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Barcelona Disabled Access Review

barcelona-accessibility-ratingBy John Sage
While it still has its challenges, Barcelona disabled access is better than most cities in Europe. Consequently, I gave it a 5 Star Sage Accessibility Rating which is my highest rating.

With the right amount of planning, any disabled or senior traveler can enjoy the magnificent sights in Barcelona. This page will give you an idea of some of the Barcelona disabled access challenges you might face.  And of course you can use our accessible Barcelona trip planning services for a customized accessible vacation!

Contact our Barcelona Accessible Travel Consultants
to experience a worry-free accessible Barcelona vacation!

Best Aspects of Barcelona Disabled Access

barcelona-sidewalksOne of the most cobblestone-free medieval quarters – Many European cities are built around a medieval city center, and Barcelona is no exception.  However, unlike Paris, Bruges, Siena, and Istanbul, Barcelona has very few cobblestones! (photo of Gothic Quarter shown on right)  Wheelchair users will have a much smoother ride!

Numerous accessible Metro stations – Barcelona’s metro system is far more accessible than its counterparts in Paris, London, Istanbul, and Rome.  It’s not quite as accessible as Athens, but disabled visitors will often find elevators to reach the metro platforms.

Wheelchair accessible paths at the beachBarcelona disabled access at beaches is some of the best I’ve encountered anywhere in Europe.  There are ramps to get from the sidewalk down to the sand, and there are wooden paths to get to the water (shown in the photo on the left).  Wheelchairs designed for the sand (shown in the photo on the right) are available.

barcelona-beach-accessibility barcelona-beach-wheelchairs

Flat city center – Although mountains (and ocean) surround the city, most of Barcelona is flat. Manual wheelchair users and slow walkers will love the lack of hills!

Watch John Sage describe accessibility in Barcelona’s city center


All public buses are accessible – All of Barcelona’s bus lines use buses with wheelchair ramps.  They are quite easy to use and do a decent job of connecting the tourist attractions.

Many modern hotels with good accessibilityAccessible hotels in central Paris are housed in 200 year old buildings, and few have been made fully accessible.  In Barcelona that’s not the case!  Many accessible Barcelona hotels (even in the city center) use modern buildings with flat access at the entrance and roll-in showers.  Disabled travelers will have numerous accessible hotels to choose from!

accessible-barcelona-hotels barcelona-roll-in-shower

Many accessible cruises leave from here – Cruising is one of my favorite ways to travel and it’s one of the most accessible ways to vacation!  Many wheelchair accessible Mediterranean cruises depart from Barcelona which makes this a great city to visit for 2 or 3 days before heading out to sea! Photos of the Barcelona cruise port and the accessible Barcelona cruise terminal are shown below.

barcelona-john-sage barcelona-cruise-terminal-wheelchair

Worst Aspects of Barcelona Disabled Access

barcelona-montjuic-wheelchairBarcelona’s gondola is not accessible – Barcelona’s gondola from Montjuic Hill to the harbor offers great views but unfortunately it has steps a both the harbor end and the Montjuic end (shown in the photo on the right).

Hills at some tourist sights – While most of Barcelona is flat, visitors will encounter some hills during their trip.  The Olympic Stadium is located on Montjuic Hill, and Gaudi’s Park Guell is also located on a hill.

Long tourist lines – Just like any other city in Europe, lines can be very long to get into the main attractions.  In Barcelona, this is particularly true at Sagrada Familia and the Picasso Museum.  If a few cruise ships are in port, the waits can take more than an hour.

barcelona-sagrada-familia-accessibilityStairs before the elevator to the Sagrada Familia tower – There are several steps leading to the elevator which is very small. For “safety reasons” wheelchair users and other disabled visitors are not allowed to use the lift. A photo of the stairs is shown on the left.

Bus tour narration is mediocre at best – Similar to bus tours in London, Paris, Rome, Berlin, Athens, and Dublin, the bus tour is wheelchair accessible but you won’t hear much enlightening narration.  Famous sites will be pointed out but you won’t learn why they are important or significant…usually just who built them and the year they were built.

Tourist attractions are not within walking distance – Many of the tourist attractions are located inside or near the Gothic Quarter but several require transportation to reach. Gaudi’s Park Guell is over 4 km away from the Gothic Quarter (route shown on the map below)


Metro is not always helpful for tourists – While most of the Metro stations have elevators, some of them near the major tourist sights poor Barcelona disabled accessibility. For example, there are no elevators at the Placa de Espanya station on the L3 line and the Juame I station on the L4 line near the Picasso Museum.


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Read more:

Barcelona Accessible Travel – main page
   Pros and Cons of Barcelona Disabled Access
   10 Wheelchair Accessible Travel Tips for Barcelona Spain
   8 Keys to Success for Barcelona Handicapped Travel 
   Getting around Barcelona in a Wheelchair
   Sagrada Familia Wheelchair Access
   Barcelona Cruise Port Accessibility 
   Travel Insurance for Disabled Travelers 
   Top Accessible Cruises from Barcelona
   Trip Planning by Sage Traveling
Barcelona Accessible Tours and Cruise Excursions
   Highlights of Barcelona Accessible Guided Tour
   Essential Barcelona Accessible Driving Tour
   Medieval Barcelona Accessible Walking Tour 
   Accessible Barcelona Private Tour to Montserrat Mountain
Barcelona Accessible Hotels
Barcelona Las Ramblas Wheelchair Accessible Hotel
   4 Star Barcelona Accessible Hotel with Roll-in Shower
   Central Barcelona Accessible Hotel 
   5 Star Barcelona Wheelchair Accessible Hotel 
   3 Star Accessible Barcelona Hotel 
   Barcelona Wheelchair Accessible Beach Hotel 
   5 Star Accessible Barcelona Hotel by the Beach 
Barcelona Accessibility Guide by John Sage
Barcelona Trip Planning by Sage Traveling – Travel with Ease! 
Accessible Cruising with Sage Traveling – Receive our Barcelona Accessibility Guide & Barcelona accessible hotel recommendations for FREE!

Accessible Shore Excursions –  Amsterdam,  Argostoli,  Athens,  Barcelona,  Bruges,  Capri, Dubrovnik,  Egypt (Alexandria & Port Said),  Ephesus (Kusadasi & Izmir),  French Riviera (Nice, Villefranche, & Monte Carlo),  Genoa,  Israel (Ashdod & Haifa),  Istanbul,  Katakolon (Olympia),  Kotor (Montenegro),  La Spezia & Livorno (Florence & Tuscany),  Marseilles,  Mykonos,  Naples,  Palma de Mallorca,  Rome (Civitavecchia),  Salerno,  Santorini,  Sicily (Catania, Messina, Palermo, & Taormina)Sorrento,  St. Petersburg,  Stockholm,  Toulon,  Valencia,  Venice 

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