Split

A unique historical heritage
A broad and lively Riva (waterfront)
The Diocletian’s Palace

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Split

Linger in a coffee shop and stare out at the blue horizon

With its seafront cafés and ancient alleyways, shouting stallholders and travellers on the move, bustling, exuberant Split is one of Croatia’s and the Mediterranean’s most compelling cities, it’s easy to see this feeling when you step aground from your MSC cruise.

It has a unique historical heritage too, having grown out of the palace built here by the Roman Emperor Diocletian in 295AD. The palace remains Split’s central ingredient, having been gradually transformed into a warren of houses, tenements, churches and chapels by the various peoples who came to live here after Diocletian’s successors had departed.

Adapted long ago to serve as Split’s town centre, Diocletian’s Palace is certainly not an archaeological “site”. Although set-piece buildings such as Diocletian’s mausoleum (now the cathedral) and the Temple of Jupiter (now a baptistery) still remain, other aspects of the palace have been tinkered with so much by successive generations that it is no longer recognizable as an ancient Roman structure. Best place to start exploring with an MSC excursion the seaward side of the palace is Split’s broad and lively Riva.

Running along the palace’s southern facade, into which shops, cafés and a warren of tiny flats have been built, the Riva is where a large part of the city’s population congregates day and night to meet friends, catch up on gossip or idle away an hour or two in a café. Nearly everything worth seeing in Split is concentrated in the compact Old Town behind the waterfront Riva, made up in part of the various remains and conversions of Diocletian’s Palace itself, and the medieval additions to the west of it. You can walk across this area in about ten minutes, although it would take a lifetime to explore all its nooks and crannies.

Must see places in Split

Discover our excursions

4 results found

  • WALKING TOUR OF SPLIT

    CITY TOUR
      • May involve inclines, steps, uneven surfaces and/or extended periods of standing

        Difficulty Level
        Moderate

      • Duration
        4 h

      • Adults39Price per person

      • Children29Price per person

      SPL03

      This walking tour will take you to visit the beautiful historical quarter of Split, including the awe-inspiring limestone-and-marble Diocletian’s Palace. Built by the Roman Emperor Diocletian at the turn of the 4th century A.D. in preparation for his retirement, the palace lies in a bay on the southern side of a short peninsula running out from the Dalmatian coast. The palace remains were declared a UNESCO world heritage site in 1979. The old town of Split grew around the palace and boasts many architecturally pleasing buildings – so have your camera ready as you stroll. As part of the tour, you will also have a chance to visit the famous Cathedral of Saint Domnius, named after the city’s patron saint of St. Duje, a martyred 3rd-century Catholic bishop. The cathedral complex itself actually consists of a church that is dedicated to the Virgin Mary and a Romanesque bell tower that commemorates St. Duje. Please note: this tour is not suitable for guests with walking difficulties or using a wheelchair. Conservative attire recommended for visiting sites of religious importance.
    • CAR WITH GUIDE

      SOMETHING SPECIAL
      • No guide available

      • Limited seats

      • May involve a limited quantity of steps, uneven surfaces and/or periods of standing

        Difficulty Level
        Easy

      • Duration
        4 h

      • Adults439Price per person

      • Children439Price per person

      SPL33PV

      Disembark in the port and have a vehicle with a professional guide and driver waiting for you, your family and friends. Create your own tour and enjoy your day with a vehicle at your disposal. Please note: Vehicle, driver, guide and gasoline included. The price does not include any entrance fees or meals and is per vehicle and not per passenger. If you want to set a customized itinerary and add entrance tickets to any of the tourist attractions, please contact your shorex excursion staff on the ship. Service is valid only within Split regional area; if you wish to reach Medjugorje, please contact shorex office desk as this destination shall be quoted separately.
    • MEDJUGORJE

      SOMETHING SPECIAL
      • Snack included

      • Limited seats

      • May involve inclines, steps, uneven surfaces and/or extended periods of standing

        Difficulty Level
        Moderate

      • Duration
        8 h

      • Adults79Price per person

      • Children59Price per person

      SPL06

      The small and formerly quiet town of Medjugorje, which is situated in the Herzegovina region near the Croatian border, suddenly acquired global popularity as a religious pilgrimage site in 1981 after news broke that the Virgin Mary had appeared to six local Catholics. A 2.5-hour drive along the lovely Adriatic coastline will take you to view Medjugorje’s key attractions such as Apparition Hill, St. James’ Church and the statue of St. Leopold. You will have a chance to stick with your guide, pray at this important religious site or explore the location at your leisure. The path up to Apparition Hill is adorned with a set of impressive bronze plaques that illustrate the various Mysteries of the Rosary as a recollection of the life of Christ. If you prefer, you can alternatively stay near the church and visit the outside altar, the statue of our Blessed Lady and the confessionals. The tour concludes with your return to port and your ship. Please note: guests must bring their identity documents (ID or passport) for this excursion; please contact the shore excursion office for further detailed information about the identity documents needed, which will depend on your respective nationality. Children also require their own passport. For children travelling with one parent only, the local authorities require verified written consent from the other parent. Masses are celebrated in only one language at fixed times. A local tourist escort may accompany your guide In Medjugorje.
    • MINIVAN WITH GUIDE FOR 3 TO 6 PAX

      SOMETHING SPECIAL
      • No guide available

      • Limited seats

      • May involve a limited quantity of steps, uneven surfaces and/or periods of standing

        Difficulty Level
        Easy

      • Duration
        4 h

      • Adults519Price per person

      • Children519Price per person

      SPL34PV

      Disembark in the port and have a vehicle with a professional guide and driver waiting for you, your family and friends. Create your own tour and enjoy your day with a vehicle at your disposal. Please note: Vehicle, driver, guide and gasoline included. The price does not include any entrance fees or meals. The price is per vehicle and not per passenger. If you want to set a customized itinerary and add entrance tickets to any of the tourist attractions, please contact your shorex excursion staff on the ship. Larger vans can be arrangeg upon request.Service is valid only within Split regional area; if you wish to reach Medjugorje, please contact shorex office desk as this destination shall be quoted separately.

    The excursions in the programme above are intended to provide MSC Cruises guests with an idea of the different tours which can be arranged in each port of call; this programme is merely a guide and confirmation of each excursion and its description and prices will be made during your cruise. 
    Shore excursions programmes and itineraries may vary depending on local conditions and/or any unforeseen events in relation to the timing on the day of the tour.
     
    Some excursions are very popular and therefore availability cannot always be guaranteed, it is advisable to book in advance to avoid disappointment. The guides are guaranteed in English. Only for South America cruises, the guides are guaranteed in Brazilian Portuguese. Narration in other languages depends on the availability of guides. Please note that the final language of the tour will be confirmed on board during the cruise.

    Croatia

    Nature and glamour
    Nature and glamour

    A Mediterranean cruise to Croatia shows you a country blessed with a wealth of natural riches, boasting almost 2000km of rocky, indented shore and more than a thousand islands, many blanketed in luxuriant vegetation.


    An holiday to Croatia offers a lot of urbane glamour too with yacht-filled harbours and cocktail bars aplenty – especially in à-la-mode destinations such as Dubrovnik and Hvar. At the northern end of Croatia’s lengthy stretch of coastline, the peninsula of Istria contains many of the country’s most developed resorts, along with old Venetian towns like Poreč and Rovinj, and the raffish port of Pula, home to some impressive Roman remains. The island-scattered Kvarner Gulf, immediately south of Istria, is presided over by the city of Rijeka, a hard-edged port city with an energetic cultural life.

    Beyond the Kvarner Gulf lies Dalmatia, a dramatic, mountain-fringed stretch of coastline studded with islands. Northern Dalmatia’s main city is Zadar, whose busy central alleys are crammed with medieval churches. Croatia’s second city, Split, is southern Dalmatia’s main town, a vibrant and chaotic port with an ancient centre moulded around the palace of the Roman emperor, Diocletian.