A Visit to the Tranquil Island City of Trogir, Croatia

In this destination guide we visit Trogir, a beautiful, tranquil city on the Dalmatian coast of Croatia just a few miles away from Split.

A visit to Trogir

Having checked in at Palace Derossi in Trogir it was time to explore the sights of this Croatian city.

Trogir is often visited by tourists as an easy day trip from Split as the city is located just a few miles away and can easily be reached by bus.

However, I decided to do the exact opposite during my trip.

As accommodation is cheaper in Trogir and the city is less touristy than Split, I thought it would make for the perfect place to base myself on the Dalmatian coast.

I could then just do a day trip to Split instead and would be able to explore the lovely countryside and beaches around Trogir.

trogir old town view air
The city of Trogir as seen from a plane window. As you can see, the old town is located on a small island in the bay. ©Paliparan
trogir rooftop view palace derossi
View over Trogir from the rooftop terrace at Palace Derossi. ©Paliparan

Entering the old town

As you can easily see from the picture above, the old town of Trogir is located on a small island in the bay.

Most of the modern-day city of Trogir is located on the Croatian mainland north of the old town, while another island called Čiovo is located south of it.

Both Trogir’s bus station as well as the main parking lots for visitors who arrive by car are located on the mainland just a stone throw away from the old town bridge.

To reach the old town, all you need to do is simply crossing the bridge over the small canal and you will find yourself standing in front of the North Gate.

trogir bus station
The bus station of Trogir is located just across the canal which separates the mainland from the old town island. ©Paliparan
trogir old town bridge
The bridge towards Trogir’s old town, which is located on an island in the bay. ©Paliparan
trogir old town palace derossi
Most people enter the old town through the rather small North Gate. ©Paliparan
north gate
North Gate. ©Paliparan

Walk towards the waterfront

Instead of going directly through the North Gate, I however walked a bit further along the edge of the old town.

The street on the northern edge of the old town is lined with several cafés, which seemed to be especially popular with the locals to linger for a while over a coffee.

After a couple of hundred feet I turned left into the old town proper and didn’t stop until I hit the waterfront.

cafés
Cafés outside the city wall of Trogir. ©Paliparan
old town
Walking towards the waterfront. ©Paliparan
old town streets
Old town streets. ©Paliparan
cat
Cute old town cat. ©Paliparan
trogir old town
Street in the old town of Trogir. ©Paliparan
waterfront promenade
Arriving at the waterfront promenade. ©Paliparan
trogir waterfront
Trogir’s waterfront promenade. ©Paliparan
trogir sea
View from Trogir’s waterfront promenade over the bay and the island of Čiovo on the opposite side. ©Paliparan

Exploring the waterfront

At the southern edge of the old town you can find the Trogirska Riva – Trogir’s waterfront promenade.

The palm-lined promenade is a gorgeous place to take a stroll no matter the time of the day.

From the waterfront promenade you have some excellent views over the island of Čiovo on the opposite side of the bay, which is linked to the old town by a bridge at the far end of the Riva.

trogir waterfront
Buildings on Trogir’s waterfront. ©Paliparan
venetian style school
Lovely building on the waterfront in typical Venetian style, which is being used as primary school. ©Paliparan
trogir waterfront promenade
Trogir’s waterfront promenade. ©Paliparan
trogir promenade sea
Looking westward towards Kamerlengo Castle. ©Paliparan
Čiovo trogir
The island of Čiovo on the other side of the bay. ©Paliparan
Čiovo island bridge
Bridge connecting the old town of Trogir and the island of Čiovo. ©Paliparan

Seafood lunch

There are plenty of appealing restaurants on Trogir’s waterfront promenade where you can have a quality meal with a view.

I settled on a restaurant called Mirkec, where I had a lovely seafood risotto and some local white wine.

restaurants trogir waterfront
There are plenty of restaurants to be found along the waterfront promenade. ©Paliparan
seafood risotto restaurant trogir
A lovely seafood risotto or lunch. ©Paliparan

Old town square

After an excellent lunch, it was time to explore Trogir a bit more and to visit some of the main sights in the city.

As the old town of Trogir has been inscribed by UNESCO on its World Heritage List, there are naturally quite a few interesting historical sights to visit.

I entered the old town again through one of the gates on the waterfront promenade and walked to Trg Ivana Pavla II (John Paul II Square).

This square, on which some of Trogir’s main historical sights are located, was certainly popular as well with locals enjoying a coffee or drink.

trogir old town
Entering the old town of Trogir again through a gate on the waterfront promenade. ©Paliparan
old town gate
Old town gate. ©Paliparan
trogir old town
Throughout the old town of Trogir you will find some appealing outdoor cafés and restaurants to sit down for some food or something to drink. ©Paliparan
old town
Old town cafés. ©Paliparan
trogir old town visit
Entering John Paul II Square through a passageway below an old building. ©Paliparan
trogir john paul II square
Cafés on John Paul II Square in the heart of the old town. ©Paliparan

Cathedral

The main sight on John Paul II Square – and arguably the biggest landmark in the entire city of Trogir – is the cathedral.

Called the Cathedral of Saint Lawrence (Katedrala Sveti Lovre) this magnificent church was built in the 13th century.

The cathedral has a mixture of Gothic and Romanesque design elements and its 47-metre high bell tower can be seen from all over town.

If you visit Trogir’s cathedral, make sure you don’t miss the magnificent Chapel of Saint John of Trogir (Kapela Svetog Ivana Trogiranina) as it’s one of the most beautiful early Renaissance monuments in Europe.

trogir old town cathedral bell tower
The bell tower of the cathedral can be seen from all over Trogir. ©Paliparan
trogir cathedral
Trogir Cathedral as seen from the backside. ©Paliparan
radovan entrance portal cathedral
The entrance portal was sculpted by a local sculptor and architect named Radovan. ©Paliparan
cathedral
Cathedral interior. ©Paliparan
chapel st john of trogir cathedral
The Chapel of St John of Trogir. ©Paliparan

Other old town sights

There are a couple of other noteworthy sights around the central old town square.

On the south side of the square you can find the 15th century city Loggia with its magnificent clock tower.

In the past, the Loggia was used by the Trogir townsfolk as a communal meeting place, courtroom and place where official events were held such as the signing of contracts.

On the southern wall of the Loggia you can find a relief depicting Petar Berislavić, a ‘Ban’ (viceroy) born in Trogir who led the Croatians to important victories against the Ottomans in the early 16h century.

You can also see some pictures of locals who died fighting the Serbs in the Croatian War of Independence between 1991 and 1995.

Other beautiful buildings surrounding the square are the Cipiko Palace with its fine Venetian architecture and the Rector’s Palace, which is used as Trogir’s City Hall.

trogir loggia
The Loggia in Trogir. ©Paliparan
loggia
The Loggia as seen from the cathedral at the opposite side of the square. ©Paliparan
trogir loggia
Relief of Ban Petar Berislavić on horseback inside the loggia. ©Paliparan
loggia
City loggia. ©Paliparan
memorial
Memorial to some of the local people who died in the Croatian War of Independence. ©Paliparan
loggia
View from the Loggia over one of the old town streets. ©Paliparan
trogir town hall
Trogir’s Town Hall inside the old Rector’s Palace. ©Paliparan
cipiko palace trogir visit croatia
Cipiko Palace. ©Paliparan

Coffee time

The people in the Croatian region of Dalmatia love their coffee and make a true art out of drinking it.

It’s the local custom to sit down for ages over a single cup of coffee while reading all the local newspapers that are provided by the bar, catching up with friends or acquaintances or simply enjoying the surroundings.

There are some great cafés throughout Trogir where you can drink your coffee like a true Dalmatian person.

The bars right next to the bridge linking the mainland to the old town are fantastic and among the cheaper places in Trogir to get a coffee or drink.

However, given that coffee is of such importance to local life in Dalmatia you still won’t pay much at all for your cup when seated on the main square, making this a great place as well to sit down for a while.

cafe trogir canal
Along the canal next to the bridge linking the mainland with the old town you can find some nice cafés for a coffee or drink. ©Paliparan
canal
These cafés have some pleasant outdoor seating next to the canal. ©Paliparan
trogir coffee
Coffee with a view towards the old town of Trogir. ©Paliparan
terrace central square trogir
Unlike many other cities, even the terraces in the heart of the old town are popular with locals and have fair prices. ©Paliparan
coffee
Coffee with a view over the Loggia. ©Paliparan
trogir loggia
Trogir Loggia. ©Paliparan

Kamerlengo Castle

There was still one part of Trogir’s old town left which I had to visit.

The western part of the old town has a different feeling altogether compared to the rest of the island as it is more residential and there are less tourists around.

In this part there are also a couple of interesting sights to see, such as the Church of Saint Michael and its beautiful belfry.

The main sight in this part of Trogir is however Kamerlengo Castle.

Although there isn’t much to see inside the castle itself, you have commanding views over Trogir and the bay from the ramparts and towers.

old town trogir croatia
Exploring the western part of the old town. ©Paliparan
old town trogir croatia
This part of the old town definitely has a more low-key, residential feel to it. ©Paliparan
old town street
Cobblestoned old town streets. ©Paliparan
koen croatia
Yours truly somewhere in the old town. ©Paliparan
old town
Outside of the more touristy streets you can also find lots of local charm. ©Paliparan
church saint michael trogir
The belfry of the Church of Saint Michael. ©Paliparan
waterfront island
The waterfront at the far western side of the island. ©Paliparan
saint michael's church trogir old town
Saint Michael’s Church. ©Paliparan
kamerlengo castle
Kamerlengo Castle. ©Paliparan
veriga tower
Kamerlengo Castle’s Veriga Tower is located right on the waterfront. ©Paliparan
island tip
The far western tip of the old town island. ©Paliparan
bay trogir
View over the bay towards the west. ©Paliparan
Čiovo island
View towards Čiovo island. ©Paliparan

Ice cream

From the western tip of the island I walked back along the waterfront promenade to the Saint Dominic Church and Monastery from where I started my tour around Trogir.

Of course, visiting a seaside city is as much about simply enjoying the surroundings as it is about sightseeing.

I therefore couldn’t resist buying some ice cream and enjoying it on a sunny spot on the waterfront.

saint dominic church monastery
Saint Dominic Church and Monastery. ©Paliparan
church waterfront promenade trogir croatia
The Saint Dominic Church has a prominent spot on the waterfront promenade. ©Paliparan
ice cream trogir
Some well-deserved ice cream. ©Paliparan
waterfront promenade trogir old town
The waterfront promenade in Trogir. ©Paliparan

Čiovo waterfront

For the best possible view over Trogir you should simply cross the bridge from the old town to the island of Čiovo.

If you walk a bit further along the Čiovo waterfront you will have a postcard-perfect view over the bay and the skyline of Trogir’s old town.

There are also several appealing local cafés in this part of the city where you can enjoy a cold beer and some fine views.

While I was walking across the Čiovo waterfront and admiring the fine views, multiple church bells started to ring at the same time.

The blue skies, calm sea water, fantastic backdrop of beautiful Trogir and the sound of the church bells certainly made for a memorable holiday moment.

Čiovo waterfront
The Čiovo waterfront at the other side of the bay from the old town of Trogir. ©Paliparan
trogir view
From the Čiovo waterfront you have some fine views back over Trogir. ©Paliparan
trogir croatia
View over Trogir. ©Paliparan
karlovacko beer
Cold Karlovačko beer at the café opposite the Čiovo bridge. ©Paliparan

Sunset

Sunsets in Croatia can be magical and you should definitely try to view it.

You will have the best sunset views from Kamerlengo Castle at the western tip of the old town island, although I was unfortunately too late to catch it as I lingered around a bit too long at the café over a couple of beers.

I therefore admired the twilight skies over Trogir from the ramshackle wooden jetties at the parking lot on the mainland.

wooden jetty
Wooden jetty in the bay. ©Paliparan
jetty trogir
Watching the twilight skies over Trogir from the jetty. ©Paliparan
trogir twilight skies
Twilight skies over Trogir. ©Paliparan
trogir cathedral
Trogir Cathedral. ©Paliparan
bus station twilight
Twilight skies over the bus station and canal. ©Paliparan

Quick dinner

As I didn’t feel like dining out, I decided to go for some fast food for dinner.

Right at the bridge which links the mainland to Trogir’s old town you will find a fast food stall where you can get some cheap and delicious cevapi (minced meat sausages).

fast food trogir
Fast food stall at the bridge linking the bus station on the mainland with the old town island. ©Paliparan
ćevapi sandwich
The ćevapi sandwich was certainly delicious! ©Paliparan

Night walk

Even when you have already explored the old town during daylight hours, I can highly recommend to take another stroll when darkness has fallen.

There is just something special about exploring an old town like Trogir at night as the little bit of light reflects so beautifully on the cobblestone streets and stone mansions.

Although a night walk through Trogir is not as mesmerising as wandering around the empty late night streets of Dubrovnik, it still makes for a fun activity.

trogir night
Trogir at night. ©Paliparan
old town street
Empty old town streets. ©Paliparan
loggia night
The central square and Loggia at night. ©Paliparan
city loggia
City loggia. ©Paliparan
night street
Although the city is completely deserted at night, it’s still good fun to walk around. ©Paliparan
night town
Exploring the old town at night. ©Paliparan
waterfront promenade night
The waterfront promenade at night. ©Paliparan

Morning market

If you wake up early enough you should certainly visit Trogir’s fruits and vegetables market as well.

Located right next to the old town bridge and bus station, this market gives you a nice insight into local life and it’s also a great opportunity to buy some fresh, organic produce if you stay in a self-catering apartment.

trogir market
Trogir market. ©Paliparan
fruit vegetables market
A morning stroll around the fruits and vegetables market. ©Paliparan
local market
Locals doing their shopping at the market. ©Paliparan

Exploring Čiovo

Trogir is the natural base from where you can set out to explore Čiovo Island and its beaches and scenic spots.

There are several shops in Trogir from where you can rent a bicycle, scooter or motorbike to get you around Čiovo.

In the next chapter of this trip report, I will show how you can rent a bike in Trogir and guide you around some of the prettiest spots and beaches of Čiovo.

trogir bike
A great activity in Trogir is renting a bike to explore the island of Čiovo. ©Paliparan
Čiovo coast
The gorgeous Čiovo coast. ©Paliparan
Church of Our Lady of Prizidnica Čiovo Trogir
The Church of Our Lady of Prizidnica on Čiovo. ©Paliparan

Conclusion

Trogir is one of Croatia’s most evocative cities and makes for a wonderful holiday spot.

The old town of Trogir is inscribed on the UNESCO World Heritage List and has plenty of interesting historical sights to admire and visit.

However, Trogir is far more than just a beautiful old town as it also is a great destination for those who just want to relax at the seaside over a drink and a great meal.

With Split just a short drive away and the island of Čiovo having plenty of beaches and scenic spots, you certainly won’t get bored if you stay for a couple of days in Trogir.

I certainly loved my visit to Trogir and would love to come back to this magnificent seaside city one day.

Trip report index

This article is part of the ‘Across Europe by Train: Interrail in the Age of Corona‘ trip report, which consists of the following chapters:

1. Review: LOT Polish Airlines Economy Class Bucharest to Warsaw (Embraer ERJ-175)
2. Walking Through an Empty Warsaw in Corona Lockdown
3. Review: Four Points by Sheraton Warsaw Mokotow
4. Review: LOT Polish Airlines Economy Class Warsaw to Zurich (Boeing 737 MAX)
5. A Stopover Walk Through the Old Town of Zurich
6. Review: Railjet Train Zurich to Feldkirch
7. An Evening in Friendly Little Feldkirch
8. Review: Nightjet Train Feldkirch to Graz
9. A Short Walk Along the Sights of Graz
10. Review: Emona EuroCity Train Vienna – Ljubljana – Trieste
11. Zidani Most: Europe’s Most Picturesque Train Station
12. Review: Ljubljana to Zagreb by EuroCity Train EC 1211 ‘Sava’
13. Flying With Trade Air on a Let L-410 Turbolet Across Croatia
14. Review: Palace Derossi, Trogir, Croatia
15. A Visit to the Tranquil Island City of Trogir, Croatia (current chapter)
16. Cycling on Ciovo: A Trogir Day Trip by Bike

** rest of the chapters to follow soon **

koen paliparan rhodes rodos

Koen

Koen works as a freelance journalist covering south-eastern Europe and is the founding father and editor-in-chief of Paliparan. As a contributor to some major Fleet Street newspapers and some lesser known publications in the Balkans, he travels thousands of miles each year for work as well as on his personal holidays. Whether it is horse riding in Kyrgyzstan’s Tian Shan mountains, exploring the backstreets of Bogotá, or sipping a glass of moschofilero in a Greek beachside taverna, Koen loves to immerse himself into the local culture, explore new places and eat and drink himself around the world.

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