When it comes to travelling, most of us think about which hotel we’re going to stay in, where we’re going to eat and how we’re going to fit in all the sightseeing and shopping.
But if you’re confined to two wheels, the most pressing thing on your mind is how you’re going to get around the city streets and cope with all those barriers that challenge mobility impaired travellers.
To offer a helping hand, here are six major tourist destinations that can accommodate travellers with wheelchairs…
1. Milan, Italy
Winner of Access City Award 2016, Milan has gone to great efforts towards making it more accessible for people with physical disabilities.
The Italian railways are well equipped, both airports (Linate and Malpensa) are completely accessible, along with historical, cultural and artistic routes.
Keep clear of La Scala Opera House museum as it is not accessible by wheelchair.
Instead, head to Piazza del Duomo to admire the wonders of the city.
2. Boras, Sweden
The second largest city in Sweden, Boras has lots of historic buildings, parks and open green spaces to explore and best of all, many hotels classify themselves as ‘accessible hotels’ with an ‘accessible path of travel’, from the entrance through the hotel.
In 2015, the Swedish parliament brought in a new law to make lack of accessibility a form of discrimination to help those who are less able get around just as easily.
3. Berlin, Germany
Berlin is very accommodating for wheelchairs with an accessible public transport system, broad pavements, vocal and visual signals at road crossings, and nearly all Berlin’s museums and galleries are accessible to all.
Along with the buses and metro lines, taxis are wheelchair accessible and one of the easiest ways to travel around the city.
4. Barcelona, Spain
With its art, architecture, festivals and the beach (easily accessible with wooden planks), it’s no surprise that Barcelona is one of the most popular destinations in Spain.
And with 80% of the metro stations and 100% of the buses wheelchair accessible, getting around can be relatively easy.
The infamous street Las Ramblas is flat and wheelchair users can queue jump for attractions such as the stunning church of Sagrada Familia and entrance is free.
5. Manchester, England
Named the UK’s best place to live for two years running, Manchester has smooth, wide pavements and most shops, restaurants and bars have a step-free entrance.
Northern England’s cultural hub and sporting capital, hotels offer good disabled access and football fans can feel confident when they visit the accessible Etihad Stadium.
6 Munich, Germany
Most museums and hotels have wheelchair access, trams have a little ramp which comes out mechanically in front of the door and footpaths are generally flat.
More than 90% of the stations are wheelchair accessible and attractions such as the Nymphenburg Palace, BMW Museum and the English Garden are barrier free.
Beer lovers heading to Munich for Oktoberfest will find all beer tents have special tables reserved for disabled visitors and improved wheelchair access to the festival grounds.