In the latest of our new series of blogposts on accessible getaways in Europe, we’re heading to Madrid. For such a beautiful city, so rich in history, art and culture, it is surprising how often it is overlooked by visitors to Spain, who are drawn to the beaches or to Barcelona. But Madrid is a wonderful city to explore: and the great news is that there are plenty of different accessible sights that are perfect for those of us using mobility scooters. So, here are our thoughts on just a few of the highlights of a trip to the Spanish capital.
Soak up some culture at the Caixa Forum Madrid
Madrid is not short of remarkable museums and art galleries, but we particularly loved this one. Why? Well, not least because it has some stunning gardens attached to it which are the perfect place to relax and escape the hustle and bustle of the Spanish capital. The building itself was once a power station and has a regular cycle of fascinating exhibitions that are well worth exploring. The Caixa Forum Madrid is also fully accessible with lifts to all areas and accessible toilets. One of the highlights for us was the vertical (yes, vertical!) garden, which is truly breathtaking.
Almudena Cathedral and Museum
Madrid’s Almudena Cathedral is spectacular, and very accessible considering the age of the building. It is an awesome place to spend time, with dramatic vaulted ceilings and spectacular stained glass windows. It is also a great place to cool off if the heat of Madrid is getting too much for you! There is access throughout much of the building, but the team there suggest you give them a call before you visit to make sure they have everything ready to meet your own particular needs. You can contact them on (+34) 915 42 22 00. The Cathedral also has its own museum which is also fully accessible and well worth a visit.
Museo Reina Sofia
If modern art is your thing, then the Museo Reina Sofia is a must visit. It is home to one of Picasso’s most famous masterpieces, Guernica, but also to some of the most fascinating modern art you are likely to find anywhere. Entry is free (and wheelchair and scooter users even get fast tracked entry), so there is no waiting around. There are ramps throughout which make access to all of the various rooms really straightforward. Overall a great way to enjoy some of the very best modern art in the world in a beautiful, easily accessible setting. Very highly recommended.
Roam free in El Retiro park
It is hard to believe you are in the middle of Europe’s third largest city when you are in El Retiro park. As the capital city, Madrid can get a bit much for some visitors: there is so much to do, and so much to see that finding somewhere to rest and relax is vital. El Retiro park is perfect for this. It is absolutely huge, and almost completely accessible for those of us who use a mobility scooter or a wheelchair. There are firm level paths throughout. We recommend picking the entrance to the park nearest to where you are staying and just exploring: there are also plenty of cafes and places to eat in El Retiro too if you need to refuel. And if you’re lucky enough to be there during May or June, make sure you seek out the fabulous Rose Garden, which should be in full bloom.
Did you know?
El Retiro park has a statue dedicated to the devil, Lucifer. Unsurprisingly it has been quite controversial since it was built in 1877!
Getting to Madrid
It really couldn’t be easier to get to Madrid from the UK. There are daily flights from a number of our major airports, including the London airports, Bristol, Edinburgh, Birmingham and Manchester. Once you’ve arrived in Madrid Airport you will find that there is plenty of assistance for those of us who use mobility scooters and wheelchairs. If you’d like to discuss your particular needs with the airport team, just give them a call on (+34) 902 404 704 or (+34) 91 321 10 00. For more detailed information take a look at their dedicated accessibility page here.
Getting into the city from the airport is relatively straightforward too. The airport team offer an accessible shuttle service and there is also a regular train service from Terminal 4 into the city centre.
For lots more information about public transport in Madrid and how to get around within the city itself, take a look at the Madrid tourist board’s official site, here.
Travelling with scooters
The great news for those of you travelling abroad is that Quingo Scooters are all approved for air travel by IATA so you won’t have any problems taking them on the plane. That said, it is always well worth getting in touch directly with any train, bus and airlines you want to use just to double check their rules on scooters before you go. For more handy tips on travelling with your scooter by air, take a look at our page here.
Share your accessible getaways abroad with us
Do you have any accessible getaways abroad recommendations? In Europe or perhaps further afield? If you do, we’d love to hear from you, so drop us a line and we’ll feature them.
About Quingo Scooters
The Quingo Scooter range features six models to suit your needs and budget. New models are now available from just £22/week on our new contract hire scheme which includes all servicing and maintenance, Insurance, Roadside Recovery, Call Outs and Consumables including Batteries and Tyres. For more information on this or the latest Quingo Scooter range, please visit our website. Alternatively, if you have any Service questions you can always contact us or call customer services on 01582 430 900.
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All Quingo Personal Mobility Vehicles are provided by Forever Active, the UK’s exclusive distributor. Forever Active is a trading name of Advantage Marketing Corporation Limited (AMC). AMC Limited is an appointed representative of First Senior Insurance Services Ltd which is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority. First Senior Insurance Services FSA Register number is 30847