We recently went on a short break to Paris which consisted of three nights and two full days of sightseeing, eating and relaxing in our beautiful hotel. Instead of boring you all with a step by step of everything we did in great detail, I thought I’d briefly touch on some of the things we did and share my thoughts on our top 4 wheelchair accessible things to do in Paris.
#1: Another Paris Tourist Train
Another Paris offers fantastic wheelchair accessible train tours around the city. Wheelchair users will access the train via a ramp at the back of the carriage. The little blue train runs five unique routes that will take you to different areas. So whatever your preference you’re bound to find one that interests you.
We chose the Academic route, which took us around the Latin Quarter covering 45 points of interests including Pantheon, Musée Cluny, Luxembourg Palace and Luxembourg Garden, Paris Observatory and Notre-Dame Cathedral to name a few. Each route is a fun, unique and educational way of seeing the top attractions in Paris while seeing the little side streets of the city that you’d probably never see otherwise. I’d highly recommend a tour on Another Paris little blue train over coach or hop-on/hop-off bus tours. Adult tickets cost €13, which is very reasonable for the 1hr 15-minute tour.
#2: Montparnasse Tower
If you’re looking for the best view of Paris, look no further than the Montparnasse Tower. The building itself is not very attractive to look at, but that really doesn’t matter once inside as it truly offers the best view of Paris day and night. Montparnasse Tower is wheelchair accessible, but the lift will only take you to the 56th floor to the Observation Deck. Access to the terrace is only accessible by climbing the 3 floors to the 59th floor and is outdoors so it can be very cold. The observation deck has a café, gift shop and toilets so it’s all you need to enjoy the stunning 360° panoramic views of Paris through the large windows around the whole 56th floor in the warm comfort of being indoors.
Everyone wants to visit the top of the Eiffel Tower when they are in Paris, but once you are inside you don’t actually get any views of the Eiffel Tower. Montparnasse Tower does just that – amazing views of the Eiffel Tower in all its glory and if that still hasn’t convinced you to visit yet, you’ll also enjoy how quiet the Montparnasse Tower is as there are significantly fewer crowds and queuing time. We didn’t have to queue at all as there was only another two people arriving at the same time as us and around 20 people at the top of the observation deck. An adult ticket costs €15 and €7.50 for disabled.
#3: Louvre Museum
A trip to Paris wouldn’t be complete without a visit to the Louvre Museum which is home to the world-famous Mona Lisa painting by Leonardo da Vinci. When we arrived at the glass pyramid to enter the Louvre we were informed that the lift was out of order, but we were guided to another accessible entrance via The Carrousel du Louvre (a large underground shopping mall). We become very confused going in this way and many times convinced ourselves we were in the wrong building as we back-tracked or went around in circles. It was like a maze. We eventually found our way and entered the Louvre.
There are many wheelchair lifts (some of which are operated only by staff) to take you to the various levels throughout the building and its galleries. The Louvre Museum is wheelchair accessible and disabled visitors and their companion will receive free admission. Brace yourself for large crowds especially around the Mona Lisa display (as you can see in the image above). However, wheelchair users can enjoy an undisturbed view directly in front of the Mona Lisa in a section specifically for wheelchair users.
#4: Parks & Gardens
Take some time out from sightseeing and shopping to enjoy some of the many beautiful gardens Paris has to offer. Luxembourg Garden (Jardin du Luxembourg) and Tuileries Garden (Jardin des Tuileries) were the two that we spent some time in during our recent trip to the City of Light. Both gardens are wheelchair accessible with lots of seating areas throughout to rest, enjoy a picnic or just sit and watch the world go by while admiring all the beautiful trees and flowers.
That’s not all though. Why not explore or take a guided tour of the Luxembourg Palace, which has a long history including being home to the Royal Family, a prison and now office to Senators. Luxembourg Palace is also wheelchair accessible with lifts and accessible toilets.
Tuileries Garden is situated between the Louvre and the Place de la Concorde – perfect for relaxing after a long day of touring the world’s largest museum, the Louvre. Relaxation is well-deserved as its hard work exploring the galleries for the famous Mona Lisa and other great art exhibits, but equally a must-see.
So there you have it, my top 4 wheelchair accessible things to do in Paris. I’d highly recommend you add some of these, or all, to your Paris itinerary if you are looking for great wheelchair accessible attractions.
What are your top wheelchair accessible things to do in Paris?
Photo by John Towner on Unsplash