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nomadicdrifter Oct 28th, 2007 01:49 AM

France Itinerary--Multiple Questions
Hi! I am debating on whether or not to go on vacation to Paris/France for three weeks in December. I would probably stay in Paris for 8-10 days and travel throughout France for the next ten days.

Anyway, I must mention that I am disabled--although I don't require the use of a wheelchair--and this is making the search for "budget" accomodations difficult. By budget I mean in the 50-70 euro range. The areas I am considering are the 1st arrondisment, Marais, Latin Quarter, Montparnasse, and Bastille(maybe). The hotels I am considering are:
Hotel Americain--3rd

Hotel Moulin Vert--14th


Le Sevigne--Marais

Anyone have any opinons on these hotels(other than Le Sevigne since I have read positive recommendations in this forum)?
Are there any arrondisments I should avoid because they might prove troublesome to navigate? For example, I will not be staying in the Montmarte(18th) area because of the steep and hilly streets. I have read the Latin Quarter as having "maze-like" streets although I have no idea what that actually means. I will continue my questions on another post since I have rambled a bit too much.

Viajero2 Oct 28th, 2007 03:14 AM

I was wondering if you would not mind sharing what your disability is. My husband uses a wheelchair and Paris was (surprisingly) easier to handle that we had expected, including the amount of kindness and assistance we were offered many times.

My advice to you is that you find 2-3 rental properties in 2-3 home bases from where to day trip. Many rental properties offer tremendous savings, including much easier logistics as in your case. December vacationing comes with limited daylight hours so you may want to stay as central as you can. Again, I strongly advice an apartment/studio/home rental. I would narrow it down to a week in Paris, train/fly to Nice and explore that amazing region. Whatever you do, make a desicion pronto. Paris is extremely popular December destination and rentals availability may be already an issue. Have a fun time~!

PatrickLondon Oct 28th, 2007 03:58 AM

I stayed at the Hotel Americain in September. It is pleasant enough, and has a lift to all floors, including the basement breakfast room (though as I recall there may still have been a couple of steps down from the basement lobby to the breakfast room itself. At €62 a night for a single room, I thought it very good value.

The area around it is reasonably level, though wherever you go away from the main boulevards you will find the pavements (sidewalks) narrow and occasionally uneven and/or obstructed by repair work or people parking carelessly.

Getting around the metro could be difficult, since access to stations involves quite steep staircases into the stations, and a lot of up and down stairs and along corridors to make connections. You might want to check out availability of buses: The 75 runs near the Americain and would take you all the way to the centre.

j_999_9 Oct 28th, 2007 04:00 AM

I have no experience dealing with a disability, but my opinion is that the streets in the Latin Quarter wouldn't be a problem.

The crowds can get a little thick in the areas of outdoor restaurants and shops, depending on what night you're there, and that my be a little bit of an obstacle if you're concerned about getting bumped. (Although maybe in Dec., it wouldn't be bad -- can't say). Other than that, I'd say it's OK.

ira Oct 28th, 2007 05:05 AM

Hi N,

You might want to consider

The Picpus is in the 12th, about 150 m from the Nation metro stop and near buses.

You can navigate around Paris by metro or bus using


Christina Oct 28th, 2007 08:59 AM

Those maze-like streets quotes are just trying to be poetic about some narrow streets they are left over from urban development from Medieval and Renaissance times. So they may not have the perpendicular planning grids of many cities today. Lots of older parts of many cities have those, but the Latin Qtr isn't unique in that regard, it's the same way in other parts of central Paris (Marais, St Germain, Bastille area, etc.). It's not really as bad as some cities I've been in where I did really get lost repeatedly in the old quarters(like in Seville).

You will have to go in early December for that budget, as hotel rates are at their peak during the holidays.

Montparnasse is a good idea, as it's fairly flat, a "newer" area of Paris (relatively), and has good transportation options and hotels can be cheaper there than in the more expensive tourist areas.

I don't know the hotels you name, but the Carofftel Gobelins is probably near the Gobelins metro stop, and that's a pretty good location. It might be a little more interesting than the location of the Moulin Vert -- which is okay, also, though.

I thought there had been posts on here about that hotel near Gobelins.

There are areas you should avoid if you mean you don't want to walk up/down hills a lot, but you'd probably want to avoid being far out , anyway, just for convenience. The Latin Qtr is actually one of the hillier areas of central Paris, I'd say. That hotel you name isn't in that part of it, though.

nukesafe Oct 28th, 2007 10:17 AM


I, also, am a bit limited in my ability to do a lot of stairs/hills. We did splendidly in Paris a few weeks ago by using the Metro only rarely, and getting about almost exclusively by bus. The Metro has a multitude of stairs, few elevators, and it seems that half of the escalators are not working.

Most of the buses have only one or two stair, and if you use those that you can enter by the rear entrance, there will be none. Some even have a ramp that extends to the curb to accommodate wheelchairs and strollers. This is indicated by a wheelchair symbol next to the bus number at each bus stop. We even managed the hills of Montmartre quite well by using the Montmartre bus #12. Get yourselves the Navigo Decouverte pass, a copy of the bus routes, and enjoy Paris!


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