Our family traveled to Paris, France for the first time. We were there for only a couple of days but managed to see and experience a lot with the time we had. Getting around wasn’t much trouble because Tyler’s wheelchair is light-weight and can be easily stored in regular taxis.
Overall, we had smooth time getting around Paris. Most tourist attractions have free admission to people with disabilities as well as one accompanying person to assist the person in a wheelchair. Traveling around Paris was fun for our whole family.
Here are 10 travel tips that include accessibility details for Paris, France.
#1. Eiffel Tower Tower: The Eiffel Tower was fun because Tyler and I went so high that we could see everything in Paris. It was fun in the elevator but we were so high, I was afraid we might fall. Tyler’s favorite part was the elevator ride too. Tyler likes things with moving parts. So, this was awesome for him. It also felt cool when the wind blew and we could feel the tower move.
Handicap Accessibility: At the base of the tower is a handicap information banner. An Eifel Tower worker took us to the front of the line to purchase our tickets. Then they took our entire group up the elevator to the second level. This is as far as Tyler (in his wheelchair) could go, but the view was still beautiful. Also, There is no admission charge for a visitor in a wheelchair and for one person assisting them!
#2 Notre Dame: I really like Notre Dame because of how mid evil it looked. And Notre Dame had some creepy looking statues and I felt like the statues were going to come alive and chase me. We went into the treasury to see all of the old treasures from a long time ago. Tyler loved that. He also had fun using his binoculars to see the stained glass windows.
Handicap Accessibility: The whole cathedral is accessible. One part of the stairs turned in to a small lift for a wheelchair.
#3 The Louvre: I like the Louvre because there were so many cool paintings. My favorite one was the Mona Lisa. The Louvre workers let us go in front of the crowd to see the Mona Lisa better because Tyler was in a wheelchair. They were so nice to do that. Her smile is so interesting.
Handicap Accessibility: The whole museum is accessible, but sometimes you have to go to different floors and back up again to see different exhibits. For example, there are stairs in places you wouldn’t expect. Like from the Mona Lisa to the Winged Victory.
#4 Sainte Chapelle: I liked Sainte Chapelle because of the chapel upstairs. All of the stained glass was just so beautiful and so cool. It made me feel like it would have been so much work to do. Tyler didn’t get to see it because the wheelchair lift was broken that day, so I took lots of pictures for him.
Handicap Accessibility: There is usually an elevator available, but went on a day the elevator was broken. There is only a small round staircase to get to the second floor where the chapel is and was impossible to get Tyler there without a lift. Be flexible and plan ahead for sure.
#5 Seine River: The Seine River was just so beautiful, even at night. I liked how the city brought in sand to make it look like a beach on one part of the boardwalk.
Handicap Accessibility: The roads in Paris are all very nice with sidewalks. Some areas have cobblestones but we had no problem pushing Tyler’s wheelchair over them. We wanted to take a Seine River Cruise but were unable to because there is no way to get a wheelchair down to the boardwalk.
#6 Montmartre: I had an artist draw my picture. I liked it but I had to sit there for a long time. At a café there, Tyler and I tried beef tartar (raw beef with spices) for the first time. It was good but I liked the spaghetti better. I am glad that I tried it though.
Handicap Accessibility: This is a very hilly area with big cobblestones. Take a cab or Uber van to the top and be prepared for hills. We all took turns helping push Tyler around because it was a lot of work.
#7 Sacre Coeur: It is the big church at Montmartre. My dad and I walked in and saw them doing mass. The bishop looked so bored. We climbed 300 steps to the top of the dome. I loved looking at the gargoyles. The view was awesome too.
Handicap Accessibility: To the best of our knowledge, The Sacre Coeur is not at all handicap accessible.
#8 Champs Elyesse: My mom and dad and I went down to The Arc De Triumph at 10:30 one night while Tyler and my grandparents slept. My favorite part was getting ice cream and having time with my mom and dad.
Handicap Accessibility: Tyler did not go with us to the Arc De Triumph, so we do not know any of the handicap accessibility information.
#9 Restaurants: Our last night in Paris we went to an Escargot restaurant. I ate snails. I was nervous. I thought that they were going to be gross, but they were not. I am brave at trying mew things. Tyler loved the snails too!
Handicap Accessibility: All of the restaurants in Paris were very happy to make room for Tyler.
#10 Versailles: I loved walking where KINGS walked. I loved seeing King Louis 14, 15, and 16th’s bedrooms. It was all so cool. Tyler loved the golf cart that we rented (the one we got was made just for a wheelchair) to see the palace’s gardens and fountains.
Handicap Accessibility: Getting to the palace is the hard part. You can go by train, but the trains in Paris are very seldom wheelchair accessible. We used an Uber van to get there, but we could not get an Uber van to go back to our flat. We learned first hand how hard it is using the metro system.
Once you are in the palace (the driveway in front of the palace is really hard to wheel over), it is very accommodating. Make sure you get the tour of the King’s bedrooms. If you pre book your tour, you do not have to wait in line and it is very easy to get around in a wheelchair.