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Wheelchair accessable Iternary

Starting to plan/daydream about going to paris with my mobility challenged family member. He primarily uses a wheelchair, but can walk short distances with a walker. Would appreciate hotels, airbnb, and iternary suggestions. last tome we went was without him and we used metro but dont think that would be feasible.

Posted by
8125 posts

Over the years, my wife's mobility has gotten worse. But I've had her in Europe twice--once in a lightweight aluminum travel chair and once in a TSA approved folding electric scooter. Fortunately I am strong enough to handle her AND all of our luggage without assistance. And I'm also familiar with most of major European cities--and how to navigate their metro and tourist sights.

We have decided that European travel for the mobility challenged is best if done by cruise ships/river cruises. Or go off the beaten path in rental cars. Traveling in large cities is variable in that some metro stations have elevators and some just have steps which makes dealing with a wheelchair or scooter difficult. Thankfully most European cities now have curbs now that work with wheelchairs. But occasionally you must deal with curbs and escalators even.

We used to stay in B&B's and inexpensive accommodations, but now we stay in modern hotels with elevators. And we try to stay close to train stations or where we can get to airports easily. In cities, we now use taxi cabs and Uber more often--instead of the metro. Paris' underground system is not as modern as other cities, and it's a place where more cabs are used.

My wife has a high line lithium battery powered folding scooter with a 10 mile range--and it runs much faster than I can walk. She rides it through airports and goes to the door of the airplane. The scooter goes in the belly of the plane, and they bring it to the door of the plane at our next stop. It's those airports that will walk caretakers to death.

We're going into London Heathrow the end of May, and will be taking the Heathrow Express to Paddington Station. We'll catch a cab the short distance to our hotel. Our cruise was just cancelled. Plan B is to fly to Milan where we'll rent a car and head for The Alps.

Posted by
14 posts

My daughter uses a wheelchair. On a trip to Paris way back in 2006 she didn't have many problems. Mostly, I checked hotels carefully because we like small hotels.

Then in 2018 we spent Christmas in Bordeaux. That is a terrific city for wheeling. And the trams are convenient for wheelchairs.

What I did learn from the two trips is that buying wheelchair seats on trains in France is impossible unless you use a travel agency. That's because SCNF doesn't accept USA-issued credit cards. RailEurope wasn't any help either. (That was a combination of the credit card problem and the need to book wheelchair seats over the phone -- wheelchair seats weren't available online in 2018.) Ultimately, I had a terrific experience with a travel agency out of England. Here's my recommendation: Joanne Morris
International Rail Consultant
The Travel Bureau, The Cottage High Street, Wombourne West Midlands WV5 9DN
Tel: 01902 326662

Posted by
1368 posts

Getting Around


Accessible Stations

Auber, Chatelet, Ch. De Gaulle-Etoile, Chatelet-Les Halles, Gare de l’Est, Haussmann St.-Lazare

Invalides (Elevator), La Defense, Madeleine (Elevator), Metro-14 Stations, Saint-Michel-ND

Pyramides - Elevator off Ave de l’Opera (Big Bus)

  • RER & M-14 stations
Posted by
108 posts

Sage Traveling has some terrific resources for accessible travel in Paris, including hotels reviews and lists of accessible tours. It's definitely worth poking around his website for ideas.