Disabled Travel in Berlin

Editorial

Berlin is a fascinating city and has a wealth of attractions that can be accessed by everybody.

Berlin is a great city to visit no matter what your level of mobility.  Many of the city's sights can be accessed by wheelchair and there are many hotels in the city which cater very well to disabled travellers.  Berlin's public transport network is generally very good and includes wheelchair accessible buses, as well as lifts at many train stations.  In addition to the public transport, there are also a number of taxis which offer wheelchair access.
 
Berlin is a very flat city, making sightseeing in Berlin very accessible.  There are also fewer cobblestones than many other historic cities, making navigating the generously wide footpaths hassle free.
 
Unfortunately, not all of Berlin's attractions are wheelchair accessible.  There are a couple which are completely inaccessible, most notably the Fernsehturm (TV Tower).  In addition, there are also a number of attractions that are only partially wheelchair accessible.  To help you get started, we have put together a list of the best attractions in Berlin offering access for all.

Museumsinsel (Museum Island)

A UNESCO world heritage site, the Museumsinsel offers five world-class museums, must-sees are for example the Neues Museum (New Museum) with Egyptian bust of Nefertiti and the Pergamon Museum, one of the world’s major archaeological museums – the museum exhibitions are mostly wheelchair accessible. The Berlin Cathedral can be accessed via an elevator through the side entrance on the left side of the building. There are no cobblestones or hills surrounding the Cathedral and most of the interior is fully accessible to wheelchair users. The altar and the choir balcony are not accessible. Please note there are no loaner wheelchairs available.

Sightseeing Tours

While you can explore Berlin on your own, booking an accessible guided tour is a great way to not only learn about Berlin but also assure that you won’t experience any accessibility challenges while visiting exploring the city. Sage Traveling specializes in accessible guided walking and driving tours in Berlin, and offer step-free, curb-free and fully accessible experiences to several Berlin highlights including the remains of the Berlin Wall, Checkpoint Charlie, the Holocaust Memorial and many more. The accessible tours can start directly from your central Berlin hotel or another central meetup location.
As an added treat, take advantage of Berlin's extensive waterways for a unique view of the German capital with a boat tour.

Sachsenhausen Concentration Camp Memorial

Located just outside Berlin in the nearby town of Oranienburg is the former Sachsenhausen Concentration Camp. Now a memorial and museum site, it is well worth a visit to learn about a very dark time in Germany's history. The vast majority of the site is wheelchair accessible including the visitor's centre. Our favourite companies running tours to Sachsenhausen are Insider Tour Berlin, Mosaic Tours and Sage Traveling. Travel to the site is undertaken by public transport so please check with the tour operator beforehand to see if they can cater to your level of mobility. It may be necessary to organise private transportation.

Charlottenburg Palace - Schloss Charlottenburg

The Charlottenburg Palace, located in the West of Berlin, is the largest and most important remaining Hohenzollern residence in Berlin. A landscaped park and a unique baroque garden surround the complex. Currently only the ground floor of the Palace can be accessed by Wheelchair, but an elevator is planned for the end of 2014. Wheelchair accessible bathroom facilities are available.

The Jewish Museum Berlin

The Jewish Museum Berlin, designed by Daniel Liebeskind, is a favourite of many visitors to Berlin and is also one of the top museums on Jewish history and culture in the world. It has a ramp at the main entrance and is step-free throughout. The museum is located southeast of the other tourist sights, about 6 blocks away from Checkpoint Charlie. It has a ramp at the main entrance which is located west of the building. The venue is completely wheelchair accessible and also has accessible restrooms available.

The Topography of Terror

More than 600,000 people visit the Topography of Terror each year, making one of the most frequently visited places of remembrance in Berlin. During the “Third Reich”, the Secret State Police, the SS, and the Reich Security Main Office were located there. The site now houses a free exhibition detailing the dimensions of the Nazi reign of terror. Both the exhibition and library indoors, and the outdoor exhibition are wheelchair accessible. 

Panoramapunkt

Since it is not possible for wheelchair users to visit the Fernsehturm (TV Tower) at Alexanderplatz because of safety reasons, the Panoramapunkt is the best way to enjoy fantastic views over the city at an altitude of about 100 m and a fast lift will take you straight there. You can see the Brandenburg Gate, the Reichstagsgebäude, the Bellevue Palace, the Federal Chancellery, the Berlin Cathedral, the TV Tower, Gendarmenmarkt, the Holocaust Memorial and much more.

The Reichstagsgebäude

The German parliament building known as the Reichstagsgebäude has developed into a major visitor attraction. Since the transfer from Bonn as the former capital of Germany to Berlin, the Reichstag has been visited by 15 million people. The Reichstag is the German parliament building and is located near the Brandenburg Gate. It has a dome on top with a good view of the city that is accessed by a long ramp to get up a couple of floors. Inside the glass dome, visitors can enjoy the view over the parliamentary and government quarter. A visit to the inside of the building is step-free but requires making a reservation in advance. Please see our listing for more information on how this is done. The ramped entrance to the building is on the right. There are no cobblestones or hills leading to up to the entrance. Almost the entire site can be visited without having to navigate any steps.

The Brandenburger Tor

A former city customs gate, The Brandenburger Tor is one of the most famous landmarks of Berlin and since reunification has become a powerful symbol of united Germany. It is also the monumental entry to the famous boulevard “Unter den Linden” and is within close proximity to the Reichstagsgebäude as well as the Memorial to the Murdered Jews of Europe.

Berlin Wall Memorial - Gedenkstätte Berliner Mauer

This memorial is the central memorial site of German division right in the middle of the capital.  It contains the last piece of Berlin Wall with a preserved section of the death strip and offers the best insight into how the border fortifications developed and the effect they had on the city of Berlin. The memorial with its information centre, the panorama tower, and its outdoor installations is wheelchair accessible.
 

We wish to thank our friends at Sage Traveling for helping us put together this list. Sage Traveling is the expert in European barrier-free travel options in Berlin and can help you with anything from concert tickets, tours, and accommodation to all-inclusive package holidays. For more tips check out Sage Travel's 8 Keys to Success for Handicapped Travel to Berlin and  John Sage’s Top 8 Wheelchair Accessible Travel Tips for Berlin
 

Images © Sage Traveling