Paris Je T'aime: A Guide to Paris for Families
Arts & Culture
Simply put, Paris is the best! From the history, to Haute couture, to croissants and the museums, there is something for everyone in Paris. It is the ultimate playground for kids and adults. I can't wait for you to come and play.
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Where to stay in Paris
Le Pavillon de la Reine
Sophisticated hotel with contemporary, mosaic-tiled rooms and suites, located in one of Paris' oldest neighborhoods.
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A secret garden-style hotel in Paris with palatial lodgings and gracious breakfast offerings.
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A picturesque boutique hotel in the heart of Paris with stunning decor, a bar and city views.
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Things to do in Paris
WHAT TO SEE:
PLACE DE VOSGES
If you are staying in the Marais, one of the most loveliest squares to visit is Place de Vosges. Tucked away off the busy streets you will find this charming park with a small playground and plenty of places to sit for a picnic. Grab a baguette, some wine and cheese and enjoy.
To burn off your morning croissant(s), head over to the 9th Arr. to see Sacré Couer and take the 300 steps up to get the most spectacular view of Paris. There is also a small playground and carousel below Sacré Couer. Tip: Leave your strollers at home and bring a baby carrier if you have a small child or you can always take the funicular up and down.
Come and visit "The Iron Lady" in all her glory. Depending on your stamina, you can walk the 674 steps from the ground to the 2nd floor. If you need a little assistance (no judgment), you can take the lift. Tip: Reserve your tickets in advance if you want to go to the 2nd floor, lift tickets open 60 days in advance, stairs open 7 days in advance. Another great way to see the view is to book lunch at Madame Brasserie. If you don't want to head up the tower, check out the carousel and have a picnic lunch on the Champs de Mars.
A former palace turned into a contemporary art park is a great place to stop and check out boutiques, coffee shops and restaurants like Café Kitsune and Le Grand Véfour. Kids will love climbing on top of Les Colonnes de Buren.
Located between the Louvre and the Place de la Concorde, this is the perfect spot for a leisurely stroll. Grab a macaron from Ladurée across the street and enjoy. Kids will love the gardens, don't forget to check out the carousel and in-ground trampolines. This is the perfect place for kids to get the wiggles out after the Louvre.
This might be the most beautiful park in all of Paris. This is kid heaven - they have boats "bateaux à voiles" to rent to sail across the pond, a puppet show, carousel and a huge gated playground, Ludo Jardin. Tip: You will need to pay for the playground but it's worth it - Price : 3€ for children ( from 3y to 12y) and 1€ per adult.
What to do:
PRIVATE SIENE RIVER BOAT TOUR
Take a private boat ride along the Siene with The Art of Luxury Experience. Cruise along the river in a vintage boat and enjoy the beautiful backdrop of the city. They provide a little bit of history, snacks and of course champagne. Tip: Book an evening ride to catch the Eiffel Tower sparkle as you cruise by. They have a variety of boats depending on the size of your party.
SCAVENGER HUNT IN THE LOUVRE
The most famous museum in the world can be a little overwhelming for adults and especially for the little ones. Book a scavenger hunt with Paris Muse for the kids to see some of the most famous works of art. You will have a private guide who will engage with your kids for 2 hours! They will share secrets, puzzles and history of the Louvre and its art. It was one of the highlights of our trip! Tip: Book your tour well in advance especially during high season.
This is a cool digital and immersive art experience for the family.
WHERE TO SHOP:
Merci - Amazing concept store in the Marais with a bookshop and cafe.
Bonton - Beautifully curated children's clothing shop.
Bonpoint - If you were to ever splurge on one item of clothing for your kids, it should be Bonpoint. Beautifully crafted children's clothing with exceptional quality.
Le Bon Marche - Go and see the displays to be inspired by the latest seasons collection.
Places to eat & drink in Paris
Mokoloco - A tiny little spot opened by the owners of Mokonuts, it is intimate and cozy. This restaurant has rotating chef pop ups, so check out their instagram page to see what they are cooking up. Tip: They are kid accommodating, but do not have a separate kids menu or high chairs. The food was delicious! Maybe for a slightly more adventurous eater but even my picky eater loved it! Tip: Put yourself on the waitlist, you never know when you might get called for a spot.
Pink Mamma - Probably the most Instagrammable restaurant in Paris! This restaurant is packed, so make a reservation! The food is delicious, so prepare yourself for a carb fest! Afterwards, head to Sacré Couer to burn off a few calories. Tip: If they do not have any reservations available, check out some of their other restaurants in Paris.
Chez Janou - This gem of a restaurant is located right behind Place des Vosges. They have Provençal-style dishes but are most well known for their giant bowl of chocolate mousse. It's small and a tight squeeze but well worth it. It is always busy, so definitely make a reservation. Tip: You must call this restaurant for a reservation or have me do it!
Grandcouer - Located in a hidden courtyard, this beautiful restaurant has the most wonderful outside terrace. The food is excellent, their signature dish is the slow roasted lamb and it is perfection! (Recommended by Paris by Mouth)
Le Petit Lutetia - After doing a little retail therapy at Le Bon Marche, stop by this elegant little brasserie serving up classic french fare. Do not forget to get the profiteroles! Tip: You must call this restaurant for a reservation or have me do it!
Pétrelle - The dark interiors are romantic and intimate. The food was delightful and left us wanting more (not in terms of quantity.) This is a perfect place for a date night. (Recommended by Paris by Mouth)
Le relais de l'entrecote - If you like steak frites, this is your place. One option on the menu with unlimited fries. Tip: They do not take reservations, so be sure to be there early or be prepared to wait.
Ladurée - If there was a fashion house of macarons, it would be Ladurée. Best "Le goûter" or snack. Tip: They have a location at the airport in case you ate the ones you were supposed to bring home as a gift.
Poilâne - If you love bread, then definitely visit one of the most famous bakeries in Paris. Known for their loaves, pastries and cookies. Tip: The Marais location is perfect place to stop while shopping in the area.
Chez Omar - This is a Parisian institution. I dream about the couscous from Chez Omar, tiny clouds that melt in your mouth. If you need a break from french food, come and enjoy a heaping plate of couscous with stews and grilled meats. Tip: Come early or late, no reservations.
Need to Know
Looking for more travel inspiration? Check out my guide, Magical Oasis in the Desert: A Family-Friendly Guide to Marrakech.
If you are going to be in Paris for a few days, definitely get a Metro travel pass. Go to one of the main metro stations with an attendant and they will help you with your pass. Kids love the Metro, it is super efficient and also helps alleviate some of the tired feet from all the walking.
If you bring a stroller, I highly recommend Babyzen Yoyo, they are compact, lightweight and folds up nicely to put in the overhead compartment or under the table at the Cafe. Leave the big strollers at home!
Take it slow with kids, Paris is best enjoyed at a leisurely pace. It's ok to not see it all in one shot. Plus it gives you an excuse to come back again!
Reserve as much as you can in advance, Paris is always busy, so if you don't want to wait in line, book early!
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This guide is part of our ongoing series on travel to Paris.