Accessible Paris tourist attractions include the Louvre, the Eiffel Tower, the Musee dOrsay, 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.
Top Monuments in Paris
1) Eiffel Tower: 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!
2) Arc de Triomphe: 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. 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.
3) Pantheon: 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 entry is free for disabled visitors.
Museums in Paris
1) Louvre Museum: The Musee 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.
2) Musee dOrsay: The Musee dOrsay 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. Its located on the other side of the river from the Louvre in what used to be a train station.
3) Musee Rodin: Rodin was the greatest sculptor since the Renaissance. The museum and gardens house many excellent Rodin sculptures. It is located next to the Htel National des Invalides (containing Napoleons tomb) and is less than 1 km from the Muse dOrsay.
4) Pompidou Centre: 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.
5) Marmottan Monet Museum: 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.
6) Carnavalet Museum: 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.
7) Hotel National des Invalides: The Hotel Les Invalides building contains a couple of army museums as well as Napoleons tomb. There is a handicapped entrance on the east side of the building near Musee Rodin. The area of the building containing Napoleons Tomb is accessed via 14 steps.
8) Orangerie Museum: The Orangerie Museum is an impressionist museum located in the Garden des Tuileries near the Louvre and across the river from the Musee dOrsay. A staff member can open a side door to provide step-free access, and there are elevators between floors.
Churches to visit in Paris
1) Notre-Dame: 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.
2) Sainte-Chapelle: 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.
3) Sacre-Coeur: 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.