Overall, in Barcelona one takes the issue of accessibility for the blind and people with disabilities very seriously, and the legal requirements are strict. Previous shortcomings have been consistently eliminated in recent years, albeit not completely. In general, all public institutions for the disabled are very accessible.Markings for the blind in the Metro stations are as natural as accessibility for wheelchair users.
There are wheelchair accessible toilet facilities available at airports, museums and other public buildings and these are consistently maintained in a clean state.
Even the most popular attractions are accessible for wheelchairs. In older buildings lifts and ramps have been installed, if possible. Parking in reserved spaces is widely respected: fines are expensive - and the tow truck comes quickly.
The majority of hotels in Barcelona have rooms specially equipped for handicapped and wheelchair-bound guests. Only in the "low-budget hotels" is there still a lot of catching up to be done.
We offer a wide selection of hotels with rooms for people with disabilities. To find out more click on the "Rooms for people with disabilities" feature.
The airport of Barcelona "El Prat de Llobregat", and as well as Girona and Reus airports are wheelchair accessible and very well equipped with disabled toilets, all of which are in very good condition. From the airport you can travel by public transport with a wheelchair into the city of Barcelona. Assistants are available as part of the airport service - please contact your airline in this regard.
Here are some other tips for your arrival.
Nowadays nearly all subway stations are accessible for wheelchair users with lifts, wide entrances and ground floor access or via ramps. The stops that are not yet accessible are in the process of being expanded. The metro station Plaça Espanya, is one of the most important hubs in Barcelona, but is still not equipped with elevators. This is important if you plan to travel by bus No. 46 coming from the airport, which has its terminus here.
A list of Metro stations that are wheelchair accessible (elevators, ground-level entrances, wide access) can be found on the web site of the TMB, the operator of the Metro. There is also a description of the facilities for visually impaired people on this site. Please note that the transport department does not offer reduced fare.
The transit authority guarantee that the inhabitants of Barcelona can travel anywhere with full accessibility. If stations are not adapted, the transport authority organises a shuttle service.
All buses are equipped with ramps. The ramp is extended at the rear entrance as needed. In the buses a reserved area for wheelchairs is available, which can also be secured. Ticket punchers are also tailored to the needs of wheelchair users or visually and hearing impaired people.
The double-decker buses that operate on three lines visiting Barcelona's attractions are also available for wheelchair users. The upper deck is not accessible by wheelchair as it is limited due to the narrow staircase that leads upstairs.
On our booking page for the double-decker buses you can find more information and booking possibilities for tickets.
Taxis are a good alternative to the Metro. Above all, they are not very expensive.
Should you need a taxi for a wheelchair user, the following telephone number could be useful:
Taxi Amic: +34 93 420 80 88. Its fleet includes about 45 vehicles for wheelchair users. However if you can move to the front passenger seat unassisted, you can also any other taxi.
Lowered footpaths for wheelchairs have been systematically introduced on Barcelona's streets. Vehicles illegally parked in no-parking zones in front of in disabled parking spaces or lowered footpaths will be towed away pretty quickly. Most museums are wheelchair accessible, as are the larger and more expensive restaurants. But also smaller bars are often accessible on the ground floor with a wheelchair, although here the toilet facilities are often not accessible.
At each beach section there are one or two ramps to the beach, and again wheelchair-accessible toilet facilities.
The company CosmoScooter offers electric scooters and wheelchairs for hire. The rental of a scooter costs € 88.50 for three days, and is cheaper for longer stays. Delivery is possible, e.g. in a hotel.
An overview of the attractions and accessibility restrictions can be found on the Accessible Barcelona Guide site.
Most museums and other attractions offer discounts or even free admission upon presentation of a disability card. These offers are often also valid for a necessary companion.
The public toilets are very limited, and very few of these are disabled friendly.
Almost all public buildings such as museums and other attractions include toilets suitable for wheelchair users. The exceptions here are a few older buildings where retrofitting is not possible due to the structural conditions. Generally the toilets are usually in good to excellent condition.
Also, some restaurants often have disabled toilets. If you ask there, it should usually be no problem for you to use the toilet without eating in the restaurant.
Modernization has done much to facilitate the orientation for the blind:
In the subway stations there are control systems, for example one cannot go too close to the edge of the platform, or you are shown the way to the trains and the exits. The spatial dimensions of the interchange stations are often very large and the paths often branch out. Therefore, you should allow five minutes of walking times or more.
Tickets have of a perceptible and magnetic strip on the back with a small notch one along side. The ticket should be inserted into the access controls with the magnetic strip face down and the notch to the left. The ticket comes out again with a loud rattling noise in a different place before the gate opens.
Most vending machines are equipped with Braille.
At the entrances, mostly in front of the access controls, there are often staff who are very helpful and actively assist with any questions or problems. In many cases they also speak English. The stops are announced in the trains with an acoustic signal before closing the doors.
Some bus stops are equipped with floor markings, where the stations will be displayed. Even on the buses, the stops are announced.
In future, the line number and direction of travel will be announced at the bus stops. This function must be activated. This feature is still in its experimental phase.
You can get a headset from the drivers of the double-decker sightseeing buses, you can plug the headset into the back of the front seat. The stops and the sights are spoken about and described in detail. You can also set the language to English.
Barcelona has traffic lights with a blind-acoustic, but they must be activated with a signal transmitter. These signal transmitters are available from ONCE, the organization for the blind.
The signal transmitter is priced at only € 25.80 and is available in the ONCE building, C. Sepulveda 1, close to the Plaça Espanya. An online order is not possible. It can be used not only in Barcelona but also in Castelldefels and Sitges. The opening times are Monday to Friday 9-14.00 and 17-19.00.
The blind guide dogs can be taken anywhere, but on public transport and in many buildings a muzzle is prescribed.
Institut Municipal de Persgroep Ones amb Discapacitat
Av. Diagonal, 233 Planta 1
Metro: L1, Glòries (not wheelchair accessible)
Tel.: +34 934 132 775
Fax: +34 934 132 800
Phone for the deaf: +34 932 319 614
Opening times: Mon - Fri 9.00 until 14.00, in the afternoon by appointment
Website specifically for people with disabilities (wheelchair, blind, deaf):
Webseite for people with handicaps:
Accessible Barcelona Guide in English, Spanish and Catalan.
In Barcelona, they take the issue of accessibility very seriously and provides very committed to improvements. E.g. all metro stations will be equiped with elevators.
Occupied parking spaces for the handicapped are the exception: Unauthorised parking is expensive and the tow car is quick on the spot.