Surrounded by the snow-blanketed Dinaric Alps, Split looks gorgeous on a crisp winter day, and it's market stalls, quirky shops and cobbled streets are an enchanting place to go Christmas shopping. Split goes big for Christmas - here, you'll find wooden-roofed stalls selling festive food-stuffs, seasonal concerts and a diverse programme of activities to jump into. Split's postcard-perfect setting, twinkly lights, and the smell of mulled-wine lingering in the air is enough to warm the cheeks of any Scrooge.
Great things to do in Split this winter
Split's relaxed urban vibe makes for an attractive winter-break destination, and there's plenty going on in the low season. With snow-tipped peaks jutting out into the horizon, and a cool salt-breeze floating in from the Adriatic, Split is gorgeous in winter, and its historic city centre isn't choked with holidaymakers. Advent adds a tastefully festive charm to the Old Town's fairytale setting, bolstered by an eclectic music and events programme, the city buzzes right through the festive season. When temperatures drop, hide away in a cosy bar with a hot cocktail or warm up in one of Split's great restaurants. Split lays on enough exhibitions, gigs and shows to keep you busy throughout the colder months: read on for our critic's pick of the best things to do in Split this winter. RECOMMENDED: where to eat, sleep and drink in Split.
A Christmas break in Split
Handsome, historical Split is the Adriatic as it’s really lived. Step into the perfectly-preserved Diocletian’s Palace, a lattice of winding alleys and crumbling stucco walls, and you’ll be greeted by a parade of visitors and window-shopping locals scrambling around its maze-like structure. This intriguing mix of antiquity and urban life is what makes Split a fantastic city-break destination. Closely associated with bucket and spade summer holidays, Split is just as gorgeous in winter – especially in the run-up to Christmas, when twinkly lights and little clusters of wooden-roofed huts decorate the Old Town. Edged by snowy mountains, glittering beneath a crisp winter light, Split sets a romantic scene. Even the most Christmas-adverse travellers have to admit it’s a pretty spectacular sight. Boasting a waterside location, balmy year-round weather and a confluence of architectural riches, it was only a matter of time until Split clambered to the top of Croatia’s holiday-league table. Behind the splendid facades of the Old Town, ungainly Socialist-era housing blocks and leftover pockets of industry give Split a lived-in charm. It’s a far cry from Dalmatia's 'Disneyland' resort of Dubrovnik, but as Croatia's second biggest city, Split remains comparatively uncommercialised. Straddled by the cobalt-blue Adriatic, Split’s Riva harbour features fluttering palms and trendy cafes, with tuxedoed waiters loitering outside cool waterside restaurants. On a clear day, you can trace th
The best Croatia winter breaks
It might surprise you to discover everything that Croatia has to offer in winter. Largely associated with sunny beaches and party islands, this southern European destination is just as appealing in the colder months. Most towns and cities celebrate Christmas exuberantly, highlights including Zagreb's Advent programme, and Rijeka's vibrant carnival. The country's famous natural beauty looks all the more spectacular in the snow, and you can even go skiing at one of its little known resorts. Here are the best winter destinations in Croatia. RECOMMENDED: More great destinations in Croatia.
New Year’s Eve in Split
When New Year comes around, Croatians turn to music. The country’s top live acts and DJs put on special one-night shows at prime locations in all major cities. In Split, the party takes place along the waterfront Riva, where rock band Buđenje and local singer Petar Grašo entertained the masses to bring in 2017.