On the Adriatic Sea, the UNESCO-listed Croatian seaport and resort town of Split is the country's largest city. Split still has important boat-building concerns, and every year it stages a major boat show. But while in the past, Split's strategic location close to the Venetian, Austro-Hungarian, and Byzantine empires kept its economic status high, it now concentrates its business interests on tourism, to the effect that a large number of Split event venues have sprung up. Croatia, and thus, Split, joined the European Union in July 2013.
Split Airport (SPU) is the second most important airport in Croatia, after the one in its capital, Zagreb. Split's airport, which is 15 miles northwest of the city center, has service to many cities in Europe, including London, Amsterdam, Paris, and Frankfurt, but no direct service to North America. Zagreb's airport does.
Looking for mega-meeting venues in Split? Start with the Spaladium Arena, which is a sports venue. It has 12,000 seats, a 10,000-square-foot hall and more than 40,000 square feet of exhibition space.
Hotel venues in Split are modern and business-oriented. Great choices for groups include the 381-room Le Meridien Lav, Split, which has nine meeting spaces, the largest measuring more than 8,000 square feet; the 246-room Radisson Blu Resort, Split, another of the city's few major, international chain hotels, which has eight meeting rooms and a Grand Ballroom, among other spaces; the 128-room Hotel Atrium, which is next to Diocletian's Palace and has meeting space for up to 300 persons; the 73-room Hotel President, which has a conference center with two banquet rooms able to host 300 and 400 persons, respectively; and the 57-room Hotel Park, which has four function rooms, the largest able to host 150 persons.
There are some unique special event venues here, as you might expect in a 1,700-year-old Roman city. No visit here would be complete without a banquet in the Cellars of Diocletian's Palace, where there is space for dinners of 160 persons and receptions of 350. Crowns of laurel leaves are suitable to the venue. Very well preserved and smack in the middle of the city, the imperial palace is as old as some 1,700 years, although some archaeological research points to an earlier Greek origin. Other choices include the Croatian National Theater, which has space for 660 persons in its main hall and can host receptions for up to 250; Villa Dalmacija, which was Yugoslavian president Josip Tito's summer getaway, is on a small private bay that can be reached by boat, and has indoor space for up to 220 persons and a lovely, sea-facing terrace for 350; the very close Mestrovic Palace, built in the 1930s by the sculptor Ivan Mestrovic and which also has a terrace, this one for 70 persons, and space for a marquee for 300; and, a functional rather than romantic site, the Poljud Congress Center also faces the sea and has an amphitheater for 450 persons, six function rooms, a banquet hall for 350, and a terrace, also for 450.
Cuisine in Split includes hearty soups and goulash-style stews but also, its being by the coast, excellent fish. Restaurants able to cater to groups include Bota Sare, which faces the sea and has seating for 80 indoors, 40 outside, and both a traditional Croatian menu and a sushi one; Restaurant Tifani, inside the 12-room Hotel Peristil, which is itself squeezed into a space in the city's ancient walls; Restoran Kadena, which also has the nearly obligatory sea views, as well as 100 seats indoors and 85 outdoors on a terrace; and Apetit, a trendy haven within the walls of the 15th-century Papaliceva Palace that has 80 seats in its main dining room and another 50 in a private space.
Photo by Wikimedia Commons user: DIREKTOR