Planning holidays for disabled travelers can sometimes be a bit difficult – not everything is made for those with special needs. Some of the things any holidaymaker looks forward to the most when going on their travels are relaxing on a beach and, of course, shopping – why not spend some time (and money) at these great markets in Barcelona? Not only are they historic, but they’re also easily accessible for those with physical handicaps. Read on for the three most disability-friendly markets Spain has to offer.
Santa Caterina is as much a work of art as it is a place to purchase fresh fruits and veg. With its unique and colorful roof, gorgeous architecture (both the traditional interior and the modern exterior), and an outstanding selection of food stalls and restaurants, it is a perfect addition to any foodie’s travel itinerary.
• Getting in: Outside the pavements are wide, and the main entrance has a large sliding glass door for easy access. • Getting around: A tiled floor, wide aisles and a selection of seats make it incredibly easy to maneuver around. • Loos: The toilet has been adapted to include a fixed and fold-down grab bar. The washbasin has space underneath it to provide frontal access to wheelchair users. • Parking: If you decide to drive, the underground car park has nine spaces reserved for those with disabilities, as well as an adapted toilet and a lift to elevate you to the main entrance. • Extras: You can arrange for home delivery at the information point.
One of the oldest food markets, Hostafranc’s is a great choice for those who want a taste of Barcelona’s trading tradition. It opened in 1888 and was originally a place for working-class families to shop – today it is perfect for history and food lovers alike.
• Getting in: Large automatic sliding glass doors are at the main entrance, and there is a lift in the lobby to take you to the market itself. • Getting around: With half of the floor covered in relief-embossed tiles and the other half covered with smooth tiles, the wide aisles of this market are easy to move around. • Loos: There is an adapted toilet with a fixed and fold-down grab bar, and the washbasin provides adequate space for wheelchair users who desire frontal access. • Parking: Parking spots for those with disabilities have been reserved in the car park.
Folks with an affinity for the finer things in life will enjoy Sarriá Market, a food market in one of Barcelona’s most affluent neighborhoods. Attractive and modern, it has been around for over 100 years and is still the top local food supplier to this day.
• Getting in: There are no steps in front of the main entrance. The lift that takes you to the market has Braille and raised lettering on the buttons. • Getting around: The floor has non-slip tiling, the aisles are wide and the building is contained to only one floor. • Loos: An adapted toilet with a fold-down grab bar is available, complete with enough room under the washbasin for wheelchair users who want frontal access. • Parking: The nearby car park has spaces reserved for people with disabilities, and the main entrance is easily accessible from your parking space. • Extras: Home delivery is available, and there is table service at the adapted cafe. Assistant and guide dogs are more than welcome as well.
Shopping is exactly what your holiday’s for. Disabled travelers don’t have to miss out on the fun – whether you’re looking for fancy foods, trading traditions or you’re just in the mood to browse, Barcelona has the easily-accessible market for you.
Philip Scott is the owner and founder of Can be Done, a fully licensed UK tour operator specializing in worldwide holidays for disabled individuals and groups. With over 31 years of experience organizing long and short breaks for disabled travelers, Philip has built a reputation for helping his clients select hotels and accommodations that offer high standards of accessibility, to ensure that those with special needs can experience truly relaxing and carefree holidays.