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We went to Barcelona recently, as my wife has CP, she finds steps hard work, my arm also gets a good workout supporting her if we have too many steps to face.

  • Most metro stations seemed to have many lifts going down from the road to the ticket offices.
  • The lifts for a single metro station are often spread out over many roads, and their locations are not marked on the map in any of our guide books.
  • Most metro stations seemed to have lifts from one ticket office down to the platform on each line. (But a different ticket office for each line)
  • Most metro stations seemed to have many ticket officers that joint to each other with lots of steps and corridors.
  • So if you go down the lift that is next to an enhance that is signed posted for the line yoy want, you often get hit with lots of stairs after it is too late to turn back, as you have already used your ticket.

Therefore:

  • Firstly how can you tell if a given line is accessible at a given metro station?
  • How can you tell how many steps and in what direction (up or down) you have to cope with at a given station/line when there is not step-free access?
  • And most frustrating, how do you find the correct lift at street level to use to access a given line in the direction you wish to travel. (The lifts did not seem to be marked for what lines they gave step-free access to.)

Our overall impression of the metro system was that it is accessible to locals that know it, but not to tourists due to the lack of sign posting.

  • 1
    By "ticket office" are you meaning a window from which you can buy a ticket from a human (normal meaning). Or do you mean ticket checking barriers? – CMaster Apr 29 '16 at 10:17
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    @CMaster, I mean the space at the bottom of the first lift that has ticket machines and checking barrier. There were very few humans selling tickets and they did not seem to speak much English. (Years ago when I went with some in a wheelchair it was a lot easier, as a member of staff would just offer help as soon as we got into a station..) – Ian Ringrose Apr 29 '16 at 10:20
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Which Stations Are Accessible?

TMB says that all the Metro network is wheelchair accessible, except for a few stations (15 out of 156). These tend to be the older/non-recently-refurbished stations. The Barcelona Metro map lists them:

Non-accessible Barcelona Stations

This website lists all the stations with lifts.

Locating Lifts

TMB also says that you can locate accessible stations using their interactive station map. The map shows the location of the metro street accesses as well as which stations are accessible. You can also try to locate the lifts using street view.

How Much Step Free Is Actually Step Free?

I could not find information on how many steps separate the ticket barriers and the platform, in both accessible and non-accessible stations. However, according to this website, accessible stations have lifts from the street to the platform. There exists a subset of "partially adapted" stations where there is a height difference between carriage and platform. In these stations you are likely to find metal ramps that should solve the problem.

When in Doubt Contact TMB Staff

The best thing you can do is to contact a member of staff in the station you plan to use, and ask them for help navigating the system. I am prepared to bet that you'll find them very helpful.

  • I found the staff helpful, but a lot of them don't speak much English, there are also large parts of the system with no visible staff. – Ian Ringrose Apr 29 '16 at 16:45
  • The interactive map depends on finding WiFi everytime someone wishes to use a station. 3G roaming is still expensive enough to make it a bad option, and buying a local sim is a pain for a few days. – Ian Ringrose Apr 29 '16 at 16:47
  • @IanRingrose Yes but the map allows you to plan ahead. ;) – JoErNanO Apr 30 '16 at 20:14
  • Stations are often not staffed - at least, not visibly staffed - but there are always intercommunicators in halls and platforms. – Pere Feb 20 '17 at 14:40
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I think you should look for the disabled metro map, which is easily to find on google. I would explain more but I think the image says pretty much all. You will have to zoom to read which stations have "annoying stairs" and stations with elevator.

About the steps that separate the ticket barriers and the platform, you can't really know, but I highly suggest you to check the signs for lifts inside and outside the metro.

In summary, I agree with you about the signals and everything in the metro of Barcelona, not being very intuitive for tourists. It happened to me the first time too, until I got used to it.

enter image description here

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    That metro map does not show what road the lifts are on for each line. The signs work well for exiting a station, but not for finding the way in. – Ian Ringrose Apr 29 '16 at 17:04
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    I highly doubt that you will find such a map, you need to see the arrow directions inside the metro. I've been living here for a while and never seen anything I could use inside the metro. – Nighthunter22 Apr 29 '16 at 21:49

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