RTL Today – Inclusive Luxembourg (Part 3): Accessibility and mobility
Despite a proliferation of cobbled streets, the Grand Duchy is relatively well suited to people with reduced mobility.
We searched the Luxembourg public transport websites to find all the relevant information on how to get around smoothly and safely – whether you are in a wheelchair or have other mobility needs, whether you are a long-term resident or whether you are just visiting.
Lowered floors are fitted as standard on Luxembourg buses, all buses also being equipped with manual or electric ramps.
Priority seats are also available for people with reduced mobility, pregnant women and the elderly. Most buses have enough space for at least one wheelchair.
Stops are announced visually and audibly, and stop request buttons are designed to be accessible from different heights. Some buttons also contain information in Braille.
The Adapto bus service is aimed at people with irreversible physical or mental disabilities aged 12 and over, bringing them and returning them free of charge. To use it, you need an Adapto bus card, which has tighter eligibility now that public transport is free. Applications are made by post to the Adapto PRM Transport Service, details here.
If you live in Luxembourg City and are aged 70 and over, you can use the Call-a-Bus door-to-door transport service. It costs six euros each way and operates Monday to Saturday 8am to 6pm. Reserve by calling 4796-4797 at least 45 minutes before you want to be picked up. You will need to register first – form here.
Tram and funicular
With the help of Patrick, who is blind, and Philippe, who uses a wheelchair, our colleagues from RTL put the tram and the funicular to the test.
Philippe found that the tram and funicular are well adapted to people in wheelchairs, with level access to the platforms, barrier-free boarding and dedicated spaces for parking wheelchairs.
Patrick was able to get around quite easily by tram. Info-Handicap, the National Information and Meeting Center on Disability, has however found that bars in the middle of the tram can be an obstacle for the visually impaired.
John Morris, founder of WheelchairTravel.org, told RTL Today that he found Luxembourg City a welcome destination during his visit as a tourist: in Europe and elsewhere to follow.
Most stations are accessible and can accommodate people with disabilities, including people in wheelchairs. If you need help, you should call CFL one hour before travel (or 48 hours before for international travel) on 4990 3737. You can also email them.
It is worth downloading the EureWelcome app, which includes details on station accessibility as well as a search engine for accessible accommodation, attractions and facilities.
You should also consider applying for a disability card, which offers discounts on cross-border train travel. Details on how to apply in our article here.
Disabled parking spaces are marked in solid blue with a wheelchair sign. Anyone with a blue EU badge displayed on the windshield can park there.
In Luxembourg City, there are around 300 places reserved for holders of the blue badge. You are also allowed to park without restrictions on the roadside, and in this case, you are exempt from parking fees.
You can request a blue badge by mail from the Directorate of Mobility and Transport, contact details and form available here. To be eligible, you must have reduced mobility or a long-term visual impairment (more than six months). Permits last for a maximum of five years.
Sidewalks and public attractions
Luxembourg sidewalks are a story of two halves. On the one hand, modern districts like Kirchberg in Luxembourg City have smooth paving, tactile guides for the visually impaired, easy dives into the roadway and accessible level crossings.
On the other hand, the country’s historic districts combine picturesque cobblestones with a less favorable environment, especially for people in wheelchairs. As the wheelchair user John Morris put it on his visit to Luxembourg City, “there are challenges with the uneven sidewalks and cobblestones in the historic center… Due to the geography of the city, I recognize that exploration would be more difficult for those who do not have an electric mobility device “.
This can prove to be a challenge, especially if you are a tourist and want to visit historic buildings. However, the EureWelcome app provides a handy guide to accessible sites, including museums and cultural attractions. Morris also provides a guide to 12 wheelchair accessible attractions on his site, including the Grand Ducal Palace, Fort Thüngen and more.
Just visit – fly in Findel
If you are planning to visit the Grand Duchy, Luxembourg Airport in Findel may be your first stop. Under EU rules, the airport is responsible for providing free assistance to people with reduced mobility, including assistance with baggage. However, it is important to seek assistance from your tour operator or airline before flying. A list of the major airlines’ helplines is available here. You can also contact the airport directly to request more information.
The terminal has facilities including elevators on all levels, as well as sanitary facilities reserved for people with reduced mobility. Public buses and taxis are available outside the terminal to take you into town, but you’ll need to call ahead if you need an accessible taxi.
If you need a wheelchair or other mobility device for your visit, Orthopedics Felten equipment rental. They have branches in Luxembourg-Ville, Mondorf-les-Bains and Esch-sur-Alzette.
Is visiting Luxembourg worth it? John Morris certainly thought so, telling us, “I can’t wait to come back in the future to explore more of the country and see how it compares to the capital.
Luxembourg City. The accessibility pages of the City of Luxembourg contain information on parking and public transport, with a map of accessible routes showing routes that are covered by a guidance system for the visually impaired. They also list exhibitions and film screenings by organizations working on disability issues.
WheelchairTravel.org. The John Morris website offers a tourist point of view on the visit of the city of Luxembourg in a wheelchair. It contains guides on the airport, attractions, tram and accessible housing. There is also a wealth of other information and resources available for destinations around the world.
This article mainly covers Luxembourg City, for which more public information is available. We would like to know your experiences of wider trips in Luxembourg. Contact us via [email protected].