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Travelling to Paris with 80 year old grandmother

Melbourne, Australia
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Travelling to Paris with 80 year old grandmother

Hi all

Would love some input on this query. My 80 year old grandmother and I are looking to travelling to Europe (from Australia) as what will be probably her final big overseas holiday. We are looking to travel to Munich, Vienna, Budapest, Prague and Paris.

My question is how easy is it to access sites in Paris by taxi and on foot?

We are happy to take taxis if need be. Though she walks with a cane, my grandmother is able to walk for 30-35 minutes at a time non-stop at a moderate pace. She can walk up about 10 stairs at a time, but isn't 100% confident with stairs. Walking up ramps and walking uphill (though not drastically steep) aren't a problem.

I will aim to book a hotel with a lift, but my main concern is her being able to go through museums and galleries where there may be a lot of stairs to climb. Do any museums have lifts or will stairs be the only option?

Any input on whether Paris is a good or bad idea given the circumstances would be great.

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Chicago, Illinois
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21. Re: Travelling to Paris with 80 year old grandmother

re the restrooms. yes there are in fact occasionally rest rooms on the level -- but the norm is up steep steps and down steep steps -- even public restrooms -- the ones I am familiar with in the Luxembourg Gardens -- down steep steps, the main public restroom at Notre Dame, down steep steps (there is a small level one in the back of the church) the restrooms in the Tuilleries, down steps --

the normal place for a restaurant to place restrooms is up or down in Paris -- in museums they are more accessible but even some of those involve steps down

the Sanisettes when they are available and working may actually prove helpful as they are pretty good for people with mobility issues.

people without mobility issues just don't notice these things -- try traveling with an 80 year old with mobility issues as I have and the number of places that are not very accessible becomes apparent

Le Bugue, France
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22. Re: Travelling to Paris with 80 year old grandmother

As someone whose last trip to France involved crutches, I can vouch for the fact that restrooms are the biggest obstacle. So many of them in cafés and bistros and brasseries involve going down narrow, steep, spiral staircases! I actually had to butt-bump my way down and up a couple, despite being mortified. Yes, we could have done better advance work, but sometimes you're just in the moment and don't think of that.

I seem to recall that one can use MacDonald's restrooms for free in France, but as I've never done that, perhaps it's not true. If it is, I would expect that they'd be on the same floor as the food. Might be something to keep in mind, as they are all over Paris. At worst, you could buy a cup of coffee.

Having traveled with elderly parents in France, I know what a special experience this will be and applaud you for doing it.

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23. Re: Travelling to Paris with 80 year old grandmother

A note re the restrooms at MacDonald's: The code to the keypad to get into the restroom is on the receipt. Perhaps they will open the door for you if you explain the situation. Paris also has Starbucks, but I don't know about their accommodations.

Which museums are you considering visiting? I found the following website on "Accessible Paris Tourist Attractions":



24. Re: Travelling to Paris with 80 year old grandmother

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New Hampshire
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25. Re: Travelling to Paris with 80 year old grandmother

I would definitely agree that, specifically, in Paris restaurants and cafes the rest rooms are almost always up or down a flight of stairs. Every once in a while, they're on the ground level, but not often. And, there are many more steps per flight in those buildings.

I still think that an 80 year old woman who walks with a cane can probably not do anything close to "walk for 30-35 minutes at a time non-stop at a moderate pace".

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26. Re: Travelling to Paris with 80 year old grandmother

Reading this post reminds me how important it is that I get my parents to Rome to see the Vatican!

What memories you will make!

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27. Re: Travelling to Paris with 80 year old grandmother

It is also a reminder that I want to travel NOW not "oh I'll do it when I'm retired" -- 'cause you just never know...

28. Re: Travelling to Paris with 80 year old grandmother

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