disability cruising, Handicap, Traveling with disabilities

Disabled Cruiser Guide to Dubrovnik, Croatia

Dubrovnik, Croatia

Dubrovnik is an Adriatic Sea cruise port in Croatia, set between cobalt seas and the rugged Dinaric Alps. Dubrovnik is a medieval delight and among Europe’s historically most prominent and popular vacation travel destinations. It is extraordinarily beautiful, and has been the inspiration for many poetic words, such as the city made of stone and light. Part of its mystery is that it lies hidden between the Adriatic and Dinaric Alps.

Medieval Dubrovnik (Ragusa) was founded by the Romans in the 7th century BC. It was the most important independent city state in Adriatic Sea (after Venice). The perfectly preserved old town is unique with its steep cobbled streets, marble-paved squares, stone-made churches, palaces, fountains. Among the city’s historic buildings are two monasteries, the Rector’s Palace, mint house, customs house. The port city is well known for its medieval double walls and fortifications. Behind the thick defensive walls of its Old Town, discover lively promenades and narrow lanes lined with churches, monasteries, shops and cafes.Disability Cruising-Dubrovnik-6

Dubrovnik is full of resources for nonstop action and fun. Whether you are looking for the lively atmosphere or the cool and fashionable, Dubrovnik will create your perfect vacation. Soak in the warmth of its people as well as the sun, and visit this divine land. Memories will be the true gift you’ll take home with you from Dubrovnik.

For the disabled cruiser, you have a mixed bag of wheelchair accessibility. In the perfectly preserved old town you have steep cobbled streets, marble-paved squares, stone-made churches, palaces, fountains. Some areas of the city are accessible but you soon run into long steep stair cases that are not accessible, restricting the disabled cruiser to small portions of the old city.

Disability Cruising-Dubrovnik-4The key attraction of the sea walls have staircases to them limiting accessibility, and several museums are not wheelchair accessible. The best way to see the city for the disabled cruiser is to hire a tour guide that will point out outdoor sites without going in. Also, the city is on the coast and there are great views of coastal waters outside of the city since the views from inside the city are blocked by accessible limitations to the city walls.

Where You’re Docked
There are two possible docks, though most (bigger) ships wind up in Gruz Harbor, a suburb of Dubrovnik. Smaller vessels may be permitted to anchor in Old Harbor, right in the heart of the old city.

Good to Know
The Old Town can be quite crowded when there are cruise ships in town, but don’t let it deter you from visiting — people-watching is part of the fun. Locals warn of pickpockets.  This is a walking destination, and the smooth marble streets of the old town can be slick, particularly if it rains. Wear comfortable shoes.

Currency & Best Way to Get Money
The local currency is the Kuna. Merchants and restaurateurs will grudgingly accept euros, but almost none will take U.S. dollars. Your best bet is to use a credit card wherever possible for the best exchange rate, though you’ll probably want to change a small amount of money (for attraction admissions and inexpensive purchases) into Kune.Disability Cruising-Dubrovnik-port1

There are plenty of ATM machines and exchange bureaus, both at the port and in town.

Croatian, though just about everybody speaks fairly fluent English. German is common, as well.

Around town, you may see women crocheting doilies and such; these are for sale. Dubrovnik also seems to be a magnet for artists (of varying abilities) — there are numerous scenic-style works, from watercolors to oils.

Things You Don’t Want to Miss

  • The old city of Dubrovnik and the walls that surround it have been designated a World Heritage Site by UNESCO. Portions of the wall date back to the 13th century. The ramparts are intact and encircle the old city with a circumference of more than 1.5 miles.
  • Drive along the coastline to one of the finest botanical gardens in Croatia, the Arboretum.
  • Spend the day touring the city’s rich religious and cultural history. Visit the large Onofrio Fountain, the Franciscan Monastery, and the Rectors’ Palace.
  • Visit Lopud Island, the home of many great sailors and sea captains throughout history. With its mild climate, subtropical vegetation, charming footpaths, beautiful scenery, and sandy beaches, it is the perfect spot to relax.
  • Visit the 15th-century Rectors’ Palace that was once the seat of Dubrovnik’s Republic government. The elected Rector was not permitted to leave this building during his one-month term without permission from the Senate. Today, the palace is a museum with furnished rooms, Baroque paintings, and historical exhibits that will give you a taste of how the ruling class and the aristocracy used to live in Dubrovnik.
  • Take a side trip to the seaside resort of Cavtat. The original town grew up around the ruins of an ancient settlement by the Greeks from Epidaurus. Over the years, Cavtat has become a popular destination for yachting and sailing enthusiasts.
  • Enjoy a cable car ride to Srd Hill for spectacular views of Dubrovnik Old Town and its entire Riviera.

For Dubrovnik Accessible Excursions please click here.



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