The Metro, or underground, in Barcelona is an excellent and inexpensive way to get around the city. You can also use it to get from the airport to central Barcelona too. TMB that run most of the metro lines, except for three short ones, state that 90% of stations are wheelchair accessible so far with work planned ongoing to others. A larger more usable version of the accessible Metro map above can be found by clicking on this link (updated to February 2019.)
I would suggest printing out a copy of the map to carry with you when travelling, I did and found it invaluable for planning my routes, especially when working out how to get to places if the obvious route included a change of lines that are inaccessible.
If you plan on using the Metro to get in to the city from the airport the are stations at both Terminal 1 and Terminal 2B. Terminal 2A is right next door to 2B but if you are arriving at Terminal 2C, if you are flying EasyJet, it is quite a long walk so you will need to get the airport shuttle bus that runs between Terminal 2B – Terminal 2C -Terminal 1 – Terminal 2B on a loop.
When the bus drops you off at 2B you enter the building and to your right are escalators that lead up to a bridge connecting to the RENFE station (not wheelchair accessible) and the Metro station. It is not clearly signed but beneath/behind the escalators there are lifts to get you up to the bridge.
At all the Metro stations you first take a lift down to the ticket hall and then after passing the ticket barriers a further lift to the platforms. At the ticket barriers you insert your ticket to open the barrier and then retrieve your ticket. There is always a wide wheelchair accessible barrier at the far left if you are entering the Metro, to the far right if you are leaving. You don’t need to use you ticket to open the barriers for exiting other than at the two airport stations because there is a special additional fare of €4.60 each way for using those.
Most of the accessible stations have level access to the trains as in the photo to the right. Some, however, have a fixed ramp fitted to the platform at the end the front of the train will stop. The wheelchair spaces on the trains are always in the front carriage of the train but not always through the front door, sometimes it is the second door, but it is always clearly marked when the train arrives. You might be tempted to enter any carriage of a train when the platform has level access but be aware if you do so the station where you want to get off may need a ramp and that will only be at the designated door of the front carriage.
Most of the lifts down to the Metro can be found in what looks like very large, oversized glass telephone boxes (see photo to the left.) Of the stations that I used only one, Arc de Triomf, was the lift to be found inside a building.
On the Metro there can be found three different types of train. One is fully automated and can be found on Line 9, this type of train has no driver and you can get a great view out of the front of the tunnels you are travelling through. These have two official places for wheelchairs, with seatbelts if required. There are also two types of train with drivers, one of these has one wheelchair space with seatbelt, the other two. Personally I didn’t actually use the wheelchair space and neither did anyone else that I saw using the Metro in a wheelchair.
On board the trains there are announcements in Spanish (Catalan?) and English of the next station you will arrive at. There is also a visual display at either end of the carriage stating this too. This display also has <<< or >>> indicating which side the doors will open. Also above each pair of doors there is a map of the line you are on and stations already passed are indicated with a lit red bulb, the next station you will arrive at has a flashing red bulb.
I hope this short guide to using the Barcelona Metro has been of use to you. If you have any further questions please post them in the comments below and I will try to answer them for you.
2 thoughts on “Barcelona Metro Accessibility”
Great stuff, such a nice place to visit.
some old roads have a slightly cobbled paving. (Wheelchair users, “enjoy the ride”)