Barcelona with a wheelchair: advice and information

Pauline
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Article updated 29 May, 2018. 0 comments

Barcelona is a great city to visit if you're in a wheelchair. Follow our top tips to plan your stay!

wheelchair metro

Barcelona‘s urban spaces are designed to offer easy access for all, including wheelchair users. Here is the proof!

Getting to Barcelona with a wheelchair

By car

The best option is to leave your car in a secure car park. The online reservation site Parclick offers a whole host of options, most of which have special spaces for the mobility-impaired.

  • To see if the car park you’re looking at is accessible, simply check the description for a wheelchair logo.

By air

Remember to specify that you’re travelling with a wheelchair when you book your flight. That way, you’ll be given special assistance.

Generally, the airline will ask you to check in your wheelchair, then supply you with a replacement for the duration of the journey.

By bus

Travelling by bus, you’ll arrive at Barcelona North coach station. There’s no official support service for disabled passengers, but the security staff are generally extremely helpful.

  • For more information, ask at the station reception, the Oficina d’Atenció al Client.

By train

Coming to Barcelona by train? The Sants and França stations offer free assistance to disabled passengers, with no need to book ahead.

For assistance on the return leg of your journey, simply ask at the traveller assistance point 30 minutes before your departure time. It’s easy to get into and out of the stations, as the access routes are flat.

Getting into central Barcelona with a wheelchair

By taxi

See our article on taxis in Barcelona to find out which companies have specially-equipped cars for disabled passengers.

  • On this link, you can book your specially-equipped taxi (WAV) online.

By bus

The Aerobus is extremely practical. There’s an access ramp in the bus, but there’s no reserved space for wheelchairs.

The nº46 bus – see this article– has an access ramp and enough space for two wheelchairs.

Finding suitable accommodation

Generally speaking, hotels have disabled access. However, “hostals” – Bed and Breakfast style establishments – are often located in apartments within non-accessible buildings. Best to avoid them.

  • After choosing the dates of your stay, activate the filter “facilities for disabled people” on this booking platform.
  • Top tip: To avoid any unpleasant surprises, remember to send a message to the establishment you choose to make sure that the facilities are well adapted.

The two creators of the Handilol blog (in French) have tested and approved a cheap hostel near Sants station that has a wheelchair-accessible bed. They highly recommend this establishment. It opened at the end of 2017.

Getting around town

It’s very easy to get around Barcelona in a wheelchair, as all of the pavements have sloped edges for easy access.

You can even book a wheelchair to rent by clicking here.

By bus

Almost all of the city’s buses are accessible, with a removable access ramp and two dedicated spaces.

To request the ramp, simply press the blue button with a wheelchair logo, found near the back door of the bus.

The tourist bus is also adapted for handicapped visitors.

By metro

The inside of the metro is particularly well equipped for disabled passengers, with reserved areas at each extremity of the train. Access from the train to the platform is generally flat, and if not, there’ll be a small ramp at the end of the platform.

  • Note that not all of Barcelona’s metro stations have lifts.

By tram and funicular

The tram and funicular are fully accessible for wheelchair users.

By car or taxi

This site gives details of rental agencies which offer adapted vehicles. Special taxi services are offered by the same companies cited for airport transfers.

Visiting Barcelona in a wheelchair

Cheap accessible guided walking tour of the Gothic Quarter

  • The tourist office in Barcelona offers a visit of the Gothic Quarter accessible for people with reduced mobility.
  • It’s available in Catalan, Spanish or English.
  • It’s usually held on the first and third Friday of each month.
  • It costs less than 13 euros and it’s free for children under 12 years.
  • The visit lasts a little over an hour.

Private guided tour for people with reduced mobility

  • Made-to-measure guided tours are a good idea, as José, the guide, will be able to adapt to your speed, allowing you to make the most of the visit. Click here for more details (itineraries, prices and durations).

Barcelona is full of tourist sites, but some are more accessible than others.

  • Certain places offer discounted or even free entry to handicapped visitors: ask for details at the information point.

Sagrada Familia

It is entirely possible to visit Sagrada Familia in a wheelchair. You won’t need to queue (more than 65% disability) and you’ll get a free entrance as well as your partner. However, you won’t be able to go up the towers. The inside of the basilica is the most spectacular area of the building, so you’ll get to see the best parts.

Casa Batlló and la Pedrera

Gaudí’s two masterpieces are both wheelchair-accessible. A lift will take you up to the superb roof terraces of Casa Batlló and La Pedrera. If your chair is too wide for the lift, then you’ll be offered a narrower one to borrow for the length of your visit.

Parc Güell

Parc Güell is one of the sites offering reduced entry to wheelchair users. Unfortunately, the area around the famous mosaic salamander isn’t accessible, as it’s surrounded by stairs.

The rest shouldn’t be a problem – the paths aren’t paved, but they’re flat enough for wheelchairs.

Montjuïc

Montjuïc is easily accessible via the funicular. The museums on the hill (the Miró Foundation, MNAC, CaixaForum…) are also accessible, but the castle of Montjuïc is rather impractical, due to the cobbled paths and the steep slope up to the castle.

Enjoying Barcelona’s beaches in a wheelchair

There are wooden walkways on the beaches which should allow you to get down to the sea with your chair. There are also adapted toilets and showers, and a special bathing assistance service is available from May to September.

More information on the subject can be found in the “Disabled bathers” paragraph in our article on Barcelona’s beaches.

Going further

There are plenty of resources available to read alongside our article and plan your trip to Barcelona. We particularly recommend:

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About the author

Pauline

Pauline loves books, food and new discoveries. For her articles, she loves finding original and authentic places which are a treat for both the eyes and the tastebuds. Her favourite thing to do in Barcelona? Getting lost in the Old Town and soaking up its unique atmosphere... whilst enjoying the appetising smells emerging from restaurant kitchens! Is there anything better than that?