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Accessible tourism in Spain

Spain, an accessible destination for people with disabilities

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Spain, an accessible destination for people with disabilities

Travelling in Spain can be easy for people with motor, visual, mental or hearing disabilities. We provide important information for organising your trip and some tools and tips that will be useful to you for enjoying 100% accessible holidays. 

A wheelchair, a pair of crutches or the need for a guide dog don’t have to be obstacles to enjoying one of the most enriching and expansive leisure experiences: travel. In Spain, almost all infrastructure and most tourism-related services meet accessibility requirements. From the most basic, adapted transport that guarantees mobility, to a wide range of accessible activities, visiting museums and sightseeing without any barriers, or accommodation and restaurants capable of meeting the needs of people with disabilities. TransportIf you are travelling to Spain by plane, you won’t have any problems at all. All airports in Spain provide the option of assistance service for people with reduced mobility or mental, hearing or visual disabilities free of charge. On the AENA website, you can view the form to request this support (available in Spanish, English, French and German), in addition to the meeting points and specifications for each airport. An assistant will accompany you from the moment you arrive at the terminal, helping with check-in processes, security controls, boarding, disembarking and luggage collection.

A blind person with a guide dog crossing the road

On medium- and long-distance trains, you can also request an assistance service that Renfe (the country’s main rail operator) provides through the Atendo programme. Although you will find that many Spanish railway stations have been adapted to meet universal accessibility criteria (ramps, visual and auditory reinforcements, lifts, etc.), you also have the option of requesting this personal accompaniment. On international journeys, you can use the Atendo service if you are travelling from or to countries belonging to the International Union of Railways (UIC). See the Renfe website (also available in English) to access all the information and contact details. 

For short distances and especially in large cities, public transport (mainly metro, bus, taxi and, in some cases, tram) is generally adapted for travellers with disabilities. For example, in Madrid around 70% of Metro stations are accessible (you can check the list on the Metro website), as are around 90% of Barcelona's metro stations. Also, local buses in both cities are 100% accessible (check the website for the buses in Madrid and Barcelona and take into account the fact that each bus usually has places for one or two wheelchairs). If you are travelling to other cities with more recently constructed metro networks, such as Valencia (Region of Valencia), Palma de Mallorca (Balearic Islands), Seville (Andalusia), Malaga (Andalusia) and Bilbao (Basque Country), accessibility is also guaranteed. 

  Photographer in a wheelchair

In order to get around by taxi or in a rental car with a driver, the best thing to do is to download some mobile apps or get customer service telephone numbers for each city, so that you can request an adapted vehicle. 

Sights, accommodation and activities

But travel means more than getting to Spain and moving around our tourist destinations. For a complete experience, leisure, cultural and culinary activities also have to be universal.A good way to plan your holidays is to check the “Spain is accessible” website, a seal of approval used by Spanish institutions working with the Spanish Accessible Tourism Network since 2016 to standardise the criteria that make any place or activity accessible, thus providing a realistic, complete guide with guarantees for travellers with disabilities. On its website, you can filter by tourist destinations, theme or type of disability to find all there is to offer in terms of activities, accommodation, sights, beaches and leisure parks, amongst other things, adapted to meet any needs. 

Communication in sign language

Another useful tool is Tur4All, a collaborative platform (mobile app and website) providing updated information on the accessibility of hotels, restaurants, museums, sights, natural spaces, beaches, adapted transport, destinations and experiences, and other places of interest to holidaymakers. It is available in 11 languages.In any case, we recommend visiting the official websites or contacting the management in the places on your itinerary (sights, museums or even public institutions) to answer any specific queries or check other types of services.  

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