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traveling_nan Mar 23rd, 2004 09:02 AM

Motorized scooter access for handicapped person in Amsterdam?
How convenient is it to go around Amsterdam on a motorized scooter? I will have my 80 yr. old Grandmother with me, and we always rent one for her in US cities. However, on some occasions she can't bring the scooter inside a building. She is practically in a panic when this happens and spends her whole time within sight of the scooter.

I'm also concerned about using the tram with a scooter.

If we do rent the scooter, is it possible to walk (me walk, her scoot) to most sites from the Hotel Pulitzer?

Does anyone have experience with such a situation?

allovereurope Mar 23rd, 2004 10:23 PM

I don't have experience with a scooter, but I will say this about Amsterdam: Its probably the best city to be in for someone with a scooter, as there are smooth bike lanes on almost every street for your Grandmother to ride on. She may get some hard looks from cyclists (EVERYONE rides their bike in A'dam) who ride faster, but there will almost always be a smooth, accessible path for her. And people take their bikes on trains and trams all the time (actualy, they usually don't take them on trams, just trains), so as long as the scooter is light (you're on your own lifting it) you should be ok, I'd imagine. You will have to buy it its own ticket, though!

Inside will be a different story. I'm sure there are lots of places which are accessible, but Amsterdam as a whole I would not consider the most handicapped-friendly place. I would recommend contacting an organization for travelers with disabilities to see what's availble.

Check out this link from Frommers to find out way more than I just told you. It will probably really help you to plan out your trip in detail, if you can contact some or all of the plces they list:

MD Mar 28th, 2004 11:54 AM

Considering Amsterdam has a reputation for bike theft, I too would be concerned leaving a scooter outside unless it was heavily chained up.

I presume you are actually talking about one of those motorized-wheelchair-with-bicycle-handlebars things like they have in WalMart, not a Vespa type scooter.

Of course, I don't know Amsterdam, so I hope someone else can contribue?

Melissa1 Mar 29th, 2004 10:10 PM

Amsterdam is very managable on foot, and in most streets you shouldn't have any problems. The streets are often made of cobblestone, so it can be a bumpy ride however.
I'd contact the hotel directly and see what they have to say about the situation. The Dutch are very friendly and helpfull, and (I'm sure) would accommodate you and your Grandmother as much as possible.

nytraveler Mar 30th, 2004 02:24 AM

I would go to the web sites of some of the major museums and other sites to see what they say about handicap access. I know we did a couple of house tours where there were a lot of stairs to climb - obviously would not work for your gram.

isabel Mar 30th, 2004 02:34 AM

I was just in Amsterdam and thought to myself how difficult it would be for someone who couldn't do stairs, much less walk at all. Possible, but difficult. Places like the Anne Frank house and Our Lord in the Attic have many stairs and would not be doable. Van Gogh and Rijksmuseum do have lifts so they would work. I would think the trams would be very difficult as they are narrow and usually crowded. People travel very very fast in the bike lanes, so although they are smooth I think an elderly person on a wheelchair scooter would not be very safe. Does the fact that your grandmother leaves the scooter outside buildings mean she can walk some? If so it might be better to just take trams for any distances and just take it slow walking otherwise. Amsterdam is really not that big and the distances not that far. It could work, just be aware it would probably be a challenge. Don't want to sound negataive here, just sharing what I saw.

Singletail Mar 30th, 2004 03:30 AM

I don't know of any way you could get a motorized scooter on an Amsterdam tram, much less have it fit as narrow as they are. A scooter in the bike lanes in A-dam??????FORGET IT...she'd probably get run over, would be going too slow, etc., and she'd probably panic since it would be like having a scooter on an Interstate IMO.
To answer your question: not very convenient given the cobblestones, etc.
I think the previous post gave you the best advice.

PatrickLondon Mar 30th, 2004 03:55 AM

I made some enquiries about this very topic some years ago when my wheelchair-bound father was still alive and hankering to go to Amsterdam. I have seen people using motorised wheelchairs and similar aids in Amsterdam, and one of the package holiday companies specialising in Amsterdam was very encouraging, although in the end my father decided not to go.

A Google search on "Amsterdam disabled wheelcahir" produces the following with links to further information, though most of those would require you to telephone:

You might find these informative too:

The experience of someone totally wheelchair-bound:

Information and links from a sympathetic hotel-owner:

hopscotch Mar 30th, 2004 05:45 AM

As PatrickLondon says, there are plenty of electric motor wheelchairs in Holland. Look into renting one. You will be able to use these on the sidewalks and not be restricted to the bicycle paths as you would with a scooter.

To help you in your search, 'wheelchair' is 'rolstoel' and 'for rent' is 'te huur' in Dutch.

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