Not only that Split is the main urban, cultural and traffic center of Dalmatia which links many Dalmatian tourist resorts, either by land or sea, but Split is also a well-visited tourist resort itself. A 1700 years old city with numerous archaeological, historical and cultural sites, from which the famous Diocletian’s palace, part of UNESCO’s list of world heritage, takes special place, also owns attractiveness and warmth of a modern Mediterranean city. A tourist guide of the city and its surroundings printed in 1894 tells about a long tourist tradition of Split.
Because of rich historycal heritage the best starting point of discovering Split would be its museums: Museum of Croatian arhchaeological memorials– capital project of Croatian culture, founded in 1893 in Knin; Archaeological museum from 1820, one of the oldest museums in Croatia; Cathedral of Split’s treasury, which has a collection of valuable church arts; Etnographical museum, founded in 1910; Maritime History museum or Natural History museum. It’s also worth checking out the Art Gallery, founded in 1931, Franciscan’s monastery collection in Poljud, Meštrović gallery etc. Split is a city of sport (hosted Mediterranean games in 1979) and is home of many famous sport clubs and competitors, with numerous sport terrains which are available for recreational purposes.
It is possible to engage in almost all sports on land or sea, from football, basketball, tennis, mountaineering, shooting, to fishing, water-skiing and rowing. A place in Split which you must visit is Marjan forest park, a green oasis on which the generations of Split’s residents are proud of, and which they cultivate and keep safe. There you will find walking paths, viewpoints, solariums, jogging trails, sport terrains and the city ZOO. A spectacular view of new and old part of Split can be seen from the top of Marjan hill.
To get to Marjan from the city core you only need a delightful 15 minute walk through the old settlement called Varoš.
Taking the Stairs of Marjan will get you to the second and highest top of Marjan called Telegrin which hosts a spectacular view of the whole Split penisula, mountains Kozjak Mosor, Kaštela Bay, Solin, Klis, Trogir, and islands Čiovo, Šolta, Brač, Hvar and Vis. Cliffs on the south are popular training ground for mountaineers and free-climbers, which round up every april to compete in traditional Marjan’s cup.
The city and its surrounding have many beaches. The most popular in Split are Bačvice (Barrels), sandy beach which is placed almost in the city center.
Split also has rich cultural and entertainment life, especially in summer, when the city, with its squares, yards and other courts, turns into a big open-air stage. The middle of the season (from mid july to mid august) is reserved for „Summer of Split“ , a traditional festival which hosts dramas, operas and concerts. Saturday nights in Split are devoted to classical music. Amusement music festivals, Art-summer, folklore events, The days of Radunica people’s festival etc. are also beeing held. During the year there are Marulić days (in april), Book of Mediterranian (in october), and the traditional manifestations such as St. Cross’s holiday, flower fair, Split’s bal, vine fair etc. The day of the city is on May 7th, on St. Duje’s holiday, who is Split’s patron saint. The city is home of Croatian national theater, founded in 1893, which organizes the Summer of Split and Marulić days festivals, as well as Children’s theater and Puppet theather.
Split lies on the penisula between the east part of Kaštela Bay and Split channel. The west part of the peninsula is the Marjan hill. Kozjak (780 m) and Mosor (1330 m) mountains protect the city from the north and north-east, separateing it from the highland. The climate is mediterannean: hot dry summers (average temperature in july is 26°C) with mild, humid winters (annual precipitation is 900mm). Split is one of the sunniest places in Europe: average daily insolation is 7 hrs (12 in july). Vegetation is mediterranean evergreen, along with some sub-tropical plants (palm trees, agaves and cactuses). Marjan is covered by artifcially grown forest.
Economic development and increase of population were dictated by development of steamships, building railroad and especially industrialization. Split is an economic, cultural, and administrative center of Dalmatia. Except shipbuilding, most significant industries are plastic mass processing, cement factory, food industry and many other. Large number of passengers and passing goods makes Split one of Croatia’s most important ports. Split is a center link to many coastal and island ports, and railroad endpoint. Ferryboats connect it with all middle-dalmatian islands, as well as, Pula, Rijeka, Dubrovnik, Italy and Greece. City’s airport is in Resnik (Kaštela).
Split is also home of many educational institutions and schools: the University (founded in 1974), theaters, museums, galleries, institutes and lately the UN’s specialized institution for protecting human environment (Center for coordinating priority actions plan for the Mediterranean). The city has many recreational facilities; swimming pools, football and basketball courts etc. Stationary and transit tourism is constantely increasing, which led to building new tourist capacities. City coves are home to many beaches. Split has four marinas: „ACI“ marina Split in the northwest part of the city harbour, „Spinut“ marina on the north coastline of Marjan, „Poljud“ marina in the Poljud harbour and „Zenta“ marina on the south part of Split. The main city port which is stationed in the city center is used only for ferryboats.