Many parts of the city are accessible to people with a disability.
I enjoyed a city break in Budapest with a group of friends a couple of years ago and found it to be a very positive experience from many points of view. As a disabled traveller, I always make sure I do some advance homework on any city that I visit, including the whereabouts of disabled toilets, any difficulties in accessing the main tourist attractions etc. One thing which is very difficult to research is the amount of cobbled pavements and roads to be encountered although you can assume that many of the historic areas in the centre of cities will inevitably be cobbled and life in a wheelchair will not be particularly comfortable!
When you visit Budapest you quickly realise that Buda and Pest are two distinct cities. Budapest didn’t become a single city until 1873, with the unification of the two cities on both banks of the River Danube. The central part of Pest is reasonably flat and quite easy to manage on foot. Heroes Square is the starting point for many Pest itineraries. The Square pays homage to Hungary’s great leaders and acts as the main entrance to City Park.
One sight not to be missed is the Parliament building, which actually can be seen at its best when viewed from a Danube river cruise. This beautiful building was built in Neo-Gothic style between 1884 and 1904 and serves as the permanent seat of the National Assembly. I would recommend a Danube river cruise very highly. The boat was easily accessed by wheelchair from the quayside and the boat had a very handy accessible toilet.
As a contrast to Pest, Buda is built on a series of hills. Castle Hill is a target for many visitors. The hill towers imposingly over the River Danube and contains some of the most beautiful Baroque buildings in the city. You can take the funicular up from the Chain Bridge and wander along the cobbled streets, soaking up glorious architectural gems including Matthias Church, the Royal Palace and Fishermen’s Bastion. Not all parts are accessible to wheelchairs but there are certainly enough points of interest to look at and enjoy to make the trip well worthwhile. (There was also an accessible toilet in the castle area!)
It’s difficult to write a blog about Budapest without mentioning the Chain Bridge which links the two halves of the city. This magnificent suspension bridge was built in the 19th century but was destroyed by the Germans in 1945. Reopened in 1949, the bridge is an exact replica of the original structure.
I would certainly recommend Budapest to anyone thinking of taking a city break in a charming, friendly and historically fascinating capital city, including disabled travellers.