The communist regime prior to 1989 paid little attention to the needs of disabled persons regarding barrier-free access, public transport, etc. Among the first innovations in this field barrierfree side-walks were installed in parts of the city. A lot has changed since the fall of communism but in comparison with the rest of the European Capitals the situation in Bratislava is less accessible for disabled persons than most Western European capitals.
While nearly all of the hotels in Bratislava are equipped with a lift, only some of them provide special rooms for disabled persons. Those include for instance Hotel Marrol's, Hotel Crowne Plaza, Hotel Radisson SAS Carlton, Art Hotel William, Hotel Danube, Hotel Devin, Hotel Hradna Brana Devin, Hotel Holiday Inn, Hotel Set, Hotel Matysak, Hotel Ibis, Hotel Club, Hotel Medium, Hotel Baronka.
Bratislava did not have barrier-free public transport vehicles until 2003 when the Bratislava Transport Company purchased its first trolleybus with the kneeling system. The barrierfree buses with the kneeling system, which operate on four routes (including the service between the Airport and the Main Train Station No. 61 and bus No. 88 from the city centre to the bus station Mlynske Nivy), were purchased in 2006. The rest of the vehicles are accessible for disabled only with assistance of a second person.
Shopping, bars and restaurants
In generally, the newly built buildings in Bratislava are barrier-free including all the shopping malls and hypermarkets which provide barrier-free entry, are equipped with lifts, lavatories and parking places for disabled. Most of the shops in the city centre and pedestrian zone of the Old Town also have the barrier-free access.
Concerning the restaurants and bars, the more expensive the restaurant or bar is, the better services it offers which involves the barrier-free access as well as lavatories. Most of the bars, pubs and restaurants in the Old Town have stairs, lots of them are wheel-chair accessible only with difficulties and do not provide a wheel-chair accessible lavatory.
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