Magic Cities

For disabled people

The Magic Cities present no barriers to people with a disability, or to any travellers who might need extra help, such as the elderly, families with small children or people with sports injuries.

Examples of accessibility include low-floor carriages that make it easier for wheelchair users to board local public transport and signposts suitable for the blind and partially sighted. Special guided tours enable everyone to experience the attractions.

Creative exhibition projects such as the Dialogue Museum in Frankfurt foster better understanding between disabled and non-disabled people.

Discover and experience Germany

Frankfurt - sharpen your senses

What does it feel like to see nothing? Or hear nothing? Two museums in Frankfurt explore precisely these questions by taking visitors to another world.

The Dialogue Museum takes visitors to a very different world. All of a sudden, you can't see anything, you have to rely on your hearing and use a stick, you are led by the hand and you have to listen to friendly voices and trust them. The Dialogue in the Dark exhibition recreates everyday situations such as dealing with traffic and going to a bar. The Museum of the History of the Deaf and Hard of Hearing makes the subject of deafness accessible in a fascinating and thought-provoking but thoroughly entertaining way. Numerous supposed miracle cures for hearing loss and deafness are displayed in a large glass case. The exhibition also casts a self-critical eye on the treatment of deaf people during the Nazi period. Many Frankfurt museums offer services for the disabled, such as public guided tours led by sign-language interpreters, sign-language videos and guided tours with detailed commentary on the exhibits.

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Frankfurt Sensory Garden

By focusing on scent and touch, the garden makes the world of plants more accessible to blind and partially sighted people.

Throughout the year the garden presents plants with interesting scents, textures or colours. The blooms are arranged in strongly contrasting hues, with partially sighted people in mind. Plant names are displayed in print and in Braille on small signs in front of the plants.

The garden not only features roses with scents that range from delicate to intense, it also contains plants that emit a strong aroma. Benches among the raised flowerbeds are devoted to different themes, including a Mediterranean bench, a herb bench and a 'touch me' bench.

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Disabled-friendly guided tours of Frankfurt

From exhibitions to guided tours, Frankfurt aims to be accessible for all

Tourismus+Congress GmbH Frankfurt am Main offers guided sightseeing tours that are suitable for disabled people. The 'Feeling Frankfurt' tour has been specially devised to meet the needs of blind and partially sighted visitors and it features lots of anecdotes, tactile objects and tastings. Participants explore places of interest around Römerberg square, sample various Frankfurt specialities and are invited to find out more about the city. At the Christmas market, where the aroma of roasted almonds fills the air, they are introduced to the typical food and drink available at Frankfurt's Christmas market and hear all sorts of stories about Frankfurt past and present. After feeling the cool breeze while riding the old-fashioned merry-go-round, participants finish the tour with a warming mug of hot cider to the accompaniment of festive tunes. At the Römer Tourist Information, a tactile map of Frankfurt city centre is available for blind and partially sighted visitors. The map, developed by Frankfurt tourist board (TCF) in conjunction with blista, an educational organisation for people with a visual impairment, has tactile elements for blind people and strong contrasts for partially sighted people, and provides an attractive overview of the city centre for everyone.

On request, all of TCF's public guided tours can be made step-free (except for tours inside Goethe's House) and a sign-language interpreter providing German Sign Language can be arranged.

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Accessible sightseeing walks and tours

Dresden offers special guided walks and coach tours for people who are blind, partially sighted, use a wheelchair or have restricted mobility. Limited places for wheelchair users are available on other public sightseeing tours. Some paddle steamer trips are also disabled-friendly.

A walking tour for blind and partially sighted visitors has been sensitively designed to enable them to appreciate the beauty of the Zwinger Palace and to experience the attractions of the historical old town. The tours should also appeal to sighted visitors, making a 'quick look' into more of a sensory experience. Deaf visitors can take advantage of coach tours led by sign-language guides. A walking tour has also been specially adapted for wheelchair users and those with restricted mobility by making additional stops. Limited places for wheelchair users are available on the other public sightseeing tours, but two pleasure cruisers and two paddle steamers, the 'Dresden' and the 'Leipzig', provide wheelchair access and disabled-friendly toilets.

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Accessibility on public transport

Dresden's public transport company (DVB AG) has already achieved great results. All buses and around 90 per cent of trams now have low floors and over a third of all bus and tram stops in Dresden are disabled-friendly.

Dresden's public transport company (DVB AG) has already achieved great results. All buses and around 90 per cent of trams now have low floors and over a third of all bus and tram stops in Dresden are disabled-friendly. DVB AG's multimedia information and communication systems are also removing barriers. However, wheelchair users who plan to use public transport are advised to contact the transport companies' service centres a day or two in advance to enquire about accessibility, because not all vehicles have disabled access.

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Guided tours for people with disabilities

The Dresden State Art Collections, the Semper Opera House, the Church of Our Lady, the botanical gardens and the VW factory have devised numerous facilities as well as special guided tours that focus on the needs of people with a disability.

The Dresden State Art Collections, the Semper Opera House, the Church of Our Lady, the botanical gardens and the VW factory have devised numerous facilities as well as special guided tours that focus on the needs of people with a disability. Dresden's galleries share the common aim of exhibiting and promoting modern, contemporary art. The art quarter in the baroque district is home to five galleries in close proximity, some of which offer tours of their exhibitions for visually impaired visitors and those with restricted mobility. All organisations ask visitors to book in advance.

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Accessible transport in Hamburg

Hamburg offers plenty of options for visitors with restricted mobility that allow them to explore the city and to enjoy it to the full. Ultra-modern buses, a range of special transport services and parking with disabled access at all key points of the city guarantee a stress-free stay.

All of Hamburg's major attractions, such as the historical warehouse district or the new HafenCity area, are accessible by public transport day and night. All buses are low-floor buses with a tilting mechanism and ramps. Special aids in underground and suburban train stations, such as grooved paving stones with coloured stripes, acoustic signals and contrasting markings help visually impaired passengers to find their way.

To make your stay in Hamburg even more enjoyable, you can get information in advance from the city's public transport company at www.hvv.de. The website contains layout plans and photos of station entrances and exits, toilets, stairs, escalators and lifts.

Special transport services for people with a disability are also provided in Hamburg by Kinderbus Buxtehude GmbH, Johanniter-Unfall-Hilfe e.V. and the German Red Cross mediservice.

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Hamburg's highlights are accessible to all

Port tours, cycle tours of the city, boat trips on the Alster lake and many other ways to explore Hamburg are also disabled-friendly.

Discovering Hamburg means taking time out to explore the many facets of this Hanseatic city on foot, by bike or – appropriately – by ship or launch.

Cycling tours for partially sighted and blind visitors, as well as sighted cyclists, are organised by the Weisse Speiche tandem club, among others. More details can be found on the Hamburg Tourismus GmbH website.

Of course, boat tours of the port are also ideal for wheelchair users. Those run by HADAG set off from Jetty 2 at the Landungsbrücken jetties every day. Some tours operated by Alster-Touristik are also accessible for wheelchair users.

Guided walking tours of Hamburg are highly recommended – particularly those of the St. Pauli district. The 'Whores through history' tour is just one that is disabled-friendly. Find out about the fascinating, centuries-old history of prostitution on a tour of the world's most famous red light district.

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Disabled-friendly hotels in Hamburg

Hamburg is a friendly city that welcomes all visitors, so it goes without saying that a large number of hotels in the city are suitable for disabled guests, making for a memorable stay.

In addition to numerous accessible hotels of various categories, there is also the Stadthaushotel Hamburg, which is a very special project. The parents of eight children with different degrees of disability got together and established the Stadthaushotel where disabled people stay and work under one roof. As a small and very intimate hotel, it has seven fully wheelchair-accessible rooms and six more rooms furnished in a modern style.

The following selection of hotels provide fully wheelchair-accessible rooms; the hotels, rooms and one dining area have step-free access and the doors and corridors are wide enough for a wheelchair: Empire Riverside Hotel (a luxury hotel with a prime view of the river Elbe), Novotel Hamburg Alster (on the Alster lake, close to the city centre), Motel One (young clientele, contemporary style) and Zleep Hotel (inexpensive with good service).

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Nuremberg – access for all

People with disabilities often have particularly well-developed senses. They can see, hear or feel things that remain hidden to other people. Many museums and places of interest in Nuremberg offer guided tours and events that provide very special sensory experiences.

The city of Nuremberg is pursuing its vision of fully accessible public spaces. All of the city's institutions such as museums, theatres and municipal offices are being made accessible to give people with restricted mobility greater independence and to enable them to enjoy Nuremberg's diverse culture without any restrictions. Ramps and lifts allow wheelchair users to get (almost) everywhere, and on the rare occasion that there seems to be a barrier preventing access to an exhibition room or concert, staff and security personnel will be happy to help.

Sign-language guided tours, special group tours for visually impaired people and tactile exhibits enable visitors to use different senses to discover Nuremberg past and present, whether they are touring the city, at the Albrecht Dürer House or in magnificent Kaiserburg Castle. Another good tip in Nuremberg is to use the detailed information about many cultural attractions on the 'mobile in Nuremberg' website which describes the layout of premises and the services available for people with a disability.

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Eating out in Stuttgart

People with a physical disability have easy access to regional and international cuisine in the Stuttgart region.

The Cube restaurant at Stuttgart Art Museum is accessible by wheelchair and it provides a fantastic panoramic view of Stuttgart. Regional and international cuisine is served. The Alte Kanzlei restaurant in the centre of Stuttgart is also easily accessible for disabled people. Formerly the larder of the Old Palace, this amazing place is now a blend of traditional and contemporary styles. Guests can enjoy Swabian and international cuisine and fine wines.

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Stuttgart, cultural capital

People with physical disabilities can enjoy the arts in Stuttgart's State Theatres.

One of the top cultural attractions in the regional capital of Baden-Württemberg is Stuttgart State Theatre – Europe's largest multi-genre theatre. This old-established venue does not shy away from experimentation in opera, ballet and drama. Its outstanding performances set new standards every season that continually inspire international audiences and impress critics from the worlds of opera and theatre.

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Accessibility in Stuttgart's museums

Stuttgart's museums are configured for visitors with physical disabilities and can be explored by wheelchair.

In 2007 the Mercedes-Benz Museum was awarded a prize for its outstandingly accessible building design and it is fully accessible for people with disabilities. The museum also offers special guided tours for people with physical disabilities, such as wheelchair users and partially sighted people. The Linden Museum is also suitable for physically disabled people. All sections can be reached by lift and wheelchair users and people with similar restrictions can join any of the guided tours. Access to Stuttgart's Art Museum and State Gallery is also disabled-friendly.

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Düsseldorf without barriers

The 'Düsseldorf without barriers' brochure provides comprehensive information about the accessibility of tourist facilities in Düsseldorf for people with restricted mobility. It contains information about hotels, travelling to and from the city, restaurants and cafés and the accessibility of cultural attractions and places of interest.

The 'Düsseldorf without barriers' brochure also includes suggestions for leisurely shopping trips, an insert with a map of the local public transport network and detailed information for passengers with restricted mobility. 'Düsseldorf' without barriers' is available from Düsseldorf Tourist Information's two offices (at the central station and in the old town). Alternatively, it can be ordered online or downloaded at www.duesseldorf-tourismus.de. There is also a tactile street map of the city centre outside the town hall for people who are visually impaired. Even more comprehensive information about disabled-friendly amenities in Düsseldorf is available on the new website at www.duesseldorf-barrierefrei.de which also complies with the accessibility guidelines for websites and online booking systems.

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Accessible travel in the Hannover region

Travel and mobility in the Hannover region are well adapted for people with a disability. Numerous aids, services and information at airports, main train stations and on urban and rural buses and trains make travel accessible and put Hannover's attractions within easy reach.

The car parks at Hannover airport are located directly in front of the terminal entrances, which are wheelchair-accessible. Lifts, guidance systems for the blind, call buttons, wheelchair services and other aids improve mobility at the airport. At the main train station, service staff, wheelchair lifts, specially adapted telephones, a mobility centre and guidance systems for the blind also help those with a disability to cope with train travel. Hannover's public transport system operated by Üstra is generally accessible for all. The silver Stadtbahn train carriages are wheelchair accessible and the third door of the green carriages have optimised entrances. Many stations are accessible via ramps or lifts. Üstra also helps mobility by providing low-floor buses with electric ramps, a passenger escort service and specially adapted information. There is plenty of assistance throughout the region in towns such as Springe, Celle and Hamelin as well as on the suburban railway (S-Bahn) network and on DB Regio regional services.

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Accessible accommodation in Hannover

Hannover is regarded as a prime example of a city that is geared towards tourists with disabilities. In addition to its major attractions and entertainment and event venues, many of Hannover's hotels also provide wheelchair access and special services.

Wheelchair access is part of the townscape everywhere in Hannover. Disabled toilets and parking spaces, ramps and entrances that are level and sufficiently wide ensure a high degree of mobility for disabled people in many areas. Numerous hotels have floor-level showers and grab rails in their bathrooms and toilets, wider doorways and/or lifts and dining rooms with no steps. The German Youth Hostel and the Stephansstift guesthouse provide fully wheelchair-accessible rooms. Part of the ground floor of Naturfreundehaus Hannover offers disabled access with wheelchair-accessible toilets and showers (not suitable for electric wheelchairs). The Hans Lilje House hotel and conference centre is fully accessible to people with disabilities. Accommodation at the Gleisdreieck conference centre and at Jugendgästehaus Hannover youth hostel is partially disabled-friendly. Hannover Marketing & Tourismus GmbH will be pleased to help you find suitable accommodation.

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Discover and experience Hannover with no barriers

Many of the visitor attractions and arts and entertainment venues in Hannover are well adapted to the needs of people with a disability. Facilities include disabled parking, level entrances, lifts, disabled toilets, wheelchair spaces at theatres, mobility scooters and audio systems for visitors who are hard of hearing.

Hannover's attractions that are easily accessible via ground-level entrances include the market church, which also has disabled parking and toilets. In the Great Garden at Herrenhausen Palace, the gravel paths are generally suitable for wheelchairs, mobility scooters can be borrowed and Braille maps of the gardens are available. Wheelchair users can also join in the Zambezi boat trip at Hannover Zoo. One of the best ways to explore the city is to follow the Red Thread – a red line painted on the pavement that provides an accessible link between 36 attractions (accompanying brochure available). The August Kestner Museum caters to the needs of disabled people with guided tours for deaf people and special discovery tours including tactile objects for blind and partially sighted visitors. All levels of Hannover's Sprengel Museum are accessible by wheelchair and via ramps. Venues such as the State Opera House and Ballhof Theatre, concert halls and cinemas provide wheelchair spaces.

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Disabled-friendly travel in Cologne

Cologne is fully accessible for all to explore, including people with disabilities. Special guided tours, bus tours and an accessible service centre for visitors make it easy for those with a disability to get to know the city.

The Cologne Tourist Office Service Centre at the cathedral can be reached via a level main entrance, a ramp to the side entrance or one of two lifts, and it has a low-level information counter. The range of products and services it offers includes a good selection for visitors with disabilities, such as guided tours for those with restricted mobility, bus tours, special sign-language tours and tours for visually impaired visitors.

Visit www.koelntourismus.de for useful tips and links to help you to make your stay in Cologne as pleasant as possible.

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Fun for all – accessible Munich

Munich's main attractions are accessible for all visitors from around the world. Sightseeing tours including those by bus provide an initial overview. Tours for wheelchair users and visitors with restricted mobility as well as special services for visually impaired people and those who are hard of hearing are available in Munich.

There are no barriers to enjoyment in Munich – the city's entertainment venues, restaurants, sports arenas and public festivals are all accessible. Guided tours of Munich are not only available in 30 different languages, they are also offered in sign language, so no detail of this remarkable city and its history goes unnoticed. Buildings with long histories and royal connections such as museums and palaces have been made accessible to less mobile people and can be visited by wheelchair users. Beer gardens, pubs and cafés are frequently disabled-friendly and the zoo has wheelchair access. Even unusual venues have been adapted with disabled people in mind, such as Bavaria Filmstadt which offers behind-the-scenes wheelchair tours of film and TV sets. A special, live commentary service is available for visually impaired fans at the Allianz Arena. Several museums offer tours for visually impaired visitors to Munich who can also make new discoveries during year-round aromatic guided tours of the Botanical Gardens. Exploring the city by bus, train and tram is accessible to all. Munich's suburban and underground train stations provide tactile markings for visually impaired passengers.

München Ticket, Munich's biggest supplier of tickets for entertainment and other events, provides a service to ensure that everyone enjoys the occasion, from a rock concert to a chamber opera. By calling +49 (0)89 548 18191, disabled ticket holders and those with restricted mobility can obtain individual advice about the easiest way to get to concerts and events in Munich.

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05-Apr-2014 - 10-Aug-2014

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Quadriennale in Düsseldorf

01-May-2014 - 30-Sep-2014

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International Fireworks Competition

17-May-2014 - 05-Oct-2014

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Exhebition: The Hanoverians on Britain’s Throne 1714-1837

29-May-2014 - 03-Aug-2014

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8th Berlin Biennale for Modern Art

27-Jun-2014 - 31-Jul-2014

München -

Munich Opera Festival with 'opera for all'

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