For a major city Split has quite a variety of beaches offering clean, safe swimming, all within easy reach of the centre. These are just three of the best.
Bačvice is the most popular of Split’s beaches, largely thanks to its central location but also because of its uniquely shallow, sandy floor. Bathers can safely wade out for quite a distance, which makes it popular with paddling families. There is a well-equipped children’s playpark in the square immediately behind the beach, and the cafés and restaurants of the Bačvice pavilion are nearby.
Four kilometres east of the centre (reached from Bačvice via coastal footpath; otherwise catch bus #8 from outside the central market), Žnjan is a part-pebble, part-gravel beach that was laid out relatively recently – this part of Split’s shoreline was where Pope John Paul II held Mass in front of 50,000 people in October 1998. The beach area is still a bit gravelly and rough underfoot, but there is a wealth of facilities including cafés, a playpark, bouncy castles and a karting track.
Four kilometres west of town, on the south side of the Marjan peninsula, Kašjuni is a strip of fine shingle that largely lacks any accompanying facilities, thereby making it the perfect choice for connoisseurs of idyllic bays. Reached by an unmarked side road about 1km beyond the Ivan Meštrović Museum (bus #12 from Trg Republike runs nearby), it faces out towards the green island of Čiovo and feels totally removed from the bustle of the city.