Top 5 accessible travel destinations to visit post-lockdown
The travel bug has many of us itching to travel again after almost two years of back-to-back lockdowns, extended border restrictions and ongoing social distancing measures, but it seems that Australia is gearing up to open its borders soon. As we eagerly await the news of travel becoming a reality again, we explore some of the best accessible travel destinations to check out!
1. Melbourne, Australia
If you’re looking for a weekend getaway then Melbourne is the destination. When it comes to accessibility, Melbourne ranks pretty highly; its compact grid layout and accessible services and facilities make it easy to navigate and get around. Known as the sporting capital of Australia, Melbourne has even been recognised by Lonely Planet as one of the most accessible cities in the world. So, what makes Melbourne stand out?
An accessible public transport system
Accessible street signs: The City of Melbourne has installed over 80 tactile street signs at major city intersections to make it easier for people with vision impairment to navigate the bustling city.
Beacon technology: Virtual GPS beacons are situated along city streets to help people with low vision or blindness navigate the city. Beacon technology works by sending audio messages to users’ phones about intersections, public transport, and any other potential obstacles and disruptions along their journey.
Accessible parks: Melbourne has a host of facilities to make sure that parks are accessible for everyone. You can check out the Parks Victoria website to plan your next adventure at one of the many wonderful, accessible parks in Melbourne!
If you’re looking for an accessible travel experience that won’t disappoint, then look no further. Singapore is one of the few countries that has formally adopted universal design principles. Modern, accessible infrastructure and public transport, easy-to-access attractions, broad footpaths, tactile paving, barrier-free walkways...the list goes on. Not to mention, Singapore has some of the world’s best tourist attractions for visitors of all abilities. Here are just a few:
The Esplanade: Singapore’s premier destination for arts and theatre, the Esplanade hosts some of the best performances from local and international performers.
Singapore Zoo: Home to over 300 different species, Singapore Zoo is an award-winning zoo that’s been described as a must-see for every visitor.
Gardens by the Bay: A scenic paradise for nature lovers and keen photographers alike, Gardens by the Bay showcases a myriad of gorgeous flora and fauna from all over the world.
3. Barcelona, Spain
A trip to Barcelona? Yes, please. Grand old architecture, spectacular beaches, boundless culture and accessible attractions. Barcelona, the capital of Spain, is widely recognised as one of the more accessible cities in Europe. More than 80% of metro stations and bus services are accessible. Ticket machines in metro stations have braille options for those with visual impairment, and many taxi companies have adapted vehicles. Relatively flat terrain, step-free crossings and accessible beaches, museums, monuments and parks all make exploring Barcelona a breeze. If you do travel to Barcelona, don’t miss an opportunity to visit the breathtaking Sagrada Familia cathedral, which towers over the city skyline. With an accessible entrance, ramps, flat surfaces, and accessible bathrooms along the main ground level, a trip to Sagrada Familia is sure to delight!
4. Manchester, UK
Manchester is one of the UK’s most vibrant cities, and one of the most accessible. With much of the city centre rebuilt in the 1990s, the city features smooth, wide, flat sidewalks, and step-free entry into shops, restaurants and bars. The city is also well-served by accessible transport links. The birthplace of the Industrial Revolution, Manchester boasts a rich culture and heritage with no shortage of things to do. From checking out the local bars and restaurants, indulging in the city’s thriving arts scene to exploring the football culture, rest assured – you’ll never get bored. Some of the best accessible attractions include: Etihad Stadium, People’s History Museum and Manchester’s National Football Museum.
5. Denver, Colorado, USA
A trip to North America isn’t complete without visiting one of the most picturesque and accessible cities in the country, Denver. The Mile High City is known for its commitment to providing equal access across all aspects of life. Nestled against the Rocky Mountains, Denver has a completely accessible transport system with a paratransit system that operates seven days a week, 23 hours a day. Its airport is even equipped to welcome service animals and accessible restrooms are available on each of the airport's concourses. With a bustling arts and music scene, accessible tourist attractions, a colourful history and a melting pot of cultures, the city has something to suit everyone.
Please note: the reviews provided are based on information gathered from online sources. Please be sure to make your own checks and inquiries directly with the attractions before travelling to ensure your individual accessibility requirements can be met.