MemberAugust 7, 2018 at 5:19 am
Last month I visited Berlin, in Germany, my first visit since 1987 and my first time not as part of a group so I could do my ‘own thing.’
Landing at Berlin Schonefeld the assistance team was probably the best I have experienced in over 40 years of flying. From the airport it was easy to get a regional train to the Zoo station. The train was wheelchair accessible unaided but when you get to your destination there is a button to press as you will need a ramp, this is the first time on a train I have had to have a ramp up to the platform rather than down (the train is double deck so sits very low to the tracks,)
From Zoo station you can transfer to the S-Bahn (local trains) that are also very accessible unaided. In Berlin there is also U-Bahn (underground) trains that are accessible, whether or not unaided depends on the train that turns up rather than the station itself. Newer trains you are OK but with the older stock you have to step up a couple of inches but place yourself where the front of the train will stop and signal to the driver and he will get a ramp for you and ask where you want to get off (but not necessarily understand English, when he speaks to you when you have got on just reply with the name of the station you are going to.) Unlike Barcelona I did not come across a single broken lift on my travels around Berlin rail network.
I believe that the whole of the bus network and the tram network are accessible but as I may have mentioned before I tend to stick to railed transport abroad so didn’t try the buses and most of the tram networks are in the east of the city not the touristy bits, though there is a tram stop outside of the Berlin Tierpark (the old East Berlin zoo, don’t confuse the Tierpark with the Tiergarten which is the big area of parkland in west of the city.)
The hotel I stayed was very accessible, Novotel Berlin am Tiergarten, it is a short walk from Zoo station ot there is the Tiergarten station across the road from it.
More details are in my blogs at: https://www.weekender.blog/category/germany/
MemberAugust 7, 2018 at 10:43 am
What an absolutely fantastic and generous post — thank you for this. We’ll be going to Berlin (and then on to Munich) later this year — our twelve year-old is in a w/c which we, parents, push. Selfishly, I really appreciate your sharing this!
AnonymousMemberAugust 7, 2018 at 10:19 pm
Thank you WEEKENDER for another great review.
Having travelled to a few European cities, Berlin, for me, was by far the most disabled-friendly. Not only was public transport very inclusive, also Berliners were very helpful and kind.
MemberAugust 7, 2018 at 10:49 pm
Thank you @lornab
MemberAugust 8, 2018 at 9:15 pm
When I visited Berlin for the first time I wasn’t impressed… The city didn’t really capture my heart back then. However, last year I had a chance to explore Berlin again and it turned out that first impressions aren’t everything!
I decided to share my travel story below. There is also some information about accessibility in Berlin, so I really hope that it will prove to be useful for some of you!
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