Five of the most accessible travel destinations

Our world has a fantastic variety of different sights to behold, from majestic natural wonders to structures of architectural perfection, and many of us strive to see a number of these in our lifetime. For people with disabilities, though, travelling can be quite difficult and they might sadly be denied the opportunity to explore the world. In addition to the challenge of getting from point A to B, there is also the likelihood that hotel rooms, visitor attractions, restaurants and public transport don’t tend to the needs of disabled people. However, to the credit of these five accessible travel destinations and many of the world’s major cities, huge strides have been made over the previous few decades to make these locations accessible for all to enjoy in comfort.

Seattle, USA

Among these is Seattle, a city with a recently upgraded and highly accessible public transport system. Several of its most famous attractions, including the Space Needle and Seattle Space Museum, allow for easy access for people with disabilities to enjoy the full experience that they have to offer. Its hotels have features in Braille and audio-visual smoke detectors, catering for guests with sight or hearing difficulties.

Five accessible travel destinations: Seattle Space Needle
Seattle Space Needle

Montreal, Canada

The Canadian city of Montreal is also an ideal destination for people with disabilities, given its abundance of wheelchair-friendly public railway stations and visitor attractions, including its botanical gardens, fine arts museum and European-style cathedrals.

Five accessible travel destinations: Montreal Skyline
Montreal Skyline by vincepontarelli

Sydney, Australia

Another alternative is Sydney, that picturesque Australian haven with fully accessible ports and taxis, as well as easy-to-access shops, restaurants and tourist attractions. People with disabilities can easily immerse themselves in checking out Sydney Opera House, Sydney Tower and Port Jackson, among many other well-known visitor hotspots. The city also boasts a reputation for being ideal to stay, with hotel staff renowned for going the extra mile to tending to the needs of disabled guests.

Five accessible travel destinations: Sydney Harbour Bridge and Opera House
Sydney Harbour Bridge and Opera House

Dublin, Ireland

For the disabled person wishing to travel to Europe, the Irish capital city of Dublin is a fantastic choice. The city is very compact and almost entirely flat, as well as boasting dropped kerbs, delayed traffic lights and several accessible transport options. The majority of its tourist attractions, including Trinity College, St Stephen’s Green, the Guinness Storehouse and Dublin Castle, are easily accessible for wheelchair users, while the friendly nature of the locals, many of whom are happy to help out, also adds to a positive experience in this vivacious city.

Five accessible travel destinations: Liffey Docklands and Beckett_Bridge in Dublin at night
Liffey Docklands and Beckett_Bridge in Dublin at night: Photo by Dublinhj / CC BY-SA 3.0

Stratford-upon-Avon, England

If you prefer somewhere a bit quieter than a bustling metropolis, Stratford-upon-Avon in England comes highly recommended. This old, quaint settlement, home of the great William Shakespeare, is very easy to navigate for wheelchair users, despite it being built six centuries ago. Its flat pavements and level cobblestones allow for easily getting around in an idyllic setting and its riverside pubs and restaurants are ideal for all.

Five accessible travel destinations: Holy Trinity Church, Stratford upon Avon
Holy Trinity Church, Stratford upon Avon: Photo by David Dixon / CC BY-SA 2.0

It is refreshing to know that many of the world’s most famous cities are easily accessible for people with disabilities, and improvements continue to be made to provide them with the most pleasant of experiences. That said, if you’re a disabled traveller, or you’re travelling with somebody who has limited mobility, it is advisable to research any potential destination thoroughly to see how accessible it truly is. Not every location in the world is as advanced as these five accessible travel destinations described above, so take the time to read up on how easy it is to get around instead of taking a chance and subsequently seeing your holiday spoiled.

To see more about accessible travel for people with disabilities, take a look at this infographic below from chronic pain charity Burning Nights.

An infographic by the team at burningnightscrps

About Victoria Abbott-Fleming

Victoria Abbott-Fleming is the founder of chronic pain charity Burning Nights, which she set up as a support group for fellow sufferers of Complex Regional Pain Syndrome (CRPS). Prior to her diagnosis with CRPS, she graduated from the University of Wales with a joint honours degree in Law and Spanish.

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