If you ask most people, they would say that Paris is one of the most magical places to visit, with some of the most iconic landmarks in the world. Those same people would also agree that it can be very overwhelming to travel there for your first time, especially if you’re traveling with kids. It can be intimidating to think about taking a long flight, navigating public transportation, and touring places like the Louvre and Sacre Coeur with kids in tow. We know all about it, as our family recently traveled to Paris for 3 weeks. See how we made the best of traveling to Paris with our kids for the first time.
Getting to Paris
Traveling to Paris with young kids can be a fun but can also be tough to navigate, especially all the way from he USA. Here are a few ways to make the trip as smooth as possible for the kids:
Be sure to book the flights and accommodations well in advance to ensure that you get the best prices and best travel times for kids. It’s helpful to book a late flightier of the US, so that everyone can sleep overnight before arrival to Paris.
Don’t forget essentials like good snacks, electronics, and something fun for the kids, but otherwise pack light. Just a backpack for the kids is the best way to make the trip easy for them.
Consider a layover
A reasonable layover can be a great option when traveling with kids. Breaking up the long flight gives your kids a chance to stretch their legs and get some fresh air.
Make the flight more comfortable
Do your best to book a flight with a kid-friendly schedule. Select a seat with extra legroom. Pack comfy clothes, blankets, and pillows to make the flight more comfortable for the kids.
Be prepared for jet lag
Paris is six hours ahead of the US East Coast, so most kids will likely experience jet lag. Having lots of activities and snacks to keep them occupied during the early part of the flight will help them rest in the later part.
With a bit of preparation, you can make the trip enjoyable for everyone. That way, traveling to Paris with kids can be a memorable experience for the whole family.
When to visit
Paris has so much to see and do, but it can be hard to decide when the best time to visit is. Taking into account factors such as weather, crowds, and kid-friendly activities can be helpful in planning.
I would visit Paris during the spring or fall months. The weather is mild, making it comfortable to explore the city with kids. Days are longer, which means you have more time to see the sights. Crowds are much lighter, thereforeeasier to navigate the city with kids.
Springtime in Paris
Spring is a particularly nice time to visit Paris with kids. The city comes alive with blooming flowers and trees. The Jardin des Tuileries, Luxembourg Gardens, and Parc des Buttes-Chaumont are all great places to take the kids to see the flowers. The lines are also much shorter to see Eiffel Tower and the views are stunning.
Paris in the Fall
Fall is also a really good time to visit Paris with kids. It’s still warm enough for kids to enjoy outdoor activities, but the crowds are thinned out from high season. Fall leaves make for a beautiful backdrop in photos. Many of the Paris museums and galleries offer kid-friendly activities during this time of year as well.
Summertime in Paris
During the summer months the museums and galleries offer kid-friendly activities. The parks and gardens are perfect for picnics and playtime. Also, the iconic landmarks are open a bit later, so more time to explore with the kids.
What to pack
Before packing your bags and heading off on your family adventure, it’s important to make sure you have everything you need for a trip with kids. Here are the top things to pack for kids when visiting Paris:
Paris is a city of walking, you and the family will be doing a lot of it. Be certain to pack comfortable shoes that fit well and have good support. Preventing blisters and tired feet, so your kids can enjoy all the sights and sounds of the city.
Snacks and water
Thought you’ll be trying lots of new foods in Paris, you’ll also want to have snacks and water on hand for your kids. Pack some granola bars, fresh fruit, and other easy to carry snacks in a backpack. This will really come in handy while you’re out exploring.
Paris can get very chilly, especially in the evening time. Make sure you pack some warm clothes for the kids. Having a jacket, warm hats, and gloves will help keep them comfortable when the temperature drops.
Pack a few small toys, books, and small games to keep the kids entertained during downtime. This will save you on those long days when touring is too much or while on transportation to and from visits.
Accidents happen, we know first hand! It’s always a good idea to pack a small first-aid kit. Include band-aids, antiseptic, and any medications your kids might need if they get a cut or something worse.
Encourage your kids to document their trip by giving them a small camera or a disposable one. It’s fun to playback the trips’ memories through their eyes!
Transportation in Paris with kids
With so much to see and do in Paris, traveling with kids in can be a bit of a challenge when it comes to transportation. Here’s some of the best options for getting around the city with kids:
The metro system is one of the most efficient and affordable ways to get around Paris. It’s very easy to navigate, making it a great option for families with kids. The trains run very frequently and the stations are located near the most popular attractions. While most stations have escalators and elevators, they can be crowded, so use backpacks and c carryons to help.
Navigo Easy Card
You can purchase a Navigo Easy Card (with fares preloaded) at any Paris Métro or RER ticket booth. Pay in cash or with a credit or debit card. If you’re buying cards for children, make this clear to the ticket agent. We suggest asking for “Navigo Easy avec un carnet.” The ticket agent will load 10 rides onto the card, so you’ll be ready to use Navigo Easy right away.
Buses are a really good option for getting around Paris with kids. Though they’re a bit slower than the metro, they still offer a great way to take in the sights with kids. Buses are equipped with ramps, so they’re easy to navigate with strollers or wheelchairs. Many of the bus routes run righty through the city’s most popular areas, making it easy to get around.
Taxis are a bit more expensive than the metro or buses, but they offer the convenience of door-to-door service. Many taxis in Paris are equipped with car seats, so you don’t have to worry about bringing your own. Good option for unpredictable weather occurrences and times when you’re in a hurry.
Walking is one of the best ways to explore Paris with kids, as it is one of the most walkable cities. Such a great way to see the city up close and take in the sights and sounds of Paris. Best thing about walking is the kids can burn off some energy after snacking.
Can’t miss places to eat in Paris with kids
Paris is a kid-friendly city with many great restaurants that are happy to accommodate children, and many even have special menus or activities to keep them entertained.
From cozy bistros to casual restaurants, you’ll find something for everyone. Remember to take your time, relax and enjoy the delicious food and the wonderful atmosphere. Bon appétit!
Here are some of our favorite places to eat in Paris with kids:
This was the girls first Parisian cafe experience. The place is absolutely beautiful, full of energy and such great atmosphere. The kids had the famous hot chocolate that tasted like a melted down candy bar. It’s served in a tea pot with a side of the best homemade whipped cream you’ll ever have to dollop onto your hot chocolate. Of course, they also have a great selection of pastries and some of the best macaroons in Paris.
Note: There is enough in the pot on a single order for 2 or 3 children to share, as it it is very rich.
See how much we enjoyed our time there!
Girafe has one of the most spectacular views of the Eiffel Tower, day or night. While the menu is a bit more sophisticated, serving up caviar and champagne, it is still a great place for the kids. There’s always something to watch from the terrace, including artists, performers, and of course the Eiffel Tower light show Avery hour at night. I would recommend getting a reservation a few weeks in advance for lunch and ordering shareables, so you can break up the day of walking.
Lou Lou is a coffee shop and beer garden, serving all day brunch near the Cluny Gardens in St. Germain. The menu includes delicious and healthy options that our kids really enjoyed. Paleo banana pancakes, eggs Benedict, Acai bowls, and pressed juices. The neighborhood is one of my favorites, so plan on walking around before or after lunch to explore the beautiful shops.
Note: Their Matcha Latte was the best I’ve ever had, worth a try even if you’ve never tried one.
Le Relais De L’Entrecote
The famous steak frites from Le Relais de L’Entrecôte is something everyone must experience while in they are in Paris. They have a set menu of salad and steak-frites that is accompanied by their famous sauce. They offer the same menu for the kids, which makes it very easy when ordering. My girls absolutely loved everything and asked for seconds, which is part of the experience.
Note: There is most always a line that forms outside every night and can look like it’s too much to endure with hungry kids, but it is deceiving and moves relatively fast. It’s worth jumping in line!
Pink Mama has some of the best Italian food I’ve ever had (I know we’re in Paris!) and is one of my favorite restaurants ever. Everything on the menu is exceptional; the fresh pasta, the cheeses, and the drinks. To be honest, the mocktails that the kids had were as good, if not better than the specialty drinks. The Melon salad is something else and the desserts were great as well. Be sure to visit the rooftop terrace, as it is stunning and perfect for pictures.
Cafe de Flore
Cafe de Flore is one of the oldest coffeehouses in Paris dating back to 1887. Their menu is pretty simple, with sandwiches, cheeses, breakfast items, and great coffee. It’s pretty easy to find something for the kids, especially from the breakfast menu. I recommend the assortment of cheeses to share at an outside table to watch the passers by and soak in the Parisian culture.
Cafe des Arts et Métiers
We stumbled upon this typical Parisian brasserie while walking near the museum, and we’re so glad we did. Delicious food with a spectacular terrace and great service. Plenty of options for children and very affordable. Cafe des Arts is another really good place to sit for a while and just people watch.
Other great places to try
- GROM – this is a chain but its seriously some of the best gelato we have ever had. We passed by it in St. Germain and there was a line around the block so we knew we had to try it
- Crepes – you can find crepes everywhere and I am sure there are some places that make extraordinary there is something about having a crepe from a stand on the side of the road under the Eiffel Tower that makes it taste so much better.
Where to stay when visiting Paris with kids
Choosing where to stay in Paris with kids can feel a bit daunting at first, as there are so many neighborhoods to choose from.
Novotel Paris Gare De Lyon
The property at Gare De Lyon was great for us, right next to the train station. It was a little far out from the city center, but it was also nice to be in a quieter neighborhood for downtime. We’ve also been to Paris before, so we enjoyed touring the neighborhoods nearby. If this is your first time to Paris, I would recommend staying a bit closer to the popular spots you might be visiting.
We ultimately chose this hotel because it would make our trip to Disneyland Paris a bit easier since we were so close to the train station.
Other great places to stay with kids
- Hyatt Regency Paris Etoile – This hotel is in a great location close to the Eiffel Tower. It is popular so be sure to book in advance
- Novotel Paris Centre Tour Eiffel – Another great location. We really liked the Novotel brand for their spacious room and cool designs
- MEININGER Hotel Paris Porte de Vincennes – This hotel looks super family friendly. Lots to do for little ones and they even have events for kids!
- Appartement de standing 5 – tour Eiffel/Invalides – If you prefer renting an apartment this one has a lot of space.
- RESIDENCE MONTORGUEIL – Another spacious apartment that can sleep 9. I also love the location in the city.
Other great Neighborhoods to stay in Paris with kids:
Known for its winding streets, charming cafés, and famous artistic history, Montmartre is a great place to stay with kids. The neighborhood is home to the famous Sacré-Cœur Basilica, which offers breathtaking views of the city, as well as the Montmartre Museum, which is dedicated to the area’s artistic past. Montmartre is also home to many playgrounds and parks, which are perfect for kids to run around in.
This charming neighborhood is perfect for families looking for a taste of Parisian life. The Marais is home to many small, family-friendly restaurants, as well as the Carnavalet Museum, which is dedicated to the history of Paris. The neighborhood is also home to the Place des Vosges, a beautiful square filled with playgrounds and green spaces, where kids can play and have fun.
The 7th Arrondissement
Known for its grand Haussmann-style buildings, the 7th Arrondissement is home to many of Paris’ famous landmarks, including the Eiffel Tower and the Invalides. Many of the hotels in the area have family rooms or suites, which can be ideal for families with children.
The 1st Arrondissement is a great place for families who want to stay near the most famous attractions in Paris. Known for its chic shops, cafes, and restaurants, many of the streets are pedestrian-only and easy to explore with kids. Not to mention, it’s in the city center and well-connected to the rest of Paris by Metro.
The Latin Quarter is a great place to stay if you’re looking for a more lively neighborhood. The area is home to many small, independent shops and restaurants, as well as the Luxembourg Gardens, a beautiful park where children can play. The neighborhood is also home to the Sorbonne University, which can be fun for kids to explore.
Sightseeing in Paris with Kids
Paris is a city that’s known for its rich culture and history, making it the perfect destination for a family vacation. With its iconic landmarks, charming streets, and delicious food, there’s something for everyone in Paris, including kids. If you’re planning a trip to the city of lights with your little ones, here are some of the best sights and activities that they’ll love.
The Eiffel Tower is one of the most iconic landmarks in all of Europe, so naturally there are lots of crowds. If you are looking to visit the 1st or 2nd floors with the kids, I recommend you get there early. The 1st floor has great views and some interactive displays for the kids. The 2nd floor has even better views of the The Louvre, Notre Dame, the Seine River, and other famous landmarks. Our favorite view of the tower is from across the street alongside the Seine at night, where you can ride a carousel and watch the light show from a distance.
Watch the video about my daughters first Eiffel Tower Experience Here.
@mrsblinks The guilt I felt 😞 some days are not easy #22adventuresin2022 #pariswithkids #tiktoktravel #familytravel #WithTheBlinks ♬ Paper Birds (3 min) – Jordan Halpern Schwartz
The Louvre is home to some of the most well-known works of art like the Mona Lisa. It’s also one of the most visited museums in the world. If you would like to avoid the lines at the entrance, you simply go online and book a time and date. The entrance fee is free for children and visitors under the age of 26, and there are other memberships that include admission. The Louvre is huge and requires several days to tour everything. We recommend focusing on a certain section with your family or taking a family tour with a guide to get the most out of your experience.
Tip: If you do not book the tour, but still visit the information desk when entering the building, you can grab their children’s guide books, which are also scavenger hunts and lots of fun.
The Palace of Versailles is another must-see for kids. This former royal residence is located just outside of Paris and is home to grand gardens, beautiful fountains, and opulent palace rooms. Children will love seeing the luxurious apartments and grand halls. The palace also offers audio guides and interactive tours that can make the visit more interactive and fun for children.
Watch how we were able to skip the long entrance lines with this Versailles hack
@mrsblinks This hack actually worked! #22adventuresin2022 #pariswithkids #tiktoktravel ♬ Paper Birds (3 min) – Jordan Halpern Schwartz
Sacré Cœur basilique
Planning your Paris Itinerary – What you must do
When you’re planning your Paris itinerary, especially with kids in tow, it’s important to understand that Paris is a city that is best explored by foot. This means that you should plan to spend most of your time walking around and exploring the different neighborhoods and areas. This is a great way to discover hidden gems and get a feel for the city’s culture and history.
Take a Cooking Class with the kids
There are some amazing classes to take around Paris, but they fill up quick. Check Here
Ride the train around Sacré Cœur
It’s a pretty short ride, but it does take you through the town and down the hill you worked so hard to climb to get there. You can easily get off at the bottom when you’re done for the day. It drops you near Moulin Rouge. Book a Walking Tour Here
One of the most popular things to do in Paris with kids is to visit Disneyland Paris. This theme park is located about 20 miles outside of the city and is a great way to spend a day or two.
Palace of Versailles
Such a great day trip for the family. So much to see inside and out that the kids are sure to enjoy. You can start by having breakfast at ORE and then skip the line by booking HERE.
Eiffel Tower at night
What a spectacular view of the Tower at night! There are also special lighting displays on the hour starting at 9pm.
Carousel at the Eiffel Tower
Cité des Sciences et de l’Industrie – One of the best ways to keep kids entertained in Paris is to visit some of the city’s many museums and attractions that are geared towards children. The Cité des Sciences et de l’Industrie is a great option, as it has a range of interactive exhibits that will keep kids of all ages engaged.
Everything you need to know before visiting Paris with kids
As parents we know it’s essential to do our research and be prepared for a trip with your kids in tow. Here are some things to keep in mind when planning a visit to Paris with kids.
- Paris is a very walkable city. While it may seem daunting to explore the city on foot with kids, it’s actually a great way to see the sights and take in the culture. Pack a stroller or baby carrier to make navigating the cobblestone streets and staircases a bit easier.
- Paris has an excellent public transportation system, including the metro, bus, and RER (regional express network) trains. However, it can be overwhelming and confusing for children, especially if they are not used to it. Make sure to plan your route in advance and have a map handy. Also, consider purchasing a Paris Visite pass, which allows you unlimited travel on the metro, bus, and RER for a specific period
- While many Parisians speak English, it’s always helpful to know a few basic French phrases. Your kids can learn some basic French before the trip, which will help them feel more comfortable in the city. Additionally, having a translation app on your phone can come in handy.
- Paris is a safe city, but it’s always important to be aware of your surroundings and keep an eye on your children. Keep your valuables close and be mindful of pickpocketing, especially in crowded areas.
- Paris is famous for its delicious food, but it can be challenging to find kid-friendly options. Many restaurants have a limited selection of dishes for children, so it’s a good idea to research in advance where you can find food that your kids will enjoy. Additionally, consider packing some snacks and water bottles to have on hand in case your kids get hungry while out and about.
- Paris can be chilly and rainy, especially in the fall and winter. Be sure to pack warm clothing, including a jacket, hat, and gloves, for your kids. Also, consider bringing an umbrella or raincoat in case of inclement weather.
Great Eiffel Tower Photo Spots:
- Rue Edmond Valentin (street with ET in back)
- Rue de L’universite
- Port de billy
- Pont Alexandre
- V75R+W78 Paris
Overall, Paris is an excellent destination for families, and with a bit of planning, you and your kids can have a great time. Remember to be prepared and be flexible, and most importantly, enjoy the beautiful city and all it has to offer!
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