If you are looking to head to Paris as someone who is dependent on a wheelchair then it is important that you know where you should be heading to and what you should be looking out for in terms of your hotel requirements. I have been traveling throughout Europe in my chair for around 3 years now on and off, and I can honestly say that Paris is probably one of the best choices in terms of European cities to visit, if you are confined to a wheelchair. In Paris wheelchair accessible hotels are available throughout the city and here is what you should be looking for in terms of finding the best ones, in the best locations.
Finding and Booking
The recommendation that I would give you in terms of how to find the best hotels for you, is to begin with the large chain hotels like Ibis and Hilton. Not only are there many of these hotels spread throughout Paris, they usually offer great options for people who need to use wheelchairs. Paris has some stunning boutique and individually ran hotels and guesthouses but treat these with caution as many of them do not fit the bill in terms of guests with mobility issues.
Be very careful with hotels that say ‘wheelchair friendly’ as my experience at times has been that hotel put this on their site to bring in more guests, when actually their hotel is difficult to get around if you are in a wheelchair. To avoid making any mistakes, once you have found the hotel that you like, call them directly and have a chat about what kind of mobility options they have for you and your requirements.
If you are going to Paris to see the main attraction then you should look to find hotels which are in the centre of the city. Thankfully for wheelchair users, the Eiffel Tower, Louvre, Notre-Dame Cathedral and iconic landmarks like the Arc de Triomphe and the Champs Elysees, are all within close proximity of each other. You may pay a little more for a hotel in the centre of the city but you will save both time, money and potential mobility issues compared with staying further out and having to get around on transport.
In terms of getting around the city, both the busses and the metro system are geared up for wheelchair users but you must be careful of the times that you travel. If you are traveling anywhere near rush hour then avoid public transport as the number of people can really cause problems. The taxis throughout the city have many which have the space for a wheelchair and they are surprisingly well priced compared to other capital cities which I have visited. The streets in the centre of Paris are very flat and smooth so if you do have the time to get around in your chair, that is the preferred option.