If you’re considering heading abroad this summer, specifically in Europe, but you’re concerned about wheelchair accessibility then you needn’t worry. Many beautifully scenic European cities have a good reputation for wheelchair accessibility. Here are some of the best.
It’s perhaps no surprise that a modern German city like Berlin is well equipped for wheelchair accessibility. With wide open streets and sensible paving getting around shouldn’t be a problem. Additionally, many attractions have been made to be easily accessible, a few of which are; Brandenburg Gate, Berlin War Memorial and Museum Island. The only real obstacle is a lack of wheelchair taxis but, fortunately, the wider public transport system has very good accessibility.
It may be surprising to some that Paris finds its way on to this list with its historical Parisian side streets, but modern-day Paris has a lot to offer when it comes to wheelchair accessibility. Numerous big attractions are accessible and yes that includes the Eiffel Tower – although we can’t offer much help with avoiding the queues – and even the Notre Dame cathedral has accessible sections despite its age. Additionally, accessible public transport and wheelchair taxis are available within the city.
If you’re looking for a holiday destination with a bit more sun to soak up then Barcelona is a great option. Like Paris, Barcelona has well equipped public transport and taxis for your wheelchair, offering plenty of options to get around. Additionally, the majority of the streets are also suitable for a set of wheels. In terms of seeing attractions access is good due to smooth surfaces but some areas are hilly making pushing hard, so be sure your attendant is up to the job.
Many Italian cities simply aren’t well sited to wheelchairs due to heavy cobbled streets or narrow alleys, but Milan is an exception to that. Although these things aren’t totally absent, they are at least avoidable. Wider sections of streets and attractions – such as Duomo – make wheelchair use a manageable feat. In terms of public transport, the yellow underground line is fully accessible as is the blue line and more modern trams. However, wheelchair taxis are rare and need booking.
A different kind of city break that’s good for wheelchair accessibility is Oslo. Although not perfect – although what city is – the public transportation and surfaces are well designed. Buses and the Metro and highly accessible and even wheelchair taxis can be found if you book your journey beforehand. When it comes to sight seeing there are also plenty of options; the Oslo Opera House, Nobel Peace Center and a wide range of museums are some of the best picks.
It’s no surprise that a progressive city like Amsterdam is well equipped for wheelchair accessibility, but there are some things to know. Trams are the major public transport method and there are two types. Older trams have a low floor at the middle door for wheelchairs, while newer ones have a ramp by the conductor, both are marked by stickers. There are plenty of accessible attractions such as; Vondelpark, Van Gogh Museum, canal cruises and the Heineken Experience to name just a few.
Best Wheelchair for European Travel
You want a wheelchair that is light, sturdy and ideally can be folding for easier storage. The Tuni Vision and I-GO Airrex are two excellent choices. This is just a quick overview of some of the most accessible cities, but a great source for more detailed info is WheelchairTravel.org.