An All-Access Barcelona
A look into the inclusive tourism of the city
Traveling is a great activity for those wanting to let off steam and learn more about the world we live in, unfortunately it doesn’t come easy to a lot of people. Whether it was financial, political or physical; many obstacles stand in the way of those wishing to explore new places in the world. People with physical impairments tend to remain local and avoid the hassle of traveling and encountering uneasy environments that are made or designed with no consideration to their specific needs. Europe, with many of its countries growing more aware and considerate of such issues, is evolving into a more easily accessible place with full inclusivity. Spain is certainly amongst the countries that are putting great thought and action into such progress, with the capital of Madrid famous for being one of Europe’s most wheelchair accessible cities, the country as a whole (especially Barcelona) is in fact a great destination for everyone – especially wheelchair users who are ready to tour beautiful places such as the city of Barcelona!
In this blogpost, we will cover some major must-see Barcelonian tours and destinations that are exquisite, fun and most importantly: wheelchair accessible! When we are talking about “wheelchair friendly tours”, we are not just discussing how routes are straight enough for the wheels to roll easy – we’re actually taking into account various conditions and factors including ramps with their degree of inclination, accessible bathrooms along the way, street surface quality, necessary public transport, and many others points.
Let’s talk general stuff about the city first, and what makes Barcelona quite the wheelchair friendly city. Many aspects factor into the wheelchair accessibility of the metropolis, starting from the very arrival at the wheelchair friendly Catalan airports: El Prat de Llobregat, Girona and Reus. All three airports come equipped with great-condition toilets for people with disabilities. Upon entering the city of Barcelona and going about the metro, it is fairly visible how most of the stations are designed with wheelchair accessibility. Wide entrances, elevators, ground floor access and ramps – these stations ensure easy mobility for all wheelchair users. A list of all wheelchair accessible station names could be found on the TMB website. Wheelchair accessible buses (including the touristic double-deckers) also operate in Barcelona, as they also come equipped with ramps at the rear entrance, and are internally designed with a reserved area for wheelchairs. The medieval city center of Barcelona (unlike other European city centers) is one of the most cobblestone-free medieval quarters of the continent – providing a smoother ride for wheelchairs. At the beautiful beaches of Barcelona, wheelchair mobility is made easy with the accessible wooden paths and ramps that lead wheelchairs down to the sandy shore. A great experience for wheelchair users to have is the beach floating wheelchair at the Nova Icària Beach and Barceloneta, where help is offered to get in and out of the water.
For those interested in the Nova Icaria beach services, we’ll leave the timetable for assisted bathing services at the end of this blogpost*
Most of the city streets in Barcelona are flat and designed with adapted sidewalks, making a slow stroll with a wheelchair a distinctly enjoyable one. Most, if not almost all, major tourist sites within the city are wheelchair accessible; most notably are the Gaudi structures, of which the Sagrada Familia offers free admission for disabled people and a companion.
Speaking of Barcelona tours with full wheelchair accessibility, The Barcelonian surely has you covered with that! The Barcelonian is a pioneer in fully-accessible wheelchair-friendly tours within the metropolis (soon expanding to other major Spanish cities!). With established works alongside the ministry of tourism’s “turisme per tothom” department (meaning “tourism for all”) – you can find the company listed under wheelchair friendly tour operators. The Barcelonian is also proud to be amongst the first tour operating companies to work with the Airbnb Adapted Experiences in Barcelona, even prior to their global launch. Some of our favorite and most recommended Barcelonian tours are the following:
- Barcelona’s Accessible Old City Tour
A two-hour tour that starts at the Metro Jaume I (Exit Carrer de L’Argenteria), where the Gothic Quarter and El Born neighborhood are toured – revealing the hidden secret behind the architectural structures of the Medieval and Renaissance sites. Accompanied by a professional local guide, this fully accessible tour of the old city is one that is not to be missed.
- Modernism Tour
This two-hour guided tour will take you back to 19th Century Barcelona. Starting off at the Placa Catalunya and going down the Passeig de Gracia, reaching the golden square center of the Eixample area (check out our blogpost on the Eixample here). This tour covers major UNESCO World Heritage sites that fall under the masterpiece works of Modernism. With a professional local guide, and a short trip in the metro, this tour will have you marveling at the gorgeous Sagrada Familia, La Mila, Casa Batllo and Amatller, amongst many others…
- Wine Tasting & Tapas Experience
This two-hour trip starts at the Sagrada Familia and offers the unique experience of trying different types of local Catalan wine and delicious Spanish tapas in the Eixample area. Guided by a sommelier, this tasty culinary experience should not be passed on.
That’s just to name a few of the must-see accessible places in the gorgeous city of Barcelona!
The Barcelonian is adamant on always providing the best quality tours, with well-rounded inclusivity as well! For anyone looking into assembling the perfect Barcelona vacation with full wheelchair accessibility, know that with the right research and planning (and it does help to follow the guidance of thoughtful tour operators like The Barcelonian), any disabled or even senior traveler can relish in the dazzling beauty of Barcelona!
*Periods and timetable for the assisted bathing service at Nova Icaria beach:
June, weekends and public holidays.
July, August and the first fortnight in September, every day.
Second fortnight in September, weekends and public holidays.
Times, 11am-2pm and 4pm-7pm.