Discovering Seville, between fascination and accessibility

Maybe you’ve grasped my love for Spain and for the Iberian Peninsula in general. Since I haven’t talked about it recently, this time, as a destination for our virtual tour all around the accessible Europe, I suggest you a fascinating and certainly accessible city, also for people with a reduced mobility: Seville, the capital city of Andalusia, that’s often used as a set for movies and tv series (for instance, “Star Wars” and “Game of Thrones“). Furthermore, this is one of the best periods of the year to enjoy it, since, from April 14th to April 21st, the city will live up for the Feria de Abril, with music, dance, delicacy and a lot of fun!

Seville - flamenco dancer

The flamenco, the typical dance of Andalucia

Seville, located on the slopes of Sierra Morena and crossed by the Guadalquivir river, has an almost totally flat structure, that makes it certainly accessibile, particularly to peoplw rith motoric disabilities, even in the event that they move on a wheelchair. In these years, furthermore, the local administration invested a lot (as in the whole Spain) to make the city increasingly accessible for everyone. A tangible clue of this commitment is the fact that the whole subway network is fully accessible, both in terms of trains and stations, as every station is equipped with lifts, which make accessing the platforms easier.

Seville - Plaza de España

Plaza de España

Wandering around Seville, you can admire the signs of the many dominations that marked Andalucia and the city. In particular, the Cathedral (with its famous tower called “La Giralda”),  the Alcázar  and the Archivo de Indias were registered by UNESCO as World Heritage Sites… and can be quite easily visited also by who has a reduced mobility! The Cathedral is the largest Gothic one in the world and rises up where, during the Arab domination, there was the mosque. There aren’t particular issues to access the Giralda too, since there are no steps… but you need to walk quite a lot!

Seville - Cathedral of Saint Mary of the See

The Cathedral of Saint Mary of the See

The Alcázar is the city royal palace and, initially, it was a Moorish fort risen up in the X century by the Caliph of Andalusia. The current structure building started four centuries later, mixing Moorish, Gothic, Baroque elements and more. It is accessible even using a wheelchair, apart from a few steps here and there, and you can also access the second floor using a lift.

Seville - The Alcázar

The Alcázar

But also shops, public places, restaurants, cafés are accessible in Seville. Would you like to know more about them? You can refer to this guide, available both in Spanish and English.

Enjoy your trip and, should you’ve already been there, please share your experience in the comments!

Barcelona, meu amor!

Well, I admit it: even though I feel deeply and proudly Italian, my favourite city is located a little bit more on the West… Barcelona.

The capital city of Catalonia immediately seduces you for its enchanting atmosphere, the cordiality of its inhabitants, the very successful mix between ancient and modern you can breathe everywhere, starting from its most famous monuments: the Sagrada Família and the architectures by Antoni Gaudì. Not to mention the weather, always pleasant, the tapas, the ramblas… How could you help falling in love with it?

Yes… But what if we deal with a disability or have a little child in the stroller with us? The city has walked a long way, in these last years, to become one of the most accessible in Europe and, even though there’s still something to fix, things have certainly improved, even for who wants to use public transport to visit and taste it.

  • Barcelona’ subway network crosses the whole city and is almost completely accessible for everyone, thanks to elevators and Braille signage in the overwhelming majority of its stations.
  • And what about buses? In Italy, who has motoric issues knows how hard it can be finding one that’s equipped, mostly in some cities… Well, in Barcelona that’s a different story: surface transit is totally equipped to allow access of wheelchairs, strollers and people with motoric issues, without any need to use weightlifter manoeuvres.
  • Are you a little lazy and don’t like to wait for public transport? Cabs are a good option, both because there’s an entire line (Taxi Amic) that’s equipped to transport wheelchairs and because, compared to the Italian standards, prices are decisively more affordable.
Barcelona, Parc Güell

Parc Güell

And what about the most famous monuments and attractions of the city? Good news as well, both in terms of accessibility and of discounts reserved to disabled people and their companions!

  • Sagrada Família – Even though it isn’t fully accessible (for instance, people with motoric disabilities cannot reach the towers), the Catalan city symbol can be visited also by disabled people. Should your disability pass 65%, you’ll have right to free entry for yourself and a companion, exhibiting your invalidity certificate. You can request a wheelchair or other aids before accessing the church, to comfortably visit it.
  • Parc Güell – Here, since it’s located on a hill, there’s some issue for people with movement issues, but, all in all, you can overtake them with a little help from a companion. Moreover, at its entrance, you’ll find informative panels in Braille. Even in this case, disabled people enter for free, while their companions pay a reduced ticked. For any question or specific needs, you can directly get in touch with the park management, sending an e-mail to parkguell@bsmsa.cat.
  • Battló House – There aren’t particular discounts to visit this monument, but the good news is that there’s an elevator, enabling also people on a wheelchair accessing almost the whole house (apart from the terrace). Blind people can request an audio guide in Braille.
  • Milà House aka “la Pedrera” – Here there are two elevators and, even though terrace has steps and gaps that make access tricky for people with a motoric disability, you can find a platform enabling everybody to admire it in all its splendour.
  • Camp Nou – Do you love soccer? Then, you can miss the opportunity to visit one of the “temples” od this sport! Even though people with motoric disabilities cannot visit the whole structure, you can still see the museum and the cups room and enjoying the view of the stadium from the second ring.

For more information about the accessibility of public transport, monuments and attractions, you can check a very curated website (available in English, Spanish, Catalan and French), where you can also buy tickets to visit the monuments we’ve talked about.

So, have you booked your journey already?