Old Town Split might be one of the coolest Old Towns I’ve ever been to.
It’s literally the inside of a palace.
Doesn’t get much cooler than that.
History of Diocletian’s Palace.
Back in the days of 284-305CE ruled a Roman Emperor known as Diocletian.
As a retirement gift to himself he had this Palace built.
Half of it was for his personal use while the rest housed the military troops.
The palace measures 705ft(215m) from east to west and is 593ft(181m) wide at the southernmost point, altogether covering 333,681 sq ft(31,000 sq metres).
It faces the sea on its south side, with walls 570-700 feet(170-200 metres) long, and 50 to 70 feet(15-20 metres) high.
The palace was built from white stone from the island of Brač.
Marble was also imported from Italy and Greece, and columns and sphinxes from Egypt.
The construction lasted 10 years.
The Palace is one of the most famous architectural features on the Adriatic coast; and the world’s most complete remains of a Roman palace.
Diocletian’s Palace was also used as a filming location for the fourth season of Game Of Thrones.
Old Town Split Today.
Split is the second-largest city of Croatia and the largest city in the region of Dalmatia.
The population is a little over 180,000 with about 2500 people living within the palace boundaries.
There are 220 buildings within the palace that range from restaurants, bars, and shops to museums, galleries, and hostels.
After seeing photos I knew I had to stay in Old Town Split.
There was no way I was staying at a hostel on the outside of the Old Town.
I ended up staying at the perfectly located Split Hostel Booze & Snooze.
It is centrally located and right next to the open square Narodni Trg(People’s Square), also known as Pjaca(pronounced as “Piazza”).
If you’re looking for a place where other travelers start their night of drinking you have Charlie’s Bar.
From Booze & Snooze it’s a 2 minute walk through some nearby alleys.
It’s a very small, very loud, backpackers bar that you might find yourself at every night if you’re staying in the Old Town.
The biggest attraction of Old Town Split would certainly have to be The Cathedral of St. Dominus and the Peristyle.
Entering this square for the 1st time was one of the most jaw dropping areas of any city I’ve ever seen.
The marble work and the rest of the architecture in this section of the palace is breathtaking.
One could stand in the middle of the square slowly turning around and be mesmerized by everything around you.
After soaking in your surroundings there you can head down the stairs towards the harbor.
The stairs go down to underground cellars that are now filled with booths selling souvenirs and other random crap to tourists.
However, back in Diocletian’s time he used the vaults for prisons and torture chambers where he’d have christian saints persecuted.
Some of those areas can still be visited today.
Purposely Getting Lost.
Since Diocletian’s Palace is a Unesco World Heritage Site that means Old Town Split is as well.
As a result signs are not aloud to be put up, which makes for a fun time getting lost in the labyrinth of marble floored alleys.
However, the Old Town is not that large so you’ll always find your way out or back to somewhere that looks similar.
During the days it can become a bit crowded in some of these alleys.
So if you’re looking for a time to get lost try early morning, like 6 or 7, or later at night after dinner.
The Old Town has a noise ordinance, so most people usually go partying and drinking outside of the city center which really clears up the area at night.
After an extremely late night of partying near the beach I came back to my hostel around 4 or 5 in the morning and realized I was the only one around.
Instead of going to bed I grabbed my camera and went back out exploring.
I roamed through the alleys for a couple hours having the entire place to myself(except for a few cats).
It was the best time for me to take photos.
I felt so proud when I finally went to sleep.
After 5 days in Split, I undoubtedly fell in love with the place.
It wasn’t just Old Town Split either.
The areas outside the city center were really nice as well.
Split has definitely become one of my favorite locations in Europe and I will try to go back as much as possible(even in spite of losing my wallet there).
Have you ever been to Split?
Let me hear about it below.
My name is Jeremiah and I'm an Arizona desert rat in search of the next adrenaline pumping adventure.
Follow me as I show you What and What Not to do when visiting new places in search of Cheap Travel and Cheap Thrills.