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-1

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-City WallsThe 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

Disability Cruising-Dubrovnik-port1There 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. (We didn’t hear of any on our visit, however.) 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.

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

Language

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

Shopping

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.

Points of Interest

Pile Gate and Old Town
The gate is this UNESCO World Heritage Site’s traditional entrance. Once inside, you’ll find a wide marbled pedestrian boulevard and the 15th century Onofrio Fountain among other historical monuments.
Franciscan Monastery and Pharmacy
This 14th-century complex offers Romanesque and Gothic cloisters, a museum and one of Europe’s best manuscript libraries. The pharmacy is believed to be the oldest working apothecary in the world.
Dominican Monastery
The monastery may look like a fortress, since it was built at the same time as the city walls. Inside, however, you’ll find a fine collection of Renaissance art including frescoes by Paolo Veneziano.
Rector’s Palace
This 15th-century palace mixes both the Gothic and Renaissance styles. Inside you’ll find a vast collection of artifacts, paintings and furniture dating back from the time of the Dubrovnik Republic.
Cathedral and Treasury
Among the wonders inside this 1673 Cathedral are a number of masterpieces, including Titian’s The Assumption. The treasury itself features an opulent collection of gold and silver religious relics.
City Walls and Maritime Museum
Walk the circumference of these 13th-century walls for some spectacular views. The museum, located in St. John’s Fortress, features models and artifacts relating to this important maritime port.
Dalmatian Coastal Villages (Cavat / Trsteno / Ston)
Cavtat’s name comes from its ancient origins and link with Dubrovnik. One of the most romantic villages on the Dalmatian Coast, it was the honeymoon spot for Edward VIII and Mrs. Wallis Simpson. Trsteno is home to one of the oldest arboretums in this part of the world. You can also see the 300-year-old Fountain of Neptune and a medieval oil mill. Ston and its valuable salt pans are still protected by one of the longest stone walls in the world.
Konavle
Experience the unique folklore and tradition of this part of the Dubrovnik Riviera. The area is filled with beautiful contrasts–mountains and valleys, green hills and naked stone, and over 30 villages.

Dubrovnik Accessible Excursions

Arriving at the cruise terminal in Dubrovnik, these excursions include round-trip transfers from the cruise port in a wheelchair accessible van or low vehicle.

Highlights of Dubrovnik Accessible Cruise Excursion

This 6-hour accessible cruise excursion of Dubrovnik visits ancient city walls, a Franciscan Monastery, and the Rector’s Palace using a step-free route. Discover why Dubrovnik is called the “Pearl of the Adriatic” when you experience the beautiful views and rich history of this ancient city on the sea.

Disability Cruising-Dubrovnik-2After your driver and guide pick you up from the cruise terminal, you will begin your Dubrovnik accessible cruise excursion by visiting the protective stone Walls of Dubrovnik, which have been in place since before the 7th century.  Next, walk/roll into Old Town Dubrovnik and enjoy the architecture, shops, and landmarks of Dubrovnik. Make your way down the Placa Thoroughfare, a beautiful limestone pedestrian street, and the main street of Dubrovnik.

Afterwards, you will visit the Franciscan Monastery, and one of the oldest functioning pharmacies in the world, the Friars Minor Pharmacy, established somewhere around 1317. The pharmacy is also a museum, where you can learn about the history of the trade as well as view ancient manuscripts and artifacts. Also, just next door to the monastery is St. Savior Church, a small 14th century church, and one of the few Renaissance buildings to survive the big earthquake of 1667.

Break for lunch in an accessible Dubrovnik café before visiting the Rector’s Palace, used by the Republic of Ragusa as the seat of the Rector between the 14th century and 1808. Nearby is the Dubrovnik Synagogue, believed to have been established in 1352. This Sefardic Synagogue is the oldest still in use in the world today!

Finally, walk/roll along the city walls for a beautiful views of the Dalmatian Coast before your driver returns you to the cruise terminal.

Essential Old Town Dubrovnik Accessible Cruise Excursion

This 4-hour Old Town Dubrovnik accessible cruise excursion includes spectacular views and a walk through history down Placa Street in the center of town.  The excursion follows a step-free route and uses a low minivan that does not require any steps to enter, however, you will have to transfer to a seat in the vehicle and your guide cannot push a wheelchair.

Disability Cruising-Dubrovnik-3After your guide and driver pick you up from the cruise port in Dubrovnik, your accessible cruise excursion of Old Town Dubrovnik starts with panoramic views from Srđ Mountain just outside of the city. This is a great opportunity to take photos and experience the beauty of the “Pearl of the Adriatic.”

Then you will go into the old town, to walk/roll down the Place or Stradun– the main pedestrian street in the city. After visiting Dubrovnik in 1929, the Irish playwright George Bernard Shaw said, “Those who seek paradise on earth should come to Dubrovnik,” and he was right! The baroque architecture and marble streets surrounded by medieval city walls are truly amazing to experience.

Explore the old town and see churches and monasteries, museums, shops, and cafes in this enchanting 7th century city by the sea before returning to the cruise terminal.

Panoramic Old Town Dubrovnik Accessible Shore Excursion

This 5-hour panoramic accessible shore excursion includes spectacular views of Dubrovnik!  Your Dubrovnik accessible shore excursion features round-trip transfers from the cruise terminal in a wheelchair accessible van and visits the ancient city walls, Rector’s Palace, and walking/rolling down the Placa Thoroughfare.

Disability Cruising-Dubrovnik-4Enjoy a scenic drive of the Croatian countryside with panoramic views after your guide and driver picks you up.  Visit the ancient city walls of Dubrovnik that have withstood the test of time and enemies since the 7th century! Experience the view of Old Town Dubrovnik, before stopping for lunch or coffee at an accessible restaurant.

Next up on your accessible shore excursion of Dubrovnik, visit the Rector’s Palace, a beautiful Gothic style building that was once used by the Republic of Ragusa. Before returning to the cruise terminal, enjoy a walk/roll down the Placa Thoroughfare (Stradun) for shopping and sightseeing!