Travel is for everyone. But unfortunately, many people with disabilities find it extremely hard to find travel destinations that are accessible and safe for them. The good news is that the world is moving towards inclusivity, and one of the leading regions making travel disability-friendly, is Europe.
This article will explore the seven unique attractions in Europe accessible to people with different disabilities. The inclusivity of these attractions makes travel enjoyable for everyone. Let’s get started.
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1. Lisboa Story Centre in Lisbon, Portugal
The Lisboa Story Center is the central place to go if you want to learn about the history of Portugal and, in particular, Lisbon. This interactive facility with documentary showings, games, and staff-led tours. You’ll be able to learn about the significant events in Lisbon’s history since its founding, which is estimated to be almost 2700 years old.
The Lisboa Story Center is wheelchair accessible with ramps absolutely across the building for easy movement. In addition, some handrails visually impaired visitors can hold while they walk.
2. Montparnasse Tower in Paris, France
The Montparnasse Tower is one of the tallest buildings in Paris today, and it offers extraordinary views of the Parisian skyline. In particular, you will see the Eiffel Tower and surrounding cathedrals from the viewing space.
The tower has a unique access disability lift that can help transport wheelchairs to the viewing station. Additionally, all visitors with a disability can avail themselves of discounted prices on their tickets to view the Montparnasse Tower. There’s also an accessible gift shop and café on the 59th Floor.
3. Blue Lagoon, in Reykjavik, Iceland
For travelers who prefer the wild of nature to cityscapes, the Blue Lagoon geothermal springs in Iceland are the right destination. You’ll be able to unwind and relax in the comforting warm waters of the lagoon and have an unforgettable spa day. All the while, you’ll be gazing out into the forested, snow-clad wilderness around you.
The Blue Lagoon has a unique hoist that has been specially designed to help disabled visitors get safely in and out of the springs. You can also rent one of their Styrofoam floatation devices that are very comfortable.
Safety is never an issue since the lifeguard is always on-duty.
4. Van Gogh Museum in Amsterdam, Netherlands
The Van Gogh Museum has been doing its best to make master painter Vincent Van Gogh accessible to everyone. They have started an interactive guided tour called “Feeling Van Gogh,” especially for guests with visual disabilities. In these tours, guests are allowed to touch 3D recreations of Van Gogh’s original paintings. The reproductions are so accurate that visitors will feel every bump and crack in the paint.
Additionally, the museum has ramps and lifts that are disability-friendly. In many places, old-time telephones are hung on the wall, which plays a recording of letters posted between Van Gogh and his brother Theo and their friends.
5. Fjellheisen cable car in Tromsø, Norway
The Aurora Borealis or northern lights are a must-see sight for anyone who loves nature. But many places in Norway are inaccessible and have challenging terrain that prevents wheelchair users and people with other disabilities from accessing the viewing area. But not the Fjellheisen cable car in Tromsø.
This exciting cable car is built to hold a wheelchair or two while it takes you up to the viewing platform on Storsteinen mountain. There are plenty of ramps here for visitors to get to the lower station. Then, a disability-friendly elevator takes you to the upper station, where the viewing platform is located. Safety staff members are always around in case you need any assistance.
6. Colosseum in Rome, Italy
The Colosseum in Rome is one of the most-visited landmarks in Europe. So, because of how well-preserved it has been since its construction in 70 AD. This landmark comprises a massive gladiator arena, where the ground is wheelchair and walking stick friendly. The entrance and exit ramps make it easy to traverse the enormous stairway. In addition, an accessible lift has been built in the center of the Colosseum to take you to the upper tiers of the museum. You’ll also find accessible bathrooms located in easy-to-find areas of the Colosseum.
7. Nova Icària beach in Barcelona, Spain
Barcelona as a city has to be one of the most disability-friendly cities in Europe. The flat and expansive pathways are lovely to take a wheelchair on. The enforcement of traffic police rules is also stringent, making it exceptionally safe for disabled visitors.
If you’re in Barcelona and feel like making the day a beach day, you can visit Nova Icària beach. The beach is expansive and always full of activity. There are ramps to take you down to the sand. Additionally, there are lifeguards around who can help you get out of your wheelchair and find a beach chair of your choice.
The promenade has wide walkways and accessible toilets and showers for visitors to use. In addition, a short ramp ride can help you get to the many restaurants and retail stores located along the beach.