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Accessibility in Barcelona

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Introduction

In recent years a project have begun in Barcelona which aim is to make the city accessible for people with different kinds of disabilities, for example for those who have mobility problems, people with hearing impairments, and people with visual impairments.



Accessible Tourist Attractions

Most of the landmarks and attractions that are visited by tourists in Barcelona have been developed in the last few years, so they become more and more accessible for people with disabilities.

In many museums, such as MACBA (Barcelona Museum of Contemporary Art), La Pedrera – Casa Milà, Casa BatllóFundació Joan Miró (Joan Miró Museum), CosmoCaixa (Science Museum), expositions are organized so that also visitors with various difficulties can enjoy them. For example, people with visual impairments can read all the interesting information in Braille format too and they can enjoy the experience by touching the works that are exhibited instead of seeing it, visitors who have hearing impairments can get a written brochure. The entrance and the exhibitions are wheelchair-friendly, moreover in most of the cases a guide dog is allowed to enter too.

Nevertheless, some attractions can be problematic, for instance the towers of Sagrada Familia (for additional information – Visit the Sagrada Familia Towers) and Mirador de Colom (Columbus Monument). We suggest that before you decide to visit these places think about it and make sure that your disability is not preventing you from enjoying the attractions (for additional information – Attractions and Tours in Barcelona).

Besides the main attractions of the city, the most important open areas, like the beach and the area of Montjuic, are wheelchair-friendly too.

Visitors with disabilities and their accompanists are entitled to a discount or even a free admission to many museums (for additional information – Museums in Barcelona and Barcelona for free).

Accessible Hotels in Barcelona

disabled tourists arriving to Barcelona do not need to worry regarding accommodation, you can choose between many wheelchair-friendly hotels.

Nonetheless, there are different levels in disability, it is not the same if you are using a wheelchair or if you use a crutch. For people who are using a wheelchair, it is recommended to preform an extended research before reserving a hotel, in some cases hotels are accessible by wheelchair in the common areas (entrances and elevators), but the rooms are not necessarily equipped with a proper toilet and bath. Actually, many hotels provide just a few wheelchair-friendly rooms (for additional information – Hotels in Barcelona and Accessible Hotels in Barcelona).

When you choose your hotel, you also need to take into consideration that the area of the hotel is accessible. The main areas of Barcelona are fully wheelchair-friendly. Nevertheless, inside the Gothic Quarter (Barri Gotic) and El Born there are many old and narrow streets where wheelchairs and even cars cannot move easily. Another problematic district is El Raval, but the other parts of the city are accessible by wheelchair.

The most recommended neighborhoods are Eixample and the area of Plaça Sant Jaume (the end of the Gothic Quarter). It is very easy to get there by taxi or private car, it is accessible by bus, streets are wide, moreover you can find there also some accessible metro stations and it is close to the city center (for additional information – Hotels near Eixample, Public Transportation in Barcelona and Car Rental in Barcelona).

Accessibility of Public Transportation

Most of metro stations in Barcelona are somehow accessible for people with disability problems, there are only a few which are completely not accessible. Lines L2 (purple), L9 (orange), L10 (light blue) and L11 (light green) are fully adapted. Click here to download a list of the fully accessible metro stations in Barcelona.

Additionally, according to the opinion of many disabled tourists who visited Barcelona by a wheelchair, the situation is better than in other big European cities, like Paris, London and Rome.

Here is a list of the not accessible metro stations: Plaça de Sants (L1, L5), Espanya (L1, L3, L8), Urquinaona (L1, L4), Clot (L1, L2), Vallcarca (L3), Maragall (L4L5), Verdaguer (L4L5), Jaume I (L4), Ciutadella | Vila Olímpica (L4), and Virrei Amat (L5).

Nonetheless, the stations are being developed continuously in order to become more suitable for disabled persons. However, the bus system in Barcelona is fully accessible and allows people with disabilities to reach to every point along the city (for additional information – Public Transportation in Barcelona).

Accessible Lookouts

Accessible attractions that offer a bird’s eye view of Barcelona are:

  • The best option is from the Montjuic (the funicular to the hilltop is half-accessible and the bus is fully accessible). Both lookout points- The porch of the Catalan Palace on top of Plaça d’Espanya and the one right by the Montjuic Castle over the port, are accessible.
  • The Arena Mall in Port Vell – offers a lookout from its roof.
  • El Corte Ingles mall – offers a lookout from its top level.
  • Tibidabo Mountain Range – offers a lookout on the northern part of Barcelona.

 

 

 

Accessible Attractions and Tours

Many attractions in Barcelona (like Casa Batlló, Santa Maria del Mar and many others) can be visited with a guided tours that are organized especially for people with disabilities. Additionally, in many museums the information related to the exhibitions is also available in Braille format for people with visual impairments and in written format for people with hearing impairments.

Moreover, tourist with disability problems can participate in general tours about Barcelona that are organized specifically for them (for additional information – Attractions and Tours in Barcelona).

Tips and Recommendations

  • Due to a project started in recent years, Barcelona is becoming more and more accessible for people with disability problems. But because of this project, the developing is quick and the information available on the internet is not always up to date. That is the reason we recommend that before your trip make an extended investigation on accessibility of the city.
  • If you would like to visit Barcelona but you need your wheelchair, you can find several companies in the city where you can rent a wheelchair. You can also rent a car that is suitable for people with mobility problems (for additional information – Car Rental in Barcelona and Car Rental in Spain).
  • Visitors with disabilities and their accompanists are entitled to a discount or even to a free admission to many museums in Barcelona (for additional information – Museums in Barcelona and Barcelona for Free).
  • Though most of the attractions in Barcelona are accessible by a wheelchair, some places can be problematic for visitors who have mobility problems, for instance, the towers of Sagrada Familia, some parts of Park Güell, the cable car at Montjuic. According to our opinion, it is better not to be stubborn and skip these places, you can choose between numerous other possibilities. For example, if you want to see the city from a bird’s eye view, you can do so from Arenas de Barcelona (Arenas Mall), El Corte Ingles and many others lookouts.
  • Since Barcelona is situated next to the sea, it is a flat city but it has two parts, Tibidabo and Montjuic (one in the northern, the other in southern part of the city). We suggest to consider skipping those attractions if you have mobility problems.
  • In most cases the staff of the museums, hotels and restaurants in Barcelona is very helpful and they are ready to help visitors with disabilities. You can ask them for help without any hesitation (for additional information – Museums in Barcelona, Hotels in Barcelona, Accessible Hotels in Barcelona and Bars and Restaurants in Barcelona).
  • Though driving and finding a car park in Barcelona can be quite problematic, most of the museums (for example Fundació Joan Miró (Joan Miró Museum), Sagrada Familia, Palau de la Música Catalana (Palace of Catalan Music) and many others), hotels and restaurants in the city provide parking places for disabled visitors (for additional information – Car Rental in Barcelona and Car Rental in Spain).



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