Tourism Abroad - Disabled Accessibility

Barcelona, Spain October 2010

The Airline and the Airport

On boarding, the airline, Easyjet put the procedure of Speedy Boarding before disabled passengers. When I boarded the plane and sat down, I was asked to move back a few rows by a flight attendant, due to the fact that I was previously sitting next to the emergency exit!

At Barcelona Airport Terminal 2, there are facilities for disabled people like disabled toilets at both arrivals and departures.

Centre of Barcelona with fountains and classical statues

At the Hotel

At Port Olimpico, access to the apartment block was by five steps. However, there is an alternative route designed for wheelchair users. There is a lift adapted for wheelchairs with the floor numbers written and in Braille. At 65m2, the apartment appeared large enough for a wheelchair to move around.

Getting Around

Barcelona has a good selection of public transport, to aid the ‘getting around’ image. Buses, taxis and the Metro are abundant like any major city, but walking is always a good option too, due to the compactness of the city.

Barcelona has an extensive Metro which is considered the more efficient form of mobility. The Purple Line L2 has lift access on all stations, with ramps in place on the front carriage to allow disabled people to board the trains independently. There is priority seating for disabled passengers displayed on the windows of the carriages. Train doors make a beeping noise when closing and some station platforms are wide, which can help with mobility. At some stations where there are no lifts, escalators go up where going down must be by walking down steps.

Buses which have disabled access are recognised with the international disability symbol on them. Disabled parking bays are around the city and are highlighted in yellow.

Generally, pavements are very wide and smooth, with most crossings sloping down to the roadside. However, traffic lights are automatic, with no button to press and no sound is made when crossing is permitted.


Access to the Barcelona Cathedral is by steps, unfortunately, an alternative route for wheelchairs was not noticed. There are concessions for the disabled where the disabled get in free of charge. It is quite dim inside, with steps in various places; however, there are plenty of seating areas inside.

Antoni Gaudi's masterpiece - Sagrada Familia CatherdalNou Camp is home to FC Barcelona and the disabled access here is not so good. There is a lift which goes up, as you come out you head across a bridge and enter the stadium. From then on it is steps up and down to the changing rooms and through the tunnel. The only lift is up to the commentary booths right at the top of the stadium. The Nou Camp museum was very dark and was difficult to navigate the way around. There were concessions for disabled people where the disabled person gets in free.

The Sagrada Familia is the modern day cathedral which is still under construction. Free entry for disabled and carer was provided at the ticket area. There was a slope from the ticket area deemed rather steep, but there were no steps involved. It is not too dim inside compared to the older cathedral.

The Arc de Triomf is open to all and easily accessible. There is no admission fee required, nor do you queue up, you just go and see it.

Eating Out

At Barnabier, this restaurant was very well adapted to facilitate disabled people, with a disabled toilet and ramped access. The lighting inside and outside was excellent with English menus slightly easier to read, but were not large print.

The restaurant of Salamanca was highly recommended by two people. However, the disabled access here was quite poor, with a step required to enter and no disabled toilet (the toilets were upstairs). The tables were very close together which would be difficult for a wheelchair to get through. On a more positive note, the good lighting was the best aspect of this restaurant.

Cava Neves was a short walk away from Salamanca, which had very good facilities for disabled people with a ramp and disabled toilet in place.

Cafés and Bars

There are a wide mixture of cafés and bars around Barcelona, some large, some small. Most required a step to enter, with no disabled toilets.

Disabled Toilets

Aside from the Airport and the two restaurants, I did not notice any other disabled toilets around the city.

For more information on disabled access in Barcelona, please see the Barcelona Tourist Guide disability page.