Explore Accessible UNESCO Heritage Sites
World Heritage Day
World Heritage Day is a special occasion to celebrate the amazing places and cultures that make up our shared heritage. From ancient monuments and natural wonders to vibrant traditions and artistic expressions, these sites and practices reflect the diversity and richness of human history and creativity.
Accessible UNESCO World Heritage Sites
Do you enjoy discovering new places and learning about different ways of life? Then you might want to check out some of the UNESCO World Heritage Sites. These are amazing places that show the beauty and diversity of our common heritage. Luckily, some World Heritage Sites have worked hard to make their places more accessible and welcoming for everyone. We will show you some of these places and what features make them easy to visit for people with disabilities.
Historic Centre of Vienna, Austria
This site shows the artistic and architectural achievements of Vienna from the Middle Ages to the 20th century. It has beautiful buildings such as St Stephen’s Cathedral, which is wheelchair accessible at the main entrance and most of the inside. The city also has many public transport options that are accessible, such as buses, trams, and metro trains. Additionally, it provides services for people with visual or hearing impairments, such as tactile models, Braille guides, induction loops, and sign language tours.
The Great Barrier Reef, Australia
This site is the largest coral reef system in the world and home to a rich biodiversity of marine life. It offers various accessible activities for people with disabilities, such as snorkelling, diving, sailing, and scenic flights. Some operators provide adaptive equipment, trained staff, and accessible boats and facilities.
The Walled City of Baku with the Shirvanshah’s Palace and Maiden Tower, Azerbaijan
This site is a medieval city that reflects the cultural influences of Zoroastrianism, Sassanian Iran, Arabic Islam, Persianate culture, Shirvan Khanate and Safavid Iran. It has made efforts to improve its accessibility for people with disabilities by installing ramps, tactile paving, and audio guides.
Historic Centre of Rome, Italy
The Pantheon, the Roman Forum, and the Colosseum are among the ancient Rome’s landmarks on this site. These sites have been updated to make them more accessible to people with disabilities, despite their age and complexity. For instance, wheelchair users can access the first level of the Colosseum via a lift, where they can enjoy a panoramic view of the arena. Signs in the Roman Forum indicate various difficulty levels with color-coded paths.
The Royal Exhibition Building and Carlton Gardens, Australia
This site is a 19th-century example of the international exhibition movement that showcased technological and cultural achievements. The building and gardens are accessible for people with visual, hearing, or mobility impairments. There are tactile maps, audio guides, sign language interpreters, ramps, lifts, and accessible toilets available.
Prehistoric Pile Dwellings around the Alps, Italy
From 5000 to 500 B.C., six countries around the Alps built stilt house settlements on lake shores, riverbanks, and wetlands. One of them is Lake Garda in Italy, which is a great place for people who use wheelchairs. Along its shore, the lake has accessible paths and boats and ferries that allow visitors to see its villages and islands.
These are just a few World Heritage Sites that have prioritized accessibility and taken steps to meet the preferences and requirements of people with disabilities. They have increased not only their cultural value but also their social impact by doing so. Websites like Euan’s Guide and UNESCO’s Access for Persons with Disabilities, which provide helpful planning tools and information on accessible travel destinations, are a good place to start.