Barcelona Accessibility for People with a disability
Article submitted by site visitor Helen Clayton, UK 13 February 2006
As usual, I was becoming stressed at the prospect of problems negotiating an unknown city-but we really need not have worried.
My husband took his small electric scooter to Barcelona with him, and it proved invaluable. The pavements were almost always ramped, even in the old Barri Gòtic and crossing the busy roads were simply a matter of waiting for the 'green light' which automatically came on every few minutes wait.
For the first time in 20 years my husband went on a bus as the ramp came down easily to floor level and thus allowed easy access.
Most of the authentic bars and cafes had a small step or a ramp, and if there were any problems, people were more than happy to help out. The new waterfront area with the Rambla del Mar was accessible as was much of the Eixample district above Plaça de Catalunya.
Barcelona was by far the most accessible city in Spain we have visited, and we plan to return again and again as it was a pleasure to be in a place so full of historical buildings, and yet so much energetic innovation going on.
I must say that the scooter attracted a lot of frankly curious stares, but that didn't bother us-and after pushing a wheelchair around cities it was a change not to have to concern myself with yet another back injury.
We didn't try the Park Güell but managed a large number of other sights and there were few times when being people with a disability excluded my partner from anything.
In one museum the staff allowed access to their staff loos. One security guy bodily lifted my husband out of the scooter and into their required wheelchair with care and patience.
The taxi drivers waved my assistance away and lifted the scooter into their taxis and jumped out to retrieve it and place it near a level area when we reached our destinations.
My husband speaking Spanish helped a lot, but generally, I believe Barcelona to be a city doing its best to be as accommodating as it can. Loved it and can thoroughly recommend it (after careful research of hotels and room for people with a disability suitability.)
Editor's Note: Thank you Helen for sending in the review. Many people visiting Barcelona will benefit from your experience and your feedback.