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Questions re Paris in April with Disabled Friend

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Mar 23rd, 2009, 06:31 AM
  #1
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Questions re Paris in April with Disabled Friend

Looking for advice on the best way to navigate Paris for 6 days with a girl friend with walking issues (we are both women in our 50s). It's been almost 10 years since I've been, although I have been to Paris twice. We are planning to stay in the 6th or 7th arr. and would like to see the classic sights (Louvre, Eiffel Tower, etc.), plus various museums and musical events around town . Is it practical to consider the Metro for a situation like this or should I plan for the expense of cabs? I am fit and love to walk but need to think like someone who can't do much walking.

Also, looking for small left bank hotels (ground floor rooms or elevators) that are reasonably priced and yet nice - I'm too old to stay in the threadbare places of my youth.

Many thanks for any advice.
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Mar 23rd, 2009, 06:49 AM
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You should definitely avoid the metro with all the stairs. Either take taxis or the bus which uses a metro ticket and is inexpensive. Your hotel will be able to advise on bus routes if you are unsure of which one to take.

There's a thread posted here with left bank hotels and has many recommendations. Here's the link.

http://www.fodors.com/community/euro...-thread.cfm?64

Here's a link to a site for disabled travelers in Paris.

http://www.colleensparis.com/Colleen...s_Handicap.htm
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Mar 23rd, 2009, 06:57 AM
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You mentioned going to the Louvre. The museum is huge and requires lots of walking. This is definitely a place where I would recommend a wheelchair. They are available at the information desk. I would also suggest going to a busy museum like this one at off peak hours such as after 4:00 on their late nights. The price is also reduced during this time. You can get all this info in English on the Louvre site.

http://www.louvre.fr/llv/commun/home.jsp
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Mar 23rd, 2009, 07:10 AM
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If obviously handicapped, you and one helper get in free at the Louvre. You will bypass all lines. They have an elevator to get you to the below ground entrance. I was in Paris for two weeks last year and I am handicapped. I went anywhere I wanted by bus. Get a good map, study it and use the bus. A carnet of 10 tickets is about 13E. Paris is also fairly wheelchair friendly. Some curbs are bad, but overall, ok. Small stores are less friendly. Steps into the stores are hard to navigate if you cannot walk. If you can walk some, it will be a lot easier to shop, eat, etc. The major dept. stores are better, they have handicapped entrances and they have elevators. Some are hidden a bit so ask where they are. We really loved riding the bus. We considered it a cheap tour of Paris. If we saw something interesting, we stopped, got off, visited, went back to the stop and continued.
It was kinda weird a bit. It seemed like no one paid anyone any attention, but when we rang the handicapped bell to get off, (it lets the driver know that someone wants the ramp in the back exit put out)and he did not stop at the next stop, more than half of the bus riders jumped the drivers case for not stopping! The driver apologized to the crowd and to us. Actually, it was kinda nice that they noticed and cared but also kinda embarrassing too.
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Mar 23rd, 2009, 07:45 AM
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You can check bus routes on the interactive map at:
http://www.ratp.info/touristes/index...=guide&cat=bus
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Mar 23rd, 2009, 08:00 AM
  #6
ira
 
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Hey Des,

In Paris, we always stay at the Hotel Bonaparte, 61 Rue Bonaparte in the 6th. From 134E twin w/bkfst. It is just around the corner from Place St. Sulpice, near 3 metro stops and 4 bus routes. Has AC and an elevator.

The staff speaks English well, and is very helpful.

They can arrange a shuttle pickup to/from CDG for you.

Tel 33 1 43 26 97 37
FAX 33 1 46 33 57 67
[email protected]
www.hotelbonaparte.fr

For more info, enter "Hotel Bonaparte" in the "search the forum" box.

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Mar 23rd, 2009, 11:35 AM
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At the Louvre, be sure to pick up one of the museum plans; it shows where all the elevators are located. Museum personnel will assist where necessary; som elevators are restricted.
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Mar 23rd, 2009, 04:12 PM
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Thanks for all the responses. I think we can do this. I'll just have to slow down and smell the roses, probably not a bad idea!
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Mar 23rd, 2009, 04:32 PM
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Greetings,

Although I've not been active on the boards for a few years, I do feel the need to inject here. Our experience with the Hotel Bonaparte was awful. Filty room, no vacuuming of cleaning of sheets, toilet, etc. After voicing a complaint, I was given the "deer in the headlights look" with a "really"? response. I suppose it could be chaulked up to bad luck, but I would never stay here again.

Relative to the taxi question, spend the money, you'll be glad you did. This comes from a pretty frugal traveler.
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Mar 23rd, 2009, 04:43 PM
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There is a useful list of the RER and metro stations with elevators on the RATP site: www.ratp.fr

Unfortunately, I only see the list of the French site but it is pretty straightforward to access it. Click on the little wheelchair sybol marked "Facilités d'accès" on the home page. After that, click on the link in the middle marked: "Aménagements et plans pour personnes à mobilité réduite" and finally on the next page:

"Aménagements dans les stations du réseau ferré"

Everything marked "libre service" means it has an elevator you can take it without any assistance. I had a friend with me in a wheelchair on one trip and sometimes the elevators were under repair-but mostly they were working. And it helps when using the metro a lot. Otherwise like many of the others here, I love the bus and they are easy to use when you get the hang of them. If you are staying 6 days it is probably worth getting one of the different kind of passes since the buses sometimes require more tickets than the metro depending on distance.
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Mar 24th, 2009, 02:52 PM
  #11
ira
 
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Hey Del,

I read your trip report from Oct 2006, when you say that you stayed at the Bonaparte.

Why didn't you say anything then?

I have been staying at the Bonaparte for umpteen years.

"Filty room, no vacuuming of cleaning of sheets, toilet, etc." is so far from my experience, and that of others who have posted here, that I am very surprised that you didn't mention it two years ago.

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