Social media. In 2019, we really couldn’t live without it. Not only has it become an extension of our limbs, but it’s become a constant stimulant for our minds; what we would do if we didn’t know what everyone – including friends, family, and our favorite celebrities – was doing every second of the day? Fortunately, we don’t have to worry about living in a world with the fear of the unknown.
It’s safe the say that social media has its benefits – and aiding travelers in choosing which destinations they should run off to next is undoubtedly one of them. Just think about it – if it wasn’t for Instagram, how would we find the inspiration to travel? And if we didn’t post to Instagram on our travels, did we really even go there at all?
The best photo spots in Split, Croatia
Thanks to Instagram, not only are we driven to destinations, but we’re also let in on the secret spots, hidden hideaways, and, best of all, the top sites for an Instagram snap.
If you’re visiting the Dalmatian capital, which you might know better as Split, these are the 10 jewels of the city that deserve some real estate on your Instagram profile.
We’ll start with an easy one – the Split Riva, our famous waterfront promenade. While its known to be the best place in Split for people watching with a coffee in tow, its iconic palm trees have served as the perfect prop for Instagram glory. When orchestrating a photo on the Riva, the world is your oyster. From posing in front of the palms to sitting on one of the many benches, framing a picture with the sea and a ferryboat in the background, or sipping a coffee in true Split fashion, you’ll never run out of ideas on this busy boardwalk.
#splitriva on instagram
Now, if you’re already on the Riva, there is another super spot for snapping photos – Zoi. A Mediterranean terrace restaurant that opened back in 2017, Zoi is located in perhaps the primest real estate in the center of Split – and locals and tourists alike have certainly taken notice. Not only is the decor inside this Riva hot spot a hit, with its stone walls and sleek contemporary accents, but the terrace is indeed where it’s at. Photographers get to choose between the ancient walls of Diocletian’s Palace or the Adriatic Sea and Riva palm trees as a backdrop, and you might find that you like the grub there, too.
ZOI on Instagram
Locals call it Prokurative, tourists might know it as Republic Square, and anyone that has visited Venice knows that it has a striking resemblance to St. Mark’s Square – meet one of Split’s most colorful squares. Erected in the 19th century, Prokurative is a top attraction in Split today. Known for coffee drinking, catching up with friends, and, of course, being a paradise for photographers, Prokurative is a bright and bustling symbol of Split. Thanks to its pink and green hues, iconic archways, breathtaking views of the Split harbor and Venetian flare, you won’t run out of ideas here.
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Vidilica – Marjan (The best view of Split)
Marjan is known as the ‘green lungs of Split’, and you’ll often hear Split called the city under this famous hill. Perhaps the best-known symbol of the city next to Diocletian’s Palace, Marjan is a gem of the outdoors and is a dream for hikers, cyclists, and anyone that favors a good view. This is where Vidilica comes in. Just up the stairs from Sv. Frane church, and through the old fishermen’s neighborhood of Varoš, you’ll find Split’s best viewpoint. Not only is the cafe a reward once you get to the top, but you’ll be compensated with an outlook onto the entire city – from the charms of the Riva to Diocletian’s Palace. And yes, there are plenty of photo ops to take advantage of here, you are on top of the world, after all.
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Alleyways and Everywhere in Diocletian’s Palace
There is a lot to be said about Diocletian’s Palace. Not only did Roman emperor Diocletian settle here for retirement in the 4th century, but today, it is the heartbeat of the city – where you’ll find the best cafes, restaurants, and nightlife. You’ll get lost in the maze of alleyways within the palace more than a few times, but there is no room to complain – it only optimizes your time to take photos. From ancient stone walls and cobblestone streets to vibrant gardens, beautiful balconies and clothes hanging on a wire above you, there is really no lousy photo you can take within these Roman ruins.
Diocletian Palace on Instagram
Within Diocletian’s Palace are a few key trademarks, and Peristyle is certainly one of them. The central square of the palace, Emperor Diocletian once used it to address crowds of citizens paying him tribute, and it also gave the Emperor direct access to his quarters. Today, Peristyle boasts coffee during the day and acoustic songs and dancing in the evening. Its authentic arches and columns create a picturesque backdrop to any photo, almost as if a Hollywood film crew designed it for their latest blockbuster hit. You’ll also cross paths with black granite sphinx Diocletian brought over from Egypt in 297, which makes for a pretty good prop for your photo op.
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Sv. Duje Bell Tower
A trip to Peristyle, however, wouldn’t be complete without a trip up to the Cathedral of St. Domnius, known to locals as Sv. Duje, which was named after the patron saint of the city. Erected in the 7th century, Sv. Duje is regarded as the oldest Catholic cathedral in the world, and if that alone isn’t reason enough to visit, the views from the top are absolutely divine. Namely, Sv. Duje’s bell tower, which was added in the 12th century, is one of the most popular attractions for tourists in Split. While the walk to the top is no walk in the park, we promise the views are worth it. Heads up: if you’re visiting the cathedral over the next three years, there are ongoing restoration works on the staircase, which is the first time the stairs are seeing an upgrade in 110 years. However, an alternative way to the top is being designed.
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Split’s Vestibule sits just above Peristyle and was once used as the entrance to the residential part of the palace – but only for Diocletian’s most honored guests. This domed room made of stone which boasts a circular opening to the sky sees its fair share of selfie sticks, considering the top of the cathedral is spotted at the top if you aim your camera just right. Apart from attracting groups of photographers and Instagram hungry millennials, the Vestibule’s acoustics offer the perfect setting for some of Split’s best singers, and namely, a cappella groups we like to call ‘klapa’. If you’re already parked here taking photos, be sure to say for a song, or two.
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Another hot spot for Split foodies is Perivoj, though its grounds captivate anyone with an eye for art. Unlike the Roman ruins you’ll often frequent in Split, Perivoj is set in a garden that boasts architecture from the Art Nouveau movement in the 20th-century. Namely, before Perivoj was Perivoj, back in 1922, it was a villa that measured over a thousand square meters. Conceived by one of the most important architects of the Croatian secession, Kamilo Tončić, it’s architecture today is under the protection of the Ministry of Culture of the Republic of Croatia. A mix of art and horticulture, with fragrant and aromatic Mediterranean herbs, palm trees, cypresses, Perivoj will have you staying for a coffee and cake, or a three-course meal.
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For the real art buffs out there, you might be aware that the Museum of Modern Art in New York City recently held an exhibition titled “Toward a Concrete Utopia” – an ode to the architecture in Yugoslavia from 1948 to 1980. In this exhibition was one of Split’s most popular neighborhoods, Split 3. Just outside of the center, Split 3 was conceived in the 1970s as one of the “last large-scale urban planning schemes in Yugoslavia”. Combining living, work, and leisure spaces, the housing blocks here take you back to the set of a 70s film, and anyone with a knack for architecture will admire its unique Yugoslavian flare.
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Because we can’t name them all (though we wish we could), we thought we’d give you a list of our runner-ups – because we’ll do anything for the ‘Gram.
Namely, within Diocletian’s Palace, you’ll find the Split City Museum, housed in the palace of the Papalić family who settled in Split in the early 14th century. This Gothic palace, with its perfectly decorated courtyard, is sure to spice up your Insta feed.
Kinoteka is another jewel within Diocletian’s Palace. Today an Asian fusion restaurant, Kinoteka is situated within another 15th-century Gothic palace, and perhaps one of the dreamiest courtyards you can find.
If you’re feeling adventurous, outside of the center, be sure to visit Sustipan park, which offers a full view of the Adriatic off of Split, including the islands in the distance and the cliffs below your feet. Or, head south outside of the city to Dvor for a quaint garden setting amongst lush vegetation and the busy beach below.
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