16 Unique Things To Do In Solin & Trogir Croatia

In this article there are two self guided walking tours; one to the roman ruins in Salona, and the other to the UNESCO Heritage site of Trogir in Croatia. Salona (present day Solin) and Trogir are both a short bus ride from Split in Croatia. A walking tour of both Salona and Trogir can be completed in one day by catching a local bus from Split

Things to do in Ancient Salona and Trogir in Croatia

Walking Tour Roman Ruins in ancient Salona, Modern day Solin

Salona is one of the top archaeological sites in Dalmatia. Porta Caesarea was the gate to the city that was fortified with towers. As you walk through the ruins, you will notice that the Roman city encompassed the area around the Forum and the Theater. You will also notice that it has the characteristics of typical roman cities: Public Baths, Amphitheater, a Forum, Theater, City Walls, City Gate, churches, cemeteries with sarcophagi and an aqueduct supplying water to the city

The entire area is an incredible walk through ancient roman time and will take you a little over an hour

Life began in Salona over 2000 years ago when the Greeks set up a market in that location. It grew to a historic population of 60,000 during the time of Diocletian and became the capital city of the roman province of Dalmatia, the birthplace and home of Emperor Diocletian before he moved to the palace in Split. It is interesting to note that Diocletian was not born into a nobel family; his father was a scribe and his mother a freed slave, yet he rose to become emperor. The roman ruins of Salona are part of the modern day city of Solin, about 5km northeast of Split and easily reachable by bus, scooter, bike or car

History – Time line:

  • 9 AD – Salona gains prominence as the capital of Dalmatia
  • Around 14-20AD – 550 miles of extensive road network connecting Salona to far reaches of the Roman Empire
  • 1st Century – building of Aqueduct
  • 170 AD – refortification of city walls, expansion with construction of amphitheater, theater and expansion of the market
  • Around 304 AD – persecution of Jews in amphitheater by Diocletian He eventually left Salon for his newly built palace in Split
  • 5th and 6th century – building of various basilicas and churches in Salona
  • 614 – Salona abandoned, severely damaged after attack by the Avars and Salvs. Most of the citizens moved into Diocletian’s palace in Split for protection; some moved to nearby Trogir
  • 17th century – The Venetians stripped city of marble to use in palaces elsewhere
  • Excavation started by Don Fran Bulić  (1846-1934) archaeologist, historian and director of the museum. He is also buried onsite

Take Bus #37 from the Main Split Station to Solin; it stops at the main entrance to the Salona Ruins at Caffe Bar Salona bus station (near Hotel Salona Palace). Get off at this bus stop and walk towards the Tusculum Museum. There is a cost to visit the ruins

Download the map and follow the attractions guide to visit the sites of Trogir Croatia

Salona Solin Walking Tour Map and Guide

Salona Walking Map, Click HERE to download PDF of map

Salona is not wheelchair friendly; many paths are rocky and good shoes are advisable. The walking tour should take you a little over an hour

1. Tusculum Museum

Built in 1898 by the archeologist of the time, Monsignor Frane, it was used as the headquarters for archeological teams studying and researching the site.  It was named Tusculum after Cicero’s villa near Rome and built in its image including columns, fountains and courtyards

The main floor has a display of Monsignor Frane’s collections presented in a roman style decorated room. Interestingly, he had himself photographed in the room wearing togas. The first floor is occupied by a team of archeologists who still live and work on the area’s early archeological finds,

Adjacent to the Tusculum is the Manastrine. Along with the martyrs of Salona, Father Frane’s is buried onsite. His sarcophagus is located at the entrance to the Manastrine, on the western side and under a cypress tree. You can see the inscriptions on the sarcophagus (a stone coffin adorned with sculptures and inscription)

The sarcophagus has this roman Latin scripture “Hoc in tumulo iacet Franciscus Bulić…servans reverenda limina sanctorum. (Here lies F. Bulić…safeguarding the honorable remnants of saints). It was written by Father Frane himself

2. Manastirine

The Manastraine is a burial basilica, where the remains of the early Christine tombs have been unearthed. The roman customs and laws dictated that the dead were buried outside of the city. The Christians also followed this custom and buried their dead outside of the city. The excavations are not complete, so far one thousand sarcophagi, graves and burial chapels have been discovered here. Many prominent Christians and Martyrs were also buried in the Manastirine. A prominent Christian Martyr buried at the site was Dujam (St Domnius). He was the bishop of Salona who later become the patron of Split. His nephew Primus, who was Split’s first bishop was also buried here. He was executed by Diocletian in the year 304

The area attracted many Christians who wanted to be buried next to the Dujam. Like many other Christian burial sites, it also became a place of worship where people came to pay their respects and pray. As such a three-nave basilica was built on the graves in the 5th century. This site has the remains of the cemetery and one of the basilicas in Salona

3. Main City Basilica

Christianity arrived in Salona in the 3rd century and the places were martyrs were buried; Kapljuč, Marusinac and Manastrine eventually became places of worships as basilicas were built at the burial sites. Several Basilicas were discovered in Salona. The construction of the Great Basilica (City Basilica) began in the 4th century by Bishop Simferi and completed by his nephew and successor in the 5th century. The massive columns are built from stone from the island of Brač. The pillars were made of marble. The entire area is known as the Episcopal center and includes a three aisled cathedral and an octagonal baptistery. The ruins of the public thermal bath are just to the left of the main basillica

4. Public Baths (thermae)

Public baths were an integral part of roman culture. There are several multiple baths and the best preserved one is called  the Great Thermae, which was built late in the 2nd century AD with amenities such as semi-circular pool, massage rooms, hot baths, sauna, a cold pool, two dressing rooms and associated benches as well as openings in the wall for clothes

5. Porta Caesarea – Main Gate

Originally built during the time of Emperor Augustus at the eastern wall, it is connected and is part of the still existing roman road, Decamus Maximus and the nearby city of Split. The road separated into three as you entered the city; one was wide enough for carts and two smaller ones for pedestrian traffic on either side.  If you look closely you can still see the deep ruts from the wheels of the carts carrying goods into the city

The Gate was two floors and was originally used as a gate and then as a water duct in the 1st century AD, around 170 AD. At this time the forum and theater were also built. As the city grew, it spread out from the gate which was no longer the main entrance but somewhere in the middle of the city. Eventually the Porta Caesarea also started functioning as aqueduct supplying water from the nearby Jardo river to the southern areas of Salona as well as Diocletian’s Palace

The gate is formed using huge blocks of stone and the spaces in between are filled with unused rock material securing the blocks to each other. There were two octagonal towers that once formed the guard towers. As the city of Salona spread, the gate lost its stature as the entrance to the city but has been retained as an historical monument

6. City walls

  • Took centuries to build
  • First started in 2nd century BC and around 170 AD were being attacked by Germanic tribes. Afterwards the walls were fortified with 90 towers for a length of 4km and width of about 2 meters
  • In the 5th century, all the towers were reconstructed to further improve defense and security

7. Bridge of five arches

They are five arcs built of stone over the backwater of the Jadro River. The channels supplied hot and cold water for the thermal baths. It did not function as an aquaduct, which has been a common misconception

8. Cemetery, Kapljuč

Two hundred meters from the amphitheater is Salona’s oldest cemetery and Basilica. It is known as Five Martyrs’ Basilica which was dedicated to the priest Asterie and four soldiers of the emperor’s guard who become martyrs after being executed as Christians in the amphitheater. This is one of three cemeteries where they buried Salona martyrs (Manastirine, Kapljuč, Marusinac)

On this site, as was the practice at martyrs gravesite, a three nave cathedral was built in the 5th century and expanded with additions of an octagonal baptistery and bishop’s residence

9. Amphitheater

Located at the furthest end of the park, it is a 15 min walk offering no shade. The walk is pleasant as you will see olive groves, orchards and other pleasant sites. If you have a picnic lunch, you can use the stone tables and benches near the entrance to have a picnic

Built in the 2nd century, it is small compared to other amphitheaters. The outer radius is 125 x 100 and the inner radius is 65 by 40 meters and it held up to 18,000 spectators. It is elliptically shaped so it is an easily recognizable building. The Salona amphitheater held gladiator fights until they were banned in the 5th century.  The spectator area comprised three tiers where the top tier was standing room only, but it had a covered porch. During the hot sunny days or rainy days, the amphitheater was designed so that poles on the outer edge would allow for a canvas to enclose the entire arena.  The arenas center had an opening that led to the underground living and worshiping quarters of the gladiators and the site of disposal for the gladiators who died during competition

The amphitheater also served as a site of Christian executions during Diocletian’s time. This made him so unpopular that after his death, his mausoleum was raided and his body was disposed of. The location of his remains is unknown. The mausoleum was then turned into a church, a fitting irony given the historical circumstances

Amphitheater Ruins

Very little of the amphitheater remains. The amphitheater was damaged during the wars with the Turks in the 17th century and what was left was demolished by the Venetians. The Venetians stripped it of marble to use in their palaces elsewhere

The city fell in the year 614AD after sustaining attacks from the Slavs and Avars. Most of the residents fled and took shelter in nearby Diocletian’s Palace and others went to Trogir. In the early middle ages, the new Croatian city of Solin formed in this area


Once you have completed the tour, catch the bus back to Split or continue on to nearby Trogir for another walking tour. To catch the bus, exit the park near the amphitheater and head south towards Ivana Pavlica 11 road. When you reach Ivana Pavlica 11 road, head towards the underpass. The bus stop is 100m to the right of the underpass. From this stop, you will have the choice of taking #37 back to Split or continue to the next stop of Trogir. If you decide to head to Trogir, you will pass the airport on the way from Solin to Trogir.

Tourist Information

For more information on Solin, contact the tourist office.(tel 021-210 048) at Zvonimira 69. For visitor information to the ruins, contact the museum office (tel 021-213 358; [email protected])

Walking Tour of Trogir in Croatia

This is about 1.5 hour walking tour. Trogir Old Town highlights include:

  • Historical Old Town located on an island
  • Old Town with about 10 churches and other 13th century buildings
  • 17th century City Gate to Old Town
  • 15 century City Walls
  • 15th century Kamerlengo Fortress
  • 13th  century Duke’s Palace
  • 13th century St Lawrence Cathedral, with unique Portal by Dalmatian artist Master Mason Radovan
  • 15th century City Loggia from 15th century

Once you arrive in Trogir, notice that the bus station is located next to the main bridge. The main bridge is used to access Old Town Trogir, which is a pedestrian friendly island. You will get off at this stop to explore Trogir. You should return back here to catch bus #37 back to Split.

Download a printable map and follow the the attractions guide below to explore Trojir Croatia, which is a UNESCO World Heritage Site

Trogir Walking Tour Map and Guide

Trogir Attractions Map, Click HERE to download PDF of map

Once you disembark from the bus:

  • Head to the green market, once you have finished exploring this area
  • walk to the pedestrian bridge to cross the bridge at the North Gate and head to the island which Old Town Trogir
  • Visit the central square and the Loggia and Main Cathedral. Once you have explored the area, head to the next pedestrian bridge to the island Ciocvo
  • When you are finished exploring the island, head back to the Old Town and walk all around the exterior along the Riva until the Kamerlengo Fortress
  • After this you can head into the alleys as the cobblestone streets are a great place to get lost and explore
  • Head back to the bus station to catch bus 37 back to Split

Trogir is in Central Dalmatia, along the Adriatic coast. Trogir was founded by the Greeks traders from the island of Vis around the 3rd century BC. It has been occupied by the Romans, Byzantines, the Hungarians in the 12th century and Venetians in the 13th century and lastly by Napoleon. As such it is known for its mix of renaissance, roman and baroque architecture mostly built between the 13th and 15th century. Like most towns, it has a central main square and about 10 churches in the historical center. Since 1977, the historic center is on the UNESCO list of cultural heritage sites due to the number of palaces, churches and towers

The main town is on an island, accessible by bridge from the mainland, It is an incredibly small town that can be transversed in about 10 min and you can walk the circumference in about 30 min

10. Green Market

About 100m from the bus station, locally produced olives, honey, fruits and vegetable stalls from local producers are on sale. You will also find bakeries and deli shops. The area has a vast number of vendors selling souvenirs and in the summer, there is constant activity where stalls setup early and close late

11. North Gate

Trogir’s old town is a beautiful historic walled city. There are two gates to get in; he North Land Gate and South Marine/Sea Gate

After crossing a small bridge, you enter the walled city through the North Gate. The statue of St. Ivan Trogirski, protector of the town is on top of the gate

The town is small and it is impossible to get lost. There are only two main streets, a many cobblestone alleyways that eventually lead to the two main streets

12. The Riva

Walk along Riva Sea Promenade and explore the cobblestone alleys ways in the town center

13. St Lawrence Cathedral

The St. Lawrence Cathedral, the bell tower, and the baptistery are the main attraction in Trogir. Built over the site of the original Roman Cathedral, it was started in 1213 and took three centuries to complete. Climb the steps to dizzying heights and you will have a spectacular view of the town

The church distinct feature is the west portal carved by a master mason Radovan in 1240. To the left of the famous portal you will find the baptistery built in the fifteenth century. The north aisle of cathedral opens up to St John of Trogir’s Chapel and north of that lies the Treasury (Riznica)

The Bell Tower which was built in the late 14th century is located next to the cathedral and it is not a hard climb. However near the top, you will have to climb a 10 foot steep metal ladder. There are some great views of the town of Trogir and the Adriatic Sea from the top of the tower

14. Loggia, Trg Ivana Pavia

Next to the cathedral, there is a 15th century courthouse that has been used as the legal/administrative center. It has been used as a Court and was a public gathering space. It was also used for recording documents, and a place of official announcements and law proceedings

Built in the 15th century, it has a clock tower with classical columns. Exit the area through the town gate (vrata) on the Riva. The Riva faces the island of Čiovo

15. Kamerlengo Fortress

The fortress was named after Kamerlengo after a venetian official responsible for Trojir’s finances. It was built by the Venetians in the 14th century to protect the harbor. Enter the castle and climb the walls for a beautiful view. The fortress is used as a location for summer festivals, concerts and other events throughout the year

16. Čiovo Island

Čiovo (pronounced chyoh-voh) island has really become the southern suburb of Trogir and it is accessible by a bridge from the old town. Along with some beaches, you will find vineyards, almond farms and olive groves on the southern side of the island. It has more beaches along with pine and cypress forest on the northern end of the island

Tourist Information

For more information on Trogir, contact the tourist office at  Gradska 26, 21220 Trogir, Croatia
T +385 21 553 730 or T +385 91 400 1284, [email protected]

Other Walking Tours

  • Dubrovnik
    • Dubrovnik Game of Thrones and Old Town Self Guided Tour – Follow the Map and Guide to visit the film locations for Game of Thrones, beaches and churches. The self guided tour will take you a full day if you also visit the beaches. Use the map and attractions guide to visit the attractions of Old Town Dubrovnik and the locations of the Games of Thrones Scenes. The map has picture of the sites and how they looked for the film scenes.  The walking tour will take you ½ a day. If you visit Lokrum island and spend time at the beach/monastery/fort on the island, this will take you another ½ day to full day. Lokrum Island is the location of the City of Qarth in GoT and is a 10 min water taxi ride from the Dubrovnik Port
    • Dubrovnik Day Trips. Spend a day at each of the villages of Ston and Cavtat a short distance from Dubrovnik. Cavtat is a charming village that was invaded by the Slavs. The inhabitants fled and were the original settlers of Dubrovnik. Visit the historical beaches and spend time on the beach or hike the Ronald Brown Pathway.  Ston is a small village on a hill surrounded by a 7 km wall that is second in size to the Great Wall of China. It is famous for its defensive walls, its salt “mines” and its oyster bays. The oysters from Ston are well renowned
  • Zagreb
    • Upper Town, Old Town Zagreb – 15 must see attractions of Old Town Zagreb. Walk the attractions of Upper Town Zagreb, the self-guided walking tour will take you to the various attractions in ½ a day. You may want to explore some of these attractions in greater depth such as the Museum of Broken Relationships or climb the Lotrščak Tower. In that case the self guided tour will take more than half a day
    • Zagreb Lower Town, Lenuci Horseshoe – Visit the 7 Squares and Botanical gardens in the shape of a horseshoe, including the under ground 31,000 sq meter shopping mall. A ½ day tour of the U-shaped system of 7 parks and Zagreb botanical gardens. The Lenuci horseshoe in Lower Town Zagreb is a short walking distance from Zagreb’s main Ban Jelačić Square and facing the main train station Glavni Kolodvor. The Square include pavilions, theater, museums, state archives and an underground mall amongst its many historical buildings dotted throughout the horseshoe
    • Walking tour Zagreb Lower town and Grič Tunnels – A 2 hour tour of the tunnels under Zagreb old town; they were built as shelter during the war and are now used by the locals to cross Old Town or to go between upper town and lower town. Not only are they a short cut, they are cool in the summer and a welcome relief from the searing sun. Explore the old world war tunnels and visit the sights of lower town
    • Unique and Fun things to do in Zagreb – Explore activities and places to visit such as Jarun Lake, the Antiques Fair or discover current events in Zagreb
  • Split
    • Old Town Split and Marjan Hill – Explore the Old Town Square, then head over to Marjan Hill. This self guided tour can take a whole day as the walking portion of the tour will guide you to attractions in the Old Town and then on to Marjan Hill. This part of the tour will take ½ a day. The tour will end at the beach where you can spend the rest of the day, take the local bus back or walk along the promenade back to Old Town
    • Split, Salona ancient Roman Ruins – On the outskirts of Split, don’t miss the roman ruins of Salona, the birthplace of Emperor Diocletian. Step outside of the Old Town of Split and visit the nearby city of Solin (which is the ancient city of Salona, Diocletian’s birthplace). Then continue onto the town of Trogir. This self guided tour has instructions for local buses to take you on a route for a full day trip from Split to Salona (stop in Salona, then continue onto Trojir. Then catch the local bus back to Split
    • Trogir, UNESCO World Heritage Site – This attraction is often overlooked. It is a charming, authentic village, a heritage city where the Old Town is on an Island. It is an easy bus ride from Split to Trogir, with a stopover in Salona (Solin)
    • Split, Diocletian’s Palace – Not to be missed, the10 must see attractions in the palace to stop and take pictures. The Palace tour is a ½ day self-guided tour through the palace that will end at the market which you can explore
  • Zadar
    • Zadar Western Half – The old town is located on an island; explore the attractions on the westerns side of the island in this  ½ day self guided walking tour.  Attractions include popular attractions such as the Sea Organ, Greetings to the Sun and the Roman Forum / Ruins
    • Zadar Eastern Half – Take a ½ day to visit the churches, parks and other attractions on the eastern side of Zadar Island. Visit the fish markets and green markets for fresh food and explore the cobblestone alleyways for a touch of ambiance and potential souvenir shopping
    • Zadar islands – The Zadar Archipelago has around a 100 islands off its coast, many of them uninhabited. Visit all or any of the 9 popular islands in this map and use the attractions guide to the islands. You can rent a boat rent a boat with or without a captain, get a water taxi, take the ferry/ to visit the islands and swim in the Adriatic or anchor at hidden beach/cove
  • Island Visit
  • Croatia Islands – Rent or hire a boat to visit the 9 popular islands off the mainland. Visit 1 or 2 or all 9 islands for a fabulous day out to sea
  • Hvar Island
    • Hvar old town attractions and Španjola fortress (Fortica) – Use the self guided tour map and attractions to visit the popular sites in Hvar Old Town. The tour will take ½ a day to the major attractions in Hvar Town, including climbing to the Spanjola fortress that has been protecting Hvar for hundreds of years. However it could be longer if you want to spend time visiting the museums or spending an afternoon enjoying the magnificent views from the Fortress
    • Hvar Island driving tour – Take the local bus, rent a car / scooter for the day to visit the numerous attractions on the island.  This can take two days as there is a lot to see and do. It includes: wine tasting, visiting a cave monastery high on the hills, quaint fishing villages, popular beaches, hidden coves and harbours A great tour that will take you across the island
    • Hvar Islands and Lavendar Fields Tour – You can rent a boat (with or without a captain) and visit the islands off Hvar Island. The Pakleni Islands are an archipelago of 20 islands off the coat of Hvar. They are known for beautiful beaches, charming village towns and secluded coves.  You can take the bus to visit the abandoned villages of Velo Grabjle and Malo Grabjle,. It is a short bus ride or scooter/car trip from Hvar Town. Explore the fields of lavender and Olive Grove farms
  • Getting around Croatia – Information on Croatian buses and ferries