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Wheelchair with cobblestones in Paris?

Well, sadly, it looks like our daughter will be in a wheelchair for our vacation, including 5 days in Paris. Will we be walking/wheeling over a lot of cobblestone in Paris? I'm trying to decide whether we should take a standard (large) wheelchair or a transport wheelchair with all four wheels about 5 inches. I would imagine the big wheeled chair will be easy to push over the different terrain but the small wheel one will be easier to travel with since it collapses smaller and is lighter. Any thoughts?

Posted by
11507 posts

Susan I suggest you use the bus system in Paris, they have kneeling buses and space inside, and no stairs to worry about, as not all metro stations have escalators or elevators and even those that do can be put of order.
As you may recall(you have been to Paris before?) The older streets are not really cobblestone but paving stones, so not terrible.
I would be tempted to take the folding chair so if tired you could take a taxi occasionally(remember the taxis are forbidden to chargw a trunk charge for the chair)

Posted by
1914 posts

Thank you Alex! Nice to have that information. Nice to hear that most walking areas are smooth. We may have to figure out how to use the bus system if there are stairs in the metro.

Yes, Pat, we have been to Paris, but only for about 3 days on a bus tour, so we saw a lot from the windows of the bus. On that trip in 2005 we also had a wheelchair for our daughter but so much was bus riding we didn't need to use it much. I do remember driving it over the cobblestones in front of the Louvre though!

Off that subject- we were planning to get a museum pass, but now that our daughter will be "disabled" in France, should we assume she and her dad will get in free? Or better to just buy the pass and not worry about trying to get in free? When we went to the Louvre we did pay to get in and didn't notice any special treatment until she was wheeled right up in front of the Mona Lisa. All those benefits would be nice, but not if we have to search them out.

Posted by
3689 posts

I am sure that there is an expert out there who knows for a fact but I believe that the free entrance for disabled persons and their helpers is for disabled persons holding proof of a disability such as a copy of a parking placard or other documentation. Do you have something like that? I'm not sure that a fracture is the type of disability that will get you free access to the museums in Paris. Is your daughter disabled or is she injured and using a wheelchair? The latter does not get her and the person pushing her chair into museums for free.

Posted by
1914 posts

THank you all. Yes, she actually is permanently disabled, then a break on top of that or I should say a break because of that. So, we do have documentation for her, but honestly I don't think it is worth the hassle. We'll just get the museum pass like everyone else and go an have a good time. She normally walks, however limited, and this time it will be a different experience. I bummed, but we'll make it work. Thanks for all the help.

Posted by
3689 posts

By the way, on an unrelated point, I agree with Alex that Musee Quai Branly is not to be missed. And their restaurant Les Ombres is quite good.

Posted by
8043 posts

I have never seen a cobblestone street in Paris and I have spent about 6 mos there total over the past few years. Cobble stones were replaced long ago with paving stones called setts or with pavement. Sidewalks are in any case no done with paving stones and are smooth and are comparatively wide. Lots of people use strollers on them without problems and the buses are designed for smooth entry and have space for wheelchairs and prams. I am sure there is probably a cobblestone street preserved somewhere for historic reasons but you are unlikely to stumble onto one.

Setts are not that difficult for wheeled objects like prams and wheelchairs although a smooth sidewalk is better. Actual cobblestones like those you often see in Spain and in small Italian towns would be difficult for a small wheeled chair.

While Les Ombres atop the Quay Branley museum is excellent and has a spectacular view of the Eiffel Tower, it is not 'their restaurant'; it just happens to sit on top of the museum. While at most museums you can just go to the museum restaurant, this one requires reservations well in advance. We were once there for 10 days and were unable to book a table for dinner; we had to settle for a lunch reservations a few days out. So if you do want to go (and it would be fairly accessible with elevators etc) then I would reserve before the trip. We had a table near the window overlooking the Seine and it was terrific.

Posted by
11507 posts

While perhaps without the proper certificates you will not get the free admission afforded to companion or guardian of a disabled person , you will
L still will be afforded the courtesy of line skipping in most places as long as the door staff see you.