Recently, Iva at the lovely Victorian Paris blog contacted me after I published my post on the Paris sewers. She asked me a question I was sadly unable to answer: was the museum accessible to those in wheelchairs? And if not, which Paris museums were?
Her email got me thinking about how Paris, in many ways, is not a particularly accessible city to those with physical disabilities. For the most part, underground museums, including the sewers and the Catacombes, are stairs-access only (and the latter has hundreds of them). I suppose this is to be expected when museums such as these are housed in precarious, centuries-old spaces. Some attractions, such as the Tours de Notre Dame, are popular exactly because they are so pokey and laborious to conquer (the towers include a total of 387 narrow, spiralling steps up to the bell chambers and lookout points). Still others are in preserved, heritage-listed apartments which may not necessarily be equipped with lifts.
But I was still frustrated. I am always saying that Paris is a place for everybody, and its museums are a charming reflection of the city’s eclecticism and cultural diversity. So, with that hopeful thought in mind, I set out to discover the most mobility-friendly musées de Paris. Here’s the list of museums I confirmed as accessible to the differently-abled:
- Centre Pompidou
- Le Louvre
- Maison de Victor Hugo
- Musée d’Art et d’Histoire du Judaïsme
- Musée des Arts et Métiers
- Musée Carnavalet
- Musée Jacquemart André
- Musée Marmottan
- Musée de l’Orangerie
- Musée d’Orsay
- Musée Picasso
- Musée du Quai Branly
- Musée Rodin
The museums’ websites often specify whether they provide mobility-impaired, vision-impaired and/or hearing-impaired facilities. Many of the museums offer free access to disabled visitors. Other dedicated sites are en.parisinfo.com and sagetraveling.com.
The list may not cover everything Paris has to offer, but there’s still a treasure trove of sights to explore here.
Do you have any other suggestions for other disability-friendly Paris museums?
Xx La muséophile