Accessible Paris Tourist Attractions
Accessible Paris tourist attractions include the Louvre, the Eiffel Tower, the Musée d’Orsay, and the Pompidou Centre. Although the majority of the tourist sights can be visited by people with disabilities, Paris has more museums housed in inaccessible 19th century mansions than any other city I have visited in Europe. The reviews of the accessible Paris tourist attractions below will help you to plan your trip to Paris.
Most of the sights are free for a handicapped person and a companion. If you are French, they might require identification that you are handicapped. When I have shown up in my wheelchair, I have never been asked for identification.
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Monument Accessibility in Paris
Eiffel Tower – 4 Star Sage Accessibility
The Eiffel Tower is one of the most famous landmarks in the world and has the best view in town! The 1st and 2nd landing can be reached by elevator, and the top (3rd) landing requires ascending 18 steps before taking another elevator. Even if you can only get to the 2nd landing, it is still definitely worth the trip!
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Arc de Triomphe – 2 Star Sage Accessibility
The Arc de Triomphe is located in the center of a super-busy roundabout that requires using a tunnel to get to it. Cars are allowed to quickly drop off disable visitors at the Arc but they ask for advance notice +33 (0)1 55 37 73 78. There are 2 steps then an elevator to get up to the museum level. There are 40 stairs to go to the top and the bathrooms are described as not accessible. The view from the top is not near as good as the view from the accessible Eiffel Tower.
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Panthéon – 1 Star Sage Accessibility
There is no ramp and no elevator. There are about 20 steps to enter followed by about 10 steps to get to upper level of the nave. The 1.5 hr guided tours in French, English, Russian, and Spanish can be reserved by calling +33 (0)1 44 54 19 30. The entry is free for disabled visitors.
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Louvre Museum – 4 Star Sage Accessibility
The Musée du Louvre is one of the top art museums in the world covering artwork from antiquity to the Renaissance. It is a maze to get around with 18 elevators and 20 wheelchair lifts to get between the various floors and landings. The main entrance is the Pyramid in the middle of the courtyard, and it has a lift. Accessible bathrooms are near the elevators near the main lobby. Wheelchair users are free and can bypass the ticket line. Be sure to pick up the brochure detailing wheelchair accessibility that is available at the information desk.
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Musée d’Orsay – 4 Star Sage Accessibility
The Musée d’Orsay is the best impressionist and post-impressionist museum in the world. It is not nearly as big as the Louvre and can be done in a couple of hours which I think is actually a good thing. It’s located on the other side of the river from the Louvre in what used to be a train station. Enter via Entrance C which is ín the SW corner of the building (on the right as you face the front of the museum). Wheelchairs are available for loan at the front desk. Wheelchair users and a companion get in free. There is also a museum map for people with “mobilité réduite” (reduced mobility).
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Musée Rodin – 3 Star Sage Accessibility
Rodin was the greatest sculptor since the Renaissance. The museum and gardens house many excellent Rodin sculptures. It is located next to the Hôtel National des Invalides (containing Napoleon’s tomb) and is less than 1 km from the Musée d’Orsay. The ground floor is accessible via a ramp, but there is no elevator to get upstairs. One of the most famous sculptures in the world, The Thinker, is located in the garden.
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Pompidou Centre – 5 Star Sage Accessibility
The Pompidou Centre is the top modern art museum in Paris and has a step-free entrance and elevators to get between floors. The level entrance and best drop-off location is on the south side of the building at the corner of Rue du Renard and Rue St. Merri. There is a good view from 6th floor. This building is perhaps the most accessible Paris tourist sights.
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Marmottan Monet Museum – 2.5 Star Sage Accessibility
This museum has an extensive collection of Monet paintings including Impression: Sunrise for which the movement is named. There is an elevator at the entrance to get up 12 steps. There is an elevator to get to the basement level and a tiny elevator to get upstairs that is too small for a wheelchair. I was able to use it by transferring into a portable chair and having my friend carry my wheelchair upstairs to me.
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Carnavalet Museum – 2.5 Star Sage Accessibility
The Carnavelet Museum has a ramp at the entrance but no elevator up to the first floor. You can visit part of the ground floor, but part of it has a few steps to go down.
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Hôtel National des Invalides (aka Les Invalides) – 4 Star Sage Accessibility
The Hôtel Les Invalides building contains a couple of army museums as well as Napoleon’s tomb. There is a handicapped entrance on the east side of the building near Musée Rodin. The area of the building containing Napoleon’s Tomb is accessed via 14 steps.
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Orangerie Museum – 3 Star Sage Accessibility
The Orangerie Museum is an impressionist museum located in the Garden des Tuileries near the Louvre and across the river from the Musée d’Orsay. A staff member can open a side door to provide step-free access, and there are elevators between floors.
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Jewish Art and History Museum – 3 Star Sage Accessibility
The Jewish Art and History Museum is located about 150 m from the Pompidou Centre. It has a ramp at the entrance and an elevator leading to different floors. The audioguide is available in French, English, German, Hebrew, and Spanish.
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Jacquemart-Andre Museum – 2 Star Sage Accessibility
A beautiful mansion full of art with an excellent audioguide. The museum has 7 steps to enter. They told me that a ramp will be installed during 2010.
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Picasso Museum – 3 Star Sage Accessibility
The museum is accessible. There is a ramp to avoid the 4 steps at the entrance. Contact a museum staff member to let you in the door to the ramp. The different levels of the museum can be accessed using a lift. The museum is closed for renovations until 2012.
Cluny Museum – 1 Star Sage Accessibility
The Cluny museum is a medieval museum located near the Latin Quarter. It has several flights of stairs to make your way through it making it one of the least accessible Paris tourist attractions.
Notre-Dame – 2.5 Star Sage Accessibility
Notre Dame is perhaps the most famous Gothic church in the world. It is located on the Ile de la Cite island in the middle of the Seine River. It has a single step at the entrance, and the inside is accessible except for 3 steps to get up to the ambulatory. The towers have 422 steps to climb. There are not accessible restrooms.
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Sainte-Chapelle – 3 Star Sage Accessibility
The Sainte-Chapelle is a gothic church with outstanding stained glass windows located near Notre Dame. The lower chapel is accessible by a 10% ramp. The main attraction is the upper chapel and is accessible by using an elevator in the adjacent building. You will have to be escorted to use it. If there is a long line on the sidewalk at the entrance, you may be able to go to the front to get escorted. You are supposed to make a reservation for assistance in advance, but I was able to get an escort to the elevator without it. According to one source, the elevator is not available on the weekends. The bathrooms are accessible.
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Sacre-Coeur – 3 Star Sage Accessibility
The Sacre-Coeur is a large, Romanesque-Byzantine style church on a hill on the north side of the Paris. The hill is very big so you will need a car or taxi to drive you up to the church. Have the taxi drop you off at the back of the basilica (the north end). Step-free access is via an elevator in the adjacent building and an elevated walkway into the church. To use it, have someone go inside the building, find a staff member, and tell them “shehz roo-law” (wheelchair).
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Versailles Palace – 3 Star Sage Accessibility
Wheelchair access at Versailles is good in the Palace, the Grand Trianon building, the Petit Trianon building, and the massive gardens. Disabled tourists can take the train to get from Paris to Versailles. A visit takes a full day and is one of the best attractions for disabled visitors to Paris.
Have questions about Paris accessibility?
Our Paris accessible travel consultants have all the answers.
Paris Accessible Travel – main page
Pros and Cons of Paris Disabled Access
13 Wheelchair Accessible Travel Tips for Paris France
11 Keys to Success for Paris Disabled Travel
Paris Accessible Travel Packages
Accessible Walking and Driving Tours in Paris
Accessible Paris Boat Tour on the Seine River
Highlights of Paris Accessible Driving Tour
Classic Paris Accessible Walking Tour
Wheelchair Accessible Tour of Paris Latin Quarter
Wheelchair Accessible Guided Tour of the Louvre Museum
Giverny & Versailles Wheelchair Accessible Tour
Accessible Hotels in Paris
Paris Accessibility Guide by John Sage
Paris Trip Planning by Sage Traveling – Travel with Ease!
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