When traveling in Europe whenever you are visiting a restaurant or a museum, try to use their WC facilities if at all possible. Typically, they are maintained and are free. But sometimes you are just walking around the town and find you have a need. If you find yourself in this predicament, it is helpful to know where to “go”.
It is always wise to carry change with you (50 cent and 20 cent coins are perfect) for this purpose since many public restrooms charge for their use and cleaning. Some of the more primitive WCs do not supply paper or washing facilities, so I keep a supply of tissues and hand sanitizer in my camera bag, just in case.
Berlin is a large city but finding public bathrooms was still a challenge, so we always used the museum/restaurant WCs. But even in this case, I found a couple venues that, even though you had paid admission to enter (or had dined in the restaurant), still charged a fee for the bathroom. I found this to be a bit on the greedy side – I have no problem paying if is a free venue, but if you’ve just charged me €7 to walk around your site, I think the bathroom should be part of the admission.
Keep your eyes open for the free-standing WCs that sanitize after each visitor. If I have to pay, I prefer to use one that is clean. These are typically located in the more tourist visited areas. However, this is not always the case. And should you find yourself in an emergency situation, pop into one of the restaurants and use theirs. I don’t usually advocate this unless you purchase something, but it is an option. Even some of the museums have accessible bathrooms before you go into the ticketed area.
Just keep your eyes open and take advantage of the WCs when you do find them!
At one stage there were dozens of these cast iron Octagonal Cafés in Berlin, but they were for men only and had a bit of a smelly reputation. This one was renovated and opened in June 2003 in Gendarmenmarkt Square. It is now for both sexes with modern facilities though it is compact inside, but unlike other public conveniences in Berlin this one is free.
The second photograph is a Gents only Octagonal Cafe on Schonhauser Allee just outside Senefelderplatz U Bahn Station.
The third photograph is another Gents only Octagonal Cafe close to the Zoologischer Gartený railway station.
In a lot of bars and restaurants and also in some shopping malls, there will be an attendant on toilet duty. They set up table outside , sometimes they offer candy/sweets and fruit and they keep the toilets clean. They also like a tip.
Ladies be prepared and carry change. I found at nearly all restrooms you were charged at least DM1 - even out of the city. I don't know if this applied to the men's restroom as well.
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