Split is a tender port – Some ports of call require the ship to anchor off shore. Guests are then taken to shore by small boats or tenders. When tendering is required, guests using mobility devices will not be transferred into or out of the tender. Many tender ports do not provide wheelchair access so even if the guest can board the tender they may not be able to disembark ashore. Again the shore-side facilities, movement of the tender, weather and tidal conditions can also preclude tendering.
Split is a popular tourist destination, the city is linked to Apennine Peninsula and Adriatic islands. The town was founded as Greek colony (named Aspalathos) in 3rd-2nd century BC. Pine-clad hills, secluded coves, beaches – Split and the Dalmatian Riviera have been premier destinations on the Adriatic since the days of the Roman emperors. In fact, medieval Split was built within and around the palace complex built for the emperor Diocletian in his retirement.
Split offers cruise guests a wealth of exciting places to visit, from the majestic cathedral and marble streets in the center of town to the harbor area with its cafe-lined promenades and views of coastal mountains.
Where You’re Docked
The first thing that strikes you on arrival in Split, Croatia, is how very busy it is. The quayside is lined with local ferry boats and there are hordes of young backpackers embarking or disembarking as they make their way around one of Europe’s most beautiful regions.
Smaller cruise ships dock near the ferry terminal at Split Ferry Port. Bigger cruise vessels anchor in the harbor and their passengers are tendered ashore. The station for cruise tender boats is even closer to Old Town than the cruise terminal.
The area around the port caters well to young travelers, with plenty of cheap and cheerful cafes, exchange bureaus and Internet centers. Head a little up the hill opposite the terminal and you’ll find a street market selling beach towels, hats, sunglasses, newspapers and other tourist paraphernalia. But the main action is to your left, in the Old Town and around the palace.
There is much to enjoy in this delightful port, from elegant pastel-colored tea shops and great restaurants to even better shops. A short but uphill walk to the Old Town with its market and the world-famous jewel that lies at Split’s heart, the magnificent Palace of Diocletian.
Good to Know
Be aware that traffic is heavy and drivers have a rather cavalier approach to stopping at crossings. (Don’t just step out!). The waterfront and streets around the palace are often thronged by tourists, so be prepared for crowds.
Diocletian’s Palace and the Old Town are within easy walking distance of the dock. If you want to venture farther afield, you’ll find a well-served taxi stand right outside the passenger terminal and a bus station to your left.
Look right, across the road, and you’ll see a tourist information center; there’s also a post office and a place to leave luggage. Stroll along the harbor front and you’ll see ferries offering trips to Korcula, Hvar and Dubrovnik.
Currency & Best Way to Get Money
The Kuna (HRK) is the official currency of Croatia. Banks are the only place you can change Kuna back into hard currency. You can get a cash advance on your credit card at banks throughout the country, though Visa® credit cards are not accepted by all banks.
You’ll find several ATMs along the Riva promenade, which runs parallel to the port. (You’ll find it to your left when you leave the passenger terminal.)
The locals speak Croatian among themselves, but fortunately for tourists, most also speak English. In an emergency, dial 112 or call 192 for the police, 193 for the fire brigade or 194 for an ambulance.
You might enjoy a slab of Croatian fig cake, which comes in lavender, orange and almond flavors. Figs are big here. So, too, are almonds, and little bags of locally grown nuts, coated in pastel-tinted icing.
For something more lasting, check out Split’s many jewelry stores or the stalls at the entrance to Diocletian’s Palace, which feature small sculptures, clocks and dishes made from white Dalmatian marble.
Points of Interest
- Diocletian’s Palace & Cellar – This incredible walled palace was built by the Roman Emperor of Diocletian at the turn of the 4th century AD. Located in the heart of Split, the vast walled enclave spans 10 acres and dominates the Old Town. It’s effectively a mini-city in its own right, containing hotels, bars, restaurants and apartments. It is constructed from local white limestone and marble, and home to many local businesses and shops.
- St. Domnius Cathedral – Named after the patron saint of Split, the cathedral is formed from Diocletian’s mausoleum. Striking features include a colonnade of Corinthium columns, the Bell Tower that dates back to 1100 AD and breath-taking Romanesque sculptures.
- Temple of Jupiter – Originally the temple faced the cathedral across the Peristyle (the square leading to the Imperial apartments). The temple’s façade has been much altered over 13 centuries.
- People’s Square & Old Town – People’s Square and Old Town are a history buff’s dream. Explore the Diocletian Palace and its monumental courtyard – the Perystile. Shop or sip coffee on Marmontova Street, or stroll the Riva, a bustling waterfront promenade.
- Markets – There are several markets in Split, but the general market beside the palace’s Silver Gate is arguably the best. It operates virtually around the clock and is a good place to track down affordable beachwear and buy freshly picked Mediterranean fruits and vegetables. There are plenty of bars here, too, so it’s a good place to stop for a mid-morning coffee or a drink. On the other side of the Old Town — set incongruously close to Marmontova, Split’s poshest shopping street — is a bustling fish market, a culinary education in its own right.
- Mestrovic Gallery – Learn about Split’s most famous artist, Ivan Mestrovic, who was born a Croatian peasant’s son in 1883 and became famous in Croatia and later in the United States. The gallery contains portraits and many statues and occupies a neoclassical villa built by Metrovic himself in 1931. Ivan Mestrovic is considered Croatia’s greatest sculptor, Mestrovic’s estate is now home to a museum and gallery displaying many of his wonderful sculptures.
- Trogir – St Lawrence Cathedral – A fascinating town, historic Trogir sits perched on the top of a small island, connected to the mainland by a small bridge. Kamerlengo Castle and fortress, built in the 15th-century, is the star attraction along with magnificent St Jacob’s Cathedral.
- Sibenik – Cathedral of St. James – Stunning Sibenik was founded in 1066, the year of the Norman Conquest, and is considered an important Croatian heritage site. Main sights include the Cathedral of St James, a 15th century building made partly from interlocking stone slabs.
- Krka National Park – The Krka River, considered an exceptional phenomenon due to its lack of pollution, flows through a limestone landscape past cascading waterfalls. Krka was declared a national park back in 1985 and is home to more than 400 species of animals.
Split Accessible Excursions
Arriving at the cruise terminal in Split, these excursions include round-trip transfers from the cruise port in a wheelchair accessible van or low vehicle.
Essential Split Accessible Cruise Excursion
Your guide and driver will meet you at the cruise terminal in Split to begin your accessible driving tour on this 4 hour accessible Split cruise excursion that includes wheelchair accessible transportation and a step-free route.
You will visit Diocletian’s Palace in Split, and the neighboring town of Trogir that was settled by Greek colonists around the 3rd century BC. Here, you’ll walk/roll along the streets of this ancient city as your guide points out the beautiful and diverse Romanesque, Renaissance, and Baroque architecture. You’ll also see the formidable Kamerlengo Castle, a massive fortress that was built in the 15th century by the Republic of Venice.
In Split, your guide will take you along the step-free route through the ruins of Diocletian’s Palace, which was completed in the year 305 AD for the Roman Emperor. The ruins are in the heart of the Old Town of Split, and comprise the best Roman Ruins on the eastern side of the Adriatic. Not only will you get to walk/roll along the ancient pathways through the columns and arches that make up the above ground section of the ruins, but you’ll also get to go underground to the cellars beneath the palace.
There is a mix of smooth streets, large paving stones, and mild to moderate cobblestones along your route. The city of Trogir is mostly flat, and much of it is paved with smooth stones that are easy to cross. However, you will encounter a few places where you may need to cross over mild to moderate cobblestones.
Panoramic Split Accessible Driving Tour
This 8 hour accessible driving tour from Split includes spectacular views, ancient ruins, Diocletian’s Palace, you will drive to several nearby sites including the ruins of ancient Salona, the city of Trogir, and the mountain village of Klisand more on a full day of accessible site seeing in Croatia!
The Roman city of Salona will be an interesting and fun stop for those who enjoy visiting ruins on this full day accessible driving tour from Split. The site was once a great city and included a forum, theater, amphitheater, public baths, and an aqueduct.
The city of Trogir you’ll get to see the impressive and imposing Kamerlengo Castle, a fortress built in the 15th century. Then travel to the Mountain Village of Klis, where you’ll have some spectacular views and photo opportunities. Due to its ideal location, the Fortress of Klis was used as a strategic stronghold beginning in the 3rd century BC!
Finally, back in Split, you’ll visit the famous Diocletian’s Palace in the historic old town. Explore both the above ground and underground ruins of this wonderfully preserved ancient complex—dating back to the late 3rd century AD.
The tour follows a step-free route, which includes wheelchair transportation to drive between sites, you will encounter mild to moderate cobblestones along the way. There is a mix of smooth streets, large paving stones, and mild to moderate cobblestones along your route on the Panoramic Croatia Accessible Driving Tour From Split. Your guide will help push a wheelchair if needed.
Highlights of Split Accessible Shore Excursion
See Diocletian’s Palace, the impressive “retirement home” built for the Roman Emperor Diocletian between the late 3rd and early 4th centuries AD, and Split’s historic city center before relaxing on a beautiful, accessible Adriatic beach on this 4 hour accessible Split shore excursion.
Your guide will meet you at the cruise terminal to begin the walking tour portion of the Highlights of Split Accessible Shore Excursion before taking a wheelchair accessible van to the nearby accessible beach where you can relax before returning to your cruise ship!
Diocletian’s Palace is the most impressive ancient Roman ruins you’ll find on this side of the Adriatic.
Your guide will take you on a step-free route through both the underground and above ground palace ruins where you’ll learn about ancient life in the city, the later years of Emperor Diocletian, and how he was the only Roman Emperor to ever voluntarily remove himself from power.
Your accessible shore excursion of Split doesn’t end there, though! After exploring Diocletian’s Palace and the historic old town of Split, you will then take a wheelchair accessible van to a beautiful wheelchair accessible Adriatic beach where you can relax until it’s time to return to your cruise ship.
There is a mix of smooth streets, large paving stones, and mild to moderate cobblestones along your route on the Highlights of Split Accessible Shore Excursion. Inside the underground ruins, the floor is smooth, with some slight slopes. The Central Square of Diocletian’s Palace is paved with flat, smooth stones.
Private Accessible Split Walking Tour
Visit Diocletian’s Palace, which was built in the late 3rd and early 4th centuries AD for the Roman Emperor Diocletian, to signify his retirement, before enjoying a relaxing afternoon in the historic old town of Croatia’s second largest city on this 2 hour accessible walking tour of Split.
No transportation is needed on this private accessible Split walking tour, because your tour starts from the cruise terminal on a step-free route between the sites.
Diocletian’s Palace is not a typical palace, and its ruins sprawl across the old town of Split. Some parts of the palace are very well preserved, and it’s the best example of preserved Roman ruins on the eastern side of the Adriatic Sea!
Your guide will take you along a step-free route on your private Split accessible walking tour to see the ancient palace walls and wheelchair accessible underground ruins. After exploring the ruins, you can stop to people watch in People’s Square and have lunch at a wheelchair accessible restaurant in the heart of the historic city of Split.