Decent wheelchair access at Barcelona's best-known building
This review is especially helpful for those who have or use the following: Walking Aid, Wheelchair, Mobility Scooter
Nearly a century after Antoni Gaudi's death, his architectural masterpiece is still not quite finished - and that's a good thing for disabled visitors, as the recent work on the building has adhered to modern accessibility standards.
Transport & Parking
I don't know about the parking, but on my visit, Barcelona's public transport system triumphed again. I took a wheelchair-accessible bus to get there, and an accessible metro train to get back to my hotel.
All visitors need to book a timed slot in advance, and this was straightforward to do online. When you arrive, you'll see most people queuing at the main visitor entrance, and they'll then be climbing stairs from the road level up to the level of the basilica's doors. Wheelchair users need to go over to the other entrance/exit by the shop, where stewards will let you in to use the lift instead of the stairs. Once inside the Sagrada Familia, the experience for wheelchair and scooter users is much the same as for walking visitors, with a good even surface on the floor and plenty of space to wander round and enjoy the beauty of the stonework and stained-glass windows. The only reason I haven't given this five stars is that wheelchair users can't go up the basilica's towers. Although there are lifts, you have to walk up stairs to get to them, probably because this part of the building dates from a time before modern accessibility standards.
I didn't have high expectations of the loos in such a busy place, but I was pleasantly surprised. As I approached, there was a queue for the ladies' toilets right out the door, but a steward sprang forward, ushered me and my scooter past the line of waiting people and unlocked the door to my very own large, clean accessible loo. Just one downside: the light inside was on an energy-saving motion sensor and kept deciding to turn itself off because my movement wasn't lively enough to let it know I was still there.
Polite and efficient.
Anything else you wish to tell us?
Just that it was heartening to see wheelchair-users considered in the architectural planning and management of this iconic building. How it should be everywhere.