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Wheelchair Accessible City Guide To Barcelona

Although I knew I was going to love it, I didn’t expect to fall completely in love with Barcelona as much as I did. Worthy of its title as one of the best European cities as well as being one of the most wheelchair accessible. This is my ultimate accessible city guide to Barcelona, including the best place to stay, what to see and do, where to eat, how to get around as well as my faves bits from the trip.

If you have already been to Barcelona then you’ll understand my love for this city and if you haven’t been before, then you’ll understand by the end of this post. You’ll be rushing off to book your flights and accommodation.

Where to Stay in Barcelona

If you’re looking for a modern, stylish place to stay that has the best accessible facilities all under one roof then check out MICs Sant Jordi (click the link for the full review and photos).

Each of the 32 apartments within this fully adapted and purpose-built accommodation offers fantastic comfort and accessibility for wheelchair users.

An Accessible City Guide To Barcelona mics-sant-jordi An Accessible City Guide To Barcelona mics-sant-jordi mics-sant-jordi-apartment

I loved the location of MICS Sant Jordi as it was in the beautiful neighbourhood of Sarrià with excellent public transport links, restaurants and shops. Our one-bedroom apartment was the perfect place to relax and offered excellent access for my power wheelchair.

Address: Via Augusta, 269-273, 08017 Barcelona, Spain

Amenities/Facilities: Free WiFi, breakfast, pets welcome, restaurant, garden, hydrotherapy pool, pool hoist, adapted gym, physiotherapist, 24-hour care service, equipment, parking.

What to See and Do in Barcelona

Gothic Quarter Tour

The Gothic Quarter also is known as Barri Gotic and the Old City is a magical neighbourhood you must visit. I’d recommend you kick-start your first day in Barcelona with an accessible walking tour of the Gothic Quarter.

Our fantastic and lovely tour guide, Maria José, gave us a fun and interesting overview of the highlights, history and stunning architecture. Despite being the oldest part of the city, the Gothic Quarter is very accessible and I didn’t have any trouble with the paths.

The one-hour walking tour is also completely wheelchair accessible and its gentle pace would make it suitable for people with walking difficulties.

I loved how captivating Maria José was and her warm, friendly nature made the walking tour even more enjoyable.

Accessible City Guide To Barcelona gothic quarter easy walking tour Wheelchair accessible Easy Barcelona Walking Tour gothic quarter Accessible City Guide To Barcelona gothic quarter walking tour

This was without a doubt one of my favourite areas to explore. Bursting with culture, Roman architecture, boutiques, restaurants, and cafes made the Gothic Quarter the perfect place to stroll through day or night.

Simply Emma Tips: Bring a bottle of water with you to stay hydrated in the beautiful Barcelona sunshine. Maybe even an umbrella in case there is a rain shower. Take lots of photos, but most of all…enjoy this great tour!

L’Aquàrium de Barcelona

After your accessible walking tour of the Gothic Quarter, why not stop for some lunch in the neighbourhood (I’d recommend The Green Spot) before heading to Barcelona Aquarium.

The aquarium is only a short walk from the Gothic Quarter and you’ll get 20% discount with the Barcelona Pass.

We spent several hours wandering around the aquarium and it was a big hit with my nephew especially the shark tunnel and watching the penguins getting fed.

Accessible City Guide To Barcelona wheelchair accessible Barcelona Aquarium Accessible City Guide To Barcelona jellyfish Barcelona Aquarium

There is wheelchair access throughout the exhibits as well as accessible toilets and ramps into the different displays – even the kid’s submarine which my nephew and I played in together since my wheelchair could fit in.

Simply Emma Tips: Set aside a few hours to wander around all the displays and make sure you catch the penguins getting fed.

Address: Moll d’Espanya del Port Vell, s/n, 08039 Barcelona, Spain

Amenities/facilities:
Cafeteria and restaurant, gift shop, accessible toilets

Sagrada Familia

Sagrada Familia is probably the most iconic and well-known building in Barcelona. A Gaudi masterpiece that is still under construction despite commencing in 1882. Pretty incredible right? Well, don’t let the fact it’s not finished put you off visiting because it really is a must-see when in Barcelona.

I recommend going inside to really see and appreciate this masterpiece up close. Also, check out the museum to find out more about Gaudi and the construction.

We were lucky to have a guided tour with the lovely Maria José again and it felt like we were hearing all the insider information. Amazing!

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Simply Emma Tips: Free admission for people with disabilities and a companion. Children under 10 also go free.

Address: Carrer de Mallorca, 401, 08013 Barcelona, Spain

Casa De Les Punxes

Once you’ve toured Sagrada Familia and admired it from the outside then I suggest you either walk or take a bus to Casa de les Punxes. Also known as the House of Spikes due to its spiky conical roofs. This stunning large Gothic-like castle located on Barcelona’s widest avenue, the Avinguda Diagonal was home to the Terradas sisters in 1905 and is now open for guided visits.

Accessible City Guide To Barcelona casa de les punxes exterior Accessible City Guide To Barcelona casa de les punxesAccessible City Guide To Barcelona casa de les punxes

There are fun interactive displays throughout the Casa de les Punxes, making it fun for kids and adults. The interactive floor was a big hit with my nephew. You’ll find an accessible toilet and access throughout. However, the lift is a little on the small side so I had to reverse to fit (measurements of the lift are 1.28m wide and 0.89m depth).

Simply Emma Tips: 20% off with the Barcelona Card

Address: Avinguda Diagonal, 420, 08037 Barcelona, Spain

Amenities/facilities:
Interactive tour, roof terrace, kid-friendly, gift shop, accessible toilet

Nova Icària Beach

I haven’t had much experience of beaches, mainly due to poor or lack of wheelchair accessibility. Wheelchairs and sand don’t usually go together so this usually makes beaches a no-go area for wheelchair users.

However, Barcelona has created a barrier-free solution to enable people with disabilities to enjoy a beach day just like everyone else.

Yup, that means you get to roll across the beach without getting your wheelchair stuck in the sand and enjoy a dip in the ocean. This is all possible thanks to the brilliant beach wheelchairs (a.k.a. amphibious wheelchairs) and lifeguards available at Nova Icaria Beach.

The lifeguards offer swimmer assistance to people with disabilities to enter and exit the water. They can also stay in the water with you, as they did with me and provide support if needed.

accessible-travel-guide-to-barcelona-beach-amphibious-wheelchairs-Nova -icària-beach-barcelona accessible-travel-guide-to-barcelona-beach-amphibious-wheelchairs-Nova -icària-beach-barcelona accessible-travel-guide-to-barcelona-Nova -icària-beach-barcelona-wooden-boardwalks accessible-travel-guide-to-barcelona-beach-amphibious-wheelchairs-Nova -icària-beach-barcelona accessible-travel-guide-to-barcelona-beach-amphibious-wheelchairs-Nova -icària-beach-barcelona (2)

I’ll never forget that day at the beach, as I got to bathe in the ocean and spend time with my family on the beach while my nephew played in the sand. Simple things to most people, but something I’ve never been able to do before. A magical moment I’ll never forget.

I was incredibly impressed with the accessibility features and services at Nova Icària Beach. Not only did it provide amphibious wheelchairs, but it also had the following:

  • a lifting hoist
  • a resting area with a sunshade
  • wooden boardwalks leading to the water
  • reserved parking bays
  • visual and tactile signage
  • accessible restrooms/changing room
  • accessible showers on the sand

Simply Emma Tips: Remember your sun protection and wear a hat. After a dip in the sea, take a stroll along the promenade and have some delicious food.

Address: Passeig Marítim de la Nova Icària, 08005 Barcelona, Spain

Other Things of Interest

Born Cultural Centre – Formerly a market in 1876 it is now an event and cultural centre with interesting excavated ruins on display. It’s a nice place to walk around, have something to eat and drink in the restaurant and there is a nice accessible toilet too.

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Barcelona BusTuristic – Bus tours where you can hop on and hop off whenever you want are a great way of seeing all the main sights and attractions around the city. Barcelona BusTuristic has three routes with 45 stops and is wheelchair accessible as well as adapted for hearing impairments.  

Casa Batlló – One of Gaudi’s most famous and popular houses. I love everything about the look of this building from the colours, balconies, and windows.

Casa Milá – Another famous Gaudi house, also known as La Pedrera, which means open quarry. It’s a short walk from Casa Batlló.

The Basilica of Santa Maria del Mar – 14th-century Gothic church, is located in the La Ribera/El Born neighbourhood. It has wheelchair access via a ramp through a side door. It is beautiful inside so I’d recommend you take a look inside.

accessible-travel-guide-to-barcelona-The Basilica of Santa Maria del Mar

Las Ramblas – This street is touristy and can be busy, but I found it manageable in my wheelchair. It’s full of restaurants, shops, and the famous food market La Boqueria.

Where to Eat in Barcelona

There are so many cafes and restaurants that suit all tastes and budgets in Barcelona. You will be spoiled for choice. These are some of our favourite places to dine.

The Green Spot

Located in the Barceloneta neighbourhood down a lovely, quiet side street. I loved absolutely everything about The Green Spot and I mean EVERYTHING. The food is vegetarian/vegan and is completely out-of-this-world delicious.

The staff were so amazing and were extra lovely to my nephew. The décor and atrium filled with plants were beautiful and my idea of heaven. I highly recommend you visit because you will not be disappointed. It’s a real gem!

accessible-travel-guide-to-barcelona-the-greenspot-vegan-restaurant accessible-travel-guide-to-barcelona-the-greenspot-vegan-restaurant

Bacoa

With five locations you’re bound to come across at least one or two of Bacoa’s Barcelona restaurants. We chose to eat at their Bacoa Barceloneta on our beach day, which is located right on the beachfront, surrounded by palm trees and fantastic sea views.

We opted to sit outside on the terrace and were served by a lovely waiter. There is a range of burgers to choose from, but the Gran Vegano (vegan) burger was to die for.

accessible-travel-guide-to-barcelona-bacoa-vegan-restaurant accessible-travel-guide-to-barcelona-bacoa-vegan-restaurant

Gelaaati Di Marco

Located in the Gothic Quarter with a great selection of gelato including many vegan options. Yay! Although there was a step into the shop, the server made sure I got to sample as many flavours as I wanted before settling on watermelon and fig. Gelaaati Di Marco has the best vegan gelato I’ve ever had.

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More on these fantastic eateries in a future post, because I can’t stop thinking about how good the food tasted. They are definitely on the top of my list for future trips to Barcelona.

How to Get Around in Barcelona

Airport Transfer

Taxi Amic picked us up from Barcelona–El Prat Airport and took us to our apartment at MICs Sant Jordi. The wheelchair accessible taxi meant I could remain in my wheelchair due to the pull-down ramp at the back.

Our taxi driver was very friendly and efficient by ensuring I was safely secured with belts and that my wheelchair was tied down. There were three passenger seats in front of me, as well as one in front next to the driver.

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On Foot/Wheels

As I’ve mentioned before, cobblestones are not my friend as they make for a very bumpy ride in my wheelchair. However, Barcelona was different and I saw very few cobblestones and even when I did, they were either not bumpy or there was a tarmacked path created through the cobblestones for wheelchairs, pushchairs, etc. Fantastic, right?

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I found the streets around Barcelona to be incredibly accessible and easy to navigate. There were always drop curbs to allow me to cross the road and although I had to have my shoulders held back to stop me from leaning forward due to the height of the drop, I honestly didn’t have any major problems crossing the roads. Exploring Barcelona on foot/wheels was very pleasant and enjoyable.

Metro

The metro was easy to use and very accessible. It was our preferred method of getting around Barcelona especially as there was a metro station directly outside our accommodation. It would take us to Plaça de Catalunya station within 12 minutes and this placed us in a great spot for Las Ramblas and more.

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All stations we used were wheelchair accessible via lifts and the metro itself was very easy to board. Once onboard, the dedicated wheelchair area is spacious and provides seating for companions. I never had any problems accessing this area. There is a wheelchair button you can press to alert the driver that you wish to exit at the next stop.

Bus

We didn’t use the public bus during our time in Barcelona. Although we will probably use it the next time we visit, especially when we go to see the Magic Foundation.

Wheelchair Accessible City Guide To Barcelona

Barcelona is a wonderful city with lots to offer its visitors. My experience visiting Barcelona as a wheelchair user has been incredible and one that I’ll never forget.

From start to finish, transport, accommodation, attractions, services and beaches were accessible. With 100% of buses and 95% of the underground stations being wheelchair accessible I don’t think you’ll struggle to get around this fantastic city.

You can find out more information about accessibility on Barcelona Access. I can honestly say I loved Barcelona and can’t wait to visit again, which I hope is in the not-too-distant future.

Have you been to Barcelona? Are you planning a trip to Barcelona? Let me know in the comments below!

More on this topic…

4 Days in Barcelona Itinerary: The Ultimate Guide to Wheelchair Accessible Barcelona

8 Amazing Reasons To Visit Nova Icària Beach Barcelona In A Wheelchair

MICs Sant Jordi: The Most Accessible and Stylish Apartment in Barcelona

My 9 Favourite Accessible Things To Do In Barcelona

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A special thank you to Turisme de Barcelona for organising this trip to Barcelona. As always, all views and opinions expressed here are my own and have not been influenced or approved.

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Meet Emma

Hello I’m Emma. My mission is to show you the possibilities of accessible travel through my travel guides, tips and reviews. I also share personal stories, live event reviews and more.

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18 Responses

  1. A great post especially as we’ve got just over 4 weeks before we go! Since we went to Iceland last year with friends, I think it has opened our eyes, again, as to what, our family can actually do, and not get too phased by all the hassle that comes with organising a holiday.
    It’s good to know that someone else in a similar position to my wife has wrote about their own experiences and shared them, to help others to think about the chance of going away in a foreign country in a wheelchair. Excellent, informative website. Thanks Emma

  2. Thank you so much for your comment. I’m really pleased you found this post helpful. I’m sure you will have a fantastic time in Barcelona. Where are you staying and what plans do you have? I would love to visit Iceland…it’s on my list, so hopefully I can make it there sometime soon. What did you think of Iceland?

    Thanks again 🙂

  3. We are staying at Capri By Fraser. I was thinking of us going to Sagrada Familia,Park Guell, and La Pedrera as I love all the architecture. Did you get a Barcelona card for the metro and buses? We stayed in Reykjavik in the Skuggi hotel . It was a lovely reasonably priced hotel. It said it had accessible rooms with wet rooms, but they weren’t – there was an inch high threshold strip across the bedroom door and there were no grab rails in the wet room at all and the toilet was too high. We have realised that what we mean by accessible and wheelchair friendly isn’t what other people and companies mean by wheelchair friendly and accessible. Iceland is ridiculously expensive approx £70 for four coffee and 4 cakes- very nice cake though. We hired a car, to avoid the crowds, and we went on the Golden Circle Tour ourselves which was out of this world! Highly recommend Iceland just remember it’s expensive. We are really forward to Barcelona as we have thought about it quite a few times over the years. Thanks

  4. Hi Emma my name is Michael and I am from Northern

    Ireland and also a powerchair user. I found you in your post in this month’s edition of Able Magazine and I must say that what you have done is made me actually want to get out and visit the places you have been to because it relieves a lot of the stress and anxiety I feel when I don’t know or cannot find out any info on the places I would like to go to. Well done you and keep it up.

    1. Hi Michael. Thank you so much for your lovely comment. I’m so pleased you discovered my blog through my column in Able Magazine. Thank you for letting me know, it means a lot to know that what I’m doing is helping as that is all I want to do is help people discover new places to visit and some them what accessibility is like.

      I really do appreciate you getting in touch and please let me know if you have any questions about Barcelona or anything else, I’m always happy to help if I can 🙂

      Thank you!

    1. Unfortunately, I didn’t see any changing places toilets when I was in Barcelona, but thats not to say there isn’t. I really hope there is though. Are you planning on visiting Barcelona?

  5. Hi Emma,
    Because of your post we are planning a trip to Barcelona this summer with our 2 daughters.
    Luna is 20 and Noa is 17 and wheelchair bound.
    We would go with the manual wheelchair because we are afraid to fly with the electric chair (from Belgium). And also it gives us a bit more accessibility since we can pull it up a few steps.
    We were thinking of making this our summer holiday and spending 4 days in Barcelona and 4 days on the beach.
    Do you think this is to much and we will get bored?
    Also we looked at the appartement building but found it to be a bit to pricy. Any other recommendations?
    We would prefer 1 accommodation for the whole trip or is the Nova Icaria beach to far to go a few days in a row from the city.
    Thanks again for your wonderful review of the city, we are really looking forward to the trip.
    My daughter and I are big fans of you posts.

    1. Hi Tabitha, Luna and Noa. Thank you so much for your comment – it’s so lovely to hear from you! Apologies for my late reply.
      It means so much to know that you planned a trip to Barcelona after reading my posts. I really appreciate your letting me know that – thank you!
      I’m so sorry you have had to postpone your trip. Did you manage to rearrange another date? Did you find accommodation? I have always stayed in MICs Sant Jordi, but I’ve heard good things about ILUNION Barcelona, Grupotel Gran Via 678 and Midtown Apartments. Hopefully, they might be suitable for you. Please let me know what you think?
      I personally think 4 days of sightseeing and 4 days or slightly less for the beach would be perfect.
      Please let me know if you have any other questions and I will try my best to answer.
      Thanks again and I hope you and your family are all keeping safe and well.
      Take care, Emma

  6. Hi Emma your blog on Barcelona sounds perfect thank you so much for your advice and comments please could you email me prices and maybe other places abroad I can visit which are suitable for wheelchair access and beach holidays and that’s not going to cost a fortune as you have mentioned some places are ridiculously expensive but I’m on my own so I would really appreciate any information you can help me with please
    Thank you so much
    Kind regards
    Hailey

  7. Dear Emma. My daughter and her husband are moving to Barcelona with his job. It’s on my bucket list but I needed to do a recce for my disabled husband. Your amazing blog has completely put my mind at rest as it’s all sounds so do-able. You had a power wheelchair when you were there. Did you hire that in Barcelona? We hear such dreadful stories of wheelchairs being trashed in aircraft holds so would be too nervous to take ours. Many thanks for you brilliant help. We are now looking forward to our visit later this year.

    1. Hi Penny, thank you so much for your comment. I’m delighted you discovered my blog and found it helpful. I can 100% confirm that Barcelona is amazing for wheelchair users. My family and I love Barcelona and are planning to visit again soon. I also have disabled friends who have visited and loved it. I took my own wheelchair with me so I, unfortunately, can’t personally recommend a hire company. Does your husband have a manual or power wheelchair? Please let me know if you have any other questions. Happy to help if I can 🙂

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