- MemberJuly 31, 2018 at 10:34 pm
I did a trip to Brussels last weekend. After recent trips to Barcelona and Berlin my experience in Brussels for wheelchair accessibility was nowhere near as good.
The trams were not accessible, the buses are supposed to be but I have heard from others that the ramps often don’t work (I didn’t try them.) I got a taxi from Midi station to the Grand Place which cost me €10 for a regular taxi (a tram would have been about €2), when I wanted to go back to my hotel I found the taxi rank and a driver went off to find a different driver with a wheelchair accessible taxi. As he was about to put me in he told me it would be €25 for this ‘special’ taxi… I said too expensive, I could get in a normal taxi, so he dropped the price to €15 which I accepted because I didn’t have the energy to argue further.
Grand Place and the streets around have cobblestones that make for a very wobbly ride. Most of the shops have one or more (often BIG) steps to get in. The restaurant I went to, and one of the bars, I could only access the outside tables. The Irish bar I got in with a little help but the gents toilets were down stairs and the ladies up stairs. I did not see an accessible toilet the whole day I was out.
The Sunday I was lacking in energy and didn’t want to be fleeced again for taxis so spent the day in the vicinity of Midi station until my Eurostar departed in the evening. Around the station on a Sunday it seems all the surrounding streets are turned in to a giant market. And for six weeks in the summer the streets near my hotel are turned in to a fairground.
I stayed at the Hotel Mercure Midi Central which was very accessible.
More details coming on my blog in the next few days.
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Thank you loads for informing of the problems. That’s another place crossed off the list (of places to visit).
Barcelona and Berlin are always in the top 2 most wheelchair-accessible cities – I have visited Berlin – I can understand why!
- MemberAugust 1, 2018 at 5:11 am
I wouldn’t totally write off Brussels, but it is very challenging if you are up for it. 🙂
- MemberAugust 1, 2018 at 11:17 am
Thanks for a very honest review. I met someone from Belgium that said accessibility was less than great, but had trouble believing the capital of the EU would be so bad…
I found the price gouging for a special taxi very upsetting.
But thank you for your positive attitude! Love your blog too!
- MemberAugust 2, 2018 at 3:57 am
I thought with the EU parliament being in Brussels the city would be an example of accessibility, sadly not.
I think my next visit to Belgium will be to Antwerpen (Antwerp), I like visiting zoos and the one in Antwerpen backs on to the railway station so easy to get to. I also understand that the trams there are accessible.
- MemberAugust 2, 2018 at 12:21 pm
Please be sure to share your Antwerp review after you go!
- MemberAugust 2, 2018 at 7:25 pm
That will possibly be next year, my next trip will be Venice in about 5 weeks time. 🙂
(This year I have been to Barcelona, Berlin and Brussels so people are telling me to spell it
- MemberAugust 2, 2018 at 7:47 pm
Please do leave a review on Berlin here too!
- MemberAugust 2, 2018 at 8:15 pm
I’ll do that at the weekend, still lacking in energy from Brussels and writing up my blogs from that trip. 🙂
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