So you’ve come to Split and decided to take a walking tour in Split Old Town. After a short Internet search you’ll find out that the two most popular things to do in Split and best rated tours are Split Walking Tour and Diocletian’s Palace Tour.
One of the most common questions we get from our guests is what is the difference between the two, so we’ve decided to answer it for you in this article.
Of course you should know that there is no such thing as two identical tours or two identical guides. Every guide has their own unique twist on the tour and shapes it according to their strengths, passions and knowledge. Also, every tour is different depending on the time of the year or size of the group. That being said, there are some places and topics that most guides will cover.
Diocletian’s Palace was built in the 4th century AD as a retirement home of an abdicated Roman emperor Diocletian. With the destruction of the nearby Roman city of Salona in the early Middle Ages, the palace became a refugee camp and was slowly transformed into a town. That’s how the city of Split was born, and it only grew from there.
To start the tour you’ll meet your blue umbrella guide at our usual meeting point – outside the Golden Gates (north entrance to the palace) under Gregory of Nin statue. The tour lasts 75 minutes, costs 100 kn (14 €) and is concentrated around Roman history of Split and how the palace became a medieval town. You’ll see the main attractions inside Diocletian’s Palace like Diocletian’s Mausoleum (Saint Domnius Cathedral), the Bell Tower and Peristyle Square, hear about the Palace Basements and the Temple of Jupiter (Saint John’s Baptistery).
This is the shortest tour you could possibly do in Split so it covers only the oldest and the most important site – the Palace. However, if you have a really tight schedule, can’t walk for a long time or you think that your little ones won’t cooperate much longer, this is a good option for you.
It covers most of Split top attractions both inside the palace of the emperor Diocletian and the parts of Split Old Town outside of the palace. The tour will cost you 160 kn (22 €). The first part of the tour is basically the tour of the palace and just like Diocletian’s Palace Tour it lasts for about 75 minutes.
Once you’re outside the palace you’ll take a stroll down the Riva Promenade, living room of every Mediterranean town. Seeing the two main squares, Pjaca (People’s Square) and the Fruit Square, you will learn how Split started to develop outside the Roman walls and how different cultures shaped today’s Split and Dalmatia. You’ll hear about our food, way of life and what we do for fun. Also, you’ll have more time to ask about split sightseeing or must do in split, where to eat and what to do next.
Although this type of tour is available in some (usually bigger) European cities, Croatian law does not allow it. So even if you do find a free walking tour in Split, or anywhere in Croatia for that matter, you should know that it is not legal.