Getting around in Moscow with a wheelchair
Planning a trip to Moscow when disabled and in a wheelchair can be tricky. Sadly, Moscow is not one of the cities that are wheelchair friendly and you might find that you run into difficulties.
If you have made your travel arrangements through a travel agency, then I would enquire about the following:
1. Is the airline wheelchair friendly? This is really important because the person bound to a wheelchair need to be seated close to the toilet. The best place is close to the emergency exit where you have more leg space. Keep in mind that if you make use of a local airline in Russia like S7 or AK Bars then it will be difficult. These budget airlines are not always helpful and if you cannot speak Russian then it might be difficult to communicate.
2. Most hotels are wheelchair friendly but if you are renting an apartment then it could be a challenge. New apartment buildings in Russia have elevators but the older ones have stairs and moving around can be problematic.
3. It is also advisable to check with the hotel if the bathrooms and showers are equipped for handicapped people. You don`t want to fall out of the shower or bath.
4. Check with the hotel if they have wheelchair accessible vehicles or vans when you need to transfer from the airport.
5. If you are travelling with Aeroexpress from Domodedovo Airport then you will be pleased to know that they are wheelchair friendly.
visiting tourist attractions in a wheelchair
1. I think you will be fine when visiting museums and galleries. It might be more difficult to visit historical houses because some of them have really narrow corridors and are not wheelchair friendly. It will not be difficult to move around in large museums with open spaces.
2. You will definitely battle when maneuvering through Red Square because of the cobbled stones. It is quite challenging walking there on high heels, so I can just imagine in a wheelchair.
[ale_alert style=”red”] Inside tip – The older metro stations are NOT wheelchair friendly and I won`t even attempt going down there. The escalators in the Moscow metro are very steep. Check first to see if the specific station that you want to use is equipped for people with disabilities.[/ale_alert]
3. You will also have problems using some of the older buses and trolleys in Moscow. Not all of them are wheelchair friendly. There are some metro stations that are now being equipped with ramps but they are not available at all stations. Always check for the wheelchair firendly sign.
After saying all of that, you will definitely find helpful people in Moscow that will help you if you get stuck. I often saw men and women helping a mom with a pram when she tried to get into and out of a bus.
When: May to August 2012
Where: Russian Federation