Are you planning a trip to Berlin? Far from being haunted by its turbulent 20th-century history, Berlin has remodelled itself as one of Europe’s most exciting destinations! The German capital boasts an attractive creative hub inspired by its multicultural society and a thriving underground scene. This combo of glamour and grit is bound to mesmerise anyone keen to explore its vibrant culture, innovative architecture, fabulous food and palpable history. Take a look at our accessible city guide to Berlin. All of the places mentioned here have been reviewed by disabled people, follow the links to read the reviews to find more useful information before you visit.
Navigate the city
Stereotypically, people claim that German transport is so efficient you could set your watch by them. Of course, there are always exceptions, but generally Berlin’s extensive transport network is more likely to enforce that stereotype than contradict it. Berlin’s highly integrated transport system comprises of the U-Bahn, S-Bahn and Metrobus, with each connection to regional and mainline rail services. The reliable Metrobus is an excellent way to navigate Berlin as they run every 10 minutes, 24/7. One wheelchair user gave the Berlin Metrobus a 4.5 ★ review saying that “most buses have a manually operated ramp (the driver will deploy this if you signal clearly) and most buses have two wheelchair/buggy spaces” and “it's a great way to see the city” because with this mode of transport you remain above ground.
In addition to a dependable transport network, Berlin has focused on providing lots of accessible toilets around the city! One wheelchair user praised the number of accessible toilets and left a 4 ★ review saying “there are lots of accessible loos in Berlin” and “German accessible loos are clean and well-equipped with grab rails and alarms”.
For more information on accessible ways to navigate the city you might like to take a look at the visitBerlin website. They have an app, accessBerlin, that highlights accessible routes to Berlin’s many attractions, as well as holding useful information on accessible toilets and parking options.
Hang your coat and stay awhile
After the reunification of Germany more than two decades ago, there was a huge shortage of hotels in Berlin. As it is now a European destination, there are plenty of accommodation options to suit your taste and budget! The contemporary and central, 4.5- ★ reviewed, Radisson Blu Hotel offers convenient access to all the most popular city-centre attractions with the hotel foyer displaying the AquaDom, the world’s largest freestanding cylindrical aquarium. One mobility scooter user stated there was a “wide lobby with automatic doors; lifts readily accommodating wheelchair or electric buggy; had accessible room which had amazing views, and enough room to move around”.
Another hotel to consider staying at is Waldorf Astoria, located right in the centre of Berlin near the Berlin Zoo. One guest gave a 4.5 ★ review stating that the hotel was “fully wheelchair accessible” and that there were “very helpful staff”.
If you are on a slightly smaller budget, the Apartment Barbarossastraße could be the ideal accommodation for you! This centrally located hotel has received a 5 ★ review and has been described by one wheelchair user as “the best wheelchair accessible apartment she has ever stayed in”!
Time to grab a bite
Germany’s cultural capital is seeing a culinary rebirth, although it may not be on the foodie world map, it packs its own punch with a huge variety and more than makes up for its lack of celebrity chefs with plenty of unique restaurants! The Café & Restaurant Spreeblick provides stunning views of the River Spree and the famous monument of Saint George the dragon slayer. One mobility scooter user described this 4 ★ venue as an “excellent situation with amazing views and good disabled facilities” with a wheelchair user adding that the restaurant had “level entry, easily navigable doors, tables well-spaced and very helpful staff”.
If you like Vietnamese food, why not try a meal at Pho Nguyen. Located in the Savign Plaza, which is full of other great places to eat, this restaurant is accessible and has a disabled toilet. One reviewer rated the restaurant 3.5 ★ and said that: “It is a great busy place” and it was “great to eat out for an evening”. Or try Madami 2 – Mom’s Vietnamese Kitchen which received a 3.5 ★ review for its “mouth-wateringly good food” and “enthusiastic staff”.
If you have a smaller appetite, the 5 ★ reviewed restaurant, Landhaus im Botanischen Garten provides a varied menu featuring seasonal produce, with options for vegetarians and vegans. One wheelchair user found the food to be “excellent” and the access to be “good - level entry to the indoor area of the restaurant, one step down from there to a shallow ramp leading past the accessible loo to the outdoor terrace and tables”.
History and museums
Few cities in the world have endured such radical transformation as Berlin has over the last 100 years. It’s no surprise that the city is home to more than 170 different museums! The Reichstag, seat of the German Parliament, is one the most famous landmarks in Berlin and has subsequently received a 5 ★ review. After being destroyed in the war, it has been rebuilt over many years and is now an important feature highlighting Berlin’s historical story. The walk through the dome itself is stunning, culminating in sweeping views of the city. One wheelchair user praised the views and accessibility “‘there are wonderful views from the roof terrace, all of which is fully accessible, and from there it's an easy push up the spiral walkway’”
Aside from historical venues, Berlin offers a huge variety of museums – enough to cover any interest or passion! For fans of architecture, the Tchoban Foundation offers an extensive collection of architecture and serves as a source for research on the history and nature of architectural drawing. One reviewer discusses this 5 ★ venue saying there is “level access to the beautiful nut-wood panelled foyer”, as well as ‘lifts to all floors’, however it must be noted that “the doors to the galleries are wide but quite heavy and could be a bit tricky for a solo wheelchair user”.
If architecture isn’t your thing, the 5★ reviewed Deutsches Historisches Museum is an excellent spot to soak in every aspect of German history. One reviewer praised the accessibility as there was “level entry to the building through a push button door next to the revolving doors” and “lifts to all levels”, as well as “outstandingly helpful” staff.
For art lovers the Berlinische Galerie is worth a trip. Featuring work by Berlin artists from 1880 onwards with displays by contemporary artists and photographers. This gallery will give some insight into Berlins artists and art culture. The gallery also has a café, Dix, inside. The gallery received a 5★ review, which said the venue was: “Well signed, with a push button automatic door to enter the building.”. They also mentioned that the: “Exhibits are hung so that wheelchair users do not have to crane their necks to see them, and display cases can be viewed from a wheelchair”.
Visit the Zoo
One of the most famous spots in Berlin is the Berlin Zoo. The Zoo is home to the world’s largest variety of species with almost 20,000 animals! Including elephants, gorillas and features Germany’s only giant pandas. The zoo also has a large adventure playground and petting zoo, so it’s great fun for the whole family. The zoo has various accessible toilets around its grounds. A recent reviewer left 5★ and stated that: “All enclosures were surprisingly open which meant at no point was it difficult to see into any of them” and that “you can also borrow a wheelchair if required.”
Tell us about your Berlin adventure
Although Berlin offers some incredibly rich history and fantastic places to explore, we need more reviewers to share and discuss their own experiences. Get started by telling us your accessibility experience by writing a review.
Last Updated – June 2020