Munich is a vibrant city with proud Bavarian culture, Bavarian food and beer.
Accommodation: I stayed at the Smart Stay Munich City. Which was ok. There was a lift to take me up to my room which was tiny. I only just fitted in with my bags. Apparently the Menninger hotel/ hostel is more accessible but they didn’t have any rooms. BEWARE if you want to go to Munich anywhere near Octoberfest book well if advance.
Transport: Munich is pretty compact so to get around the city centre you don’t need public transport. I did catch a bus from the train station to the hostel which had a ramp. I also caught a train out to Dachau which was also accessible.
Overall Accessibility: The whole of Munich is very flat. Almost all buildings have accessible access. There are only a very small amount of cobblestones and the small amount of public transport I did catch was fully accessible. So a 10/10 for me.
An extra note : A lot of people that visit Munich go to Neuschwanstein castle a fairytale castle and the inspiration for Disney’s castle. Its is about an hour outside of Munich. The path up to the castle is super steep and the only way up is to push up or take a horse and carriage which doesn’t have a wheelchair access (ie you have to transfer in). Once you are up there the castle does have a lift but they ask you to pre book your ticket as they only take one wheelchair user per visit. Information can be found here http://www.neuschwanstein.de/englisch/tourist/mobility.htm. For me it was just too much effort and I decided to give the castle a miss.
Day 1: Overnight train, walking tour and surfers
I caught a 10 hour overnight train from Amsterdam to Munich. The wheelchair cabin was super spacious with a bed and fully accessible bathroom. I thought this would be a great way to travel as I would get loads of sleep. I DID NOT and arrived in Munich very grumpy, which was heightened by the fact that there was no wheelchair ramp when I arrived. Anyway from this point my day vastly improved.
I caught the accessible bus to my hostel dumped my bag then made my way to the city center. On my way I met a girl who happened to be staying at my hostel and we then hung out for the next 2 days (making friends while travelling is so great). We headed to Marienplatz which is the main square of Munich and houses the infamous glockenspiel (clock tour). At 11am the bells start ringing and the figurines in the clock tour start moving and guess what we got there just when it was starting.
Also luckily a very informative walking tour started after the clock tower so we joined that as well. The walking tour was amazing. We covered all of Munich in 3 hours. The guide gave us so information about places to eat, what to eat, things to do and very importantly the history of Munich which is fascinating. The tour guide was great at making it accessible for me eg finding kerb ramps and avoiding cobblestones. On the walking tour we covered the open air food market (Viktualienmarkt), the Residenz ( old palace) the Hofbräuhaus (Munich’s most famous drinking hall) and the main church. The walking tour company I used was InMunich tours found here https://www.inmunichtours.com/free-tour-munich.htm.
After the walking tour I felt very knowledgeable and made my way to The English Garden. Which is public park on the outskirts of Munich. In the middle of the park is a very fast moving river which creates a wave which people surf. That’s right 4 hours from the ocean in a park on a river you can find people surfing all year round. When I went it was zero degrees and there were about 5 guys surfing. It was absolutely incredible to watch and I sat there for about an hour (being an Australian coastal dwellers whose whole family surfs I found this fascinating).
That evening I had dinner with my ex neighbours (from Australia) daughter and her son which was a nice end to my incredibly lucky travel day which started terribly – so keep an open mind when you travel as you never know what the day is going to bring.
Day 2: Dachau Concentration Camp
Today I went out to Dachau Concentration Camp, which was one of the first Concentration camps that was built under Nazi Germany. It was an extremely confronting and harrowing day. I will try and cover this from purely an accessible viewpoint.
I decided to join a tour through the same company I went on with walking tour yesterday. You had to catch a train and bus to get there so it was just easier to do it with someone who knew where they were going and where the lifts were etc. It was pretty accessible the train had a small raise so I did need someone to just push me into the train and the bus had a ramp.
The tour took the whole day and was as mentioned above it an incredibly sombering experience. Everything was accessible the museum, the replica huts etc. The ground is made of stones so it can be a bit difficult to push over. The statue on the left is of an unknown prisoner and the caption below reads “to honour the dead and to warn the future”, which sums up the significance of this day for me.
As it was my last night I quickly went to the Hofbräuhaus which is a large traditional beer hall. It can be very busy and as a wheelchair user difficult to get through and get a table. The tables are all communal so you just sit where there is space. There is a lot of traditional music and people in traditional Bavarian costume very proud of their culture and tradition.