Madeleine from Mulhouse with MS - TGV traveler

Paris Accessibility Tips, Books, Museums, Boats

Madeleine from Mulhouse with MS - TGV traveler
Madeleine from Mulhouse with MS – TGV traveler

Transportation tips around Paris

The Paris Tourist Office/Convention Bureau has come a long way with updating their accessibility options. The “Visiting Paris with a disability” page includes restaurants, hotels, transportation, electric scooter information, cultural sites with disabled access, etc.

Accessibility Agencies for Paris

Helpful Blogs and Websites for Accessibility

John Sage Sage Traveling Europe –  Sage Traveling was founded by John Sage, a wheelchair user who has visited more than 120 cities in Europe.

Amanda Reid – Limitless Travel – UK blog

Thais Trobaugh Frog & TedTroubles Envahissants du Développement) French for Individual with Developmental Disabilites, others are Autistique and Epileptique. T.E.D. is also the acronym used here for Frog & Ted’s Travel in Europe Differently – Paris blog

Renting a wheel chair
MediMad sell and/or rent “fauteuils roulants (mobilité)” and other products for those with special needs. Contact them for your needs, including bed lifts to rent from MediMad.
They rent by the day, weekend, week, for your vacation ONLY in the Paris region.
Ask about any delivery and pick up charges.

92, Rue Henri Barbusse
92190 Meudon
Fax/Tél. Country code 33, city code: 1 then dial:.
Hours: Monday: 2:00 p.m. to 7 p.m.; Tuesday to Friday, 10:30 a.m. to 7 p.m., Saturday, 10:30 a.m. to 1 p.m.

Helpful books
Access in Paris
“This well established guidebook was originally published in 1974, and was the first guidebook ever to use the title ‘Access’ referring to access by disabled people. Later editions were published in 1985, 1993 and 2008.

The website includes updated information and is available as a book or can be downloaded in PDF format from the website from June 2008.”

Contact Gordon Couch gordon.couch (at) virgin (dot) net

List of books on accessibility from the Paris Tourist Office

Paris en fauteuil – Paris in a wheelchair
Fauteuil — Wheelchair
Authors: Lucie Fontaine and Jean-Baptiste Nanta
ISBN : 2840963507
Price: 6 euros
Paperback pocket size, 112 pages
Publisher: Parigramme

I have found a great book published by Parigramme, with access information for restaurants, museums, movie theatres and theatres for plays, buses, metros, RER, etc.
Although it is in French, the names and symbols are universal.

The book “Paris en fauteuil” is dated 2004.
If you are able to find this book, it not only gives accessibility information (yes or no) but with symbols will tell you about the toilets:

Sanisette Self-cleaning Public Toilet designed by Patrick Jouin free in ParisWC Toilets are accessible to wheelchairs
All of the Public Toilets, designed by Patrick Jouin, along the streets of Paris are accessible.

When he designed them, it was with women in mind who do not like tight spaces. It was also a convenient model for wheelchair accessibility. Do not hesitate to use them. You enter when the green light is on and the door closes behind you.

List of all sanisettes in Paris – this is a .pdf (Acrobat Reader) document. Further explanations on use from the Paris Tourist Office.

Luxury toiletsPOINTWC
PointWC is a real oasis in a corner of a shopping gallery and worthy of your visit. This is a treat after having experienced several disappointing public toilets recently. When you walk in you are greeted and told that it will cost 1 euro. Don’t fret about paying; it will be worth it.

These are modern stalls, each with a different theme: chic, high tech, BCBG, Glam Rock, kid, etc. In one, Kids, you have a toilet for mom and one for the little one.

If you need to change a baby, pull up the changing table and Eric Salles or someone from his team will provide you with a changing mat and large, soft towel.

If you need to freshen up, ask for the BCBG room and they will bring you a padded stool. Inside the BCBG room is a vanity mirror and sink. If you need an hygienic product, diaper, fake nails, etc. the machine can dispense it for you. Want a cup a coffee? Make your choice.

If you need decorating items for your bathroom, they have them for sale.

Two of the stalls are designed with not only families in mind for those with limited mobility.

“We have worked with the Association Française des Paralysé de France to build the. two cabines that are larger for a wheel chair…. Our staff has been trained to help disabled people,” said Mr. Eric Salles director of PointWC.

26 Champs-Elysées (in the gallery)_
Métro: Franklin Roosevelt (line 1 ou 9)
Telephone : 01 42 56 35 25
Open: seven days a week from 10:30 a.m. to 7 p.m.

POINTWC – Printemps Haussmann
64 Boulevard Haussmann 75009

POINTWC – Carrousel du Louvre
99 rue de Rivoli 75001

Traveler with limited mobility advice — from Madeleine Burnel

While working on one of my museum articles I met a wonderful and energetic individual.

Madeleine Burnel lives in the Alsace region and travels around France. Her limited mobility due to Multiple Sclerosis (MS) is not going to handicap her! She spent a week in Paris, and the following is a list of places that have some assistance for the handicapped. She was able to visit them and pass on her advice:

Classic places to visit and off the beaten path

Visit the Eiffel Tower  – 1st and 2nd levels! Visit the Official Eiffel Tower for their Frequently asked Questions on wheelchair accessibility and other news.

John Sage of Sage Traveling has a post on wheelchair accessibility at the Eiffel Tower.

Bâteaux – Mouches
Madeleine recommends embarking at Pont de l’Alma. There is an incline on the boarding platform and then a five steps to descend on to the boat. The personnel will help you.

Hôtel Salé – Musée Picasso -5 rue de Thorigny, 75003 – CLOSED UNTIL MAY 2013
Beautiful 18th century hôtel particulier housing the Picasso museum. They have an elevator for the handicapped and a ramp in the basement section.

Two cautions: the entry courtyard is cobblestone and the gift shop and library are not wheelchair accessible.

Centre Georges Pompidou (also known as Beaubourg), rue Beaubourg, Paris 3rd
Number of exhibitions that are accessible with the elevator.

Musée de la Poupée – across the street from 22 rue Beaubourg – Impasse Berthaud)
For Madeleine this was a whole new universe: small courtyard, small interior and the cobblestones!!! Important collection of dolls from 1850 to today presented in lively vignette scenes representing each period.

It is accessible, three steps to walk up leaving the last room of the permanent display and entering the temporary exhibition room. (This is where we met and the personnel were extremely helpful in helping Madeleine up those steps.) Rue Rambuteau has its ambiance, its close by, with lots of shops and cafés. The sidewalks, however, are difficult and cumbersome.

Musée de la Vie Romantique, 16 rue Chaptal, Paris 75009 The interior courtyard is full of cobblestones. The interior is accessible with either cane or crutches, no elevator. Stairs have a ramp.

This the house of Ary Scheffer, a royal painter during the reign of Louis Philippe. Great names of the period could be found visiting this home: Georges Sand, Liszt, Chopin – a whole floor of the museum is devoted to them). Temporary exhibits of romantic painters. Beautiful winter garden and park.

Rue de Rivoli
You can stroll or roll along the rue de Rivoli with its souvenir shops and stores and affluent buildings. Store entrances are at ground level and most sidewalks ramp to the street.

Musée de la Mode et du Textile  – 107 rue de Rivoli
Accessible with elevator to visit the Musée de la Mode et du Textile, Musée de la Publicité and Musée des Arts Décoratifs (one entry price). Their website is available in English.

Jardin des Tuileries, rue de Rivoli
One entry around the middle is accessible for the handicapped; otherwise there are steps involved. At this entrance there is a ramp used for baby carriages and wheelchairs. This is a favorite park for mothers with children for its fountains and paths.

Musée Jacquemart-André – 158 Boulevard Haussmann – Paris 8th
Lots of stairs, no elevators, but the personnel really made an effort and helped her to the maximum.
She suggests visiting the tea salon before your departure from this beautiful home from the Napoleon III era.

Other sites to visit:
Versailles Accessibility (This is a Paris Tourist Office link – on their page scroll down to “Disability”)
Versailles has electric vehicles for persons with limited mobility.

This makes it possible for you to wander along five itineraries, departure point South Terrace (discovery of the Gardens, Trianon and the Queen’s Hamlet, tour of the Grand Canal, complete visit of the Estate) – For more information, telephone: 01 39 66 97 66 .

Apparently, there is also an elevator that will bring you to the garden level if you do not wish to use the electrical vehicles.

Promenade Plantée – The Promenade Plantée is handicap accessible.
This is a walk along an ancient railway line that has been turned into a park above ground. It stretches 4.5 km between la Bastille and the Bois de Vincennes, was created in 1993 and covers a surface of 65,000 m². Below your feet is le Viaduc des Arts, art and design stores installed in the vaults of the old train line.

Access to the promenade is on the avenue Daumesnil at the Bois de Vincennes as well as by stairs and elevators along the way. The Promenade Plantée is located in the 12th arrondissement. One of the closest metro is Bastille.
Open: 8 a.m. during the week and 9 a.m. the weekends the closing times vary according to the season:
Closing time: January: 5:30 p.m.
February: 6 p.m.
March: 7 p.m.
April 15 to May 15: 9 p.m.
May 15 to August 31: 9:30 p.m.
September: 8:30 p.m.
October: 8 p.m.
End of October to November 15: 6 p.m.
November 15 to December 31: 5:30 p.m.

What is up there?
Children’s play area: with a sandbox, ping pong tables, lawns, dogs are allowed on a leash, a doggie park is between the Reuilly tunnel (le tunnel de Reuilly) and the Bois de Vincennes.

The Victor Hugo museum has now received the “Tourisme et Handicap” label.
The museum has an elevator that permits access to all floors as well as toilets (reception area) that meet the “Tourisme et Handicap” standards. Two parking spots are available in front of the museum.

The apartment is situated on the 2nd floor of the Hôtel de Rohan Guéménée, Place des Vosges that Hugo rented for 16 years (1832-1848). The other is Hauteville House, the only house that he owned where he lived for 15 years (1856 to 1870).

The museum located in the Place des Vosges was opened in 1902, celebrating the 100 year anniversary of his birth. It was the inspiration of Paul Meurice (1818-1905), a long-time friend and ardent defender of Hugo and his work.

This was the first museum dedicated to his works and letters according to the Paris mayor’s office.

The Victor Hugo Museum
Hôtel de Rohan-Guéménée
6, place des Vosges 75004
Métro Bastille, Saint-Paul, or Chemin Vert
Open every day 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., closed Monday and holiday
Telephone: 01 42 72 10 16

Information on Paris museum accessibility from the Paris Tourist Office. This page also provides information for special reduced entry prices, activities and adapted visits, and the museums and monuments in Paris and around Paris (Ile-de-France).

 The Petit Palais is accessible as is their dining facility. The handicap toilet stall, however,  opens inward and not outward — there is no bar.

The Petit Palais  has a nice café with a view over the interior gardens. The food is good and the staff is very helpful. A typical lunch of quiche with salad and dessert runs about 10 euros.

The Grand Palais  is accessible along 3, avenue du Général-Eisenhower, with an exterior lift to the left of the stairs. They have a cafeteria inside. On their “Accès Public” page (accessibility), click on “public empéchés” (located after “noctilien”). Two wheelchair icons appear.

Official Tourism and Handicap Logo

Disabled access and other hints from the Paris Tourist Office

Hotel Info
– Opening of a hotel in the heart of the Thoiry zoological garden, with 25 rooms fully accessible to persons with disabilities (end 2013)

Handicap Travelers – .pdf document from the old Web site (Acrobat Reader )


  • Amanda

    Love the post, A amazing guide for the disables, You don’t usually get this much information from the guides even. Thanks fro taking so much of your time to write so much.

  • Thais Trobaugh

    Hello Colleen,
    This is very informative and well done for people with reduced mobility. I have recently begun a guide, Frog and TED for people of all disabilities as my son is autistic and there is not much available even less in English. Fortunately, more museums are adopting a policy of being accessible AND inclusive.

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