Barcelona might just be the most-accessible city on the planet:
TMB is the public transport operator in Barcelona, operating the Barcelona Metro and Barcelona bus networks.
And the very first three things that you should do, before you even travel to Barcelona, is to:
1 – Download the TMB App (available on both the App Store and Google Play);
2 – View the official TMB Visting Barcelona online guide; and
3 – Buy your Hola Barcelona Travel Card online (2, 3, 4 and 5 day options are available – and you simply collect your physical travel card from a ticket machine in any metro station when you first arrive in Barcelona – including at Barcelona El Prat airport).
The TMB App:
As well as telling you when your next Barcelona bus or Metro train is due, the TMB App now includes a very handy “live” guide to the availability of the lifts at Barcelona Metro stations – pretty much invaluable when you need to know in advance whether a planned trip in Barcelona using the Barcelona Metro is indeed possible on the day.
The Hola Barcelona Travel Card:
First, these are not some tickets for over-inflated fares run by some profit-making third-party. They are provided by the official Barcelona public transport operator (TMB).
There are 2, 3, 4 and 5-day tickets available. And they include metro travel to/from Barcelona El Prat Airport.
The process for buying your ticket online now, and then collecting it from an automatic ticket machine in any Barcelona metro station when you arrive, is very straightforward and simple to follow:
First, you simply purchase the relevant ticket/s from here (in advance of your trip). When you buy your ticket online, you will be given a voucher code (keep this number very safe – you will need it on arrival in Barcelona);
Then, when you arrive in Barcelona (at Barcelona Sants if arriving by train – or at El Prat airport, if arriving there), you simply find a ticket machine in the metro station, select your language (English is available), enter your voucher code – and your ticket is printed.
There’s a financial advantage to buying online before you go (the discount is currently 10%).
But don’t worry if you didn’t buy your ticket in advance (as suggested above). You can simply buy the relevant ticket from the machine when you arrive. You won’t get the discounted rate though.
If you don’t plan on using the public bus in Barcelona, or of travelling around much, then it will probably be cheaper just to buy single tickets from a ticket machine as you go.
Getting Around Barcelona by Accessible Metro:
Nearly all of the 165 Barcelona metro stations are now accessible (the 12 that are not accessible are listed here – although by 2024 the entire Barcelona metro network is planned to be 100% accessible).
That same page also indicates the accessibility of transfers between two different lines. Again, it is the few exceptions that are listed.
Getting Around Barcelona by Accessible Public Bus:
The entire Barcelona bus network is 100% accessible!
All Barcelona buses are equipped with wheelchair ramps, and have dedicated spaces for wheelchairs.
TWO wheelchair spaces:
Getting Around Barcelona by Accessible Taxi:
There’s no single telephone number to request an accessible taxi in Barcelona (there are many different taxi cab operators in Barcelona – and although they all operate the same distinctive black and yellow cars, they all use different telephone numbers).
One of the biggest taxi operators in Barcelona who have wheelchair accessible taxis though is Taxi Amic (they have 53 accessible Barcelona taxis).
Accessible taxis can be requested directly from a form on their website too, but you still have to confirm this with a telephone call (most of your information will have been sent already though, so any language barrier is minimised).
Your Barcelona hotel should also be able to arrange an accessible taxi for you though (and will be able to give you a number to call to request a return journey – although it may be easier just to arrange a return time at the start).
NEW: There is a relatively new app that you can use to arrange an accessible Barcelona taxi using your mobile phone. And as you don’t have to speak to an actual person, there is no language barrier to get in the way at all here. There is an option to only request an accessible taxi.
The name of the app is AMB Mobilitat (Picmi). Available on both the Google Play & Apple App Stores.
The Montjuïc Funicular:
[Not to be confused with the Montjuïc Cable Car – which is completely different, and is explained further down this page].
The Montjuïc Funicular is actually part of the Barcelona metro network. It starts from the accessible Paral·lel metro station (where it connects to metro lines L2 and L3). If you’re arriving at Paral·lel metro station on foot (or by bus), the lift to access Paral·lel metro station is located on the corner of Avinguda Paral·lel and Carrer Nou de la Rambla [MAP].
The wheelchair accessible door to the actual train is near the front/top of the train, and is indicated both on the platform and also on the train door.
After the train has climbed the Montjuïc hill, you arrive at Parc de Montjuïc station (which is also accessible).
Your Hola Barcelona Travel Card is valid for travel on Barcelona’s Montjuïc Funicular.
Accessible Montjuïc Cable Car (Telefèric de Montjuïc) Barcelona
- Accessible Cable Car Stations
- Accessible Cable Car Gondolas
- NO Toilets
The accessible Montjuïc Cable Car station is directly adjacent to the accessible Parc de Montjuïc station (where you will arrive on the accessible Montjuïc Funicular from Paral.lel metro station – [MAP] – the Montjuïc Funicular will arrive at the building on the right, and the Montjuïc Cable Car leaves from the building on the left).
You can also get up there on the Barcelona Bus Turístic (Red Route), and regular Barcelona bus numbers 55 and 150.
Those views of Barcelona FROM the cable car as you fly high above Barcelona just can’t be beat. And the birdseye view of Barcelona from the Mirador de l’Alcalde is great too.
Both stations that the cable car serves have some serious downsides. Although both are accessible, there are some serious cobbles at Montjuïc Castle. And the level area of the gardens at the Mirador doesn’t give you the best views of Barcelona (the best viewpoints from the gardens can only be reached by steps from the gardens). But there is another Mirador route, which bypasses most of the gardens, and which will give you sensational views of Barcelona:
#1. Accessible La Sagrada Familia Barcelona
- Free entry (+ 1 companion)
- Towers NOT accessible
- Accessible Toilet
La Sagrada Familia is THE most visited attraction in Barcelona.
So the queues can be LONG.
However, there is a separate accessible entrance to La Sagrada Familia – at the rear of the building (beside the La Sagrada Familia giftshop), where queues are much smaller (if any at all if you visit early in the day).
Entrance is free for wheelchair users – and one companion/assistant. Proof of disability is required though – and this requirement is strictly enforced (Blue Badges are acceptable).
#2. Accessible Palau de la Música Catalana Barcelona
- Accessible Building
- Accessible Performances
- Accessible Toilets
- Accessible cafe/restaurant
The Palau de la Música Catalana in central Barcelona, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, is most-definitely my #1 recommendation for a wheelchair accessible attraction in Barcelona.
The Palau de la Música Catalana gets some seriously good reviews too (with many people saying that their visit to the Palau de la Música Catalana was the highlight of their entire visit to Barcelona).
There are two different ways to visit the Palau de la Música Catalana though: either by taking one of their own guided or self-guided tours; or by just actually seeing a performance there.
And each way of visiting the Palau de la Música Catalana has its own merits:
Many visitors who only went on a guided/self-guided tour of the Palau de la Música Catalana, wish that they’d seen a performance there too.
But these people definitely didn’t miss out – as the tour goes to places that are usually closed to concert-goers.
If you only have the option of doing one or the other (a tour or a performance), then take in a show.
#3. Accessible Casa Milà - La Pedrera Barcelona
- Accessible Building
- Partially Accessible Rooftop
- Reduced Entry Rates
- Accessible Toilets
Antoni Gaudí’s Casa Milà (La Pedrera) is one of the most popular tourist attractions in Barcelona.
Casa Milà (La Pedrera) is more than just another must-see visitor attraction in Barcelona though. Casa Milà / La Pedrera is also a charitable foundation (the Fundació Catalunya La Pedrera, which has a focus on improving people’s quality of life, and of generating opportunities that positively transform society as a whole).
Casa Milà – La Pedrera is open daily from 9am (and I would definitely recommend getting there as early as possible, to enjoy a more-relaxed visit). Casa Milà – La Pedrera is also the very first stop on the shorter route of the accessible Barcelona Gaudi DIY Walking Tour, so I would definitely recommend starting the walk from here, and earlier in the morning too, when Casa Milà – La Pedrera is quieter (and therefore much easier to get around in your wheelchair), then slowly make your way down Passeig de Gràcia, towards Plaça de Catalunya, afterwards.
Casa Milà – La Pedrera is also open in the evening – but only for La Pedrera “Night Experience” Tours. Unfortunately, there are no discounts available for the Night Experience Tour, and it culminates with a rooftop light show which is only partially accessible. Still worth seeing IMHO, but if money is tight, then I would suggest taking the self-guided La Pedrera Essential Tour during the day instead (a free audio guide is available).
#4. Accessible Casa Batlló Barcelona
- NOT Step-Free
- Accessible Building
- Roof NOT accessible
- VERY small lift/elevator
Technically, Antoni Gaudí’s Casa Batlló in Barcelona IS accessible.
It is indeed a very beautiful building.
But it’s an old building.
And unlike, say, the beautiful old (and listed) building of St.Paul’s Cathedral in London, where a tidy sum has just been invested in installing an aesthetically pleasing wheelchair ramp at the north entrance (DEFINITELY recommended when you are in London), the owners of Casa Batlló in Barcelona have been unable to improve access in a similarly aesthetically pleasing way.
So it might not be suitable for you.
There are three issues:
1. There’s a single step at the main entrance.
True, it’s only 6cm high. And is easily negotiated.
Definitely not step-free though. So if even just a single step of 6cm is an issue for you, you’ll have to ask for their portable ramp to enter the Casa Batlló building.
2. There is a lift between floors (but it won’t give you step-free access to all of the roof).
The lift is small. Very small. The door is only 90cm wide – but the lift is then only 107cm deep. So you’ll more than likely have to ride the lift side on (Casa Batlló does have it’s own small wheelchair that you can borrow, which does fit in the lift allowing you to access all floors within the building (if you’re anywhere above average height though, you might need to chop off your feet, to squeeze into the lift on it – even when riding the lift sideways).
In any case, only the wheelchair (and the wheelchair user too of course) can fit in the lift. The staff at Casa Batlló will be only too happy to help you in/out of the lift at each floor though.
3. The third issue is cost.
And this is my biggest gripe.
There is a discount of just €6 for wheelchair users (and free entry for an assistant).
A €6 discount on a €33 ticket (€39 on weekends) because most of the roof is out of bounds to you?
#5. Accessible Parc Güell Barcelona
- Accessible (kind of!)
- But SERIOUSLY hard work
Technically, Parc Güell in Barcelona is wheelchair accessible.
Parc Güell is spread over a hillside.
So although Parc Güell is indeed accessible – it’s definitely not “wheelchair-friendly”.
Plus, the main entrance is at the bottom of the park (which is itself at the top of a VERY steep hill).
There is a recommended accessible entrance on Carretera del Carmel though [MAP]. But getting there on public transport is far from easy either. So I definitely recommend getting there by wheelchair accessible taxi.
Many of the paths are stepped though – which means that a lot of Parc Güell will be inaccessible to you. And the paths that are step-free, can be hard work (bumpy and sandy).
But Parc Güell is such a beautiful spot in Barcelona, that it might just be worth your effort in a wheelchair (if it’s at all possible for you). Especially if you’re a fan of Gaudí.
#6. Accessible La Boqueria Market Barcelona
Is La Boqueria in Barcelona the #1 tourist trap in the World?
Yes, admittedly, the Mercat de Sant Josep (as La Boqueria market in Barcelona is more formally called) is a very colourful market.
But it is absolutely packed.
Not packed with local shoppers though. But packed full of Barcelona tourists (especially after around 10am – when the tourists arrive en masse).
And where there are crowds of tourists in Barcelona, there are LOTS of pickpockets.
So instead, head to the much more relaxed Mercat de Santa Caterina. The aisles are much wider here too.
And being more relaxed, a LOT less busy, and with much wider aisles between market traders, it’s far easier to negotiate in a wheelchair.
#7. Accessible Santa Caterina Market Barcelona
- Wide Aisles (Wheelchair-Friendly)
- Accessible Bar/Restaurants
- Accessible Toilet
The Mercat de Santa Caterina is THE most wheelchair-accessible market in central Barcelona.
And the inside the Santa Caterina Market building, it is very easy to get around too. The aisles are wide. And because there are fewer crowds of tourists to constantly jostle you/block your path, you can actually relax and enjoy a more authentic slice of Barcelona life.
Plaça de Catalunya > Barcelona Cathedral > Gothic Quarter > Santa Caterina Market > Picasso Museum > El Born > Basilica of Santa Maria del Mar > Plaça de Sant Felip Neri > Basílica de Santa Maria del Pi > Plaça Reial > La Rambla > Columbus Monument
Casa Vicens > Mercat de la Llibertat > La Pedrera-Casa Milà > Casa Batlló > Casa Amatller > Casa Lleó Morera > Plaça de Catalunya
Barcelona Design Museum > Mirador Torre Glòries > La Sagrada Familia > La Monumental > Arc de Triomf > Parc de la Ciutadella > Barcelona Zoo
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Thank you so very much – and have a great time in Barcelona!