Wheelchair Accessible Travel In Paris - 2003
By Howard L. Chabner and Michele E. DeSha
© Howard L. Chabner and Michele E. DeSha 2003
passerelle is a pedestrian bridge, of which central Paris has two (see
II. Wheeling Around, below). It
seems appropriate for an article about being a pedestrian in a city
bisected by a vibrant river, centered on a beautiful riverfront and
connected by grand, functional and varied bridges.
We hope this article will bridge any gaps in access information
and inspire disabled travelers to establish connections with this
magnificent city. This article is the fruit of our September 2003 trip to Paris
with Howard’s mother, Joyce Chabner.
It is subjective, selective and impressionistic, not
comprehensive or systematic. This
article is intended as an introduction, a starting point for your
research and a way to convey realistic expectations.
We hope it will help you plan an access strategy based on your
interests, budget and mobility capabilities and limitations.
This article covers only access and assumes a basic familiarity
also visited Paris in 2000. On
our recent trip we found excellent, and vastly improved, bus access and
some significant bridge access improvements. Accurate
access information is easy to find on the Internet.
Access to the major museums is very good. However, and despite our finding an excellent hotel with very
good access, barriers in hotels and public bathrooms are still
widespread. We strolled
extensively through the 1st, 4th, 5th,
6th, 7th, 8th and 15th
Arrondissements and, as in 2000, saw few people in wheelchairs or blind
people. Most wheelchair
users we saw were at the major museums, so it was impossible to
determine whether they use wheelchairs all the time or are slow walkers
who use them only in large spaces such as museums.
We were in Rome and Florence earlier this year and saw many more
people in wheelchairs there than in Paris.
This article includes rough spots along with smooth ones, but
Paris is magnificent and irresistible.
We eagerly hope to return.
planning our trip we used the Internet and other information sources but
not a travel agent. We
traveled on our own, not with a group.
have tried to be as accurate as possible, but of course accuracy is not
guaranteed. The reader
should confirm all information, especially access details, directly with
hotels, museums, transportation providers and other facilities.
As in all research, primary sources are much better than
secondary ones. Also,
things change. It is
essential to re-confirm information shortly before acting on it.
Because one’s physical capabilities, limitations and equipment affect the access achievable under a given set of environmental and design conditions, and one’s point of reference colors one’s perception of access, we’ll tell you about ourselves. Howard has muscular dystrophy and uses an electric wheelchair. On this trip Howard used a Quickie P110 folding electric wheelchair that is 25” (63.5 cm) wide, weighs approximately 100 pounds and has gel cell batteries. Howard is six feet tall, cannot walk and can transfer to an inaccessible automobile only with great difficulty. Michele is able-bodied. We are fortunate to live in San Francisco, where access is generally excellent.
planning our trip we sent questionnaires to approximately 60 hotels
inquiring about access. A form of hotel access questionnaire is Appendix A.
You are welcome to adapt it for your own use.
A metric conversion guide is Appendix B.
The results of the access survey and of our visits to several
hotels are attached as Appendix C.
This article (including the appendices) may not be reproduced or
used for profit without our written permission, but readers are welcome
to reproduce or use it for any other purpose.
are given with the single digit “1” area code used for calling Paris
from outside France. To
call within France, dial “01”.
A Call for Advocacy. Researching your trip, the trip itself and the time after your return are great opportunities to educate and advocate for access. If we learn in our research that a hotel, transportation provider or museum isn’t accessible and providing access appears feasible, or that something is accessible but could be improved, Howard often sends an immediate email with detailed recommendations. On our trip we provide feedback in real time. After we return we write detailed letters advocating better access, including appeals to government officials. We aren’t only critical - we try to acknowledge and appreciate good access, and we also recognize the logistical and architectural difficulties and limitations in making old buildings and ancient sites accessible. Our communications have usually been well received and our efforts have helped spur access improvements.
Howard has written letters to the mayors of Rome and Paris about access issues, including the need for more curb ramps, and to the Rome and Paris airports. When writing to government officials, we send copies to local disability organizations if appropriate. We’ve sometimes found that a request or recommendation from us, as foreign tourists, can lend additional credibility to similar advocacy by local individuals and disability organizations. Sometimes our efforts add to the cumulative weight of those made by locals. Ironically, it may be easier for officials to ignore or delay action on a complaint by a local than one by a foreigner.
We urge you to use your trip as an opportunity to help move the ball forward on wheelchair access - you will already have the information and the impressions will be fresh in your mind, so writing an effective letter or email won’t take much extra time.
des Arts, a pedestrian-only bridge immediately west of the Pont Neuf,
was renovated in 2000 and a moderately sloped ramp added at each end.
This wide, wooden planked structure is a popular gathering place
for chatting with friends, picnicking and listening to street musicians.
Passerelle Solferino, a new pedestrian-only bridge farther west
linking the Musee d’Orsay with the Jardin des Tuileries, also is
built-in semicircular balcony seats on the Pont Neuf that cantilever
over the Seine have been rebuilt since 2000, the high step has been
eliminated and you can roll your wheelchair into the cantilevered areas
for an even closer view of the grand riverfront.
Stores and Restaurants
and restaurants typically are up one stair.
The proprietors are very willing to lift your wheelchair into the
store or restaurant. Cafes,
of course, have small outdoor tables.
The major department stores have level access.
pay phones we saw are inaccessible, either because there is a high edge
or the phone is too high. Some
newer phones are accessible, but with difficulty.
used ATM’s at a variety of banks in various locations.
All were too high for a wheelchair.
2000 there were almost no accessible bus lines.
We were very pleasantly surprised to find many accessible buses
this time. (Because we researched the buses in planning the trip,
actually we weren’t surprised that accessible buses exist, but at how
well they work.) Not all
lines are accessible, perhaps 50%.
Our impression is that the number is increasing quickly.
The most important lines – those that traverse the city from
train station to train station - are being made accessible first.
There are four accessible lines – 92, 94, 95 and 96 - within
two blocks of our hotel. All
buses on an accessible line are accessible, which isn’t the case in
some other European cities. The
buses have large windows, no graffiti and minimal advertisements.
The buses are lower than the typical American bus and,
consequently, the ride is smooth.
accessible buses have a retractable ramp on the side, midway between the
front and the rear. The
ramps always worked, except for two buses in a row on one line one day.
The ramps are wide – almost as wide as the double door, which
reduces the chances of falling, and, because they are deployed with the
bottom edge on the sidewalk, are not too steep.
We never waited more than 10 minutes for a bus.
Every driver we encountered was courteous, skilled and well
trained in dealing with wheelchair passengers, always deploying the ramp
safely at our desired stop. There is a call button in the wheelchair seating area.
The passengers were almost always polite and helpful.
They were patient with Howard’s broken French and many were
eager to speak English. The
wheelchair area of the bus is narrow and it was difficult to maneuver to
face the correct direction, so Howard generally remained perpendicular
to the length of the bus, with the wheelchair protruding into the aisle,
but passengers were not upset and were careful to go around.
The wheelchair area lacks any securement devices, but because the
drivers drove so well and the routes were mostly flat, the ride was
smooth and the absence of tie-downs wasn’t as dangerous as it might
the public transit operator, has an excellent website that includes an
English language section. Before our trip Howard asked RATP detailed questions by email
in broken French and received prompt, accurate responses.
access information (includes buses, trains, metro and RER):
ask questions: firstname.lastname@example.org
language information center: (0)8-92-68-41-14
general website: www.ratp.fr
didn’t use the Metro or RER.
Several organizations provide
accessible van transportation upon advance reservation.
GIHP (Groupement pour L’Insertion des Handicapes Physiques) is
affiliated with or funded by the government.
On this trip and in 2000 GIHP transported us from and to the
airport at a bit less than the cost of a regular taxi.
We also got rides one evening from ATPAP (Association pour le
Transport de Porte a Porte), a for-profit service.
ATPAP was fairly expensive, but gave us a ride at 11 p.m. on a
Friday night. The drivers
for GIHP and ATPAP were all on time, skilled, safe and very friendly.
The vehicles were well maintained, clean and spacious.
Phone 1-55-33-56-56 or
other van services are listed at www.infomobi.com
in the section “Transports Specialises” and at the Paris Tourism
Office website www.paris-touristoffice.com
in the section “Disabled/Specialised Transport Means.”
didn’t see any accessible taxis or learn of any from our research.
In 2000 we took an enjoyable
boat ride with Vedettes de Pont Neuf, Square du Vert Galant; phone
1-46-33-98-38; www.pontneuf.net The square is down a long, bumpy, stone ramp.
Boat access was good. Other
accessible boat operators are listed on the Paris Tourism Office website
in the section “Disabled/Croisiere Accessibles Aux Handicapes.”
Although bus access is quite good, we still believe that for hotels, as for real estate, the three most important factors are location, location and location (assuming the hotel has good wheelchair access). Strolling through a beautiful, interesting neighborhood is what Paris is all about, and it’s best not to depend entirely on transportation to get to museums, monuments, stores and restaurants.
Victoria Palace Hotel
6, rue Blaise Desgoffe
In 2003 we stayed at this
charming, immaculately maintained 62-room four-star hotel in the 6th
Arrondissement north of Boulevard Montparnasse, not far from Place St-Sulpice
and Jardin du Luxembourg. It’s
a pleasant one-mile stroll to the Seine, and accessible bus lines 92,
94, 95 and 96 all stop within two blocks of the hotel.
The hotel staff was extremely
welcoming, professional and skilled.
Breakfast was abundant, delicious and graciously served.
Wheelchair access is very good
by Parisian standards. There
is a portable wooden ramp for traversing the one and a half steps at the
front entrance. The
elevator is large enough for a wheelchair user and two able-bodied
people. The call buttons
are reachable. We stayed in
Room 601, the adapted room. The room is completely quiet.
The bedroom and bathroom are large, the toilet is high, the sink
is excellent, the bed height is very good for transfer, the bed is firm
but not too firm, the doorways are wide, and the mirrors are large and
There is a large bathtub but,
as seems to be universal in Paris hotels, no roll-in-shower.
The handheld shower has a long cord.
to the toilet is not ideal but not bad. There
is sufficient transfer space at one side of the toilet.
The grab bar adjacent to the toilet is removable and attaches to
the side of the bathtub. It
is not as sturdy and stable as a wall-mounted, fold down-bar.
A toilet paper holder protrudes from the rear wall and prevents
some wheelchairs from being positioned completely against the rear wall.
This toilet, like the typical French toilet, isn’t long,
so a complete side-to side transfer isn’t possible for many
wheelchairs, but a side transfer at a moderate angle is; the angle
between toilet and wheelchair is much closer to parallel than to a right
There are some barriers that
are minor for someone traveling with a companion but potentially
significant for a solo wheelchair traveler.
The door closer on the room
door is set too tight and is extremely difficult or impossible for many
wheelchair users to open and close.
The closet pole and safe are at normal height and therefore
inaccessible. Howard has
written the hotel asking it to fix these items.
Overall, the Victoria Palace is excellent for wheelchair travelers with a companion and for slow walkers. It might pose difficulties for a solo wheelchair traveler, depending on one’s abilities and reach. Considering the age of the building and the typical Parisian constraints, the proprietors have done a very good job providing access. Although not inexpensive, the price is reasonable considering the room size, elegance, location, condition, quiet, and high quality of service and of breakfast.
6, place Marguerite de Navarre
In 2000 we stayed at this
three-star hotel in the 1st Arrondissement between the Louvre
and the Pompidou Center. Access
was very good, except the bathroom had no roll-in shower.
In response to our inquiries in 2003, we were told that several
adapted room types are available, although none has a roll-in shower.
The front entrance is level.
The elevator is easily large enough for a wheelchair. All
doorways are wide. The
toilet height is 53 cm (21 inches).
The sink is large and there are well-situated grab bars near the
toilet. There is plenty of
space on one side of the toilet to transfer.
The handheld shower on the bathtub wall has a cord long enough to
reach the sink, so one can wash one’s hair in the sink.
The staff was gracious.
Access Survey Results
In late June and early July
2003 we emailed and faxed access questionnaires to approximately 60
hotels, mostly three- and four-star hotels in the 1st, 5th,
6th and 7th Arrondissements.
Questions and responses are in English.
The results of the survey and of our visits to several hotels are
attached as Appendix C. We
visited several hotels (indicated by **), but most entries are based
solely on the written responses we received; therefore, we cannot vouch
for the accuracy of the information.
Accuracy depends entirely on the respondent, typically a
reservationist; we did not specifically ask the hotels’ general
managers to respond. We
asked follow-up questions when a response was ambiguous but did not send
a second round of surveys to ascertain whether the answers would be the
same both times.
questionnaire, with minor improvements and turned into a form, is Appendix
A. You are welcome to
adapt it for your own use. A
metric conversion guide is Appendix B.
did not initially intend to publish this information. But accurate, current information in English about more than
a handful of hotels in the central neighborhoods is scarce; having spent
so much time doing the research in the first place, we decided to
publish the results. We
hope the reader will use them as a starting point.
It is clear that there are serious, widespread access barriers in
Paris hotels, and we hope this article will be a spur to action to
improve access. In order to
give a more complete picture of the poor state of access, we included
hotels that are completely inaccessible and those that didn’t even
respond to our inquiries.
France “accessible” in describing a hotel room means merely that
there are no barriers such as stairs and there is sufficient doorway
width and other space for a wheelchair to travel to, enter and move
around the room - that there is, in effect, what Americans would call an
“accessible path of travel” to and within the hotel room.
Hence, an “accessible” room may have a completely unusable
bathroom. Moreover, there
doesn’t seem to be a uniform, generally accepted standard for
“accessible” - it appears that many hotels consider a room
accessible if it is literally, but just barely, physically accessible. “Adapted” means that the room has been modified to allow
a wheelchair user to use the bathroom, although, unfortunately, almost
all adapted rooms reported lack roll-in showers.
“Adapted” and “accessible” are terms used in guides such
as Paris-Ile de France for Everyone (in English; published by CNFLRH)
and a list of accessible hotels in French we obtained from the French
disability organization APF Paris (22, rue du Père Guerrin, 75013
In many websites, the presence of the wheelchair symbol means
only that the hotel is “accessible,” not necessarily that there are
any “adapted” rooms.
organizing and reporting the results, we included rooms that are merely
“accessible” although not “adapted.”
We indicate whether the room is “adapted” or merely
“accessible” when this information was provided, but in many cases
it wasn’t. So, be aware
that many hotels listed in the Accessible and/or Adapted category below
are not truly accessible by American standards.
We believe that widespread use of the French “accessible”
concept promotes too low a standard of accessibility, but we decided to
conform to the French terminology in reporting the specific results.
(In the general discussion, “accessible” has the stricter,
but more generic, American meaning.) In
many cases the response was unclear whether the room was adapted or
merely accessible and follow-up inquiries didn’t elicit clarification;
hopefully, for a reader to know that a hotel she is interested in may at
least be “accessible” would be a helpful starting point for her
research. Some readers may
be able to use a room that is “accessible” although not
because so few hotels have adapted rooms, if hotels that are accessible
but not adapted were excluded, the results would include far fewer
hotels. As our purpose is also to provide a general picture of the
state of access and to indicate which hotels have the potential for
greatly improved access, we included hotels that are only
the questionnaire we mentioned the width of Howard’s wheelchair and
asked whether all the doorways were at least 75 centimeters (29 ½
inches) wide, because it would be exceedingly difficult to maneuver in
any hotel room with narrower doorways. It is possible that some of the hotels reported as
inaccessible may have doorways narrower than 75 centimeters but may be
“accessible” to people who use very narrow wheelchairs.
Almost needless to say, it’s
imperative to contact the hotel directly to verify access, as one would
in the United States. Don’t
rely on the central reservation systems of hotel chains or, even worse,
third party reservation websites. The
information provided by the hotel sometimes contradicted those websites,
some of which display the wheelchair symbol irresponsibly and
It appears from the published
guides mentioned above that there are a larger number of accessible
hotels in the outer arrondissements than in the central neighborhoods
where the hotels we surveyed are located, but the guide entries for many
hotels lack meaningful detail and for others indicate only a minimal
level of access. It’s
clear that hotel access must be improved everywhere.
There are virtually no roll-in showers.
Many bathrooms lack grab bars.
Many hotels that were renovated in the past few years still have
these barriers. Although we
didn’t specifically ask how many rooms are adapted, it’s clear from
some of the responses and hotel websites that those hotels that have
adapted rooms typically have only a few, certainly fewer than the
Americans with Disabilities Act would require in the United States for
comparably sized hotels.
realize that many hotels in central Paris, especially in the 5th
and 6th Arrondissements, are ancient, small and narrow, with
few guest rooms and significant architectural barriers.
But we’ve been to hotels or apartments in ancient buildings in
Rome, Florence and Toulouse that have excellent access, including
roll-in showers, without sacrificing architectural integrity or
historical character. Barriers
can often be overcome if the owners are sincerely committed to good
access. Unfortunately, the
fact that several recently renovated hotels lack truly accessible rooms
indicates that many owners are not.
The survey results indicate either that there are no uniform,
generally accepted standards, French disability rights law is weak as
applied to hotels, enforcement is spotty, awareness of disability rights
is poor, technical expertise is scarce, design is unimaginative, or a
combination of these factors.
Parisian public bathrooms,
whether accessible or not, generally are small and poorly designed and
have lower standards of cleanliness than those in California, many other
American cities, Rome and Florence.
(For a description of the excellent public bathrooms in Rome, see
our article “Rolling in Rome: Wheelchair
Accessible Travel in Rome – 2003.”)
Only a few that we saw are staffed by attendants.
We found almost no progress in bathroom access since 2000, both
in terms of the availability of accessible bathrooms and the design
elements in those that are accessible.
accessible public bathrooms are extremely difficult to find in Paris
except at the major museums. All
museums we visited that are accessible have accessible bathrooms.
The best one is at the Rodin Museum; not only is the
configuration excellent, but there is an attendant and the bathroom is
spotless. (It’s in the
garden, not the mansion. The
side of the garden nearest the bathroom has a moderately steep dirt path
to reach the bathroom; the side of the garden further from the bathroom
is level and the bathroom can be reached from there by cutting across
the middle of the garden.) We
didn’t find any accessible bathrooms at restaurants or cafes.
Samaritaine department store, just across the Pont Neuf on the
Right Bank, has accessible bathrooms.
The public assistance hospital, located in the Hotel Dieu (a
large building facing the north side of Place Notre Dame (to the left as
one faces Notre Dame)), has an accessible bathroom near the main
entrance. It’s only open
until 6:00. Turn left after
entering and be persistent with the desk clerk.
There is an accessible bathroom in the main courtyard of the
Palais de Justice (immediately north of Sainte-Chapelle), but it’s
only open during business hours and one must pass through the security
checkpoint for the Palais de Justice/Sainte-Chapelle complex.
of the bathrooms that are accessible are poorly designed and have
problems including insufficient turning space, small toilets,
inaccessible sinks, inaccessible toilet flush buttons or buttons that
require too much pressure, toilet paper dispensers that are too high and
poorly designed so the paper is difficult to reach or gets stuck inside
the dispenser, a lack of paper towels, inaccessible door locks,
inaccessible hand dryers and poorly positioned mirrors.
Don’t be too discouraged, though.
No accessible bathroom has all these barriers, and it’s
possible to work around most of these barriers.
museum bathrooms are accessible and museum entrance is free for disabled
people at many museums, it’s a good idea to use the bathroom at
museums when you are nearby even if you don’t want to view the
at most major museums is quite good.
Disabled people and one
companion are entitled to free admission at all government-operated
museums. We encourage you
to try to tour all major museums that interest you - they are likely to
be at least partially accessible.
Tower. The first two levels are accessible. The second has an even better view than the first – it’s
high enough for a broad sweeping view but still low enough that people
and things on the ground can be identified.
Access to this fascinating re-creation of Brancusi’s studios,
located near the Pompidou Center, is via a large platform lift.
During our trip in 2000, this
fascinating museum of the history of Paris, located in an ancient hotel
particular, was accessible via an old lift down a steep flight of
stairs. Most but not all
the galleries were accessible. Among
the highlights for us was an 18th century wheelchair, which
is essentially a large plushly upholstered wooden armchair on a wooden
platform with large, geared metal wheels.
The person sitting in the chair could propel it by turning a
crank mounted on each arm. We
didn’t visit this museum in 2003.
Understandably, this medieval castle is inaccessible.
I. M. Pei is a genius. Access
is A or A+. Pei has connected three ancient palaces in as seamless,
understandable, efficient, user-friendly and elegant a manner as is
humanly possible. Wheelchair
access to the pyramid is via an
open, round, space-age lift that retracts into the floor when at the
lower level and is surrounded by a spiral staircase.
It’s delightful just to ride up and down it. The Louvre’s superb access proves either that “where
there's a will, there's a way” when it comes to retrofitting ancient
buildings for access, or that if a world-class architect is hired to
renovate a national treasure and allocated an almost unlimited
budget, great access can be achieved.
of Jewish Art and History. Access
to this relatively new museum in a beautifully restored hotel particular
is excellent. The front entrance
is accessible via a long portable ramp and a large, modern elevator
serves all gallery floors. The
superb collection of ritual objects, paintings and historical artifacts
is broad, deep and well displayed, with informative, detailed
explanations in French and English; it’s of interest to Jews and
Gae Aulenti is no I. M. Pei.
Wheelchair access is confusing, as are the museum’s gallery
plan and traffic pattern in general.
Be careful - the numerous elevators are in small vestibules with
dangerous automatic doors that can trap you if you don’t react quickly
and position yourself in exactly the right spot.
But all, or almost all, the galleries are accessible.
Access is good, though the building in general is a bit difficult
to figure out. Don’t miss the panoramic view of the rooftops of Paris from
the café and restaurant on the upper floor.
There is excellent access to the garden and the ground floor of
the mansion (the latter via a wooden ramp).
The upper floor isn’t accessible, but most of the masterpieces
are in the garden and on the ground floor.
The garden, a lush, serene oasis from the urban intensity of the
surrounding area, is especially delightful on a sunny day.
There is a level entrance in front.
The nave is accessible but beyond the crossing there are two or
three stairs up to the apse.
There are many stairs at the front, no lift or ramp, and no
accessible side entrance. However,
it is currently undergoing a major renovation that may include
There is access to the magnificent upper chapel of Louis IX via
the first floor of the adjacent Palais de Justice during business hours,
when the latter is open. The
doorway was actually the king's private entrance from the palace to the
chapel. Ask the employees
at the main church entrance at the ground floor to accompany you and
unlock the door, then take the tiny elevator in the Palais de Justice
one flight up to the first floor. Howard’s
wheelchair just barely fit in the elevator.
It’s well worth the trouble to reach the light-filled upper
chapel, with its exquisite rose window and side walls comprised almost
entirely of stained-glass windows.
There are many stairs at the front, no lift or ramp, and no accessible
An excellent, moderately sloped ramp with a good railing has been
installed on the south side since 2000.
and Charging Your Wheelchair
uses 220-volt AC power. The
standard plug has two prongs and a hole for the ground pin (the ground
pin protrudes from the wall outlet). Plug
adapters are available at any travel store.
If you use an electric wheelchair, we recommend obtaining a wheelchair battery charger with settings for 110 and 220 volts. It eliminates the need for a separate converter. A surprisingly small, lightweight and inexpensive charger with dual settings is available from MK Battery. www.mkbattery.com.
highly recommend gel cell batteries, which are non-spillable, safer and
more acceptable to airlines than wet batteries.
experienced no problems charging Howard’s wheelchair in our hotel
Medical – France. Phone
2-47-88-58-10 or 2-47-88-58-36 or
ZI route de Meslay 37210 Parcay-Meslay
Chanceaux sur Choisille 37390
Phone 2-47-55-44-00; Fax 2-47-88-58-03
the website www.ican.com the section
“Travel/Destinations/Paris Resources” has good information about
repair and rental of wheelchairs and other medical equipment.
we didn’t need wheelchair repair, so we have no experience with these
Charles de Gaulle Airport on our flight home, the head of airport
security was unwilling to permit Howard to remain in his wheelchair
until the boarding gate, insisting that he transfer to an (extremely
uncomfortable, unpadded, narrow) airport wheelchair at the check-in area
in the front of the airport, pass through the security checkpoint in it
and remain in it at the boarding gate.
Although the batteries are gel cells, the head of security
didn’t want to allow an electric wheelchair to pass through the
security checkpoint, even with the batteries disconnected.
After extensive negotiations, he agreed that Howard could remain
in his wheelchair if the batteries were removed and checked as baggage.
This required getting someone to push Howard through the airport.
This problem didn’t arise in 2000, in the pre-9-11 world.
in 2000, we saw very few blind or visually impaired people and almost no
Braille signs or textured markings.
Travel Source, www.access-able.com
has useful general information about traveling in a wheelchair, and
articles and links about travel to a variety of destinations.
Paris (Association des Paralyses de France – Paris) www.apf.asso.fr
website contains useful information in French about access and
disability rights. They
will answer specific questions by email. email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org
European Union has produced country-specific disability travel guides in
English, including one about France.
Finding it may require some searching.
The English language website www.franceway.com
contains a list of French disability organizations under
“Travel/Practical Information/Welcoming Disabled Persons.”
website www.ican.com has a useful
section entitled “Travel/Destinations/Paris Resources.”
Paris Tourism Office website www.paris-touristoffice.com
has a superb, comprehensive section in the English language version
entitled “Practical Information/Disabled.”
The website of the Society for
Accessible Travel & Hospitality (SATH) contains articles, links and
resources about accessible travel in general and traveling with a
to the Moon. By Adam Gopnik.
An insightful, witty account of the New Yorker writer’s life in
Paris with his family for five years in the 1990's.
Paris in Mind.
Edited by Jennifer Lee. An
excellent new anthology of American writing about Paris, it includes
short excerpts from James Baldwin, Saul Bellow, Benjamin Franklin,
Ernest Hemingway, Thomas Jefferson, Gertrude Stein, Mark Twain and
An Architectural History.
By Anthony Sutcliffe. It
isn't a guide to particular buildings, but a chronological discussion of
the development of Paris architecture, including factors such as
rational, well-designed building codes that remained remarkably uniform
over time and the influence of the Beaux-Arts school on Paris
architects. This large
paperback is serious but not too technical and has good pictures.
The Food Lover’s Guide to Paris.
By Patricia Wells. This well-written guide by the American maven of French
cuisine includes restaurants, bakeries, food stores, wine bars, tea
salons, cooking stores and even recipes.
We followed many of her restaurant recommendations and were
almost always delighted, and never disappointed.
Her website, www.patriciawells.com
is more current than the book, although less comprehensive.
The Guide to the Architecture of Paris. By Norval White. This comprehensive, meticulously researched, opinionated and dry guide describes hundreds of buildings, block by block.
Paris Appendices: Hotel Wheelchair Access Questionnaire, Metric Conversion & Hotel Wheelchair Access Survey Results)
Editor's note: Don't miss the following access reports by Howard & Michele Chabner. Just click on the title.
Paris 2003-2007 and Burgundy, Perigord
Paris Appendices: Hotel Wheelchair Access Questionnaire, Metric Conversion & Hotel Wheelchair Access Survey Results)
Paris Passerelles Supplement 2005
Burgundy, Perigord (Dordogne) and Paris 2007
Rome, Florence, Vicenza & Naples, Italy 2003-2006
Rolling in Rome 2003
Vicenza, Florence & Rome 2005
2006 Navigating Naples 2006
Cordoba & Seville
Toledo, Madrid, Segovia
Additional Information & Appendices A, B & C
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1995-2011 "All Rights Reserved"
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