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Exploring Berlin with a wheel chair
Exploring Berlin with a wheel chair © visitBerlin, Foto: Andi Weiland/Gesellschaftsbilder.de

Accessible Berlin’s top attractions

Explore accessible Berlin – see, hear, touch and experience – as recommended by visitBerlin

From the Reichstag parliament building to Alexanderplatz. From Gendarmenmarkt square to the Museum Island. Berlin is full of surprising things to discover. And surprisingly easy to travel around when it comes to accessible things to do in the city . Here, you can find our selected highlights at a glance – with visitBerlin’s best wishes for a great stay in the city!

TIP 1: Reichstag parliament building and the glass dome

A group is sitting in front of the Reichstag Berlin
Reichstag in Berlin © visitBerlin, Foto: Dagmar Schwelle

The German parliament is not just a place where major policy decisions are taken. This is also where policies are implemented – including a policy of comprehensive accessibility. The Reichstag’s glass dome is a special attraction for visitors to Berlin. Two tips in advance for your visit: The glass dome is accessible for people with disabilities through a separate entrance without long waiting times. On special tours of the Reichstag building, arranged in advance for people with a visual impairment or who are blind, participants can even take a seat in the Plenary Chamber.

What you need to know before your visit

  • All entrances are suitable for wheelchairs
  • The easiest way to enter is via the ramps on the Platz der Republik
  • If required, wheelchairs are available on loan for visitors with limited mobility
  • The path into the glass dome is designed as a relatively steep rising spiral. Wheelchair users should take an accompanying person to assist them.
  • Special tours for blind and visually impaired visitors take participants through the Reichstag building, also including the Plenary Chamber
  • There are audio guides for blind and visually impaired visitors to the glass dome
  • There are three tactile models of the Reichstag building on the scale of 1:1000
  • For visitors with a hearing impairment, induction loops on the visitors’ galleries assist in following plenary debates and lectures
  • There are video guides for visitors to the glass dome who are hard of hearing or deaf
  • For sign language interpreters for groups, contact the Visitors’ Service well in advance in writing

 

TIP 2: Brandenburg Gate

Accessibility in Berlin: Brandenburg Gate as a barrier free location in Berlin
Accessibility in Berlin: Sightseeing with the wheelchair © visitBerlin, Foto: Andi Weiland/Gesellschaftsbilder.de

An absolute must-see sight – and easy to reach. If you are travelling by tube, the wheelchair friendly Brandenburger Tor station has an elevator to take you directly to the square at Pariser Platz. The square is also easy to navigate for wheelchair users, so you can explore the iconic symbol of a reunited Germany from all sides.

TIP 3: Unter den Linden boulevard

Summer - Unter den Linden
Summer - Unter den Linden © visitberlin, Foto: Wolfgang Scholvien

Unter den Linden is the grand boulevard connecting Brandenburg Gate with Alexanderplatz. And at present, a lot is also happening here below ground. The extension of the U5 tube line connecting many of Berlin’s best-known landmarks is scheduled to open in 2020 – so no wonder you can see so many excavators, construction workers and so much concrete here at present!

What you need to know as a wheelchair user along Unter den Linden

  • During the construction work, the main paths are fitted with mini ramps at places so you can use the boulevard freely
  • From 2020, the U5 line will be the first fully accessible tube line connecting Berlin’s top sights

 

TIP 4: Berlin TV Tower

Berlin TV Tower with Berlin-Panorama.
Berlin TV Tower © iStock.com, Foto: bluejayphoto
der Berliner Fernsehturm ist mit insgesamt 368 Metern das höchste öffentlich zugängliche Gebäude Europas

In the 1960s when the East German government launched the project of building the TV Tower on Alexanderplatz, it had a clear objective – to send out an unequivocal signal of the GDR’s strength and capabilities. But at that time no one thought of building for accessibility. Even today, the escape route in the event of an emergency is down a staircase with around 1000 steps. As a result, the viewing platform and restaurant can only offer visitors with disabilities limited accessibility. We ask for your understanding that the safety of all visitors has to be the main priority.

What you need to know before you visit the TV Tower

  • Accessible for visually impaired visitors with accessibility dogs
  • Not accessible for wheelchair users
  • Not accessible for people with limited mobility who need assistance from others or use walking aids

 

TIP 5: Kurfürstendamm boulevard

Kurfürstendamm
© visitBerlin, Foto: Thomas Kierok

am Kudamm, Boulevard

In the nineteenth century, Otto von Bismarck, Germany’s “Iron Chancellor”, ordered Kurfürstendamm to be constructed as a grand boulevard, transforming what had previously been just a bridle path. Today, Ku’damm, as locals say, symbolises the Roaring Twenties, war-torn Berlin and the modern fashionable metropolis. Here, you can explore more than a hundred years of history on over 3.5 km – and with broad pavements with wheelchair-friendly surfaces, this is also very much accessible.

Two things to note when visiting the Kaiser Wilhelm Memorial Church

  • For wheelchair users and visitors with limited mobility, the easiest way to reach the raised area with its ensemble of buildings is via a ramp starting from Kurfürstendamm boulevard and leading between the new church and memorial tower. When you reach the memorial, a member of staff will open the door for you.
  • Since there are no hearing induction loops, we recommend that visitors who are hard of hearing sit nearer one of the loudspeakers.

 

TIP 6: Berlin Wall Memorial

Memorial Bernauer Straße
Memorial Bernauer Straße © visitBerlin, Foto: Dagmar Schwelle

The Berlin Wall is a thing of the past – but at the Berlin Wall Memorial, the years of the division of Germany come vibrantly alive. Today, the main memorial site of German division is a large open-air exhibition on the former border strip along Bernauer Straße. We recommend beginning your visit at the accessible Visitor Centre close to the Nordbahnhof S-Bahn (city railway).

What you need to know before you visit the Berlin Wall Memorial

  • The Nordbahnhof station has an elevator and escalators
  • The open-air exhibition is accessible and suitable for wheelchair users. Some paths have a fine gravel surface.
  • People who are partially sighted or blind can listen to some of the stories in the open-air exhibition
  • The Visitor Centre is accessible via an elevator
  • On request, accessible tours for groups can be arranged
  • Wheelchair users can access the Document Centre via a ramp next to the main entrance. The exhibition rooms and viewing platform can be reached by an elevator.
  • The entrance to the Zeitzeugen Café is accessible
  • Interesting to know for people who are partially sighted or blind – the contemporary witness events in the Zeitzeugen Café are recorded and are available as online audio files (in German)
  • The Berlin Wall Memorial’s webpage is available in German, English and French. The German website also offers a simple language version for people with learning and cognitive disabilities.

 

TIP 7: Museum Island

Wheel chair users on the museum island in Berlin
Accessibility on the Museum Island © visitBerlin, Foto: Andi Weiland/Gesellschaftsbilder.de

Keen on culture, history and heritage? Then head for Berlin’s famous Museum Island! Here, you’ll find no less than five renowned museums:

  • Pergamon Museum
  • Bode Museum
  • Alte Nationalgalerie (Old National Gallery)
  • Altes Museum (Old Museum) and the Neues Museum (New Museum)

 

In 1999, this ensemble of museums was inscribed as UNESCO World Heritage. Incidentally, the regular ticket for €18 includes admission to all five museums.

Events for all groups of visitors to the Museum Island

All museums are wheelchair accessible. There are also numerous tours and events specifically for people with disabilities. The museums have something on offer for all groups, from public tours for people who are hard of hearing or deaf to exhibition talks for adults living with changes caused by dementia. The events page of the Staatlichen Museen zu Berlin (National Museums in Berlin) lists all the upcoming events and can be filtered for inclusion (also available in English).

Museum Island touch model in the Lustgarten

In particular for heritage and culture fans who are partially sighted or blind, we recommend the touch model in the Lustgarten park as a useful start to a day on the Museum Island. Printed and Braille inscriptions introduce the key points of orientation on the Museum Island and the different buildings.

What you can expect from ALL Museum Island museums:

  • Wheelchair accessible
  • Tours, exhibition talks or workshops, including some for people who are blind or deaf or living with changes caused by dementia
  • Audio guides
  • Information and advice in simple language
  • Signage / orientation aids

 

TIP 8: Potsdamer Platz

Potsdamer Platz at Nacht
Potsdamer Platz at Night © (c) visumate

Potsdamer Platz is the home of the Berlinale, a meeting point for shopping fans, and connects the inner city in the east with the new west of Berlin. This is one of Berlin’s most popular sights to visit, and all the U-Bahn (tube) and S-Bahn (city railway) stations here are equipped with elevators and escalators. The square itself is also designed to be fully accessible.

What else you can find at Potsdamer Platz:

  • An audio guide available as a free download, useful not only for visitors who are blind or partially sighted
  • The wheelchair accessible viewing platform at the Panoramapunkt Potsdamer Platz, with its stunning views of the city. The viewing platform can take up to three wheelchairs at the same time.

 

TIP 9: Charlottenburg Palace

Charlottenburg Palace in Berlin
Charlottenburg Palace © visitBerlin, Foto: Mike Auerbach
Rund 130 Teilnehmer aus fast 30 Ländern haben sich vom 02. - 06. Juli 2015 auf dem Meeting Place Berlin von der Exklusivität, Vielfalt und Qualität der Hauptstadt im Bereich Tagungen, Kongresse und Incentives überzeugt und haben Berlin mit vielen neuen und spannenden Eindrücken wieder verlassen. Meeting Place Berlin dient der Akquisition von Kongressen, Tagungen, Incentives und ähnlichen Veranstaltungen für die Stadt Berlin. Ziel ist es, die Anzahl mehrtägiger Kongresse mit über 100 Teilnehmern in Berlin zu steigern und den daraus resultierenden Umsatz auf lokale Kongressanbieter zu verteilen.

Today, this is the largest and most magnificent palace in Berlin – a highlight for any Berlin visitor. Charlottenburg Palace recounts the history of the Hohenzollern dynasty which ruled Prussia from the 1600s to the early 1900s. The palace was named after Sophie Charlotte, the first Queen consort in Prussia. Today, it is owned by the Prussian Cultural Heritage Foundation (SPK). Thanks to the SPK’s considerable efforts to make the palace as accessible as possible, people with disabilities can enjoy their visit here to the full. (Please note: some accessible services are only available in German).

What you need to know before you visit Charlottenburg Palace

  • The SPK website has more information (in German) for guests with limited mobility. The website also has a map of a wheelchair accessible route through the palace gardens
  • There are audio guides for the Old Palace and the New Wing
  • The Old Palace and New Wing both have induction loops for guests who are hard of hearing

 

TIP 10: Gendarmenmarkt

Französischer Dom (French Cathedral) at Gendarmenmarkt in Berlin
Französischer Dom (French Cathedral) at Gendarmenmarkt © visitBerlin, Foto: Wolfgang Scholvien
Gendarmenmarkt

Berlin’s most beautiful square is also accessible for wheelchair users – at the junctions, the pavements have mini-ramps to make access easier for wheelchairs or a child’s stroller or buggy. The U2 tube station Stadtmitte, very close to the square, is equipped with an elevator.

What you should know for a visit to Gendarmenmarkt square

  • Dogs are generally not allowed on the square with the exception of assistance dogs.
  • In the Deutsche Dom, a former church on the square, you have free entry to the Milestones - Setbacks - Sidetracks, the German Bundestag’s accessible exhibition on parliamentary history.

 

Like to explore some more? Then here are some more tips on what to see:

These sights are all especially recommended as they have been certified as accessible under the Tourism for All scheme:

 
Other accessible sights in Berlin:

 

Any questions?

Just call us and we’ll be happy to help you plan your accessible visit to Berlin. You can reach us on+49 30 25 00 23 33.

You can also be sure of a warm welcome at any of our Tourist Info Centres in the city!

Berlin Tourist Info Centre at the Central Station:

  • Tourism for All certified
  • Opening hours: daily 8am – 9pm

 

Berlin Tourist Info Centre at Brandenburg Gate

  • Tourism for All certified
  • Don’t be put off by the step – our Service Team will quickly provide you with a mobile ramp!
  • Opening hours: April – October daily 9:30am – 7pm
  • Opening hours: November – March daily 9:30am – 6pm

 

Berlin Tourist Info Centre at Tegel Airport

  • Tourism for All certified
  • Opening hours: daily 7am – 10pm (main hall) and daily 8am – 7pm (Terminal A)

 

Berlin Tourist Info Centre in the Europa Centre

  • Tourism for All certified
  • Opening hours: Monday – Saturday 10am – 8pm

 

Berlin Tourist Info Centre in the Park Inn Berlin Alexanderplatz

  • Tourism for All certified
  • Opening hours: Monday – Saturday 7am – 9 pm
  • Opening hours: Sunday 8am – 9pm

 

Even more tips on how you can experience Berlin accessible: