The seaport of Split, Croatia, designated by UNESCO as a cultural treasure, lies on the Dalmatia coast 160 mi/260 km south of Zagreb. Its stunning, historic palm-lined oceanfront promenade is reminiscent of the French Riviera, but the rest of the old city reveals a striking combination of Roman, Venetian and Hapsburg influences.

Tourists aren't the only ones who have enjoyed the charms of the city—the Roman emperor Diocletian built a palace in Split in the fourth century, and Prime Minister Joseph Broz Tito maintained a palace in the city. Diocletian's Palace forms the heart of the old town (the ruins are thought to be some of the best-preserved Roman architecture in eastern Europe). Over the centuries, the people of Split have made themselves at home within the walls of the enormous palace—you can have coffee at a cafe next to a huge column from the palace poking up through the center of the building.

Art aficionados will not want to miss the two galleries dedicated to Croatia's greatest sculptor, Ivan Mestrovic.

Be sure to spend time just walking around this interesting city. Take a ride up the hill of Marjan for fabulous views of the city and the sea.

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