Split is sandwiched between mountains and the Adriatic Sea. The waters glisten a bit brighter here and the sun casts a warm glow on the ancient architecture of Croatia’s second-largest city.

Get lost in the Diocletian’s Palace, a UNESCO World Heritage Site that houses a maze of restaurants, boutiques, and bars. Built by the Roman emperor Diocletian in the 4th century, it has a prime seat next to the harbor. Its white stones were brought in from the island of Brac, marble from Italy and Greece, and sphinxes and columns from Egypt. Four different gates, each named after a metal, lead you into a lively place of the past. This is a living, breathing museum, where 3,000 people reside within its 220 buildings.

The octagonal Cathedral of St. Domnius is a Roman relic originally built as a mausoleum and later converted into a church. Admire the carved wooden entrance doors, and climb the belfry for stunning views of town. History buffs will enjoy the archaeological site of Salona with its ancient sculptures. The area was once the administrative headquarters of the Roman Dalmatian province.

Try to count the numerous red roofs of the town down below after a making it to the top of Marjan hill. The blue Adriatic Sea sparkles beyond. Take in the fresh scent of forest pines and explore the cave dwellings and medieval chapels once inhabited by Christian hermits. Make your way downhill to Kasjuni beach to take a quick dip in the sea which seems to magically transform from an amazing clear turquoise to a deeper azure not far from shore. Bask in the soft sun while enjoying a jam-filled doughnut or a cooling gelato.

Visit the Gallery of Fine Arts in Split, housing thousands of works of art spanning from the 14th century to modern day. Eye candy abounds in the markets which overflow with ripe peaches, figs, and cheese. Dine on octopus salad, fish, fresh vegetables, and a glass of local wine.

In the evenings, the seaside Riva turns into a place to see and be seen. The chatter of friendly conversations wafts into the warm, salty air. The sunsets in Split are some of the most beautiful in the world, according to author George Bernard Shaw. Palm trees stud the walkway and boats bob in the water that twinkles with the reflection of the soft cafe lights.