Bratislava for Disabled
The communist regime prior to 1989 paid little attention to the needs of disabled persons regarding barrier-free access, public transport, etc. A lot has changed since the fall of communism but in comparison with the rest of the European Capitals the situation in Bratislava is still more complicated for disabled persons than most Western European capitals. However, Bratislava continues to upgrade its infrastructure to accommodate residents and visitor with disabilities. Offering accessible facilities in hotels, improving pavements and other barrier-free spots are just a few examples of enhancing the Bratislava´s accessibility to people with some handicap.
In general, visiting the city is definitely easier when accompanied by someone else who can always help you.
Getting around the city
Moving around the city should be trouble-free in most cases, just avoid places with stairs. However, some streets have historic pavement or other uneven terrain, so extra caution is recommendable.
Parking for disabled
There are some special parking places marked with specific wheelchair symbol and reserved for disabled persons. Only holders of special disability cards can park there. Parking on these places should be then free of charge.
The number of low-floor vehicles is increasing, however not all bus lines are wheelchair-accessible. Those that are adapted for the transport of wheelchair users are marked in the timetable with the wheelchair symbol. The driver will help the wheelchair user in and out using a special platform.
Unlike Slovak citizens, foreign tourists with disabilities are not entitled to any type of discount of the ticket price.
Sights and other popular tourist places
Unfortunately, most of the sights in the historic city are not barrier-free. However, it is possible to visit e.g. places to some extent:
- Bratislava Castle, the Historical Museum
- Devín Castle
- Old Town Hall, Museum of City History
- Slovak National Gallery
- UFO Observation Tower and Restaurant
We recommend that you always check the specific entry options in advance.
While nearly all of the hotels in Bratislava are equipped with a lift, only some of them provide special rooms for disabled persons. You can filter them on booking.com (filter by "Facilities for disabled guests).
Shopping, bars and restaurants
In generally, the newly built buildings in Bratislava are barrier-free including all the shopping malls and hypermarkets which provide barrier-free entry, are equipped with lifts, toilets and parking places for disabled. Most of the shops in the city centre and pedestrian zone of the Old Town also have the barrier-free access.
Regarding the restaurants and bars, the more expensive the restaurant or bar is, the better services it usually offers which involves the barrier-free access as well as lavatories. However, most of the bars, pubs and restaurants in the Old Town have stairs, lots of them are wheel-chair accessible only with difficulties and do not provide a wheel-chair accessible toilets. During summer the situation should be a little bit less complicated as most of them open summer terraces where even people with some handicap might get without any problem. Restaurants in the shopping centers should be accessible as well.
Restaurants that should be adapted for wheelchair guests are e.g. Aucafé, Savoy Restaurant, Wine restaurant Matyšák or Hradná hviezda.