This blog post was updated on July 8, 2021.
From a practical standpoint, Europe isn’t always easy for those with physical disabilities. From cities built on hilltops to cobblestone streets to destinations purely perched on water, getting around Europe with a disability presents one challenge after another. However, you shouldn’t let those hurdles deter you from traveling to icons like Paris, Rome and London. With these travel tips for the physically impaired in Europe, you can see and do what you want in a continent that doesn’t always favor accessibility.
Secure Your Hotel As Soon As Possible: If you want an accessible hotel room, you have to book it as soon as possible in Europe. Many hotels in Europe feature no elevators and high levels. With few accessible rooms to choose from, you want to be sure you have that accessible room confirmed early. It also helps to do a quick Google Street View to see what your hotel area looks like. If it is perched up high on a hill and not surrounded by any restaurants, you might have trouble leaving your accessible room. Travelers with disabilities should always call their hotel in advance or send an email with your reservation to make sure that the property knows that you require an accessible room.
Find Out Which Attractions Are Handicap Accessible: Some of the most famous attractions in Europe are not handicap accessible. If you are planning a trip to Rome, you need to do your research to figure out if major sights have ramps or just flat terrain to get around and actually see the sights. By knowing in advance which attractions are accessible, you will avoid showing up to a sight that you can’t even see. Obviously more ancient sites might be more difficult to traverse than a sparkling new museum. However, if you do your research, you can know which sights will be easy to visit in advance and which sights prove more challenging.
Be Aware of the European Metro and Train Stations Without Elevators: Even for a person who does not have physical disabilities, traveling through some of Europe’s train stations can be a challenge with luggage. From metro stations to train stations, some of these spaces do not have elevators to connect platforms. If you want to head to Europe but you might have a handicap, be sure to do your research and determine if any of your public transportation stops involve stations without ramps and elevators.
Get Up Early and Tour: European travel can be a crowded mess. With so much to see in a condensed area, it can be the worst nightmare for a traveler with disabilities. However, you can still enjoy the sights and sounds of Europe if you get up a bit earlier. You won’t have to battle crowds on those already hard to maneuver streets. Also, the early morning touring hours are a nice time to join tours when the rest of the tourists are still sleeping. You won’t have to deal with crowds which in turn makes traveling through Europe, especially in the high season, much more bearable.
Leave a Comment