Berlin sightseeing in wheelchair

Apr 2nd, 2004, 09:23 AM
  #1  
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Berlin sightseeing in wheelchair

We'll be in Berlin in July. Hubby uses a wheelchair and we're renting a wheelchair van with driver for 5 hours a day (about the most he can do each day).

We'd like to use the van to visit these places but aren't sure how much time to allow for each and how to group them together in our 3 5-hour days. Can someone help?

Berlin Wall remains, CheckPoint Charlie Museum, Brandeburg Arch, the bombed out Kaiser Wilhelm Church, Reichstag, Hitler's bunkers; also Potsdam if time permits. The Potsdam visit might include Sansouci and Caecilien Hof [Sansouci is a Park with a castle inside and the Caecilien Hof palace where the August 2,1945 Truman, Stalin and Attlee (British Prime Minister after Churchill) met}. We want to be immersed in WW2 history/sights but know nothing about wheelchair access at each of the sights. Hubby can walk a little but uses the scooter for distance. We'd also like to have lunch at the restaurant in the dome of the Reichstag; does anyone know about access and whether we can make a reservation -- we've sent an e-mail to the Bundestag but no reply yet.

Which of above sights would you visit on the same 5-hour day?

Only if we do all of the above in our 3 5-hour trips, we'd like to visit Sachsenhausen Concentration Camp (unlikely to get there, I suspect). Is there a prisoner-of-war camp anywhere near Berlin; I'm sure there are no major ones?

Thanks.
aroundtheworld is offline  
Apr 2nd, 2004, 09:48 AM
  #2  
yk
 
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Hi-

Re: Reichstag restaurant reservation:
< The roof garden restaurant next to the dome looks outover Pariser Platz, and is open daily from 09.00 hrs to 16.30 hrs andfrom 18.30 hrs to 24.00 hrs. Visitors who have already reserved atable can enter the building via the entrance below the west portal tothe right (West C). Tables can be reserved by telephone on +49 (0)30 -22 62 99 33 or online at www.feinkost-kaefer.de. >

Checkpoint Charlie Museum is very interesting, I'd say at least 2hrs. Brandenburg Gate is probably worth about 30mins at most. Hitler's bunkers? Do you mean the Topographie of Terrors? It has an excellent exhibit. All the illustrations are in German only, but you can get an English auidoguide at the info desk for free (with a ID deposit). The audioguide is very detailed, so at least 2 hrs. However, I am not sure how wheelchair-accessible is there. You might want to find their website/email add to ask.

Potsdam deserves 1 day on its own.

The day you go to Reichstag, you can easily get to Brandenburg gate.

CheckPoint Charlie & Topographie of Terrors are in close proximity.

Hope this helps a bit.
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Apr 2nd, 2004, 09:51 AM
  #3  
yk
 
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Here's the website for Topographie of Terrors:
http://www.topographie.de/en/index.htm
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Apr 8th, 2004, 10:28 AM
  #4  
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Thanks very much for all of the ideas. Here's what we've come up with thus far for our three 4- or 5-hour days of wheelchair-friendly sightseeing (World War II theme) and a few more questions:

Potsdam - 1 fairly full day (5 hours or longer) (drive approx. 45 minutes each direction), including Sansouci and Caecilienhof in Potsdam. Sansouci Park has a famous a castle and the Caecilien Hof is a palace where the August the 2nd 1945 Truman, Stalin and Attlee (British Prime Minister after Churchill) met.

Brandenburg Gate (probably 30 mins). Reichstag and Brandenburg Gate are near one another. How much time should we allow to see them? Depending on the total time here, we may visit the Sachsenhausen Concentration Camp.

CheckPoint Charlie (at least 2 hours) & Topographie of Terrors (2 hours) are in close proximity. Most of Hitler's bunkers have been destroyed. There appear to be tours to a couple of the remaining bunkers but indications are they are inaccessible to wheelchair and scooter-users. There is a Topographie of Terrors that would take approx 2 hrs.

Any other suggestions or comments? Thanks.
aroundtheworld is offline  
Apr 8th, 2004, 10:34 AM
  #5  
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And one more question: do you feel we should hire a local English-speaking guide to go with us to any of these places other than Potsdam?
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Apr 8th, 2004, 10:39 AM
  #6  
 
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Regarding the Reichstag dome, this may be closed periodically for cleaning. The restaurant seems to provide the easiest access; otherwise waits of an hour or two are not uncommon. When I was there last summer, I barely made it in, having gotten there around 9:30 at night (the lines are supposed to be shorter at night, but you must get to the inside of the building before 10 or you'll be turned away).

What about museums in the area? Maybe you just don't like them. I think that the Pergamonmuseum is definitely worth a visit. The other famous ones are the Egyptian museum and the Gemaeldegalerie. I didn't make it to the former.
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Apr 10th, 2004, 04:15 PM
  #7  
yk
 
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Hi aroundtheworld-

Can't comment on hiring English guides as I didn't use any.

111op's suggestion on museums is good. We went to several museums and were very impressed.
Pergamon & Egyptian museums are definitely worth visiting. Depends on how many museums you want to visit, you might want to investigate the Berlin Museum card which is a great value (info on Berlin Tourism website).

We also visited Schloss Charlottenburg in Berlin. Not in the same class as Sansouci but still quite enjoyable.
yk is online now  
Apr 10th, 2004, 04:41 PM
  #8  
 
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We are not long back from Berlin and visited both Sachsenhausen and the Topography of Terror.

With regard to the latter, I feel it would be impossible for anyone in a wheelchair to gain access to this exhibition. The viewing area is a trench running along what I understood to be the basement wall of what was Prinz-Albrecht-Strasse 8, the headquarters of the S.S. To reach the trench you need to walk down about 10 steps and I do not recall seeing any access facilites for wheelchair users.

Going to Sachsenhausen, if you travel by train I think you may also have a problem at Oranienburg station as, again, I do not recall anything other than numerous steps to reach the main road. Of course, I may be completely wrong but I do not remember any elevator to assist those in wheelchairs.

The camp itself I think will not be a problem although it's best to be aware that there are are a lot of road works being undertaken at the new temporary entrance that may cause a little difficulty.

Bill
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