What Are The Best Things To Do In Paris With Toddlers

What Are The Best Things To Do In Paris With Toddlers – At the age of 20, I went to the capital and lived there for 15 years, a life of happiness. 2 kids later, I was wondering how did Parisian parents like us survive this jungle. 1 exit to the intersection and then escaping to take sanctuary in the countryside for 6 years of nature and tranquility with the family.

Yes but here … how to depart for too long from the most beautiful city in the world, its imaginative and cultural liveliness, its mythical neighborhoods like Montmartre, its breathtaking monuments such as the Eiffel Tower, its museums like the Louvre, of its grandiose parks like the Tuileries?

I would not really want to live there, but to spend more weekends in Paris with children, that’s what I wanted to do more often! So I wanted to return to the footsteps of my favorite activities of my Parisian life of yesteryear to help you to visit Paris with your family during your next vacation. What Are The Best Things To Do In Paris With Toddlers on a 3 or a 4-day trip? Here are my 10 favorites!

What Are The Best Things To Do In Paris With Toddlers

What Are The Best Things To Do In Paris With Toddlers

1- Indulge in a full view at the Eiffel Tower

What Are The Best Things To Do In Paris With Toddlers – day 1

I am not normally very much a visitor to the iconic monuments of major capitals. But the Eiffel Tower, I do not know why, but I really really love it (my children too): is it its elegance, its audacity, the wind of discord and lust that has never failed to inspire?

In any case, in my opinion, it’s essential and unforgettable for any Paris trip. I advise you to make the most of the Eiffel Tower by starting your day at the Trocadero before descending quietly under the feet of the Iron Lady. It is very impressive.

I never wanted to go up the floors of the Eiffel Tower. It is its architecture that I like, to see it from all the streets of Paris. And I never had the courage to join the horde of tourists who legitimately queue to go up for high in the sky to witness the city view.

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What Are The Best Things To Do In Paris With Toddlers

Tips for your visit to the Eiffel Tower

If you want to visit the Eiffel Tower from the inside, I have three tips:

1 / buy e-tickets on the Internet (but maximum 2 months in advance): they will allow you to limit your waiting times a bit since you will then have a day and a precise plan to follow according to your own schedule. The cheapest tickets can be bought directly on the site of the Eiffel Tower.

2 / do not necessarily go upstairs: on the 2nd floor of the Eiffel Tower, you will already have a nice view of Paris. If you want to climb to the top, you will have to change the lift and have an extra hour of the visit because you will have to queue for new elevators (making your visit last for 2h30 instead of 1h30).

3 / If you are visiting Paris with your family including teenagers, you may consider climbing on the 2nd floor of the Eiffel Tower on foot: you will have less tail because few are brave enough to make it for the 674 stairways in 30 to 45 minutes of walking. But this may be a nice challenge to face with the younger kids you may be carrying over your shoulder literally.

2- Satisfy your curiosity at Parc de la Villette

What Are The Best Things To Do In Paris With Toddlers – day 1

Here is a place where we spent some crazy times back when we lived in Paris. Because here, there is always something going on: it is at the same time a place of nature, of life, of knowledge, of small and big discoveries. The dream destination to tour when in Paris with your family.

The right family travel plan

From the Eiffel Tower, you can take the Batobus (on 365tickets, you will pay much less for your ticket) which is just at the south side of the Cathedral Notre-Dame while enjoying a sublime view of the banks of the Seine. From there you can take the RER and metro to La Villette.

  • The City of Science and Industry

As its name suggests, you enter the world of science, taken from a 100% educational and fun experience: children will understand the world around us with exhibitions that have been displayed to them. I made several trips when I was a child and I still remember all my passages in this museum.

The Cité de Sciences also offers courses called La Cité des Enfants: these two circuits (one for children under the age of 5, and another for 5-12 years old kids) are designed exclusively to allow the youngest to experience science by touching, playing, etc… These shows are the best and they are all so exciting! It will be necessary to think of reserving your place very early if it interests you.

  • The gardens of the Parc de la Villette

The gardens of the Parc de la Villette call for adventure: we navigate between different spaces, different playgrounds, futuristic architecture, and then we picnic at the edge of the Ourq channel where all the mingling ages and all populations. A bit of calm and breeze in Paris, it feels good.

  • Learn how to canoe along the Ourq canal

To end the afternoon in style, children can then learn to canoe on the channel of the Ourq. To do this, you have to walk along the canal in the direction of the Jaurés metro station and reach the La Villette boating center which offers original courses for canoeing and rowing; free and open to children as adults, it’s really nice!

Practical information
  1. Book your ticket on the Cité des Sciences website
  2. Learn about all the shows of the Parc de La Villette
  3. Learn more about the initiations from the marine center of La Villette

What Are The Best Things To Do In Paris With Toddlers

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3 – Traveling to the time of the Pharaohs at the Louvre

What Are The Best Things To Do In Paris With Toddlers – day 2

Welcome to the Louvre, the largest museum in the world: 14 square km of exhibits, this gives you a good reason to prepare your visit upstream!

The most fun, it will surely start with the awe-inspiring collection of Egyptian Artifacts: the great sphinx Tanis, the hieroglyphs of the Chapel of Akhethethep, the sarcophagi but also the beautiful squatting scribe and pharaohs. An unforgettable trip indeed.

You will not be able to leave without seeing mythical works such as the Victory of Samothrace, the Rite of Napoleon, the Raft of the Medusa, the Venus of Milo … and the Mona Lisa, of course.

Practical information and tips

  • Open daily from 9h to 18h EXCEPT on Tuesday
  • Buy a ticket online at the Louvre official website (because it’s obviously cheaper on this site) plus it will help you to limit the waiting time on the long queues at the entrance of the museum.
  • Access is free and without ticket for all the people under the age of 25 who are residents in Europe
  • The ticket is valid all day: if you want to go out for a picnic in the Tuileries Garden and come back, it’s okay.
  • The audio guide on Nintendo 3DS is great for parents. You can also download the short courses of Paris Mômes for children.

What Are The Best Things To Do In Paris With Toddlers

4 – Let off steam in the Tuileries Garden

What Are The Best Things To Do In Paris With Toddlers – day 2

After the Louvre, filled with beautiful pieces, now set your pleasures free. The Tuileries Garden is great for children. You can picnic, sit in the famous steel armchairs, play ball, play hide and seek … and enjoy one of the best playgrounds in Paris (with its free-hanging cabins and trampolines – only for 2 € ). I spent many hours with my toddlers, always with as much fun for children as for adults.

Do not miss to continue your walk to the Place de la Concorde to see the Champs Elysees and the Arc de Triomphe in the distance.

What Are The Best Things To Do In Paris With Toddlers

What Are The Best Things To Do In Paris With Toddlers

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5 – To immerse yourself in Paris over the water: the Seine, its islands and Notre-Dame

What Are The Best Things To Do In Paris With Toddlers – day 2

Just like during our weekend in London with my family, it’s the banks of the river that I prefer in Paris: the bridges that cross the Seine, the islands, the quays and the mythical places that follow one another: Eiffel Tower, Grand Palais, Louvre, Orsay Museum, Conciergerie, Notre Dame, etc.

Several options are available to you to enjoy yourself to the fullest. You can also mix them all with your wishes:

  • Take a Batobus on the Seine

The first is to take the Batobus, the river shuttle that makes rounds along the Seine from the Eiffel Tower to the Jardin des Plantes in 9 stops. Think about your weekend program but you can, for a few more euros, take a 48h pass; it can be much of a help during your stay in Paris!

If you want to take the Batobus following your visit to the Louvre, just cross the docks to book them in front of the Musée d’Orsay.

If you want to book them after visiting the Eiffel Tower, get off on the platform just below and get your tickets and the shuttle is right over there. For example, you can continue to Notre-Dame to visit the islands.

  • Visit Notre-Dame and the islands

My favorite place of Notre-Dame is the back of the Cathedral, garden side! It’s good, if you arrive Batobus just in front of the island of the city, you just go back on the bridge and walk along the Seine Cathedral. Children will be able to run without fear.

If the weather is nice, you can eat a bite on the Esmeralda Café Terrace. We do not go at all for the quality of the food… just for the location.

The older kids will be able to cross the road to play in the square while waiting for the dishes or to attend the various street performances that often take place on the Saint Louis bridge.

For dessert, you must then eat ice cream at Bertillon on the island of Saint Louis and enjoy a quick walk in the quiet streets around.

  • Enjoy the banks of Seine rive Droite

Since 2018, the banks of the Seine have been reinstated to the foot-travelers. I find the right bank very pleasant to walk with toddlers. From Saint Louis Island, you can return to the center of Paris to the Louvre along the pedestrian banks.

Take the children’s scooters, they will be able to give it to their heart. And you can rent a bike for self-service.
Otherwise, you can take the Batobus to complete the loop on the Seine and return to the Louvre.

What Are The Best Things To Do In Paris With Toddlers What Are The Best Things To Do In Paris With Toddlers What Are The Best Things To Do In Paris With Toddlers

6 – Visit the Opera Palais Garnier

What Are The Best Things To Do In Paris With Toddlers – day 3

Paris with toddlers is an intimate experience which, for almost 20 years, has had me so many educational visits to put Heritage and History up together for children. What a beautiful idea!

We have tried the visit of the Opera Garnier that I highly recommend: a qualified guide finds the right words to tell the story of the Opera for nearly 2 hours without children, yet for older ones between 6 and 10 years during my visit, also didn’t’ get bored for a single second.

We could wander in the Grand Foyer, the splendid staircase, the lounges of the Moon and Glacier, the lodge of the famous ghost … We also learned a lot of “words of cranes” as our guide instructs us!

Practical information
  • Reservation: Paris d’Enfants
  • Price for Opera Garnier: 12 € per child, 20 € per adult

What Are The Best Things To Do In Paris With Toddlers What Are The Best Things To Do In Paris With Toddlers

7 – Reviving the soul and spirit At Rue Saint Anne

What Are The Best Things To Do In Paris With Toddlers – day 3

Before or after the visit to the Opera, there is a place where I like to come back every time I’m in Paris: Rue Saint-Anne. Known for its abundance of quality Asian restaurants, there is something for everyone.

I recommend the Higuma canteen, an institution where young, old, tourists, Parisians all can mingle… the best is to find a place in the bar to see the cooks prepare pasta in their big woks. Beware, there are often too many people on the waiting list and you can not book in advance

The belly is now well filled, I will then always take a ride in the pretty bookstore Voyageurs du Monde. To browse beautiful travel books, take inspiration and discover new authors.

Practical information

  • Higuma: 32 bis rue St Anne, Paris 02 – underground Pyramids
  • Bookstore: 48 rue St Anne, Paris 02 – open Monday to Saturday (9.30 am-7 pm)

What Are The Best Things To Do In Paris With Toddlers

8 – Stroll in Montmartre to get a glimpse of an artist’s life

What Are The Best Things To Do In Paris With Toddlers – day 3

Ahhh Montmartre … here is the retreat of my sanctuary. The neighborhood where I lived my beautiful student years, my Sundays lounging, my frenzied evenings. Is there a better area to live in Paris with your family and walk around?

I advise you to start the visit from below the Sacré-Coeur, at the foot of the funicular: you can climb the Square Louise Michel or take the famous railroad (at the same price of a metro ticket). Once at the top, you have the magic view of all Paris.

You can then go down peacefully through the Place du Tertre, the street of the watering hole, then stop at Suzanne Buisson Square before taking the rue Lepic which joins the famous rue des Abbesses. A little further on, on the place of the Abbesses, a carousel turned the heads of all the children of the district. So why not yours?

Good to know too: Sunday, rue des Abbesses becomes pedestrian and all shops are open. A neighborhood alive even on the day of the Lord!

Good places

  • To brunch: Poppy (bread and pastries)

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  • Visit the Palace of Versailles

I have never been there, but it will be one of my next destinations when in Paris with my family. The RER C will take you there directly from the center of Paris. You can also rent a car in Paris with Liligo.

  • The Garden of Acclimatization

The Jardin d’Acclimatation is a pretty place that kids love. It is an amusement park full of rides, enchanted rivers. But we are far from the atmosphere of the big carnivals, I reassure you!

I loved spending time with the kids there. The playground at the end of the park is also good to hold the frenzy of consumption of the rides: it is great and has water jets to refresh the children in the hot Parisian summers.

Before or after, don’t forget to visit the Louis Vuitton Foundation located next to it, is also worth the detour.

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Where To Stay During Your Trip To Paris 

I advise you to check the offers of large hotel chains that try to “attract” families to bring up their kids to the hotel.

I loved our experience at the Mercure de Londres, and the Mercure Montmartre also seems to offer the same type of services. And I love its terrace overlooking the Sacré Coeur!

Additional score points for Novotel Paris Les Halles which has a very nice location, yet additionally free breakfasts for children, a nice terrace, a babysitter service, and a late check-out on Sunday. Cheaper but also a great choice is the Novotel Paris.

Renting an apartment in Paris with your family

If you prefer an apartment, look at the Citadines de Montmartre, and Airbnb, be sure to be near the metro lines that will take you quickly to the strategic places on your itinerary. Besides Montmartre that I particularly like (be careful, not practical for kids on their strollers), also look at rentals in the district of Batignolles.

In the evening you can then eat at the famous restaurant Club des 5. The kids will love to dine there.

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ITINERARY TO VISIT PARIS IN FAMILY IN 3 OR 4 DAYS

 

  • Day 1: Eiffel Tower – Batobus – Parc de la Villette and City of Science and Industry
  • Day 2: Louvre – Tuileries – Batobus – Notre Dame and Saint Louis Island
  • Day 3: Opera – Saint Anne Street – Montmartre
  • Day 4: Versailles or The Garden of Acclimatization and the Louis Vuitton Foundation (or Beaubourg dreaming in the Center) – or Disneyland Paris. Again, look at the prices on this site: 365tickets. Often much cheaper than elsewhere!
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