Central Dalmatia

We’ve compiled the best of the best in Central Dalmatia - browse our top choices for the top things to see or do during your stay.

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  • 1. Blaca Hermitage

    Built into a cliff face overlooking the sea by Glagolitic monks fleeing Ottoman invaders in the 16th century, the Blaca Hermitage is one of Brač's...

    Built into a cliff face overlooking the sea by Glagolitic monks fleeing Ottoman invaders in the 16th century, the Blaca Hermitage is one of Brač's most serene sights. From the bay below the complex, it's a 2-km (1-mile) hike uphill and well off the beaten path as it's only reachable by foot. The hike is well worth the experience to understand the sacrifice the monks made in constructing the site without modern amenities. You can also arrive by car from Nerežišća over Vidova Gora to Dragovoda and then walk about 30 minutes up to the monastery (either way, don your hiking shoes). The monks who built the hermitage also grew rich vineyards and lush olive groves, despite the wild and arid landscape. Inside, visitors can see a fine collection of period furniture including a piano and telescope which belonged to Father Nikola Miličević (1887-1963), Blaca's last hermit and an avid astronomer. In its heyday, the hermitage had a printing press, a school, and an observatory. There are no longer any monks living there; today, it functions as a museum, where a guided tour is well worth the expense.

    Brac, Splitsko-Dalmatinska, Croatia
    091-516–4671

    Sight Details

    Rate Includes: 40 Kn
  • 2. Cathedral of St. Dominius

    Grad

    The main body of this cathedral is the 3rd-century octagonal mausoleum designed as a shrine to Emperor Diocletian. During the 7th century, refugees from Salona...

    The main body of this cathedral is the 3rd-century octagonal mausoleum designed as a shrine to Emperor Diocletian. During the 7th century, refugees from Salona converted it into an early Christian church, ironically dedicating it to St. Duje (St. Domnius), after Bishop Domnius of Salona, one of the many Christians martyred during the late emperor's persecution campaign. The cathedral's monumental main door is ornamented with magnificent carved wooden reliefs, the work of Andrija Buvina of Split, portraying 28 scenes from the life of Christ and dated to 1214. The interior contains a hexagonal Romanesque stone pulpit from the 13th century with rich carvings. The high altar, surmounted by a late-Gothic canopy, was executed by Bonino of Milan in 1427. Nearby is the 15th-century canopied Gothic altar of Anastasius by Juraj Dalmatinac. The elegant, 200-foot, Romanesque-Gothic bell tower was constructed and reconstructed in stages between the 13th and 20th centuries. Climb to the top of the bell tower (sometimes closed in winter during bad weather) for a spectacular view of the entire palace, Split, and the surrounding Adriatic Sea.

    3 Ul. Kraj Sv. Duje, Split, Splitsko-Dalmatinska, 21000, Croatia

    Sight Details

    Rate Includes: Cathedral 25 Kn (including crypt); bell tower 20 Kn, Nov.–Apr, daily 8–6; May–Oct., daily 8–7
  • 3. Cathedral of St. Lawrence

    The Cathedral of St. Lawrence, whose first construction dates back to the early 13th century, is a remarkable example of Romanesque architecture. The most striking...

    The Cathedral of St. Lawrence, whose first construction dates back to the early 13th century, is a remarkable example of Romanesque architecture. The most striking detail is the main (west) portal, adorned with superb Romanesque sculpture by the Croatian master known as Radovan. The great door, flanked by a pair of imperious lions that form pedestals for figures of Adam and Eve, is framed by a fascinating series illustrating the daily life of peasants in a kind of medieval comic strip. In the dimly lit Romanesque interior, the 15th-century chapel of Sveti Ivan Orsini (St. John Orsini) of Trogir features statues of saints and apostles in niches facing the sarcophagus, on which lies the figure of St. John. The bell tower, built in successive stages—the first two stories Gothic, the third Renaissance—offers stunning views across the ancient rooftops. An entrance ticket includes a visit to the cathedral, treasury, and the bell tower. Be sure to also look down as you stroll through and gaze at the amazing structures at eye level and below—the marble sculptures and checkerboard floors make for a memorable view.

    Trg Ivana Pavla II, Trogir, Splitsko-Dalmatinska, 21220, Croatia
    021-885–628

    Sight Details

    Rate Includes: Free, June–Sept., daily 8–6; May and Oct., daily 8–noon and 4–6; Nov.–Apr., phone in advance
  • 4. Diocletian's Palace

    Grad

    The home of Split's thriving Old Town, Diocletian's Palace is a marvelous maze of restaurants, cafés, shops, and boutiques. The palace dates back to the...

    The home of Split's thriving Old Town, Diocletian's Palace is a marvelous maze of restaurants, cafés, shops, and boutiques. The palace dates back to the late 3rd century AD, and originally served as both a luxurious villa and a Roman garrison. Its rectangular shape has two main streets: Dioklecijanova Ulica, which runs north to south, and Poljana Krajlice Jelene, which runs east to west, that divide the palace complex into four quarters. Each of its four walls has a main gate, the largest and most important being the northern Zlatna Vrata (Golden Gate), which once opened onto the road to the Roman settlement of Salona. The entrance from the western wall was the Željezna Vrata (Iron Gate), and the entrance through the east wall was the Srebrena Vrata (Silver Gate). The Mjedna Vrata (Bronze Gate) on the south wall directly faces the sea, and likely served as an entryway for sailors who docked by it during Roman times. There are still more than 1,000 people living within the walls today. Hire an experienced private guide that can give you a walking tour in the early morning hours in order to experience the true history of the palace walls without the crowds.

    Obala Hrvatskog Narodnog Preporoda, Split, Splitsko-Dalmatinska, 21000, Croatia
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  • 5. Fortica Fortress

    This 16th-century hilltop fortress is a symbol of Hvar Town. Climbing to the top takes about 25 minutes, and you get to take in the...

    This 16th-century hilltop fortress is a symbol of Hvar Town. Climbing to the top takes about 25 minutes, and you get to take in the amazing Mediterranean plant garden as you go. Once you're at the top, you can explore the fortress's stone walls and behold breathtaking views of the city below, along with the sea and islands stretching over the horizon as far as the eye can see.

    Hvar, Splitsko-Dalmatinska, 21450, Croatia
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  • 6. Krka National Park

    A series of seven waterfalls are the main attraction here, the most spectacular being Skradinski Buk, where 17 cascades of water fall 40 meters into...

    A series of seven waterfalls are the main attraction here, the most spectacular being Skradinski Buk, where 17 cascades of water fall 40 meters into an emerald-green pool. Moving upriver, a trail of wooden walkways and bridges crisscrosses its way through the woods and along the river to the Roški Slap waterfall, passing by the tiny island of Visovac, which is home to a Franciscan monastery that can be visited by boat. On the islet, there is also an old mill with a museum that demonstrates the different ways the mill was used centuries ago. From here, one can better understand how the power of these waters inspired Nikola Tesla, whose boyhood home is not far from the national park. In 1895 the first hydroelectric plant became operational here, only two days after Tesla’s hydroelectric plant on Niagara Falls. This made the residents of Skradin the first Eastern European citizens to have electricity. More than 860 species of plant life have been identified throughout the park and more than 200 bird species live there, making it one of the most valuable ornithological areas in Europe. Something many visitors miss is a hawk training center where you can observe birds of prey being trained by ornithological experts. For bird enthusiasts there is also the Guduća Nature Reserve, where various species are closely studied and can be observed from boats. The Krka National Park office is located in Šibenik. For more active travelers, there is a 8½-km (5-mile) hiking trail, going Sitnice–Roški Slap–Ozidana Cave, that takes about 2½ hours and has educational panels along the way that explain plant and animal life, geological phenomena, and historic sites.There are several entrances into the park, but the easiest and most impressive route of arrival is to drive from Šibenik to the town of Skradin, then take a 25-minute boat ride up the Krka River on a national-park ferry (price is included in the entrance fee). The ferry will bring you to the park entrance close to the Skradinski Buk waterfall, and from there you can get off and take a walk along the wooden bridges and explore the park further. There are a couple of snack bars, plus wooden tables and benches for picnics. However, for a full-blown meal, your best bet is to return to Skradin, a town that dates back to Roman times, which is itself well worth a look.

    Lozovac, Šibensko-Kniniska, Croatia
    022-201–777

    Sight Details

    Rate Includes: 200 Kn June–Sept., 100 Kn Oct. and Apr.–May, 30 Kn Dec.–Mar., May–Oct., daily 8–7; Nov.–Apr., daily 9–5
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  • 7. Meštrović Gallery

    Meje

    A short walk from the Riva, this must-see gallery is in a tranquil location overlooking the sea, surrounded by extensive gardens. Ivan Meštrović (1883-1962), one...

    A short walk from the Riva, this must-see gallery is in a tranquil location overlooking the sea, surrounded by extensive gardens. Ivan Meštrović (1883-1962), one of Europe's greatest 20th-century sculptors, originally designed this building as his summer residence during the 1920s and '30s. Some 200 of his sculptural works in wood, marble, stone, and bronze are on display, both indoors and out. The gallery is a green oasis in the center of the city with an open-air café that is frequented by children and families during the day and young locals in the evening. It's a great place to escape the crowded city streets and enjoy a refreshing drink surrounded by a stunning collection of a master's work.

    Šetalište Ivana Meštrovicá 46, Split, Splitsko-Dalmatinska, 21000, Croatia
    021-340–800

    Sight Details

    Rate Includes: 50 Kn, includes entrance to Crikvine-Kaštilac, Closed Mon., May–Sept., Tues.–Sun. 9–7; Oct.–Apr., Tues.–Sat. 9–4, Sun. 10–3
  • 8. Modra špilja

    Hidden away on the islet of Biševo (5 nautical miles southwest of Komiža), the Blue Cave is 78 feet long and 39 feet wide. Sunlight...

    Hidden away on the islet of Biševo (5 nautical miles southwest of Komiža), the Blue Cave is 78 feet long and 39 feet wide. Sunlight enters through the water, reflects off the seabed, and casts the interior in a fantastic shade of blue. Throughout the summer, local fishermen and agencies take tourists (some coming from Split and Hvar by speedboat) into the caverns. It can be a long wait in summer when there's a line of small boats waiting to enter the cave. Ask at the marina or the tourist information office to see who is offering trips. Sometimes, small boat operators will wait at the entrance of the cave for visitors arriving on sailboat or yacht (which are too large to enter the cave).

    Biševo island, Splitsko-Dalmatinska, Croatia

    Sight Details

    Rate Includes: 50 Kn; extra for a dock if you\'re sailing
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  • 9. Stari Grad

    As its name suggests, Stari Grad, or Old Town, is one of the oldest towns in Europe, with some locals claiming it to be the...

    As its name suggests, Stari Grad, or Old Town, is one of the oldest towns in Europe, with some locals claiming it to be the oldest. Founded in the fourth century BC, this is the site of the original Greek settlement on Hvar, called Pharos by the Greeks. While much of the attraction in Stari Grad focuses on its ancient history, the city is still very much alive throughout the year. It is the entry point to the island for bus transportation from the mainland, as well as the car ferry terminal. It features a beautiful, walkable riviera and forest path, as well as a number of cultural attractions, such as the 15th-century Dominican Monastery of St. Peter the Martyr. The town is about 23 km (14 miles) east of Hvar Town.

    Stari Grad, Splitsko-Dalmatinska, 21460, Croatia
  • 10. Biokovo Nature Park

    Behind Makarska, a large area of the rocky heights that form the majestic Biokovo Mountain have been designated as a nature park. Part of the...

    Behind Makarska, a large area of the rocky heights that form the majestic Biokovo Mountain have been designated as a nature park. Part of the Dinaric Alps, which run from Slovenia down to Montenegro, Biokovo abounds in rare indigenous plant species, and is primarily limestone with little green coverage. It's possible to reach the highest peak, Sveti Jure (5,781 feet) in five and a half hours from Makarska. However, this is a strenuous hike, especially in summer, for which you will need good boots and plenty of water. It is not recommended to hike it alone. It is best to organize an excursion through Biokovo Active Holidays, a company that offers fun organized trips up the mountain, traveling part of the way by jeep.

    Makarska, Splitsko-Dalmatinska, 21300, Croatia
    021-616–924
  • 11. Branislav Dešković Art Gallery

    In a fine Baroque building on the seafront, the Branislav Dešković Art Gallery displays over 300 paintings and sculptures by big-name 20th-century Croatian artists who...

    In a fine Baroque building on the seafront, the Branislav Dešković Art Gallery displays over 300 paintings and sculptures by big-name 20th-century Croatian artists who were inspired by the sea and landscapes of Dalmatia. The gallery was named after Brač-born sculptor Branislav Dešković (1883-1939), whose works are on display along with those of Ivan Meštović, Ivan Rendić, and more.

    Bol, Splitsko-Dalmatinska, Croatia
    091-635–2700

    Sight Details

    Rate Includes: 20 Kn, June–Sept., Tues.–Sun. 9–2; Oct.–May, Tues.–Sat. 9–2
  • 12. Cathedral of St. James

    Religious Building/Site/Shrine

    Šibenik's most famous piece of architecture, the Cathedral of St. James was built in several distinct stages and styles between 1431 and 1535...

    Šibenik's most famous piece of architecture, the Cathedral of St. James was built in several distinct stages and styles between 1431 and 1535, and it's been a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 2000. The lower level is the work of Venetian architects who contributed the finely carved Venetian-Gothic portals, whereas the rest of the building follows plans drawn up by local architect Juraj Dalmatinac, who proposed the Renaissance cupola. Note the frieze running around the outer wall, with 74 faces carved in stone from the island of Brač. One of the cathedral's highlights, the tiny baptistery with minutely chiseled stone decorations, was designed by Dalmatinac but executed by Andrija Aleši. As you leave, take a look at the bronze statue just outside the main door: that's Dalmatinac himself, his likeness sculpted by legendary 20th-century sculptor Ivan Meštrović.

    Cathedral of Saint James, Trg Republike Hrvatske, Šibenik, Šibensko-Kniniska, 22000, Croatia

    Sight Details

    Rate Includes: Free
  • 13. City Museum

    Grad

    Split's city museum is worth a visit both to marvel at the collection of medieval weaponry and to see the interior of this splendid 15th-century...

    Split's city museum is worth a visit both to marvel at the collection of medieval weaponry and to see the interior of this splendid 15th-century town house. The dining room, on the first floor, is furnished just as it would have been when the Papalić family owned the house, giving some idea of how the aristocracy of that time lived.

    Papaličeva 1, Split, Splitsko-Dalmatinska, 21000, Croatia
    021-360–171

    Sight Details

    Rate Includes: 25 Kn, Closed Sun., May–Oct., Tues.–Fri. 9–9, Sat.–Mon. 9–4; Nov.–Apr., Tues.–Fri. 10–4, Sat. 9–1, Sun. 10–1
  • 14. Crikvine-Kaštilac

    Meje

    This small chapel contains a magnificent collection of Ivan Meštrović's work that was produced over a period of 40 years and depicts the life of...

    This small chapel contains a magnificent collection of Ivan Meštrović's work that was produced over a period of 40 years and depicts the life of Christ in a series of bas-relief wood carvings that many consider among Meštrović's finest work. Viewing the entire series should not be rushed and it's worth visiting in conjunction with his other works in the gallery.

    Šetalište Ivana Meštrovicá 39, Split, Splitsko-Dalmatinska, 21000, Croatia

    Sight Details

    Rate Includes: 50 Kn, includes entrance to Meštrović Gallery, Closed Mon., May–Sept., Tues.–Sun. 9–7; Oct.–Apr., Tues.–Sat. 9–4, Sun. 10–3
  • 15. Dominican Monastery

    With its beautiful gardens overlooking the sea, the Dominican Monastery on the western edge of Bol was founded in 1475. The monastery church is home...

    With its beautiful gardens overlooking the sea, the Dominican Monastery on the western edge of Bol was founded in 1475. The monastery church is home to a valuable 16th-century painting by Jacopo Tintoretto, and the small on-site museum displays ancient Greek coins and amphorae found on the nearby islands of Hvar and Vis. In addition to maintaining the museum and church, the Dominican Monastery's priests actively study and carry out the Dominican mission throughout Croatia and Europe.

    Anđelka Rabadana 4, Bol, Splitsko-Dalmatinska, 21420, Croatia
    021-778–000

    Sight Details

    Rate Includes: May–Sept., daily 9–noon and 5–7
  • 16. Ethnographic Museum

    Grad

    Occupying a splendid location within the walls of Diocletian's Palace, this museum displays traditional Dalmatian folk costumes and local antique furniture among other objects that...

    Occupying a splendid location within the walls of Diocletian's Palace, this museum displays traditional Dalmatian folk costumes and local antique furniture among other objects that give visitors a look into everyday life in historic Dalmatia. If you are staying in Split for more than a day, be sure to pick up your free SplitCard, which gives you free entry to certain museums and galleries and reduced rates at other establishment, including some restaurants and cafés. Just ask the staff at your hotel or go to the nearest Tourist Information Center to pick one up.

    Iza Vestibula 4, Split, Splitsko-Dalmatinska, 21000, Croatia
    021-344–161

    Sight Details

    Rate Includes: 20 Kn, free if you have the SplitCard, Closed Sun., June–Sept., Mon.–Fri. 9–7, Sat. 9–1; Oct.–May, Mon.–Fri. 9–4, Sat. 9–1
  • 17. Fortress of St. Michael

    This fortress guards the city below from atop a steep, rocky hill. Dating back to the 11th century and re-fortified over the years, it was...

    This fortress guards the city below from atop a steep, rocky hill. Dating back to the 11th century and re-fortified over the years, it was once the city's main point of defense. Today, a climb to the top grants you vistas of the sea, surrounding islands, and the medieval town. On occassion, special events and concerts are held on an open-air stage on the fortress.

    Zagrađe 21, Šibenik, Šibensko-Kniniska, 22000, Croatia
  • 18. Fortress of St. Nicholas

    Standing at the entrance of Šibenik's St. Anthony's Channel, the Fortress of St. Nicholas sits on the islet of Ljuljevac and showcases a Renaissance-era Venetian-style...

    Standing at the entrance of Šibenik's St. Anthony's Channel, the Fortress of St. Nicholas sits on the islet of Ljuljevac and showcases a Renaissance-era Venetian-style building. Constructed in 1540, the fortress was added to the UNESCO World Heritage List in 2017. It is definitely worth a visit from land, or better yet, from the sea via kayak.

    Šibenik, Šibensko-Kniniska, 22000, Croatia
  • 19. Franciscan Monastery

    A short walk east of town, along the quay past the Arsenal, lies Hvar Town's Franciscan Monastery. Within its walls, a pretty 15th-century Renaissance cloister...

    A short walk east of town, along the quay past the Arsenal, lies Hvar Town's Franciscan Monastery. Within its walls, a pretty 15th-century Renaissance cloister leads to the former refectory, now housing a small museum with several notable artworks, including a beautiful fresco of the Last Supper, while the grounds outside make a relaxing place for a stroll among centuries-old cypress trees.

    Križa bb, Hvar, Splitsko-Dalmatinska, 21450, Croatia

    Sight Details

    Rate Includes: 30 Kn, May–Oct., daily 10–12 and 5–7. Outside tourist season 10-12.
  • 20. Golden Gate

    Grad

    Formerly the main entrance into the palace, the northern Zlatna Vrata is the most visited of the four gates—two guards in Roman costume stand here...

    Formerly the main entrance into the palace, the northern Zlatna Vrata is the most visited of the four gates—two guards in Roman costume stand here throughout the summer. Just outside the Zlatna Vrata stands Meštrović's gigantic bronze statue of Grgur Ninski (Bishop Gregory of Nin). During the 10th century, the bishop campaigned for the use of the Slav language in the Croatian Church, as opposed to Latin, and found himself at odds with Rome. This statue was created in 1929 and first placed on Peristil, then moved here in 1954. Note the big toe on the left foot, which is considered to be a good luck charm and has been worn gold and smooth through years of rubbing.

    Split, Splitsko-Dalmatinska, 21000, Croatia

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