“A Taste of Paris” shows our readers a side of the City of Lights beyond the Eiffel Tower and the Louvre, offering insights into the French capital’s neighborhoods that are informative and inspiring.
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Production: LWS Production / E-TV
Tips for families in Paris[caption id="attachment_44723" align="aligncenter" width="1200"] Set up camp with your favorite treat in front of Paris’ most iconic monument. Photo by JPC24M CCBY[/caption]
Plan your trip with your kids in mind: While you may want to wander down the “undiscovered” back streets, children love the color of Paris found in the gaudy street artists and performers in Montmartre, seeing the Eiffel Tower lit up and sparking and the Love Locks of the Pont des Arts.
Treats at the local patisserie: Wander into any patisserie and prepare to be assaulted with a bevvy of delectable and colorful treats. Half the fun is picking out your selections– the other half is devouring them!
Picnic Time: Not only can picnics offer a good opportunity to save money on family meals, it’s also the perfect way to enjoy some of Paris’ parks. It can also spare you the ordeal of dealing with fidgety kids in a restaurant. The Champ de Mars behind the Eiffel Tower is a great place to soak in the views and stretch out.
Get an unlimited transportation pass: while Paris is considered a very walkable city, tiny legs get tired fast, so you may end up using the metro more often than a carnet of tickets would afford. Unlimited passes are available for 1, 2, 3, and 5 days.
Consider taking the bus: It’s more scenic than the Metro and much easier to board with small children and strollers.
Plan your trips: Download the free RATP mobile app for help with planning your journey in advance.
Know what tickets to get: Kids under 3 don’t need a ticket for transportation. Kids aged 4-9 take a child ticket and anyone over the age of 10 needs an adult ticket.
Family-Friendly Parisian experiences[caption id="attachment_44721" align="aligncenter" width="1200"] The Stravinsky Fountain outside the Pompidou looks like something out of a kid’s dream. Photo by Tim Sackton CCBY[/caption]
The Pompidou Centre: This quirky building is boldly juxtaposed against the classic Parisian buildings surrounding it. Located inside its dramatic exterior is a modern art gallery, book store and gift shop. Tour the colorful permanent collection featuring pieces from turn of the century Parisian artists and the fun Galerie des Enfants for an interactive art experience. Street theater artists crowd into the square outside the Pompidou and the adjacent Stravinsky Fountain dazzles with its colorful mechanics.
Jardin du Luxembourg: Endless entertainment is hosted in the palatial Left Bank gardens with a safe fence running the whole perimeter. Hop aboard a pony ride or the oldest working carousel in the city, catch a classic Parisian puppet show or sail boats across the pond.
Bois de Boulogne and the Jardin d’Acclimation: Send your thanks to Emperor Napoleon III for this piece of children’s paradise in the northwest of Paris, not far from the Arc de Triomphe. Farm animals to camels, plenty of water wading opportunities and vintage amusement park rides can easily offer a full day of activities for the kids. On the weekends, don’t miss the puppet theater in the Emperor’s stables with toddlers. For older kids with more stamina, a rented bike ride around the forest is peaceful. We recommend bringing some snacks as the food in the park is expensive.
Disneyland Paris: Did you know that Mickey Mouse is fluent in French? The Parisian outpost has a certain “je ne c’est quoi” that merits a visit for fans of the Disney empire. You can easily manage to hit all the rides and say hello to all your favorite characters within a day but it could be worth splurging on a Fast Pass to eliminate the long waits for the rides.
Les Catacombes: While the average adult might feel a tad creeped out by the miles of tunnels and caves housing a mass grave of stacked bones underneath the city, children find the experience altogether captivating. Expect a wait to get inside, especially on rainy days so arrive early and armed with snacks.
Parc de la Villette and La Cité des Sciences et de l’Industrie: Comprising of an elaborate playground with hamster wheels and zip lines and themed gardens, this futuristic park in the north of Paris is backed against the banks of a canal with plenty of space to tumble and roam. The onsite science museum is dedicated to engaging and educating children with whimsical exhibits on submarines, arctic life, ancient sea monsters and a planetarium. Finish off the experience with a ride on a canal boat down to the trendy Canal St Martin area.
Hôtel Axel Opéra[caption id="attachment_44726" align="aligncenter" width="1200"] Excellent transportation links to the whole city as well as Disneyland Paris makes the Hôtel Axel Opéra a great family friendly budget hotel pick. Photo taken from trivago. [/caption]
This quintessentially Parisian hotel is well connected to some of the city’s most charming corners and is an easy 45 minute train ride to Disneyland Paris. Ride the elevator up to your soundproofed and airconditioned Duplex room that can accommodate up to 4 adults or 2 adults and 2 children (while those under 2 years stay for free). Cribs and cots are available at no extra cost and the WiFi is also complimentary. Grab traditional pastries and coffee or tea in the lobby everyday from 2 – 5:30 p.m. Should you arrive before check-in or are leaving town after check-out, the luggage room keeps your suitcases safe and your hands free to explore the city for a bit longer.
Hotel Henriette Rive Gauche[caption id="attachment_44744" align="aligncenter" width="1200"] Punchy colors and vintage decor at Hotel Henriette. Photo taken from trivago.[/caption]
Full of enticing colors and cheerful vintage details, the Hotel Henriette Rive Gauche is the perfect budget-friendly hotel pick for families visiting Paris. Connecting air conditioned rooms are configured to your bedding needs as either double or twin rooms and boast two bathrooms to comfortably accommodate a family with lots of extra space. The hotel is located on a quiet street near the lively Mouffetard district, close to many restaurants and sights including the Roman amphitheater at Arènes de Lutèce where kids can join a game of pick-up soccer with the locals.
Looking for more Paris hotels to suit your tastebuds? Check out our Insider Guide To Paris Boutique hotels!
Tip: If you’d like to keep our family recommendations handy during your Paris visit, click the ⭐ icon next to the Maps title to save it to your own Google Maps!
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