Accessible Art Museums in Europe - June 2012 Newsletter
Accessible Art Museums in Europe – For both able-bodied and disabled travelers alike, art museums are some of the top attractions that Europe has to offer. Art from medieval times and the Renaissance were born here, and art movements like baroque, impressionism and post-impressionism all flourished in Europe. From Michelangelo, to Monet, to Van Gogh, many of the most famous works of art in the world can be found in European art museums.
For the most part, disabled travelers will find art museums to be some of the more accessible buildings that they will encounter while traveling in Europe. The accessible entrance may not always be easy to find (sometimes you will need to send someone up the stairs to bring you to the accessible freight entrance), but they generally do exist. After all, how are they getting 10 meter long paintings to the top floor of the Louvre, or ancient Roman statues upstairs in the Capitoline Museums in Rome? Prepare ahead of time, and wonderful art will await you in Europe.
Below you’ll find a few of my favorite accessible art museums in Europe. My favorites are not always the most famous, because an empty, architecturally beautiful art museum can make for a memorable experience.
Louvre in Paris, France – This is the most famous museum in the world, and it holds some of the most well-known works of art in the world. The Mona Lisa, Winged Victory, and Venus de Milo are a few of the works of art you’ll find in the 12 km(!) of Louvre hallways. Schedule plenty of time here (I generally spend 8+ hours…think of it as 4 times bigger than any art museum you’ve ever visited).
The easiest-to-find accessible entrance at the Louvre Museum is the Pyramid in the central courtyard. A wheelchair lift will bring you down to the ticket counter, and most of the works of art are in the floors above you. Be sure to pick up the Louvre Accessibility map at the information desk or download it from our website.
Wheelchair lift under the Louvre pyramid
Gemäldegalerie in Berlin, Germany – Sometimes lost among all the incredible historical sites in Berlin, the accessible Gemäldegalerie art museum contains some masterpieces. The building is found in between the attractions in East Berlin and West Berlin, and can be easily reached using the wheelchair accessible #200 bus route. The accessible entrance is located on the east side of the building; skip the long ramp and go into the flat entrance just to the left.
Marmottan Monet Museum in Paris, France – It’s not located within walking distance of other Paris attractions such as the Musée d’Orsay and Notre Dame, and most Paris tourists miss it completely. Take a bus or taxi to reach it, and you’ll be met with some of the greatest works of art in the world….and very few tourists. A wheelchair lift brings you up to the ticket office, and the basement floor (home of Monet’s uber-famous Impression, Sunrise) is reached by a full-size elevator. The upper floor is reached via a tiny elevator built into the wall that is too small for wheelchairs.
|Photo of me transferring out of my wheelchair into a folding chair in the tiny elevator at the Marmottan Monet Museum|
What’s New at Sage Traveling?
Accessible motor coach tours visiting several European cities are few and far between…and one is coming soon! The 12 day Best of Britain Accessible Tour starts September 26 of this year, and will visit Edinburgh, Glasgow, St. Andrew’s, York, Stonehenge, Windsor, Bath, Oxford, Canterbury, and London. What an itinerary! Your trip will be escorted by travel professionals making it a breeze. There are only 20 spots on this accessible tour. Contact us for more information.
We’ve spent thousands of hours researching accessibility across Europe. If you’d like us to help plan your trip, please contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
John Sage, Founder and President of Sage Traveling