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6 accessible destinations for wheelchair users
Posted on 23/07/2018

CultureUnited States of America

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Not all travel destinations are wheelchair-friendly, and while laws may be on the books to make buildings and streets accessible, there's ample evidence that they're not often followed. However, there are many places that make a concerted effort to be inclusive of wheelchair users, so here are our top six most accessible destinations.

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  • Berlin, Germany
    Berlin, Germany

    The modern city of Berlin meets a lot of the requirements for wheelchair-friendliness. Attractions such as Checkpoint Charlie and the remnants of the Berlin Wall are accessible without restriction, as are many of the museums. Not only are the most important sites accessible, but public transport is as well. It's wheelchair-friendly, cheap and well connected throughout the city. If in doubt, check Wheelmap.org, a review-based German app that provides information on accessibility and testimonials.

  • Ljubljana, Slovenia
    Ljubljana, Slovenia

    Ljubljana doesn't make the top of the list due to the lack of accessible toilets around the city, but the old town is very accessible. The entire area is a pedestrian zone and the terrain is level with lots of outdoor seating. Most tourist attractions are also suitable for people with disabilities, including Ljubljana Castle that can be accessed by a wheelchair-friendly funicular and offers amazing views of the city.

  • Sydney, Australia
    Sydney, Australia

    Sydney is another modern city that makes accessibility for wheelchair users a priority. There are many things to do which are designed to be available to all, such as the Royal Botanical Garden, the Art Gallery of New South Wales, the Sydney Opera House, and plenty of outdoor tours and activities. There is also a range of public transport options for those with physical impairments, and the transit system is constantly being updated and improved.

  • San Diego, U.S.A.
    San Diego, U.S.A.

    With a pleasant climate, world famous family attractions and year-round events, San Diego is a great holiday option with a good level of accessibility for wheelchair users. San Diego has amazing beaches and a trip here would not be complete without time spent on the sand. Free beach wheelchairs are available at seven beaches on the San Diego coast so the public can enjoy the sand and the water without any restrictions. If you're planning to travel mid-July through early September, don't miss the most popular annual events, the Del Mar Horse Racing Season and Comic-Con. Both provide services specifically for disabled visitors. The San Diego Tourism Authority advises customers to call ahead in order to check that there are no issues prior to booking your stay.

  • Barcelona, Spain
    Barcelona, Spain

    Unlike many other European cities, Barcelona has just a few cobblestone streets, so wheel-chair users are in for a smooth ride. With a more accessible metro system than the London tube, Barcelona's metro includes a network of elevators, which should make your journey a lot easier. Like San Diego, Barcelona offers great facilities for disabled visitors at their beaches, with ramps to get from the sidewalks all the way down to the sand, wooden paths down to the water, and beach wheelchairs. What's more is that the city center is more or less flat. Despite the surrounding mountains, the city is easy to get around even without the use of public transport. Despite all these great points, it's advised that you check in advance with any accessibility questions you may have.

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Our criteria for determining these wheelchair-friendly locations includes smooth, accessible sidewalks, easy-to-access public transport, and bars, restaurants and cafes with disabled-friendly toilets. Places with ample elevator access, access to museums and historic sites, and taxis with space for wheelchairs are also included in the list. When determining whether somewhere is wheelchair friendly, wheelchair-users are specifically speaking of having smooth, accessible, sidewalks and accessible public transport, bars, restaurants and cafes with disabled-friendly toilets. The rest of the criteria which includes museums, accommodation, taxis and having levelled terrain so it is not too hilly.