Disabled Friendly Barcelona : Top 5 Accessible Holiday Attractions
By Niamh Duffy -
This cosmopolitan city is bursting with life, and boasts some of the most intricate and stunning architecture in the world. Visit Antoni Gaudí's masterpiece cathedral, Sagrada Família, ranked the best of all of Barcelona's attractions by Lonely Planet. Afterwards, why not head to one of the gorgeous sandy beaches or characteristic parks to while away a sunny afternoon? And accessibility needn't be a worry - Barcelona's tourist attractions are well suited to meet the travel needs of people with disabilities.
If there is beauty in building, it exists in Antoni Gaudí’s breathtaking Casa Batlló. Designed in 1904 but based on a previously existing building, Casa Batlló is an example of architectural brilliance at its finest. It is locally known as Casa dels ossos (House of Bones) due to its skeletal and visceral qualities.
Casa Batlló welcomes all visitors, and, as the nature of the building makes it difficult for larger wheelchairs to navigate the house freely, are happy to provide suitable wheelchairs. The famous Casa is also the first museum to adapt its visit for blind people in accordance with ONCE. The museum is a tactile environment, and guests are welcome to feel the forms and textures of the building. There is a 3D model of the facade, as well as methacrylate relief plans with explanations in Braille. Information in Braille is available in many different languages. There are audio guides of the museum, and printed versions of these are available in a number of languages for those who are hearing impaired.
What better way to while away an afternoon than by wandering around Gaudí’s stunning Park Güell? A space where architecture mimics the serenity of the nature that surrounds it, the famous Park is a masterpiece. Easily accessible by Barcelona’s excellent public transport (the 24 and 92 buses – both adapted for wheelchair users – stop directly outside it), the Park is a must for anyone visiting Barcelona.
There is a wheelchair accessible route through the park which allows visitors to behold the best of Gaudí’s work. At the ticket office, visitors will be given a map of this accessible route, and for people with sight impairments, information is available in braille. There are a range of tactile elements in the park for people with sight impairments and learning difficulties, such as the butterfly shaped wrought-iron railings, and the iconic mosaic bench that extends around the perimeter of the esplanade.
Of all of the beautiful cathedrals in the world, Gaudí’s Sagrada Família is completely unique in its design, atmosphere, and construction. Still undergoing architectural building, the cathedral is also currently undergoing work to make it more accessible. Although the towers are still currently not accessible to people with reduce mobility, the main hall of the cathedral, and the museum beneath it, are, and there is a dedicated entrance for people with disabilities. The path from the entrance to the cathedral is quite steep – so take care!
Tickets are free for people with proof of disability and one companion, but should be obtained from the ticket office before entry is attempted. Tickets include entrance to both the Sagrada Família and the museum beneath.
Often referred to as the Heart of Barcelona, the Gothic Quarter is home to some absolutely stunning architecture, delicious food, and fantastic shops and stores. There's no better way to get a feel for this cultural hub than by taking a guided tour.
The Easy Walking Tour Gòtic is has a completely wheelchair accessible route and can also be adapted for blind people. What's best - this tour is designed for groups of no more than 10, so the tour can be taken at your own pace, and you won't miss a thing. Loan of lightweight wheelchairs is available, and the tour lasts approximately an hour, depending on your preferred pace.
Barcelona is home to 8 beautiful sandy beaches that all offer access for people with disabilities. Wooden platforms that run parallel to the ocean provide barrier free wheelchair access right up to the edge of the sand, and these have been extended at intervals to allow access further into the beach. There are disabled toilet facilities at regular intervals along the sea front, as well as numerous café and bars to refuel in.
Barceloneta, the Fòrum bathing area and Nova Icària Beach all offer an assisted bathing service to enable people who would otherwise be unable to access the sea to be fully immersed in the cool Mediterranean waves. This service runs in the summer at specific times, so ask us for more details. Assistance includes a hoist to transfer people from their wheelchair to the floating wheelchair or shower, the floating wheelchair, water crutches, and standard beach wheelchairs, with support throughout the bathe.
We have tried and tested Barcelona's local transport, hotels, and activities and picked out the very best of the best. So if you fancy ticking these breathtaking attractions off your bucket list just enquire now on the website or give us call on 0800 612 2605 and we will do the rest...