As you know, we mainly travel in the UK, but Europe is calling. To help us start planning our European city breaks we’re reaching out to our fellow travel bloggers and today we have a fantastic post all about “Accessible and Affordable Luxury Travel in Paris”.
Today’s post was kindly written for us by Emma whose one of our favourite accessible travel bloggers here in the UK. Emma writes a brilliant blog over at Simply Emma where she shares her travels in a wheelchair. Emma also writes about accessible gigs, festivals and lifestyle, I highly recommend you pop over and pay Emma’s blog a visit.
But before you do, have a read about Emma’s recent accessible trip to Paris.
Accessible and Affordable Luxury Travel in Paris
I love travelling to European cities and being from Scotland it means it’s very convenient as the flight journey isn’t too long. We’re always there exploring our chosen European city before we know it. Today I want to share my most recent accessible European city break with you, Paris.
Hilton Paris Opera
For our 3 nights in the City of Love, we had the pleasure of staying in the stunning Hilton Paris Opera. The hotel is a landmark building located in the Opera quarter with many attractions nearby, including Opéra Garnier, Tuileries Garden, Moulin Rouge and Champs-Elysées. The spacious accessible rooms and suites are truly beautiful with roll-in showers and fantastic staff.
Another Paris Tourist Train
If you’re looking for a unique and fun way to explore the city of Paris then you need to book a tour with Another Paris Tourist Train.
The little blue train is wheelchair accessible and fully enclosed making it great in all weathers. You’ll even get blankets to keep extra warm in the colder months. There are five routes to choose from and each one will explore a different area of the city.
It’s an amazing way to quickly and easily see the main attractions in Paris while also being fun and educational.
If you like art and museums then make sure you add the Louvre Museum to your Paris itinerary in order to see the world-famous Mona Lisa painting by Leonardo da Vinci.
Expect large crowds especially around this painting, but wheelchair users can skip the crowds and have an undisturbed view of the Mona Lisa in the section specifically for wheelchair users in front of the painting.
Due to the sheer size of the Louvre Museum, I’d recommend setting aside at the very least half a day if you want to see most of the galleries.
After a look around the Louvre Museum, you’ll probably need a break and the perfect spot for this is Tuileries Garden (Jardin des Tuileries) which is just outside the museum. This beautiful area is lovely for relaxing in or for a stroll around between sightseeing and shopping.
The Place de la Concorde is also a short walk away which leads to The Avenue des Champs-Élysées and the Arc de Triomphe.
So you’ve been to the Eiffel Tower, but you want that iconic photo of the Eiffel Tower standing tall above the surrounding city of Paris. To get the best view of Paris and the Eiffel Tower you’ll need to head to Montparnasse Tower where you can take the lift up to the 56th floor to the Observation Deck.
Wheelchair accessible Montparnasse Tower offers 360° panoramic views of Paris through large windows in the comfort of being indoors. It’s also considerably quieter and fewer crowds compared to the Eiffel Tower. You will not be disappointed with the view. Amazing!
Luxembourg Garden (Jardin du Luxembourg) is another beautiful area for relaxing. As I rolled through, I could imagine myself enjoying a picnic with friends and family here. The surroundings were so pretty, from the trees, flowers and the Luxembourg Palace. It really is a lovely spot to visit while in Paris.
Sainte-Chapelle is a royal chapel located a few minutes’ walk from Notre-Dame Cathedral. It is extremely Gothic in style with beautiful stained glass (one of the most extensive 13th-century stained glass collection in the world).
The upper level of Sainte-Chapelle is accessible to wheelchair users via a lift, which you will be taken to by a member of staff/guide. It really is something else being there and seeing the gorgeous stained glass and decorated walls.
Although public transportation in Paris is not fully accessible to wheelchair users, it is definitely manageable. All tramway lines and most buses are accessible. Unfortunately, the Paris metro network is not fully wheelchair accessible, apart from Line 14, which is the only line to offer complete accessibility for wheelchair users including lifts, level access to the platforms and no gaps between the train and the platform.
For our time in Paris especially journeys to and from the airport, we chose to use the wheelchair accessible taxi company, G7 Horizon. These taxis allowed me to remain in my wheelchair, which was securely tied down with straps and belts.
Overview of Accessible Paris
Paris is a wonderful city to visit with so many wheelchair accessible things to do. Navigating the Parisian streets is fairly easy for wheelchair users due to the flat pavements and various public transportation and taxi options available to make your journey from A to B accessible.
Most tourist attractions offer free admission for people with disabilities and a companion, so seeing the city can easily be done on a budget.
I recommend planning a rough itinerary before you take your trip to Paris including all the wheelchair accessible things you want to do and how you plan to get around, whether walking/rolling or using public transport or taxis. This will ensure you make the most of your time there and have the best time possible.
Wow, what a fantastic post from Emma, I really want to go to Paris now, especially as I know there are so many accessible things to do. Bridget and I would like to say a massive thank you to Emma for writing this really useful post.
Don’t forget, you can catch up with Emma over on:
Website: Simply Emma
Facebook: Simply Emma Blog
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