Wheelchair Accessible Guide to Split, Croatia
Split has become a popular place to visit in Croatia, thanks to its port and revamped old town. Unlike other parts of Croatia, Split sits on a flat part of the coast, making accessibility easier than in other areas of the country. This guide will cover all the wonderful wheelchair accessible things you can do in Split.
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Getting to Split
The most popular ways to arrive to Split are by ferry and plane. Buses also run to Split, but we didn’t notice any long-distance buses that were wheelchair accessible.
Split is first and foremost a port city and, as a result, arriving by ferry is common. Ferries vary greatly in their accessibility, even within the same company. Some ferries are fully accessible, others have a couple inch ledge that you need to pass over, and a few have stairs leading down to the seating area.
Croatia Ferries offers a search tool that outlines all the ferry departure times and companies for the date you’ll be arriving to/leaving from Split.
Once you know the ferry times that work well with your itinerary, I recommend giving the ferry company a call to assess how accessible the vessel is and how their staff can support you if accessibility is limited.
Split’s airport is modern and fully accessible.
Accessible Restrooms in Split
From my experience, Split is one of the few cities in the Balkans that highlights accessible public restrooms on their tourist map.
How many restrooms are there?
And they’re nicely distributed around the main tourist attractions.
Two accessible restrooms are located on the oceanfront Riva Promenade, one on either side of where the promenade begins. The third restroom is located on the edge of the old town, near the Green Market.
Here’s a map from Visit Split to give you a visual.
Travel Tip: A bathroom attendant looks after the restrooms. Tipping is expected, so make sure to have a few Kuna on you.
Wheelchair Accessibility in Split Old Town
In the most basic sense, much of Split’s old town is accessible. Let’s start by talking about the best areas for accessibility. We’ll work down from there.
The Riva Promenade is beautifully wheelchair accessible and one of the biggest attractions in Split.
The promenade begins near the bus/ferry terminal and ends at a smaller, local port. Wide, flat, and with your pick of accessible outdoor restaurants and activities going on in the street, you’ll likely find yourself visiting Riva many times over.
Make sure to visit the Matejuška Port. This area offers the very best views of Split from sea level. The lookout point that juts into the water is free to enter and fully accessible.
Cellars of Diocletian’s Palace
From the Riva Promenade, there’s a wide, accessible entrance leading down to the Cellars of Diocletian’s Palace.
Once you get into the cellar, you have two options- explore the free part of the cellar where all the shops are or pay to enter the rest of the cellars.
Back in the Emperor Diocletian days, the cellars were used to store food and wine. They also were designed to channel noise from the basement up to the emperor’s bedrooms. This way, the emperor could hear if anyone was trying to invade the basement to kill him.
They say that Diocletian was the only Roman Emperor to die of natural causes, so I guess it worked!
The Cellars of Diocletian’s Palace is open daily from 9:00am – 5:00pm. The entrance fee is 45 Kuna.
Just like Riva, Marmontova is a wonderfully flat, wide pedestrian street. This street is commercial, with upscale shops and restaurants. It’s located on the far side of town, near the Matejuška Port.
Going from one end to the other of Marmontova Street will take under ten minutes. Make sure to stop and admire the unique water fountain, with water flowing from a building into a sculpture in the middle of the path.
Marmontova Street will take you to two other accessible areas of interest. Let’s dive into these.
Croatian National Theater of Split
If theater is your thing, make sure to be in Split on a night when there’ll be a performance. The Croatian National Theater is located at the very end of Marmontova Street.
A ramp is located at the front of the building, on the left-hand side, when facing the theater.
Performances are frequent and you can view a full list here. The titles are in Croatian, as are the performances. However, as any theater-goer can tell you, art is found in so many areas aside from language.
Nonetheless, it’s best to call or go in person if you want a better idea of the exact kind of performance you’d be seeing. Ballet, dramas, opera, and concerts are all performed at the theater.
When you’re walking on Marmontova Street from the Riva Promenade, and before you arrive to the theater, a fishy smell and a bustling scene may catch you off guard.
Congrats, you’ve found the fish market!
The market outgrew its original secession-style building and now floods into the streets.
And that’s a good thing.
The outdoor fish market is entirely accessible. Although the indoor part of the market isn’t accessible, you can go up to the entrance of the steps and peek in, easily seeing the entire place. The seafood sold is the same both inside and outside.
Exploring the old town
Now that we’ve covered the perfectly wheelchair accessible places to see in Split, let’s dig into the ones that are “pretty accessible.”
I classify the old town of Split as “pretty accessible” in the sense that streets are flat and since it’s a pedestrian zone, you don’t have to worry about curbs and crosswalks. You’ll also come across a plethora of accessible outdoor restaurants.
However, the streets are cobblestone. Some areas are more uneven than others; the stone around Diocletian’s Palace is particularly bumpy.
Split’s old town can be frustrating for wheelchair users, who are meandering along just fine and suddenly come to a step or few. Almost all streets are accessible, somehow, but in these cases, it oftentimes means backtracking and entering the area you were trying to get to from a different angle.
Nonetheless, exploring Split’s old town is very much worth the effort and is an absolute must for your visit.
The Green Market sits directly beside the entrance to Split’s old town, on the side nearest to the bus terminal.
This gigantic market is open daily starting in the early morning and going throughout the day. Here, you can buy fruits and veggies along with souvenirs, clothes, toys, and any knickknack you can think of.
The best accessible entrance to the Green Market is from Zagrebačka Street, heading straight towards Silver Gate, or vice versa. Cafe Bar Ladolina Karlovačko has a ramp right beside it and is a halfway spot between these two points. So, if you’re having trouble finding the accessible area, put this cafe in your GPS.
The Green Market isn’t fully accessible as there are stairs in some areas. However, you’ll be able to explore a good portion of the market based on the instructions above.
Whereas Split’s old town is a big tourist attraction with few residents, Lučac is a district with old town charm where many locals live. It’s an excellent option for escaping the crowds during high season.
Best of all, Lučac is perfectly accessible. The pedestrian path is wide, smooth, and with only slight inclines.
Visiting Lučac is best done in conjunction with a visit to the Green Market. From the Green Market, exit out onto Zagrebačka Street, cross to the other side of the street (away from the old town) via the crosswalk, and head left up the road.
When you see Natupini Street to your right, turn there. Natupini is a single lane street and there will be some garbage cans at the entrance- don’t worry, you’re in the right place. Follow it around and you’ll soon arrive to the pedestrian street. Take a left and follow the pedestrian street through the community.
Your round trip exploration of Lučac will take around 20 – 30 minutes.
This activity is last on the list because it’s only accessible with assistance.
It’s easy to spot Marjan Hill from the old town as it’s the only foliage-filled hill in sight. The views of Split from the top of Marjan Hill are nice, making this a popular spot for people to visit.
In order to get to Marjan Hill, you’ll need to hire someone to drive you near the viewing area. Parking is informal and along the side of the road. Therefore, I recommend having your driver get you as close as possible to the entrance. Here, you can get out (note: you’ll be on an incline) and head over to the viewing area.
The views are pretty, although within 10 minutes you’ll likely feel that you will have seen it well. You can then call your driver to meet you in the same spot where they dropped you off.
There are other trails leading from the viewing point to other parts of the mountain. However, the trails are gravel and/or have steps. Plus, the views from the viewing area are by far the best on the mountain.
Wheelchair accessible transportation in Split
Wheelchair accessible vehicles in Split are limited, so we recommend checking in advance to make sure you can book an accessible vehicle for your travel dates.
Disabled Accessible Travel is a company that offers accessible transportation in Split. The following is information you’ll need to share with Disabled Accessible Travel so that they can check availability and send you a quote:
- Number of travelers and how many of them use a wheelchair
- Size of the wheelchair(s)
- Specific travel dates, times, and pick up/drop off locations
- Amount of luggage you’ll be bringing, if the transfer requires bringing your luggage with you
If you’re looking for public transportation, we recommend getting your tickets through Bookaway. Bookaway is currently working on developing an online ticket booking service for wheelchair users. But in the meantime, you can book accessible transportation with them via the contact information on their website.
Wheelchair accessible hotels in Split
Finding accessible hotels can be a challenge, so we’ve compiled a list of hotels in Split to help expedite your research. The most accessible hotels are located outside of Split’s old town, near the beach.
Travel Tip: As with many destinations, 4-star and 5-star hotels offer the best accessible options.
Radisson Blu Resort & Spa: The Radisson is a 4-star hotel located on the beach and 3km from the old town. They have 10 DDA compliant rooms, with four of those rooms having a walk-in shower.
Hotel Zagreb: It’s rather uncommon to come across an accessible low-cost hotel, but Hotel Zagreb is a great option if you’re on a budget. They have one accessible apartment room which has a sea view. The hotel is located on the beach, about 5km from the old town. As expected from budget hotels, amenities are limited, so it’s a good option if you’re just looking for a place to rest your head at night.
Le Meridien Lav Split: This Marriott hotel offers somewhat accessible rooms. However, they do not have rooms with walk-in showers. The hotel is located on the coast, about 8km south of the old town.
Questions or comments?
If you have experience with wheelchair accessible things to do in Split, please leave a comment. Your advice will be of great help to our readers! If you have questions about accessibility in Split that we didn’t cover here, leave your question in the comments section and we’ll do our best to support you.
Laura’s love for traveling started with a trip to Jamaica. Since then, she’s spent over five years living in Latin America and four years wandering the globe. She’s an early bird and backpacker at heart and can often be spotted with a dog or ten that she’s befriended along the way. Much of the content Laura writes on A Piece of Travel includes details on wheelchair accessibility, with the support of her brother-in-law and sister. You can learn about their accessibility endeavors here.