Visit Paris After Age 70: Everything You Need to Know
Paris is one of the greatest cities in the world for senior travelers. Despite being a bustling, somewhat fast paced metropolitan, the French capital has more than enough space for elderly ivnvduals who are looking to take things a little slower.
Many seniors find they struggle with cities such as Amsterdam or New York, because the vehicles and civilians are in a perpetual rushed state, which can pose a safety risk for bodies that can’t necessarily move as quickly. In Paris, the elderly are always considered and taken care of where possible.
There are Many Discounts for Seniors in Paris
This is something that all individuals over the age of 60 need to know before coming to Paris. Many of the city’s tourist attractions offer discounted rates for seniors and/or retirees.
Look out for ticket specials and sometimes even elderly access points where one is able to avoid long queues or crowds. These establishments are usually also wheelchair friendly or accessible to movement impaired individuals (crutches, walkers, etc).
Be Weary of Any Accommodation Without an Elevator
Paris’ infrastructure is incredibly old, and a lot of buildings only have stairs to get from bottom to top, and back again. When browsing hotels, Airbnb’s or apartments it is imperative to filter out options that do not offer an elevator on the premises.
Even young, fit people in their 20s struggle getting their suitcases just one floor up the narrow Parisian stairwells. An elevator is essential for any traveler who wouldn’t be physically capable of carrying heavy luggage up multiple flights.
And Any Accommodation With a Shower-Bath
Keeping to the minute infrastructural style, a lot of Parisian accommodation also offers shower-bath combo situations due to lack of space. It is widely known that these are not safe for elderly folk to climb into or out of unattended, and there is almost never railings to hold onto due to the old fashioned interiors.
You want to book something with a shower only. If this is unclear at the time of booking, contact the property directly and inquire to be sure!
Consider a Senior Companion Service
Most travel-centered cities have what are known as senior companion services for tourists. Basically, these companies will act as chaperone/tour guides for elderly individuals who aren’t confident in their own ability to move around in a stress-free manner.
They usually involve local individuals who will spend most of your days with you, arranging excursions and even meals so that you don’t have to worry. They are usually also learned individuals who know a lot about the history of the city, so you really get the full experience.
Try to Avoid the Metro
In general, traveling by metro is not recommended for senior citizens due to the unpredictable nature of each ride. Some journeys are smooth, while others are rocky and dangerous. As an avid traveler, I’ve been thrust into the wall or floor of a metro car one too many times to ever give this mode of transport the seal of approval for an older person.
Even if you’re confident in your ability to hold onto the provided support, there is always the risk of a car being too full and there being no railing left, or of other riders falling onto you in transit. Avoid!
Take Advantage of Street Cafes for Breaks
Paris is compact and manageable, but it is a tiring city to explore as it tends to involve a lot of walking if you want to get the full experience. You’ll want to pencil in a lot of break time as you go about your days, and the local street cafes are perfect for that.
In Paris, street cafes don’t care if you order just a bottle of water, or a full three course meal. They are (generally) welcoming to all and don’t mind people taking up tables throughout the day for the sole purpose of resting.
Always Book In Advance
This is a top travel tip that I give to any individual visiting Paris with the intention of enjoying the many public attractions. There is no need, I repeat NO NEED, to ever stand in line for tickets to attractions and monuments such as The Eiffel Tower, Scare Coeur, or any museum.
All Parisian attractions and monuments offer online booking platforms where you can book your ticket and entry slot in advance. This means you skip the length ticket queue on the day, and will be ushered toward a (usually) much shorter line where entry is more smooth sailing.
Forgot to book and now you’re one block from an attraction you really want to see? No problem! Use your mobile phone to log on to the attractions website and do your booking from a nearby cafe. Again, no need to join the queues!
Paris is a haven for elderly travelers if you can get into its groove. There is a very slow, safe and accommodating realm to this city if you just tap into it. The French, in general, are very respectful toward elderly folk no matter where in the world they hail from.
Wishing you a vacation of a lifetime!