Avada Car Dealer News

Embarking on a four-day, three-night trip to Paris with a good friend in April 2023 was an exciting journey filled with unforgettable moments. As someone who relies on an electric wheelchair for mobility, I discovered the city’s accessible side, experiencing the charm of its popular tourist attractions while overcoming a few challenges. From the convenient Thalys train ride from Amsterdam Central Station to Gare du Nord Paris to exploring the city’s renowned landmarks, here’s an account of my Parisian adventure.

My Journey Begins: Navigating Paris in an Electric Wheelchair

Living in the Netherlands, I opted for the Thalys train from Amsterdam Central Station to Gare du Nord Paris. The journey was incredibly well-organized, and although the wheelchair tickets were for first class, we paid second-class fares. As a pleasant surprise, we were treated to a delicious lunch on both the outbound and return trips. The travel time was approximately 3.5 hours one way, providing ample opportunity to relax and enjoy the scenic views.

Upon arriving in Paris, our hotel was located near the Sacré-Cœur Basilica, a bit far from the city center. To make the most of the beautiful weather, my friend rented a bike while I explored the city center with my electric wheelchair.

Where I Stayed: A Closer Look at Accessible Accommodation in Paris

I chose to stay at Hotel The Playce by Happyculture, situated in the 18th arrondissement near Sacré-Cœur. I booked the room through booking.com, which claimed to have disabled-friendly facilities, including a spacious room and a toilet with support bars. However, upon arrival, I discovered that the room was only slightly larger than others and lacked the necessary accessibility features. Although this didn’t pose a major issue for me personally, I recognized the importance of accurate and comprehensive information regarding accessible accommodations, which inspired us to start Accessible Visit—an initiative aimed at improving accessibility information for travelers.

Unforgettable Experiences: Exploring Parisian Landmarks and Attractions

Paris is known for its picturesque hills, which can present challenges for individuals using manual wheelchairs. However, with my electric wheelchair, navigating the city was relatively smooth. The tourist center offers excellent accessibility, while some of the outskirts, including our hotel area, may be less accessible. Many cafes and restaurants in these areas have high thresholds at their entrances, making it advisable to spend more time in the popular and tourist-friendly parts of the city if you are a wheelchair user.

To explore the iconic sights, we opted for the Big Bus Tour. Although I usually shy away from such touristy experiences, I found it to be an effortless way to discover the city’s layout, especially for someone unfamiliar with the area. It’s worth noting that only about half of the buses in the tour fleet are wheelchair accessible, which might occasionally require some waiting during frequent stops.

During the tour, we visited renowned landmarks, including the Eiffel Tower, Arc de Triomphe, and Champs-Élysées. While most of our sightseeing was from the bus, offering excellent visibility for wheelchair users, we also made sure to disembark at some locations. The Eiffel Tower, for instance, is accessible via a lift that allows wheelchair users to reach impressive heights, albeit not to the very top. The breathtaking view made the visit truly memorable.

To savor the ambiance of Paris, we indulged in a delightful lunch along the Seine River. I highly recommend this experience as it provides a serene setting to enjoy the city’s beauty. Additionally, we spent time on the wheelchair-accessible terrace of a café on the famous Champs-Élysées, where we relaxed and indulged in some shopping.

Unforgettable Paris: Exploring the City in an Electric Wheelchair

Paris, with its mix of accessible and challenging areas, offered a remarkable travel experience for me as a wheelchair user. From the well-organized Thalys train ride to the convenience of the Big Bus Tour and the breathtaking sights like the Eiffel Tower, the city proved to be an exciting destination to explore. Despite the challenges encountered with hotel accessibility, this journey inspired us to improve the information available to travelers in similar situations. With a bit of planning and an open mind, Paris can undoubtedly be enjoyed by individuals using electric wheelchairs, offering a captivating blend of history, culture, and picturesque views.

Have a story to tell?

Do you want to inspire others with your story? Become a blogger too!