The city of love has so many brilliant activities on offer, it can be hard to know where to start your Parisien adventure with the kids. The obvious first stop is the imposing and iron laced Eiffel Tower. The new first floor has a transparent base 57m up from the ground offering some excellent views and really making you feel like you’re stepping out into the void! Spectacular panoramic views can be experienced all the way up in the glass lifts, see how many of Paris’ iconic landmarks you can spot on the way. Just make sure to pack some layers as it can get pretty chilly up there. In summer take a picnic to enjoy on the grass surrounding the tower and in the winter you can even go ice skating on the first floor.
Top Tip – Book your tickets before hand or you could be queuing for hours
Some kids love art galleries, some hate them but can you resist a trip to Paris without taking a peek at the Mona Lisa? The beautiful Louvre is located on the Right Bank of the Seine in the 1st arrondissement and houses much more than just Leonardo da Vincis most famous painting. Yes there will be crowds and queues, this is the most visited museum in the world after all, but the interactive tour is excellent and great for older kids. There are plenty of cafes for a break and the beautiful gardens outside are the perfect place to let off a little steam.
Top Tip – any entrance other than through the pyramid will have smaller lines.
Other must visit Paris attractions are:
The Natural History Museum – Exhibits featuring paleontology, anatomy, botany, science and nature. Also home to the botanical gardens, tropical glasshouses and a menagerie featuring kangaroos and pink flamingos. Phew!
Musée d’Orsay – Art museum with a great guided tour for kids featuring, among others, the works of Van Gogh, Degas and Monet
Jardin du Luxembourg – a brilliant park with wading pools, sandboxes and sailboats.
Paris Catacombs – a rabbit warren of tunnels and caves under Paris, fabulously gory for any little horror fans
The Pompidou Centre – Mordern art museum with great city views, very child friendly, especially the interactive Galarie des Enfants
Paris is a city that takes its food very seriously and although most restaurants do not cater specifically to kids with special menus and activity packs, they are welcome almost anywhere (as long as they’re not too rowdy!).
“Café culture” is huge in Paris so go at the kids pace, if they fancy a sit down in one of the many street cafes then give yourself time to do so and enjoy watching the world go by. Make sure you take some time to enjoy the street performers on the Champs-Elysee or near Notre Dame
If you want a special treat, head to Ladurée for their world famous macarons and patisserie or simply stop to have a portrait sketched in the Place du Tertre in Montmartre, something you will cherish for years to come.
The Metro is an excellent way to get round Paris so make sure your hotel is located close to one of the many stations and avoid peak times – these trains get busy and require a lot of steps so not great with a buggy.
Paris has so many hotels, and apartments, just finding the best accommodation can be exhausting, we recommend basing yourself somewhere near to the attractions you want to visit. Saint Germain is a great area with loads of shops and restaurants.