Disabled Access in Berlin
By John Sage
Berlin disabled access is quite good, similar to other European cities that were heavily bombed in World War II. There are much fewer cobblestone streets or 100 year old buildings used for hotels and museums than you will find in Paris or Rome. Additionally, public transportation such as busses and subways provide good Berlin disabled access.
Berlin is definitely worth a trip by itself, or you can combine it with another destination (Cologne is 4 hours away by train, Prague and Warsaw – 5 hours, Amsterdam – 6 hrs, and Copenhagen – 7 hours….or you can take a quick flight).
Your best landmarks to get your orientation in Berlin are the large Tiergarten Park in the middle of the city and the Unter den Linden street that extends to the east of it.
The west end of the park has the Zoologischer Garten train station and was the center of the former West Berlin.
South of the park is Potsdamer Platz and the Gemäldegalerie art museum. The east end of the park has the Brandenburg gate and the Reichstag.
Moving further east, Checkpoint Charlie and the Gendarmenmarkt plaza are south of Unter den Linden street. Museum Island is at the east end of Unter den Linden. Further east of Museum Island is the TV Tower which can be seen from all over the city.
Wheelchair accessible travel to Berlin is possible by flying into Tegel airport or Shönefeld Airport, or by taking a train to the Berlin Hauptbahnhof (main train station). All of these have good disabled access with good options for accessible transportation to your hotel. See more about Wheelchair Accessible Travel to Berlin
Accessible transportation in Berlin is provided by the accessible busses and via taxis. There are also many subway stations with elevators to get down to the platforms, and there is a website to check which stations have elevators that are out of service.
I recommend using taxis to get between the tourist areas in East Berlin: Checkpoint Charlie area, Museum Island, the Reichstag, Gemäldegalerie area, and the Jewish Museum. You can walk/roll to the sights within each of those areas:
– Checkpoint Charlie area: Museum of the Wall and Topography of Terror
– Museum Island: German History Museum, Pergamon Museum, Berlin Cathedral, and Egyptian Museum
– Reichstag area: Reichstag, Brandenburg gate, Memorial to the Murdered Jews of Europe
– Gemäldegalerie area: Gemäldegalerie museum and German Resistance Museum
Use the Number 100 and 200 busses to get to and from West Berlin where you will find the Kaiser Wilhelm Memorial Church and KaDeWe shopping store. The Gemäldegalerie area can also be accessed via the Number 200 bus line. See more about Accessible Transportation in Berlin
Many wheelchair accessible Berlin tourist attractions can be found in the city, however you should know that some of the main attractions are not wheelchair friendly. Some tourist attractions will have an alternative entrance that has a ramp or elevator to get around the steps at the main entrance, including the Kaiser Wilhelm Memorial Church, the Reichstag, the Berlin Cathedral, the German Cathedral, and the Museum of the Wall.
Other Berlin tourist attractions have a single step at the entrance (German Resistance Memorial) or do not allow wheelchair users (TV Tower). The German History Museum has flat access at the main entrance, while the Gemäldegalerie art museum, Jewish Museum Berlin, Neues Museum, and Berlin Wall Documentation Center have ramped access. The Pergamon museum has a wheelchair lift to get up the steps at the entrance.
The accessibility details I have gathered are based on a trip to Berlin I took in February 2010. See more about Wheelchair Accessible Berlin Tourist Attractions
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