Let’s continue our imaginary tour of accessible Europe stopping at Amsterdam, the Netherlands’ capital city. Culturally lively, eco-friendly (just think about the huge number of bicycles you can see on the streets) and transgressive (try asking your friends the first things they link to the city… apart from tulips and Dutch clogs!), as many Northern Europe capitals, Amsterdam is certainly cutting-edge about accessibility, for people with movement issues or “special” needs (don’t be naughty, please!).
Reaching Amsterdam from Italy is easy: by airplane, in a few hours, you can get to Schipol airport, enormous but absolutely suitable for all passengers, for its accessibility. To reach the city, you can use the intercity train connecting the airport to the center of Amsterdam, better booking in advance the assistance you need, since, to get on board, you must overtake three steps: you’d have the chance to request it also directly there, but be prepared to wait… for hours! Instead, if you choose a slower train, Sprinter, you can do without assistance, since the entrance is at the platform level.
Once you arrive in Amsterdam, you can breathe a sigh of relief: even though the streets are paved with small bricks, the city is suitable for people with reduced mobility, thanks to ramps facilitating going up and down the sidewalks and not so many circulating cars (in compensation, as I said earlier, there’s a lot of bicycles, but also cycle paths). Public transport is generally accessible as well: the subway network has elevators and trains at the same level as the platforms; the new trams have accessible entrances and, for any event, platforms can be pulled out by the drivers. Instead, not all the buses, so far, are accessible, but many of them have platforms that can be pulled out to allow access also to travellers on wheelchairs. But Amsterdam is a “water city”, so it would be a pity not to take a tour on one of its boats, all fully accessible. And there’s even more: if you want to take a bicycle tour, you can do it even if you use a wheelchair, renting one of the special bicycles. To plan your city tour as better as you can, you can check the local city transport company website (it’s available also in English).
The most comfortable (and convenient) way to visit Amsterdam as a tourist is the Amsterdam Card, that you can request also online and allows you to freely take public transport, but also access the most important attractions and museums in the city (in many cases, tourists with disability and their companions, but also children, can benefit from discounts). Most of the museums and of the most craved touristic destinations are accessible: from the Van Gogh Museum to Anna Frank’s home (at least in the renovated part) to the Heineken Experience, you’ll have the chance to access everywhere without too many issues. And the same is valid for most of the city restaurants and public places (here you can find detailed info about the accessibility of museums, transport and public places of the most important Dutch cities).
You just have to leave: enjoy your holiday!
PS. Have you been there and would like to share info with the other Move@bility users? You’re welcome!