- Type: Castles/Palaces, Monuments and Memorials, Sightseeing, Neighborhood/Area
- Time to Spend: Half Day to Full Day
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As the ancient epicenter of Split -- the capital of southern Croatia -- the massive Diocletian's Palace is not just an ancient castle -- it's a small neighborhood littered with historic buildings. But this dense borough also incorporates shades of modern life. You'll find coffee shops in this thousand-year-old building, food markets in the basements and family homes next to former royal apartments. And you can actually spend the night, as several hotels (like Hotel Slavija) now reside within the walls. There are walking tours, but we suggest you simply spend a day getting lost among the marvelous Roman architecture. No matter what, you will be shocked by the history around you.
This complex has been the beating heart of Split for more than 1,000 years. One TripAdvisor user attests: "Diocletian's Palace must be one of the best historical sites in Europe; not only is there quite a bit of the original palace left to give the visitor a good idea of the size and grandeur of the original design but it is a living, breathing town within the walls of the old palace."
Located on Split Harbor, Diocletian's Palace also hosts the Cathedral and Bell Tower of St. Domnius in the Peristil, a beautiful public square. There is also an underground museum, which you can enter at the south Bronze Gate, but most visitors opt not to visit it in favor of spending their time elsewhere. You can explore this neighborhood for free, but we encourage you to spend come kunas in markets and shops. However, be careful: Some restaurants are tourist traps, serving below-average food for above-average prices.