beside clear turquoise water in a bay

Beach on Ciovo

Visit the island of Ciovo from Trogir

One of the few Croatian islands that is actually connected to the mainland by a bridge!

You can reach Ciovo from the main roundabout just before you enter Trogir. The island is full of charming towns and the coast has some stunning hidden gem beaches with a view of Trogir and the bay.

Plaza Kava Slatine is a particular favourite of ours, although the road is pretty much non-existent at the end, so wouldn’t advise visiting if you have low ground clearance on your vehicle, or in peak season when the single track road can get jammed up with vehicles.

 
a restaurant inside a vaulted stone ceiling room inside Split city walls in Croatia

Restaurant in the Old Town walls

Eat in the old restaurant inside the Old Town walls

There’s only one restaurant actually inside the Old Town walls in Split and it’s an unassuming little place on the Riva that you’d walk past if you didn’t know it was there!

Called Storija, this restaurant’s stunning vaulted interior will take your breath away. And their traditional Croatian menu is locally sourced and absolutely spectacular. A must for any foodies!

 

Take a day trip to Brac Island

While many people will take a trip to Hvar while in Split, Brac is another island close to Split that shouldn’t be missed.

Most famous for Zlatni Rat, or Golden Horn Beach, this stunning beach sand bar is actually small pebbles, but it doesn’t make it any less spectacular or any less popular.

This beach is great for families with calm, clear water and plenty of beach bars and restaurants to spend the day there.

But that’s not all there is to do in Brac. Don’t miss the nearby town of Bol with its charming waterfront and unique winery.

If you fancy an active day out, don’t miss the chance to hike to Brac’s highest peak, Vidova Gora (or you can drive up!)

aerial view of a white sand bar surrounded by turquoise water on Brac Island in Croatia

Golden Horn Beach

 

Go Zip-lining in the mountains behind Split

Located in the Kozjak Mountains behind Split is a real adrenaline rush adventure option to go ziplining!

This is part of a zipline adventure tour and can include pick up and drop off to the start point.

What’s included is 3 hours, 6 ziplines over 2,500 metres, a 90-metre suspension bridge and spectacular views of the mountains, the city and the Adriatic.

Would not recommend it if you have a fear of heights but otherwise, this is an epic experience.

 

Kastel Gomilica

aerial view of a castle island

Kastel Gomilica from above

This unique 16th-century castle island has become something of a local attraction and a real hidden gem just 15 minutes outside of Split.

The tiny island was once a whole castle, although now it’s divided into homes where locals live and some is in ruins. The island is so small, that you can walk around it in a couple of minutes and it’s connected to the mainland by a pedestrianised walkway which leads you through the tower which was once the main castle fortified entrance.

A few scenes of Game of Thrones were filmed here which put it on the map, but locals still try to keep it private so be respectful if you do decide to visit.

The area is so quiet with locals enjoying the sun and the water, it’s easy to forget you’re so close to the city.

 

Charter a private sailing trip

For the ultimate luxury experience and a real treat to escape the hustle and bustle of the city, why not charter your own private boat with a company such as 45 Degrees Sailing.

Or book on a private boat trip for the day to explore the surrounding islands. Perfect for a romantic day trip or fun with your own group or family party.

top down drone shot if turquoise sea and many white sailing ships anchored

Anchored yachts in the bay at Hvar

 

Go ATVing in the mountains

Another exciting activity, perfect for fun things to do in Split!

Head into the mountains for an off-roading adventure with an ATV tour!

Explore the mountainside and the forests and see the city from above, and there’s a BBQ lunch included in the price!

 
red coloured beer in a craft beer pint glass

Craft beer in Split

Visit Tap B Craft Beer Brewery in Split

This spot is located further into the local area of the city, so you’ll be rewarded with non-touristy prices that are very reasonable for a pint of craft beer!

Located behind the university housing and set a few blocks back from the Znjan beach area, TapB Brewery is the only craft beer brewery in Split that actually has a taproom for you to enjoy their beers.

We love walking over there in the evening and sitting outside with a pint or two, although be warned, if you’re not used to being around smoking, this is a bar that still allows smoking indoors, but there’s plenty of outdoor seating too.

 

Cycle along Split’s beaches

girl in pink tshirt and orange top standing next a bike alongside the sea

Cyclng route in Split

The area around Znjan Beach is great because it’s flat, well-paved and you can cycle for a couple of kilometres in either direction.

Hike a bike or a scooter from one of the local bike hire shops and take a leisurely cycle up and down the coast.

It’s a great way to enjoy the beaches and the coast but without actually having to go onto the beach if you’re not a fan!

 

Summary: What to do in Split, Croatia that's not in the guidebooks!

Hopefully this guide to some of the most unique Split activities and best things to do in Split will give you some inspiration for your trip.

It’s easy to follow the regular guidebooks of activities and what to see in Split, but having lived in Split for 6 months (at the time of writing!), there really is so much to see and do in Split that I hope for visitors to experience as much as possible!

Pin this for later to plan your future trip!

A huge list of the best things to do in Split, Croatia from someone who actually lives there! Discover the best Split activities and alternative things to do in Split. | must do in split croatia | unique things to do in croatia | split croatia bucket