Tourism Abroad - Disabled Accessibility

Munich, Germany December 2011

The Airline and the Airport

Heathrow Terminal 5 is an excellent addition and is well facilitated for disabled travellers, with plenty of space, low level check in desks and disabled toilets.  Upon check in, we were allocated aisle seats which I felt wasn't right as it is important that my Communicator Guide and I had adjoining seats. The check in staff said they couldn't do anything about it as it was a busy flight.

There is a special assistance office that I visited in order to skip the queue. I was escorted to the gate and sat down. Within a few minutes a member of staff, greeted me and my Communicator Guide and we went down to the tunnel via a lift. We were the first two passengers to board the British Airways flight.

The cabin crew were happy to help me, but did not have the materials to do so, like large print information as I was unable to see the TV screens, let alone read the subtitles.

On arrival at Franz Josef Strauss Airport Terminal 1, a flight attendant offered me his seat in order to allow everyone to exit the airplane before me. There was a tunnel in place which I was satisfied with. The airport is fully accessible with disabled toilets at both ends.

At the Hotel

Hotelissimo Haberstock is centrally located just three minutes train journey from the heart. The hotel is easily accessible with a flat entrance, and a small step down.

Unfortunately, this hotel does not have adapted rooms for wheelchair users; however the rooms seem spacious enough. There is a sliding door to the bathroom making it accessible for a wheelchair user access, even though there are no adapted handrails for support. An issue here is using the shower where there are no support bars to hold onto.

Getting Around

The city of Munich is quite spread out and like Berlin, has some excellent transport links, where some are accessible for disabled people. They are the S-bahn (trains), U-bahn (underground), trams and buses.

In the city centre, the S-bahn is technically underground. Access on this transport mode is fair with only some stations offering lift access. Entering the carriages is generally flat, with the entrance on one side and the exit on the other.

Not all S-bahn and U-bahn stations offer lifts for the disabled, but some that do are quite difficult to find as there is not sufficient signage to the lift area. Catching the train from the airport is accessible with lift access.

Most tram cars are equipped with ramps for wheelchair access. However, a few stations are not accessible for wheelchairs. One station in particular was accessible only by use of escalators, as the stop was in the middle of a busy road. A wheelchair user would have found this inaccessible as there were no lifts to the subway area and crossing the road would be impossible.


Marienplatz is the heart of Munich and is accessible with a flat terrain. There is a lift down to the S-bahn and U-bahn platforms. As it was December, this square is one of the main attractions for the many Christmas Markets in Munich.

The Englischer Garten is accessible to all, with flat and wide, winding footpaths. This is the largest urban park in Germany with a total of 922 acres. There was a Christmas Market at the Chinese House.

At the Olympiapark, you only pay to view the stadium, which had a concessionary rate for my communicator guide where it was free for her. The area is generally flat, but quite spread out with some small cobbles.

There are six disabled parking bays at the Olympic Tower (Five minutes to Olympic Hall east entrance) and three bays at the Olympic Ice Sports Centre.  There are a lot of disabled toilets here at the Olympiapark, with around ten in various locations. For more information please visit:

At the BMW Museum there is no admission fee required. It is very easily accessible and well-spaced out with lifts and disabled toilets. This museum is very modern and the access here was the best.

Frauenkirche has disabled access for wheelchair users around the side. Inside the church it is flat and easy to walk around with good lighting. However, there is no descriptive text in English and the crypt area is downstairs.

The Deutsches Museum has concessions for the disabled with good ramped access though some were a bit steep. The museum has two disabled toilets and lifts to go to the upper levels. Poor directions and maps that were not easy to read making it difficult to navigate our way around.

The attraction, Residenz is not easily accessible for disabled people with lots of steps in place. Strangely enough, it has concessions for disabled people where my Communicator Guide came free. The lighting is quite good in the Treasury and the Kings Rooms, but it is quite difficult to see where the steps are.

The Royal Theatre had an alternative entrance for the disabled, but when we arrived at the slope the door was locked. Luckily an actor offered to go around and notify the staff and within five minutes the door was unlocked and we entered. It was generally flat throughout with large toilets though not disabled. The lighting in the theatre was excellent.

Eating Out

Generally, entering restaurants is fairly easy, with a small step or a smooth surface. However, most eateries have toilets either upstairs or downstairs.

There were two good restaurants that I visited Weisses Brauhaus which is near the Hofenbrau House, is fully accessible with a disabled toilet. The other called Maredo situated near Fraunkirche, is accessible, but has no disabled toilet. There is a lift which can take you upstairs to the toilets. This restaurant also has an alternative entrance for wheelchair users.

Bars and Nightlife

Hofenbrau House is flat to enter with space between tables and good lighting.  There is a disabled toilet, but it was locked during my visit.

Disabled Toilets

As noted, disabled toilets are in various locations around the city. The main issue here is that not many restaurants have these facilities.