Best Cities to Visit for Wheelchair-Users
The world is becoming more accessible every day. While many places around the world still have countless improvements that need to be made before they are truly accessible, there are dozens of amazing trips to put on your list of future vacations. From public transportation and hotel rooms to stores and restaurants, the following states and countries are best known for their accessibility for wheelchair-users.
Tenerife and Barcelona, Spain
If you want to travel to Europe and enjoy a beach vacation, consider Tenerife, Spain. This region of Spain is surprisingly accessible, with many of its beaches offering beach wheelchairs, beach mats, accessible showers, and changing areas. The city has accessible buses and trams, and the promenade in the city is accessible. Most of the public facilities such as museums, gardens, and parks are also wheelchair accessible.
For a big city experience in Spain, check out Barcelona. This city is very accessible, partly because of the accessibility standards they implemented when they hosted hosted the Olympics in 1992. The city has accessible walkways and a fully accessible public transportation system—both a subway and bus system are offered. Barcelona has a lot of historical sites, such as Medieval palaces and museums, along with a beautiful accessible port area.
San Diego, California
For a fully accessible beach vacation in the United States that doesn’t require a flight across the ocean, consider San Diego, California. This quintessential beach city offers some of the most accessible beaches in the world thanks to their free power beach wheelchair rental program. At dozens of beaches in the San Diego area, you can rent a power beach wheelchair that will allow you to get close to the surf and enjoy the ocean.
Fully accessible stores, restaurants, hotels, and one of the best zoos in the world can also be found here. Disneyland, which is highly accessible, is only a 2 1/2 hour drive north from San Diego. Additionally, their public transportation system is accessible; the city has a light rail system, buses, and offers accessible trolleys in the downtown area.
In general, Florida is a great state to visit if you use a wheelchair. From Tampa Bay to Orlando to Miami, there are several great accessible cities to consider. Specifically, Miami has an incredibly accessible beach—Sabrina’s Beach— which was designed by local quadriplegic Sabrina Cohen. Most Miami stores, restaurants, and hotels are accessible as well. Miami also has an accessible bus system.
Much of Sydney is accessible, and there are many sights to see in this city. The sidewalks and most stores and restaurants are accessible for wheelchair-users. There are dozens of accessible taxis available through a phone app, and the public transportation systems are accessible as well. Bondi Beach, a famous beach, offers a beach wheelchair too, similarly to San Diego.
Melbourne, Australia is also accessible and deserves a mention. The Disabled Surfers Association of Australia is headquartered here, and they help people with disabilities learn how to surf.
A former Republic of Yugoslavia, Slovenia is a new country. It was formed in 1991 and offers one of the most accessible cities in Europe: Ljubljana. The city is known for being highly accessible, with ramps and accessible buses almost everywhere in sight. All public buildings in the city are required by law to be wheelchair accessible. The museums in town are also accessible, and two accessible electric taxis in town are available for wheelchair users
Washington D.C., USA
For a big city experience that is accessible in the United States, Washington, D.C. is a great place to go. All stores and restaurants in this capital city are accessible. The famous Smithsonian museum is also located here and is fully wheelchair accessible. Hotels with accessible rooms are available everywhere, and the public transportation is fully accessible, with both a metro system and buses available.
For a vacation in a cooler locale in Europe, Oslo, Norway is a great city to visit. This modern Scandinavian country has a highly accessible transportation system, and most of the stores and restaurants in the city can be entered by a wheelchair. Most of the major tourist attractions are accessible. Additionally,accessible, roll-in showers can be found at most large hotels.
Many wheelchair-users love Vienna. Located in Austria, this city’s sidewalks and public transportation are quite wheelchair-friendly. There are dozens of accessible museums and palaces to visit; and with the city being mostly flat, you can roll around quite easily.
One of the most modern cities in Europe is Berlin. Many attractions and museums are wheelchair accessible, as well as the sidewalks and public transportation. Hotel rooms with roll-in showers are easily found throughout the city, and many stores and restaurants in Berlin are wheelchair-friendly. One of the best things about Berlin is the app Wheelmap.org, which takes reviews from Berliners on the most accessible places in town.
There are many more awesome, accessible places in the world not featured in this list. Do your research to discover all of the other amazing, accessible places you can visit in this world. You never know what you will discover, even close to home.