A palace that is not a labyrinth of grand rooms but a thriving old town of an ancient city—Diocletian's Palace is Split's top tourist attraction. These ruins are said to be some of the most valuable buildings from the Roman Era and are sure to enthrall you.;
The palace was built by the Roman emperor, Diocletian, in the 4th century. It stands by south Salona, the capital of Dalmatia. When the huge Diocletian's Palace was first constructed, it stood alone by the shore as the Emperor's summer retreat that also functioned as a Roman Military Camp. After the Emperor died, the palace was abandoned and then later renovated. Many changes were made to the original features, but when walking around the residence, it isn't hard to imagine what it would have originally looked like. Inside the palace, the imperial residences were on the southern side while the guards, staff, and other commoners lived on the northern side. The palace is enclosed by high walls and is accessible through a number of gates. The gates are named after metals, namely Golden Gate, Silver Gate, Bronze Gate, and Iron Gate. Once these gates were meant for different gentry of people.
A thriving Old Town
From a palace to Old Town, the unique harbor-side historic site has evolved to be a thriving heart of the city. The hallways are alleyways today and the Old Town has more than 200 buildings with people living in them. Coffee shops, bars, restaurants, souvenir shops—you will find it all here. Take in the vibrancy of the local life along with the grandeur of the past.
World Heritage Site and Game of Thrones filming location
Archaeological excavations have been carried out here as recent as the 1970s when archaeologists discovered the basement of the palace that was impressively intact. The imperial palace became a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1979. If you find the basement of Diocletian's Palace familiar, it is probably because you have seen it before on the popular Game of Thrones show.
Free to walk in
Most of the palace does not require a ticket. You just walk in and start exploring the many facets of the impressive palace. However, you will need a ticket if you want to see some specific places inside the palace, such as the cathedral, bell tower, or the Jupiter temple. If you want to get to really understand the history of this place, then hiring a local guide or joining one of the walking tours may be a good idea.