Our travel-tested tips for accessible restaurants, tours, transportation, and more.
Paris wasn’t exactly built with accessibility in mind. It’s essentially a medieval city with a 19th-century makeover. The city has come a long way, however, in its efforts to make Paris and its attractions more accessible for all. Here are a few recommendations, based on our own experience, to help you begin planning your trip.
Getting Around Town
BY CAR: The easiest way to get around is by taxi. G7 Taxi has a large fleet of wheelchair-accessible vehicles which can be ordered on their English-language line here: +33 1 41 27 66 99. Child car seats (front-facing) can also be requested in advance.
BY BUS: For public transportation, the bus is far and away your best bet. Each bus is equipped with a convenient wheelchair ramp. By contrast, the vast majority of metro stations have many stairs, with few working elevators. Plan your bus itinerary here by isolating the BUS option under “Transport Modes.” Bus tickets are €2 if you pay the bus driver in cash, but tickets are not transferable between buses. For a better deal, buy a packet (carnet) of 10 tickets starting at €14.90 at a designated point of sale. These can be used on multiple buses within 90 minutes. Either way, be sure to stamp your ticket after boarding the bus at one of the validation machines.
Accessible Areas to Explore
Central Paris is generally flat, and much of that area of the city has wide, paved, relatively smoother sidewalks. Tricky areas include the outlying districts — the 18th, 19th, and 20th arrondissements — especially Montmartre, due to steep hills and stairs. We recommend taking a taxi to any sites in these neighborhoods.
Places to explore freely include the Île de la Cité island and Notre Dame. The Cathedral is accessible (except the towers) and the surrounding area is relatively easy to navigate. The sidewalks along the Seine in this area of Paris can be crowded, but they are smooth. Cross over to the Latin Quarter and head up Saint-Michel Boulevard to the Jardin du Luxembourg. This will take you up a hill, but the slope is gentle and the Luxembourg gardens are among the best in Paris. Another terrific park on the left bank is the Jardin des Plantes (full accessibility info here). This flower-full green space is surrounded by natural history museums and a lively Menagerie, the second oldest zoological garden of its kind, and home to 200 species.
On the right bank, near the Les Halles shopping center, don’t miss the Rue Montorgueil. This bustling, pedestrian-only street is an ideal place to grab a verre (drink), and do some very Parisian people watching. Many of its cafés are directly accessible from the street, without a door or steps to negotiate. If you’re in the neighborhood of the Louvre, another wheel-friendly area is the Jardin du Tuileries (with ramps and well-packed sand) and the nearby Place Vendôme, flush with fancy hotels, fashion and jewelry boutiques providing mouth-watering window shopping, and upscale, accessible restaurants.
Tour with the Experts
Experience Paris at your own pace on a private Paris Muse tour. All of our guides are trained to lead tours adapted to the needs of travelers with wheelchairs and strollers.
Your guide can also help you borrow a free wheelchair, using your ID, on site at the Louvre, Orsay, Orangerie, and Pompidou museums.
Our many fully accessible tours include:
- An Introduction to the Treasures of the Louvre
- The Age of the Impressionists at the Orsay
- Masterpieces of Modern Art at the Pompidou Center
- Notre Dame Cathedral
- Historic Heart of Paris Walk
Traveling with children ages 6 -12? Don’t miss our accessible family tours, which also accommodate strollers. Note that many museums in Paris have size limitations for checking your folded stroller.
- Paris Muse Clues: A Louvre Family Tour
- Meet the Impressionists: Orsay for Families
- Notre Dame for Families: Stories in Stone
Please tell us about your accessibility needs when booking online. We’d also welcome hearing from you directly at firstname.lastname@example.org
Where to Eat
Please note that in a typical Paris restaurant, the restrooms are often down a flight of stairs. We recommend the following accessible restaurants—all have restrooms on the ground floor.
Stroller Friendly for Families (One-Step Entrances)
The following restaurants all have fully accessible ramp entrances, as well as restrooms on the ground floor.
Find more accessible restaurants here.
Other Practical Information
— Wheelchairs can be rented at pharmacies. If you’re not traveling with your own chair, consider renting one on site at the Louvre or Orsay.
— Service dogs are permitted at the Louvre and Orsay museums (paperwork may be requested by the museum).
— In France, floors are numbered so that the first floor is what Americans would call the second floor. To avoid stairs entirely in your hotel or apartment, ask for a room on the ground floor (rez-de-chaussée).
— Book your trip with an agency. We often work with SAGE Traveling, longtime specialists in accessible travel in Europe.
— For more tips, check out the city of Paris’s accessibility guide here.
Is the restaurant wheelchair accessible?
Le restaurant est-il accessible aux personnes à mobilité réduite ?
Where is the handicap entrance?
Où est l’accès pour les personnes handicapées ?
Where is the wheelchair entrance?
Où est l’accès pour les fauteuils roulants ?
Where is the restroom?
Où sont les toilettes ?
Is there a wheelchair accessible bathroom?
Est-ce que les toilettes sont accessibles aux personnes en fauteuil roulant ?
Is there an access ramp for persons with reduced mobility?
Est-ce qu’il y a une rampe d’accès pour les personnes à mobilité réduite?
I am a wheelchair user. I need to order a taxi with an access ramp.
Je suis une personne en fauteuil roulant. Je veux commander un véhicule équipé d’une rampe d’accès.
Are there many stairs?
Est-ce qu’il y a beaucoup de marches ?
How many steps are there?
Il y a combien de marches ?
Could you help me?
Pouvez-vous m’aider ?