Riva and Diocletian Palace, the best areas to stay in Split
Most people that come to the city want to head straight down to the main promenade, which is called Riva. The promenade runs all along the waterfront from the old town to the new and is one of Europe’s finest. Riva is the main place in the city to relax, walk, have a coffee as well as watch various events including sport, music and culture. It is one of the most attractive places as it offers some of the best views over the harbour and across to the islands. Riva has actually been here for the last 1700 years though the present appearance was built in the 19th century, when under French rule as it was extended and gravelled and even more recently it has had another makeover, which didn’t go down well with too many residents as it looks too modern.
The promenade is lined with trees, cafes and many restaurants and pubs, which serve cuisines including traditional food along with Italian, French, English, Spanish, Chinese, Indian, Thai and many others as well as all global beers and wines that you would find in any European city. This area is one of the safest in the city and has many transport links so it is very easy to get around. There are also shops dotted along Riva, where you can find souvenirs, beach equipment, jewellery, clothes, snack places and much more. There is also a decent selection of hotels that can be found along the promenade as well as the streets behind it, which are generally cheaper than those on the waterfront as you won’t get such a good view but are more than adequate. The city beach can be found along Riva too, which is sandy and has clean waters to swim in as well as offering a variety of water activities. Not too far from the northern end of the promenade is one of the major attractions in the city, the Roman palace and its surrounding area, called Diocletian Palace.
The palace area covers an area of 31000 square metres, which has a total of four gates that are named after metals, called: Iron, silver, gold and bronze. The neighbourhood is very easy to get too with bus stations and train stations just outside the walls and the area is very easy to navigate yourself around even though there are many little and narrow streets, there are only two main streets being Kresimir Street and Diocletian Street.
This historic centre is built around the remains of the Roman Palace, which is an UNESCO heritage site and is a fascinating place to explore. Apart from the palace, the main highlights in this city within a city include the oldest cathedral in the world and as a mausoleum for the Roman emperor, the ancient Roman Temple of Jupiter, a couple of original Egyptian sphinxes brought from Egypt by the man himself, the main square and basement halls. However, there are many more gothic and baroque buildings to see as there are over 200 buildings to see, which house over 3,000 people and are found in a labyrinth of streets. Inside the palaces’ walls, there are plenty of shops, pubs, restaurants and hotels with some positioned along the main streets and others found along narrow streets, passageways and little courtyards. The smallest park in the city can also be found in this area and is the only bit of greenery too, which is Getski Vrtal and serves as an elegant and tranquil spot for relaxing in.