A Day Trip to Trogir, Croatia

Trogir Header

Trogir is both a Unesco World Heritage Site and an easy day trip from Split. We came here a week ago on a Sunday. A Sunday in April? We’d been warned that April is ‘off-season’ and that Sunday is “God’s Day” (we’ve learned that Croatians are a lot more devout than we ever expected). Still, this ended up being a fun excursion and we had almost the whole town to ourselves. I also got an unexpected adrenaline rush when I almost fell from the tower (I’ll describe that a bit lower along with a warning about the bell tower).

Trogir’s history goes back to 3BC when Greek colonists founded a town here named Tragurion (translated as ‘Island of Goats’). It later expanded and flourished during the Roman period, fell under Hungarian rule in the 12th Century, and became part of the Venetian empire in the 1400’s. Much of the buildings that you see today in Trogir were built between the 13th and 15th centuries.

views over central square, Trogir (1)

Most of the highlights of the town are concentrated around the main square. You’ll see St Lawrence Cathedral and its bell tower (photo above), the town loggia, and the church of St. Sebastian and its city clock tower.  You’ll also find the town’s Tourism Office on this square (closed on the day we visited). I’ll describe all these further below.

Views of St. Lawrence Cathdral, Trogir

Above: Views on St. Lawrence Cathedral and the bell tower. The building to the right on the bottom photo houses the Trogir Tourism Office.

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St. Sebastian and main square, Trogir, Croatia

Above: St. Sebastian church and the clock tower. To its right is the city loggia (a loggia is defined as an open-sided building).

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sights around main square, trogir, Croatia

Above left: detailed view of the clock tower. On the right is a large pillar in the square in front of St. Lawrence Cathedral.

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The St. Lawrence Cathedral, the bell tower, and the baptistery are the main attraction in Trogir. You can gain access to all these sights with a 20 Kuna ticket (about $3 US).

The Cathedral was built in the beginning of the 13th Century and constructed over the site of a previous Cathedral (built in Roman times) that had been destroyed when the Venetian attacked the city in 1171. One of the most interesting highlights of the cathedral is the outside portal built by Croatian sculptor Radovan. You’ll see exotic animals and fantastical creatures as well as sculptors of Adam and Eve.

Below: Radovan’s portal (entry way) into the Cathedral.

 

Radovan's portal at St. Lawrence Cathedral, Trogir

Below: Inside the Romanesque-style St. Lawrence Cathedral

inside St. Lawrence Cathedral, Trogir, Croatia

 Below: the beautiful ceiling of one of the Cathedral’s chapels.

Ceiling of St. Lawrence Cathedral, Trogir

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Right next to the portal to the Cathedral is the entry way to the Bell Tower. The tower has great views. And it’s not a hard climb until you get close to the top – you’ll find yourself climbing a steep metal stepladder the last 10 feet or so and will have to hoist yourself up to the floor by grabbing one of the metal beams along the side (fine if you have long arms like me but short people or children might not be able to). Actually, my near-accident had nothing to do with either going up or down; I was walking around taking photos when I stepped right over the entryway and almost fell down the hole. So keep your eyes open and looking down at the floor when walking around the top of the bell tower.

See our video of the bell tower and the great views over Trogir

trogir bell tower at your own risk

views over Trogir from the bell tower of St. Lawrence

Trogir, views from bell tower

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The City loggia (below) was was both a courtroom and where laws were passed.

Croatian flag at City Loggia with St. Lawrence Cathedral in the background

City Loggia, Trogir, Croatia

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Below: Outside the main square are lots of charming little streets.

small streets in Trogir, Croatia

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Within a few minutes walk (Trogir is really small) you’ll be stepping out of the city walls onto the promenade (Riva).

views outside city gate, Trogir, Croatia

canal, Trogir, Croatia

 Below: St. Dominic’s church, seen from the Riva.

St. Dominic's church and Riva,Trogir, Croatia

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At the end of the Riva is the Fortress of Kamerlengo which was built in the 14th Century by the Venetians to protect the town’s harbor. You can get in for 10 Kuna. Honestly, they haven’t done a great job of preserving the fort and it was a bit of a disappointment. You can however see great views of town and the surrounding countryside.

Kamerlengo Fortress, Trogir

Views from Kamerlengo Fortress, Trogir, Croatia (2)

views in Trogir, Croatia (2)

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Interesting was a visit to St. Dominic’s church and convent (below). Very pretty and we had the whole place to ourselves.

St. Dominic's Convent, Trogir, Croatia

st. dominic's church, trogir, croatia

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Below: St. Peter’s church, another historic highlight (which was closed when we tried to get in). Worth seeing for the exterior 3-D sculptor of St. Peter alone…

St. Peter's church,Trogir, Croatia

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Below: few stores were open. This one was an exception.

souvenir store, Trogir, Croatia 2

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Below: One of the squares where hundreds of tourists flock to in the summer.

square inTrogir, Croatia

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Below: More views of quiet Trogir.

views in Trogir, Croatia

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Although quiet, a few restaurants were open. We had a beer and cheese plate, enjoying the peacefulness until a Korean tour group suddenly showed up and started an ice cream eating orgy at one of the  ice cream shops on the square. We can only imagine how busy this town gets in summer. So is it ok to visit Trogir on a Sunday in April? Yes, we think so. It might not be lively but you’ll have the tiny streets all to yourself without any jostling from the tourist hordes. A totally enjoyable day trip for us.

views from gate lookin over Trogir, Croatia

 

Some practical information

– Trogir is an easy 30 minute bus ride from Split. Buses can be taken from the main bus station in town (next to the ferry piers) and there’s usually 2 buses an hour (see this site for schedules). A slower city bus (bus 37) also makes it to Trogir as well as the airport (Split airport is located 3 km from Trogir).

– We explored the town in 3 hours. Even if you spend longer, you can easily do Trogir in half a day. It is quite a small town.

 

Have you been to Trogir? What did you think of it?

 

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Comments

  1. It’s beautiful! I would enjoy having the place to ourselves too. Better for pictures as you show with some really nice ones. The view from the tower is lovely, even though l don’t think it’s worth killing yourself for :-). I can only imagine how busy it gets in the summer. Another place to check out when we eventually get there..thanks!
    Kemkem recently posted…What €600 rent gets you in a Seville Pueblo!My Profile

    • Frank (bbqboy) says:

      Yes, I read on Wikipedia that there are 20,000 beds for visitors in the Trogir area – sounds like an incredible number and I can’t believe that there can ever be that many tourists here…but I do hear that there are lots so it’s actually pretty nice not having to deal with them this time of year (I’m sure Sevilla where you are just the same). I think visiting Europe in the shoulder seasons actually quite nice…

  2. What a beautiful place – so historical and packed with musueums and churches I see. I wanted to take my mom there this summer and guess what… your post makes me wanna do it even more now!
    Agness recently posted…Fukuoka For Less Than $25 A DayMy Profile

  3. Great photos. European history amazing and to us N. Americans just seems crazy to imagine an island of goats founded by Greeks before even the time of Jesus. Europeans probably take all the history for granted but just seems mind blowing to me. And to imagine all the people and civilizations that walked in your very steps…

  4. These pictures are stunning! I’m definitely adding this to the list the next time I find myself in Croatia!
    Dave recently posted…25 Music Festivals In America To Experience Before You DieMy Profile

  5. I can certainly see why it is a UNESCO World Heritage site. Also for someone who has a fear of heights, reading about your near fall, unnerved me. Look where you are walking! 🙂
    Natalie recently posted…Kas : Mediterranean Delight in TurkeyMy Profile

  6. Trogir is one of my favorite cities in Croatia. It is small, cozy and medieval.
    Victor recently posted…Museo Borghese, Roma: 100 percent Concentration of BeautyMy Profile

  7. Trogir is the pearl of Adriatic coast, so charming and romantic. I must say this fact – this area of Trogir and island Čiovo is very popular for longer family holidays 7 or 14 days among many European holidaymakers
    Why? Many beautiful beaches, wide choice of restaurants, quality private villas, many with pools and proximity of airport Split.

  8. Looks like a beautiful town. I’d also prefer to visit when things are quiet. Less tourists getting in the way of my pictures!
    Rhonda Krause recently posted…What to Expect on Your First Trip to Japan: A First Time Visitor’s GuideMy Profile

  9. This is very interesting place to visit I like it so much. this is more adorable places to visit.

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