Paris with Kids – The Best Family Hotels

Updated: June 14, 2016

Paris with Kids - The Best Hotels

Tips and Recommendations

  • HotelsCombined.com – Best website for finding hotel deals in Paris.
  • Paris has so much to see both indoors and outdoors that it’s a great year-round destination but the very best months to visit are from late April to early October (excluding August).
  • The best neighborhoods for families are Saint Germain (central, loads of shops and restaurants), Rue Cler in the 7th Arrondissement (quieter, slower paced, village-like feel, but still close to many attractions and the Eiffel Tower), and the Marais (less touristy, hip and trendy but still family-friendly).
  • To save time and money on the metro buy a booklet of 10 tickets called a carnet. They cost 14.40€ and allow 10 rides. Any one ride can last 90 minutes and include transfers.
  • Kids (ages 4 to 10) save even more money when buying the carnet since they must pay adult prices for single tickets (1.80€) but get the book of 10 for half-price (7.20€). Kids 3 and under are free on the Paris metro.
  • The best luxury hotel for families is the Four Seasons George V.
  • Want something in a quiet location? The Gardette Park Hotel – just beyond the Marais district in the 11th arrondissement but still walking distance (or a quick metro ride) to sites and attractions. A great playground and park are right across the street.
  • The best budget hotel in Paris for families is Staycity Serviced Apartments.
  • The best hotel at Disneyland Paris is Disneyland Hotel Marne La Vallee. Nice pool and located right at the park entrance. Disneyland is 45 minutes by train from central Paris.
  • Good restaurants kids will love: Breakfast in America (breakfast all day), Breizh Cafe (the best crepes in the Marais), Le Coupole (historic brasserie in Montparnasse), All Aboard Le Train Bleu (belle epoque style that’s still kid-friendly), Le Relais de l’Entrecote (steak, fries, and scrumptious desserts at 3 locations), Gourmet at Glou (kid-friendly wine bar in the Marais), and for an all-dessert menu Dessance (“cuisine du sucré”).
  • The best playground on the left bank is at the Luxembourg Gardens (there’s a small fee). The best playground on the right bank is at the Tuileries Garden.
  • Book hotels as early as possible. Paris has an extreme shortage of large rooms for families. If you find something good reserve it as soon as possible.

The 11 Best Kid-Friendly Hotels in Paris, France

Four Seasons Hotel George V – luxury

Four Seasons with Kids in Paris
One of the very best hotels in Paris. Good sized swimming pool, and great service and staff. Kids’ bathrobes, greeting gift (for young guests), and complimentary baby food and toiletries. Babysitting services with 24 hours notice. Kids eat for free at the hotel’s restaurants. Family Recreation Manager helps families plan their visit. Close to George V metro station. Hotel phone: +33 (1) 4952 7000

Fraser Suites Le Claridge Champs-Elysées – luxury

Claridge Fraser Suites with Kids
Wonderful location right on the Champs-Elysées. Large 1 or 2 bedrooms suites easily sleep families of 4 or 6. All suites have kitchens. It’s a 2 minute walk to the George V metro station and 15 minute walk to both the Eiffel Tower and the Louvre. Hotel phone: +33 (1) 4413 3333

Le Bristol – luxury

Le Bristol with Kids in Paris
Beautiful spacious rooms. Great indoor swimming pool. Children and families are not an afterthought here and are truly welcomed and pampered. There’s a good kids menu, a garden treasure hunt, and a supervised kids club and playroom. Hotel phone: +33 (1) 5343 4300

The Westin Paris Vendome – luxury

Paris Westin Vendome with Kids
Very close to the Renaissance (also kid-friendly) but here you exchange the swimming pool for a larger room and suites are larger still. The Westin has kid-friendly service and great restaurants both in the hotel and just out the door. Tuileries metro station is very close. Hotel phone: 33 (1) 4477 1111

Gardette Park Hotel – moderate

Good hotel for families in Marais
This is a great mid-range hotel and one of my favorites in Paris for families on a budget. The family suites have 2 single beds and a queen and are a good size for Paris. Across the street is a park with a playground and there are several good restaurants within a 3 minute walk. A great neighborhood but with few tourists so you feel like you’re really seeing Paris. Hotel phone: +33 (1) 4700 5793

Best Western Paris Louvre Opera – moderate

Best Western Paris Louvre with Kids
Family suites are 2 interconnected rooms each with twin beds. Fantastic location. Many restaurants nearby. Steps from the Pyramides metro station. Hotel phone: +33 (1) 4020 0110

Novotel Paris Tour Eiffel – moderate

Paris Novotel Eiffel Tower with Kids
Chain hotel that has clean simple rooms with friendly service. Nice swimming pool. Short walk to the Eiffel Tower. Close to Bir-Hakeim metro station. Hotel phone: +33 (1) 4058 2000

Best Western Premier Left Bank – St Germain – moderate

Left Bank Hotel with Kids
Great location in the center of St Germain. Triple rooms (2 twin and 1 sofa bed) and quadruple rooms (2 twin and 2 sofa beds). Steps from St Germain des Pres metro station. Hotel phone: +33 (1) 4354 0170

Holiday Inn Paris Bastille – moderate

Paris Holiday Inn for Kids
King Suites with sofa bed are good for families. Near Gare de Lyon and many cafes and restaurants. The Holiday Inn has larger rooms than most mid-range Paris hotels. Close to 2 different metro lines makes getting anywhere in Paris quick and easy. The entire hotel is non-smoking. Hotel phone: +33 (1) 5302 2000

Staycity Serviced Apartments – budget

Family Apartment in Paris
Large suites with kitchens and cookware close to Gare de l’Est and Gare du Nord (for Eurostar train to London). Friendly staff. Surrounding streets are not the most beautiful in Paris but there are plenty of places to eat, a food market, and good metro connections with the rest of the city. Hotel phone: +33 (1) 4489 6670

Timhotel Palais Royal Louvre – budget

Paris TimHotel with Kids
Best budget hotel near the Louvre. Triple rooms with 3 twin beds are simple but good. Bourse metro stop is very close. Hotel phone: +33 (1) 4261 5390

More Paris Hotels for Families

All of these hotels have triple, quad, or family rooms. The larger the room the earlier they seem to be snatched up – so book early.

Paris Houses & Apartments

Recommended rentals for families. All units have kitchens, washer/dryer, and internet.

Hotels with Swimming Pools

Recommended and Helpful Links

99 questions and comments

  1. Europe with a 7 Year Old

    We are going to Europe for 16 days April 2017 I’m trying plan ahead bc I’m paying some here and there as I go. Passports and airlines done. Now for places to stay we fly into London and I wanted to stay at Premeir Inn London County Hall by the London eye for 3 nights. Then to Paris for 3 nights. Them to Amsterdam for 4 nights. Then Germany Munich for 3 or somewhere in area of the black Forrest. Then on to Vienna for the remaining and fly out of there back home. I need so much help with the trains I was trying to figure out I could take the euro from London to Paris and then Paris to Brussells change and ride into Amsterdam then I’m stuck from how to get to Germany then Austria also have a 7 year wild son who loves weapons and midevil things. Any help would be appreciated. Thank for your site. It’s helped a lot.

    Reply
    1. DavidDavid Post author

      There is a night train from Amsterdam to Munich which leaves every evening at 8:30 and arrives in Munich at 7:10am. Kids love overnight trains. Buy tickets here. There are many trains a day from Munich to Vienna. They take about 4 hours. Buy tickets here. Both Paris and London have great military museums with lots of weapons, tanks, planes, and history.

      Reply
  2. Paris (and London) with Teenagers over Christmas

    Thank you for all the information you provided on your site. We will traveling to Paris in December with our 14 years old sons and plan on traveling to London during our stay. We plan on staying 10 days in Paris including Christmas. We will travel to London and stay 3 days before returning to Paris for 1 day. It will the boys first trip to Paris and London. Where do you recommend we stay with the boys in Paris: 1st, 5th, Marais, or 16th arrondissement? or any other suggestions? What is your recommendation for traveling between Paris and London?

    Olivia Damato

    Reply
    1. DavidDavid Post author

      For your stay, I would suggest either the 1st or the Marais. Both are extremely central and close to lots of activity. The 5th, depending on the part, is a little more quiet and the 16th is the furthest from most attractions (except the Eiffel Tower) and the most residential district in Paris. Since they’re 14, I’d lean towards the Marais since they’ll probably appreciate the cool boutiques, galleries, and general hipness of the neighborhood. (If they were younger I would suggest the 1st so that you’ll have access to the playgrounds and open space of the Tuileries.) Christmas is a great time to visit, especially with kids. While you’re there, be sure to check out the animatronic window displays at Galeries Lafayette and Printemps. They are simply incredible and both kids and adults will enjoy it. Also try to go ice skating either in front of the Hotel de Ville or inside the Grand Palais which sets up the largest indoor ice rink in the world for the holidays. These are set up especially for Christmas and are both a wonderful experience. The Christmas market at Champs Elysees might also be fun for your family. Admittedly it is a little touristy, but it’s the biggest one in the city. Plus it starts next to the Place de Concorde right where the Grand Roue de Paris is, the giant Ferris wheel that they also start running for the holiday festivities. One thing to be aware of is that many restaurants close down for the week between Christmas and New Year’s. If you have any special plans, check beforehand to make sure they’ll be open. Also, if you’re taking the Eurostar train to London (which is what I recommend – much easier than flying with no substantial travel-time difference), that goes out of Gare du Nord. It’s in the center of Paris in the 10th so don’t worry about making any special accommodations to be near it. Gare du Nord is an easy 15 minute taxi ride from the Marais without traffic (or an easy metro ride if you’re luggage is on the light side) and very accessible.

      Reply
  3. Hotel Chopin and Area

    Hi. Very interesting reading, thank you.
    I am planning a very short stay in Paris for myself and my 5yr old daughter late September. We arrive at midday on the Sunday and leave for Disney Paris on the Tuesday morning. I have made provisional bookings at Hotel Chopin on advice from my to be sister in law. Essentially we will have 1 and a bit days in Paris. I want to see Eiffel Tower of course and eat some local food. Any suggestions?

    Tracey

    Reply
    1. DavidDavid Post author

      The Hotel Chopin is a great choice. You’ll be walking distance to many sites and it’s tucked away inside the historic Passage Jouffroy, one of Paris’ beautiful covered shopping galleries that were built in the 1800s. Visiting them is like stepping back in time and the oldest one, the Passage des Panoramas, is just across the street from the Passage Jouffroy. Within those you’ll find charming shops selling books and postcards, tea salons, and a wide range of restaurants. The Passage des Panoramas in particular has become a foodie attraction with notable restaurants like Racine, the two Michelin starred Passage 53, and it’s newest addition Canard & Champagne. Since you’re traveling with your daughter, a more family friendly option might be the Restaurant Chartier. It’s popular with tourists and Parisians alike because the prices are reasonable and it’s also a step back in time. Tables are covered with white paper where the waiters scribble your order on it and the magnificent dining room, built in 1896, is a great example of Belle Epoque architecture.

      Also in the neighborhood are two kid-friendly museums, the Musee Grevin (wax museum) and the Musee du Chocolat which offers hands on workshops for children. Close to your hotel is also the charming pedestrian street Rue Cadet. Most people will tell you to go to Rue Montorgueil, a very well known and touristed shopping street with butchers, cheesemongers, bakeries, restaurants, etc. Rue Cadet, though smaller, has all of these things but will give you a taste of a typical Parisian neighborhood.

      Lastly, if your daughter needs some space to play outdoors, you’re not too far from the Palais Royale. There’s a beautiful garden lined with cafes where you can sip a coffee while she plays. I’d recommend Cafe Kitsune which has the best coffee.

      Reply
  4. Paris Hotels for Family of 5

    Hi, we are a family of 5 looking to spend 3/4 nights in Paris with children 14 ,9 and 4, it will be the first time going.
    Any recommendations?
    – For a hotel we would hopefully want a family room-but will spend most of the time out and about.
    – Which area is best – totally confused.
    We will be looking to eat out so some good eating places (and vegetarian).
    Would like to vist Eiffel Tower some sort of river cruise.
    Sight seeing: a bit of culture just generally a fun time out with good eating places and places to visit. Do we need to book tour guide? Any help and advice appreciated.
    Which is best site to book from?

    Reply
    1. DavidDavid Post author

      The two most popular areas in Paris are Saint-Germain-des-Prés and the Marais. Saint-Germain-des-Prés is typical “left bank” Paris – beautiful architecture, Hemmingway haunts, and the Paris you see in the movies. The Marais (on the right bank) has some of those elements but is more edgy and hip. Both are great areas since they are central, close to tourist sites and have lots of options for restaurants, shopping, nightlife, etc. However, hotel rooms in these neighborhoods tend to be priced at a premium so you might either look into a short term apartment rental or you could situate yourself in one of the neighboring arrondisements. Since you mentioned you are vegetarian, I’d suggest the Marais which will have more options for you since classic French food tends to be quite meat-heavy. In the Marais you’ll have lots of choices such as the popular L’As du Fallafel, Breizh Cafe for savory crepes, or Cafe Pinson a mostly vegetarian, organic bistro. You should also check out the fun and family friendly Marche des Enfant Rouges which is a cross between a small farmers market and food court with multiple vendors selling everything from Moroccan couscous to classic French fare to Japanese bento boxes. If budget is an issue, I’d suggest staying in the 11th arrondisement. It’s just on the border of the Marais and you’ll find better hotel and apartment deals. One hotel to check out is the Gardette Park Hotel. The hotel has rooms suitable for a family and it’s also next to a small park if your children need some outdoor space. You’re also still walking distance to the Marais, the shops and restaurants that line the Boulevard Beaumarchais, and the great open air market at Bastille which is the largest in Paris and runs along the Boulevard Richard Lenoir every Thursday and Sunday until about 2:30pm. They have fantastic produce, food stalls, baguettes, wine – all the components you need for picnic or casual dinner. For the Eiffel Tower, try to book tickets in advance and you can do this online at toureiffel.fr. Tickets to the summit often sell out, so if this happens you can just buy tickets to the second floor and from there they will have another area to buy separate tickets to the top. For a river cruise, check out the Vedettes du Pont Neuf. A 1 hour cruise covers most of the major tourist sites and they have special prices for adults and children. Adults are 14 euros and kids ages 4-12 are 7 euros. Also, since you’re traveling with kids, there are lots of family friendly activities that are interactive and cultural. The Louvre for example has a treasure hunt geared towards young children and most of the parks like the Luxembourg Gardens, the Jardin de Tuileries, and Place des Vosges have playgrounds. The newest addition to this is the Berges de Seine in the 7th which has converted a section along the Seine across from the Grand Palais into pop up exhibits, a child friendly rock climbing wall and other activities. Generally speaking, you don’t need to book a tour guide since many people in Paris speak English and you’re looking to do more cultural activities rather than travel off the beaten path. Tours are great (especially food tours, which my kids love) and getyourguide.com is good for booking those – but most people do not need a devoted tour guide.

      Reply
  5. Camping Near Paris

    Great article, keep up the good work. We’ve been to Paris several times now just as a couple and also with our 3 kids and we are always amazed as to the number of great attractions based there. Although we’ve done the major sites such as the Eiffel Tower and Le Louvre, one of the best was we found to see the city sights with the kids was on one of the Seine River cruise boats. Our kids especially loved the evening trip when some of the major sights are lit up. We love Paris it’s a great city which keeps calling you back. Couldn’t find if you’d already written about it but readers should consider staying at one of the campsites around Paris.

    Tim

    Reply
  6. Paris with 3 Kids

    David, thank you for all the effort you put into this web site. It has been a great resource since we moved to Malaysia a year and a half ago with our three kids (ages 9, 7, 7). We are getting ready to leave now to come back to the US and are planning a trip through Europe, including Paris. We have an itinerary which currently includes a bike tour, Eiffel Tower tickets, the Louvre, Musee d’Orsay and Disneyland Paris. For our last day, my wife would like to spend it at Parc de la Villette, visiting the Science Center and the park itself. It would also mean leaving Notre Dame, Saint Chapelle and Arc de Triomphe off the itinerary.

    Any thoughts here? Are those three must-see items when doing Paris with kids?

    Luke Hood

    Reply
    1. DavidDavid Post author

      If you’re traveling with kids, they will definitely enjoy the Cite des Enfants. It’s designed especially for children to be very hands on and they even have it broken into two age groups (2-7 year olds and 5-12 year olds). It’s true, the Parc de la Villette is off the beaten path for most tourists, but I’d think it would be a nice change of pace from all the crowds you’ll encounter at the Louvre, Eiffel Tower and Disneyland. Plus you’ll get to see a side of Paris that most visitors don’t see. For example in the same park is the Philharmonie de Paris, one of the newest and most unusual buildings that recently opened in 2015 and was designed by Jean Nouvel (think of him as the French Frank Gehry). It’s also a popular park for Parisians in the summer because they show free outdoor movies in the evenings (many in English with French subtitles) and people bring along a picnic. Check this year’s movie schedule. As for the other monuments you mentioned, you might be satisfied with a bus or river cruise. Those generally last an hour and allow you to see a number of Parisian highlights in a short time. Some popular ones are the Vedettes du Pont Neuf and tickets are 5 euros for children under 12 and 11 euros for adults or the Big Bus Tours which costs 16 euros for children and 18 euros for adults.

      Reply
  7. Paris and Disneyland with 2 Kids

    I will be travelling by myself with 2 kids that will be 12 and 9 when we get a chance to go to Paris. We will probably travel for 7-8 days from NY to France during July as you recommend. If you have been to Disney World in Florida recently is it worth going to Disneyland Paris? If so, do you go for 1 or 2 days? Was there a Paris ferris wheel? Would you recommend going to the Palace of Versailles for a day trip? How hot is it in mid July? Do you recommend Cirque du Soleil – Varekai? Do you recommend any ballets or operas to see in Paris for kids? Who do you recommend contacting for cooking schools for us? Do you recommend other areas of France outside of Paris to explore during this trip or is it too much to fit in? Thanks so much for all of the information you have provided to others, it has been quite helpful.

    Lyn from New York

    Reply
    1. DavidDavid Post author

      If you’ve been to Disney World in Orlando recently, Disneyland Paris may be worth skipping. It’s about 1/10 the size of Disney World with only two parks (vs. DW’s four) and the second park – the Walt Disney Studios Park – is kind of small. I’d only suggest going if you’re really a big Disney fan and you’d like to see all the Disney properties. However Orlando and Paris both share many of the same attractions so if you feel like you’ve seen it already there are plenty of family friendly activities to do in Paris. For instance you’ll be there around the time that Paris Plage opens up (July 18-Aug 21). Every year the city of Paris trucks in tons of sand to create a beach and boardwalk feel just along the Seine. They have lounge chairs and kids can build sandcastles, all in the center of the city. There’s also lots of fun stalls with ice cream, food trucks, etc. which gives the whole scene a lively feel. There are also some great kid-friendly museums, like the Cite des Enfants. It’s highly interactive and engaging for children of all ages. Since you’ll be there in the summer, there are also numerous parks throughout Paris and most of them have playgrounds or special attractions for children. The Luxembourg Gardens in particular has a marionette theater with puppet shows 3 times a day during the summer and a pond for sailing small boats. The Jardin de Tuileries is great because it has a carousel, Shetland pony rides, toy sailboats, and trampolines (most of these things do cost a small fee). And just to the west of the Jardin de Tuileries is the Paris ferris wheel, officially called the Concorde big wheel because of its location at the Place de la Concorde. It will be open until September 23 this year. The Palace of Versailles is a fantastic day trip but you’ll be there at peak season. It’s definitely worth a day trip and is an easy 45 minute ride from central Paris. My best advise though would be to try to plan ahead, get passes in advance, and avoid the busiest days which are usually Sundays, Tuesdays and Saturdays. Thursdays and Fridays are the best days to visit if you can swing it and I’d suggest leaving Paris around 8am so that you arrive before the palace opens at 9am. If that’s too early with the kids, late morning is okay too. And if you don’t think they can take an entire day, just focus on the Chateau and gardens and skip the Trianon.

      The weather in mid-July can get quite warm and average temperatures usually fall in the upper 70s to mid- 80s Fahrenheit. Last year there was a big heatwave with record highs into the mid and upper 90s. It’s worth mentioning that in Paris air conditioning is the exception, not the norm. You’ll usually find it in large department stores and hotels, but don’t count on it in restaurants or if you’re booking a private apartment. Most of the time fans do the trick, but the heat and lack of AC is partially why Parisians leave for a month in August.

      As for the Cirque du Soleil-Varekai, I believe the only dates the show is in Paris is Dec. 7-11. If there are performances in July and you can get tickets then you should definitely go. As for ballets and operas for kids, the Opera National de Paris has a special section of their website called Young Audiences that lists upcoming ballets, operas, chamber music concerts and events especially geared towards young visitors. You could also try the checking out the calendar for Les Etes de la Danse, a festival devoted to summer dance performances with an emphasis on international dance companies. For cooking classes, the most kid-friendly ones are L’Atelier des Sens with their Little Chef classes, Cook N’ with Class with their French desserts for kids course. If you were to take trips outside of Paris, I’d stick with day trips that are easily accessible by train since most places would require renting a car. In addition to Versailles, Giverny is a quaint town about an hour outside of Paris and Monet’s Garden is lovely. Fat Tire bike tours offers one for Giverny and it’s a nice way to see the Monet’s Garden, the surrounding countryside, enjoy a leisurely bike ride, and stop at a local market to buy supplies for a picnic.

      Reply
  8. Camping near Versailles

    Congratulations on your website, and a million thanks! We’re planning to go to Paris in July for 8 days with two kids, 4 and 7. We’re flying to CDG. Would it be a good idea to stay at a campsite in Versailles? Or do you think we can easily be outdoors if staying at an apartment?
    Thanks again
    Patricia

    Reply
    1. DavidDavid Post author

      If your preference is to enjoy nature and the outdoors, you’re probably better off staying at one of several campsites outside Paris. Versailles in particular has lots of beautiful forests that are perfect for exploring and close to the Chateau. One campsite in particular is the Huttopia Versailles which is only about a 30 minute train ride to central Paris. They offer lots of onsite amenities such as a swimming pool and bike rentals. It’s close to a local market in Porchefontaine and biking distance to the bigger Marché de Versailles. The only downside is at that time of year expect it to be very crowded. If you did want to look into renting an apartment, position yourself near either the Bois de Boulogne (where the new Louis Vuitton Foundation is) or the Bois de Vincennes (the largest park in Paris). Both are excellent if you need some outdoor time and both have lots of Velib stations nearby which allow you to use any of the public bikes for 1.70/day. If you’re on a budget, I’d opt for staying in the 12th (near the Bois de Vincennes) vs. the 16th since that area is known for being home to many of the city’s 5 star luxury hotels and your restaurant options and food costs will reflect that. The 12th is a very safe, family friendly district with lots of fun activities like the Parc Zoologique de Paris and the Parc Floral de Paris.

      Reply
  9. Montparnasse or Eiffel Tower / Food Recommendations

    Hi David. Really interesting blog. Could you please advise, between Montparnasse and Eiffel Tower, which area is best? I heard Montparnasse has great cafes etc but the Eiffel is close to the Seine and other tourist spots. Could you please recommend the best places to eat? Nothing fancy but just great finds that are worth checking out for the best bakeries, crepes, french food, croissants/baguettes and cheese? Or any other interesting food markets/stalls. Is there also something better than Laduree for macaroons? Thanks and looking forward to hearing from you.

    Suchada Lichauco

    Reply
    1. DavidDavid Post author

      If you are deciding between the two areas, I would go with the Eiffel Tower. You’ll be close to the Seine, which also has a lot of river-front cafes and restaurants, as well as be in an area which is more charming and has easy access to most of the big tourist attractions to boot. I’d specifically stay near the Rue Cler, which is a fun market street with lots of shops and bistros. The area around Montparnasse is somewhat dominated by the modern Montparnasse Tower and the large train station. One of the notable things about this area is the cluster of creperies you’ll find, all run by people from Brittany where crepes and galettes (the savory version) are from. (I almost wonder if you’re thinking of “Montmartre” rather than Montparnasse which is set higher up on the hills of Paris and has a quaint village like feel. If this is the case, I’d still recommend the Eiffel Tower area for ease of access since there aren’t many metros that connect Montmartre and, though beautiful, can be a little harder to get to.) If you stay near the Eiffel Tower, a very popular place with great food and reasonable prices is Cafe Constant. The great thing is you don’t need to book ahead since they don’t take reservations, the downside is that there is always a long line, especially if you go after 8pm. Also in that area is Chez L’Ami Jean. You will need to book in advance but the food is hearty and the atmosphere a lot of fun. They are known for their Basque specialties and their rice pudding. You’ll also be close to Rue du Bac which has some of the best pastry and chocolate shops in the city. The stretch just by Le Bon Marche conveniently has them all practically next door to each other. Highlights are the Patisserie des Reves and Des Gâteaux et du Pain for pastries, and Jacques Genin and Patrice Chapon for chocolate. Chapon is especially known for his chocolate mousse bar which features mousses made from single origin chocolate. There are several places with great crepes, one in the Montparnasse area called Creperie Josselin and another in the Marais called Breizh Cafe. I would definitely head over to the Marais so you could hit up 134 Rdt, winner of the best croissant in Paris, and there is now an outpost of the award winning cheesemonger Laurent Dubois there too. If you’re looking for the best baguette in Paris, one of the top prizes went to Nelly Julien of Doucers et Traditions, which will be nearby if you’re staying by the Eiffel Tower on Rue Saint-Dominique. For food markets, the biggest one is on Thursdays and Sundays at Bastille. For macarons, please avoid Lauduree and head to Pierre Herme instead. Not only are his macarons much better but if you go on the early side, they might still have some of his fabulous rose water, raspberry, and lychee croissants left.

      Reply
  10. One Week in Paris with Kids

    Hi David,

    We’re planning a family trip to UK (19may-12June) to which we plan to add 6-7 days in Paris (June first week), my kids are of the age 4 & 8.

    Travelling first time to Europe with kids gives lot of ideas to ponder, to which your expertise is a big big welcome..

    1) We are not much into art and will wish to visit museum of relevance for a family, your suggestions?
    2) Since with kids Disney is a must visit, do you suggest overnight stay at a Disney hotel or to board hotel within Paris for entire trip?
    3) For a 6-7 days trip we plan to spend 1 day at Disney, 1 day trip to Versailles, then Luxembourg Gardens, Arc de Triomphe, Notre Dame cathedral, Cruise on the Seine. Any other suggestions?
    4) Considering above trip, which area of Paris is ideal for a budget stay? Any hotel recommendations?

    Thanks a ton in advance,
    Sameer Patel

    Reply
    1. DavidDavid Post author

      There are a number of museums that are geared just for kids or sections of better known museums that are kid friendly. Musee en Herbe is a small art museum in the 1st arrondisement that caters especially to young children with contemporary art exhibits and workshops where kids can make their own art. The workshops are even categorized by age group (2 1/2-4 year olds and 5-12 year olds) and though they are conducted in French, most of the focus is on interaction. The Cité des Sciences et de l’Industrie is another fun, family friendly museum for both adults and kids. Within the complex is the Cité des Enfants aimed at 2-12 year olds and offers lots of hands on exhibits. If you’re looking for a more serious art experience, there is the Centre Pompidou which organizes several major exhibitions each year and has some of the best modern and contemporary art in Europe. There is a section for kids called the Galarie des Enfants and just outside the museum is the Stravinsky Fountain, a collection of colorful metal sculptures that move and spray water. As for your hotel, since the bulk of your activities are in Paris I’d recommend you stay in the city itself versus staying out near Disneyland. Catching the RER A train out to Disneyland is fairly straightfoward and it will be easier to do your day trip to Versailles. The train from central Paris to Disneyland is roughly 45 minutes, drops you off right at the park, and costs about 8 euros each way. It sounds like you’re hitting all the major landmarks and the only other one I’d suggest is the Jardin des Tuileries. It’s another great place to take young children as they offer lots of kid-friendly activities and during the summer there is a fair with amusement park rides and games. When you’re at the Luxembourg Gardens, not too far away is the shop of one of the best chocolate makers in France, Patrick Roger. He is known for his enormous and intricate chocolate sculptures which always wow kids and adults alike. Though it will look very cold and fancy from the outside and make you feel like you’re walking into an exclusive jewelry store, all the shopkeepers are kind, helpful, and speak English. Make sure you go to his location next to the Saint Sulpice church because it’s the only one that has an art gallery of original sculptures upstairs (the downstairs displays are chocolate, upstairs are bronze and iron). It’s unmarked, but the gallery is upstairs and open to the public. The chocolates of course are out of this world and I’d recommend the rocher and lemon basil. About a ten minute walk from there is a section of Rue du Bac which has some of the best pastry and chocolate shops in Paris all clustered together. There is a location of the famous Angelina but the highlight is the Patisserie des Reves where everything is pink and the pastries are displayed under a cloche. Just about a block up is Patrice Chapon, known for his chocolate mousse bar and who used to make ice cream for the Queen of England. As for areas to stay on a budget, I think your best bet is avoid the typically touristy areas like Saint Germain des Pres and position yourself near good metro connections. One area that is not touristy is the 11th, so you’ll still be central and even walking distance to lots of interesting things. A great hotel is the Gardette Park Hotel, just across the street from a park with a playground and in a charming neighborhood. A few other neighborhood standouts are the Square Gardette Restaurant and the excellent coffee shop Beans on Fire. Another worth considering is the Novotel near Gare du Lyon. Though it is near a major train station (and one of the stations you can catch the RER A to Disneyland from) it has a pool for the kids and is also near one of the best croissants in Paris at Ble Sucre. It’s also close to one of the biggest farmers markets in Paris at Bastille as well as a lesser known one at the Marche D’Aligre, part of which is in a covered market. Both of these areas will be more budget friendly as well as offer lots of choices for restaurants, cafes, etc.

      Reply
  11. Paris with 11 Year Old

    Hi. I am traveling this April to Paris with my 11 year old. Still can’t decide on a hotel. Plan to visit the Eiffel Tower, the Louvre, and Disneyland. We will be there for 5 day/4nights. Is it best to take a tour and see all of the landmarks in one day (if possible) and then one day for Disney? Which area is best to stay in for easier access to either the landmarks or transportation to/from? Thanks. Tishawn

    Reply
    1. DavidDavid Post author

      For first time visitors or people who want to pack in a lot of sightseeing, I generally recommend the 7th arrondisement since it’s a great base to explore from. It’s a really beautiful part of the city with easy access to all the major sites, shopping, restaurants, and museums. Since you’re traveling with an 11 year old and planning to go to Disneyland, I would actually suggest staying in the 1st arrondisement for a few different reasons. If you base yourself near the Louvre (or that general area), you’ll still be in a great part of the city but walking distance to the Tuileries which has a lot of kid-friendly activities and the Chatelet-Les Halles RER stop where you can catch the direct train to Disneyland. At the Tuileries, you can find trampolines in the Northwest corner and a play area with rope towers and slides. On Wednesdays and weekends they offer toy sailboat rental and pony rides. Chatelet-Les Halles is also one of the biggest metro stations where most of the metro lines intersect, offering you easy access to pretty much anywhere in the city. Since you also mentioned the possibility of taking a tour, which is a great way to knock out most of the major sites in just a few hours, most of the popular bus and boat companies have pick up points in this area. For example, the Vedettes du Pont Neuf is a one hour cruise offered throughout the day and tickets are only 14 euros for adults and 7 euros for children between 4-12. Its pick up point is at the Pont Neuf, just south of the Louvre. Since you need to spend at least a day visiting Disneyland, tours like this will free up the rest of your time to enjoy the city. This area also has a number of hotel options, ranging from 5 star properties like Le Meurice to more affordable options such as the Best Western Louvre-Opera.

      Reply
  12. Paris with 2 Young Girls

    Delighted to have discovered your blog! We have 24 hours in Paris with our 8 and 3 year old girls before heading onto Disney. The hope is to go to the Eiffel Tower, a boat cruise on the Seine and have a wonderful Parisian breakfast and generally just soak up the city for the short time we’re there. We are looking at staying at the Mercure Eiffel Tower, would you recommend this for our needs? Many thanks in advance.

    Iona

    Reply
    1. DavidDavid Post author

      The Mercure has a great location for the Eiffel Tower and catching a boat cruise along the Seine. And there are several things within the general vicinity (though perhaps a little too far to walk) that would be great to check out. The most family friendly is the Berges de Seines, a stretch of newly created outdoor space that runs roughly between the Pont de L’Alma and Invalides. It runs right along the river Seine so you’ll have some beautiful views of the Grand Palais and the Alexandre III Bridge mixed in with child friendly climbing walls, former shipping containers turned into exhibits, and other kid oriented activities. It’s also a lovely area to bring a picnic. Go in the daytime since in the evening the area becomes a popular place to enjoy an after work bottle of wine (it remains kid-friendly but does have a different vibe than through the day). Another fun place to check out is the Rue du Bac, also in the 7th. The stretch south of Boulevard Saint Germain and ending near Le Bon Marche is filled with the best chocolate and pastry shops in the city and the displays are a lot of fun for kids. Standouts are the all pink Patisserie des Reves where pastries are displayed under cloches and Patrice Chapon who used to make ice cream for the Queen of England. He specializes in chocolate and his ice cream skills have been applied to a range of mousses. There is also a branch of Angelina here, which is famous for their hot chocolate. Another area is the Rue Cler. Though none of the stores are particularly kid-oriented per se, it is a lively street which offers a slice of Parisian life and is full of cafes and specialty shops.

      Reply
  13. Pullman Paris Montparnasse with Kids

    Would you recommend the Pullman Hotel Montparnasse at all? Seems to have good deals at the moment for a family room and close to a Metro stop
    I am visiting France for 2 weeks in July/August with my wife and 2 kids, who will be 3 and 1 yrs old. We are camping in The Vendee for the middle portion of the holiday and were going to stop for a couple of nights near Le Mans on the way (we are getting the Eurotunnel from Dover to Calais), and then stopping in Paris for 2 nights on the way back. It will be our wedding anniversary whilst we are in Paris so wanted to stay somewhere nice but not astronomically expensive.

    The added complexity is that we will have the car with us to, so ideally somewhere with convenient parking close by.

    Looking forward to your response. Great blog by the way!

    Philip Short

    Reply
    1. DavidDavid Post author

      It depends on what you’re looking for. If price is your primary concern and there’s a good deal going on, then the Pullman is a reputable chain and this area is very functional. However this part of the city feels more modern and doesn’t have the typical Parisian charm most people seek when they come to Paris. You’ll be right by the 56 story Montparnasse Tower and even closer to a major train station. There are lots of bars and restaurants to serve travelers, but none of them particularly noteworthy. The only exception might be Ciel de Paris on the top floor of the tower. You’ll have some decent shopping close by with a Galleries Lafayette Department store branch and several other French name brands. The Luxembourg Gardens is about a 20 minute walk from the hotel and as you noted you’re close to a metro station. Because you’re close to the Gare Montparnasse train station however you’ll have numerous paid parking lots nearby. Many have websites in English where you can enter the exact dates you’ll be arriving to find out exact pricing and even book your parking spot in advance. This parking garage has pretty good weekend deals starting at 38 euros.

      Reply
  14. Paris with Kids in January

    Hi David. Thank-you very much for a great post and site.

    We are travelling to Paris (3 days) on our way to Kenya this January. I would appreciate any tips you have for fun things to do with an 8 and 10 year old in the winter. Of course the museums and churches are wonderful all year round, but if there are any thing with a winter focus, that would be appreciated. We were there for one gorgeous day in September and saw the Eiffel Tower, did the Seine boat ride, Luxembourg Gardens and walked around before jet lag got the better of us.

    As well, I am debating if I should get a hotel close to the attractions or an apartment/airbnb, but for the limited time we have I am nervous about finding a grocery store and spending the time shopping – though I don’t mind cooking. My kids are fussy eaters, but we are trying to not cater to that too much!

    Thank-you for the work that you do.

    Sincerely,

    Jennifer Hatton

    Reply
    1. DavidDavid Post author

      January is a great time to visit Paris with kids as there are a lot of holdovers from Christmas still around. One of the most special are the ice skating rinks that pop up all over the city as soon as winter hits. In previous years they have been in front of the Hotel de Ville and inside the Grand Palais. This year you can skate on the first floor of the Eiffel Tower (open until February) and also at the nearby Trocadero plaza (open until January 3rd). This last one is part of the Trocadero on Ice Christmas market, and if you are there at that time you’ll be able to enjoy some artisanal crafts from roughly a hundred vendors. Another notable Christmas market open through early January is at Champs Elysée. It’s the largest one in Paris with roughly 200 vendors and runs between the Place de Concorde and the Arc de Triomphe. Right next to it is the “Grand Roue” (the big ferris wheel). The ferris wheel is located at Place de la Concorde and this year will stay up until about March 1. If you are around at the early part of January, you absolutely have to take your kids to the Galeries Lafayette. They are famous for their whimsical animatronic window displays and this year’s theme is celebrating robots and Star Wars. This will be open until January 5. Also, be sure to eat a Galette du Rois (King’s cake) which are in bakeries only at this time of year.

      For less than a week a hotel is better than an apartment or AirBnb.

      Reply
      1. Jennifer

        Thank-you for your winter ideas. I wish we arrived earlier than the 19th of January to see the markets – next trip! But we have now put ice skating on the agenda.

        I was looking into the Winter Circus but there does not seem to be any shows during the week in January – did I interpret that correctly? We leave Sat morning.

        Reply
        1. DavidDavid Post author

          Yes, that’s how I see it too. The Cirque d’Hiver has shows on the 23rd and 24th but not through the week.

          Reply
  15. Best Month to Visit Paris with Kids / Restaurants for Kids in Paris

    If you had to choose between July and October to visit Paris which would you choose. I’ve heard locals clear out for the summer and that Paris can feel too touristy. What would you suggest? Also, we have 2 picky eaters. Is American-friendly food hard to find in Paris? Are there a few restaurants you would recommend for American families?
    Thanks for the info – Charlie

    Reply
    1. DavidDavid Post author

      I would go in July. October can be a great month but July is a beautiful time in Paris and more to do outside. Paris Plage opens in July and is a series of beaches and water play areas along the river (but not in the river) that is open to the public. It’s fun. Picnicing outside in the summer is also very popular. October can have good weather but you also have to be prepared for rain and grey. July typically has very nice weather (though can get hot too). Do not worry about finding american/kid friendly food in Paris. Cafes and brassieres that serve hamburgers and chicken dishes are everywhere and it seems like just about every meal comes with fries. Don’t worry about seeking out specific kid-friendly restaurants – just check out the menus as you walk along and you’ll quickly find something that is appropriate without having to go out of your way. Parisians typically vacation in August and that is when the city is at its quietest as far as local culture, shops, and restaurants. Some things close. But even then, with the weather so nice, it’s still a fine time to visit. But it’s less of a problem in July, in any case.

      Reply
  16. Paris with Young Children

    Hi David,
    Amazing tips!!! Lovely boys!
    We’d like to go with a 2 year old and a 5 month old baby now, on October 2015.

    -How cold/wet could Paris be?
    -How pram-friendly is Paris? We’ll go with a double buggy (too many steps on the street…? Is there anyway besides the stairs to climb to Sacre Coeur?
    -I was planning to do children tourism in the mornings-noon (parks, playgrounds) and museums and grown up tourism in their nap time… ? Any better suggestions?
    -Is this trip actually feasible? Or we are just dreaming?

    Thank you very much!
    Laura

    Reply
    1. DavidDavid Post author

      Thoughts:

      –In October you should be prepared for any type of weather but more than likely it will be a mix of clear sunny days and rainy overcast days. Nights can be quite chilly. Think layers.
      –Most parts of Paris are stroller friendly. There are sections with cobblestoned streets that are not. Metro typically has lots of stairs and narrow walkways that are difficult with a stroller. Buses are better. When you have a stroller you can board through the rear (everyone else boards through the front). There is an open space by the rear door that is just for strollers (perhaps, wheelchairs too).
      –Sounds like a great plan. Do it. You won’t regret it.

      Reply
  17. Marais or Montmartre Hotel for a Family of 3

    We want to stay in a lively area of Paris, good restaurants, Paris life, central to the main attractions (except the Eiffel Tower which was saw on a day trip last year so no need to see again). We’ve been told by friends that Marais or Montmartre are the best neighborhoods for us to stay in. Which area would you recommend?

    Also, we’ve got train tickets to London on the Eurostar. When should we arrive before departure time? Do the train stations sell food that we can buy for the train trip?

    Reply
    1. DavidDavid Post author

      Marais, for sure. Not even close. Marais has a much more central location (walking distance to many top sites), a cool vibe, and lots of great restaurants. Montmartre is not terrible but very touristy, tacky, and lots of average (or below average) restaurants.

      Get to your London train with plenty of time to spare: 60 to 90 minutes before departure. There’s security and passport checks that can go slowly – and the train waits for no one. Also, check in for the Eurostar is upstairs. It’s easy to miss if you’re not looking for it. Do not go to the main train board and wait for your train to appear in the listing – it never will. The Gare du Nord has lots of food options. Buy food before you check in and go through the waiting area.

      Reply
  18. Louvre with Kids – Books

    We’ll be visiting the Louvre with a 7 year old girl. Any recommendations for books that we can read in advance?

    Reply
  19. Best Tour for Kids in Paris

    What is the best tour of Paris for a family of 3 (energetic 13 year old who’s very interested in Paris culture and history)? Any suggestions?

    Reply
    1. DavidDavid Post author

      Two great tours for kids are the Fat Tire Bike Tours and the Paris by Mouth Walking Tours. The bike tours start near the Eiffel Tower and make their way to Louvre passing some Paris’ top attractions along the way. There are explanations and a bit of history along the way – nothing too deep but it’s fun and about right for most kids (and adults). The Paris by Mouth tours are called food & wine (kids can have juice) and are a great introduction to whatever neighborhood you’re touring (there are tours of the Marais, Latin Quarter, and Saint Germain). You stop at a 5 or 6 different specialty shops as you walk and then sit down for a meal at the end. Both tours are great. Fat Tire also offers a bike tour of Versailles which is a must if you’re going there and much better for seeing the grounds than if you went on your own (plus you skip the lines at the palace).

      Reply
  20. Military Discount for Families

    Hi David,

    Several of the posts have been quite helpful for my travel there next may. I have my family of 3 and another family of 4. I am a retired US military officer and I have heard of discounted hotels for military families, do you know of economical lodging for families this size, military?

    Rico

    Reply
    1. DavidDavid Post author

      I have not heard of military discounts for families (outside of the US). I doubt there’s anything in France.

      Hotelscombined.com is the best site to find cheap hotels in Paris – so look there if your search doesn’t turn up anything.

      Reply
  21. Finding Taxi for Family from Airport to Paris

    Are taxis easy to get at the Paris Airport (Charles de Gaulle)? I’ve heard cabs can be hard to find.

    Reply
    1. DavidDavid Post author

      Follow the signs for “Taxi” to the designated area. If you can’t see any taxis queued up then look for a worker with an orange vest (like the photo below). They’ll call a taxi for you and it will arrive within a minute or two.
      Taxi at airport to downtown Paris for Family

      Reply
  22. Good Hotel for Family with Toddler

    Hi David
    Great blog. We’re traveling to Paris with our 22 mo old next week and are scrambling to find a good hotel in a good location! I’m also pregnant with my 2nd so easy access to certain (but not all) touristy spots that can be done with toddler and areas with activities for toddlers would be great. Where do you think would be a good location?
    Thanks much!
    NB

    Reply
    1. DavidDavid Post author

      I would highly recommend the Gardette Park Hotel – good sized rooms, nice playground across the street, and not too expensive (for Paris). Bus #69 stops nearby and goes directly to the Eiffel Tower through the heart of Paris – it’s a great route and worth going out of your way to do.

      Reply
  23. Paris at Christmas with Kids

    Hello,

    We are considering visiting Paris for the first time to spend Christmas this year. We are family of 6 (grandparents, aunt, parents and 3 and a half year old boy). I am worried that it will be too cold for my son as we would like to do sightseeing. Can you comment on the weather and if it would be a good time to visit with a young child? Also, since we would be there for Christmas Eve and Christmas Day, any recommendations on where to stay and what to do on those two holidays?

    Thanks!

    Reply
    1. DavidDavid Post author

      Paris at Christmas can be great with kids – though it can be cold, so be prepared for pretty much any kind of wintery weather. There are Christmas lights and displays everywhere. It’s a very fun atmosphere. The main Christmas Market is on the Champs Elysées, between metro Concorde and Rond Point. On Haussmann boulevard there are department store windows (and the tree Inside Galeries Lafayette) that are wonderful. There’s ice skating in front of the Hôtel de Ville and inside the Grand Palais (you can rent skates there).

      Reply
  24. Paris and Disneyland in August

    Oh wow. My family and I will be going in August and this post just open up so many ideas of places to visit and I cant wait. Our girls 5 and 8 will be having lots of fun specially the little one turning 6 in paris. Also we will be visiting Disneyland. I think I am the most exicted adult ever hahaha. See you in August Paris.
    Telma

    Reply
  25. Paris at Night with Kids

    HI David,
    I am travelling with Family and visiting Disney for 2 days. I am coming to Paris around 3pm, what do you suggest to cover for the rest of the day from 4PM onwards, as the next 2 days will be visiting Paris Disney and will leave on 4th day early morning.
    Prasad

    Reply
    1. DavidDavid Post author

      I would visit the Eiffel Tower (check online to see if tickets are available for your dates) or a boat tour along the river Seine – or both.

      Reply
  26. Paris Apartment for Family of 6

    Hi

    We are a family of 6 (4 children age 9,11,15,15) that will be staying in Paris for 4 night in October. We are looking for a place to stay, preferably an apartment hotel or similar. Do you have any good recommendations within the budget range of 250 euro per night.

    thanks

    Reply
  27. Where To Stay for Paris and Disneyland for Family of 5

    Hi! David,

    This is a most helpful blog/site. Really nice of you to share your experience.
    We are travelling to Paris for the first time, as a family, with our 3 tean-age boys. We are planning to do 2 nights at Euro Disney bang in the middle of our trip (12th June being a b’day!). The main focus of the trip is to get the boys to explore, get to know and enjoy the city itself. So the question is which is the best neighbourhood to stay in (B&B/Hostel/Aparthotel) so that we do not need to punctuate our stay.

    Any advice?
    Option 1 : Stay in a location that will be convenient to both locations and do day tours of disneyland.
    Option 2 : Stay in Paris arrondissement 6 (1st choice) and move out to disney and then move back into the same pension.
    Option 3 : Stay in the Disney area and do day trips to Paris. (Least attractive option)

    Looking forward to your response.
    Cheers!
    Vasu

    Reply
    1. DavidDavid Post author

      Staying in Paris is the key to enjoying the city so I would do a variation of option 2 but with one suggestion: stay at different places for your first and second stays. You see and experience a different side of Paris depending on where you stay. So moving from the 6th to the 10th arrondissements (for example) might not sound like a big difference but you’ll get a very different feel for the city when you stay in multiple locations.

      Reply
  28. Stay in Paris or Near Disneyland

    We are a family of two adults and a child of 5 years. Visiting Europe for the first time and choose to go to Paris. My daughter is very fond of Eiffel tower and Disney stuff. What is your recommendation, should we stay in one of the hotel in Disney location or it will be far away from other nice places. Plan to stay in Paris for three nights. We are not very good in terms of long distance walks 🙂

    Aleena Khan

    Reply
    1. DavidDavid Post author

      It depends where more of your interest lies. If you’re planning on spending 2 of your 3 days at Disneyland then get a hotel near Disneyland. If you want to spend 2 of your 3 days in Paris then stay in Paris. It’s fairly easy to get from Disneyland hotels to the Eiffel Tower. Get on the RER line A train and take it to Charles De Gaulle Etoile station (close to the Arc de Triomphe) then catch Metro line 6 to Bir Hakeim. The Tower is only a short walk from there.

      Reply
  29. Paris with a 3 Year Old

    I am brining my 3 year old son to Paris mid-May. I would like to do a little shopping (for me, like a bag or a wallet) and then take my son to the Eiffel Tower, Louvre, and a couple of museums. Any suggestions on a safe and kid-friendly hotel as well as some fun activities? Many thanks, Kate

    Reply
    1. DavidDavid Post author

      There are many areas of Paris that have good shopping so you have a fair bit of flexibility there. The Westin is a great hotel that is walking distance to shopping of the Champs-Elysees, some large department stores, and the Louvre, and easy access to the metro for getting around Paris. The Tuileries Garden is across the street and has lots of areas to burn off energy and there’s a play area, trampolines, a pond to sail small toy boats, and pony rides.

      Reply
  30. Paris Hotel for Family of 4

    David,

    We are family of 4 (2 adults, 15 year old and 19 year old) first time visiting Paris for 3 nights. We will coming in to Gare Du Nord from London. We are comfortable with subway/Metro in NYC so looking for a place ( hotel or an apartment) that is value hotel ( budget 150-200$ a night) and closes to any metro station. We wish to visit Eiffel tower, Louve museum, palace de versailes and may be evening in good neighboorhood with some shopping and good places to eat. Mostly we want to walk or rent a bike to move around. We also want to try illumination river tour…..Once we get out of the hotel, we wont be going back until late evening….so is Gare Du Nord or CDG airport hotels ok to consider ?

    Can you please provide your 2 or 3 choices.
    Sam

    Reply
    1. DavidDavid Post author

      Gare du Nord area would be fine as there is a metro stop there with good connections around the city but you do not want to stay at the airport – you want to be in central Paris. The RER C Line is the one that goes to Versailles so being close to one of those stops (St-Michel Notre Dame, Champ de Mars/Tour Eiffel, or Musée d’Orsay) would be nice but certainly not a must. The real trouble will be finding a room large enough within your budget. 2 cheaper hotels (though still over $200) that would sleep 4 adults/young adults are the Hôtel du Palais Bourbon and the Midnight Hotel Paris – both with good locations near metro stations.

      Reply
  31. Where To Stay in Paris for Family?

    Hi
    My family and I will be spending 5 nights in Paris. Where would you recommend we stay?
    Thanks

    Chris Niemand

    Reply
    1. DavidDavid Post author

      Paris is well connected by metro so choosing where to stay (as long as you’re near a metro stop) is not as vital as in some cities. Most areas can make great bases for exploring the city (Montmarte, Champs-Elysées, the Latin Quarter are all great) but if I had to choose one are in Paris for a family to stay it would be Saint Germain – very central, well served by metro, walking distance to many of the best attractions in the city, busy day and night, and home to lots of great places to eat.

      Reply
  32. Beaches in Paris

    I’ve heard interesting things about the man-made beaches in Paris. Do you know when the beaches are open? Can you swim at the beaches? Is there a charge?

    Reply
    1. DavidDavid Post author

      I’m not sure what the dates for 2015 will be but for 2014 they were from 19 July to 17 August – so basically mid-July to mid-August. The beaches are free. There is not swimming in the Seine but some of the spots have a pool. There are mist showers, paddle boats, sand castles, play areas, ice cream kiosks. Lots of fun. The beaches are open from 9am to midnight.

      Reply
  33. Paris in December or July with Kids?

    We are trying to decide between a December, 2015 visit or a July, 2016 visit. We are coming from Australia and are a family of 4 (ages 10 and 12). Is it cold in December in Paris? Is it too hot in July? When would you visit? The dates would be July 1 to 20 or December 20 to January 10.
    Thanks
    Jane

    Reply
    1. DavidDavid Post author

      They are both great times to visit but, of course, very different. In December, yes it can be cold and even snow. But it can be surprisingly pleasant too. The city lights up at Christmas time and becomes almost magical especially if you’re into festivities and ice skating (city hall has a huge ice rink). There are fewer visitors (specifically in early January) when the Louvre, Eiffel Tower, and other popular attractions will have far shorter lines. In July it’s hot and sunny and green. You can picnic outside and go for walks (without gloves and hats) and enjoy outdoor Paris like you see in the movies. The city makes sandy beaches along the Seine that are a lot of fun and kids love. So, if I had to choose I would go in July but both have their appeal depending on what type of visit you’re looking for.

      Reply
  34. Should Family Stay Near Eiffel Tower?

    We have 1 week in Paris with a 9 year old. We are most concerned with the location of the hotel, not so much the quality. As long as it’s clean and in a good location we’re happy The one thing we have to do is go up the Eiffel Tower as my son is obsessed with it. We have promised him we can go up twice, once on the stairs and once on the elevators. These will be on 2 separate days. My question is: With such an emphasis on the Eiffel Tower should we find a hotel close to it or is it easy to get to from all points in the city? Is it easy to walk to the Eiffel Tower from the Latin Quarter?

    Reply
    1. DavidDavid Post author

      The Eiffel Tower is easy to get from nearly all central places in the city. As long as you’re near a metro station (and there aren’t many places not near a metro in central Paris) you’ll be fine. There is not a lot around the Eiffel Tower in terms of restaurants or busy/fun neighborhoods. It sounds like you’ll make 2 or 3 visits to the tower so I would not recommend compromising your location just to be close to it. Walking from the Latin Quarter to the Eiffel Tower is about 45 minutes. Perhaps a little more with a child and more again if you take the more scenic route along the river.

      Reply
  35. Annie

    Here’s a little something I learned on my last trip to Paris: there’s a quiet little place inside the Louvre where you can escape the madding crowd and find a little quiet-time. Ask the info desk for the meeting place for guided tours. They will direct you to an area off the main lobby. As you enter, there is a desk to the left where people check in and get earphones. Turn right instead and there is a hallway with about ten little rooms where groups gather. The rooms are quiet, cool, dimly-lit and rarely in use. Settle in, have a snack, maybe even close your eyes. If people start arriving for a tour, find another room if you still need time to chill out.

    Reply
  36. Best Playgrounds in Paris

    Here’s my cheat sheet for Paris’s Playgrounds–ones that are conveniently located next to principal monuments/museums:

    • Champs-Elysées-Jardins des Champs-Elysées
    • Eiffel Tower-Champ-de-Mars
    • The Louvre-Jardin des Tuileries
    • Marais-Place des Vosges or Square Léopold Achille
    • Montmartre-Square Suzanne Buisson or Marcel Bleustein-Blanchet
    • Centre Georges-Pompidou Jardin des Halles
    • Musée d’Orsay-Jardin des Tuileries
    • Notre Dame-Square Jean XXIII
    • See paris.fr for opening hours and exact locations

    I’ve got more tips in a piece I wrote for the Guardian (UK), check it out if you have a chance

    My other bit of advice is not to shy away from café culture while in Paris with children; I like to stop in the afternoon for a drink with my daughters when there are fewer people (between 3pm-6pm). They love Perrier menthe (sparkling water with sweet, mint syrup), a citron pressé (fresh, mix-it-yourself lemonade) or a hot chocolate. It’s a win-win for all––adults get their café fix without the time commitment a meal would typically require and the entire family shares a quintessentially Parisian moment together.

    Hope that helps! Thanks, Kim

    Reply
  37. Kannika from Thailand

    I enjoyed reading your post and wish I have read it before we hitted the road to Paris. We drove from Italy(Trieste) to Paris with our 4 years old son. My husband had to work so I spent time alone sightseeing with my son around Paris. I did most things you have written here. We enjoyed very much our time in Paris although we got so much rain. Many friends asked me about tips of travelling with kids to Paris so I wrote them in my Facebook with some photos.
    I saw that you visited Thailand too;-). It was fun reading about your posts and also comments from your readers given that I am from Thailand but living in Italy. 😉

    Reply
  38. Restaurants for Kids Birthday Party in Paris

    We are going to be in Paris on my daughter’s 6th birthday. Are there any restaurants or activities that you can suggest as a special treat/ “party” to celebrate her birthday? I thought it would be fun to find a restaurant that is known for their birthday celebrations.
    Thanks!

    Reply
      1. Fred

        Hate to say it but with the exception of Le Train Bleu, these are all terrible suggestions. Bad food, high prices. Any six year old girl worth her salt can go to an adult restaurant. If not, go to a neighborhood cafe and have steak frites. Or try any of the crepe places on rue Montparnasse. Chocolate and pastries at Angelina’s or Carette. You can do so much better than these chains.

        Reply
      2. DavidDavid Post author

        Fred, I totally get where you’re coming from. I didn’t suggest these for the quality of the food but simply because they’re kid-friendly restaurants that would be suitable to a party atmosphere. Personally I would go to a neighborhood cafe like yourself but these are found without any effort and so hardly need to be singled out.

        Cheers.

        Reply
  39. Paris and France for Family of 4

    We have a month vacation time in France with our kids who will have just turned 4 and 6. Would you stay in Paris the whole time in one apartment or would you break it up and move around more?

    Reply
    1. DavidDavid Post author

      It’s a trade-off. The longer you stay in one spot (in this case, Paris) the better you get to know it and the more you explore the attractions that are off-the-beaten-track. Of course, the more you move around the more places you get to see – which also has its appeal. There’s no right answer.

      Reply
  40. Best Area to Stay in Paris for a Family

    Ooh lovely! Great list of suggestions, and from your readers, too.

    A couple to add: We loved staying in the 10e – there are small playgrounds all along the canal, as well as great kid-friendly cafes and shops down the side streets towards f’bourg st denis. Bonus – not far to cité des enfants, an absolute must with pre-schoolers.

    Along boulevard st germaine, we picked up the most brilliant pop-up book about Paris, “mon livre animé: Paris” (publisher: Milan jeunesse). As you’d guess, it’s in French, but that hasn’t prevented our 3 (now almost 4) year-old from asking for it again and again – it’s become our guide for planning our next trip :).

    Helen

    Reply
  41. Paris with 2 Children

    I very much enjoyed reading your post before a trip to Paris with my two kids 5 and 8 this summer. Our family also enjoyed the playground at Luxembourg gardens very much. As a mother, I was thrilled that the park was fenced and that I could actually sit down for a moment. The little game on the carousel is pretty fun too ! The Jardin D’Acclimation, as mentioned above, was also a huge hit! I have written about our adventure.

    Thanks for the excellent post full of great suggestions!

    Tara Cannon

    Reply
  42. PLAYGROUNDS in PARIS

    Should you ever consider visiting Paris again, do let me know, I have a terrific list of playgrounds, literally scattered all over this town. In fact, we have a competition with our children each year we visit Paris – our record’s at 5 playgrounds (on one day alone, of course) and we make it extra challenging by never visiting one playground twice during a visit.
    It took me a good research to find out where precisely they hide those gems and – don’t be angry – they might have been right behind the next corner or behind an unsuspicious garden wall you have strolled by. They’re EVERYWHERE and really close by, no matter which arrondissement.

    Reply
  43. Paris Metro with Small Children

    The Paris Metro is only free for little kids…under four and yours look a lot older than that. Half price tickets are available in a carnet (booklet) of ten for kids between four and ten. Do not cheat the system. If you do, you risk major fines payable on the spot.

    Fred

    Reply
    1. DavidDavid Post author

      Good to know Fred. I’m sure you’re right (ticket info for Paris metro), but I will add that I bought tickets from the Gare du Nord station when we first arrived and it was there that they said the kids didn’t need tickets. Can’t remember if they asked their ages but if they did I’m sure I told the truth. On numerous occasions during our trip I had to ask for help buying tickets or for the ticket agent to let us through the gate and no one questioned whether they should have tickets.

      Reply
  44. Tips for Paris with Kids

    Having a hotel near a subway station and buying Eiffel tickets in advance are both musts.
    Jenaf

    Reply
  45. Paris Tips for Families

    I love comments over me. A nice place with the best French bookshop (just for kids) in Paris: Le Dragon Savant.

    In the Louvre Museum there is small leaflet only in French with nice theme to discover the museum with kids. Even with a really low French level I think it is nice to have a look on it (or ask for it, as they keep them like precious document at the central information desk). You have to look for special painting (or…) about “eating”, “dragons”, and so on. The museum becomes a kind of “jeu de piste” (google translator suggests “hare and hound” or “paper chase”).

    Tiphanya

    Reply
  46. Parks in Paris for Kids

    Have to say as a mum to three kids living in Paris for 7 years I would have to say my fave activity in Paris with kids is the Luxembourg Gardens hands down. (Well apart from family photo sessions with me of course!!)

    The Jardin du Luxembourg has that fabulous kids play area, the marionette theatre, carousel and so many areas to explore you just can’t go wrong. The only thing missing is good coffee. If someone could just start a decent coffee cart there they would make a FORTUNE!!

    Can’t wait to be back in the City of Light this Spring!

    Reply
  47. Paris with Young Children

    Great list for a few days stop in Paris. If you stay a bit longer, there’s a lot of things to do such as Jardin des Plantes (renovated glass houses, fabulous merry go round …kids will climb on prehistoric animals !), Guignol theater in many public gardens, hidden street in Butte aux Cailles, etc…

    Reply
  48. Good Beaches for Kids near Paris

    Any idea what beaches are good along the north Atlantic coast. Just planning my trip (sort of last minute) for September for Paris and Belgium. Need a couple ideas if you can give me some.

    Gwen

    Reply
  49. Europe with Kids

    Cities like Paris are incredible and great for kids to experience. I went through Europe when I was a kid a few times with my parents. It was great and I still have memories and photos from those trips that I revisit pretty regularly. The stuff I remember most was it just “being different” than home. Refreshing. Illuminating. Mind blowing. The big tourist attractions I don’t remember much. The lake at the camp site with the German kids swimming. Ya, I’ll never forget that.

    Angel

    Reply
  50. Eiffel Tower with Kids

    I know it’s touristy but walking up the Eiffel Tower is always so much fun. (i suppose a little different if you have very young children in tow.) Get their early, of course. And visit as many bakeries as your tummy and wallet will allow. The bread and pastries are so much better than back home. We’d leave our hotel every morning at about 7am and wouldn’t return until 10pm, it’s such a fun city.

    Reply
  51. Finding Playgrounds in Paris

    I am liking this too. And Paris is very good with children. I wish finding a good playground were easier. I like visiting New York City because the playgrounds for kids are everywhere but in Paris much more difficult.

    Reply
    1. PLAYGROUNDS FOR KIDS in Paris

      Not at all! I know more than two dozen playgrounds in Paris.

      In fact we have a scheme that saves both our nerves and those of our children.

      In the morning there are museums or sightseeing or a lovely stroll through St.Germain de Près, then comes lunch and THEN we pop in a bakery/cheese shop and buy a baguette and some gorgeous smelly cheese (and admittedly nutella for the youngsters), some fruit, and take a loooooong break at one of those countless playgrounds. The children play their fill and we (if we were lucky to find a Take-Away) sip our coffees, munch an éclair and later have an al fresco picnic in the sunset, marveling at that typical Parisian architecture that surrounds the area.
      LOVE THIS.

      Reply
  52. Paris with Children

    I live in Paris, sort of, short term arrangement that’s been extended for almost a year now. And this is a great page. My kids come over and visit and we’ve done most kid-friendly attractions. The big glaring one missing (for me) would be the museum of natural history, particularly the evolution part, but I guess it depends what way your tastes run. My children love it. The kids love the boats on the Seine too, probably the highlight for them. And renting bikes.
    Thanks. I got 2 new ideas from this.

    Reply
  53. Family Travelers

    Paris is the best city HANDS DOWN for families. Parents love it. Kids love it. We’ve been 3 times with the little ones (not so little now) and going back in September. We usually spend 3 or 4 days before plane or train to somewhere in southern Europe. Enjoy!

    Reply
    1. Isidro

      There is nothing like Paris. The warm feeling, even when cold, surrounds you with all of its’ magnificent structures, restaurants and beautiful and majestic museums. I love the smell of the air, and walking down the narrow cobblestoned streets with a delicious French Baguette in hand. The croissants, the pate, the cheese I could just go on since in Paris you never run out of things to do or see! I absolutely LOVE Paris!

      Reply

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