Is tourism for everyone? Is disabled tourism even a thing? At Barcelona Explorers, we believe that everyone should be able to enjoy our wondrous city comfortably.
In 2014, Barcelona’s Town Hall regulated a new disability policy in order to serve the needs of every person, making Barcelona one of the most inclusive cities for travel. For additional information on services for the disabled, check out the Barcelona Enabled website. Here you will find activities, services, and hotel accommodations for tourists with disabilities.
Barcelona as an Accessible City for Tourism
Barcelona is known for the efficiency of its transportation system.
The metro is the fastest form of transportation in Barcelona and hundreds of people use it for their daily destinations. The metro is convenient for those with disabilities because there are specific spaces on board that are reserved for wheelchairs. This can relieve the stress of searching for a spot in a crowded car. Additionally, all of the stations include elevators so that people with disabilities can get to their trains without having to worry about stairs.
If you are disabled and traveling on the redline (L1), the stop, Glories, does not include lift access for people with wheelchairs so do keep an eye out for that.
Like the metro, each bus in Barcelona has spaces on board that are reserved for wheelchairs. Each wheelchair area includes low-level buttons panels for stop requests as well as safety belts. All buses have kneeling ramps for wheelchairs. For those with sight and hearing impairments, there are visual signs and auditory signals that alert passengers when a stop is approaching.
Accessible Bus Lines
The really cool thing about the Barcelona transportation system is that there is a separate transportation system for those with disabilities. The three accessible bus lines, #14, #51 and #91, travel down Las Ramblas, (which is probably the most popular boulevard for tourism in the city).
The #14 and #59 run in both directions on the boulevard, while the #91 only heads towards the beach.
Most of the main streets in Barcelona are very wide so that people on scooters and in wheelchairs can move through the city comfortably. Additionally, you’ll find ramps instead of curbs on the ends of each street.
Electric Wheelchairs for Rent
Another solution for tourists who are in need of wheels to get around is renting an electric wheelchair, or, “scooters” There are a multitude of places where you can rent a scooter from in Barcelona. One of these companies, Cosmo Scooter, actually delivers the scooter to your home! Another scooter rental company in Barcelona is Amigo Scooter. You can rent a scooter here for as long as a month.
One of the most famous tourist attractions in Barcelona is the colorful Park Güell. It’s a beautiful collaboration of modernism and nature, and is one of Gaudís best works of art. The downside of the park is its inaccessibility to people with disabilities. The park is located on top of an extremely steep hill, and there are a multitude of stairs that you will need to climb to reach the top. Even a taxi will not take you all the way up to the park itself. For safety reasons, we advise our readers with wheelchairs and scooters to visit other attractions.
We hope that this post was helpful for those visiting Barcelona with disabilities. There’s always alternative options for tourism, so don’t let your disability keep you from enjoying your time here!