Travelling with the children is always a bit challenging: the journey itself, dealing with the jet lag, and then arriving in an unknown city can be stressful.
Paris is an obvious destination for couples but it can be great as well with the little ones!
Here are 10 tips to discover the city with the children.
1) Find the perfect place for you stay
Rather than staying in a small hotel room, you should take a spacious appartement where the children will be able to play/jump/sleep and eat while you will be having a glass of wine in a cosy sofa. Pick up a central neighborhood like le Marais, Saint Germain or Montorgueil so that you can easily reach the main monuments (arrondissements 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7). Make sure that your apartment has an elevator and that is not directly giving on a noisy street. You can find on this link our selection of apartments in Paris.
2) A family activity to move around the city all together
Even if the metro is the best way to travel in the city, it could be nice to choose another transportation for your first tour in Paris. It could be on board of a vintage car, on a side-car, on electric bicycles, on a “bateau mouche” or on a private yacht! We can book those fun activities with you, just ask :-)
3) Take it easy
Even if you don’t want to miss any exciting exhibition and visit the major museums, you have to find a “reward” for the children and have a fun break after the tour. It could be:
- Jumping on a trampoline in Jardin des Tuileries after Le Louvre visit
- Have fun in the pedestrian banks Berges de Seine after Musée d’Orsay
- Savour a delicious “crêpe” at Breitz café after your visit at Musée Picasso in le Marais
- Have a pique-nique in Luxembourg garden after a shopping session in Saint-Germain…
4) Find the kid’s friendly restaurants
If you 4 years old girl is starviiiing at 6pm (which is early to have dinner in France!) and you happen to be in Saint Germain des Près, you can all run to Le Hibou Brasserie, metro Odéon. This French restaurant is open every day with a non stop service with a spacious terrace, perfect for a family break! You could also have a delicious pizza AND an amazing cocktail at Pizza chic or Pizza Grazie, have your first snails at L’escargot, test the best hot chocolate in Paris at the famous tea room Angelina, share a table at the open market Les Enfants Rouges, or take a seat on the middle of a museum at the spacious Tokyo Eat in Palais de Tokyo…
5) Turn your museum visit into a memorable family tour
First of all, you can buy most of your tickets in advance to have access to the priority line. The best is to avoid Le Louvre on Monday and Orsay on Tuesday and try to go there late afternoon: Le Louvre is open until 9.45pm on Wednesday and Friday, Orsay until 9pm on Thursday, Centre Pompidou everyday until 10pm (close on Tuesday).
Then try to find a way to entertain the kids during your visit: it could be a special children itinerary that you print in advance like the ones offered by le Louvre. It could be a kids workshop like at Musée Pompidou, or rent a Ipad with a special family app at Musée d’Orsay.
But the best will be to choose our Treasure hunt in le Louvre private guided tour : our guide Estelle will lead you through le Louvre and give the children a fun roadbook with clues to find in the paintings and sculptures. The investigation can start, your kids will love Museums!
6) Special activities for children in Paris
Paris has a lot to offer for your lovelies ones. If they like dinosaurs, don’t miss the beautiful Natural History museum on the left bank. You can buy a combined tickets for the main museum + the galleries in the garden where you could see all kind of skeletons. There is also the oldest zoo in Paris, la Ménagerie, to say hello to the crocodiles in the middle of the city!
Just across the Eiffel Tower, Musée de l’homme just reopen after years of renovation. Follow the track of the cave men and admire the view on the Eiffel Tower by the window… Or cross Trocadéro garden to reach Aquarium de Paris and observe the sharks.
Another great neighborhood for children is Canal Saint Martin and Canal de la Villette. After a nice walk along the canal, you could rent an electric boat for a fun family cruise. Around there the most fabulous place to visit with the children is Parc de la Villette. The kids could enjoy the indoor activities at Cité des enfants, see a 3D movie at La Géode, slide down the giant dragon, visit a submarine.. There is so much to do there!
7) Make it easier to move around
Paris common transports are really easy to use in Paris. Metro stations are everywhere and tickets rates are really cheap especially if you stay for a week. You can buy a week Navigo Pass (25,80 euros/adult, you need an identity picture) or take a 10 ticket booklet (14 euros for adults and 7 euros for children). But you have to know that most of the metro stations don’t have any elevators, so make sure you have a light buggy. You can use the same tickets or pass for Parisian buses. As for taxis, you can download Taxi G7 app to book classic taxis, or use Uber.
But if you are more adventurous and your kids are old enough, rent a city bike Velib. The ticket costs 1,70 euros for 24h : the best economical and ecological way to move in the city :-)
8) See a family show in Paris
In Paris, there is always a circus show going on, a nice way to have a evening all together. You could go to “Cirque d’hiver”, the oldest circus in Paris, where the ringmaster will present acrobats, clowns, trapeze artists and even elephants! Or if your children are horse fans, you could try out the fabulous equestrian show at Alexi Gruss Big Top. La Villette also offers great circus shows, unless you prefer to see a concert at the new music museum, la Philarmonie, also in la Villette.
9) A gourmet family break
You like macaroons? Your children are crazy about Eclairs au chocolat? Paris is a gourmet heaven between croissants, delicious chocolate and pastry buns, temptations are everywhere! The good thing about Paris is that you will always find a boulangerie with fresh bread and croissants if one of your children is a bit hungry. Ask for a Baguette Tradition with the same recipe than in 1930, delicious!
If you want to know the best boulangerie around, the most tasty chocolates or the difference between Camenbert and Brie, you could book a family Gourmet Tour with Sue, our food specialist. Saint Germain, le Marais, Montmartre… She will guide you through a lovely neighborhood and share with you her passion for good products.
You could also decide to spend an afternoon baking macaroons with the children in a private workshop. You will discover the French classic patisseries and of course savor it with tea: you deserve it!
And if you want to offer to your children a creative moment while you will be shopping around, Atelier Bogato in the 14th is the most fun cake store in Paris! They sell amazing cakes and they offer kids workshop twice a week :-)
10) A romantic dinner during your family holidays
Well, even if you love having quality time with your children, you might need a little break and spend a romantic evening with your partner! We can provide you a nice English speaking baby sitter to look after the kids during this special evening and we will suggest the best adresses around, bon appétit!
Still feeling you need some help to put all that up together! We will be very happy to built design for you the most memorable family trip for you: from lodging to dining, form entertainment to shopping we will suggest and book for you everything that will make the perfect family trip in Paris!