It can sometimes seem like all the most interesting European cities throw up a range of challenges to those looking to book disabled holidays, whether the challenge is cobble stone paving, stone steps or a limited amount of lift access to historic monuments. But look a little closer and you’ll discover that many of these cities are working hard to make themselves more accessible to the disabled traveller.
Barcelona is an excellent example: I’ve been organising holidays for those with mobility issues to this beautiful Spanish city for more than 20 years, and believe me, things have improved a great deal in that time.
In the last few years I’ve organised trips for clients to the city, reassuring them that things have got easier. My words are almost always vindicated when they come back raving about the wheelchair access in the historic buildings and galleries, thrilled with the wide, smooth pavements with sloping crossings and with the hotels specially geared up for those with accessibility issues.
Here are just some of the places I recommend to our clients to visit on disabled holidays to this destination.
The City Centre
The centre, or Gothic Quarter as it’s sometimes known, is a great place to explore, even for those with mobility issues, as it has almost eradicated the old cobblestones in favour of wide, smooth pavements. If you have come here to shop (and the shops and boutiques here are definitely worth the trip) then you’ll be pleased to discover that many of the premises are level with the pavements, avoiding the complication of steps.
While most of the Gothic Quarter is relatively flat, there are two tourists sights that are set on hills which might challenge a wheelchair user or anyone who finds walking difficult: the Parc de las Ciutadella and the Cathedral. My advice would be to let us arrange wheelchair-accessible taxis for you in advance, if you want to visit either of these sights (which in my opinion shouldn’t be missed!).
Beyond the Gothic Quarter
Things only get better as you head outside the Gothic Quarter as the newer streets are the kind of wide, spacious boulevards for which Spanish cities are famous. Their expansive pavements feel like runways to those of us from the UK.
Even on its beaches the municipality is doing its best to attract visitors with mobility issues. Ramps have been constructed that lead from the promenades down on to the wooden walkways in the sand, which in turn will take you to the water’s edge.
There is a good range of hotels which offer specialised rooms and wheelchair access throughout. Get in touch with my team and we will find the hotel that is right for you, in the location you prefer. My tip would be to arrange your holiday with us well in advance as this is a popular holiday hotspot and hotels can get very booked up in busy periods.
The public transport system in the city is largely accessible. The buses have ramps and wheelchair space, and the metro system has lifts at most stations. The taxis are also wheelchair accessible and can be booked in advance. If you have time, check out the fantastic city tour bus adapted for wheelchair users.
Combine Barcelona with a Mediterranean Cruise
The dock at Moll Adossat/Muelle Adosado is step-free with regular wheelchair-accessible shuttles into the city, making it the ideal place to start or finish a cruise. We offer a range of excellent accessible cruises which stop off at the Spanish City.
This city is a special place whose accessibility will let you focus your attention on its attractions and not on its limitations. Give us a call and let us help you build the trip of a lifetime to Barcelona.