The City of Paris is the centre and seat of government of France. It is the capital and most populous city of France, with an area of 105 square kilometres and an official estimated population of 2,140,526. Since the 17th century, Paris has been one of Europe’s major centres of finance, commerce, fashion, science, and the arts. Paris is especially known for its museums and architectural landmarks: the Louvre was the most visited art museum in the world in 2018, with 10.2 million visitors. The historical district along the Seine in the city centre is classified as a UNESCO Heritage Site. Popular landmarks in the centre of the city include the Cathedral of Notre Dame de Paris and the Gothic royal chapel of Sainte-Chapelle, both on the Île de la Cité; the Eiffel Tower, constructed for the Paris Universal Exposition of 1889; the Grand Palais and Petit Palais, built for the Paris Universal Exposition of 1900; the Arc de Triomphe on the Champs-Élysées, and the Basilica of Sacré-Coeur on the hill of Montmartre. Paris
wheelchair access is very good, as you would expect of this modern European city.
Attractions and Opportunities
Due to its underground configuration and age, the Paris metro network will never be fully accessible. However, the network has undergone major work to improve accessibility to transport and stations.
Line 14, the most recent line on the network (inaugurated in 1998), offers full accessibility to wheelchair users. The lifts and wider passageways in each of the 9 stations enable wheelchair users to get around in complete autonomy. Access to metros is at the same level as the platform, with no gap. Vianavigo/Infomobiprovides information in real time on the availability of lifts in the station. This metro line runs from Olympiades in the south-east of Paris to Saint-Lazare train station in the north-west and serves many tourist sites: François Mitterrand library, Bercy Village, parc de Bercy, the Cinémathèque Française, Les Halles shopping centre, the Louvre Museum, the Opéra Garnier district, the Madeleine, Pinacothèque de Paris, Grands Magasins, etc.
For visually-impaired people, hazard warning strips have been put on all platform edges of the Métro and RER networks. Blister raised surfaces are perceptible to a person’s feet or walking stick and warn blind and sight-impaired people of the proximity to the railway line.
Two Parisian taxi companies offer adapted vehicles for transporting people in wheelchairs: G7 and its ‘Horizon’ service, and Taxi Parisien PMR.
These taxis are available 7/7, 24/24 and fares are identical to those of a classic taxi (in accordance with the pricing system put in place by the French administration and applicable to all taxis parisiens).
Daily cycling and commuting by bike is developing rapidly in urban areas, especially in the Île-de-France region. As part of its ambition to become a comprehensive, sustainable mobility service provider by the year 2020, RATP addresses the expectations of the network’s cyclists. To facilitate network access (metro, RER and tramway), RATP is developing projects and implementing suitable solutions to make cycling a mode of transport in its own right.
On its metro and RER lines, RATP provides cyclists more than 900 free covered cycle parking spaces, as well as open-air bike racks with nearly 600 spaces.