Madrid offers adapted guided tours and accessible accessThe capital of Spain, Madrid now offers guided tours for visitors with disabilities, whether physical, mental, visual or auditory. For instance, Madrid’s famous art triangle is accessible to those in wheelchairs with no architectural barriers. Meanwhile, sightseeing tours in the Las Letras district offer voice-amplified guides, while the less-abled can fully experience Madrid’s traditional Christmas celebrations. Any visitor wishing to take advantage of the special routes just needs to sign up in advance at the city’s tourist office. Moreover, the major museums of Madrid, including the Reina Sofía National Art Museum and the Prado Museum all have accessible facilities. However, the city has long offered one particular museum, designed especially for the blind. In the Typhlological Museum, visitors can use their hands to explore models of famous monuments, like the Alhambra in Granada, the Aqueduct in Segovia and the Royal Palace in Madrid.
Accessible BarcelonaBarcelona is famous for its Gothic Quarter and the Art Nouveau Route, both of which are among the most accessible cultural features of the city for those with reduced mobility.
The Art Nouveau Route features the iconic works of Antoni Gaudi, with buildings such as Casa Batlló and Casa Mila (La Pedrera). Meanwhile, other Gaudi masterpieces, like the Sagrada Familia and Parque Güell are both accessible for visitors in wheelchairs. These attractions are UNESCO World Heritage Sites and all offer accessibility, while the first three also feature tactile models for those with reduced sight.A visit to the stunning Montjuic Park in southwest Barcelona is also available, as an adapted cable car takes disabled visitors to the top. Here, along with other tourists, they can enjoy the amazing, panoramic views over the city.
Moreover, the Catalonia National Art Museum, the Centre de Cultura Contemporània de Barcelona and the Museum of the History of Catalonia are all accessible. They are also free of architectural barriers and feature accessible information and activities. Moreover, audio guides are available for all of Barcelona’s main sites and monuments, along with adapted services listed on the official website.
Barrier-free cities in SpainMore major historical cities have eliminated architectural barriers and have accessible routes to tour their heritage sites, including the following:
Alcalá de Henares, Ávila, Baeza, Cáceres, Córdoba, Cuenca, Eivissa, Mérida, Salamanca, San Cristóbal de la Laguna, Santiago de Compostela, Segovia, Tarragona, Toledo and Úbeda.
Meanwhile, the beautiful city of Zaragoza has made all its monuments fully accessible to people with reduced mobility. These include such iconic sites as the symbol of the city, the Basilica of El Pilar, as well as the Lonja building.
As for the city of Valencia, those in wheelchairs can easily explore the parks and major sights along the former bed of the River Turia. Moreover, the ultramodern City of Arts and Sciences, the historic quarter and many more museums and monuments in the city are now accessible. Check the online guide to Valencia here.
European Access City Awards
The European Commission has recognized the good practices of several destinations with the Access City Awards. Ávila, in Castilla y León; Pamplona, in Navarre; and Lugo and Vigo, in Galicia, among other cities, have received Access City Awards.
However, it is difficult to make all of Spain’s many prehistoric caves accessible. However, as can be seen in the image below, El Soplao Cave in Cantabria has been made fully accessible for those with reduced mobility.Meanwhile, Pamplona has made the walls of the Citadel accessible for those in wheelchairs. Avila has added access points to the city’s wall for those with reduced mobility. The city of Lugo offers maps and information plaques in Braille on some of its sites, as well as pictograms for those with autism to enjoy its provincial museum.