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With the Easter Bank Holidays fast approaching many of our medical travel insurance customers have been looking for inspiration of where to go. Whether you’re looking to whisk the family away for the term break or just want to enjoy a break before the holiday season gets expensive and crowded, a European city break is ideal.
With Europe sitting vastly unexplored on your doorstep, a four night break in some of the continent’s best cities are available at the end of a short flight.
London may not seem like an obvious choice, but for those that just want a break from the boring humdrum of everyday routine, London can offer a huge amount to do for a cheaper price than going abroad. Kew Gardens are just beginning to blossom this time of year and most of the gardens have level or ramped floor for those with limited mobility. For those with young families, Kew are also hosting Easter egg hunts throughout the school break. You can visit the real life fluffy ducks and eggs at the WWT London Wetland Centre, which also provides accessible wheelchair facilities.
The tube provides wheelchair access for all of their stations with lifts, but check before you travel that the size of the lift is adequate, and that you are able to manage any gap between the station and the train. The Transport for London website will tell you of any details about planned work or lifts that are out of use.
Paris celebrates Easter over the weekend of the 20th-21stApril, and Easter in Paris is all about chocolate. Join in on the Easter brunch and Easter egg hunt at the Fouquet’s Barrière Hotel with disabled access, or visit Choco-story, the gourmet chocolate making museum, with exhibits and chocolate-making workshops for everyone to enjoy and a lift for those with limited mobility to reach all floors.
Both these attractions are easily accessible by Metro, which unfortunately is unsuitable for those with wheelchairs or limited mobility. Instead, buses and the RAR system in Paris have in recent years become a lot more accommodating and regularly run throughout the city.
Berlin won the European City Access Award in 2013, recognising its grand efforts in making the city disability-friendly. All bus and tram services, and even the S- and U-Bahn routes offer wheelchair access, and you can check online whether your stop provides adequate accessibility.
The Lübars family farm is great for visiting as a family. Easter brunches are usually served, with pony rides, egg colouring and special Easter bread cooked fresh on-site for kids to enjoy. For others, the Easter Knight’s Pageant at the Zitadelle Spandau offers an exciting celebration of Easter – from historical-themed markets with handicraft stands and delicacies. There is even jesters and dancers who perform for you, and a knight’s tournament as the highlight of the day.
Known worldwide as a capital of culture and famous for its architecture, the Gaudi buildings are a must-see when visiting Barcelona. As a mark of its varied heritage, the entire city is mixed in with a diverse mix of parks, buildings and other sights. Park Güell is surprisingly wheelchair accessible- situated at the top of a hill with buildings and gardens built into it, it provides a beautiful foreground to the city. To celebrate Easter, every Spanish town and city celebrate ‘Semana Santa’ by holding a procession celebrating the Virgin Mary, and offering inter-weaved palm leaves or a dough ring with chocolate figures on. Throughout Spanish culture Semana Santa is very important and extensively celebrated.
Barcelona’s Metro system offers disabled access on most of its stations, however only one line (the Purple line) offers lift access at all of its stops, but extensive work is being done across Barcelona to make it more wheelchair-friendly.
Like Berlin, Salzburg won the European City Access Award in 2012, so countless attractions, bars, hotels and restaurants are ‘barrier-free’, allowing you to enjoy your holiday to the full, and the railway in particular is wheelchair-friendly.
For Easter, Salzburg hold their annual Easter festival – one of the most renowned and famous classical festivals in the world, offering an extensive programme of operatic, choral, and orchestral concerts at an impressive level.
Alternatively, for those with younger families, the Open Air Museum also offers tourists the chance to decorate their own eggs, tie ‘Palmbuschen’ bouquets and making Easter baskets filled with ham, eggs, cheese, bacon, butter, sausages and honey from local farms.
Wherever you end up spending your Easter break, home or away, we hope you have a lovely time.