Wheelchair Accessible Travel in Europe

Benefit from These Tips for Enjoying 
Wheelchair Accessible Travel in European Destinations

Accessible Wheelchair Travel

Accessible tourism is on the rise in Europe, especially throughout Spain, Portugal, France, Germany and Scandinavia. You’ll find major museums, attractions and galleries with ramps and accessible viewing points. Plus, a wide variety of restaurants and hotels cater to wheelchair travellers.

Most train stations, airports, ferry lines and lodging establishments offer accommodations for wheelchair users, including staff assistance, accessible restrooms, wide doorways and corridors, elevators, and other necessities.

When booking travel online, you can easily plan your trip and find travel deals on accessible vacations, enabling you to look forward to a comfortable and enriching European holiday.

Before you head off on a travel adventure, preparation is key for a smooth journey, according to travel expert Nicole West of Simply Holiday Deals. She offers these tips for planning a trip to your chosen European destination.

Wheelchair Accessible Travel Tips

  • When you book your transportation on an airline, train or ship, advise the company of your mobility needs and specific accessibility requirements in advance. This way, checking in, boarding, seating and exiting can be prearranged with staff.

  • Thoroughly research destinations for available options at popular attractions and landmarks. If you can’t find what you’re looking for, contact the establishment directly. You’ll find most happily offer suitable solutions. The most common problem travellers experience in Europe is navigating stairs in historic buildings, so it is important to double check for elevator access.

  • Ask specific questions when booking hotels, even if they advertise wheelchair-friendly rooms. For example, clarify elevator access, room location, adequate space in your room to maneuver, as well as adaptive features in the bathroom. 

  • Consider staying in the heart of your chosen cities, minimising the need to use public transport. For longer journeys, advise train and bus services of your needs, in advance.
  • Many cities offer specific tours for accessible travel, whereby all you’ll need to do is choose your favourite destinations.

  • If you would like to rent a car, many rental agencies offer modified vehicles. Contact the car rental company in advance to ensure there is an available vehicle to meet your needs. 

  • If you are interested in renting a mobility scooter at your destination, in advance see if your chosen hotel can put you in touch with a company that provides mobility scooters to tourists. You may also want to contact the city's tourism bureau for information on scooter rentals.

Which Countries Are Most Accessible?

For a list of the most accessible cities, Ms. West advises travellers review the winners of the European Award for Accessible Citiesprovided by the European Commission.

The award is given to cities that have improved accessibility in fundamental aspects of city living, including public spaces, transport, information, communication, facilities and services.

For inspiration, here’s a look at some top accessible holiday destinations.

Berlin: Germany is world-renowned for solutions and technology to enhance accessibility. The capital, Berlin, has been awarded with Access City of the Year, with wide pavements and accessible public transport, museums and galleries.

Stockholm: Historic architecture, charming shopping streets, palaces, cathedrals and museums await in Sweden’s capital. The city is one of the world’s most accessible destinations, with ramps on pedestrian crossings, raised curb heights at bus stops and total accessibility to prominent buildings and attractions.

Paris: The romantic ‘City of Light’ is a world leader in fashion, food, art and literature. Many of the top sights are wheelchair-friendly. See the Mona Lisa at the Louvre, zip to the first and second floors of the Eiffel Tower via the elevator and discover the fountains, cafes and sculptures of the Tuileries Gardens.

Barcelona: Barcelona offers many opportunities for wheelchair visitors, to explore the city’s highlights. All public buses have wheelchair ramps, so it’s easy to tour the Gaudi sights like Sagrada Familia and Casa Mila. The people-watching mecca, La Rambla, is mostly flat and takes you downhill to the sea. There, you’ll find the beach promenade, with boardwalks and restaurants.


With advance planning and a sense of adventure, wheelchair accessible travel in Europe offers a holiday experience you’ll remember forever.

Related Information - Wheelchair Accessible Travel

Accessible Travel Resources
Wheelchair Travel - A Primer
Cruise Lines for Wheelchair Travellers
Wheelchair Accessible Cruises
Finding the Right Wheelchair Accessible Hotel
Ideas for Accessible Vacation Tours
Accessible Bed and Breakfast Inns
Accessible Camping
Wheelchair RV Vacationing
Selecting an Accessible-Friendly Hotel
Hotline for Air Travelers with Disabilities
Tips on ADA Hotel Selection
Considering an Accessible Timeshare?
Improving Travel for People with Mobility Issues

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