10 Cheap Things to Do in Split for a Holiday to Remember

Croatia’s biggest coastal city of Split is a nucleus of fun, sun, culture and history with medieval towns, Roman ruins and national parks in abundance. It’s also a great place to go when you’re on a budget as many attractions just charge a few kunas to get in. These are the best cheap things to do in Split on a budget.

Cheap Things to Do in Split

Cheap Activities to Do in Split

Here are all the best ideas for Split on a budget.

1. Laze on the many beaches

Split is well known for it’s beautiful crystal-blue coastline. From the young and vibrant Bacvice Beach, packed with restaurants and bars, to the calm and pretty Kasjuni Beach (above) at the foot of Marjan Hill, you’ll find your favourite place to tan your white bits (free!).

Kasjuni beach near Split, Croatia

If you’re visiting with an active lot check out Bene Beach. The nearby tennis courts, ponies, playground and horse riding facilities will keep everyone busy, and there’s also a cafe and a picnic area to recharge your batteries.

One of the best things to do in Split Croatia!

2. Take photos of Diocletian’s Palace

Well, you can’t take it with you… Roman Emperor Diocletian ordered this palace to be built in 295AD as a retirement home for him to spend his final days. Now it’s a UNESCO world heritage site and one of Split’s top tourist attractions (free!).

Diocletian Palace Croatia

The vast, fabulous palace now houses the heart of the city within the walls and an arcaded courtyard at its centre. It’s where the local residents fled when trying to escape the barbarians in ye olden days. They sought refuge among the rectangular Temple of Jupiter, the cruciform lower level of the Vestibule and the circular Temples to Cybele and Venus.

Four monumental gates mark the entrances on each of the outer walls; the Golden Gate, the Iron Gate, the Silver Gate and the Bronze Gate. Of course, it’s beautiful by day, but pay a visit in the evening, when a romantic air engulfs the palace.

3. Visit St Domnius Cathedral and the Bell Tower

Also housed in Diocletian’s Palace is St Dominus’ Cathedral and the Bell Tower, but you’ll need a good head for heights to make it to the top (15kunas/€2). At 60m high the tower looms over the city, but it’s reassuring presence can be seen all over the city. It took 4 centuries to build and it now stands proud from Split’s cathedral.

inside St Domnius Cathedral in Split, Croatia

Originally built as Emperor Diocletian’s mausoleum, St Domnius Cathedral became a church in the 7th century. The Emperor is sure to be turning in his grave – he was well known for persecuting Christians. Oh, the irony.

4. Stroll along the Riva Promenade

It’s a vital part of any holiday to allocate some time to people watching, and in Split the best place to do it is on the famous waterfront Riva Promenade (known locally as Obala Hrvatskog Narodnog Preporoda — but we’ll stick with Riva). This is great spot to practice one of the best cheap things to do in Split.

Croatia Riva Promenade

The newly revamped walkway is a great place to grab a coffee and watch the locals and tourists go about their day, with the beautiful setting of the Adriatic in the background. The pedestrian avenue is flanked by bars, cafes and eateries, too.

Make sure you check it out in the evening, as you can see the best sunsets accompanied by a pint of the local beer. And if you’re in the party mood, it’s also the place to board the party boats, which brings us onto…

5. Check out the Split nightlife

Some tourists visit Split on the trail of the nightlife alone, yes, it’s that good. The city brims with the party spirit, whether you’re in the Bacvice complex near the beach or in the city’s old town.

night at Split, Croatia

The Riva is a great place to start your evening, try ST-Riva which has chairs and tables on the Promenade or, even better, a first floor balcony. After a few warm-up drinks work your way 100m down the Riva to Puls, Fluid and Ghetto. Popular bars where the music is loud and the party spills out onto the street.

At 1am it’s time to hit the clubs, a popular choice is Hemingway Split, which has the longest bar in Split and a newly renovated outdoors area with VIP lounges. Or try Vanilla Club, it has a huge terrace and delicious cocktails served all night. Both clubs are free to get in, but you’ll need to be well dressed – ie. not fresh from the beach.

hostels in Split, Croatia

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7. Relish in the stunning views from Marjan Hill

It’s a tough climb up Marjan Hill (free!) but you’ll be rewarded for your efforts with incredible views of the lush greenery against the crystal blue waters. From your viewpoint you’ll also enjoy views over the islands, several small chapels, hermit caves, pine trees and wild flowers.

steps to Marjan Hill

If your heart is pumping and lungs are crying at the thought of climbing the 300+ steps, take solace in the fact that there are several stop off points along the way – including one with a café so you can get your breath back. You can also have a nose at the private villas dotted up the hill as you huff and you puff past.

8. Enjoy the artistic history in Split

There are many art galleries in the city worth your attention — visit the tourist information office to get a Splitcard for €5 that will get you free or heavily discounted entry. If you’re staying for more than 3 days the card is free.

Split, Croatia Mestrovic Gallery

The Meštrović Gallery houses almost 200 collected works from Ivan Meštrović, the 20th century Croatian sculptor. The gallery used to be his house, he bequeathed it to the state on his death. The beautiful gardens are an added bonus. Your ticket is also valid for the Holy Cross Chapel in the 17th- century Kaštelet complex, where you can see Meštrović’s famed bas-relief woodcarvings of the cycle of New Testament.

The Museum of Fine Arts is a permanent exhibition of modern art. Located just outside the Diocletian’s Palace the gallery includes icons, paintings, portraits and sculptures of the most notable Croatian artists and some well-known European artists, too.

9. Indulge in the extreme

A little more expensive, but cheap in regard to all the memories you’ll have you should go white water rafting in the Cetina Valley. The rocky canyon is the perfect place to enjoy the sea in a more extreme way and under the guidance of an expert. The three-hour trip concludes with a meal at Radmanove Mlinice – a woodland near the river.

Cetina Valley Split, Croatia

Less than 70km from Split, the rocky slopes of Mount Biokovo in Makarska make for an exciting hike. The best views you’ll ever see of Croatia’s islands and the sea will roll out before you and on a clear day you can even see Italy over the waters. Don’t forget your camera as you’ll also be in the company of hardy chamois goats and mouflon sheep. Organised tours are available (275kunas/€38) or make like Bear Grylls and head out there yourself.

READ MORE: How to Do an Istria Road Trip in Croatia

10. Eat seafood in Split

With all this coastline and a hop, skip and a jump to the sea the fish here is the freshest you can get. Buffet Fife in the Veli Varos neighbourhood, known as the old fisherman’s quarter, sources their fish from the seafood market next door and the menu changes depending on the previous day’s catch. It’s a popular spot with those on a budget – expect to spend around €9 for a plate of grilled fish, a side and a glass of wine.

Croatia seafood

Seafood pizza still counts – Pizzeria Galija is a popular restaurant for Split’s young ones. The pizzas are generally known as the best in town and start at €6. You can also get a few local beers to wash it all down.

When I did my MedSailors trip from Split to Dubrovnik we found some great priced meals along the way. Eating is one of the great cheap things to do in Split.

READ MORE: The Best Cheap Things to Do in Dubrovnik

Best cheap things to do in Split

Split seamlessly marries the ancient with the contemporary, giving travellers a unique blend of historical marvels and modern-day charms. From the enduring grandeur of Diocletian’s Palace to the lively ambiance of the Riva Promenade, the city offers a medley of experiences.

Whether you’re a history enthusiast, a lover of scenic landscapes, or simply looking to immerse yourself in Croatian culture, Split promises an unforgettable journey through time and beauty.

Quicklist of the best budget ideas for Split

  • 1. Laze on the many beaches
  • 2. Take photos of Diocletian’s Palace
  • 3. Visit St Domnius Cathedral and the Bell Tower
  • 4. Stroll along the Riva Promenade
  • 5. Check out the Split nightlife
  • 7. Relish in the stunning views from Marjan Hill
  • 8. Enjoy the artistic history in Split
  • 9. Indulge in the extreme
  • 10. Eat seafood in Split

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