Accessibility in Paris

From Candace, a member of our community:

Paris is rather difficult for travelers with wheelchairs. They’re trying to become more wheelchair-accessible by cutting the curbs at crosswalks. The curb ramps are not completely flat–maybe an inch but doable. Many of the stores have tall stoops (2" to 12") make it inaccessible to wheelchairs and you might come upon an area that has not too many places to stop at restaurants or just get out of the rain. There were a few Italian restaurants near or hotel that had good ramps, so there we were in Paris eating pizza! Transportation was very limited unless you’re going where you can take a bus because the Metro is below ground and no elevators. We spent a fortune on wheelchair ramped G7 taxis. Even the RER trains were inaccessible because most stops didn’t have attendants to place a gap filler between train and platform to let wheelchair users off. We paid a G7 taxi about $400 to take us round-trip with time to visit Monet’s beautiful gardens and lily ponds in Giverny. The Paris Office of Tourism will tell you Monet’s house is accessible but isn’t. My non-disabled husband went in and photographed. Art museums are free and accessible and that’s where we spent most of our time, though it was a little unnerving when they let you in ahead of hundreds of folks who’d been waiting hours. If anyone has questions about Paris, you can email me at Candace.bennett@sbcglobal.net.

So sorry you had such a difficult experience in Paris. My family went this summer and had a great time, we did have to ask for help a lot because some things were not as accessible as advertised but the French were willing to help my wife by helping pick her up in her wheelchair so we could access certain sites. Attractions for example, we took a dinner cruise down the Seine River, the captain and some of the cruise staff helped me lift my wife unto the yacht and sat us in an area where she could see the sites and enjoy dinner. We even did a hop on hop off bus tour and my wife is completely paralyzed below the waist-the bus coordinator called ahead once we arrived at the bus stop, called an accessible bus, helped me with my wife and we took her upstairs, folded her wheelchair up and stowed it. To get around we took Uber accessible cars which is the same as a regular Uber ride - we even took it from Notre Dame area to Versailles and back to our hotel. I didn’t travel all the way to France to not be given service, I demanded what we thought was accessibility, held them accountable and demanded help, thank goodness it paid off.