The Olympiaturm (Olympic Tower) is a radio broadcast and observation tower in Munich, Germany, built in advance of the 1972 Summer Olympics. Its antenna spire reaches a height of 995 feet, making it the 48th tallest tower in the world. Located in the beautiful Olympic Park, the Olympiaturm is within walking distance of a popular beer garden, olympic sporting arenas and the “must-see” BMW Museum and BMW Welt. It is also in close proximity to the wheelchair accessible Olympiazentrum U-Bahn station, served by lines U3 and U8.
I love checking out tall towers and building around the world, and visited the Munich Olympic Tower with my sister this past December, while on our winter vacation. I took a good look at the tower’s wheelchair accessibility as she snapped photos from the observation deck. In the review that follows, I’ll share my assessment of the tower’s overall accessibility – both the good and bad.
Tickets & Admission
Tickets can be purchased inside the tower, on the lobby level. The cost of admission for adults is € 7,00. The website states that “1 carer accompanying a severely disabled person” is admitted without charge. Precisely what that means is not explained, but as a triple amputee and wheelchair user, I was admitted for free. My sister, who accompanied me, was also admitted free of charge under this provision.
If you have a disability and especially if you use a wheelchair, you should bring up this policy if you are asked to pay. In my opinion, anyone who cannot walk under their own power should qualify. Given that traveling with a disability makes travel more expensive, I try to save money every way I can. Savings from discounted admissions add up over time!
After you have purchased a ticket, you’ll take an elevator ride of approximately 30 seconds up to the observation deck. The space is climate controlled and comfortable in all seasons. I was able to roll up to the windows, and the view was incredible in the late afternoon:
The observation deck offers a view of 360 degrees from large windows. The windows are low enough to the floor that wheelchair users can see the beautiful sky and surrounding area quite easily. There are unfortunately no lowered or wheelchair accessible viewing scopes.
When I reached the indoor observation deck (pictured above), I discovered that there is also an open-air outdoor platform above it. It is unfortunately only accessible via stairs. My sister went up to take some photos, but I did not see her again for an hour. If you are traveling with able-bodied people, I recommend limiting them to ten minutes up there. You’ll get bored being downstairs and alone. ?
Truth be told, I typically spend no more than 15 minutes on an observation deck – I’d much rather see the sights down below up close! I’d complain about the lack of access to the upper platform, but they let me in free. 🙂
While she was up top, I decided to check out “Rock Museum,” which contains a weird collection of Rock ‘N Roll memorabilia. Having visited the Rock ‘N Roll Hall of Fame in Cleveland, Ohio, I wasn’t impressed, but I suppose it’s always nice to have a touch of rock music in your day.
The memorabilia and displays are located at the center of the main observation deck. There is no additional payment required to check it out. Spend a few minutes walking/rolling around to see if anything interests you.
As my sister continued to snap photos from the upper deck, the sun began to set:
The tower is at the center of the Olympiapark, which is well manicured and lined with wheelchair accessible sidewalks and footpaths. After we finished inside the tower, we took a stroll through the park. If you have a power wheelchair, there is a hilltop in the park worth rolling up to. Manual chair users would get a very serious workout trying to go to the top, and it may not be possible unaided.
As I mentioned before, the BMW Museum and BMW Welt are just across the street from the park. Even though I’m not particularly excited by cars, it is likely a model for other automobile museums worldwide. If you are into cars, engineering or just want to take a break from the outdoors, be sure to stop in at the wheelchair accessible BMW Museum.
Could you skip visiting the Olympic Tower? Sure. But it’s a free attraction (if you have a disability), at the center of a beautiful park and near to one of Munich’s top museums. The sunset views from the observation were great. And, if you’re like me, you’ll check off another of the world’s tallest towers from your list.
Need any more inspiration to visit? Check out this photo I took with my mobile phone before leaving:
More information on the Olympic Tower can be found on its website at www.olympiapark.de.
If you’ve visited the Olympic Tower in Munich, let me know in the comments below!