9 Wheelchair Accessible Travel Tips for Istanbul
Istanbul Wheelchair Accessible Travel Tips – Istanbul has noticeably more accessibility challenges than many popular tourist destinations in Europe. From cobblestones to hills to steep ramps, wheelchair travelers to Istanbul are likely to encounter challenges on their trip. The 9 Accessible Travel Tips for Istanbul Turkey below will help minimize the challenging experiences while in Istanbul.
1. Double and triple check accessibility at your hotel before you arrive – Every European city has some hotels that claim to be accessible but really are not. Istanbul has more of these than any other city I’ve visited in Europe. Many of the “accessible” hotels have no ramp at the hotel entrance or a ramp that is so steep no wheelchair user could get up it without assistance (example shown in the image on the right). In room accessibility also varies greatly. Double and triple check the accessibility at your hotel before you arrive or you risk having a serious complication on your trip.
3. Accessible bathroom location – Many of the bathrooms in Istanbul are not wheelchair accessible. When looking for accessible toilets during the day, your best bets are to try modern hotels, restaurant chains, and museums.
4. The Basilica Cistern is accessible from the exit – Although not well advertised, Istanbul wheelchair travelers are actually able to visit the Basilica Cistern. The exit is locate 2 blocks downhill from the entrance and has a wheelchair lift (shown in the photo on the right).
7. Accessible transportation from the Istanbul airport – A combination of trains (shown in the image on the right) and trams can bring wheelchair users from the Istanbul airport to the Old Town. Unfortunately, nearly all of the accessible hotels are located in the New District, and the tram does not cross the bridge over the Golden Horn to get up there. Istanbul disabled tourists should use a normal taxi or arrange for accessible private transportation to get from the airport to their accessible hotel in Istanbul.