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Manual wheelchair or electric scooter for Europe

Nashville, Tennessee
3 posts
1 review
1 helpful vote
Manual wheelchair or electric scooter for Europe

Hi, I will be traveling to Europe this summer with my family and I am wondering if it would be better to take a manual wheelchair or an electric scooter to get around in. I normally use a power chair in my house and a mobility scooter when we travel stateside, but am wondering if a manual wheelchair would be easier to navigate in Europe. I could also have someone push me so I am not trying to navigate crowded streets and areas. I have never used a manual wheelchair and am looking at them now. I would appreciate any feedback from personal experience.

8 replies to this topic
Hampshire, UK
Level Contributor
33,494 posts
100 reviews
143 helpful votes
1. Re: Manual wheelchair or electric scooter for Europe

Hi Amy

Welcome to the forums.

We'll need more specific than "Europe" to help.

Which countries? Which towns/cities

Some cities are modern with flat pavements (sidewalks) and dropped kerbs. Others have streets that are hundreds of years old with cobblestones and no sidewalks....

Wrexham, United...
Destination Expert
for Singapore, Traveling With Disabilities
Level Contributor
4,455 posts
362 reviews
313 helpful votes
2. Re: Manual wheelchair or electric scooter for Europe

Are you planning on pushing yourself in a wheelchair part of the time?

Last year, I was in a wheelchair with large wheels so I could push myself. I've never been in that position before, and was amazed how hard it was to move myself.

So if you're not used to a manual wheelchair, you will need somebody to push you.

Cities do vary, but narrow pavements, lack of dropped kerbs, and cobbles are the sort of problem you'll face.

When you've decided which cities you'd like to visit, you'll get better advice from local experts by asking in the destination forum.

To find the destination forum Google tripadvisor forum city

Good luck, travel for the disabled is always a challenge.

Nashville, Tennessee
3 posts
1 review
1 helpful vote
3. Re: Manual wheelchair or electric scooter for Europe

Hi, thank you for your response. I am going to Paris for 2 days and have a tour to versailles planned. I will then go by train to Lucerne for 3 days and then to Bern for 2 days. I have a tour company that is used to working with disabled travelers for my private tours, so I just am curious what would be best for when I am going around the streets of Pairs and Lucerne and getting in and out of taxis what would be best.

Nashville, Tennessee
3 posts
1 review
1 helpful vote
4. Re: Manual wheelchair or electric scooter for Europe

Thank you for the information in how to get to the Trip Advisor travel forum!!

Hampshire, UK
Level Contributor
33,494 posts
100 reviews
143 helpful votes
5. Re: Manual wheelchair or electric scooter for Europe

Hi Amy

I would strongly suggest you post on the destination-specific forum for each city you are visiting to see what the regulars to that place would suggest. Mind you, if in one place, people suggest manual, and in others they suggest electric, I don't know how you make your overall decision...!

1 post
6. Re: Manual wheelchair or electric scooter for Europe

We go to Poland from the US often, so I can be specific regarding Krakow and Zakopane, Poland. We love Krakow and Zakopane, but a lot of the sidewalks and streets are paved with cobblestones -hard to use a wheelchair, but possible. in the right situation. In addition, Zakopane is hilly. I push my wife, who is not very heavy, using a collapsable "transfer wheelchair." I am 81 years and this can be difficult and tiring, but we manage if we take it easy. I take a "golf seat" so I can take a break. The wife can walk for short distances to overcome curbs and very bad spots and that is important. If she was heavy or couldn't walk at all, it would be very much different. In addition, Poland is a great place to visit and reasonably priced, but it is only beginning to make accommodations for disabled people. In Krakow, baby carriages are everywhere, but wheelchairs are few. Not at all like the USA. When booking a room, look for first-floor or elevator-accessible rooms. Taxis are very available and very reasonably priced compared to the USA and are a good alternative for getting around and almost all will take your wheelchair.

Wrexham, United...
Destination Expert
for Singapore, Traveling With Disabilities
Level Contributor
4,455 posts
362 reviews
313 helpful votes
7. Re: Manual wheelchair or electric scooter for Europe

Hi Stanley, and welcome to TripAdvisor

Thanks for posting, a very useful report.

London, England
Level Contributor
14,202 posts
72 reviews
70 helpful votes
8. Re: Manual wheelchair or electric scooter for Europe

Amy

I have travelled with both a manual wheelchair and a small mobility scooter all over Europe and have found my scooter is by far the better choice.

A manual wheelchair gets the wheels stuck or twisted on cobblestones.

I’ve been all over Paris and Versailles in my scooter about 15 months ago. No problems at all.

I’ve never been to Switzerland, but you could look on Streetview.

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