Last year, we showed you 10 amazing wheelchair-accessible tourist spots that you can visit around the world. This time around, we’re updating that list to give you a fresh new array of options to choose from! Most importantly, we’ve decided not to narrow down your choices by cherry-picking a place from a certain country. We value your spirit of adventure and we want to help you make the best out of your trip!
In making this list, we’ve established a few conditions that must be met to be included in this blog:
- The community is welcoming and friendly to people of all age groups.
- The location can be enjoyed by families with children, younger solo travelers, and retirees.
- Accessible transportation (public or private) is available.
- The majority of the tourist attractions are wheelchair-friendly.
Now, without further ado, here are our top 10 wheelchair-accessible places that you must visit this 2020!
1. Chicago, U.S.A.
On the number one spot of our list is the “Windy City” of America – the City of Chicago. In one of our previous blogs, Chicago also ranked first as the most wheelchair-friendly city in all of U.S.A – and rightfully so, as this place is just hard to beat. Chicago offers a plethora of opportunities for wheelchair and able-bodied travelers alike.
By going around the city, you’ll see 360 Chicago, the Field Museum of Natural History, and the Chicago Theatre. These iconic tourist attractions are highly accessible from all walks of life. Moreover, not only are the locations wheelchair-friendly, but also transportation. Chicago is abundant in wheelchair-accessible vehicles so you don’t have to wait for hours just to find suitable transportation.
It’s very easy to fall in love with Chicago once you visit there. The moment you leave, you’ll find yourself booking another trip back to the city!
2. Barcelona, Spain
If you’re a big fan of history and rich culture, one could never go wrong with Barcelona, Spain. Even more good news is that it is widely considered to be once of the most wheelchair accessible cities in Europe.
With its fine weather and close proximity to the Mediterranean Sea, Barcelona truly attracts tourists from all over the world. Eight of their UNESCO World Heritage sites are wheelchair-friendly, including beach resorts, art and cultural museums, amusement parks, and more!
3. Cape Town, South Africa
South Africa may seem like the last place a wheelchair user might think of when planning to travel, but you’d be surprised to know that they’re actually more accessible than you think. See Cape Town, for instance, is one of the most picturesque cities in Africa. And aside from the astonishing landscapes and views of the natural environment, the list of wheelchair accessible things to do in Cape Town is vast. This includes a 1,300-acre national botanical garden, museums, a world-class aquarium, accessible beaches, stunning viewpoints along the coastline and so much more! If you’d like, you can also take a boat ride to Robben Island, the former prison where Nelson Mandela spent 18 years of his life.
Most importantly, accessible city buses, private wheelchair transport, and a wheelchair-accessible sightseeing bus make exploring Cape Town the perfect stress-reliever for every wheelchair travel junkie.
If you’re looking for a hassle-free journey, Singapore is the place to go. In fact, Singapore is, by far, the most accessible city in Asia.
Modernity is the tag line of this Asian country – all the more reason for you to visit here! Their outstanding and highly-developed metro system, accessible buses with ramps and wheelchair taxis will leave you in awe. Indeed, Singapore is a role model every country should look up to when it comes to inclusive transportation.
But aside from that, Singapore also boasts amazing tourist attractions that are wheelchair-friendly. These are national museums of art, culture, history and science, the iconic Flower Dome and Supertree Grove, a cable car, Ferris wheel, world-class cuisine – just to name a few.
5. London, England
Big Ben, Buckingham Palace, Hyde Park, Tower Bridge and Westminster Abbey await on your wheelchair accessible trip to London, England.
Most importantly, your dream of riding those famous black cabs won’t go to waste – these bad boys are also wheelchair-accessible! Along with the infamous double-decker buses, you won’t find yourself grunting in frustration during your city tour any time soon.
6. Washington, D.C., U.S.A.
The second American city on our list is Washington, D.C. The state prides itself with breath-taking monuments, museums, history, art & architecture. Most importantly, the country’s most essential palace, the White House, is just a few wheeling away with its wheelchair-accessible pathways. And if you’re feeling extra patriotic, you can easily access the Washington Monument, Lincoln Memorial, Jefferson Memorial, and Martin Luther King, Jr. memorial.
Despite its name, Iceland is surprisingly one of the current travel ‘hotspots’ among wheelchair users. It’s easy to see why one would think the country is not wheelchair-friendly, but thanks to a blog post by a fellow wheelchair-user, we want you to reconsider your thoughts.
This small Nordic island is a land of breathtaking landscapes, covered in black volcanic rock, trademark yellow-green lichens, and icy glaciers. Full-day tours of Reykjavik, the Reykjanes peninsula, and more can be arranged. Most importantly, wheelchair taxis are readily available in the capital. And you can even take a helicopter tour over glaciers and volcanoes!
8. Dubai, UAE
Again, another unexpected yet totally accessible destination on our list. Similar to Singapore, it’s modernity definitely lends to accessibility.
You can experience being at the top of the world’s tallest building, the Burj Khalifa, or the famous Friday brunch experience at the Atlantis Palm Jumeirah resort, and even ride on a camel during an accessible wheelchair safari experience. If you’re willing to step out of your comfort zone and experience new things, definitely give Dubai a shot!
9. Sydney, Australia
Sydney should have been higher in the list, but given that it has gone through hell these past months, it may not be the best time to visit there.
However, Sydney definitely still has an edge when it comes to accessible travel. Wheelchair users can tour the iconic Sydney Opera House, visit national museums, tour public parks including the Olympic Park, see koalas at the zoo, visit the beautiful beaches and more.
10. Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
Important disclaimer: Rio de Janeiro may be one the most challenging destination to appear on this list (given its geography and landscape), but let not these factors discourage you into turning your head away from this amazing place.
While it may be true that Rio de Janeiro isn’t every wheelchair user’s dream destination, it’s important to take note that the trip will be worthwhile. How? Well, as one of the most accessible cities in South America and as a former host of the Olympic Games, Rio de Janeiro has a lot to offer tourists of all abilities. There are many, many wheelchair-accessible activities to do in the city, too. This includes the stunning cable car ride to Sugarloaf Mountain, the largest aquarium in Latin America, the Museum of Tomorrow, and the mouth-watering street food.
Affordable wheelchair taxis and a partially accessible public transit system make it possible to get around Rio in a wheelchair, though with some difficulty.
Did we miss any detail/city? If you think we did, make sure to leave a comment down below!