Bucharest, the #1 Most Wheelchair-Friendly City in Europe, survey claims

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Bucharest was far more wheelchair-accessible than cities like London or Paris. Up-and-coming Balkan capitals, Sofia and Sarajevo, came in second and third place.

Many of us want to travel the world and explore new cities and cultures, but for those with accessibility needs, there are often additional things to consider when planning a getaway. Finding a suitable place to stay is often a  top consideration.

HomeToGo, the world’s largest accommodation search engine, has conducted a report into the most wheelchair-friendly cities in Europe. As this Sunday marks ‘International Wheelchair Day’ this study reveals which destinations have the best suited accommodations for people with disabilities, and which cities are lagging behind.

For the study, HomeToGo used their database of over 17 million properties,which encompasses all major holiday rental providers (including AirBNB and Booking.com). Only cities with 500,000 inhabitants or more were included in the report. The study reveals a list of the 20 major European cities that have the highest proportion of wheelchair-friendly accommodation options.

Bucharest achieved the highest score overall with a total of 11.4% of properties in the city listed as ‘wheelchair accessible’. Following closely behind were Balkan capitals Sofia (10.41%) and Sarajevo (10.20%). The UK has the highest number of cities that ranked, with a total of 5 in the top list

The three top ranking cities are all from South-Eastern Europe, an area that has seen a large influx of tourism in recent years (with an increase in annual arrivals of around 15 million since 2010*). These up-and-coming destinations are a great choice for those with accessibility needs and are perfect if you want to experience travel in one of these up-and-coming spots.

The top 5 most wheelchair-friendly cities:

Rank City Country % Wheelchair Accessible Properties
1 Bucharest Romania 11.40%
2 Sofia Bulgaria 10.41%
3 Sarajevo Bosnia and Herzegovina 10.20%
4 Barcelona Spain 9.80%
5 Naples Italy 9.66%

 

On the other hand, Copenhagen is the least wheelchair-friendly city in our ranking, with only 3.25% of properties offering wheelchair access. This may be in part due to the many multi-story apartment buildings that are popular there. Bristol (4.79%)  and London (4.82) also lacked good provisions for those with accessibility needs, with many historic buildings that can lack the infrastructure for wheelchairs.

The 5 least wheelchair-friendly cities:

Rank City Country % Wheelchair Accessible Properties
1 Copenhagen Denmark 3.25%
2 Bristol UK 4.79%
3 London UK 4.82%
4 Riga Latvia 5.72%
5 Helsinki Finland 5.89%

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