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Known for its beaches as much as its ancient history, Split is a super holiday destination on the Mediterranean Sea. With an old town set almost wholly within a former Roman emperor’s palace, it’s a cool place to explore.
But with so much to explore nearby, from old villages and ruins, to excellent hiking opportunities and a sparkling coastline, it would be a shame to spend all your time in this UNESCO city.
So we’ve put together this guide to the best day trips from Split to help make it easier for you to choose something that’s right for you; you can take your family somewhere fun, or whisk you and your partner to a romantic location.
There’s more to the Dalmatian coast than Split, so let’s see what lies in store for you…
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It’s just one hour to Primorski Dolac – a simple day trip from Split by train. This is a small town with a local atmosphere that makes for a welcome change from the tourist crowds of popular Split.
You’ll get to soak up traditional Croatian life in this quaint, quiet village. It’s surrounded by farmland and rustic scenery, protected by a backdrop of mountains. Visiting here means beautiful views and walks in the nearby woodlands that provide a much-needed breath of fresh air.
Here you can see local children playing the traditional Croatian game of balote, which is almost like bowling.
A day trip from Split to the tranquil environment of Primorski Dolac is not only a unique way to spend your time here, but it’s a great way to see some untouristed nature. The train trip itself is scenic enough for any nature lover or train enthusiast, that’s for sure.
Home to the UNESCO World Heritage Site of St James Cathedral, Sibenik is a fortress city that provides a similar but quieter alternative to the combination of history and coastal charm of Split.
Often overlooked by tourists, Sibenik is actually an easy day trip from Split by train. It boasts beaches, bars and great cuisine.
The magnificent Old Town is quite literally overflowing with medieval buildings and comes complete with views of the emerald Adriatic Sea. You can spend your day here exploring the labyrinthine lanes and steep alleyways, finding yourself a local spot for some tasty lunch.
Make sure you make a stop off at Sibenik’s cathedral, an awe-inspiring building that is just asking for some excellent photos to be taken of it. St Nicolas Fort, where you’ll find the cathedral itself, is a fantastic example of Venetian architecture, dating back to the 15th century.
This is a fantastic day trip from Split by train. You can spend your day at Zadar wondering in awe at this ancient wonder of a city.
There’s been evidence found in Zadar that there was a settlement here from the 4th century BC; archaeological finds have found remnants of Greek, Roman and Venetian rule, too. And there’s plenty of that history reflected in above-ground sights.
The Old Town of Zadar sits on the peninsula, where you can wander around the old Venetian walls and city gates; there’s also the ruin of a Roman-era forum to marvel at.
When you’ve enough of all that history, check out Sea Organ for some musical fun along the promenade. And when you’re hungry, head east of the Old Town for Kolovare Beach where you’ll find plenty of bars and restaurants that serve up a bite or two to eat.
This may be a long train journey, but if you’re only in Croatia to visit Split (and maybe Dubrovnik), then you probably won’t be heading anywhere near Zagreb. So why not spend a day exploring the inland capital of Croatia?
The city is an arty sort of place with a creative core, making it a pretty interesting day trip from Split by train. It’s not a greatly touristed city – even though it’s got some marvellous medieval architecture mingling around with a decidedly modern pace of life, all set along charming cobbled lanes and grand boulevards.
Crammed full of culture, there’s some fascinating art galleries to explore in the Croatian capital. There’s also the Muzej Mimara has some great art on display – such as from Renoir and Van Dyck – whilst the Moderna Galerija features works by Croatian artists from the 19th and 20th centuries.
What better way than to escape the heat of the city in the summer than going on an adventurous and romantic day out from with your other half. Take a tour of the stunning Krka National park with its impressive waterfalls and lush natural surroundings.
Head out of the centre of Split and make the quick one hour drive through the countryside to the little town of Skradin where you can take the boat down the Krka River.
Once inside the park, you’ll be able to get off of the boat and gaze at the powerful waterfalls and it cascades down the rock face.
Wile away the hours enjoy the nature of the park. You can even have a refreshing swim in the falls and go on a hike in the forest on the wooden boardwalk.
This is a super cool day trip for couples from Split. Plitvice Lakes are actually terraced lakes, 16 beautifully mirrorlike pools connected by gushing waterfalls – and you can discover the 12 upper lakes (Gornja Jezera) on well-maintained boardwalks winding around the jagged rocks that surround them.
One of the most amazing things that you can see on this romantic day trip from Split for couples is the literally magical coloured water: it changes depending on the microorganisms living in them as well as the height of the sun!
Then take a boat trip to the lower lakes (Don Jezera) and step into a world of natural limestone dams and tranquil lake scenery. You can also catch sight of the Veliki Slap, meaning ‘Great Waterfall’ – and the name certainly rings true.
Why not make the most of your time in Croatia and check out the Dalmatian coast’s ‘other’ famous town, Dubrovnik. You can take a guided tour around the UNESCO World Heritage Site and soak up the Renaissance and Baroque architecture as you stroll around the fortified walls.
Game of Thrones fans will be pleased since this is the filming location for King’s Landing, so you’ll be able to transport yourself right into that fantasy world on this romantic day trip from Split for couples.
Stroll down the central street, or Stradun, with all of its lively restaurants and cafes for a spot of lunch – though you may want to find a more local place hidden down one of the back streets for a quieter, more atmosphere mealtime.
And for something a little different, visit one of the oldest pharmacies in the world!
If you do stay in Dubrovnik, check out our ultimate guide to the 15 best day trips from Dubrovnik.
On this great day trip from Split, you can pay a visit to the city of Mostar across the border in Bosnia & Herzegovina!
There’s a fantastic chance to try out some traditional Bosnian cuisine, plus you can also visit the Old Bazaar where you can haggle or just soak up the atmosphere.
Mostar is most famous, however, for its beautiful 16th century Ottoman Empire era bridge. Sadly this was destroyed during the Balkan Wars of the 1990s, so today it’s only a replica of its former glory.
You’ll also get the chance to visit the town of Medjugorje on this romantic day trip from Split. The town is actually famous as a Catholic pilgrimage site, where people like to visit the ‘Apparition Mountain’, where it’s believed that the Virgin Mary herself appeared to a group of children in the 1980s.
Solta actually comes equipped with 30 kilometres of off-road biking trails, which are well maintained and make it excellent for exploring the island on two wheels!
Hop on the ferry to the island and when you arrive, get on a mountain bike with your family by your side, get your map out and get pedalling.
There’s plenty of places to stop off around different routes that criss-cross the island – little villages with experiences on offer like olive oil tasting – as well glorious secluded beaches (so don’t forget your swimsuit).
Especially if you and your family are active, this will be the perfect day trip from Split with kids in tow.
What better way to have fun with your children by setting sail on a real-life pirate ship! Hoist the mainsail and anchors aweigh on this fun family day trip from Split.
It’s all aboard a faithful wooden replica of Christopher Columbus’s flagship, La Santa Maria, and is sure to be a great day out as you and your family hit the high seas, watching waves go by and seeing the dramatic coast of Croatia from afar.
On this day out from Split with kids you’ll be able to stop off at three different swimming spots on Marjan Peninsula – which just makes it more fun – as well as the charming Ciovo Island.
There’s snorkelling gear, inflatables and the all-important towels (all free to use). Mum and dad can enjoy sipping on some rum while you all tuck into a tasty BBQ for lunch.
A raucous day out on the Cetina River, this one gives you and your family the opportunity to go white water rafting – a great day trip from Split with kids!
First of all, you head up the mountain canyon in nearby Omis, surrounded by lush woodlands, and then raft all the way down the raging Cetina River to Radmanove Mlinice for a well-deserved meal by a charming old Croatian watermill.
This day out from Split is more suited to children over the age of six, as the water can get more than a little choppy. But you’ll be with a trained guide on a professional rafting boat, with all the proper safety equipment provided, so there’ll be nothing to worry about.
A fun day out for you and your family, gliding across the sparkling Adriatic Sea to Hvar Island is bound to be a peaceful and enjoyable way to spend a day with your children.
And there’s no need to worry about anything as you cruise across the crystal clear waters: snacks and drinks are provided on board the catamaran, so nobody’s getting hungry on this day trip from Split.
Explore the town of Hvar once you hit the land; a guide will whisk you around the top attractions of the Old Town before you delight in the amazing Pakleni Islands nearby.
Here you can luxuriate in beaches in hidden bays and bathe in the glittering waters. And for more island hopping fun, you’ll stop at Brac Island where you can enjoy one last peaceful dip in the sea.
Fresh fruit and cakes as the sun sets is a great end to this day trip from Split with kids.
Pack a whole lot into this top cheap day trip from Split. This boat tour leaves the busy streets of Split behind as you embark on an adventure across the Adriatic.
Make your first stop off at the island of Drvnik where you’ll be able to linger in the Blue Lagoon (or Krk Njsi Bay). The water here is famously blue because of the impeccably white sandy seabed and makes for a paradise for snorkelling.
Afterwards, head on to Solta Island where you can visit the small village of Maslinika. Here you can pick up some locally made produce or simply have a cup of coffee and soak up the atmosphere.
Set sail again for Duga Bay for a delicious lunch at a local restaurant, and another chance to swim in the waters of Civo Island.
Since you can get the local public bus very affordably to Solin, this one makes for a top cheap day trip from Split. Plus it only takes about fifteen minutes, making so it could actually be just a half-day trip from Split if you felt like it.
At Solin, you’ll be able to discover more Roman ruins that Croatia is famous for. In fact, Solin was previously known as Solena and was the capital of the Roman province of Dalmatia; Emperor Diocletian born here.
Set on the Adriatic Sea and straddling the River Jadro, this was previously one of the largest cities of the Roman Empire – and it’s clear to see its importance in the ruins left today.
There’s the well-preserved amphitheatre, a basilica, a Roman cemetery as well as impressive walls and towers. Solin of today is a friendly, youthful place that’s great for a day trip from Split.
Another easy day trip from Split, getting to Trogir is as simple as catching the local public bus for a nominal fee, and allows you to explore a fascinating UNESCO World Heritage Site.
This historic harbour town is actually situated on a small island and, featuring Venetian architecture, it boasts 2,000 years of history. There’s plenty of medieval towers and other buildings to spend the day adventuring around. There are also some very well preserved Romanesque and Gothic buildings to wonder at.
Game of Throne fans will recognise this place: it is the setting for the city of Qarth. Plus episodes of Doctor Who were filmed here, too! So if you’re a fan, making this cheap day trip from Split is a must.
Trogir is linked to the mainland by bridges, plus Civo Island can be reached via bridge too if you fancy visiting some secluded beaches.
For a fun day out in nature hiking, nothing could be better (or more affordable) than a cheap day trip from Split to the Marjan Peninsula.
Walk with your tour guide out of the old areas of Split itself and find yourself almost in no time amongst the pine forests of the beautiful Marjan Peninsula.
On this great hiking trip from Split, you’ll get to discover, thanks to your guide, some pretty amazing secret beaches, reached by some of the best hiking you’ll get this close to the city. So make sure to bring your swimming costume!
Here is where you’ll find the old Jewish Cemetery too – where you can learn about the history of Split’s Jewish population – as well as other hidden historic sights of this peninsula.
Marjan is a great place for hiking, photo opportunities and generally getting out into nature from the bustling, touristed Old Town of Split.
With so much to see and do along this historical coastline, your trip to Split is bound to be jam-packed full of interesting things. It’s super simple to escape the tourist crowds of the old town and head out on a fun day trip from Split.
Catch the local train a short distance to explore nearby towns; make the most of your family holiday by going on a pirate cruise – which is always a fun day out for kids, or spend time with your partner as you have an amazing day out together at surrounded by Dalmatian landscapes.
There’s no need to worry if you’re on a shoestring budget: there are some really cheap day trips from Split which still pack a whole day of adventure.
Be prepared, because charming Croatia is waiting for you…
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Gin lover. Coffee addict. Nicola has traveled the world for 7 years and is a staff writer for Hotel Jules. Born in London, Nicola first got the taste of travel studying abroad in Barcelona. Since then she's been hooked - traveling the world non-stop. Passionate about green travel and vegan lifestyle, Nicola spends more of her free time staring at maps wondering where she will head to next!