Paris is one of the world’s best destinations and has a lot to offer from the Louvre to shopping and fine Parisian cafes.  The city’s history is also very rich with noticeable points of interests such as Notre Dame and Victor Hugo house. For those of us who use wheelchairs, there is plenty of stuff that is fairly accessible.

 

My experience

When I took my trip to Paris, it was the second week of October.  The weather was in the 60s and crowds weren’t too bad. Definitely, the best time to go.

I flew out of George Bush International and used Air France, which I highly recommend.  I had zero complaints, but I stress to fly in premium economy if you can.  Seating is much better and less crammed then coach.  Lastly, request assistance at the airport and ask for help for assistance at Charles de Gaulle.  The Paris airport is a nightmare without any assistance and I know from previous trips to always be prepared.

When getting around the city you will need to schedule taxis in advance because accessible taxis are quite hard to come across.  The only taxis that I know that has a fleet of accessible cars is G7.  Also, the locked-in taxi rate from Charles de Gaulle to Paris city center is about 60 Euros.

You can also try public transportation, most buses are accessible and have a ramp.  Where I stayed using public transportation would be too impractical, but definitely a much cheaper option than taxis.

The hotel I stayed out was Hotel Moliere in the 1st Arrondissement or Palais-Royal area.  I loved the area and the hotel was centrally located near cafes and a short stroll from the Louvre.

Hotel Moliere

 

Hotel Moliere

The hotel staff was very friendly and extremely helpful.  They offer one accessible room on the ground floor with a view of a small garden.  The room is quite spacious and they have a nice bathroom with a walk-in shower that you can wheel into.  Also, the room has a panic button and adaptions for deaf or hard of hearing.

I would give Hotel Moliere an A+ rating for being extremely accessible and a having a staff that went above and beyond to make my stay pleasant.

For amenities, the hotel has a concierge and they were a huge help with scheduling taxis and restaurant reservations.  All rooms have free wifi, a safe, television, and they offer a daily breakfast for a fee that looked pretty good.  The hotel, unfortunately, doesn’t have an actual restaurant on site.  There is a small convenience store nearby and several restaurants about a block away. Some of the restaurants nearby are mentioned below.

The first restaurant on my list was Bistrot Vivienne and this was one of my favorites.

Accessible Rating: A
Hotel Rating: A+

 

Bistrot Vivienne

Bistrot Vivienne Restaurant
Bistrot Vivienne

Located a short walk from Hotel Moliere and next to the Galerie Vivienne.  The food is traditional French with dishes such as French onion soup and beef tenderloins.  If you’re adventurous you can try duck foie gras and beef tartare.

I ordered the beef tenderloin with bearnaise sauce and green beans for my entree and it was quite excellent.  The beef was quite juicy and very fresh.  With my meal, I ordered an Irish coffee and they were not stingy with the whiskey.  The coffee was good, but a little strong compared to drinks you get back in the states.

The service was superb and they were accommodating for someone in a wheelchair and I had no problem eating outside.  I was not able to see if the bathroom was accessible, but unfortunately, in Paris, accessible bathrooms are hard to find in older buildings.

Overall, Bistrot Vivienne offers excellent food and service that is top notched.  Accessibility is remarkably adequate and is definitely one of the best restaurants in Paris for me personally.

Accessible Rating: A-
Food Rating: A+

 

Fromagerie Danard

Fromagerie Danard is known for their amazing cheeses and they even offer dining service to try their cheese and meat boards.  In addition, to the boards, they offer great wines to compliment your meal.

With my family, we chose 6 kinds of cheese and 3 types of meat.  I know we had gouda and french gruyere and the meats were salami and prosciutto.  With the boards, they provided french bread and we requested add-ons like jams and crackers.  Their jams were amazing and these are not something you want to pass on.  The overall setup of the restaurant was quite enjoyable and service was quite excellent. 

The restaurant is quite small and reservations are a must there are only 4 tables including the table outside.  Also, they have an accessible bathroom with plenty of room.

Overall, Fromagerie Danard was an excellent restaurant with exceptional food and service and was remarkably accessible for such a small restaurant.  I was not disappointed and would definitely recommend this for cheese connoisseurs or people wanting a relaxing meal.

Accessible Rating: A
Food Rating: A+

 

Le Nemours

Pear Pastry

This cafe a short distance from Hotel Moliere and next to the beautiful Palais Royal is a nice place for a cup of coffee or a relaxing lunch.  You can tell this place is really good because it was crowded every time I passed by in the afternoon.

I ate outside since it was nice outside and the outdoor tables were free.  I ordered a cup of tea and a pear pastry.  The pastry was pretty good and the green tea was quite pleasant.

Overall, the environment and the food was outstanding and certainly a nice place to have an afternoon coffee or tea.

Accessible Rating: B
Food Rating: A

Le Marais

House built in the 13th century

There is so much history in Le Marais from the beautiful gardens of Place des Vosges to Victor Hugo house and to the Jewish Quarter.  The actual area is pretty big and I was only able to visit Victor Hugo house and the area around Place des Vosges.  There are a bunch of nice stores and restaurants on the actual street, but be aware the streets here are quite narrow and uneven through most of Le Marais.  I would say the majority of the area is very manageable and with good planning, you shouldn’t have too much trouble.

Victor Hugo House 

Victor Hugo is considered to be one of France’s greatest authors and famous Parisian residents.  He authored world-famous novels such as Les Miserables and The Hunchback of Notre Dame.  His house was originally a Seventeen-century apartment that he rented in 1832.  Despite, the age of his house, the museum has made amazing adaptations to make this highly accessible.  All exhibits on the second floor are accessible to everyone and there is an elevator as well.  Also, they have an accessible bathroom on the ground floor.

The museum is highly informative and definitely a nice place to learn about the real Victor Hugo outside of his great works.  It was also nice to visit a museum that actually took a lot of thought and hard work to make their attraction accessible to all.  I was really impressed by their staff and I like to thank the museum for making it such a pleasant experience.

Accessible Rating: A+
Attraction Rating: A+

 

Bateaux Mouches

Seine Boat Tour

On your trip to Paris, it is imperative to take at least one boat tour on the historic Seine river.  This is by far the best way to see major sites from the Eiffel Tower to Notre Dame and it’s quite relaxing as well.

The tour provider Bateaux Mouches was quite good and the boat was very accessible.  Before you get on the boat there is a snack kiosk and nice gift shop at the dock.  Unfortunately, there is not a wheelchair accessible bathroom.

Overall, the tour was really nice and the staff was extremely helpful in ensuring I received assistance.  I was not disappointed and would definitely recommend them.

Accessible Rating: A
Tour Rating: A+

 

Eiffel Tower

Base of Eiffel Tower

The most iconic landmark in Paris and most world-renowned structure that makes Paris truly unique. This is the one place you cannot miss when visiting Paris.  If you have the time definitely visit at night when the tower is lit up.  Also, they have a restaurant on the first floor that has nice views of Paris.  Make sure you enter the eastern entrance of the tower because the entrance and ticketing office at that end is accessible.

Second Floor

The lifts that are wheelchair accessible only go up to the second floor, the views are extremely nice.  It was nice to see a different view of Paris and I loved it as much as the boat tour.  This level gets crowded so you will want to give yourself at least 15 minutes because pictures are much nicer here than on the first floor.

Glass Floor

The first floor has several points of interests that are worth checking into the glass floor, the gift shop, and the 58 Eiffel Tower restaurant.  The glass floor is quite eerie even for those who are not afraid of heights. Don’t worry the floor is quite sturdy and safe.

The gift shop is quite big and has a great deal of nice stuff from Eiffel Tower shaped candies and pasta to nice t-shirts.  It pretty much has everything you could ask for and most of the products were great quality.  Also, the shop was very accessible and I had no trouble moving around.

Lastly, the 58 Eiffel restaurant was a decent restaurant, they have nice views if you can get a table near the windows.  Also, you can make reservations for dinner if you wish, but be aware the cost is about 86 euros per person.

Overall, the Eiffel Tower was quite accessible with lifts and easy access to restaurants/cafes, gift shop, and to accessible bathrooms.  This is a cannot miss attraction and I can guarantee you will have a wonderful time.

Accessible Rating: A+
Attraction Rating: A+

 

Louvre

Louvre Entrance

The Louvre is by far the most iconic museum in the entire world and quite overwhelming for a first time visitor.  You will find that the Louvre is quite enormous and you will not be able to see everything.  Preferably, you should plan out what exhibits you want to see and leave time for the Mona Lisa.  Most importantly, the Louvre is extremely accessible and there are lifts throughout the museum and accessible bathrooms.  Also, it’s imperative you enter the pyramid entrance because that is the only entrance that is wheelchair accessible and has a lift to the ground floor.

Beautiful Italian ceiling art.

The entrance of the Louvre is quite spectacular and the first rooms of the museum have walls of a castle that was built in the middle ages.  It was quite interesting that they were able to preserve a part of Paris that long preceded the Louvre.  The next exhibits I visited was the Ancient Egypt and Mesopotamia, Greek, and the Italian works.  I don’t want to spoil the surprise of the museum, but definitely, take time to look at the Italian section on your way to the Mona Lisa.   There is so much to see and I had an amazing time and I would love to see more of the museum if I ever have to chance to return.

Mona Lisa

Overall, the Louvre is by far the most desired Parisian attraction and quite the most accessible attraction in all of Paris.  Access to cafes, gift shops, exhibits, and bathrooms is superb.  I was impressed with all the adaptions and works to make this such a wonderful experience.

Accessible Rating: A+
Attraction Rating: A+

 

Galeries Lafayette

One of the oldest, established in 1894, and largest department store in Paris that offers high-end clothing and goods for men and women.  It is much like a Nordstrom or Neiman Marcus back home.  Galerie Lafayette also has a nice gourmet food section and a nice cafe to relax at. The store is very accessible for the most part, but the store gets really crowded with tourists and can impact your overall maneuverability inside the store.  Also, they have several elevators that provide access to every floor.  Lastly, if you spend more than 175 Euros you can receive a VAT tax refund in store.  Make sure you have your passport with you because the refund is about 12% off the purchase price.

Overall, Galeries Lafayette is a great place to shop for high-end or luxurious gifts and clothing.  The store does occasionally offer sales of world-renowned brands for both men and women.  Nevertheless, the store accessibility is quite adequate and most certainly a great place to visit even if hate shopping.

Accessible Rating: B+
Store Rating: A

 

L’Alsace

L'Alsace Restaurant
Source: L’Alsace

Located in the Champ Elysses area of Paris known for luxurious stores and the Arc de Triomphe, L’Alsace offers a nice blend of regular French cuisine along with many Alsatian dishes.  The dishes come from far eastern France near the border with Germany, much of the cuisine is pork and sauerkraut, a typical stable of German food.  If that doesn’t appeal to your taste, you can order excellent choices such as spaetzle or their mussels.

I came at 9 PM on a Friday and it was a little crowded, understandably since French typically eats later than Americans do.  It was a such a nice evening that I ended up eating outside and had little trouble reaching the table.  Since I ate outside, I’m not able to tell if the actual building is fully wheelchair accessible, but I know the dining area outside is accessible.  What I ordered for dinner was pretty much the same thing I got for most of my meals. French onion soup and beef tenderloin.  Both items were quite excellent and will definitely fill you up.

I was also quite impressed with the service as well and they were very accommodating for someone in a wheelchair, which was such a nice feeling.  Service like that goes a long way and I like to thank the waiter and the restaurant for providing me a pleasant experience.

Accessible Rating: A
Food Rating: A

 

Last Thoughts

The city of Paris is a magical city with a rich history, great charm and it has so much to offer for everyone.  For those of us that use a wheelchair, it will not be without challenges, some streets will be narrow or uneven and some places will be inaccessible.  Fortunately, with these struggles, it did not stop me from enjoying or experiencing the city.  The major attractions are all accessible and there are quite a few nice restaurants to choose from.  Overall, Paris has a special charm that cannot be overlooked or ignored, this is truly a marvelous city that has to be on everyone’s bucket list.

 

Information for all places reviewed

Hotel Moliere
Address: 21 Rue Moliere, 75001 Paris, France
Phone: +33 1 42 96 22 01
Website: https://hotel-moliere.fr/en

Bistrot Vivienne
French Cuisine
Address: 4 Rue des Petits Champs (Paris 2e’me)
Phone: 01 49 27 00 50
Website: http://bistrotvivienne

Fromagerie Danard
Cheese Bar/French Cuisine
Address: 5 Rue du Colonel Driant, 75001 Paris, France
Phone: +33 9 72 53 62 92
Hours: Closed Sundays, 12 -3 PM & 6-10 PM
Website: https://www.fromagerie-danard.com/fr

Maison de Victor Hugo
Address: 6 Place des Vosges, 75004 Paris, France (Le Marais)
Phone:  +33 1 42 72 10 16
Hours: Tuesday- Sunday open 10 AM to 6 PM
Website: http://www.maisonsvictorhugo.paris.fr/

Bateaux Mouches
Address: Port de la Conférence, Pont de l’Alma, Rive droite, 75008
Phone:+33 (0)1 42 25 96 10
Hours: 10 AM to 10:30 PM & 11 AM to 9 PM in October-March
Website: https://www.bateaux-mouches.fr/en

Eiffel Tower
Address: Champ de Mars, 5 Avenue Anatole France, 75007 Paris
Hours: 9:30 AM to 11 PM & 9 AM to 12 AM during summer
Website: https://www.toureiffel.paris/en

58 Tour Eiffel Restaurant
French/European Cuisine
Address: First floor of the Eiffel Tower, Champ de Mars, 75007 Paris
Phone: +33 825 56 66 62
Hours: 11:30 AM to 4:30 PM & Dinner 6:30 or 9 PM
Website: https://www.restaurants-toureiffel.com/en/58-tour-eiffel-restaurant.html

Louvre
Address: Musee du Louvre, 75058 Paris
Phone: +33 (0)1 40 20 59 90
Hours: Closed Tuesdays, open 9 AM TO 6 PM and opened till 9:45 PM on Wednesdays and Fridays.
Website: https://www.louvre.fr/en

Galeries Lafayette Haussmann
Address: 40 Boulevard Haussmann, 75009 Paris (9th Arrondissement) Phone: +33 1 42 82 34 56
Hours: Monday to Saturday open 9:30 AM to 8:30 PM, Sunday open 11 AM to 7 PM
Website: https://haussmann.galerieslafayette.com/en

L’Alsace
French/Alsatian Cuisine
Address: 39 avenue des Champs-Elysees, 75008 Paris
Phone: +33 1 53 93 97 00
Hours: Open 24 Hours
Website: http://www.restaurantalsace.com

 

Additional Points of Interest

*Some of the place listed below are not fully accessible but are exceptional establishments.

Au Petit Versailles du Marais
Bakery
Address: 1 Rue Tiron, 75004 Paris, France (Le Marais)
Phone: +33 1 42 72 19 50
Hours: Closed Sundays, 7 AM to 8 PM

Carrousel du Louvre
Mall
Address: 99 Rue du Rivoli, 75001 Paris
Hours: 10 AM to 8 PM
Website: http://carrouseldulouvre.com/homepage

G7 Access Taxi
Phone: +33 1 47 39 00 91
Website: https://www.g7.fr/en/discover-our-services/g7-access-taxi

*HAND
American Cuisine
Address: 39 Rue de Richelieu, 75001 Paris (Palais-Royal)
Phone: +33 1 40 15 03 27

*Hard Rock Cafe Paris
Address: 14 Boulevard Montmartre, 75009 Paris
Phone:+33 1 53 24 60 00
Hours: 11:30 AM to 11:30 PM
Website: http://www.hardrock.com/cafes/paris/

*Le Grand Colbert
French/European Cuisine
Address: 2 Rue Vivienne, 75002 Paris (2nd Arrondissement)
Phone: +33 1 42 86 87 88
Hours: 12 PM to 1 AM
Website: http://legrandcolbert.com/

Longchamp
Leather Goods for Men & Women
Address: 271 Rue Saint Honore, 75001 Paris (1st Arrondissement)
Phone: +33 1 43 16 00 16

Mariage Freres
Tea Room
Address: Carrousel du Louvre – 99 rue de Rivoli, Paris
Phone:+33 (0) 1 40 20 18 54
Hours: 12 PM to 7 PM
Website: https://www.mariagefreres.com/FR/restaurant_salon_de_the_carroussel_du_louvre.html

*Rotonde St. Honore
French Cuisine
Address: 10 Rue des Pyramides, 75001 Paris, France (1st Arrondissement)
Phone: +33 1 42 60 41 21
Website: http://www.larotondesthonore.fr/

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