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  • Anyone been to Paris?

    I am planning a family vacation to Paris next year. Does anyone have any suggestions/ comments / advice re accessibility and travel? I am paraplegic and will be traveling with my husband and 14 year old twins.
    Thank you.

  • #2
    Here are a few resources from Googling "wheelchair Paris":

    http://www.davidlebovitz.com/2008/02/accessible-trav/

    http://www.bostonglobe.com/lifestyle...87K/story.html

    http://www.accessinparis.org/

    http://en.parisinfo.com/how-to-get-t...g-around-paris

    http://www.sagetraveling.com/Paris-Disabled-Access

    http://www.sagetraveling.com/Paris-W...le-Travel-Tips

    http://www.rachelkhoo.com/travel/whe...friendly-paris

    http://www.wheelchairtraveling.com/p...-a-wheelchair/

    http://hotwheelsgoes.wordpress.com/2...etting-around/

    http://www.globalaccessnews.com/chab...ccess_2010.htm

    http://www.seat61.com/Paris-metro.htm#.U8FhfahY6kY

    http://www.wheelchairaccesstravel.com/paris/

    http://curbfreewithcorylee.com/2013/...essible-paris/

    http://girlsguidetoparis.com/archive....anje95x6.dpbs

    http://www.parisonwheels.com/aboutus.html

    http://www.bestparisrestaurants.co.u...chair+Friendly

    (KLD)
    The SCI-Nurses are advanced practice nurses specializing in SCI/D care. They are available to answer questions, provide education, and make suggestions which you should always discuss with your physician/primary health care provider before implementing. Medical diagnosis is not provided, nor do the SCI-Nurses provide nursing or medical care through their responses on the CareCure forums.

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    • #3
      Hi! I was in Paris in 2012 for about 5 days. They don't have an ADA like in US, but most new/renovated construction is accessible. You should be fine with a bit of help from your husband. When visiting the Eiffel Tower you'll be allowed up the the mid-level, but unfortunately they won't allow you to go all the way to the top.. At least this was my experience in 2012. Personal preference, but I like changing my wheels to a thicker mountain-bike wheel/tire combination. It'll roll over uneven cobblestone terrain much better, and much less likely to pop a tube while traveling.

      The up-side of traveling through unpredictable terrain is that it's fantastic wheelchair training.. Think of it as an urban terrain wheelchair learning experience. It'll be an awesome trip, and you shouldn't have many issues at all!! Have a great time in Paris!
      "Be stronger than all your excuses...."

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      • #4
        My daughter lived in France and just came back last January. She said that all the major attractions are accessible. Most of the sidewalks in the major areas are very wide and well kept. The river cruises are accessible via ramps. Most of the Metro stops are not accessible but most of the buses are. Versailles has a lot of gravel in the gardens that will be hard to get a chair through and there are a lot of cobblestones throughout the whole place.

        Here are a couple TripAdvisor links too:
        http://www.tripadvisor.com/ShowTopic...de_France.html
        and this one:
        http://www.tripadvisor.com/ShowTopic...de_France.html

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        • #5
          Actually France DOES have accessibility legislation much like the ADA. It was enacted in 2005, but does not go fully into effect until 2015. The government and business are hustling to try to meet this deadline, according to several articles I read on-line.

          http://www.english.rfi.fr/environmen...fficial-report

          http://eo-guidage.com/eng/accessibil...ons-buildings/

          http://www.theguardian.com/world/201...ress-austerity

          http://en.parisinfo.com/practical-pa...-accessibility

          (KLD)
          The SCI-Nurses are advanced practice nurses specializing in SCI/D care. They are available to answer questions, provide education, and make suggestions which you should always discuss with your physician/primary health care provider before implementing. Medical diagnosis is not provided, nor do the SCI-Nurses provide nursing or medical care through their responses on the CareCure forums.

          Comment


          • #6
            Thank you everyone for your responses. I have a lot of research to do. Would you recommend I use a travel agency for disabled travelers and/or a tour guide? I am nervous and don't know the language! Thanks again!

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            • #7
              I have been to the one in Las Vegas does that count?
              ^^(A)^^

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              • #8
                Just learn a little French and it will go a long way. When you enter a shop, always say Bonjour. They will treat you so much better. When you leave say Merci. Learn a few polite French phrases because it goes a long way. They will know from your accent that you are not French. They appreciate the effort and are used to working with people from all over the world. Unless you go off the beaten path you really don't need to worry about not knowing French. Buy Rick Steves tour book for Paris.

                Treats! The best and original Macarons are at Laduree. (https://www.laduree.com/en_int/)
                The store on the Champs Elysees is larger and more accessible than their original store.

                Also, use Google's street view to really get an idea of what to expect on the streets. Look at where you are staying, where you want to go etc. Then when you get there you will feel like an old pro!

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                • #9
                  Thanks for the tips, Domosoyo!

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                  • #10
                    Hey SCI Nurse, that first link by wheelchairtraveling is MY STORY!!! We had a great time there too.
                    http://www.dsportsman.com

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                    • #11
                      I found Paris to be rather difficult and unfriendly for me personally. I do have a friend who is a wheelchair user and a travel agent who lives in Paris...she could be of great service.
                      https://www.facebook.com/marieodile.vincent.9?fref=ts
                      https://www.facebook.com/Comptoirvoyages

                      She speaks English as well.
                      "The trick is in what one emphasizes. We either make ourselves miserable, or we make ourselves happy. The amount of work is the same.” ~Carlos Castaneda

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                      • #12
                        Thank you very much for the information, sherocksandsherolls.

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                        • #13
                          We spent a week in Paris last year - the city was relatively easy to get around - while the metro is not accessible, virtually all busses are and drivers can extend ramps. We too the bus everywhere they were fast, frequent and usable.
                          Most attractions, say the Louvre and Musee D'Orsay are accessible. Many restaurants are accessible without steps. There are curb cuts in most places. While there are a few cobbles many european cities are worst.
                          We find it preferable to stay in an apartment (say AirBNB) but suitable places don't exist. We stayed at Hotel Ibis Cite Science - a little further out than I would choose if we did it again.
                          One note - I am with my wife and with her help I can do one step. We did not have problems with those restrictions.
                          Use google street view to see what barriers might exist - hotels will have wireless and it your phone is from TMobile or AT&T you can buy a SIM card for it (much cheaper than roaming)
                          Good luck - enjoy

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                          • #14
                            Thank you very much for your information, Icarus. I am feeling more confident that the trip is do-able!

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                            • #15
                              I agree that the trip is do-able. One thing to realize about Europe in general is that while you may not see accessibility signage, there is probably some way to access most stuff. In the Louvre, for example, there are all sorts of back ways around steps - you just have to find a museum guard, tell him where you're trying to get to, and he'll escort you on a route you probably won't find on the map you have in your hand. When in doubt, ask.

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