Visiting Croatia with kids? You’ll find plenty of things to do in Split with kids! Split is Croatia’s second largest city and is the perfect spot to enjoy some family beach time while immersing yourself in some ancient history.
Game of Thrones fans will enjoy the experience of seeing many filming locations, including the fortress used for Meereen. With all of these things being of interest to us, we were excited to spend three days in Split with kids (our kids were 2 & 4 years old at the time).
Things to do in Split with Kids
- 11 THINGS TO DO IN SPLIT WITH KIDS
- Where to Stay in Split with Kids
- How to Get Into Split with Kids
- More Croatia with Kids
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11 THINGS TO DO IN SPLIT WITH KIDS
We enjoyed a wide variety of things to do in Split with our kids during our three days. To help you determine how many days to spend in Split on your Croatia family holiday, we list the things to do in Split with kids in the chronological order we did them.
Day 1 – Split with Kids
1. Rub Gregorius of Nin’s Big Toe for Luck
Having arrived late the previous afternoon from an incredible visit to the Plitvice Lakes with kids, we were eagerly out the door by 7:30am ready to explore the Split Old Town. Traveling to Croatia with kids who wake up early, we typically have places all to ourselves at this hour of the morning. Not this time, we were really surprised by the amount of locals already out and about.
It was raining lightly, so we walked to Diocletian’s Palace in an attempt to see the most important parts of Split Old Town first in case the rain worsened. We followed the Diocletian’s Palace walking path recommended by our Lonely Planet, starting on the north end of Dioklecjanova by the towering statue of Gregorius of Nin.
Funny as it sounds, the Gregorius of Nin statue is a fun thing to do in Split with kids – it’s good for a laugh anyways. They say that if you rub Gregorius of Nin’s big toe, you will get good luck. One of our kids rubbed his toe and the other refused, so I guess we’ll see if it’s true or not over the next 15 years!
2. Diocletian’s Palace
We entered Diocletian’s Palace via the Golden Gate and we followed the kids as they ran into various alleyways, up stairs etc. This is a super fun place to visit in Split for kids to explore, although if you’d like your kids to run and explore, it’s best to get here early before the huge crowds.
Be sure to stay close to your kids in Diocletian’s Palace as there are lots of twists and turns and it’s easy to get lost.
We tried to herd them back to the main artery and eventually we arrived at Peristil, a courtyard nestled between the Temple of Jupiter and the Cathedral of Domnius. We’re both big fans of Egyptian artifacts, so we loved the black sphinx perched up high in this courtyard.
At this point, it began to rain quite hard, so we ducked into the Vestibule for cover. The Vestibule is a large room with a domed ceiling with a large hole in the center. The rain cover wasn’t perfect, but it was enough for those of us with the sense to stay out of the rain.
The kids, on the other hand, thought it was hilarious to run back and forth under the open dome of the Vestibule, getting wetter and wetter as they went. We weren’t properly dressed for the weather, so we needed to get better rain cover, so we paid to enter the Saint Domnius Cathedral and the Jupiter’s Temple. Both are very small Split attractions, so it didn’t kill much time.
Still raining, we ran to the Palace’s Substructures. As big fans of the Game of Throne, we were excited to visit the substructures as this is where Daenerys Targaryen keeps her dragons while she’s in Meereen (the main hall with all the souvenir stands is the location which was used for filming).
We paid to explore the basement rooms, which again was a fun thing for the kids to do in Split. This place is normally supposed to be haunting, but crews were getting ready for an event and had beautiful flowers set-up everywhere. So instead of ‘haunting’, we got ‘happy’ 🙂
Emerging back into the daylight, the rain had let up a bit, so we hoofed it back to our nearby Split vacation home rental to change into some dry clothes.
3. Zapadna Obala
There is a wonderful waterfront promenade called Zapadna Obala that runs along the west side of the Split harbor which is much less crowded than Riva. When we travel with kids, we love finding pedestrian-only areas to allow our kids some freedom to run and be crazy kids. While enjoying the Zapadna Obala promenade, our kids loved running along looking at the boats, chasing pigeons etc. Getting to just be kids is good for their mental health while traveling.
4. Sustipan Park
We walked through the Split Marina, which added quite a bit of time to the walk (we probably should have gone up to street level and cut the corner). Despite the extra time, the walk through Split’s marina led us to a charming, yet completely deserted oceanfront park called Sustipan. This well-treed Split park is perched up high on a cliff near the water, offering very nice views.
Following the general theme of the afternoon, our kids loved getting to run and play on the grass in Sustipan Park.
5. Dinosaur Playground in Zvonac Park
Leaving Sustipan Park, we entered another called Zvoncac Park, which is one of the best parks in Split for kids. Zvonac Park was super-popular with our kids as it had a large dinosaur themed playground.
Exploring the waterfront promenade and the kid-friendly Split parks was a wonderful way to spend an afternoon in Split with a toddler and preschooler. The views alone were definitely worth it.
Day 2 in Split with Kids
6. Klis Fortress
We wanted to visit the Klis Fortress with our kids, but were having a lot of trouble figuring out how to get there ourselves with the limited information online. We like to travel like the locals and are not big on booking tours, so after an hour or so of research over breakfast, we had a plan in place and headed out the door.
After a long wait for our bus to the Klis Fortress (we didn’t know how to read the schedule properly), it was a seamless journey and we arrived 45 minutes later.
A short walk up a hill got us to the Klis Fortress gates and even before you pay to get in, you immediately get to see the sweeping views of Split and the Adriatic Sea beyond. This view alone is worth the trip, even without seeing the Klis Fortress.
Once you enter, you can wander almost anywhere you want within the Klis Fortress. Take your time and enjoy exploring the pathways, tunnels, guard lookouts, etc.
Visiting Klis Fortress was one of the best things to do in Split with kids. Our kids had a ball running around, climbing, looking out the arrow slits (windows archers used), etc. Watch for a set of tunnels on the far west end of the Klis fortress, which are pretty easy to miss. Your kids will love running through them.
Besides the amazing fortress and the views, there is also a small museum within one room, which houses some armor, swords, cannonballs, etc. from hundreds of years ago.
Chances are that if you are visiting the Klis Fortress, you are a Game of Thrones fan (like us!) and you know the Klis Fortress is the filming location for the Meereen scenes. If you are a GOT fan, seek out the room on the east end of the Klis Fortress which has some photos on the wall.
Some of the photos show you the Klis Fortress in its natural state, and then the same shot of the fortress as Meereen. We found the photographic comparison really helped us visualize Meereen as we walked through the Klis Fortress, so it’s definitely worth seeking it out.
Still not fully understanding the bus schedule, we also had complications on the bus ride home. If you wish to take public transit to/from we share all the details in our post on How to Get to Klis Fortress from Split.
If you’d prefer a little more comfort on your visit to the Klis Fortress with kids, we recommend joining a guided Game of Thrones tour, complete with transportation via air-conditioned vehicle.
For private transfers around Croatia, you can learn more here.
7. Riva Boardwalk
We wanted to check out the in-town beaches in Split as well, so in the afternoon of our second day in Split with kids we set out for Bacvice Beach. Learning from our previous day’s experience, when we tried but failed to walk to Jezinac Beach, we put the kids in their carriers so we could make it there in time for the kids to actually play.
From our Split vacation rental, we had an enjoyable walk along the famous Riva boardwalk, then along the ferry docks on our way to the beach.
Need a toddler carrier? Check out our recommendations best toddler carriers for travel on our Baby Can Travel site!
8. Bacvice Beach
Given it was 83F/28C outside it was no surprise that Bacvice Beach was very crowded, both in the water and on the sand. Bacvice Beach is a reasonably big beach nestled deep in a cove, so the waves should be pretty small here most of the time. The water is also supposed to be quite shallow, which makes it a good beach in Split for children.
We were surprised to see real sand on the beach, as every Mediterranean beach we’ve encountered to date has small pebbles on the beach. Finding an awesome, real sand beach in Split was ironic as we promised the kids they could throw rocks into the water, as we were expecting a pebbly beach!
9. Ovcice Beach
As it goes when traveling with kids, they were upset about not getting to throw rocks, so we looked for another Split beach nearby. We saw on Google Maps that Ovcice Beach was about 0.3mi/0.5km away, so we walked there along a nice oceanfront promenade.
Ovcice Beach was much a much smaller Split beach with much less real estate available on the sand. It had way less people there, but it still felt crowded due to its smaller size.
The kids were happy that Ovcice Beach was a traditional pebble beach as promised, so we found a spot to sit and let the kids do their thing. Our little guy loves to stand in the shallow water and endlessly chuck rocks into the water, giggling the whole time. Our 4 year old daughter likes finding interesting shaped rocks and sea shells. Our visit to Ovcice Beach made our kids happy and was one of their favorite things to do in Split.
On the way back to our Split vacation rental apartment, we walked through Diocletian’s Palace again and then through the other parts of Old Town Split in an effort to find some relief from the hot sun and to see streets and alleyways we hadn’t seen the day before.
Day 3 in Split with Children
10. Marjan Park
Marjan Park is a huge, beautiful park located just an easy walk from the center of the Split Old Town.
We began our day by walking through narrow, cobblestoned, atmospheric side streets on our way to the Vidilica Cafe, which is immediately outside the Marjan Park entrance. The last stretch of the walk to the cafe is up a long flight of stairs, but it’s worth the effort for the amazing views of Split below.
We spent a few hours walking through Marjan Park, enjoying the relaxing feeling of being in such a beautiful, natural space with towering pine trees and birds chirping. We completely forgot about the hordes of tourists we left behind in Old Town Split.
We stopped for a while at a Marjan Park playground and at the summit of the hill (where a huge Croatian flag flies) to enjoy panoramic 360 degree views of the whole area.
The paths within the Marjan Park range from paved to full-on hiking trails, so learn from our mistakes and wear proper walking footwear. We wore flip-flops and regretted it as we walked a few kilometers over rocky hiking trails on our way from the Marjan Park summit to the beach.
Along the way we were lucky to have passed the little Marjan Park hermitage which was built into the cliffs on the south side of the peninsula.
Marjan Park is huge and is hard to find your way around. There are no maps and very little signage. Thankfully AllTrails has a good map of all the Marjan Park hiking trails.
11. Kasjuni Beach
Kasjuni Beach is a stunning beach in Split and is worth the effort to get there. Way nicer than the city beaches the day before, Kasjuni Beach sits in a protected cove with towering cliffs on one side and a palm tree lined peninsula on the other.
Kasjuni Beach was the perfect beach to visit in Split with kids. The water was very calm and the kids had a great time playing in it. The beach had small pebbles which weren’t too hard on the feet (and made our kids happy). It was early May and the water was still pretty cool, but the kids didn’t care.
After walking back from Kasjuni Beach, we had a few hours left in Split with our kids. We had an early morning ferry scheduled for the next morning from Split to Hvar, where we planned to visit the beaches on Hvar with kids, so we revisited some of our favorite things to do in Split with kids.
We couldn’t pass up one more opportunity to explore the ancient alleyways of Diocletian’s Palace and walk along the bustling Riva waterfront. We were pleasantly surprised to see a market going on and the kids loved looking at everything at the booths.
Where to Stay in Split with Kids
Old Town Split is the best place to stay in Split with kids. In Old Town Split, you’ll find the best restaurants, shopping and the majority of the things to do in Split for kids are located. The downside is that accommodation in Split Old Town get very expensive.
We rented a two-bedroom apartment a few minutes west of Old Town Split. We chose to stay at a Split vacation home rental as we enjoy the family-friendly amenities like separate bedrooms, a kitchen and laundry facilities. Plus, it’s location just outside of Old Town Split made it more affordable.
If hotels are more your style, we personally use and recommend using Booking.com as their Top Picks for Families search filter makes it easy to find good family-friendly accommodation.
How to Get Into Split with Kids
The Split airport is a 30 minute drive outside of Old Town. When traveling with kids, it’s often difficult to find a way to get your kids safely from the airport to the Old Town without car seats. Taxis and Ubers will not have car seats and taking an airport bus with kids is often a pain in the butt.
We are big fans of private transfers when traveling with kids. Your personal driver meets you at the gate with your family name on a sign. He’ll then walk you to your private car with your pre-reserved child seats already in place. It’s an affordable luxury after a long day of flying with kids.
More Croatia with Kids
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