Roman Heritage of Split and Salona

As if the Romans were still here

The Roman Empire, so long gone, yet when walking in certain areas of the world, it feels as though not more than a blink of an eye has passed since its existence. The ransacked town of Salona and the immense Diocletian's Palace in Split, the most remarkable Roman ruins on the southern Dalmatian coast, are two such sites. Irrevocably connected through some amazing whirlwinds of history, Salona and Split shared a common story over centuries of Roman presence in the area. At the time when Salona thrived, Split was a one man’s palace. At the time when Salona failed, Split became a city. Today, visiting these two places with your guide transports you back to the time of gladiators and emperors, to the tremendous Empire in its heyday, immersing you in the past so palapable that you might wonder if time had actually passed.

Book Tour

Duration:   half day

Difficulty:   easy

Location:   Split

Available all year round

Tour description


Split's city center is a unique, living Roman ruin! Emperor Diocletian constructed the palace to be his cozy home in retirement but who knows if he could have ever fathomed that it would grow into a true city centuries later? Continuously inhabited for more than 1700 years, the palace was originally built at the turn of the 4th century. Several hundred years later, after a period of abandonment, it served as a refuge for the inhabitants of the Roman city of Salona who fled their homes in front of a wave of invading Slavic tribes. Ultimately, the city of refugees became its own city within the palace walls. Today, approximately 3000 people live here, adding a vital charm of everyday living to the beautiful Roman architecture.

After a walking tour of Split, your journey through ancient history continues in Salona, the largest Croatian site of antiquity-era monuments. Once the capital city of the Roman province Dalmatia, and one of the largest cities of the Empire, Salona was situated at the crossroads of sea and land routes of the ancient Mediterranean. The size, the prosperity and splendor of the ancient city is attested by the remains of the imposing walls with tower sand gates, a forum with temples, a theater, an amphitheater, as well as the unique structures of Episcopalian early Christian churches in the cemeteries where they buried Salona Martyrs (Manastirine, Kapljuč, Marusinac). Visiting one of the three Roman amphitheaters on the east Adriatic coast gives you the chance to experience the emotions of the ancient gladiators standing in the middle of this spectacular construction.

  • This tour is fully private and on request only.
  • This tour includes collection from your hotel, villa or private accommodation by your guide and professional English speaking chauffeur in a comfortable luxury sedan car or passenger van and entrance tickets.
  • Bring your camera, comfortable shoes, hat and sunscreen in the summer months.
  • Please advise if you have any mobility issues so the tour can be adjusted accordingly.
  • OPTIONAL: Add a unique adventure through the subterranean parts of Diocletian's aqueduct stretching more than 9 kilometers from the spring of Jadro River to downtown Split. With the help of a local speleologist descend underground to witness the marvel of Roman engineering: miles of perfectly constructed aqueduct carved into the solid rock. Fully equipped with a hard hat, boots, and jumpsuit, you will explore a section of the aqueduct before returning to Split. Available at additional cost.

Emperor Diocletian

Sidebar Image 400x400

The 51st Roman emperor lived at the turn of the 4th century. Born in Salona, in the Roman province of Dalmatia, Diocletian was actually a member of a low-rank family and he climbed the ladder thanks to his extraordinary military, fiscal and statehood capabilities. Following his coronation, aware of the anarchy which took over the Empire during his predecessors, Diocletian split the power, knowing that the area was too large for one person to oversee. His “tetrarchy” ultimately restored the order in the Empire, and thus prolonged its Western part and laid foundations for what will become the Byzantine Empire.

Quick Info






64°F  /  18°C


3:05 PM


Booking details

Please fill in your details to complete booking for tour:

Roman Heritage of Split and Salona

Roman Heritage of Split and Salona

As if the Romans were still here