Wheelchair Accessible Vacation Destinations for the Disabled Traveler
As a wheelchair user, there are a lot of places that you are not able to go to even in your hometown, let alone in another country! Living with a disability is already tough enough, and it becomes 100 times more difficult when you also have a love for traveling and want a vacation.
But over time, many governments have been introducing accessible and barrier-free policies so that anyone can easily visit their countries. Hotels and restaurants are encouraged to provide wheelchair accessible services. Public transport services, alongside public places like parks and museums, are also being remodeled to accommodate the disabled. Traveling is a lot easier now than it was 10 years ago!
So, if you’re a wheelchair user and you’re ready to start planning your dream holiday, here are 10 global locations that are amazing wheelchair accessible destinations.
In This Article
1. Venice, Italy
Whilst it may look intimidating, Venice is in fact a very wheelchair friendly city for the mobility-impaired. Aside from its architecturally beautiful bridges, a lot of historic sites in Venice are wheelchair accessible. The Doge’s Palace is one such place. Almost all the rooms in the palace are either step-free or have ramps. To get to the upper floor, where these rooms are located, the palace has an elevator.
The only problem is the ticket office, as it is not wheelchair accessible. For that, you will need someone to either get the ticket for you or to go along with you. But once you have your ticket, inside the palace, you are good to go.
While most countries in the world are still trying to work on their barrier-free accessibility policies, Singapore got around it 20 years ago! It is because of this reason that Singapore is known, rightfully, as the most wheelchair accessible country in Asia.
Singapore’s Mass Rapid Transit (MRT) system is one of the most accessible transport systems in the world. All MRT stations are fully equipped with barrier-free facilities like lifts, wheelchair-accessible toilets, and ramps. The arrival and departure times are shown on screens, as well as announced through speakers for the visually impaired. There are over 100 such stations in Singapore with these features, and even more are under construction.
Places like Gardens by the Bay, The ArtScience Museum as well as the National Museum of Singapore are all easily accessible to wheelchair users and totally barrier-free. Almost all of these places have accessible pathways and toilets. Moreover, many of these attractions offer wheelchairs at the entrances for free on a first come first serve basis.
It’s no wonder Singapore is also known for having the most accessible infrastructure in the world!
3. Berlin, Germany
For people who are more interested in exploring cities rather than sight-seeing, Berlin is a great choice. Because of its disability policy, the city has heavily adapted itself to create an accessible environment for all kinds of tourist as well as locals.
The modern public transport system and the almost 100 subway stations equipped with elevator access makes Berlin’s transport system one of the most wheelchair accessible in Europe. Even the pathways and sidewalks in the city are easily accessible to wheelchair users so that they don’t miss out on roaming around one the most beautiful, historical and culturally diverse cities in Europe.
As for the museums and theaters? Almost all of them are wheelchair accessible. One of the biggest perks of the vacation spot that is Berlin is that most major tourist attractions are within a very-short distance of each other. Saving you time and energy.
4. Loutraki, Greece
Home to one of the oldest civilizations, Greece is undoubtedly one of the most popular holiday destinations. With its year-round warm weather, Loutraki proves itself to be a beautiful vacation spot no matter the season. The Sirens Resort in Loutraki is exclusively designed for people with limited mobility. This resort offers facilities like roll-in showers, accessible kitchens, laundry and cleaning services as well as rental equipment.
Not only that, but the resort offers a fully accessible ramp that allows wheelchair users to experience the sand and sea the best way possible. The ramp goes directly down to the ocean, so visitors can easily go to the beach and sea from their hotel.
In addition to all this, the Sirens Resort also runs tours and on-site wheelchair taxis so that tourists can easily visit the historical landmarks they’re interested in.
5. Vancouver, Canada
As a city that is famous for its diverse and friendly population, the people of Vancouver sure know how to make everyone feel welcome, even those mobility-impaired among us.
Vancouver has some of the most strict barrier-free policies in the world, resulting in making it one of the most accessible cities in the world. The majority of the city’s popular tourist spots are easily accessible to wheelchair users: Stanley Park, The Vancouver Art Gallery, Downtown Vancouver, The Vancouver Aquarium, and Chinatown, just to name a few.
In Winter, the Whistler Adaptive Sports Program offers the physically disabled the chance to experience snowboarding and skiing with specialized equipment.
6. Paris, France
Incredibly popular, but not the most accessible, Paris is still a great European destination to consider. The Eiffel tower can accommodate wheelchair users up to its first two levels, and there are many other historic places that you can enjoy if you are a wheelchair user.
One of such places is the Versailles Palace. Known as one of the most beautiful and grand palaces in all of Europe, the three palace buildings are all wheelchair friendly. There are elevators which can easily take you to the upper floors of the palace, and as for the ground floors, ramps are used to connect the buildings. Golf carts are also available for rent at discounted rates for disabled visitors.
Furthermore, the “Another Paris Tourist Train” takes tourists on an all-round Paris tour and is 100% wheelchair friendly. The Montparnasse Tower offers a great panoramic view of the Eiffel tower as well the city as a whole. You can check out Leonardo da Vinci’s Mona Lisa at the Louvre Museum. And there are many parks throughout the city.
7. Sydney, Australia
Australia is another excellent wheelchair accessible country, and so is its most populated city, Sydney. Some of the most famous tourists’ attractions with stunning views in Sydney are also the most wheelchair accessible.
For example, the Sydney Tower Eye gives you a perfect bird’s-eye view of the city while making you feel like you are on top of the world. Sydney’s Sea Life Aquarium and the Wild Life Sydney Zoo give you glimpses of the everyday life of animals and water creatures only found in Australia.
8. Washington, DC, USA
The Washington Monument, The Lincoln Memorial, The White House and The National Air and Space Museum are just few of the wheelchair accessible attractions for tourists to visit if they ever find themselves in the capital of the United States of America.
Washington DC offers plenty of wheelchair-friendly restaurants and accommodation. The sidewalks and transport system are also designed to take the disabled into account.
Inside the White House, every visitor, disabled or not, enjoys the same tour. Ramps and elevators are readily available as well as wheelchairs themselves, in case you want to borrow one.
The Lincoln Memorial allows not only free but also accessible entry to every visitor. In contrast to what may appear in pictures, you need to go up no stairs whatsoever to get into the Memorial’s interior. Elevators are available in the lobbies on the ground floor and ramps lead you to the basement.
9. Los Angeles, CA, USA
Known as the City of Angels, this warm and sunny city full of Hollywood glamour is a must-visit if you ever go on a United States Tour.
A main attraction, the Universal Studios Hollywood, has a lot of wheelchair accessible rides along with the services of language interpreters.
The Aquarium of the Pacific is another totally wheelchair accessible attraction as you can easily enjoy the entire tour without getting out of your seat.
In addition to the above, there are tons of beaches in LA that offer free beach wheelchair rentals so you can enjoy the sand and sea like everyone else!
10. Philadelphia, PA, USA
One of the most historically significant cities that USA has to offer, Philadelphia is also known to be an accessible city to travel to for wheelchair users.
Other than these, the Reading Terminal Market is also famous among tourists. Since its an enclosed market and the entire market is on one level, you can easily roam around on your wheelchair while eating and shopping.
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