This palatial city by the sea is more of a cultural center than a beach resort; Split boasts a wider variety of activities and nightlife than its neighbors. The Stari Grad (Old Town), wedged between a high mountain range and palm-lined waterfront, sprawls around a luxurious palace where Roman Emperor Diocletian, known for his violent persecution of Christians, spent his summers. The cellars of the city are near the entrance to the palace, across from the taxis on Obala hrvatskog nar-odnog preporoda; turn in either direction to wander around this haunting labyrinth. (Open daily 10am-7pm. 8kn.) Through the cellars and up the stairs is the open-air peristyle. The Catholic cathedral on the right side of the peristyle is the oldest in the world; ironically, it was once Diocletian’s mausoleum. The view from atop the adjoining Bell Tower of St. Dominus (Zvonik sv. Duje) is incredible. (Cathedral and tower open daily 8:30am-9:30pm. Tower 5kn.) A 25min. walk away along the waterfront, the Mestrovic Gallery (Galerija Ivana Mestrovica), Setalist.e Ivana Mestrovica 46, features a collection by Croatia’s most famous modem sculptor. (Open June-Aug. Su 9am-2pmTu-Sa 9am-lpm and 5-8pm; Sept.-May Su 10am-2pm, Tu-Sa 10am-4pm. 15kn, students lOkn.)

Buses (33 84 83; schedules a (050) 32 73 27) go to: Dubrovnik (412hr. 17 per day, llOkn); Ljubljana (llhr. daily, 236kn); Sarajevo (7M:hr. 6 per day, 180kn); and Zagreb (8hr. every 30min. 107-120kn). Ferries (a33 83 33) head from the terminal across from the train and bus stations to Dubrovnik (8hr. 5 per week, 115kn) and Ancona, Italy (10hr. 4 per week, 329kn). From the bus station, follow Obala kneza Domagoja (also called Riva) until it runs into Obala hrvatskog narodnog preporoda, which runs roughly east-west. The tourist office is at Obala hrv. 12. (a34 71 00. Open M-F 8am-9pm, Sa 8am-10pm, Su 8am-lpm.) The Daluma Travel Agency, Obala kneza domagoja 1, near the bus and train stations, helps find private rooms, (a 33 84 84; www.tel.hrdaluma-travel. May-Oct. singles 150kn; doubles 240kn; Nov.-Apr. singles 100-120kn. Open M-F 8am-8pm, Sa 8am-2pm.) To get from the stations to PrenociSte Slavija , Buvinova 2, follow Obala hrv. turn right on Trg Brace Radica, then go right on Mihovilova sirina; signs lead up the stairs. 034 70 53. Breakfast included. Singles 220kn, with shower 280kn; doubles 290360kn.) There is a supermarket at Svaciceva 4. (Open daily 7am-10pm.) To reach ElJugo Restoran , Uvala Baluni bb, face the water on Obala hrv. and walk right along the waterfront for lOmin. following the curves onto Branimirova Obala. (Entrees 30-65kn. Open daily 9am-mid-night.) The closest beach to downtown Split is sandy Bacvice, a nighttime favorite for local skinny dippers and the starting point of a great strip of waterfront bars. Postal Code: 21000.

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