Visiting Split With a Small Dog — Part 2

Last week, I had the pleasure of introducing you to the joys of visiting Split with a small dog. In Part 1, we focused on two sections: the amazing promenade and, of course, the vast Roman palace built for Emperor Diocletian.

Today I will take you outside the palace walls. Although the city of Split grew unchecked and in a haphazard way after WWII, the area along the coastline remains worthy of a visit. There is, in fact, more to Split than the Palace.

Beyond the People’s Square

I left you last week at Split’s Old City Hall, viewing its art. You find it as you exit the palace through the Iron Gate on the west side. As you walk on, leaving the Roman walls behind, you enter the heart of People’s Square. It’s here that Byzantine and Venetian influences start to give over to Hungarian and Austrian architecture. Split has such a long and complicated history!

Travel to Split with a small dog the peoples square

The iron gate and it’s pretty clock tower.

Next, you will find the Fish Market. I really liked this spot. It’s full of smells like you would never believe! There were so many patios too!

visiting split with a small dog fish market catch of the day

Yep!! some are still moving!

Then there’s the long and open Marmontova Street with its fancy shops and theatre at the end. This street is a stark contrast to the old palace. Here, the light is invited in to reflect off the white marble street. It’s very much an extension of the Promenade.

Visiting Split with a small dog the theatre

How pretty is this building? Totally Auto-Hungarian architecturally inspired. Especially that shade of yellow!

And then there is the Republic Square. Complete with total Austrian palace architecture and fancy posh-posh hotels reminiscent of the days of Empress Sisi.

visiting split with a small dog the republic square and Montecristo posing

Seriously I LOVED this square!! I ran about off-leash like a crazy do. We had a few coffees at the lovely cafe. Fancy pants hotels here for those that like that sort of thing. ALL of it open onto the promenade.

The real gem though, Dear Reader, is just a little further west as you walk towards the Church of St. Francis. You start to go up into narrow little streets …

visiting split with a small dog the steps up to the park!

Oooh STAIRS!!!

Marjan Hill

Up, up, up the hill you go — Marjan Hill, to be precise! Here, greenery and spectacular views await!

visiting split with a small dog stairs up to Marjan Hill

up and Up and UP!! I can already tell the view will be amazing up there!

Marjan Hill is on the peninsula of the city of Split. The hill seems to be a sort of protected reserve, and is a popular recreation spot for locals. Few tourists are lucky enough to discover it. And it’s a shame because the hill may well be one of the greatest assets the city has to offer.

visiting split with a small dog family photo on Marjan Hill.

Woohooo! half way up! Time to pose with the bipeds! Split in all it’s glory behind us.

The hill is covered in a fine smelling forest and huge agave plants, giving you all sorts of things to explore beyond the joys of being in a park and the view!

Visiting Split with a small dog on path on Marjan Hill.

Between the steps there are lovely wide panoramic paths.

VisitingSplit with a small dog view from Marjan Hill.

The views… and the amazing plant life!!

There are about twelve historical monuments, a fabulous bike trail, children’s play areas, and some very creative …

Visiting Split with a small dog amazing play structure.

Amazing play structure made from repurposed local wood and chains. It’s a strength and smarts puzzle. Human size!

… lookouts, beaches, rock climbing, and even Renaissance hermitage caves! Our favourite, though, was climbing all the way up to the tallest point: the Telegrin!


At 178 meters in height (584 feet) with a whopping 314 steps to climb, it would still be a total understatement to say that the view is totally worth the effort. You can drive up, but where is the fun in that? Plus, you have to pay for parking.

Visiting Split with a small dog and all the steps on Marjan Hill.

So you’ve already gone up about 400 steps by now … only to find out you have over 300 more to go! At least they warn you! I am SO ready!

The panoramic view allows you a full left to right sweep, which includes the old city, the coast, the marina, beaches, and some of the nearby islands. There is a café at the Telegrin, called Cafe Bar Vidilica (or Teraca Vidilica). It is pet-friendly and offers up some lovely human treats. The patio overlooks the old city and the sea.

Marajan Hill

I tell you the views are stellar!

If you keep going — and really you should — the stairs give way for a little stretch to an easier stroll that ends at the 13th century St. Nicholas Chapel. It’s a logical choice really given that Saint Nikola, as the locals call him, is the patron saint of fisherman.


St. Nicolas Chapel. Can you see me??

Keep going even further up and the stairs start again. All the way up at the top, you’ll find a zoo of sorts. It’s not pet-friendly so we did not enter. And there seemed to be some official-like buildings too. But we just kept on and made our way to the summit!


Mom waited forever for the flag to fluff up enough to see it properly!

We had seen the BIG flag that flies on the summit from our first day on the sailboat and I am so glad we hiked all the way up. We met the sweetest nun on a bench there. We chatted for a bit in a hilarious mix of the nun speaking in a mix of Italian and German and Mom in a mix of German and French. We caught our breath there and then made our way back.

Montecristo and Dad at top of hill.

Top of Telegrin with Dad!! We did it! (Note: the lights are solar powered!)

Taking different steps on the way down, we realized that Marjan Hill is a vast green space that you could easily explore all day long. We were kind of sad that we didn’t have more time.


Alternative way up or down in our case. Was under repair but amazing views and private gardens.

In review: Split is an amazing city. Walkable and jam-packed with a violent, complicated, and confusing history. But like all complicated places, Split also breeds a special kind of beauty grown from evolving cultures. Today it’s a place we can recommend to anyone. Visiting Split with a small dog is rewarding and will not only mesmerize you visually with its ever changing architecture and art, but will also entertain your palette with fine restaurants, fun gelato, and other street food. Split is worth more than just a quick stop over. We are very glad we spent a week.

39 Comments on “Visiting Split With a Small Dog — Part 2

  1. Beautiful! I’ve never heard of this city before. I had to google it, but is this Croatia? Either way, gorgeous scenery and looks like everyone had a fun time.

  2. I’m so glad that I stumbled across you blog. These images are amazing!

    I too favour the smaller towns for travel destinations. There are many different places that I want to visit, now looking at these images, I WANT TO GO THERE!!

    • happy to inspire! the world is full of amazing places. Europe in particular has an abundance of smaller towns with incredible richness.

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  6. How does off-leash walking in the square work? I know leash laws are a lot more lax in Europe but I’d think there would still be traffic and crowds? Or are cars not allowed in the square?

    • The entire old city (and the square AND promenade) are all pedestrian only. Not even bikes are allowed. Naturally if the crowds get to be a bit much I get put in the sling bag. Having said that I also never go more than 4-5 feet away. Lots of training.

  7. What an incredible city! I loved part 1 and this post is just as wonderful. I can see why you needed to write about it in 2 parts, there is just so much to see. Icy would have much enjoyed the fish market & might have snatched one of those fish to snack on!
    Love & biscuits,
    Dogs Luv Us and We Luv Them

  8. Gosh, talk about views! I love that play structure for kids (looks fun for adults, too).

    P.S. I do see you against St. Nicolas Chapel – you kind of blend in with the stone.

  9. What a beautiful city. I love to travel when I can. To bring your dog along is the best! Nothing like traveling with the whole family. Love the pics too.

  10. You guys show us a window on another world! The buildings, the markets, and the adventure – all totally amazing!

    Thank you for such a pleasurable trip around Split.

  11. I can see why Split needed to be split into two posts. What a wonderful, charming place with so much to see! I overlooked you in the photo of St. Nikola chapel at first, I’m glad that you mentioned you were in it!

  12. That’s so cool that you visited a fish market. I bet those smells were really good to your little nose. Did you get to try any? Yum

  13. Wow! There is a lot of beautiful scenery in Split. Seeing the city from the tops of those buildings is really amazing. This trip looks like a ton of fun!

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