If you’re planning a trip to Venice but are worried about wheelchair accessibility, worry no longer! While on first impression a canal-based city dating back hundreds of years may not seem synonymous with wheelchair convenience, great strides have been made to develop and ensure accessibility in one of the world’s most popular tourist destinations, with over 50% of the city now classed as “wheelchair friendly”.
The issue of accessibility therefore doesn’t have to become an inconvenience after you’ve arrived and disembarked from your Venice airport transfer. Furthermore, the city itself is generally very flat and, unlike other Italian cities, cobblestones are a rarity, with most pavements and streets paved and without curbs. Here we provide wheelchair users with a guide on how to avoid the narrow steps and bridges while still enjoying all that this great city has to offer.
San Marco Neighbourhood
Fortunately, several of Venice’s larger (and best) neighbourhoods can be easily reached without having to navigate any bridges. This includes San Marco, containing the famous St. Mark’s Square which itself plays host to two of Venice’s most recognisable landmarks, St. Mark’s Basilica and the Doge’s Palace. Visitors in wheelchairs can bypass the typically long ques at St. Mark’s Basilica by heading to the exit at the left side of the church.
Venetian vaporetti (water taxis) are typically wheelchair friendly and can be a very pleasant way of getting between neighbourhoods. There are two primary routes that run down Venice’s Grand Canal, from which you can take in some of the city’s most impressive sights, including the Basilica di Santa Maria della Salute (locally known as ‘Salute’), the Statues of Atlas and the Rialto Bridge.
What to Watch Out For
Despite the accessibility merits described above, as a wheelchair user there are some points to be aware of. While it is possible to get to many of the key neighbourhoods and landmarks without the need to traverse any bridges, the city is still inevitably filled with waterway crossings and one should ideally plan around them unless you have someone available to assist you. Regrettably, also, a number of existing wheelchair lifts have been recently taken out of service on account of their cost to maintain – be careful to double check that any lifts referenced by websites, brochures or any other materials are in fact still in operation.
Also, be cautious of overcrowded boats, the most high-risk being those on the Grand Canal Routes heading towards St. Mark’s Square in the morning, and towards the train station in the afternoon.
How to Get There – Wheelchair-Accessible Shuttles
Venice Marco Polo Airport offers regular flights to and from the UK across a variety of airlines, including British Airways. Upon landing, take advantage of a convenient Venice airport transfer from Shuttle Direct; we offer specially-adapted vehicles for wheelchair users. Just be sure to request this service during part three of the booking phase.
Lukas Johannes is a driver for Shuttle Direct, the number one provider of shared and private airport transfers all over Europe and northern Africa. If you’re looking for an affordable Venice airport transfer , Lukas and his colleagues can make sure that you and your luggage get to and from the airport swiftly and safely.